Creating Romantic Outdoor Portraits | How To Capture Magical Romance Outdoors With Available Light | Paul Wilkinson | Skillshare

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Creating Romantic Outdoor Portraits | How To Capture Magical Romance Outdoors With Available Light

teacher avatar Paul Wilkinson, Portrait Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (14m)
    • 1. Intro | Capturing Authentic Couple Portraits

    • 2. Location #1 | Outbuilding Archway

    • 3. Location #2 | The Pergola

    • 4. Location #3 | Garden Lawn

    • 5. Location #4 | Between Trees

    • 6. Location #5 | Village Street

    • 7. Location #6 | Street Gate

    • 8. Your Turn | Next Steps

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About This Class

How do you get a couple to relax when you're pointing a camera at them? How can you evoke genuine smiles in your engagement and wedding portraits? How does light, location and posing come together in a successful couple's portrait session?

Join Master Photographer Paul Wilkinson behind-the-scenes as he creates beautiful portraits of an engaged couple in everyday locations, including on a garden lawn and in front of a street doorway. Paul shares tips for working with light and shade and you'll see his camera settings as well as the unedited and final images.

Afterwards, use your new skills to create images that will help you start making a living from your photography - and don't forget to upload them so we can give feedback!

Meet Your Teacher

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Paul Wilkinson

Portrait Photographer


Paul is one of the UK's most sought-after portrait and wedding photographers - not just for his eye for an image but for the manner in which they are created (mostly laughing, always relaxed!)

His images have adorned numerous publications from the BBC to the Times and have won countless awards as well as giving him the accolade of Fellowship of the Master Photographers Association.

He and his team are based near Oxford in the UK though often you'll find him clutching his passport and his cameras as he creates images for people across the globe!

This class is brought to you by the Mastering Portrait Photography team!

