Posts Categorized: Portraiture

Intuitive Portrait Lighting


Light Your Way, But Learn From the Masters If you’ve studied portrait lighting at all, you’re probably familiar with several classic lighting styles, including: Broad Lighting, Short Lighting, Butterfly/Paramount Lighting, and Rembrandt/Loop Lighting. Each of these portrait lighting styles can be used to create a pleasing or “corrective” effect on the subject. For example, Short… Read more »

Five Portrait Lighting Patterns You Should Know

Screen Shot 2013-12-08 at 10.37.02 PM

  Traditional portrait lighting patterns are the foundation of all good portraiture.  This is something I stress in several of my eBooks, and in this post, I’ll describe the five basic lighting patterns and include a video for reference.  I hope you find it useful. The Five Portrait Lighting Patterns Short Lighting:  good for most… Read more »

Good Backgrounds Are Everywhere


Do you need an exciting location to make great people photos?  Not really.  As a matter of fact, the more “location” you put in the shot, the less emphasis you’re going to have on the person featured in it.  Sometimes that’s okay, because sometimes the story is not just about the person, but also about… Read more »

Interview: Bill Gekas

Copyright Bill Gekas

Bill Gekas is a portrait photographer residing in Melbourne, Australia.  His Old Masters-style portraiture featuring his daughter are skillfully crafted and captivating.  Here, we talk about his tools and methodology, and how he developed his unique style. How did your style come about?  Was it something you envisioned and decided to try to create, or… Read more »

Maintain the Portrait Lighting Position


I’ve noticed that many photographers, even those with years of experience shooting portraiture, seem to get lost with their lighting when posing their subjects in new ways. For example, a good family portrait and/or headshot photographer, having recently added Boudoir to their list of services, might suddenly realize they’re in new lighting territory. One common… Read more »

Natural Light Portraiture: On Your Terms


For a photographer who is more comfortable working with studio light, sometimes I feel that I’m a little out of my comfort zone when it comes to natural light portraiture.  I like having total control over my lighting, and with natural light, I have to give up a little bit of that control.  I see… Read more »

One-Light Portraits, Dealing With Dark Backgrounds


One-light portrait setups are popular, and it’s easy to see why; they make creating portraits so easy, you almost can’t go wrong.  Place a light somewhere in the proximity of the traditional 45/45 position and you’ve got solid dramatic lighting.  Nail your exposure, and you’re golden. But there are some problems inherent with this type… Read more »

Simple Headshot: Two Lights and a Backdrop


In areas with high concentrations of actors, dancers, and other performers, headshots are the bread and butter for many photographers.  You can easily create a professional-looking studio portrait like the one shown here with minimal lighting.  For this quick example, I placed a Canon 580 EX II on a stand high and to the camera-left… Read more »

Rules of Cropping

Cropping at the thigh.  Ok.

Rules of Cropping for Portraiture James asks:  “In shooting models what are the rules of cropping, what poses require or permit cropping at certain points as in arms, legs and other places?” This is a pretty common question for photographers, especially as they start to look at what they’re doing with a more critical eye…. Read more »