Lighted Portraits


  • Knowing how to use lights to create a professional portrait is an important step for every aspiring photographer.

  • Lighting is one of the biggest keys to a successful portrait. In this assignment you will learn the fundamentals of 3-light studio lighting and you will have the chance to create portraits that you can be proud of.


  • The goal of this project is to successfully create attractive portraits using "studio lighting" and your existing knowledge.


  • Your first task is to research studio portraits
  • Journal Entry - Three paragraphs, plus links and your favourite photo from each one. Find and review 3 portrait studio websites on the Internet that you consider to be excellent. What is it about their portraits that you really like? You might consider:
    • Background
    • Lighting
    • Shoulder angle
    • Body tilt
    • Head tilt
    • Chin tilt
    • Clothing
    • Hair
    • Arms
    • Hands
    • Mouth
    • Eyes
    • Expression
  • You will choose a new partner for this project
  • Complete a series of test shots with your partner in preparation for the "real thing"
  • You will choose two 35-minute time-slots during class or at lunch / flex / after school
  • You must dress up for your portrait session. Marks will be deducted if you're wearing overly casual clothes
  • Divide your allotted time evenly with your partner
  • Execute the shots that you planned
  • Take as many shots as possible in the time you have
  • Get creative and have fun!
  • Talk to and encourage your partner
  • Play music for best results
  • Apply the Photoshop Workflow
  • Re-size to 10" / 180 res.
  • Frame and name
  • Save as JPEG, maximum quality
  • Handin to server folder - "Portraits - Lighted "

1) Content

You will be taking a lot of portraits for this assignment. The idea is to learn through practicing. The more pictures you take, the more you will start to feel confident creating portraits, choosing backgrounds, using lights, using props, directing models, and choosing the best camera settings.

Put your research to work at this stage. Apply the hints and tips that you read about. Experiment, be creative, and have fun.

Each of your 6 shots should be different. Try changing the zoom amount, shoulder angle, head tilt, looking at the camera or away, smiling or serious, intensity of lights, background, sitting or standing, on the floor, with and without hands, etc.

2) Marking

You will hand-in 9 images in total. 6 of your own and 3 from your research. Marks will be assigned as follows:

Three portraits with posing "borrowed" from your research. Tastefully Photoshopped - 30 marks

Three portraits from your Internet research

Three portraits with any posing you choose - 30 marks

3) Professionalism

Professionalism is based on the attention paid to the accurate and careful presentation of the final project. Marks may be deducted for a lack of professionalism.

This project will be handed in as follows:

  • Individual submission - 6 properly named JPG photos submitted to the "Portraits - Lighted 6 " folder on the server. These pictures must have been taken by you!
  • Apply the Photoshop Workflow, frame, and save as a JPG

Proper naming of portraits:

  • username_copycat1.jpg (from the Internet)
  • username_copycat2.jpg
  • username_copycat3.jpg
  • username_copycat1a.jpg (copying the Internet pics)
  • username_copycat2a.jpg
  • username_copycat3a.jpg
  • username_lighted1.jpg (your own posing ideas)
  • username_lighted2.jpg
  • username_lighted3.jpg