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1. Intro | Capturing Authentic Couple Portraits: So what do you do when you present it with a couple? And you want to create beautiful, romantic emotional images that are, well, it on well posed and it feels right. It feels good in this video. We're going to do precisely that. We have a couple and we have myself with a camera. In fact, this five verse because I've got two videographers working on the same video. So if anything, that's going to affect the outcome, which means I have to work even harder at making sure the emotion on the atmosphere and the personality of the images feels authentic. It feels right. It feels and natural on a couple are completely at ease and give us what I want the most, which is that richness and that joy of being in love. I'm poor working Soon from mastering portrait photography dot com, I'm a full time professional portrait photographer. There is nothing I like more than creating natural, beautiful pictures, particularly people in love 2. Location #1 | Outbuilding Archway: all I'm going to start with is something very simple, which is to try and figure out how the couple are going to react when I point a camera at them for the kind of shots that actually clients will buy, it's gonna be full of joy, and it's gonna feel great for them because they will remember how they felt on the day as much as how they looked on the day. Okay, so you have to think that way. So to start with, all I'm doing is placed them into a situation where I know the light is pretty good, has a nice frame behind them. It's very simple. I can take a picture here seven days a week, 12 months of the year, no all times a day because of some moves around. But at this time of day, it's reasonably good on. I've put them here because all I'm trying to do is gauge their reaction. I'm messing around with them talking to them. I'll say things like snuggle up. I say, Look at each other. Look at May on. All I'm trying to do is just get the natural body language in there to see how it flows. Sometimes it works. Sometimes they'll be very nervous today in bed, anything. But I've just, like tried that, just looking at each other, gazing into each other's eyes. You see what I have to do with its no hard, Um, so I'm just kind of working up, and then, as I get a handle on what they like and what they, how they feel comfortable, then will develop the shots. 3. Location #2 | The Pergola: part of the puzzle when you're doing a shoot with a couple is to give variety. You need to create lots of different looks, lots of different fields. If you can. You can't just keep doing the same shot over and over again. So I was looking around and I saw this patch down on the ground, and I just thought it make a nice change. The photograph flow down because obviously lots of shots are gonna meet. Stood up. The lighting down there is pretty good. If you look at the lighting on, Amy's face is reflected light from Ben, and as long as I'm careful with where Amy is placed, she casts enough of a shadow across Ben's shirt there not to blow out white. I've got some hot parties around the skin and things I'll live with those because atmospherically this shot is gonna work if I couldn't enter it for competition because instantly someone so we'll look at the hot spots on the skin. That's not such a worry when I'm photographing purely for the couple of South bend down and positioned him first. I then placed a me and just worked her hands into a position where it feels gentle. It feels nice. I've taken a few shots like that. And then I moved a hand again because what I've noticed is her arm and come up is just This bit of her arm was just blowing out to white. If I just drop it into the shadows by getting it a whole Ben's hand, it'll even the skin. Turns out I won't have that slightly problematic pop of light. As it happened, it's also a slightly better posed for them, which works. I've got flowers in the foreground. I've got flowers all around me and green stuff, which is acting as a frame softening the edges. It's an old variation of having a D focus being yet at the edge of the frame. I'm just using bits of Flores tree, really green pinks. Whatever's around there sat on white gravel, which again access a little bit of a lift to the lighting. If this was on a dark surface would be much more shadows under the chins. I've got really low down on the ground to create an interesting perspective on all in all, a very simple but very effective little shot, something I saw as we're walking past 4. Location #3 | Garden Lawn: So when we're doing a shoot with a client, you have limited time, and you want to get as many different variations as you can. So don't keep walking from here to here and then back to their trying to in a nice, gentle loop, stopping as you go, creating as many images as you can see. That way it's more efficient, and that way you'll find you create more images in the time that you have with them. So what I've done here, we've moved on with about 10 feet. I've looked at the lawn. I thought, You know what? This probably a shot there, And what I've seen is that I've got a background in shadow and I've got the lawn is brightly lit, which means somewhere in there there's a lot of light. So one of the challenges we are gonna have out here, of course, you probably see it on my face is that there's like coming off the leaves is like coming off the grass. And, of course, that's green. The reflected light is green, and so you'll find probably. I've got a slight green color caste, but in the final photos, we can correct that out really easily. Assume a simple shift of the magenta green slider will take the majority of that. And if you really struggling, of course, a black and white picture will work as well. But with the dark shadows behind them, the light wrapping around them now I've got is a bit of a problem with the location in that there's a lot of this bright green. Of course, that's problematic in that there's a shadow line behind them, and it's the shadow I'm interested in as much as the light in the Lord. But the line of goes three, it's not where you'd want it. But if you put the camera right down on the grass, you get a thin strip of light, and then that lovely, deep textured shadow area will come up behind them. On it will diminish the amount of light you haven't lower that cut point between the two simple tricks, and you're always looking for that. I know this is too much, but I also know how I can fix it. I've posed to guys to make as much for pleasing triangles I can, if you look Ben is posed very upright, very strong is almost the footballers post is arm across his knee or looks quite sort of manly, I suppose, is the best way of looking at it with Amy. We've very gently poster with the legs out Saseidx rested on her hip, which elongates her body, and it just has a nice, gentle, very feminine touch. Place them close together, and then the interaction works on its own. Throughout this process that this video, you should see the Actually, the interactions between the two of them are on the whole natural. I'm not really forcing it. Occasionally I'll ask him to kiss. Occasional asked him to get their faces close together for something that I'm looking for. But really, what I'm trying to do is keep it very natural. Keep it very light because they're the pictures the couple are going to enjoy looking out in the future as I get more more stylized if we try and overly pose it, yes, okay, it might do well in a competition or two, but that's probably not the imagery that your client is going to want to enjoy for many years to come. What they want to remember, really, is how in love. They were how beautiful they looked and how much they love the photos. That's what you're going for. 5. Location #4 | Between Trees: So we've moved on the Garden. I found a little practice. Shane, no fact was shot I thought I was going