Photographing People BPH102

Study and Learn Portrait Photography -and more!

When we think of photographing people, we automatically think of taking a portrait, but not all people photography is portraiture.

A portrait is (according to one dictionary definition) a painting, drawing or photograph of a person, often only the face or a description. 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.

This course is designed for persons who already have some experience with photography to help them develop their ability to take better photographs of people.


There are ten lessons as follows:

1. Introduction to Photography and Human Subjects

2. Equipment and Materials for Photographing People

3. Basic Techniques

4. Portraiture

5. Wedding Photography

6. Candid Photography

7. Nude Photography

8. Sports, Street & Action Photography

9. Fashion Photography

10. Folio Project

Duration: 100 hours


  • 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.


Portraiture unlike most forms of photography provides you with an opportunity to control all of the factors that contribute towards the final image (including light, subject, background, etc).

There are many ways of shooting a portrait, but the three main ways are:

1. Studio:

The main advantage of studio photography is the control it allows, and the main disadvantage is the cost involved. Studio portraits can be formal or informal. They are more difficult to make appear natural, than outdoor portraits, but natural might not be the aim.

2. Outdoor

It is very important to select an appropriate location. The setting (ie. the background), will contribute to the image significantly. Think about what the subject should wear and how they should pose in the chosen setting. The clothes, setting and pose need to complement each other. (It is inappropriate to discover the subjects clothing does not suit the setting after you have arrived to do the shoot). Weather and time of day can also be critical, although the use of filters and flash can help overcome problems in these areas.

3. Available Light

This involves shooting a portrait indoors using natural light (e.g. the light from a window on the face of someone sitting close to the window). This is the most difficult type of portrait to take.

While portraits can be taken to include anything from the face to the full body, they are normally the face, head and shoulders or waist up. For a group, of people, more of the body will usually need to be shown, in order to include everyone in the photo, but for an individual, the face or head and shoulders are generally preferred. This is partially because the face is the most uniquely recognisable part of the body (hence it should be emphasised); and partially because it is somewhat difficult to properly pose the hands in a portrait. (This may be because the hands are after the face, the most important part of the body which is used to express ourselves -people perceive other people in terms of the signals they convey through their face and hands. If the hands are left out of the picture, it is easier to concentrate attention in the image on the face).



Photography offers a wide range of employment prospects and career paths. The industry is a dynamic one, but one that is also in the midst of upheaval as people move away from film photography and into digital photography.

Developments in digital technology have had a huge impact on the photographic industry causing many large and well established employers to reduce job numbers. At the same time, new technologies have offered small businesses and freelance photographers an opportunity to compete more strongly than ever before with larger and more established businesses and professionals.

In summary, photography offers lots of opportunity, but it is a rapidly changing industry, and to succeed, you need to stay up to date, and have the capacity to not only adapt quickly to new technology, but also be innovative in the way you apply it and the way you mover your career forward.

Opportunities include:

  • Advertising Photography, Fashion, Sport, and virtually any product or service
  • Reporting for newspapers, magazines etc
  • Special Events Photography -some portrait photographers develop relationships with reception centres, event managers, hospitals (for babies), schools etc.
  • Independent Photo Studio -either in the studio or visiting homes to take family portraits
  • In store photo services (provided in department stores or large photo shops)



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Fee Information (S2)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $822.80  1 x $748.00
B 2 x $438.90  2 x $399.00

Note: Australian prices include GST. 
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