Portrait Photography Business Certificate Program

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION

All students who finish this program will receive a signed certificate of completion verifying their participation in the program.

Program Description

This five-day certificate program will prepare you with a wide range of essential and practical skills as you begin your path to being a professional portrait photographer. Starting at the beginning, you'll learn practical technical skills that will allow you to shoot great portraits. You'll also learn how to use professional lighting equipment in a hands-on format using industry standard tools. Students will also shoot real photos both in a studio and outdoors, and then edit those photos in Adobe Lightroom to produce high-quality finished images. Finally, we'll dive into the business of portrait photography covering essential topics like pricing, marketing, sales, production and more. You will leave this program with all the knowledge, tools and business information you need to launch a successful portrait photography business!

Read more about what makes our certificate programs unique.

Goals

  • You will learn how to light and shoot a great portrait.
  • You will learn about the variety of "products" you can offer clients as a portrait photographer, how to define your particular products, and professional shooting techniques for them.
  • You will understand how to professionally light your subject in a variety of common shooting situations.
  • You will understand how to professionally edit your images in Adobe Lightroom, and prepare them for printing or delivery to your customers.
  • You will learn the fundamentals of launching and operating a successful portrait photography business from a long-time industry veteran.
  • You will learn how to define the audience for your business, best practices and techniques for marketing, and how to close the sale on the products you're offering.
  • You will begin building a portfolio of portrait images, and start exploring/developing your personal style.

Prerequisites

Students should have a good understanding of the fundamentals of exposure and composition, as well as basic, fundamental computer skills. Feel free to contact us if you are unsure about this or have other questions!

Resources/Equipment

You should bring your own camera and its user manual. A prosumer or professional camera offering manual controls is required. If you do not yet own a suitable camera, the instructor can help you arrange to rent one to use during the course. If you have them, it is recommended you also bring your flash, tripod, any lenses you own, and any other accessories you might have.

BDA will provide an iMac workstation when necessary. However, we invite you to bring your own computer if you prefer. If you do, it must have the current version of Adobe Lightroom installed (trial versions are available on Adobe.com) and the ability to move photos from your camera to your computer (SD card reader, etc.). You will only need your computer on the FOURTH and FIFTH day for the workflow section. For field sessions, please bring clothing appropriate for any kind of weather - it is Colorado after all! Field sessions and studio work often involves long periods of standing around, so be prepared to dress twice as warmly as you think you might have to.

After You Register

BDA is committed to making learning process as enjoyable as possible and making sure that you can focus on your learning. After you register you will be contacted by our staff who answer questions you might have and assist you with any logistical and travel concerns.

Schedule

Day 1 - Studio

9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.: Review of the Fundamentals of Exposure
This is a quick session to make sure students are all on the same page regarding exposure as the foundation of photography. This will prepare students for the advanced lighting concepts that will be covered.

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: Introduction to the Business of Portrait Photography
In this section, we will begin to discuss the basic concepts of the business aspects of portrait photography, and how they shape everything we do in the studio.

12:30pm - 1:30pm: Lunch Break

1:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.: Introduction to Lighting the Portrait
In this section, we will begin to discuss the basic concepts of lighting the portrait that apply to any type of shooting. We will review the different lights used to build a portrait, regardless of the type of lighting being employed.

2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Introduction to Flash and Strobe
In this section we will explore flash and strobe lighting. We will discuss how it is similar and how it is different from ambient light. We will explain the advantages and challenges of using strobe. We will discuss the different types of equipment and accessories that are employed with strobe.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Hands-on Q& A / Self-Directed Assignments
With our remaining time for the day we will answer questions with equipment at hand. This time will be allotted for you to experiment shooting and be able to ask questions as you experiment.

Day 2 - Studio

9:00 a.m. - 12:30 a.m.: Introduction to Ambient Light Portraits
During this first this section of the day we will learn how to light a portrait using ambient light. You will work hands on with the lighting and modifiers, and work with a model to achieve images you not only created, but designed by yourself. You'll learn how to light a studio portrait using ambient light, as well as with reflectors and other modifiers. We will expand upon the use of light modifiers and their role in getting very specific lighting results.

