You get off to a good start doing portraits - but it doesn’t stick. You forget everything you learned and you struggle to replicate the same results twice. So you lose motivation and get stuck!
You've read articles and eBooks about how to do portrait photography but you feel more confused than ever. You're trying to piece together how to do everything from camera settings, lighting, and posing on your own, without help.
You wish someone would just take you by the hand and guide you through each step in order, and you had a way you could just ask questions when you need to.
Through my 7+ years of teaching portrait photography, I know you probably have a lot of questions. As you start photographing people, and doing portraits for the first time, it can be really overwhelming.
If you don’t have a plan to follow, it can be easy to make some critical mistakes, get off track, and never end up at the finish line - a collection of stunning portraits in your photography gallery.
Without guidance and support, it can be difficult to make any progress at all!
That is why we created this step-by-step course . . .
This course has easy to follow lessons and practical challenges. It was created by a professional photographer with over 30 years of experience shooting.
Although I'm an experienced amateur and familiar with most of the technical material covered during the course, the course helped me pick up valuable tips on posing, interacting with the model as well as things to look out for and avoid.
The course was nicely paced and both presenters explained things simply and clearly. The course content was extensive and good value.
I have learned more about my own photographic equipment, how the components can work together and how to better understand the exposure triangle elements.
The practical demonstrations of how to implement the various course subjects has been an eye opener for me and given me much more confidence in my (limited) photography skills, particularly taking family portraits.
Terry Titmarsh, Australia
First, I got a complete understanding of the thought process in making photographs. I learned more about lights, broad lighting and short lighting.
I learned about different effects of lights falling on a subjects based on the placement of light..loop. Rembrandt, butterfly, etc.
I learned the proper way to shoot during the golden hour.
I have better understanding of flash photography, inverse square law usage.
I learned how to check my surroundings for distracting objects.
There is too much to list.
10 Tips for Improving Your Portraits with Better Composition (a PDF guide)
How you frame your portrait is important for creating visual impact and connection with the viewer. It can dictate the mood and feel of the portrait, making it feel inviting or uncomfortable.
Knowing a few rules, and how to break them effectively is a good place to start. This guide provides some general rules you can follow to help improve your portraits through better composition.
Portraits at Golden Hour (a PDF guide)
Golden hour is the magical time just after sunrise or before sunset. This is the most popular time for portrait photographers to be shooting.
In this guide, find out why that is the case, how to use the sun as a backlight or main light on your portrait subject. Also get tips for using a reflector and learn how to create a unique silhouette portrait.
Lightroom Portrait Presets
(including Adjustment Brushes)
These Lightroom presets were made especially for portraits and designed as a bonus just for you!
You will get one-click skin-tone enhancers, edge vignettes, b/w conversions, sepia split-tone, etc. You also get a "Glamour Skin" Adjustment Brush, and others like: Enhance Iris, Whiten Teeth, and more.
I entered this course in hopes of better understanding lighting ratios and flash usage, and upon finishing it, I can safely say I got what I hoped for and then some.
I find myself more confident in using even some studio equipment I didn't quite understand (or knew) before.
Most other courses or instruction seem to start about halfway through and assume that the flash is already set up but your course goes into more depth about why you need it in the first place.
Portrait Fundamentals is truly a comprehensive approach to lighting a scene with flash and natural light.
I feel like I can go out and begin to create the types of portraits that I've envisioned.
Online course content
(Early bird pricing)
Feedback and VIP Community
(Early bird pricing)
Max: 30 seats
You can complete the course lessons from the comfort of your couch or kitchen table, as long as you have an Internet connection!
The entire program is completely digital so you can access it from anywhere through our private course portal.
And you'll never miss a beat: you can go at your own pace and do the lessons on your schedule.
The honest answer is, it depends on you and your current situation.
Most of our students are able to get through all the videos and exercises in 4-6 weeks.
Others might take a few extra months to watch all the lessons and put it into practice. There is no rush and no right or wrong amount of time, because you have lifetime access to the program and all future updates! Remember, this isn't a "quick fix" by any means.
We recommend you set aside 2-4 hours per week to go through the program and implement the assignments.
Once you complete the weekly challenges you will also have a varied and interesting portfolio of photographs you'll be proud to share.
There has never been a better time to start working on your photography with Portrait Fundamentals. Why not start today instead of waiting another six months to a year for enrollment to open again?
Starting now will allow you to:
The course kicks off January 25th, 2019
Our first group coaching call for VIP course members will be February 8th, 2018 and the first image review call is set for February 21st. These dates are for VIP members only.
February 8th, 2019
February 21st, 2019
March 4th, 2019
After completing Portrait Fundamentals you will have the skills and confidence you need to create portraits of your family and friends. You can do this, we promise!
