Recent Portraits Articles

How to Use a Fresnel Light for Portrait Photography

Though it fell out of use for a while, the Fresnel lens has regained popularity for portraiture work, where it can provide a sharp and impactful light quality that is still flattering on the subject's facial features. If you have not used a Fresnel before and want to learn how to employ one to create compelling portraits, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you everything you need to know.

Surprising Results Using the Fujifilm X-T5 and Sigma Contemporary Lenses

I have quickly become a big fan of the Sigma Contemporary lenses for Fujifilm X Mount. A few months back, I reviewed the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8, a lens that delivers superb image quality and performance in an extremely small and well-constructed package. More recently, I had a chance to test the Sigma 56mm f/1.4 and 30mm f/1.4 on the Fujifilm X-T5, and I was once again impressed by the results.

Learn How These Fantastic Portraits Were Shot With Just One Light

While many professionals employ the use of complex setups consisting of multiple lights, even just a single source can create vivid and compelling images when in the right hands. This excellent video tutorial will take you behind the scenes to show you how a photographer shot a striking series of full-body portraits using just one light.

5 Pro Tips for Taking Studio Headshots

As a headshot photographer, it's your job to make sure your clients look their best. However, taking the perfect studio headshot isn't just about lighting and composition. It's also about understanding your client's needs and making them feel comfortable in front of the camera.

Sony 55mm f/1.8 vs Sigma 65mm f/2.0: Which Is Best for Portrait Photography?

Portrait photographers generally prefer focal lengths over 50mm. This is because these types of focal lengths help to produce a more flattering look. Personally, I find a 50mm lens to be slightly too wide and an 85mm lens just a tad too long. For this reason, I thought I'd compare two lenses that sit in-between these focal lengths.

Fujifilm X-T5 Versus Canon EOS R5: Battle of the High Res Sensors

In this video, I test the new Fujifilm X-T5 against the Canon EOS R5, which is my go-to studio camera. Originally, I intended only to compare the image quality of Fuji's new 40-megapixel cropped sensor against Canon's 45-megapixel full-frame sensor, but after using the X-T5 for a number of sessions in my studio I decided to make a friendly general comparison of the two cameras.

Testing the Sigma 65mm f/2 for Portraits

If you're a portrait photographer, you'll know the feeling of getting a new lens and going on your first portrait shoots with it. That feeling was strong for me over a decade ago and it's just as strong now!

5 Great Available Lighting Portrait Scenarios

While every portrait photographer should learn how to work with artificial light, available light is still a fantastic tool for a lot of applications and can be the better choice in a range of situations. Available light can be more versatile than you might suspect, and this excellent video tutorial five different scenarios that make for fantastic portraits.

Why You Should Consider Doing Public Work Instead of Pursuing Client Work

It is the dream of many amateur photographers to be hired for celebrity photo shoots and high-status advertising gigs. What could be more exciting than photographing a famous singer in a large photo studio with stylists, digital techs, and assistants at your beck and call? Imagine how great it would be to see your photographs published on a magazine or album cover. Best of all, commercial jobs can pay well over $10,000 for a single day of work. Surely this is better than just photographing ordinary folk, right? Maybe not.

Tips on Photographing New Female Models

Photographing female models can be an exciting and creative process, but it's essential to approach it with professionalism and sensitivity. Here are some tips based on my own experience to help you get the best results during a photo shoot with a new model.

Create an Effective Rim Light With One Light

When starting out with off-camera flash, especially in portraiture, we don't always have access to a lot of high-tech or expensive strobes and modifiers. Here's a simple setup that will help you create stunning low-key rim lit images with very little equipment required.

3 Subtle and Natural Off-Camera Flash Portrait Techniques

Photographers who are new to working with artificial light often think that strobes always look distinctly different from natural light. And while it is true that you can shoot creative, highly stylized images that would not be possible with just sunlight, you can use strobes to emulate natural light to make subtle, natural looks. This excellent video tutorial will show you three off-camera flash lighting techniques that will allow you to create effective and compelling portraits.

10 Indispensable Tips for Getting a Killer Headshot

If part of your business is capturing headshots, then this is for you. Even if you're thinking of adding it to your portfolio, it's worth checking these essential tips and tricks as, if you're a commercial photographer, you can up your customer's average spend by offering this essential service.

Photo Projects You Should Consider for 2023

A new year brings thoughts of new beginnings and new opportunities. Resolutions are common this time of year. You undoubtedly have plans to join a gym this year, but why not also make a goal of working on a new photo project? There are several projects you might consider undertaking in 2023, ranging from those that require you to create something original each day to those that will be successful with a less frequent contribution on your part.

