Effective lighting for shooting portraits

Last weekend I attended a lighting workshop as part of the SWPP conference in London. Top photographer Damian McGillicuddy gave us some insider tips on shooting fantastic portfolio images with only a minimal amount of lighting. It’s all about knowing what you’re doing with the lighting you choose to use.

I think it’s important to attend workshops and training events, and I always learn something new. At the very least, it can be inspiring to meet and work alongside other photographers, it always seems to get the creative juices flowing. I think if a photographer doesn’t continue to develop by engaging with others and learning new techniques, our work can quite quickly become dated. I try and avoid this by always seeking to learn and try out new things.

Damian had some interesting things to say about the subject of photographic lighting; which he views as a photographers secret weapon. I suppose it’s just that some photographers are better at utilising it than others. James Bond would be a rubbish spy if he didn’t choose carefully when to detonate his secret weapons wouldn’t he?

Finally – and reassuringly for me! – he confessed to being a ‘big photographic anorak’. I’ve always maintained that I am a bit of a photography nerd myself, so it’s nice to hear other professionals think of themselves this way. If you’re going to be a nerdy obsessive about something, I think it’s best to make it something really cool, like photography. 

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