Available Light Portrait Photography Workshop Presented by Simon Stafford

Available Light Portrait Photography Workshop Presented by Simon Stafford 2:00 to 5:30 p.m., Sunday, 1st September 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 Stafford 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.”

“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.”

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

“Thank you for all your advice on the day. It was an extremely useful workshop.”


Since this is a practical workshop each delegate should bring a Nikon body together with a lens or lenses to work with during the afternoon.

The workshop will take place from 2.00 p.m. until 5.30 p.m. and includes mid-afternoon tea and biscuits.

The cost of the course will be £155 with a special price of £95 if you are a current Nikon Owner subscriber. To book, please send me an email with your full name, Nikon Owner username/subscription number, daytime mobile and landline. There are very limited places available, so please reply as soon as you are able to in order to avoid disappointment. If you are not currently a subscriber, you are welcome to join or re-join whilst booking the workshop with me to receive the discount on the session.

Please note that it is essential that you reply by email rather than by telephone and to this address:

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

Nikon Owner magazine covers

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

Gold subscription: – special price £290 when registering for 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
  • 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.

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

DISCLAIMER: The various organisers and presenters of these events and courses held outside of the premises of Grays of Westminster and Nikon Owner, together with Grays of Westminster and Nikon Owner magazine are only taking the initiative of arranging and facilitating these events on the strict understanding that they are solely acting in an introductory capacity and anyone planning to come will be deemed to have agreed that they fully understand this as a condition of registering. Each participant will be deemed responsible for ensuring his or her own safety at all times and the safety of his or her belongings, and no liability whatsoever is accepted either by any of the organisers, presenters, Grays of Westminster or Nikon Owner magazine in this regard.



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