Photographing people

Course Dates: 19/09/19 - 17/10/19
Time: 10:00 - 13:30
Location: PS - Photography Studio
Conrad Blakemore

Discover the secrets of successful portraiture, from the studio-lit portrait to street and documentary photography, or those special moments for the family album. Gain confidence in photographing people through practical work indoors and out, teaching you invaluable skills in lighting, composition and poses, to produce a beautiful portrait portfolio.


What is the course about?

The course covers many of the practical aspects of photographic portraiture. You will be introduced to differing approaches to photographing people - from the studio-lit portrait, to street and documentary photography, to capturing fleeting personal moments for the family album. You'll get to grips with lighting, composition and the pose in various contexts, through practical work indoor and outdoors. You will learn to analyse professional photographs as well as your own work, and translate your ideas into visual compositions.

What will we cover?

- Using camera manual settings to achieve more effective results
- Lighting in the studio and on location, and natural lighting in photo reportage and documentary
- How to relax your subject and deal with strangers in the street
- Informal portraiture and social photography
- Considering how meaning is achieved and what a portrait can say in different contexts
- How composition and editing affect what you are saying
- Producing a mini portraiture project in your own time.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- present a varied selection of photographs of people, applying a variety of camera settings and lighting conditions
- photograph people with confidence and communicate with them appropriately in formal and informal situations
- produce portraits in a creative and expressive manner
- apply camera settings and lighting choices that are fit to purpose.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Ideal for those who have completed our 'Beginner's photography: stage 1' course. For those who haven't you are welcome but will need to understand ISO, aperture, shutter speed, white balance and how to change these on your digital SLR, bridge or film camera (i.e. not a point-and-shoot camera). You must have manual functions on your camera (i.e. be able to change the aperture and shutter speed settings).
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions in English, demonstrations, handouts and health and safety information. You should be happy using numbers and be able to undertake simple measurements and calculations.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

The emphasis will be on practical work during and outside the class. We will look at and discuss photographs, and give and receive feedback on your own work and others’. There will be discussions, group work and individual mini-projects. While demonstrations and illustrated lectures will guide, advise and teach you, you will benefit from a positive group dynamic where you can share your images and ideas in a supportive environment.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You will be expected to cover the costs of the materials you use. If using film, you will need to buy up to three rolls and pay for processing. Please bring a notebook (plain-paged A4) to collect images and write ideas in a visual diary, and your own SLR camera or equivalent.
If you would like to buy art materials for your personal use outside of the course, City Lit students receive 10% discount off everything* from Cass Art, the UK's leading art supplies retailer. You will need to show your enrolment receipt in-store to receive your discount. Visit the Charing Cross shop at 13 Charing Cross Road WC2H 0EP or find your local shop at *Terms and conditions apply, visit

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

City Lit offers a whole range of creative and practical photography courses, from wildlife or fashion photography, to starting your own photography business. Browse the full list to get inspired.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 3 item(s)

Write a review

Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

Definitely go for it.
Course Rating
Review by Sabrina / (Posted on 11/06/2019)
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 07/02/2019)
It's a good programme
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 07/02/2019)
Tutor Biographies
We’re sorry. We don’t have a bio ready for the tutor of this class at the moment, but we’re working on it! Watch this space.

Book your place

Course Code: VY658

Please choose a course date 

Thu, day, 19 Sep - 17 Oct '19

Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)

Full fee: £199.00
Senior fee: £159.00
Concession: £121.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

Download form & post

Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2700/2703

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.