Portrait Photography 101: Transforming Your Vision into a Workflow | Sophia Carey | Skillshare

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Portrait Photography 101: Transforming Your Vision into a Workflow

teacher avatar Sophia Carey, Photographer & Designer

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

15 Lessons (52m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Finding Inspiration

    • 4. Creating a Concept

    • 5. Model Scouting

    • 6. Location Considerations

    • 7. Location Scouting

    • 8. Setting an Atmosphere

    • 9. Equipment

    • 10. Settings

    • 11. Posing Models

    • 12. Culling

    • 13. Creating Consistent Edits

    • 14. Delivery

    • 15. Let's Recap!

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About This Class

If you’re looking at getting into the art, and business, of portrait photography, this is the place to start. 

From learning where to find inspiration and how to build a concept to discovering tips on posing and directing models, this class will cover the foundations of a portrait photography shoot, from planning to execution.


Whether you’re using your iPhone camera or a DSLR, this class will help you understand the necessary steps to start out as a portrait photographer, with access to the step-by-step approach I use within my photography practice.

This class will cover:

  • How to develop a vision and translate it into a concrete concept
  • How to coordinate this vision with a team or yourself
  • Scouting models and locations
  • Tips for setting an atmosphere on shoot
  • Posing models
  • The culling workflow
  • Tips for Editing Consistently
  • Delivery

Extra Resources:

To get familiar with Adobe Lightroom, I'd recommend checking out What Makes a Good Photo: A Beginners Guide to Editing in Lightroom by Daniel Nwabuko:

Meet Your Teacher

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Sophia Carey

Photographer & Designer


Hi guys, I'm Sophia! I'm a photographer, videographer and graphic designer, specialising mostly in fashion and event photography, and I'm taking to Skillshare to share what I've learned throughout my freelance career so far, including tips on photography, design and creative business skills.



I've been working as a photographer for the past six years, working with clients across fashion, music and lifestyle! I work with both film and digital photography and have been honoured to work with some amazing faces, teams and clients, from global companies such as Vodafone and Panasonic to amazing individuals and musicians, such as Flowdan and Jaz Karis.

You can find me most of the time over on Instagram and YouTube, so fee... See full profile

