Learn practical techniques for capturing authentic and flattering moments in your subject’s life using available light.
Good portraits are like magnets to our eyes—they attract and hold our attention. This workshop discusses the essential technical knowledge and aesthetic considerations necessary for photographing compelling portraits.
$84 • 3‑hour workshop • Limited to 5 students • Pro instructor
This 3‑hour portrait photography workshop presents the following:
- A brief history of portrait photography
- How to judge a good portrait
- Technical aspects: how exposure and metering, aperture, shutter speed, focal length, depth of field, and white balance affect your picture.
- Aesthetic aspects: how the quality of the light, colour, and composition affect your picture.
- Emotive aspects: how your subjects mood, experience, and relation to you affect the picture.
Good portraits are fascinating. They can tell stories, evoke feelings, and trigger memories. However, taking a successful portrait is not always an intuitive process for many novice photographers. Accelerate your progress by learning from our experience.
This workshop discusses the pillars of effective portrait photography, namely the technical, aesthetic, and emotive qualities. The technical portion outlines how the basic principles of photography (exposure, focal length, depth of field, and colour) apply to create strong portraits. These principles also influence the aesthetic characteristics of portraits: exposure intertwines with the quality, intensity, and direction of light; focal length affects your composition and framing; depth of field influences your choice of background, and so on. Taken in isolation, solid technique and aesthetics will only take you so far. The crucial feature of expressive portraits is emotive. We’ll share several methods for building rapport and communicating with your subject(s) to produce pictures that capture authentic moments.
During the practical portion of the workshop, we’ll explore how you can apply the concepts learned in the preceding half of the lesson to real-world portrait photography.
- All brands of digital cameras are accepted for this workshop
- This course is designed for DSLR and mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras, and enthusiast compact cameras.
- Contact us if you’re unsure about your camera’s suitability for this workshop.
What to bring:
- Lens (we highly recommend bringing a normal or long focus lens, the focal lengths traditionally used in for portrait photography)
- Battery (fully charged)1If you’re participating in more than one workshop, please bring either your battery charger or a second battery to ensure you can operate your camera throughout the day.
- Memory card (emptied)
- Camera manual
What to wear
Most of our photography workshops feature outdoor exercises to apply the theoretical concepts into practice. Monitor the weather forecast and ensure you dress appropriately for the conditions—especially on cold days.2Please note that the lithium batteries powering your camera may exhibit diminished power output in cold conditions. When subzero air temperatures are forecast for the day of your workshop, we recommend bringing two or more camera batteries.
Our classroom-free workshops take place outdoors, involve walking and feature locations that may not be fully accessible. Currently, we meet in front of The Royal Conservatory of Music (273 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S 1W2).
We reserve the right to change the meeting location and will notify you at least 48 hours in advance of such changes. A modified meeting location will always be within 500m of a TTC subway station.
Cancellation and refunds
We want to ensure that you fully understand the materials covered in our photography courses. If you aren’t completely satisfied with your learning experience, please let your instructor know immediately after your workshop concludes. We’re more than happy to address any points of confusion on the spot or to offer you the opportunity to repeat the same workshop on a future date (pending availability).
Our full cancellation and refund policy is found in the Terms of Sale. The following summary is for your convenience:
- We accept cancellations for a full refund up to four (4) weeks in advance of your initially-scheduled course.
- We accept schedule modifications up to seven (7) days in advance of your initially-scheduled course.