to take was from the other side of this where the light is flooding primarily towards the faces. But he looked all right, but it wasn't special. So I've come around the other side to see what happens when we almost silhouette the couple eso I'm using the fact that background is lit. There's light flowing through on. Now I'm playing with semi silhouettes. It's a little bit more tricky because you have to get all of positioning about right. I've asked him to snuggle up. I've got the shapes. I'm using this tree on battery toe, other kind of V, which will be almost completely silhouetted and in a position, their figures in the middle of it to try and sort of create a pattern. In fact, it's a W pattern. There's an angle. Then there's them, and then there's the angle of the other side, so it should will be quite pleasing. It should look quite nice. The intimacy between them there is a little bit more staged. You notice, as the shoot is progressing, that they're getting more confident, as am I. So it's something we miss. Actually, as we always think, there's photographers. We've got to be really confident and outgoing and everything else. But I'm still finding my feet with a couple two, and as you go through that process, you get to know them better. You get to know how they feel comfortable. They're feeling more comfortable so I can push the bounds a little bit and get them to hold positions for longer and longer. I've exposed for the highlights as normal. They're almost almost on the edge of blowing out. I want them to be really bright because I know that the shadow area that's in front of me, then the silhouette, the trees. I just need enough detail in there just a little bit. I can draw those shadows out in the post production very easy to do. Once you stop, you slow down and you think about it and you look carefully at the back of the camera as you work because if you're just shooting away, it's hard to see. Sometimes this is one where the back of the camera is really, really helpful anyway. A very beautiful image 6. Location #5 | Village Street: you've seen me walk around streets like this basically looking like I'm lost. Of course I am lost. No, What I'm trying to do is figure out whether I can find a line of sight where the backgrounds neutral the cars are not in shot. And most importantly of all, I'm going to get the couple into some decent light. Now, with shadows with overhanging trees and things like this, you get shadow on the ground. You can see it when the sun's pretty much overhead. You concede Eos in shadow you can also see around me. There's a lot of areas of sunlight reflecting off the road, and there's a couple of things about couples. One is if you get them to walk, even if they feel awkward. Generally, if you allow enough distance between you and them is, they get awkward with each other and laugh. We'll a laugh is natural. Your quickness isn't, but the laughing about is so that can create quite a nice image. The other thing is that when couples get on and this is true friends, Andi, relationships like this. If they're walking side by side, their footsteps will synchronize and you can get a nice rhythm to the image I've laid on the ground to get a low angle just because it's a little bit more interesting than nor nothing else. It does diminish this highlight patch in the front a little. It gives me something in the framing in the background is just a bit more interesting as they got closer. Of course, I've hopped up to get a shot a little bit more horizontal for North a lot. My photography. I like the camera to be primarily at a horizontal plain. It's not pointing up. It's not pointing down. It's just horizontal. That seems to give me an angle on the images I really like. So I've done exactly the same. Here's they've got closer Rather than tilting the camera back until I'm looking pretty much up there, Noses have just hopped up, kept the camera flat, ask them to case midway through again. They might have felt a bit awkward, but they laughed about it, and it's the laughter. That's the really interesting bit. If I'm honest, I'm not that interested in people with their lips touching. I am interested in a couple laughing and being natural together because Actually, that's the most romantic thing on the planet to have someone by your side. You love so much that even when you're feeling uncertain, the natural response is to look at each other and laugh that that is a relationship, and that's why we photographed them. 7. Location #6 | Street Gate: So in this final image, I resorted to things that I love to do, which is to find something I can frame the couple with in this case, a gate. The light, if you look at it, could be awful. You've got this dappled light coming across them, but because it's dappled, you get away with those little hot spots on their some beautiful patterns, and it's a beautiful situation. I've just manipulated them around until I can get the angles right, so I could both have the frame correct. But I can see enough of Amy and enough of Ben. They're both important. There's that connection between them that's really natural. There bits of quite is quite, if I'm honest, quite sexy bits of it without sounding too creepy. And then there's bits where it's just frankly hilarious on. I love working with copper like that because you get the joy of it. But you also get to have those really compelling images that somebody doesn't know the couple will find appealing. The more serious the shot is on the whole them or somebody who doesn't know that person will find it interesting that don't ask me why that psychology works. I framed them just as I have very simple of us. Been to take his hand out of his pocket. Cais do do that kind of hand in pocket nonchalant. Thinks she's mine. I've got not to work anymore. She just looks great. I look amazing, by the way. Look at May on that has to just get a bit more involved in his hand. Round scooper in beautiful image, nice and simple just the way I like it. 8. Your Turn | Next Steps: So in this video, we have shown you six summary, simple, occasionally slightly sexy portrait of a lovely couple. You two can do this. It's not hard. You need a couple who like each other. That's a good starting point, a patch of light, a camera and a lot of interaction. And hopefully, hopefully we've shown you that. Why don't you grab a camera and go take some pictures and upload them into your projects? Tab down below. Trust me as a professional portrait photographer, there is nothing. Nothing I like more except taking pictures than looking other people's work. I'm enthralled by photography, so please do upload your images. This video is part of a Siri's at Mastering portrait photography dot com, And if you have enjoyed this one, why not go across? There are website and have a look at what else is on there. You never know. It might just intrigued. There are forums. There are Q and A's. There are critiques. There are more videos, and there are articles, all of which, all of which are geared towards this thing that I loved the most, which is portrait photography. So I'm Paul Wilkinson. This video is from mastering portrait photography dot com And until next time, take care. So in summary of my six sexy summary shots. So part of the joy of photographic. Sorry. This is a bit where I talk to the camera. All right? Just in case you want to live suddenly erupted into my TV voice. What am I supposed to do with this? What am I supposed to do with this? What we do is quite a beautiful image. That's what we do with this ground. Really? Just a crate. Don't tread on the camera. Pulls don't tread on the camera now is fine. I just won't step back. I forgot it was there. That's another lens. What I need it is a bit weird. I don't mind this. Why objective is you listening to this? Because it's a little bit like lifting the lid on the magic and you get Is that what he does? I got quite profound at the end