Transform Your Portrait Photography with 5 Essential Free Guides

To explore the art of portrait photography, we’ve curated these five essential guides that offer a blend of technical advice and creative strategies. Through the expertise of professional photographers, Kevin Landwer-Johan, Kent DuFault, and Jason Little, these guides cover a few different aspects of portrait photography, including the use of flash, black and white aesthetics, natural versus artificial light, creating depth and portraits on a beach location too. Let’s get started.

  1. Tips and Tricks for Capturing Stunning Portraits Using Your Flash
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This guide is all about how to use flash for portraits and aims to demystify the art of flash photography. Kevin Landwer-Johan showcases how to harness flash to transform portrait lighting, stressing the benefits of manual control and the use of light modifiers for achieving desired effects. He encourages exploring different techniques to unveil the potential of flash in adding depth, character, and emotion to portraits. Kevin also highlights the importance for photographers to experiment and refine their skills for striking, professionally lit images. Read more →

2. Seven Tips to Make Stunning Black and White Portraits

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Kent DuFault’s guide to black and white portrait photography blends educational insights with approachable advice. Key takeaways emphasise mastering composition and the creative use of lighting to add drama. The guide highlights the significance of sharp, expressive eyes and the strategic use of shadows and contrast to craft depth and texture. Kent also offers some advice on using fine art paper for printing, as this final step can profoundly enhance the emotional impact of the portrait. If you want to read more actionable steps that you can take to refine their black and white photography skills – this guide is helpful! Read more →

3. Flash vs. Natural Light: Comparing and Contrasting Techniques for Portrait Photography

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Dive into the nuanced art of using both flash and natural lighting techniques to create dynamic portraits. In this next guide from Kevin Landwer-Johan, he highlights the importance of intentional lighting, whether you’re basking in the soft glow of the golden hour or sculpting with the precision of flash. This guide will cover the advantages of natural light for its authenticity and ease, while advocating for flash to command light’s shape and intensity. By mastering both, photographers can evoke moods, define subjects, and bring creative visions to life, encouraging experimentation and practice to perfect one’s craft. Read more →

4. How to Shoot Beach Portraits

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If you want savvy tips for beach portrait photography, this guide highlights how to manage the challenges of bright settings. It touches on leveraging the golden hour for softer light, using reflectors to soften shadows, and employing filters for better image quality. Additionally, author Jason Little also encourages embracing the beach’s natural elements for a creative edge. It’s essentially about balancing technical skills with the natural beauty of the beach to capture stunning portraits. Read more →

5. Creating a Sense of Depth and Dimension in Your Portraits With Flash

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This final guide is again from Kevin Landwer-Johan and focuses on using flash effectively to enhance portrait photography. Kevin outlines the importance of manual control over flash and camera settings to create the desired mood and depth. Additionally, there is also practical advice on managing contrast, using off-camera flash for directional lighting, and employing composition techniques like foreground, middle ground, background, and framing to add depth. Kevin also outlines a few common mistakes to avoid too so that you can achieve dynamic and dimensional portraits. Read more →


We hope you’ve found a few gems in this roundup as a source of knowledge and inspiration for your portrait photography. Remember to experiment and refine your portrait photography skills by trying out a few of these tips from the experts!

If you need a little bit of a kick in the butt to get started, check out Photzy’s Portrait Photography Guided Resource Kit Vol 1. With a 23-piece collection designed for self-paced learning, this kit offers guided videos, hands-on exercises, cheat sheets, and more, providing a comprehensive toolkit for mastering portraits. Ideal for enthusiasts seeking to enhance their skills creatively and effectively. Get it here!

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