Portrait Photography

Portrait Photography

From natural light to studio portraiture...
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About our portrait photography courses:

There’s no better skill to master than portrait photography, whether you’re capturing those special family moments or crafting high-quality business portraits for a client.

Learn how to create stunning portraits time and time again using both natural light and studio flash as Karl shows you the techniques he uses to get stunning results in-camera.

With more than 80 classes to choose from, you’ll learn everything from how to make your subject feel comfortable to how to craft creative lighting setups for studio and location shoots.

  • 117 Classes
  • +40 Hours content
  • Level: All Levels

Portrait Photography Classes

Natural Light Portrait Photography
  • 19 Classes
  • 4 Hours content
  • Level: Basic

Natural Light Portrait Photography

Learn how to shoot stunning natural light portraits in this series of classes.

You’ll see numerous natural light photography examples for shooting single subjects, couples, families, and children and develop an understanding of how to identify the best light for portrait shoots (both indoors and on location), what equipment to use, and how to pose your subject.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to photograph portraits with natural light
  • Camera settings for natural light photography
  • Useful equipment to have for shooting with natural light
  • Photographing children indoors and on location
  • Posing and photograph family groups
  • Creative ideas & posing for photographing couples
  • How to use reflectors & diffusers to control natural light
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One Light Portrait Lighting Setups
  • 10 Classes
  • 3 Hours content
  • Level: Basic

One Light Portrait Lighting Setups

Don’t have a lot of studio lights? No problem…

This section shows 10 creative examples of how to use just one light and basic modifiers for portrait photography.

Starting with the simplest of setups, Karl demonstrates how to apply the knowledge taught in our ‘Lighting Theory’ course to achieve creative lighting techniques and get stunning results with minimal equipment.

What you’ll learn:

  • 10 Easy studio setups with one light
  • Techniques for controlling light in a small studio
  • How to control light and shadow
  • Working with and posing your subject
  • Beautiful rim lighting with one light
  • How to create soft lighting
  • Techniques for simulate sunlight with studio flash
  • Lighting setups for close-up and full-length portraits
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Two Light Portrait Lighting Setups
  • 10 Classes
  • 2 Hours content
  • Level: Basic - Intermediate

Two Light Portrait Lighting Setups

There’s a lot you can do with just two studio lights. All you need is the right knowledge and little creativity.

Building on the examples shown in our one light setups course, Karl demonstrates how to use just two lights for creative portrait photography.

Throughout this course, you’ll see 10 creative portrait photography lighting setups and learn how to balance multiple studio lights to achieve the result you want, including dramatic portrait lighting, soft side lighting, beautiful contoured lighting and much, much more.

What you’ll learn:

  • 10 Easy studio setups with two lights
  • Techniques for controlling light in a small studio
  • Balancing multiple lights to create different effects
  • How to create hard, dramatic lighting for portraiture
  • How to create soft, contoured lighting for portraiture
  • Shooting creative portrait photography with a moving subject
  • Lighting setups for close-up and full-length portraits
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Three Light Portrait Lighting Setups
  • 10 Classes
  • 3+ Hours content
  • Level: Intermediate

Three Light Portrait Lighting Setups

Test your skills and learn how to get creative with these 10 examples of three light setups for portrait photography.

Now that you understand how to use just one studio light or two studio lights, these classes cover exciting new techniques such as high-key lighting, rim lighting, and beauty-style lighting for creative portraiture.

You’ll also learn how to combine natural light with studio flash - a powerful technique that’s often used for shooting on location, business portraits, or environmental portraits.

What you’ll learn:

  • 10 Easy studio setups with three lights
  • Techniques for controlling light in a small studio
  • Lighting setups for close-up and full-length portraits
  • Incorporating flare for creative effect
  • Lighting techniques for high-key portraits
  • Using v-flats for portrait lighting
  • Combining natural light & studio flash (working with mixed lighting)
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Four Light Portrait Lighting Setups
  • 10 Classes
  • 2+ Hours content
  • Level: Intermediate - Advanced

Four Light Portrait Lighting Setups

The creative possibilities are endless if you’re using four studio lights, and in this course you’ll see exactly what’s possible with 10 more portrait lighting demonstrations.

Learn how to apply lighting theory to add that extra level of creativity by using techniques such as gels, hair lights, and precision lighting to create multiple different looks and styles.

This course also takes things one step further with examples of how to photograph moving subjects, detailing the equipment and techniques used to capture perfectly frozen motion.

