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Fundamentals of Portrait Photography: Using Natural Light to Create Drama

Justin Bridges, Fashion and Portrait Photographer

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12 Videos (1h 34m)
    • Trailer

      1:42
    • Introduction

      3:47
    • Location and Subject

      3:18
    • Equipment

      6:23
    • Mood and Light

      7:30
    • Shutter Speed and Test Shots

      9:35
    • Exposure and Brick Shoot

      8:02
    • Mirror Shoot

      13:08
    • Backlit Shoot

      5:52
    • Cropping (Editing)

      10:57
    • Lightroom (Editing)

      17:41
    • Dramatic Effects (Editing)

      6:05

About This Class

Photograph a subject with irresistible emotion. This 90-minute class from fashion and portrait photographer Justin Bridges goes on-location to reveal how to use light to create a stunning dramatic portrait.

Whether you use a DSLR or iPhone, you'll learn how to prep your location, subject, and settings so that you can fully develop skills in composition, exposure, and styling. To make your portraits truly incredible, Justin also shares his favorite tricks for editing in Lightroom.

Throughout the class, Justin offers alternatives to every technique, making the class perfect for all levels for experience and equipment. This is a class for pros, enthusiasts, and everyone curious about how an incredible portrait comes to life.

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What You'll Learn

  • Introduction. Fashion photographer Justin Bridges will explain how photographic portraiture can tell stories, and give you skills you can use in a variety of social realms. Justin’s is one of the best online photography courses you’ll find for beginning portrait photographers because he breaks down seemingly complex photographic terminology into simple concepts.
  • Location and subject. You’ll get a basic sense of how to choose angles that flatter your portrait models. Justin will tell you how to find the right model to shoot and give suggestions on establishing a rapport with your subject.
  • Equipment. Justin will take you on a tour of his photography equipment, starting with his cameras and lenses and moving on to explain the uses of light meters, neutral density filters, and gaffer’s tape. You’ll see why Justin brings his laptop and hard drive with him on shoots, and you’ll learn the advantages of using a DSLR camera over a point-and-shoot.
  • Mood and light. By working with light and the model’s expression, you’ll learn how to convey feeling and personality, qualities that appear in all the best portrait photography. You’ll also see how Justin captures high contrast images, an important skill when it comes to capturing a black and white portrait, and learn how to use a light meter to set up your shots.
  • Shutter speed and test shots. Now you’ll start your shoot in earnest by directing your model and adjusting your shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. You’ll learn how to make certain elements of your photograph blurry while ensuring others stay in sharp focus. Lastly, you’ll learn how using color cards in your test shots can help later during the editing process.
  • Exposure and brick shoot. Justin will highlight the differences between underexposed, overexposed, and perfectly exposed photographs by taking photographs that fit each of these categories. You’ll discover how to capture detail while maintaining maximum contrast and how to balance highlights, midtones, and shadows. Lastly, Justin will show you how to use the auto exposure bracketing setting in his DSLR camera.
  • Mirror shoot. Here you’ll learn how to strategically shoot your subject in a room filled with clutter. To avoid certain background elements from sneaking into your photo, you’ll experiment with vertical vs. horizontal shots. You’ll also face challenges like shooting in front of a mirror, and get a closer look at how to direct a portrait model.
  • Backlit shoot. You’ll learn how to shoot silhouette style photographs by backlighting your subject, and discover why it’s important not to mix artificial and natural light.
  • Cropping (editing). You’ll learn to decide when to scrap a photograph and when to keep it. Justin will teach you the meaning of leading space and negative space and offer some techniques on how to create compositions that spark curiosity in your viewers. He’ll then go over the all-important rule of thirds.
  • Lightroom (editing). In bringing your photograph to life, you’ll need to know some quick fixes in Lightroom. Justin will teach you some, like how to paint clarity into specific parts of your photograph.
  • Dramatic effects (editing). You’ll see exactly what makes a photo dramatic, starting with contrast adjustment and ending with noise removal.

257 of 263 students recommendSee All

This Dude Justin is the best !! I love his teaching , so clear !! Learned so much from him !!!
Thank you for a good explanation!
I thought this class was great. I know some have said they do not like the long explanations on things but i personally like it. I just believe it shows passion into whatever you're talking about.

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Students

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Justin Bridges

Fashion and Portrait Photographer

Justin Bridges is a fashion and portrait photographer based in New York City. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Justin began his pursuit of photography as a college student studying finance and economics. Although he opted for an early career as a finance professional at Goldman Sachs, he realized the need to align his career with his love of photography.

Justin's approach is to capture the untraveled moment and apply a feeling of art and thoughtfulness to each photograph.

Clien...

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