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Ready for your close up?

Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire

Adult Learning Editor, IDP Connect

First published on April 25,2018 Amended on April 25,2018

Ready for your close up? Want to learn how to take the perfect portrait? Here at Floodlight we love a good profile picture as much as the next team, but when it comes to being behind the lens we needed some help.

Luckily, there are plenty of evening and weekend courses out there to help teach you how to take a photo worth sharing. Sounds like something for you? Whether you want to take photographs professionally or just as a hobby, have a read of this, dig out your camera and get snapping.


What will I learn on a portrait photography course?

Each course will be slightly different, but most will cover the basics of aperture and shutter speed for creative and dramatic portraits. The tutor should teach you how to use natural and artificial lighting, use background and how to direct and pose your model.

Some more advanced courses will also cover the use of Photoshop to digitally enhance your portraits once you have taken them. Whatever your ability, you will learn by taking photos, making mistakes and listening to your instructor’s expert words of wisdom.


What equipment will I need?

Most courses require you to bring your own camera. If you do not have a DSLR it might be worth getting in touch with the course provider beforehand to double check you will be able to take part. Remember it’s always worth taking a spare battery and memory card in your pocket, just so you don’t have to waste time deleting images.


What will I get out of taking a portrait photography course?

Whether you are a professional photographer already, or just taking this up as a hobby, spending a few hours snapping away will give you some great shots to add to your portfolio. Some courses may offer a qualification upon completion, so if this is something you are looking for make sure you ask the course provider beforehand.


Hardest thing to learn on a portrait photography course?

The photographers lingo can be tricky to pick up at first; aperture, ISO, shutter speed, depth of field, composition – the list goes on. Don’t panic! If in doubt just ask your tutor to explain what the term means, they will soon become second nature to you.


The best bit?

On a lot of courses you will learn by practising on one another, so you might leave with an album of new Facebook profiles.


What can I do to prepare for a portrait photography course?

Some portrait photography courses will require students to have a prior understanding of the photography basics, such as setting up the camera and understanding how to use it. If you are a little rusty, you might want to brush up with a beginner’s photography course.


Something to say to impress your teacher?

‘Did you know there are 250 million photos uploaded onto Facebook each day? Instagram is trailing behind this with around 40 million mobile uploads over the space of 24 hours.’


Ready to get snapping? Check out these portrait photography courses today!

Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire

Adult Learning Editor, IDP Connect

Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.

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