Portrait Photography at Home | Dan Prizont | Skillshare

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Portrait Photography at Home

teacher avatar Dan Prizont, Photographer + YouTuber

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

4 Lessons (10m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. What You'll Need

    • 3. The Photoshoot BTS

    • 4. Portrait Editing

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About This Class

Join me as I show you how to take portraits at home using only natural light, one camera, and one lens. In this quick 10-minute course, you will learn:

  • How to make a subject pop
  • How to remove distracting backgrounds
  • How to do casual posing and other tips

For this portrait photography course, I mounted a small action-cam on top of my main camera, so you'll be able to see the behind-the-scenes and some of the pictures that we took. I'll also show you how I edit a couple of these shots.

Meet Your Teacher

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Dan Prizont

Photographer + YouTuber


Hi there!

I'm Dan, a portrait and travel photographer who also manages 3 YouTube channels.

Sharing everything I know about photography, audio/video recording, and post-production.

Feel free to follow me, more videos coming soon!

See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hello everyone. In this course, I wanted to show you how to take some core portraits at home using only natural light. No modifiers know diffusers, just one camera, one lens, and one model. For this course, I took some pictures of one of my best friends outside on my balcony because we add some nice natural light. So I'm going to show you how we did that. If you're interested, please feel free to join the course and I'll see you on the other side. 2. What You'll Need: Welcome back. Thank you for joining the course. Let's talk a bit about each piece of gear that we need. First of all, the camera, I'm using an icon Z6 for this course. It's a full-frame camera. You don't need for frame. I just like the look that it gives because it blurs the background and did more. And it helps you focus on the subject of anymore. But it's not 100% necessary. So any camera will do when it comes to the lens. In this course, I'm gonna be using a 50 millimeter lens, which is more or less the human high point of view. It's not too wide, but it's also not too telephoto. So it's just a bit of a balance in the middle. Some people prefer to go a bit wider, which would be like a 35 for example. And other people prefer more like a portrait lens. I can 85 or 100 or even 135. And I think of 50 mil is perfect. And you can also get them quite cheap there, what is known as Fast aperture lenses. They're 50 mille, 1.8. So you can learn the background quite a bit if you get close enough to your subject, which is very nice. So as I said, I'm using a full-frame camera. So in my case, that 50 mil is actually 50 mil. If you're using an APS-C sensor, 50 million would be a 75. So it's not that wide. It's more of a telephoto focal length, but it's also very nice for portraits. So even if you're using APS-C or you're using a full-frame camera. 50 million, I think is the way to go for these type of portraits. And when it comes to the model, obviously it doesn't matter if it's a boy and girl, kid and dog, cat, whatever, just do what you like or even takes himself portraits if you want. But you would probably need a tripod in this case. As I said, I just contacted one of my best friends. She is very helpful when it comes to these type of courses. So that's my suggestion. Just contact someone that's comfortable in front of the camera. If you can't find anyone, you can take some core supported at home as well. When it comes to lighting, we're using natural light. My advice is to wait for the sun to come down a bit. And famous golden hour, which is usually in my place at 678 in the evening when the sun is much softer and more flattering for the model. Either way, you can still take some portraits anytime of the day, but keep in mind that it may create harsh shadows on your subject. If you don't have a balcony, you can still take some corporate jets and home. My recommendation is to try and find a big window. And if you have some transparent or white blinds, pull them in front of the window. So that creates more or less a soft box look, which is quite nice for portrait. And another tip, if the sun is very harsh on the eyes of your model, just tell them to close them for 12 or three seconds. And you tell them when they have to open them. So they're not squinting, which is quite ugly for the pictures. And then you'll be able to take some better portraits. So that's it for the gear. Now let's move on to the behind the scenes. 