You can keep trying to figure out all this portrait lighting and flash stuff on your own and struggling to put it all together. You might eventually get the consistent results you want in a few months or even years.
- OR -
You can enroll in this course and learn the inside tips from experienced portrait photography instructors, start improving your portraits immediately, and save time and money by not wasting it on things that don’t work.
You can learn the skills you need by watching just one video a week (10-20 minutes) and doing the practice exercises at your own pace.
It’s not a race, slow and steady wins the game. You have lifetime access to the course content so take your time if you need to.
That’s why you need this course! We start right at the beginning and don’t leave anything out.
You will be taken step by baby step through the entire process from camera settings, to using natural light, to flash and finally putting it all together.
Watch the lessons more than once if you need a refresher and take as much time as you need to understand each step before you move on to the next one.
This is something that only comes over time and by actually doing more photography. So this is a perfect opportunity to flex your photography muscles and do a workout!
By doing the practice exercises with a friend that is supportive and helpful, you will see your skills progress and your confidence level soar!
Online course content
(Early bird pricing)
Feedback and VIP Community
(Early bird pricing)
Max: 30 seats
MONEY BACK GUARANTEE
We wholeheartedly believe in the Portrait Fundamentals course, and have many satisfied students (over 450 alumni). But we want you to feel confident in trying it out for yourself!
That's why we have a 100% Risk Free Guarantee. You can try Portrait Fundamentals out for 30 days, and if you aren't satisfied, just ask us for a full refund by 11:59 pm Eastern US Time on [Date - Last day of Refund Period to be edited in before launch].
If you do the work, put in your best effort, and feel that we haven’t delivered, we will issue a 100% refund.
I'm pretty good at candid "people" shots, but the course has taught me techniques to improve my posed portraits.
I'm pretty good with "good" natural light, but the course has shown me what can be done with flash to improve light that is less than great.
I had never used a flash before this class. I now feel comfortable with using a flash and getting different lighting effects with it.
I feel more confident with being able to see light and know how to find better light to create a more pleasing portrait.
It is a perfect portrait photography course for beginners trying to step it up a little bit.
Jesús Martin Sanchez
Darlene and Bruce have a combined total of over 35 years of experience as professional portrait photographers, and 6 teaching it. They are teachers who understand your needs and questions because they instruct in live classrooms as well.
Forever. Your purchase allows you lifetime unlimited access to the course – watch it as many times as you want, and get any updates free of charge.
You can watch the video lessons on any device including laptop, smartphone or tablet. Unfortunately they are not available for download.
If you are unfamiliar with all the settings and buttons on your camera and what they do, you may find this course a bit too advanced. However, if you want to see for yourself – we have a 30 day money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose. You can also buy it and watch it any time, including months later.
That will depend on your experience level and skills. If you already shoot in manual mode on your camera and flash, understand terms like incident metering and Inverse Square Law, are comfortable working with people posing and lighting them, and are happy with the results from every portrait shoot that you do – then this course will likely be too basic for you.
However – if you want to approach it as a refresher, to get some new tips and ideas – then we highly suggest you give it a go. If you buy it and aren't happy – we'll send you a refund, no questions asked.
Yes, you may have to buy a few small items like a reflector or flash if you don’t already own one. We will give recommendations in all price ranges.
Just your receipt number. We'll ask for that when you join the group. That's it.
Yes, you can watch the video lessons on any device including laptop, smartphone or tablet. The lesson notes is a PDF which can be read on any device (you will need to download to your computer first, and then copy to your devices).
There is a dedicated technical help email address – get help when you're stuck.
There is a dedicated lighting help email address – get help when you're stuck.
We recommend the VIP option if you want instructor feedback on your images and live group coaching calls. If you can work through the course on your own with feedback from other students, go with the standard package.
If you aren’t happy with the course content within 30 days of your purchase we will give you a full refund.
I have taught hundreds of aspiring photographers just like you.
For some, photography was a career change, while others just wanted to learn for fun and take better photographs on vacation, and photos of their family and friends.
But what I noticed was that they all ran into the same problems, had the same questions, and many shared the same fears.
Darlene Hildebrandt // Your natural light instructor
Darlene Hildebrandt, has been doing portrait photography for over 30 years and has photographed over 250 weddings.
She helps people like you demystify portrait lighting and feel like a real pro. In 2011 she started teaching photography and her passion was reignited by helping others just like yourself.
Now she has taught hundreds of students to take baby steps and learn about better portrait lighting and can’t wait to help you do it too.
Bruce Clarke // Your off-camera flash instructor
Bruce Clarke has been a professional photographer using flash on and off-camera for over 15 years.
Bruce is known for being able to capture that special moment by freezing it in time with his flash.