Photographing People

Learn the techniques for photographing people. Develop your understanding of portraiture and gain skills in wedding, action, fashion and nude photography.

Course CodeBPH102
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Photographing People

Learn how to photograph people.


  • For persons with some experience with photography to help develop skills specific to photographing people.

  • Explore opportunities for part or full time work

  • 100 hour, self paced course -Combine with other courses for a certificate

What is a portrait?

A photographic portrait focuses on the person and attempts to convey an image of what or who the person is, whether physically, or perhaps spiritually or emotionally.

There is also the group portrait, usually an image of a small number of people (such as a team or family portrait).

However, people can also be photographed in other ways, where the focus might not be the individuals being photographed, but the social or cultural context (fashion, news events, sporting events etc.) or their relationship to the scene in which they are placed. 


Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Common Considerations (People move, moods are uncontrollable, people dress differently, subjects can change)
    • Digital or Film
    • Resources
    • Photo Composition
    • Unity
    • Balance
    • Proportion
    • Harmony
    • Contrast
    • Rhythm
    • Line
    • Form
    • Mass
    • Space
    • Texture
    • Colour
    • Patterns
    • Tone
    • Camera Techniques
    • Principles of Light
    • Mood
    • Colour Control
    • Terminology
  2. Equipment, Materials and Studio Work
    • Lenses
    • Aperture
    • Type of film
    • Digital
    • Filters
    • Lighting
    • Basic Studio
    • Flash
  3. Basic Techniques
    • Body Language
    • Clusters
    • Context
    • Culture
    • Willingness of Subject
    • Hiding and Highlighting Features
    • Informal or Formal
    • Enhance character with surroundings
    • Composition and lighting
    • Subject
    • Context
    • Subject Placement
    • Lines and Pathsa
    • Creating Effects
    • Composition
    • Rule of Thirds
    • Rapport
    • Subject Placement
    • Lighting
    • Lenses
    • Setting the Scene
    • Developing a Portrait Style
  4. Portraiture
    • Studio
    • Outdoor
    • Available Light
    • The Face
    • Portraiture
    • Procedure
    • Posing
  5. Wedding Photography
    • Introduction
    • Creating Romance
    • Managing People
    • Planning
    • Other Considerations
    • Digital Wedding Equipment
    • Lighting (Rain, Sun, Dull days)
  6. Candid Photography
    • Introduction
    • Candid Techniques
    • Photographing Events
    • Outdoor and Indoor
    • The Photo Essay
    • Model Release Forms
  7. Nude Photography
    • Study of the Human Form in Western Art
    • Nude or Naked
    • Cultural Conventions
    • Athletic, Dynamic Nudes
    • The Nude in Nature
    • Portraits and Self Portraits
    • Bedroom Nudes
    • Erotic and Pornographic Nudes
    • Nude Photography
  8. Sports, Street and Action Photography
    • Sports
    • Equipment
    • Freezing Action
    • Blurring Movement
    • Panning
    • Viewpoint
    • Digital Cameras
    • Sports photography tips
    • Streetscapes
    • Water as a setting for photography
  9. Fashion Photography
    • Guidelines for Fashion and Glamour Photography
    • Special Equipment and Techniques
    • Fault Finding
  10. Folio Project
    • Introduction
    • Purpose of a Folio
    • Types of Folio
    • Framing
    • Other Ways to Use Your work
    • Create a photo essay or portrait album

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Identify resources that could improve your ability to photograph people, examining the principles of photography and also exploring the issues related to digital photography.
  • Discuss the preparation for a photo shoot by exploring the different equipment and materials needed for a successful shoot. Also examine lighting a subject within a studio setting and explores digital photography issues
  • Discuss techniques used for taking photos of people
  • Improve your ability to shoot better portraiture photographs.
  • Explain the issues and applications concerned with wedding photography.
  • Take better candid photos of people.
  • Describe how to take appropriate nude photos for different situations.
  • Describe how to take action photos of people.
  • Describe how to take better glamour and fashion photos.
  • Compile a folio of people photography.

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