What you’ll learn:

  • 10 Easy studio setups with four lights
  • Techniques for controlling light in a small studio
  • Affordable lighting modifiers & DIY alternatives for portraiture
  • How to create high-key lighting
  • Getting creative using gels
  • Creating soft light using indirect lighting
  • Balancing multiple lights to create different effects
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Creative Portrait Photography
  • 8 Classes
  • 9+ Hours content
  • Level: All Levels

Creative Portrait Photography

Learn how to shoot more creative portraits with this series of classes, covering everything from Hollywood-style lighting to gelled lighting with bold, eye-catching colours or black and white portraiture.

These stand-alone classes provide inspiration for all levels as they cover fundamentals such as what backgrounds to use, how to build a set using basic props, and make simple DIY lighting modifiers. You’ll also learn about important lighting concepts and how to use creative techniques like long exposures.

What you’ll learn:

  • Creative portrait lighting ideas
  • Creating mood and emotion in a photo
  • How to shoot black and white portraits
  • Using specialist lighting modifiers for portrait photography
  • Gelled lighting for creative portrait photography
  • How to create a simple set for portrait shoots
  • Long exposure for portraiture
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Business Portrait Lighting Setups
  • 9 Classes
  • 5+ Hours content
  • Level: All Levels

Business Portrait Lighting Setups

Whether you’re working in the studio or on location, learn effective lighting setups and techniques to help you create business portrait photos and headshots your clients will love.

This course includes a dedicated class that focuses on the theoretical aspects of business portraiture, including important pre-shoot considerations, as well as seven lighting setup examples you can add to your arsenal.

With setups ranging from one light to four, you’ll learn how to create a multitude of lighting effects, including soft, flattering light for older subjects.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to photograph business portraits & corporate headshots
  • Business portrait lighting setups for studio & location shoots
  • How to photograph subjects with glasses
  • Pre-shoot considerations for business portraiture
  • How to balance mixed lighting (natural light & studio flash)
  • Flattering lighting for older subjects
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Environmental Portraits
  • 6 Classes
  • 2+ Hours content
  • Level: Basic - Intermediate

Environmental Portraits

Environmental portraiture is a genre of photography that’s often in high demand, used for anything from annual reports to websites.

Learn how to create high-quality images of people at work with this series of classes. Filmed in a variety of locations, this course introduces the concept of environmental portraiture, exploring some of the common challenges and how to overcome them.

Through five detailed shoots, you’ll see how to put these solutions into practice as you learn about the planning, lighting, and styling required to guarantee a successful shoot.

What you’ll learn:

  • Learn how to photograph environmental portraits
  • Effective planning for photographing people at work
  • Equipment & lighting modifiers for shooting on location
  • Balancing natural light & studio flash
  • Techniques for communicating with your subject
  • Setting the scene & composition techniques for location shoots
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Portrait Extras
  • 5 Classes
  • 5+ Hours content
  • Level: All Levels

Portrait Extras

For portrait photographers looking for a little extra, we’ve collected a series of additional classes to help you further develop your skills.

These include a selection of lighting walkthroughs to help you understand light as well as informative guest interviews with professional photographers, including top wedding photographers and celebrity portrait photographers.

What you’ll learn:

  • Portrait photography tips
  • Understanding light
  • How to identify light in a photo
  • Guest interviews with pro photographers
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How our classes work

Once you’ve watched our ‘Lighting Theory’ course, you’ll have an understanding of the lighting fundamentals applied throughout all of our classes. We’ve specifically designed our videos to act as stand-alone step-by-step classes so that you can dive right in to what most appeals to you.

If you’re not sure where you start, take a look at our learning pathways or get in touch for a personalised learning plan.

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"The lessons are just pure gold. The thoroughness is just unmatched. Every situation explained in great detail.”

Lance Nguyen

"Great to have all this valuable information in a single place. Well organised and easy to access. I’ve been looking for something like this for centuries.”

Nicolae Marian

"You can’t imagine how the last 365 days has changed my photography in a positive way! I tried several other online programmes but yours is the best in explanation and techniques!"

Oliver Ayerle

Karl Taylor Tutor
Meet your tutor

Karl Taylor

Karl Taylor is a professional photographer with over 20 years experience and he is commissioned by leading global companies for his precise attention to detail and his exquisite control of light. Know for his ability to explain complex subjects extremely clearly, Karl’s unique way of teaching and clear instruction has led him to work for Hasselblad Camera Company, Broncolor Lighting and Adobe as well as appearances on the BBC.

Personalised support

To help you make the most of our courses, we’ve made it easier to get in touch. Whether you have general photography questions or queries relating to specific classes, our knowledgeable team is here to help. In addition to our online support, we also offer personalised learning plans to help you achieve your photography aspirations.