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Portrait Photography and Studio Lighting Course

Master Studio Lights and Improve
Your Portrait Photography Skills

2023 Black Friday advert showcasing all Sale offer on photography courses London in 2023

Portrait Photography Course in London – Master Studio Lights

Our Portrait Photography Course is a fun and informative introduction to the fundamental elements of portrait photography with an emphasis on the importance of light and how to control it.

It is a highly enjoyable one-day course with plenty of hands-on practice shooting portraits in our London studio.

But what is portraiture? A simple document taken in a photo booth? Yes. An elaborate set-up in a studio? Yes. A lucky shot of an old man or a cute kid reading a book on the floor? Yes. It is all of this and much much more. Therefore, the course will discuss what a photographic portrait actually is, why and how we choose to shoot particular subjects.

We will be also exploring the different ways in which we can use studio lighting and photographic equipment to achieve the results that we want.

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Course key facts

Course level 1 Intermediate Photography
Group size 6 students optimal tutor attention
Duration 1 day 10:00am – 4:00pm
Location London
DSLR Photography Courses
Wimbledon Art Studios
10 Riverside Road
London SW17 0BB

Great Introduction to Photographic Portraiture and Studio Lighting

  • Explore a little of the history and concepts behind photographic portraiture, including the many different ways in which a portrait may be shot and even interpreted.
  • Learn the fundamentals of portraiture composition.
  • Look at the underlying principles of light such as Quality, Quantity, Colour, Contrast and Direction, how to recognise, appreciate and ultimately control it, whether in a studio or just using “available” light.
  • Get hands-on practice of setting up and shooting in different studio lighting scenarios, including the standard “one light” setups such as Split, Rembrandt, Loop, Butterfly, Broad and Short lighting.
  • Develop a practical understanding of typical lighting setups, with one and two lights, including the concepts of “key” light, “fill” and “rim” lighting.
  • Consider different ways of posing and directing the subject.
  • Understand how lenses and focal lengths can totally alter the nature, expression and, ultimately, even the intention behind a photographic portrait.
  • You will leave the course with an appreciation of just how broadly the term portraiture may be interpreted.
portrait photography course London - learn how to use studio lights

Our portrait photography course is suitable for photographers of all skill levels, from beginners looking to learn the basics of portrait photography to more advanced photographers wanting to refine their techniques and take their work to the next level.

Whether you’re an amateur photographer looking to learn about lighting, composition, and posing, or a professional looking to expand your portfolio and learn how to create more dynamic and artistic portraits, our course has something to offer.

If you’re interested in learning portrait photography, sign up for one of our workshops and discover the potential of this exciting and rewarding art form.

Participants will receive course notes that summarize the key concepts and techniques covered in this class.

We also offer 1to1 tuition and studio hire.

The portrait course is a stimulating combination of presentations, demonstrations and discussions. During the first part of this course, our tutor will cover the history and concepts behind photographic portraiture, the equipment and methods used in portrait photography. Next will be a guided practice with a model, tips on lens choice, composition, metering and how to control the light in different scenarios.

Please note
– for all demonstrations and during practice in this class we use continuous lights, like the Interfit F5 Two-Head Fluorescent Lighting Kit and some LED lights.

We also have a workshop that is entirely focused on flash lighting. If you are already familiar with all the concepts of portrait photography and are looking to advance your skills even further, please follow this link to the Creative Studio Lighting with Flash course page.

portraits taken by students during portraits photography workshop in London studio

It is assumed that those attending will have a basic knowledge of photography and have an understanding of aperture, shutter speeds, ISO, or have already attended our half-day Beginners photography course or full-day Intensive Beginners course.

We recommend bringing a 50mm, 85mm or 100mm lens. If you have a range of lenses, please email us after making a booking and we will recommend the best lenses for this course.

Tripods are not required.

Creative, Inspiring, Enjoyable

Our Portrait Photography courses already helped hundreds of photography enthusiasts, here’s what some of them had to say!

London photography courses satisfied students

I discovered a whole new world which I hadn’t realised existed. I will now move into portraiture with confidence. The theory was really interesting and informative, the practical activities eye opening! A well balanced course.”

Mike BondCanon 500D

“LIGHT, LIGHT & MORE LIGHT – an amazing eye opener for me! Posing & model positioning, slight movements making so much difference. Plenty of hands-on helping to make things stick. Very good value – very professional!

Steve PelletNikon D7000

“The course and the tutor was excellent! I have learnt more about portraiture today then all the reading I have done. I only wish I had heard about the course before. Thanks also to the model – she was very professional.”

Terry TaylorCanon 650D

🥳  Backed by Hundreds of Five-Star Reviews  🤩

Read Reviews on Google
296 Voices of Satisfaction
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236 Tales of Discovery
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92 Endorsements of Trust
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280 Stories of Inspiration

Take advantage of our Special Offer 🌟

Save £50 on all Portrait Photography Courses

The price has been reduced from £245 to £195

Learn Portrait Photography!

