Simon Stafford’s Available Light Portrait Photography Masterclass: A Practical Workshop, Sunday, 16th June


Grays of Westminster presents:

Simon Stafford’s
Available Light Portrait Photography Masterclass
A Practical Workshop
2:00 to 5:30 p.m., Sunday, 16th June 2013
Fitzroy House, 37 Fitzroy Street,
London, W1T 6DX

Regardless of whether the subject is a family member, close friend, commercial client or a stranger encountered while travelling, portrait photography is one of the most popular genres of the medium. This workshop has been prepared to help you make a dramatic improvement to the quality of your portrait pictures when shooting in natural light.

Simon will share his in-depth knowledge and 30 years of photographic experience, so that you can achieve creative, professional looking portraits easily and swiftly using a minimum of equipment. He will lead you through a variety of lighting techniques with live demonstrations, both inside and outdoors (weather permitting!), so you will be able to observe first-hand the practical application of tools and techniques. Follow Simon as he offers tips on the five main aspects: background, exposure, composition, pose and colour, plus learn why “keep it simple” is the key to success! You will then have the opportunity to shoot pictures using your own equipment under Simon’s supervision, as he offers advice and guidance on how to craft your photographs.

Simon will show you how to set up and position simple lighting accessories to control and modify the quality of available light to make an immediate difference to the appearance of your portrait pictures, as well as discuss the selection and use of camera equipment for different styles of portrait photography.

Session 1

Regardless of whether you are shooting inside or outdoors, light is the key ingredient to any portrait picture; therefore, understanding light and how to control it is essential. In this session you will learn how to:

  • Assess light for its colour, direction and quality
  • Modify the nature of the lighting quality to improve results by using both improvised and commercial lighting accessories
  • Influence the colour of light to enhance and compliment your subject
  • Use the TTL metering system of your camera to best advantage in different lighting conditions

Session 2

The tools you use will be determined by the style of picture you want to shoot. In this session you will learn how to:

  • Work with lenses to achieve the “look” you require
  • Use the lens aperture, and control perspective to best effect
  • Adjust camera settings, such as Nikon Picture Controls and ISO sensitivity to produce creative results
  • Use a supplementary artificial light source to add an extra quality to your portrait pictures

Session 3

Whether you photograph a close family member or a complete stranger you must work with your subject to put them at ease and get the best out of them. In this session you will learn how to:

  • Break down the barriers to put your subject at ease
  • Pose your subject to inspire them with confidence and make them look good
  • Compose your shots with the most effective camera angles and make use of available props to enhance your pictures
  • Add depth and impact to your pictures by making the most of a location


“I had to write to you to thank you for such an informative workshop; never in my 50 years with a camera have I obtained such marvellous results.”-TC

“Thank you so much for giving your workshop, which was so instructive and helpful. My overwhelming feeling is that you have helped me to make a giant step forward with portrait photography – to be honest a very major step with my photography generally. Looking at my images makes me incredulous that it was I who was behind the camera! That’s thanks to you Simon.”-AW

“I found the session extremely useful – possibly the best ever – and excellent value! I would certainly recommend it to friends and colleagues.”-MA


Since this is a practical workshop each delegate should bring a camera, together with a lens or lenses to work with during the course.

The seminar will take place from 2.00 p.m. until 5.30 p.m.. The cost of the session will be £155 with a special price of £95 if you are a current Nikon Owner subscriber, and includes afternoon tea. To book, please email your full name, postal address and postcode, as well as your daytime mobile and landline to Gillian Greenwood:

If you are also a Nikon Owner subscriber, add your user name/subscription number to the email. There are limited places available, so do book as soon as you are able to in order to avoid disappointment. If you are not currently a Nikon Owner subscriber, would you be kind enough to make a note of this in your email – in order to receive the discount, you will be able to join or re-join Nikon Owner when we call you to formalise the booking.

Please note that it is essential that you reply by email rather than by telephone.

Travelling to Fitzroy House, 37 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 6DX: the nearest underground station is Warren Street, but please do make sure that it is open – it is occasionally closed on a Sunday – if so, Goodge Street station is a good option.

About Nikon Owner


Standard Annual Subscription – normal price: £69; special price: £59 while registering for this course

  • 1-year Subscription to Nikon Owner + 3-year warranty on all new Nikon products from Grays of Westminster
  • Nikon Owner magazine, a superb, glossy full-colour 60-page quarterly magazine that is 100% Nikon. Each issue delivers benchmark technical reviews of the very latest Nikon equipment, thought-provoking interviews and articles with world-class images. All back issues are now available on line as PDFs.
  • Private user-name and password to subscribers-only website
  • Simon Stafford’s Technical Helpline
  • 18-month warranty on second-hand Nikon from Grays of Westminster
  • 10% off Think Tank bags purchased at Grays of Westminster
  • Special trips and events
  • Discounts on events and training sessions
  • 10% off any training courses run by Nikon UK

Gold subscription – special price £290 when booking this course

  • 3-year subscription to Nikon Owner
  • 5-year warranty on all new Nikon products from Grays of Westminster
  • 2-year warranty on second-hand Nikon from Grays of Westminster
  • Gold Priority waiting list for all new Nikon releases (top of the waiting list)
  • A half-hour tutorial on the phone or face to face, by appointment
  • Special offers to Gold subscribers throughout the period of subscription
  • A signed copy of Heather Angel’s Wild Kew while stocks last or a Simon Stafford Nikon Magic Lantern Guide of your choice.
  • Nikon Owner quarterly magazine as above
  • Private user-name and password to the subscribers-only website which includes a forum, message board, technical equipment reviews, events page and use of a photo gallery
  • Simon Stafford’s Technical Helpline
  • 15% off Think Tank bags purchased at Grays of Westminster
  • Special trips and events
  • Substantial discounts on training sessions organised by Grays of Westminster, including Mike Maloney’s Workshops, Heather Angel’s Wildlife & Natural History Workshops, Simon Stafford’s Definitive Flash, Portraiture and Macro Training Sessions, Michael Eleftheriades’ panoramic and colour-calibration seminars and Chris Weston’s Photographic Courses.
  • 10% off any training courses run by Nikon UK
Cancellation policy:
Please note that once you have booked a place on any workshop or seminar, a full refund can only be provided when you give us 7 days prior notice of cancelling your place.

With very best wishes,
Gillian Greenwood
Features Editor and Events & Training Coordinator

Grays of Westminster
40 Churton Street,
Tel: +44 (0)20 7828 4925
Fax: +44 (0)20 7976 5783

Open Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. & Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We are closed on Public and Bank Holidays.



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