3 Creative and Effective One-light Portrait Photography Setups

When it comes to portrait photography, you might think that you need complex multi-light setups in order to create professional images, and while these certainly have their place, you might be surprised by how much you can accomplish with just a single light. This excellent video tutorial will show you three creative and effective one-light setups for portrait photography.

Why Mistakes Are Such an Important Part of the Photography Process

When you are new to photography, it can feel like professionals know exactly what they want and how to achieve it, but that is how social media can be quite misleading. The truth is that professionals make mistakes all the time; in fact, they embrace them. This excellent video tutorial will take you behind the scenes of a photographer's portrait lighting process and show you how mistakes can lead you to a great final image.

5 Helpful Tips for Better Black and White Portraits

A black and white portrait can be one of the most powerful ways to represent a person, but it takes more than just desaturating a color image to make an effective final photo. If you would like to learn how to do that, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will give you five tips sure to help you create better black and white portraits.

Autumn Portraits in Tokyo With the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG DN

There are few better feelings than a great lens, a great model, and a great location. In this video, go behind the scenes with Mitch Lally as he roams an autumnal Tokyo taking portraits with a much sought-after Sigma prime.

Photographing New Male Models

Photographing male models can be a challenging but rewarding experience for a photographer. In order to create stunning and memorable images, it's essential to direct the model and guide them into confident poses that showcase their best features.

How to Photograph a Longform Photography Project

As the adage goes, “you have to run before you can walk.” This also applies to photography. Once you’ve learned how to consistently make a good image within your camera, what is the next step?

An Unusual but Effective One-Light Portrait Photography Setup

If you are new to working with artificial light, you might look at some of the complex multi-light setups seasoned professionals use and feel a bit overwhelmed or discouraged. However, you can absolutely make creative, compelling, and professional-level portraits with just a single light, and this neat video tutorial will show you one of the more unusual but effective ways of doing so.

3 Reasons Why Continuous Lighting Is a Good Choice for Portraiture

For decades, color slide film was the industry standard for commercial and editorial work, and the speed of the film was typically 64 or 100. It was standard practice for a portrait photographer to use a high-powered strobe to illuminate the subject. Today, a digital camera can produce clean images at high ISO settings and allows the photographer to forgo strobes and instead illuminate the subject using lower-power continuous light units.

How to Place a Hair Light for Better Portrait Photos

While you can absolutely create compelling portrait photos using just a single light, moving into using multi-light setups opens a lot of creative and technical options that simply would not be possible otherwise. One of the most useful of these is the hair light, and this great video tutorial will show you how to place one properly to get the best results.

7 Things You Need to Get Started in Portrait Photography

Each week, we are assaulted with an endless barrage of new photography-related products promising to make us better photographers. For a beginning shooter, this must be overwhelming. If someone asked you for a short list of essential items necessary for the specific genre of photography that you partake in, what would those items be?

How to Edit Portraits Using Lightroom's Powerful New Masking Features

It used to be that if you wanted to edit portraits, you would head to Photoshop. However, in recent years, Lightroom has gained more advanced capabilities, and now, with its powerful new masking features, it stands as a viable alternative for at least basic to moderate portrait edits. This helpful video tutorial will show you how to take advantage of those new features to edit your portrait shots in Lightroom.

How to Create Eye-catching Portraits Using Fallen Leaves

Autumn is just about over, and though the leaves are no longer on the trees, that does not mean we do not have any use for them anymore. If you gather a pile of leaves and bring them into your studio, you have a wonderful prop for a wide variety of portrait looks with all the control of studio lighting. This great video tutorial will show you how to take fallen leaves and turn them into an eye-catching and versatile props for studio portraits.

Super Fast Editing With Lightrooms New Masks

If you are a Lightroom user I'm sure by now you have experimented with most of the newly updated features. One feature, in particular, I was very interested in is the AI-powered Person Mask Option and how it actually performed.

Gearing Up for Senior Portrait Photography

While senior portrait season is still a few months away, the time to gear up for it is upon us, with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday deals just on the horizon. If you're starting out and looking to get into this style of photography, here are a few options from photographer and YouTuber Michelle Nichols.

See How I Recreated This Dan Winters Portrait

I often get together with some of my photographer friends to experiment with lighting techniques and try out new gear. Recently, my friend, John, stopped by the studio, and we decided to have a go at recreating a Dan Winters portrait. In this video, I detail my process, including the lighting I used as well as my editing process.

Five Different Light Modifiers Compared With Natural Light

Controlling light is one of the most difficult challenges a photographer must master. Even if you have years of experience under your belt, it can still be difficult to decide which light modifier to use with your strobes or if you should even be using strobes at all. In this video and article, I'm going to share with you five of my favorite light modifiers and how they can produce drastically different results.