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1. Introduction: What I really enjoy about the process of portrait photography is being able to capture a model's personality through a concept that I've created. It really does feel like the most collaborative type of art. Spending your time imagining a concept, and then being able to see that come into fruition and create something that was once an idea and a concept in your head, and has now materialized into a visual series is something that is incredibly satisfying and rewarding. My name is [inaudible] , and I am a portrait photographer from the UK. I've been working in the world of photography for the past six years. I've been honored enough to work with some amazing models, some amazing clients, and some amazing teams. In this class, I'll be taking you through my own personal process when it comes to portrait photography. From designing and planning your concept to executing your sheet, and delivering the products to clients. Regardless of whether or not I'm working with clients that are quite far into their career or models who are new faces and have little to no experience, my process doesn't differ. We'll be exploring pre-production, production, and post-production. Walking you through the process of finding inspiration, scouting locations, posing your models, and even delivering your files to your client or your team. I'm really looking forward to getting started and showing you through my process in the world of portrait photography. So let's get started. 2. Class Project: I believe that photography is quite a practical skill. A lot of the time you have to actually take part in it to be able to learn. Which is why I'm encouraging you to take part in this project throughout the class as it goes on. Use this class as a skeleton to complete the class projects. I'm asking you to upload a one-page moodboard and 2-5 images from your portrait SAP. Upload all to the project gallery where we can all have a look and give feedback on each other's work. Feel free to write a little bit about how the process went, and if you learned anything [inaudible]. Before we get started, I want to give you two tips when it comes to your class projects. First of all, feel free to share your moodboard with your team, whether that consists just of the model, or if you got a hair and makeup artist or stylist on board. Whoever your team consists of, feel free to share your moodboard with them, so that you're all working on the same page and you can all help to create this vision that you have. Secondly, try to think about how colors and your editing process are going to create coherence within your work. Ideally, you want these 2-5 photos to all look as though they belong from the same set. We're going to be going through a few different ways in which you can ensure this, the key consistency in the forefront of your mind as you go through this class. Join me in the next lesson where we're going to be talking about finding inspiration and starting to create your concepts. 3. Finding Inspiration: In this lesson we are going to be talking about how you actually find inspiration. How you find the inspiration to create the foundation of your portrait shoots. When you're running any kind of projects, one of the most important aspects is finding that inspiration. Being inspired to create concepts. The idea of inspiration is personal to everyone. It's very likely that you already have some ideas of how you might want to find your inspiration and how you usually get inspired. But in this class, we're going to be talking about some of the ways that I find inspiration from my concepts and some places that you could look for, inspiration that you might not have really thought about before. A common way of finding inspiration is to use some stimulus or stimuli. The stimuli doesn't have to be photography related, but it can be if you want it to be. The idea is really to expose yourself to as much stimuli as possible from across different genres to really have a bank of broad imagery and inspiration that you can refer to and they can help you build your concepts. When you start considering a load of different varieties as stimuli, then your brain opens up a little bit and it starts to consider things that you might not have considered otherwise. At this point in the course, you might already have some sort of idea of what portrait photography you want to explore. Say for example, you might want to explore Hi fashion. Good idea is to start really studying that genre of portrait photography. The more you start thinking about it, the more Hi Fashion photography you're exposed to. The more likely you'll be able to train your eye to spot things and to see the world in a way that aligns itself with that genre. Studying the work of Hi Fashion photographers might have you thinking about the type of colors they use, the type of posing they use, and of course, styling. A really important thing to remember as we move through this lesson is that the idea of using inspiration to create your own work isn't to copy someone's work, is not to steal someone's idea, is not to depict someone else's work line by line, color by color. We don't want to duplicate someone else's work, but you want to use the knowledge that you've found from the genre and the inspiration from these different artists' works to be able to form your own concepts. For example, you might be inspired by the lighting techniques from one photographer and the way another Hi Fashion photographer works with styling and fashion. Taking inspiration from a broad array of sources is really important in ensuring this. Similarly, it's important to let your ideas rest. You're not in a rush. You can look at a bit of inspiration. You can start thinking about an idea and then you just let it rest, you let it breathe and you can come back to it later on. I can almost guarantee that your ideas are going to have developed naturally and organically. But how do we find this inspiration anyway? There's two different ways in which I categorize inspiration. One is conceptual inspiration. Talking about things to inspire the actual concepts over your idea, the thoughts behind it, the ideas behind it. The other type is the aesthetic inspiration. This is talking about the colors, the lighting techniques, the things that actually make an image look like an image looks. First up I want to talk to you guys about how you can develop your different conceptual ideas, and find inspiration through the concepts that you're creating. My favorite way to find conceptual inspiration is to look through photo books or magazines. Often editorial pieces have a little bit of writing from the art director or the photographer, they describes the process. This can be really useful because you can put yourself in the artist's shoes and start thinking about how they came to these ideas, how they developed these different concepts. Similarly, to when we're talking about training your eyes to look for certain things from a genre. You can do the same when you're training your brain to think about things in a certain way. Similarly to face your books and magazines, it's something a little bit less accessible. Nevertheless, a lot of you might live near or be able to access things such as exhibitions. So exhibitions or galleries, museums. If you guys have been to any before, then you'll know that a lot of the time it's like a little bit of type, and