Portrait Photography Course

Portrait Photography Course Outline

  • Unit 1
  • Unit 2
  • Unit 3
  • Unit 4

Unit 1 Getting to Know Portraiture

  • Lesson 1.1 Photography Fundamentals

    In Lesson 1.1: Photography Fundamentals, we’ll start by going over NYIP’s Three Guidelines for Great Photographs- developing a subject or theme, focusing the attention on said subject and effectively simplifying. From there, we’ll move on to talk about basic equipment and compositional rules as we prepare to move forward specifically with portraiture.

  • Lesson 1.2 What Is a Portrait

    In Lesson 1.2: What Is a Portrait, we learn that portraiture can be used to convey a great deal about a subject’s identity—their personality, profession, values, or the culture in which they live. We move on to talk about the different types of portraiture practiced, keeping in mind our ability to suggest a story, create empathy or present a brand.

  • Lesson 1.3 Brief History of Photographic Portraiture

    In Lesson 1.3: Brief History of Photographic Portraiture, we look back throughout history as we go over the many ways in which portraiture became popularized at different times and with different purposes. From there we can see how the industry has grown and changed, helping us to develop a better understanding of the now and of the possibilities for the future.

  • Lesson 1.4 Putting Your Subjects at Ease

    In Lesson 1.4: Putting Your Subjects at Ease, we’ll start going into detail about the psychological side of portraiture technique by discussing how to make your subject comfortable. There are always a few things you can do to help your subject feel more at ease, and that's what we'll look at.

Unit 2 Portraiture and Photography Fundamentals

  • Lesson 2.1 Backgrounds and Posing

    In Lesson 2.1: Backgrounds and Posing, we will focus on how you’ll compose portraits by posing your subject, arranging lights and choosing backdrops. We’ll also talk about the different kinds of portraits people may need, since the target audience will impact how your subject or client wants the final product to look.

  • Lesson 2.2 Lenses and Exposure

    In Lesson 2.2: Lenses and Exposure, we’ll discuss two essential components of taking portraits (or any kind of photos): lenses and exposure. We’ll start off by examining how lenses work and what they can do, then we’ll move on to talk about exposure and how to use it.

  • Lesson 2.3 Lighting and Portraits

    In Lesson 2.3: Lighting and Portraits, we’ll focus on indoor lighting, including the kind of artificial lights and equipment portrait photographers tend to use, as well as how to position lights so that your subjects end up looking their best.

  • Lesson 2.4 Setting Up a Studio

    In Lesson 2.4: Setting Up a Studio, you’ll learn the specifics of setting up a portrait studio, whether it’s a professional studio space that charges you a monthly rental fee or a makeshift setup you create in your living room, spare bedroom or garage.

Unit 3 Advanced Portraiture Techniques

  • Lesson 3.1 Understanding Marketplace Needs

    In Lesson 3.1: Understanding Marketplace Needs, we’ll discuss some portrait genres that we haven’t talked much about yet. These consist of yearbook and school portraits, individual workplace portraits and headshots for actors and models. We’ll also go over some guidelines for developing clear and cohesive stories in different kinds of portraits.​

  • Lesson 3.2 Working With Challenging Subjects

    In Lesson 3.2: Working With Challenging Subjects, we’ll begin by talking about groups before moving on to more restless subjects such as children and pets. All of these subjects can be tough to take good looking portraits of, but for different reasons.

  • Lesson 3.3 Portraits on Location

    In Lesson 3.3: Portraits on Location, we’ll be discussing the ins and outs of taking portraits on location. By the end of this lesson, you’ll come away with a more detailed understanding of what taking portrait photos on location entails specifically- from using natural light to packing the right gear.

  • Lesson 3.4 Editing Your Portraits

    In Lesson 3.4: Editing Your Portraits, you’ll learn how to make your great portraits look even better after the photo session is finished by editing your work.

Unit 4 Professional Photojournalism

  • Lesson 4.1 Assembling Your Portfolio

    In Lesson 4.1: Assembling Your Portfolio, you’ll learn how to best showcase the skills you developed in the previous lessons by putting together your calling card as a photographer: your portfolio. From arranging in an effective order to exhibiting to potential clients, this sequence will familiarize you with the process so you’re comfortable sharing your work with others.

  • Lesson 4.2 Developing an Online Presence

    In Lesson 4.2: Developing an Online Presence, we turn to the primary way that most viewers will encounter your portfolio: your photography website. From developing a domain name to sharing your work on social media, this lesson will teach you the ins and outs of effective online marketing.

  • Lesson 4.3 Setting Up Your Photo Business

    In Lesson 4.3: Setting Up Your Photo Business, we’ll help you develop a cohesive business plan to follow as you take your passion to the next level of professionalism. From marketing and advertising to creating a logo, this lesson will help you get on your feet as you enter the industry.

  • Lesson 4.4 Breaking Into Professional Photography

    In Lesson 4.4: Breaking Into Professional Photography, we’ll talk about how to break into the world of professional photography. Although it’s a crowded market, we’ll help you find your niche and promote your work effectively in order to stand out as an artistic professional.

Learn how to take better photos

  • Anytime – all NYIP courses are online, so you decide when class is in session. Start when you’re ready and study in your free time.
  • Anywhere – log on and work on your course from any internet-connected device – computers, tablets, and smartphones, no matter where you are in the world.
  • At Your Own Pace – with no deadlines or due dates, you are in control of how quickly you progress through your course.