So What Exactly Is AI Autofocus?

The Sony a7R V was released just last week, and one of the interesting features about it is the AI autofocus feature. What exactly is that, and how is it going to affect how we shoot?

Flash Photography For Portraits: One Light With 200 Watts

Miguel Quiles is one of my favorite photographers for studio portraits because of his command of light and the effortless ways he interacts with his models to get beautiful and powerful portraits. In this video, he walks through some simple and inexpensive tips on creating great off-camera flash portraits.

How to Take Better Portraits in Bright Sunlight

Bright, harsh sunlight sitting far overhead is the bane of many portrait photographers' existences, but it is not impossible to create compelling portraits with flattering light in such conditions. This helpful video tutorial will show you how to take bright sunlight and harness it for worthwhile images.

A Beginner's Guide to Flash Photography

A lot of photographers feel a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of learning how to work with flash, but once you learn the fundamentals of how light behaves and how to control it, you will find strobes are not that great a mystery and that they can open an entirely new creative world. If you are new to working with artificial light, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will get you up and creating images in no time.

Helpful Tips for Better Portrait Photos

Portrait photography is a challenging genre that requires a combination of technique, the ability to work with a human subject, creative vision, and more. Whether you are new to the genre or an experienced professional, check out this fantastic video tutorial that offers a wide range of tips and helpful advice sure to help you create more compelling images.

The Many Portrait Looks You Can Create With Just a Single Light

Although you will often see professional portrait photographers working with multi-light setups, you can absolutely create compelling images using just a single light. In fact, there are different looks you can create just by varying the position of your light. This excellent video tutorial will show you how light placement affects your photos and how to use it to create the looks you are after.

The 5 Worst Portrait Posing Techniques

When it comes to portrait posing, there are some great poses, some not great poses, and then, there are those poses that are so egregious that they should be avoided at all costs.

An Effective and Compelling Two-Light Portrait Photography Setup

Portrait lighting is about more than creating a technically correct exposure; it is your chance to add your creative touch to your images and create a memorable style. Once you are comfortable with a single light, multiple lights will open an entirely new world of possibilities for your work. This excellent video tutorial will show you an effective two-light setup for creating compelling portraits.

How to Add Catchlights to a Subject in Photoshop

Catchlights are one of the most important bits of a portrait that signify a professional image. It is not uncommon, however, for your subject to be posed in a way where they just miss having a catchlight. That is no reason to bin that photo, though, as you can add a realistic catchlight quickly and easily in Photoshop. This excellent video tutorial will show you how to do just that.

Long Exposure Portraits: 6 Creative Ideas to Try on Your Next Shoot

Some of my favorite creative photography techniques to use are those that allow us to capture moments in ways we could never see using just our eyes. One technique, in particular, that I turn to for capturing unique portraits involves using long exposure, aka shutter drag. Long exposure portraits open up a number of creative possibilities and often result in “wow” moments with my clients. Putting the technique to use does require some skill and preparation, but it’s easy enough to master once you know the basics.

A Beginner's Guide to Selecting the Right Aperture for Photos

In tandem with shutter speed and ISO, aperture is one of three fundamental exposure parameters that grant you the technical and creative control over your images that you bought a specialized camera for in the first place. If you are new to photography and wondering what aperture is and how it works, check out this great video tutorial that will give you a practical guide to using it for taking better control of your photos.

4 Lighting Secrets for Better Portraits

Creating successful portraits is a complex task that requires a lot of specialized knowledge and techniques, but just like any other genre of photography, having a complete mastery of lighting is near the top of the list of requirements. If you would like to improve your portraits, check out this fantastic video tutorial that will show you four lighting secrets that will put you on the right track.

Is a Beauty Dish or Octabox Better for Portraits?

Beauty dishes and octaboxes are two of the most common lighting modifiers out there, with almost every portrait studio in existence owning at least one of the two, if not both. They are not identical, though, and each renders your subject in a unique way, which is why it is important to understand the differences so you can pick the proper one for your style and clients' needs. This great video tutorial will show you a deep look at the two options, how they differ, and which is appropriate for different situations.

Learn How This Marilyn Monroe Inspired Nude Portrait Was Lit and Photographed

Few photographic subjects are iconic than Marilyn Monroe, and even today, decades later, images of her capture viewers' eyes and photographers' imaginations. This awesome video tutorial will take you behind the scenes of a fine art nude portrait inspired by Marilyn Monroe and show you how it was lit, photographed, and edited.