it says this is the story behind this artwork. It's a very similar idea to using for your books. You understanding the context behind a piece of art or a photograph, or whatever piece of stimuli you're looking at. By understanding the context and the thought process, you're able to start thinking about how you can create similar ideas by using your own contexts in your own life. When we're talking about aesthetic inspiration, you can use photo books, you can use magazines, you can use exhibitions if you really want to. But we live in this amazing era where the Internet is at fingertips, and we can access a breadth of inspiration instantly. Here I'm going to be talking about some websites which are really accessible, which you probably already know about and have you used, and how you can use them to find inspiration. First up we're talking about Pinterest, and I'm sure a lot of you guys have known of Pinterest or maybe even used it for similar kinds of things. But for Pinterest, I find it a really good way to collate your imagery. But not only is it a great way to collate all this inspiration, it's a great place to find it. The keyword searches are really powerful, you can literally just search. If it was Hi Fashion let's say, you can search Hi Fashion or you could search for specific artists, and a breadth of different imagery will pop up, which you can then save to your Pinboards. What I love about Pinterest is there's also this little tool, where once you've already heard a Pinboard, you can go into that Pinboard and there's an idea you follow. You click this button that usually says something like more ideas. Then Pinterest will actually recommend you attempt different inspiration based on what you've already found. This is a really great way to expand that bank of inspiration that we spoke about and broaden the sources that you're looking at. Similarly, I love using Instagram. I follow a lot of amazing artists on that. I know that you'll probably as guilty as I am of mindlessly scrolling. If you can use that mindless scrolling to find inspiration and be inspired by your peers or people who you are just inspired by, Instagram also allows you to create this imagery into collections. Finally, in terms of websites, another great website is called Design Inspiration. One of my favorite things about Design Inspiration is that it works very similar to Pinterest. You search using keywords, but a great tool on Design Inspiration is that you can actually search by color. For example, if I wanted to create a shoe that was based around the color yellow, or there was a piece of clothing in my sheet that was a really distinctive yellow color that I wanted to draw from that base, the whole concept of the sheet around that mustard yellow or whatever. Then Design Inspiration allows me to just pick that color, that yellow. It will let me explore a whole breadth of content related to that color. Of course, when we are talking about inspiration, we're not restricted to secondary inspiration. Using primary sources of inspiration can be more powerful than using inspiration from other people, because it's almost entirely original. Things like taking a walk and getting out into nature, looking at the colors, looking at the way that light falls, the way the reflections are formed, can be really instrumental in understanding the work that you're making, as well as inspiring. I don't know about you, but I'm a massive people watcher. For me, going out in my everyday life and watching the way that people interact with each other, the way that people naturally pose themselves, and the fashion that they wear, etc, can be really useful in inspiring you. Especially if you're interested in creating more of a narrative type concepts. For me, Pinterest is a great way of finding inspiration. I love that it will help you find more stimuli and a broader range of stimuli by suggesting things. For me, that's probably my favorite, of this list it's the most successful. You don't have to go anywhere, you don't have to buy anything. It's all free and it can be done very easily. That being said photo books is another one of my soft spots. I love to flip through photo books and try and understand where the authors were coming from when they created a portray. Some key points to take away from this class. You want to have a broad range of stimuli so that you're not just copying from one artist. Remember the idea is just to be inspired by them, not to directly copy them. Next up, remember to let your ideas rest, let them breathe, let them develop organically. In the next lesson, we will be talking about how to actually create those Moodboards. If you do want to go to any inspiration that you might have lying around, whether that will be photo books or magazines, or if you just want to pop open those tops Pinterest, Design Inspiration, and Instagram, on your computer, iPad, phone, whatever which your using, then that'll be great. I will see you guys in the next class to explore moodboarding. 4. Creating a Concept: Now that we've covered finding inspiration for your shoot, it's time to actually create that concept. Creating a concept prior to the shoot can help you envision what kind of work you want to create and also effectively communicate it to anyone on your team, whether that be your hair makeup artist, your stylist, your models, anyone that is going to be on the shoot and needs to know what the vibe is, what the idea is, what the concept is. It can be useful to create a visual idea that you can present to them so that you're all on the same page. Whilst having a solid concept isn't actually a necessity on a portrait shoot, it can help you create a more succinct theme, a more solid and coherent shoot. When I'm creating my concept and designing it, I'd like to materialize it in some form of moodboard or Call Sheet. There are a number of ways you can do this. Whether you create a printed physical moodboard right you cut things out, you print them out, you stick them onto a pin board or something like that, or you create pin boards on Pinterest, or as I mentioned, you could create a Call Sheet document or a presentation. I mentioned a Call Sheet, and it's important to note the difference between a moodboard and a Call Sheet. Most of the time a Call Sheet is a document that includes the logistics of a shoot. The exact address of the location, what times be there, how long the shoot is going to be, any contact information for the entire team, maybe an itinerary of we're going to be doing this at this time, lunch is at this time, et cetera. I like to also include a snippet of memory board within the Call Sheet just because everything is in one place that way. But when we're talking about a moodboard, that generally doesn't include any of the logistics. It's just visual inspiration that gives the team an idea of what shoot is going to be like. For me personally, I find the best way to create some Call Sheet or moodboard is by finding my inspiration on Pinterest and then dropping all of that into a Google Slides document. Within the Google Slides document, I might also add to the Pinterest inspiration with imagery that I found on Instagram or just generally collected over the time that I've been planning the shoot. I'll also include any logistics within the presentation. Things like my contact number, the time to be there the address, my Instagram handle, et cetera, all of those things all go into one