With groups no larger than 6 students we can guarantee that everyone will get a high level of attention and some personal tips.

Date Day Time Course Places Price
17 Aug 2024 Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm only 1 left £245.00 Book now
22 Sep 2024 Sunday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm 4 £245.00

One to One Portrait Tuition

One to One photography tuition with an experienced photographer is the best way to learn about your camera and how to use it to its full potential.

Your 1to1 session will be 100% tailored towards your photographic needs and your camera gear.

You will get plenty of hands-on practice, instant feedback on your pictures, and lots of tips.

Private photography lessons in London are available on weekdays and weekends.

Please feel free to get in touch with questions.

1to1 Tuition

Gift Vouchers

Photography Courses Gift Vouchers make perfect presents to celebrate a Birthday, Fathers Day, Christmas or any other occasion

Group studio course

£ 195

6 hours class
  • In-person tuition
  • Up to 6 participants
  • Many dates available
  • Professional tuition
Buy Now

One to One Tuition

£ 265

4 hours tuition
  • In-person tuition
  • Your own private tutor
  • You choose the date
  • 100% tailored to your needs
Buy Now beginners photography course gift voucher

Studio Practice

£ 195

3 hours practice
  • Private studio hire
  • All equipment included
  • Flexible dates
  • Professional help
Buy Now

How do the gift vouchers work?

To redeem a gift voucher, its recipient must visit our website, choose a suitable date, and register on the course. We will send a welcome reply email with the booking confirmation, course outline and directions to the studio.

If you have a voucher for a 1to1 tuition – please get in touch. We will arrange everything to suit your calendar and your photography needs.

All our photography gift vouchers are valid for 12 months – giving recipients plenty of time to redeem their gifts.

What happens after I buy a voucher?

It is very important that you provide us with the full name of the gift voucher recipient. If you haven’t done so during the checkout process, please email us. Without that information, we can not print and send the voucher.

Along with the glossy voucher, you will receive a beautiful handmade card, a copy of the course outline and information on how to use the voucher.

There is plenty of space inside the card for your personal message or Christmas wishes.

Portrait Class Questions?

No problem! To get started, select a tab on the left.

I registered for the portrait course, what now?

First of all – thank you for booking a portrait photography class with us!

You will shortly receive a confirmation email with the course outline, meeting place and all the joining instructions.

If you booked One-to-One or online tuition, we will email you soon to arrange the tuition for you.

How can I pay for the course?

Paying for the course is straightforward, secure and only takes a second. After completing the registration process you will be taken to the Order Summary page where you can choose to pay with PayPal using any credit or debit card.

You can also pay by bank money transfer – please email us for details: [email protected].

If you have a gift voucher and would like to use it as part or full payment for the course, please get in touch with your gift voucher number and we will make a reservation for you.

What should I bring to the portrait course?

For the portrait photography and studio lighting course, all you need to bring is your digital camera, a lens, a fully charged battery, and make sure you have some space on the memory card to capture images.

We recommend bringing a 50mm, 85mm or 100mm lens. If you have a range of lenses, please email us after making a booking, and we will recommend the best lenses for this course.

Although tripods and flash guns/speedlights are not required, you are welcome to bring as much or as little gear as you like.

Do you offer free camera hire?

Yes, we offer a free camera and lens hire for the duration of every class.

It is a popular option as you can learn about all the different camera functions before buying one.

We have Nikon and Canon cameras available.

Please let us know before making a booking.

What happens if I’m late or miss a course?

We start classes promptly and keep to stated hours. Please try to arrive 10 minutes earlier to prepare your camera and all the gear that you have.

Running late or can not find us? Please let us know so that we can help you and provide directions.

If you find out that you can not make it on the day, we would appreciate it if you notified us as soon as possible. We can try to make some alternative arrangements for you.

Please scroll down to a relevant question about refunds and cancellation policy.

If I can not make it on the day will I get a refund or a credit for another course?

Yes, if you find that you can’t make it on the day of the course but you give us at least 14 days notice, you will be given the choice of a full refund or a credit for another course.

If you can’t make it on the day, but you give us at least 7 days notice, you will be given the choice of a full refund only if we manage to re-sell it or fill this place from the standby list. Otherwise, we will refund 50% of the total paid for the course.

If you notify us less then 7 days in advance and if we manage to re-sell your place or fill that place from the standby list, you will receive a full refund or a course credit. Otherwise, unfortunately, we will not provide a refund.

Please note – if we are only notified on the day itself, or if you fail to present yourself at the course, we regret that there will be no refund.

How can I learn portrait photography?

Learning portrait photography can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience. One of the best ways to improve your skills is to practice regularly and seek opportunities to shoot as many portraits as possible. You can also benefit from taking a photography class or workshop in-person or online.

