HOW TO TAKE BETTER PORTRAITS
People photography is my speciality, both in the studio and on location. I am, after all, 'The Portrait Guy'.
It is one of those subjects that many photographers feel understandably nervous about, as it is far more than knowing how to use your camera. So many good photographers are nervous about taking the first steps into this genre because relating to the person you are photographing and being confident and prepared are more important than fiddling with your camera. So few photographers have photos of themselves, yet don't even try to take self portraits.
In this talk for Camera Clubs, I share my thoughts, ideas and experience to help you create better portraits by understanding how location, lighting, subjects, posing and editing all play their part to create the final image.
I visit camera clubs in my area during normal times, but also do Zoom talks to any camera club, for which I normally charge a fee of £50. I am based in Exeter in Devon. Contact Me for further details.
Here are some of the topics I cover in my talk.
Finding models can be hard but I explain how this can be done and how to get out of the 'Catch 22' situation.
Indoor portraits with natural light can be wonderfully effective and I show how to use the different indoor locations creatively.
Posing can be difficult but I share the hints and tips I have learned for helping people look good in front of the camera.
Studio portraits allow you to control the whole look of the image and I talk about how you can do this to great effect.
Location portraits can be magical and I explain how to open your mind and find them and how to get the most from any location.
Editing can turn a simple portrait into something amazing. I show you what you can do to make your portraits stand out.
May 2022 - Kay Wilson (Saltash Camera Club)
'Thank you for coming in person to Saltash & District Camera Club, with your iMac, to give your inspiring and educational presentation, ‘How to Take Better Portraits’. You showed stunning images, taken in a wide variety of locations, not only in a studio. You showed how the subject need not be a professional model, but could be a family member or even someone met on the street. You stressed the importance of using light well, be it artificial, natural or a combination of both.
In the second half, you demonstrated some of the editing techniques you use in Photoshop and Lightroom, to elevate a raw file into a polished final image. In particular, it was fascinating to see AI in action, with content-aware fill. Other tools you covered included colour cast removal and colour grading.
You told us one fascinating thing that no other speaker has ever mentioned: that the most pleasing shape for a print on a camera club 400 x 500 mount is in the proportions of 5:4. With hindsight, it seems obvious!
To summarise, you have given us many ideas to incorporate into our photography, as I will!'
January 2022 - Kelvin Perry (Alton Camera Club)
"For those considering portraiture I thought your guidance was excellent, from equipment required, where to find models and technique and as was clear from the feedback during the call, even our more experienced photographers picked up a few tips on Lightroom, Photoshop and educational videos.'
January 2022 - Kelvin Perry (Alton Camera Club)
"Big shout out to Colin Winstanley for stepping up at very short notice and giving his talk "How to take better Portraits" to Alton Camera club over zoom. Lots of great pictures and advice on equipment and techniques with a short practical on editing with Photoshop & Lightroom." (Posted on Facebook).
June 2021 - Nick Thornton (Vale Photographic Club, Ystradowen)
'Thanks again for stepping in at the very last minute and giving us such an interesting and useful presentation. Many of those who were on the receiving end have told me how much they enjoyed it and were wowed by your Lightroom and Photoshop skills..'
May 2021 - Petra Mackay (New City PS Milton Keynes)
'A very interesting and informative talk last night thank you.'
May 2021 - Malcolm Rapier (New City PS Milton Keynes)
'I was one of those present when you gave your presentation to New City PS last Thursday evening. Firstly, I would like to say how much I enjoyed the evening and your advice to would be portrait photographers. I count myself amongst those you described as being a little 'scared' of tackling the subject for all the reasons you outlined.'
March 2021 - Hilary Forward (Yeovil Camera Club)
'Thank you so much for last night's talk. I really think you inspired us to have a go at it. As you saw we only have one member that takes portrait photographs and hopefully he will be able to point us in the direction of a couple of models when we get back to meeting in the club and we will rectify this.'
March 2021 - Garrod Gray (Yeovil Camera Club)
'I just wanted to say how inspirational your talk on portraiture was last night.
I have my ‘L’ plates on when it comes to photography. I too have an interest in portrait work for my own pleasure, and like you, I have a small garage studios so was intrigued how you achieve such stunning images from a studio shots.'
March 2021 - Peter Paniccia (Yeovil Camera Club)
'Thank you very much for your talk this evening. After which the members had a discussion and all were agreed it was excellent and very informative and gave a better understanding to Portraiture Photography.'
Talks I Have Done
23 May 2022 - Saltash Camera Club (In Person)
27 Jan 2022 - Enniskillen Photographic Society (Zoom)
12 Jan 2022 - Alton Camera Club (Zoom)
25 Jun 2021 - Vale Photographic Club, Ystradowen (Zoom)
24 Jun 2021 - Virtual Camera Club (Zoom)
06 May 2021 - New City PS, Milton Keynes (Zoom)
22 Mar 2021 - Yeovil Camera Club. (Zoom)
25 Nov 2020 - Dawlish & Teignmouth Camera Club (Zoom).