document. The reason I love using Google Slides is it's really easy to share it with the whole team, and you can set different permissions. If I wanted to share it with you and I wanted you to be able to edit it, then I can change that so that you can edit the moodboard as well and add to it and contribute to it. Another thing I love about Google Slides is that the changes are made in real time. If I create some moodboard and then I'm changing it and you're on the moodboard looking at it, you can watch those changes as we speak. I also like to use this technique when I'm on a Zoom call or a phone call with a member of the team, and we're discussing what changes to make and they can see me making the changes in real time. What kind of things do you want to include in your moodboard? For me, I want to include things that set the tone of the shoot, the vibe, the styling. If you have an idea of what the model is going to look like or dress like, any lighting techniques you might want to use. The moodboard for me is really visual inspiration in one place. First of all, I'll put the location, I'll put the styling and I'll put some posing ideas at the forefront of my moodboard. Sometimes I also like to create a color theme that I want to use throughout the shoot. This can help me when I'm deciding on the styling, and the location, and things like that. To start off with creating your moodboard, I want you to start pinning some things to a Pinterest board. Then when you're ready, drop them into a Google Slide document. You can really see what stuff you have altogether. If that makes a coherent shoot concept, a really good tip is to make sure that when you flip through it, it's communicating the right kind of vibe. If it's not, maybe add things or omit things from the moodboard to really narrow that down and make it very clear what it is you're trying to communicate. In the next class we will be talking about model scouting. Once you've started to create your concepts and you want to start thinking about which models might be best for your concepts, you can join me in the next lesson and we can talk about how to actually find the models for your project. 5. Model Scouting: We've got this idea, we've got this five, we know what kind of model we want. How do we find them? Of course, the most obvious answer to this question is use people you already know, your friends or your family. But we don't all have friends and family who are model material or even up for modeling for us at all. In that instance, we want to look at broadening our horizon a little bit and seeing where else we can cost from. For me, one of my favorite ways to cost models is through Instagram. It's really easy to find models. You can either search for the name of your town and then models, or you can look at prominent modeling agencies within your area. If you do have a bit of a bigger following, then you could even put a costing through out on your Instagram story where people could contact you or send you models. For me, once I found that model that I want to work with on Instagram, I just shoot my message and I'll say, "Hey, I'm looking to do the shoot. These are the details. This is going to be where it is. This is the idea. If you're up for it, I can send you the mood board and we can talk more. Other than using social media to capture models, there are two more traditional approaches, the first being street costing. Street costing is quite a traditional approach to costing models and it is, as it sounds, about costing models from the street. In your everyday life, you might see some interesting people with cool fashion or an interesting unique look, and you think, you know what, they fit my concept. This is why you need a little bit of bravery, I think, and you just approach this model. Of course, having a business card or a professional website or something that you can show the model, can be useful and you don't put too much pressure on them, and obviously, if the model looks like they're not interested, then be polite and move on. Other than that, you can reach out to modeling agencies in your area and offer your services. So you could say, I've got a test sheet coming up at the moment and I'm looking for a model that fits this idea. If you've got anyone that is looking to test, more often than not within agencies will be happy to send you someone free of charge that is looking to build up that portfolio. But, of course, bear in mind that if you are looking for a model for free and you don't have a budget to spend on a model, then you might be looking at some models that are less experienced or might not be perfect for the idea that you have in your head. Another top tip, when you are costing models from the street or from Instagram or your friends, anyway you're costing them from, is to think about the wardrobe that they already own. Of course, you want to cut costs where you can. If you can say costume costs and just use the clothing that a model already has, then that's a bonus. Take your time now to think about he might want to model in your portrait sheet, whether that is a friend or family member or someone that you've seen on Instagram maybe, and then think about how you're going to reach out to those people. In the next lesson, we're going to be talking about location scouting and how you can find great locations no matter where you are. 6. Location Considerations: Now we've got our mood board, we have an idea of who the model might be or where we're going to find them, the next logical step here is to start thinking about our location. Firstly, you probably want to think about is it going to be indoors, in a studio maybe, or is your shoot going to take place outdoors, outside? You probably already have an idea of this in your mind, so we're just going to talk about some of the considerations of actually finding a location. First off, you want to be thinking, does this location match the mood or the vibe of the shoot? This is where it can be really important to refer back to your mood board. Remember how I said, your mood board ideally wants to be as succinct and clear as possible, this is so you can refer to it and be like, this is the vibe, does it match this location? Similarly, you want your location to match your styling. It's very likely that if your location is matching the vibe at the shoot, then the location will also match the styling, but that's just something to think about. Of course, you could really juxtapose the styling with the location, but that would probably be outlined in your mood board that you want to go for that juxtaposition, that tension. By that I mean, maybe you have a high fashion small suite in a really urban [inaudible] backdrop. There a lot of other things you want to think about. For example, if it was to rain on your shoot, is the location still usable? Can you find cover? Does it matter? Does it impact your shoot? Would the ground be really muddy, and in that case, would you need to find some way of getting the model there or telling them to bring additional clothing so that they don't mind getting muddy. Similarly, where does the light fall? If it's a really overcast day, what does that light look like? If it's a really direct harsh sunlight, where do the shadows fall? What kind of lighting is this area can provide? It's important to note the time of day when you're thinking about this as well. You also want to look out for graffiti, and consider whether