• Instructors

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    Sam Elkins
  • Skill Level

    Level 2

    You're already a photographer and your friends think you're good, but you want to take it to the next level.

  • What You Get

    2.5 hours of learning

    + 16 segments

    + Exclusive in-the-field episodes

  • Learn To

    Confidently shoot professional portraits in any setting
    • How to direct your subject
    • How to shoot tight portraits vs environmental portraits
    • How to work with models and non-models
    • Shooting multiple people at once
    • Shooting both interior and exterior portraiture
    • Film? Digital? What makes sense and when
    • Gear: what you need and what you don't
    • Best editing practices

What You'll Learn

In this lesson you'll learn how to master portrait photography in a range of scenarios.



Meet Sam!

Sam's Philosophy for Taking Portraits


After almost a decade of photography, Sam shares the philosophy behind his portraiture.



From selecting locations to styling to mood boards, Sam walks you through his pre-production process.

Find Your Subjects


Learn about different types of subjects, where to find them and how to reach out to work with models and non-models alike.

Gear Breakdown


In order to keep his work consistent, Sam tries to focus on utilizing one camera at a time. But how do you pick your gear? How do you know what gear is right for different lighting situations? Sam talks you through his gear selection process.

Shooting Interiors (Joshua Tree)


When shooting portraits, Sam loves to incorporate a mix of indoor and outdoor locations. This allows for a more interesting story and a variation in environments. Here, you get a BTS view of an interior shoot with Sam.

Shooting Exteriors (Joshua Tree)


Similar to the segment above, we take you outside in Joshua Tree with Sam as he produces stunning exterior work.

How To Best Utilize Natural Light


Light plays a huge component in portrait photography. Understand how to use light to your advantage. Sam breaks down the difference between side lit vs backlit vs front lit.

Posing & Directing Talent


You'll learn how to pose and direct your talent and get them comfortable with your process. Sam walks you through when to direct and when to allow the subject to move freely.

Portrait Shoot (Big Sur)


Footage from an epic day shooting along the Big Sur coastline with Sam.

Lifestyle Photography


Interested in shooting lifestyle? Learn as Sam takes you through his process.

Candid Moments


We know great candid moments are tricky to capture. Oftentimes when you want a candid moment, it's best to direct a series of repeatable movements that your subject can use and feel comfortable doing.

Film vs Digital


Learn how to know when its best to use your film or digital camera on a shoot.

Incorporating Environment with Your Subject


Sam walks you through the differences between indoor and outdoor environments and how to mix the two in order to get a great story. How does the environment help the portrait you are taking? What does it do for the story?

Portrait Shoot: Non-Model (LA)


It can be tricky to make your talent feel comfortable in front of the camera. Here, Sam shows us his process working with non-models.

Editing Your Photos


Get the inside scoop on Sam's photo editing process.

Preview This Course

All the skills you need to succeed, taught by leading professionals in the industry.

Sam Elkins

Explorer and creator, based in LA.
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