The Art of Portrait Photography

Level: Intermediate
Duration: 11.00am to 5.30pm
Date: 9 September 2017 (Saturday)
Cost: $299
Instructor: Seng Mah
Location: Venture Studio @ Suite 5 (Level 1), 133 High Street, Fremantle, Western Australia
Maximum participants: 10

Here’s a portrait photography workshop that delves into the creative and visionary aspects of photographic portraiture. Creative, fine art portrait photography is more than just taking nice snaps of people — it’s a combination of vision, lighting and engagement, and making use of the key tools of portraiture (lighting, framing, depth of field and background) to create riveting, emotive portraits of people; portraits that reveal their stories to the viewer.

The Art of Portrait Photography

“The Art of Portraiture” gives you the skills to set up and shoot great portraits, but its primary aim is to help you develop your vision for creative, fine art portraiture. You’ll learn how to shoot portraits in practically any setting, indoors and outdoors, but also how to control and shape light to realise your vision in portraiture, and to create portraits that tell a story. You’ll be shooting in natural light, using studio lighting, and off-camera location lighting as you learn about the amazing scope that can be realised in portrait photography. You won’t ever want to just revert to taking “snaps of people’s faces” after this workshop!

This is a very hands-on workshop: after a brief presentation, where we look at the key elements and tools that help construct outstanding portraits, we begin working directly with our models across a range of situations and settings. You’ll learn how to take control of natural window light, shoot with light and dark backgrounds, shape lighting in the studio with different light modifiers and, finally, work on location with off-camera lighting. Across our shoots, we’ll be looking at strategies for posing, using backgrounds and for engaging with our portrait subjects to help us tell stories with our portraits.

You’ll learn about:

  • Finding and shaping light: soft, diffused lighting and hard, directional lighting for different portrait styles and effects.
  • Nailing focus on the eyes: a critical part of portrait photography.
  • Controlling depth of field in portrait photography for creative purposes: when to shoot wide open, and when you need to stop down a bit more.
  • Manipulating subject to background relationships with different working distances and lens focal lengths.
  • Controlling portrait exposure by mastering your in-camera light meter.
  • Using and controlling shadows in portrait photography.
  • Develop an eye for detail to avoid distractions and create stronger portraits.
  • Storytelling and creating emotions through posing and direction.
  • Engaging with your portrait subjects to get the best images of them.
  • Shooting with vision and purpose: it’s not about learning the “rules” of portraiture, but about making sure you get the shot you’re after when you press the shutter button.
  • Portraiture post-production tips for processing in Lightroom or Photoshop.
  • … and more!

This workshop is a must for anyone who is looking to grow their creativity and vision in portrait photography!

Creative portraits

What you will need:
  • A DSLR or interchangeable lens camera with full Manual Exposure control.
  • Lenses that covers focal length in the range of 35mm to 200mm (full frame), 24mm – 200mm (crop frame), 12mm – 100mm (micro four thirds). Prime lenses in the 35mm – 135mm range are suitable, but you will need prime lenses in the 35mm, 50mm and at least 85mm range if you intend to shoot only with prime lenses. Fast lenses (those able to obtain aperture values of f2.8 or wider) are recommended, such as 50mm or 85mm f1.8 prime lenses or 70-200mm f2.8 telephoto zoom lenses. If you’re not sure, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help explain.
  • Memory cards.
  • Spare camera battery.
  • A flash speedlight with TTL Mode (optional).



Information about cancellations and booking transfers can be found in our Workshops Terms and Conditions.



    If you would prefer to book and pay for your workshop using bank transfer (EFT) or cheque, please complete and submit the form below. Workshop bookings will be confirmed by return email and an invoice with bank transfer and postal details will be emailed separately.

    Information about cancellations and booking transfers can be found in our Workshops Terms and Conditions.


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