or not the graffiti around an area might have political implications that will affect the shoot. Sometimes you want that, sometimes you don't, so that's something you want to consider. You also want to think about the colors. This is tying in again with your styling, and if you did create a color palette in your mood board, then this links in that as well. But you want to think about, do the colors clash with props or styling that you might have, or do they work really well? If you're working in a studio, do you want to be using natural light? If so, is that possible, is there enough natural light? If not, can you block it out? Does the studio have adequate artificial light for you to use or do you need to bring your own? There are a lot of different things you need to and can consider when it comes to choosing a location, but really the most important thing is that the location matches the vibe of your shoot. If you remember anything from this lesson, that should be it. In the next lesson, we're going to be talking about how you actually find these locations, so just keep these tips in mind. If you haven't already written them down then maybe run back through again and take some notes, and then join me in the next lesson where we'll be talking about how you actually find the locations. 7. Location Scouting: At this point, you should have some notes about what your shoot is going to be, the kind of vibe you are going for with it, and if you have joined me in the last lesson, you'll have an idea of what you want to think about when we're looking for locations. In this lesson, we're going to be talking about how you actually find those locations. There are a number of different ways and techniques that you can use when it comes to location scouting. The most traditional, of course, is actually going out by foot and exploring an area. We call this a recce. Whatever means of transport you want to utilize going out into an area and actually looking with your own eyes is probably the most effective way of location scouting. You can freely explore an area to try and envision how your shoot might take place. You could even take your camera, take some test shots, test the light, test the colors, get it back into post-production when you get home and see how those kind of colors play around with your editing style. There's so many pros to actually going out and exploring an area. But of course, that's not always possible because what has not always been possible, sometimes you're not going to just stumble across an area that you think this is amazing, I want to explore it. You need to actually find these locations to explore in the first place. This instance, the Internet is your best friend. Instagram and geotags can be a great way to explore locations. If you are in, for example, London and you want to find some locations in London, you can type in London on Instagram and explore some parts of the area. You can look up photos other people have taken in the area and this can be a really good idea and way of finding areas in locations that you might not have explored before. Similarly and probably a more powerful tool is Google Maps. Google Maps is a really powerful tool and one that I use frequently. It allows you to utilize tools such as street view and 3D viewing, while you can see the actual build of a structure. You can look out for interesting buildings and structures. You can also drop into Google Maps and explore an area in street view, which is really handy if you don't have the time to get somewhere. Of course, bear in mind if you are doing this, that sometimes these Google Maps are a little bit outdated so by the time you get there, things might have changed. If you're shooting indoors like in a studio, for example, the process is a little bit simpler. Most studios will have an Instagram or website that you can go online and have a look at the location as well as how other people have utilized the space. My main tip for location scouting is to find an array of different ideas. You want backups and you can do this online. Then when you found like one or two solid ideas preferably quite close to each other geographically, you can head out and explore those areas. I like to have an area that is a lot of different locations enclosed within a short walk from each other so that we can pair up a load of different places, a load of different looks within a short time period. That brings us to the end of the pre-production stage of planning your shoot. In the next video, we're going to be talking about things you want to think about when you're actually on shoot. We're going to be starting off with setting and atmosphere. I'll see you guys in that one. 8. Setting an Atmosphere: Pre-production is done. At this point, you want to have an idea of the vibe of your shoot, the models you're using, the locations you're using, and have a good solid plan for your shoot. But now that it's time to actually get started, get shooting. What do you want to think about? For me, the first thing I think about is how am I going to set an atmosphere? I've met a lot of photographers with very different personalities. Some people are extroverted, some people are introverted. The undeniable thing about portrait photography is that you have to talk to people. You have to have some sort of social skills, to move forward, and make everyone's life a little bit easier. But, of course, social skills aren't always the easiest to come by. I know for me, myself, when I first started out, I was pretty nervous about meeting new people, it is a weird job after all, you just meet strangers for a living. I was nervous about meeting new people, making small talk, that kind of thing. For me, one of the things I like to do is set a good atmosphere from the get-go because even though I feel a little bit more confident now, the models or the status, etc, might not have the same confidence or experience. Setting a good atmosphere on shoot, is a great way to break down those barriers, and people might be nervous, but you can break the ice a little bit. When people are relaxed and getting on, they create better work than when they are stressed and nervous. You don't want to put too much emphasis on setting an atmosphere because that defeats the point, but there are a few things that you can do to help make the day go a little bit more smoothly, and everyone get on a little bit better. The best way for me to do this is to just create a really relaxed environment. You want to talk quite a lot and about anything. Small talk is your best friend here. Don't take yourself too seriously, don't take the shoot too seriously, and just have fun with it. At the end of the day, your personality and the way that you come across with people, is going to be more important to those people when it comes to working with you again, than the actual standard of your work. What you do want to maintain professionalism, you want to show a bit of your personality as well. Another good way I find of relaxing the environment a little bit, and also bringing out your personality, is by playing some music. You don't want this to be really loud, but sometimes it can be a good idea to bring a little portable speaker, if you're in a studio, they might already have a speaker. Playing music can be especially useful when the models are actually posing, because obviously they don't want to be talking mid shot, so having a bit of music to feel those awkward silences can be a great idea. When it comes to what music I generally ask the model or another member of the team, who's your favorite artist, name a song that you like something, and then I'll just play a artist radio or a related playlist to that artist and we just go with it from there. In the next video, we are going to be talking about the equipment side of a shoot. 