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"Thanks Paul,

I am now considering opening my own Portrait Studio, the information in your books are definitely a valuable tool in my planning, I'll keep in touch.

Mark Dawson UK




"Hi There,

Amazing, I'm so happy with my early results, can't wait to practice some more,you won't believe even my un photogenic mother looks great.

Leah Maree Watkins W.A.





Just thought I would say how much I have enjoyed putting your step by step guide into action, you have made it easy and some of my resulting photos have been framed and now sit on my mantle for all the world to see. Thanks!"

Krissie Dobbell. CA



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Becoming a Portrait Photographer

At some point in your journey as a photographer ? whether you remain an amateur photographer or make photography your career ? you’ll have to decide on a photography n?che. As the old adage goes, jack of all trades, master of none. To be taken seriously as a photographer, then, you need to specialise in a certain field ? whether its portrait photography, wedding photography or landscape photography really depends on your own unique talents and interests.

If you enjoy working closely with people, and find them interesting subjects for photographs, then portrait photography may be right up your alley?

What is Portrait Photography?

As the term suggests, it’s the composed photography of a person, or groups of people, mostly in a studio setting. The focus of portrait photography is often the subject’s face (or head and shoulders), although full-length portrait photography is also common.

There are various types of portrait photography, including corporate portrait photography, family portrait photography, and maternity and baby photography.

Studio Photography

Working in a photographic studio is quite different from working on location, as wedding photographers, landscape photographers, or sports photographers do. For a run-down on what it takes to become a portrait photographer, read on?

What do I need to be a Portrait Photographer?

Along with the appropriate skill, desire and drive, you need the right equipment, including:

Lighting for Portrait Photography

Lighting is important in all photography, but no more so in portrait photography. The way in which a subject is lit will determine the quality of a portrait, so it’s essential to get it right. Portrait photographers make use of natural and artificial light, as well as digital flash photography. Successful portrait photographers understand how to control and use lighting correctly.

To control light, use diffusers and reflectors to increase or decrease the amount of light falling on your subject. Try these portrait photography lighting tips:

The following exercises are helpful in developing your skill as a portrait photographer. Give them a go:

Exercise One: Butterfly or Glamour Lighting

Butterfly lighting, also known as glamour lighting, helps reduce textures to give a broad look to a narrow face. It’s called butterfly lighting because of the butterfly-shaped shadow which will appear under the subject’s nose.

What you will need:

Studio Layout

Exercise: 1 - Butterfly or Glamour Lighting

Here’s what you do:

Exercise: 2 - Rembrandt Lighting

This technique is named for the master painter, Rembrandt, who used this lighting pattern in his portraits. The idea is to create a small, inverted triangle on the cheek opposite to the light source. It’s a popular technique with people who have prominent cheek bones.

You don’t need to use a reflector in this exercise.

Here’s what you do:

Shine the main light into the eyes of the subject, taking care not to blind them or make them squint or blink. This will create a catch light effect. A diamond should form below the furthermost eye, as long as the nose and no wider than the eye. To get it right, experiment with angles between 45 and 60 degrees.

Posing for Portrait Photography

Capturing the perfect portrait is all in the pose! It’s a fulfilling feeling indeed when a client exclaims, ‘I didn’t know I could look like that!’ Happy clients mean recommendations and more business, so care should be taken to pose your subject carefully and sensitively. To become an ace portrait photography, follow these portrait photography tips:

Find out more about Portrait Photography

See what digital portrait photography ebook is on offer by Tom Ray all at a ridiculously low price!