3. The Photoshoot BTS: So what you're seeing now is a bit of the behind the scenes. I used a small NGO prototype camera mounted on top of my main camera to film. Please excuse the quality, isn't very good, but I just wanted to show you how we were posing and how we were taking some of these pictures. So as you can see, the balcony isn't the prettiest place. It's quite messy. The background says absolutely nothing. But the good thing when using a fast aperture lens, like in this case, the 15 millimeter 1.8, is that if you shoot a 1.8, you can blur the background quite a bit. So even if you're shooting at an ugly location, if you have a wide aperture lens and you open it up, you're going to blur the background. So you're going to focus on the model. And that's what's going to stand out instead of the ugly background. So with a 50 millimeter lens, you can do like full body shots. And the half body or three-quarters are where you want to call it. But what I usually do is more like close-ups of the face or maybe head and shoulders. Max. That way, I can blur the background even more the closer you get to the subject of blurrier the background. And I can really focus on the eyes, which is what I recommend. Because usually when you're shooting a portrait, you want to focus on the eyes. Were basically playing around a bit. She's theater actress. She's having fun singing and doing whatever she wants to do. And that's always nice. If you have like a very good friend, You can take portraits of him or her. It's easier that way. At least for me, it's usually better because I already know that person and that person usually feels at ease when she's around me in this case. So she's dancing or singing or doing whatever. And while she that I'm taking the pictures. So as you can see, there's like a table and some chairs in the background and very ugly stuff. But it worked out. I tried to focus on her and less on the background. And I think the close-ups are quite nice, actually, just using one camera, one lens, and natural light. So that's it for the behind the scenes. Now let's jump over to Photoshop and we'll do some quick edit of some of these pictures. 4. Portrait Editing: Okay, so let's edit some of these pictures.Now this is straight out or camera. You can see pretty sharp, actually focused on the I. And I think it's quite sharp. Just some minor adjustments. I'm not gonna go too crazy because they're just casual portraits. But there is always some stuff to do. So as you can see here, the highlights, their bit burnt, so that can be a bit distracting. Let's turn now. This on the way now, and the whites all the way down and so on. But now it's a bit dark, so we can either pull up the exposure or what I'd like to do is just pull up the shadows of it here. And the blacks. Let's give the image a bit of contrast as well. And a bit of clarity. Usually I don't recommend giving more clarity to the image. To Zim portrait. It shows up all the wrinkles and stuff like that. But in this case, she has very nice skin. So I want mine. And yeah, that's a really quick at it, but I think it looks nice. And see the before and after. This was the before. And this is the after, this one, for example, I really like this one, but as you can see, it's quite dark. So we're going to pull the exposure bit. In this case, just a bit. Yeah, that's better. Taking the shadows up as well. Listing the blacks as well, just bit. We have contrast. Again, a bit of clarity. This is just personal preference. You can play with these values and see the before and the after, before. But obviously if this was for a client or something like that, I would fix the hair, but not in this case. She is just one of my best friends. And it was just something fun and out of nowhere. So I think it looks nice like this. So let's say, for example, we like like this, but we don't want so much background behind her. So we can open this in Photoshop. I just hit c and I move this where I want to. And that looks quite nice. This is one-to-one, so its square. Perfect for Instagram, for example. So you don't have to crop anymore or you don't have to resize it anymore. As you probably know, Instagram usually resizes images and makes them lose quality with a one-to-one ratio. It's not that bad. So this looks nice. I like it. I'm happy with the result. Very natural looking image. She's smiling, the eyes are and focus. She looks amazing. Perfect image for me. So as I said earlier, my recommendation is to get a fast aperture lens or wide aperture lens, or you want to call it. And to try to get close to your subject. So you can blur the background a bit. If your background is ugly or it's not interesting enough. Also, obviously, if your background is nice, unlike my balcony, then you can take portraits showing the background a bit. In my case either and, and onto because there was not interesting enough. But if your home has a cool-looking wall or some very nice furniture, by all means, try to capture that as well. So I hope you enjoyed this short course. Feel free to check my other courses on my profile and I'll see you soon.