9. Equipment: I'd like to preface this lesson with saying that the best camera is the one that you already have. When it comes to photography, equipment is not the be-all or end-all. Simply a means to get to the destination. If all you have is your phone, then that is more than enough. You can create amazing work with an iPhone or a Samsung or whatever kind of phone you have, a smartphone with a camera. That being said, when it comes to portrait photography, there are a few things you'll want to consider. When it comes to choosing your lenses, focal length is important and plays a big part in the decision. Essentially different lenses distort images in different ways. For example, a common focal length for portrait photography is a 50 millimeter. The way that it captures an image is very similar to that in which the eye sees image so there's minimal distortion. Of course, if you're more interested in current conceptual work, especially in the more fashion side of portraiture, you might want to consider playing around with that a little bit and maybe using wider angle lenses. Maybe a 24 millimeter. A fish eye lens is very popular, especially in music portraiture. If possible, use a manual camera such as the DSLR or an SLR where you can shoot in manual, you can change the settings. This just allows you to have more control over your image. In the next lesson, we're going to be talking about how you use the equipment and what settings you might want to consider to create your work. 10. Settings: The idea of shooting in manual is something that a lot of people struggle with because it's something that seems really daunting when actually it's pretty simple. The reason we want to shoot in manual is because we have a little bit more control or a lot more control over the way our image is going to look. The only thing you need to know about is the exposure triangle. The exposure triangle consists of three elements that help you to correctly expose your image. Aperture, ISO or ISO, and shutter speed. ISO refers to the sensitivity of the lights. If you're shooting film, the film stock that you're using will be rated with a certain ISO. For example, portrait 400 will be rated at ISO 400. When we see it on digital, we control this ISO. We can choose what it is depending on the circumstance. A higher ISO number, for example, 800, will make the image brighter but can introduce more grain to the image. In comparison, a low ISO such as 100 will make the image darker but won't add as much grain. When we talk about aperture, we're referring two the hole inside the lens which opens and gets wider. Only does this affect the exposure and how much light is in the image, but it also affects the depth of field. Depth of field is essentially and how blurry the background is and how in-focus the object is. Is the definition between the background and the foreground. The convenient thing about aperture is that the numbers basically work backwards. The smaller the number, the bigger or the wider the aperture. For example, an aperture or f-stop, as we call it, of 1.4, will widen the hole in the lens, allowing more light and creating a shallower depth of field. An f-stop of 16, for example, will make more things in focus. You're going to decrease the definition between the background and the foreground. But we're going to let a lot less light into the image. The final thing on the exposure triangle is the shutter speed. Shutter speed is essentially how quickly the camera fires the shutter and takes the image. A faster shutter speed will let less light into the camera, but it's going to freeze movement in comparison, a slower shutter speed is going to let more light into the camera, but you'll get that motion blur. The metric for shutter speed is in seconds and fractions of seconds. For example, one over 500 is actually one-five hundreds of a second. Using a shutter speed of 1 over 500 is going to let less light in and freeze the subject more so than a shutter speed of one over 100, for example. When I shoot handheld, I try not to shoot with a shutter speed that is lower than 1 over 160 because I don't want the camera to pick up the shape from my hands. For long exposures or light trails, then you're going to use a shutter speed which is a longer, maybe a couple of seconds. But when you are doing this, you want to put your camera on a tripod to allow for the shakes so that you're not holding and shaking the camera once you take the photo. Similarly, if you're shooting a long exposure in the day, you're either going to want to crank up your aperture, so shooting with an F32 or something depending on the lighting settings, or use some ND filter, which is an accessory you can buy for your lenses. Playing around to you balance these three things is essentially mastering the exposure triangle. It's the best way to correctly expose image. If you want to go off and have a play around with these three settings and see if that can help you understand a little bit better what you're doing and what those three settings do to affect the image. Before we start shooting another important setting to remember is the format in which your camera records the image. You want to shoot our image in raw. This is basically an unprocessed version of our image which holds a lot more information. This will give you a lot more control when it comes to post-processing than it will if you have shot your image as a JPEG. In the next assume we're going to be talking about tips on posing models. When you have finished messing about with your exposure triangle, if you join me in the next video, we're going to be talking about some actionable tips on posing and directing your models. 11. Posing Models: Posing and directing models is something that a lot of people struggle with, but it's instrumental in a, making your models feel comfortable and relaxed and b, materializing your concepts how you envision them. To make the process a little bit easier for you, in this lesson, we're going to be discussing a few of my favorite tips on posing and directing models. If it feels natural, it will look natural. This is something that I regularly tell models that I work with. If a pose feels unnatural, the chances are that the discomfort is going to be portrayed on camera. So if is a pose that doesn't feel natural or comfortable, just adjust it slightly so that it does. Sitting your model down can also help the posing process because simply because there's less limbs to have to think about. If you are struggling to describe a pose, then often acting out can be really useful for yourself and for the model. It helps to show your model what it is you're envisioning and it also helps you understand if that's actually possible or comfortable referring back to the feeling natural tip. Your moodboard contains posing ideas for a reason. Don't be afraid to show the models the moodboard and refer to any reference images that you have when it comes to directing models. It can be useful to you show them an idea you have and come up with a way to emulate that or put your own spin