One of the most important aspects of portrait photography is understanding how to work with light – both natural and studio lights. Experimenting with different lighting setups (1, 2, 3, 4 lights… ) and techniques (split lighting, Rembrandt lighting, butterfly/Paramount, loop, etc..) can help you create more dynamic and interesting portraits. It’s also essential to learn about composition and how to pose your subjects in a flattering way.

Study famous photographers!

Another way to improve your portrait photography is to study the work of other photographers and learn from their techniques and approaches. You can also seek critiques of your work and use this feedback to identify areas for improvement.

Our studio in London offers portrait photography classes and studio lighting workshops for photographers of all skill levels. Our classes cover various topics, including the history of portrait photography, lighting, composition, and posing, as well as more advanced techniques like retouching and post-processing. We also offer one-on-one photography sessions where we can focus specifically on your individual goals and needs as a photographer. If you’re interested in learning portrait photography, we encourage you to consider signing up for one of our classes or 1to1 sessions.

Read portrait photography books.

So, I’ve got a piece of advice that might surprise you in this digital age: pick up a portrait photography book. In fact, I’ve compiled a list of the Best Portrait Photography Books that I believe every enthusiast should explore.

Now, you might wonder, “Why books when there’s so much online?” Well, books offer a unique, immersive experience. They let you step into the shoes of seasoned photographers, understanding not just the techniques but the stories, emotions, and philosophies behind each portrait. It’s like having a mentor guiding you, page by page.

Books on portrait photography are more than just instructional manuals. They’re a journey through time, showcasing the evolution of styles and techniques. They teach you to observe, to understand, and most importantly, to connect with your subject. So, while online tutorials and courses are great, there’s something magical about flipping through the pages of a book, absorbing years of wisdom at your own pace.

Now if you are really interested in photography, I suggest you also read my summary and review of Susan Sontag’s ‘On Photography’ book. The book is not just a historical overview; it’s a profound exploration of how photography shapes and is shaped by society.

In the vast landscape of literature on photography, Susan Sontag’s “On Photography” emerges as a seminal work, a beacon that has illuminated the path for countless photographers and enthusiasts alike. It’s not just a book; it’s a manifesto that challenges and redefines our understanding of photography as an art form. It is a must read for all photography enthusiasts.

What are main types of portrait photography?

There are several different types of portrait photography, including:

  1. Traditional portraits – are formal, posed photographs taken in a studio or other controlled setting.
  2. Environmental portraits – these portraits are taken in the subject’s natural environment, such as at home or in their workplace, and aim to capture the subject’s life and surroundings.
  3. Candid portraits – are taken without the subject’s knowledge and aim to capture natural, unguarded moments.
  4. Glamour portraits – often taken in a photography studio, these portraits are meant to be sexy and alluring.
  5. Fine art portraits – are more artistic and may be more experimental or unconventional in their composition and style.
  6. Family portraits – these portraits are meant to capture the relationships and personalities within a family.
  7. Self-portraits – are taken by the subject themselves, either using a self-timer or a remote shutter release.
  8. Pet portraits – pictures of animals, typically pets, dogs, cats, horses… are often taken in a photographic studio or the subject’s natural environment.

Do you offer after course support?

Yes, to help you continue on your learning journey in portrait photography, after the course, you will be emailed pdf portrait photography course notes that summarize the key concepts and techniques covered in our workshop.

We also offer feedback on pictures, 1to1 tuitions and studio hire if you want to come and practice. Please get in touch for more information on studio rates and availability.

Recommended reading.

To help you take your portrait skills even further, we would also like to recommend a few of our favourite books.

The Complete Portraits Manual” by Miriam Leuchter – this book is a comprehensive guide to portrait photography that covers everything from lighting and composition to posing and post-processing. It provides over 300 tips and techniques to help you capture the portrait you want.

Another fantastic book is “Understanding Portrait Photography: How to Shoot Great Pictures of People” by Bryan Peterson. This is a superb resource on using lighting and exposure settings to capture unique portraits and reveal the wonder and joy of everyday moments.

One of my all-time favourites is “Dramatic Portrait: The Art of Crafting Light and Shadow” by Chris Knight. If you love the look of “low-key” portraits and want to know how to use the light (highlights and shadows) to create dramatic and artistic portraits – this is the book you should get!

Last but not least, if you want to learn more about posing your subjects, whether they’re men, women, couples, or groups, “The Photographer’s Guide to Posing: Techniques to Flatter Everyone” by Lindsay Adler is a must. 288 pages filled with superb advice and a tone of images showing how specific poses can improve your shots.

Contact us

If you can not find what you are looking for please submit a question to us. We aim to reply within a few hours.

Alternatively, just call us on 020 8947 8118.
Our business hours are Monday to Friday 10:00 am-4:00 pm.

You can also contact us by email[email protected].

Contact Us