on it. Using hands in portrait chart, especially in closer crops can help to create a more emotional image. It can add that extra dynamic which helps to make your portraits more interesting. Using props can help your models feel more natural. Again, it often means that they don't have as many limbs to think about because they're holding something or they're leaning on something. If you want to create more candid photographs, asking your model to partake in some kind of action, such as walking can be a great way to capture more casual and candid shots. Changing a pose slightly is a good way of changing things up and getting a good range of different poses without having to think about a ton of starkly different ideas. The changes only have to be subtle such as moving your hands slightly or leaning in a certain direction. When it comes to posing two models in the same scene, you want to think about closing the gaps that bodies naturally make. If two people have stood next to each other and their heads up both upright, you're going to create this awkward little gap between them. Leaning one head in towards the other person is going to close that gap up a little bit and just make the image a little easier to be. You also want to encourage interacting, whether that's walking or leaning. Again, referring back to setting an atmosphere, making it casual, making it candid can be really useful way of posing multiple models at the same time. Another top tip for me when it comes to posing models at the same time and this is one I use a lot, is to vary the eye contact. Maybe have one person looking at you and one person looking away. This creates an extra dynamic to the image and often makes it seem a lot more natural. Now we've covered the tips on pre-production and we've spoken about a few things that you can think about when it actually comes to shooting. Now it's your time to head off, complete your shoot. Remember to relax, take at your own pace, be friendly, and make sure you have your moodboard with you. Good luck and I'll see you guys after your shoot. 12. Culling: You've taken the photos and you're ready to start editing. The next step is for you to start the culling process. The culling process essentially refers to cutting down the images into the final select. Before we start, you have a decision to make here. Will you be making the final selects, or with the client be making the final selects? If the client is making the final selects, a good method here is to create a contact sheet. This consists of a sheet of thumbnails of all of the images. We're going to jump straight into Adobe Lightroom, and I'm going to show you guys how to create a contact sheet from your images. We've jumped into Lightroom here, and it opens up a blank catalog. You can press "File" and then import photos and video to import your files, but I'm just going to be dragging it from my Finder here. The photos that I want to add to this library are selected, you can see. So I'm just going to drag that into the Lightroom folder. This little pop-up is going to come up now. It was in this window, I can also choose to select some other photos from the set if I wanted to. Now that we've got all of these files imported, I'm just going to go through and flag the ones that I want to put into the contact sheet. I'm just going to do this really randomly just for the sake of demonstration. Now I want to go down to this section, and we look at the filters. I can click on the flag, and just bring up the images that I have flagged. I'm going to press "Command A" and select all of the photos within the flagged section. Next step I'm going to go over to the Print module. As you can see here, we have a lot of different templates that Lightroom create for you. For example, we can choose the 4 by 5 contact sheet, and that is going to put a list of the thumbnails and the names of the images. Over on this module over here, we can change the layout. We can change how the space is on the page, how many rows there are. You can change the background color if you wanted to. You can add watermarks on to each of the images, and you can also change what information is written down at the bottom here. For example, we can change that to the number of photos in the sequence. This is number one out of 9, this is number 6 out of 9, or we could change it to the date of the shot and we can fully customize this section. Then when we want to export it, so obviously you probably wouldn't have it with a black background or anything like this, but we would just change it back just for the sake of showing you what it's like. Then we're going to click down here onto Printer and we're going change that to JPEG file, and this brings up the normal what you want to export the image as. Then we're going to click "Print to File", and we're going to save it as contact sheets. Then we can see that it has exported as a contact sheet right here. So we can send this to a client and they could choose the photos that we are going to be making the selects from or that we're going to be editing, and they can have a look at what are the kind of images ready to be culled? Of course, there are many instances where you'll be making the final selects and not the client. I often do this as I find it speeds up the process a lot, and it allows me more creative freedom over the sheet. In this case, I simply import all of the files into Lightroom as you would do to create a contouche, and then I use the quick collection or the flagging method in Lightroom to categorize the shots that I want to add there. Once you've got your selects, join me in the next lesson where we're going to be talking about creating consistent edits in Adobe Lightroom. 13. Creating Consistent Edits: Now that you have [inaudible] your images and you've made the decision on which photos you want to edit, it's time to get started. We're going to stay in Adobe Lightroom and I open up our [inaudible]. For me, I have flagged the images that I'll be editing. There are a number of different tools and techniques that you can use within Lightroom. If you aren't already acquainted with the software, I'd consider taking some time to get familiar with it. In this lesson, I'll just be paying attention to how to create consistent edits in Lightroom rather than editing an image from start to finish. We're going to go through a few different ways that you can ensure that you are creating consistent edits. By consistent edit, we are talking about edits that look the same or similar so that we can create a source of cohesion throughout the set. First of all, we're going to take this edit that I've just quickly put onto this image. We're going to go through the first way of creating consistent edits. First of all, we're just going to come over here and press "Copy." This is going to bring up this little dialogue. We can choose what we want to copy. For me, it's mostly just the color grading, not the local adjustments or the spot removal or the crops, because that tends to change image to image. But I do want to keep all of the color grading aspects of the image the same throughout the set. I'm going to copy here. You can do that by pressing "Command C" or using this top-down here. Then I'm going to go on to this next image and I'm just going to paste it. You can press "Command V" , if you want to do it using your keyboard shortcuts, but I just press the "Space" button. It will paste the settings that I've taken from this image onto this image. As you can see, it's very clear that they are of the same set. The color grading is the same. If you want to, you could tweak the exposure a little bit. But by not altering the colors, the white balance, the saturations, those things we are creating a consistent edit. The second way we're going to do this is we are going to come up to the develop tab and press "New Preset". You've open a new group and we're going to call it, Skillshare, Create, and we're going to go Raymond and we're going to press "Create". Very similarly to the copy panel. What that's done is just saved those color grading adjustments. When I come on to this image, which obviously I wouldn't deliver because his eyes are sharp. But if I was to deliver this, then I just come down into this section on my new folder, Skillshare and click on Raymond and that is going to paste that preset onto the photo. Again, you can go through, we've got very consistent edits throughout this set. Let's put this preset onto this image and tweak it just to get the right colors and right balances for this image. We'll just do something very quick. Now if I go on to this image now, another way I can create consistent edits is by clicking this or a window. This is setting a reference image versus the active image, the one that you're editing. I can drag this image that I've just edited into the reference window and then it allows me to edit this image and try and match it to these colors. This can be a really useful way of making sure that you have the same colors or similar colors to other images in your set. For example, if I was to open this as my active image and then drag this image into the reference window. Let's do that again. On this image, this image in the reference window, and we can see that the skin tones are working well together, all white balances. It looks like it's a part of the same choose still. Another tool that I use often is the before and after window. Once I've pasted my edit onto this image, you can see that the skin tone is looking really red. We want to make sure that we maintain a little bit more of reality. I can edit here and be referring to this image in my before panel to try and get the correct skin tones, the correct colors and make sure that it is consistent. Not just to the other images in the set, but also to reality and what I'm trying to portray. To recap, we've got the before and after tools here. We have the reference and active tool here. We can also use the copy and paste feature, as well as the presets. They are just a few tools which you can use to make sure that your edits are consistent. That you're creating a coherent set that looks similar to each other and also has your signature style. Now you have your edits, it's time to talk about delivery. Join me in the next video, where we're going to be talking about delivering the images to your client or the rest of your team. 14. Delivery: At this point in the class, you should have successfully planned and executed your sheaf. The final step is to deliver the images to your client or the rest of your team. What is the best way to do that? There are a number of different ways in which you can deliver the digital files to your clients. For example, you could send them a link with access to your photos. You could send them a shareable gallery, or you could upload them to a Cloud storage system. Let's talk about some of my favorite websites when it comes to delivering your files, WeTransfer. WeTransfer is a system that I use most often to send files. I have a subscription with them that allows me to send bigger transfer sizes, but there is a free version of it. Essentially, you upload the files to WeTransfer and it provides you with either a link that you can then send to the appropriate people or you can put in the email addresses and then send the files on via email. It's a really good way of sending high-resolution images, especially when you have a lot of them. The second option is Pixieset. Pixieset is essentially an online shareable gallery. You can upload your photos, create a gallery that can be viewed on mobile and web. You can also give clients the option to purchase prints via a drop shipping system. With Pixieset, you can password protect the gallery. You can set a pin so that you can only download an image if you have access to the pin. It's really secure, it's really safe, and it's a really effective way of showcasing your work. Using Cloud storage such as Google Drive and Dropbox can be a really effective way of sending your files, similarly to a gallery, it's all there for your client to see and easily download. Of course, there are drawbacks to this, in that you might not have enough storage. There are instances where anyone can get access to the files if they have the link. Me, my favorite way is to use WeTransfer. For most of my commercial sheaves, there isn't really much need for a gallery, so I just send them the link and everything is high-quality and easy to download. There is a Collect App if they want to download on their phone. If not, then they just follow that link and it downloads on desktop really easily. I also use Pixieset a lot, but for more family-orientated or wedding kind of sheaves. This is just because it's nice to have a gallery where they might want to share it with their friends or their family. I will link all three in the project description. You can use all three for free and you can pay to upgrade the storage on all three as well. Have a look, see what you think is the most professional and the most fitting with your personal brand. In the next video, we're going to be doing a really short recap on everything you've learned throughout this class. Thank you for joining me and I'll see you guys in the final lesson. 15. Let's Recap!: A big congratulations if you've got to this point. We've now gone through the pre-production, the production, and the post-production of portrait photography. Take this time to upload your class projects to the project gallery so that we can all see what you've been working on. Remember there's a one page moodboard, add 2-5 images from your portrait sheet. To recap, in this class we have gone through finding inspiration, and building a coherent concept which works well with your location and your model. We've also spoken about how to create a good atmosphere on set and some tips on posing your models. When it comes to post-production, we've spoken about creating consistent edits, and how to professionally deliver your files to your team or your client. If there is one thing that you take away from this class, be it the theme of consistency. Ideally, you want there to be a certain consistency and coherence throughout your sheet. From the location to the styling, to the model choice to really be able to drive home the concept that you had in mind. When it comes to planning and executing a portrait sheet, communicating your concept is going to be a lot easier if you work on creating a concept on a theme which is supported by consistency, backed up by a styling, backed up by your location, backed up by the choice of model, backed up by your editing style. But thank you for joining me in this class. I can't wait to see what you will created. If you do have any further questions, then just drop me a message. I'll be sure to get back to you. In the meantime, good luck with your journey into the world of portrait photography.