12:30pm - 1:30pm: Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Lighting the Portrait with Flash and Strobe
In this section we will learn how to light a portrait using flash and strobe. You will work hands on with the lighting and modifiers, and work with a model to achieve images you not only created, but designed by yourself. You'll learn how to light a studio portrait using speedlights/strobes, as well as reflectors and other modifiers. We will expand upon the use of light modifiers and their role in getting very specific lighting results.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Hands-on Q& A / Self-Directed Assignments
With our remaining time for the day we will answer questions with equipment at hand. This time will be allotted for you to experiment shooting and be able to ask questions as you experiment.

Day 3 - Studio

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.: Headshots and Corporate Portraits
This section will have you take your newly-acquired portrait photography skills and apply them in the commercial world. Headshots often bring money in to the business between major commercial projects. Mastering a good headshot can put food on your table during slow times! Expanding on the headshot is the corporate portrait. In this section you will learn how to shoot a portrait in context to a business. We will learn the concepts of environmental portraits and enhancing a simple portrait with additional meaning.

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: One Light Set-Ups
You don't need a truckload of lighting equipment to create great portraits. In this section, we will look at creating beautiful portraits using one light source. We will focus specifically on speedlights, though we will also use a studio strobe to show how either can work. You will see how you can create stunning lighting with just a few items that can all fit in a backpack.

12:30pm - 1:30pm: Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Combining Ambient and Artificial Lighting
In this section, we will discuss using strobes in combination with ambient lighting. We will review how to use each one to compliment the other, and the challenges that go with that. We will work with a model to experiment with the different lighting combinations.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Hands-on Q& A / Self-Directed Assignments
With our remaining time for the day we will answer questions with equipment at hand. This time will be allotted for you to experiment shooting and be able to ask questions as you experiment.

Day 4 - Classroom/iMac Lab

9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Editing Portraits in Lightroom / Specialized Post-Processing Software
This is an introduction to the powerful image library and editing package from Adobe. You can use a BDA iMac computer, bring your own computer, or follow along on the big screen as we go step-by-step at a high level to see how the software works. You can work on the same files you created on the second and third days as we go through the different sections of Lightroom and how it works. Various topics of the technical aspects of digital editing will be covered. If you don't own Lightroom, and wish to use your own computer, you can download a free 7-day trial.

12:30pm - 1:30pm: Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Starting and Running a Portrait Photography Business - Part 1
In this in-depth section, we will help you understand where to begin, what choices you have to make, and what pitfalls to watch out for. We will help you understand the fundamentals of the photography business, how to understand your true costs, how to price your work, how to select and evaluate products, how to find clients and market your business, the critical importance of the consultation, what in-person sales are, how to sell your products so that everyone is happy, how to make sure you are shooting for your products, and more.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Hands-on Q& A / Self-Directed Assignments
With our remaining time for the day we will answer questions with equipment at hand. This time will be allotted for you to experiment shooting and be able to ask questions as you experiment.

Day 5 - Classroom

9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.: Starting and Running a Portrait Photography Business - Part 2
A continuation of the previous business section.

12:30pm - 1:30pm: Lunch Break

1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.: Practical Shooting Assignment
During this time, you will have the chance to put everything you have learned together and work on a final assignment of your choice!

3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Practical Edit
Edit your final assignment in preparation for review.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Final Assignment Review / Course Wrap-Up
We will review everyone's final assignments as a group and then wrap-up the course.

Instructor

Matthew Davies

Matthew is an award winning photographer who has been teaching and mentoring for the past six years. He also holds a Photographic Craftsman degree from the Professional Photographers of America.

This degree is not merely a piece of paper. It means that he has met the standards of excellence set by PPA. He has been awarded the photographic craftsman degree in recognition of his service to the photographic profession as an orator, author and mentor.

He is an active member of Professional Photographers of America, American Society of Media Photographers, American Society of Photographers and American Photographic Artists.

$1199
BDA Members
$1299
Non-Members

Registration:

BDA Members: $1,199.00

Non-Members: $1,299.00

Early Registration Discount Applied
You will save $10.00 by registering before midnight on 9/11/2018. Applies to the next scheduled date only.

Available Dates

September 15 - 30, 2018

In Boulder Location

Weekend Format Schedule

Register
Complete Schedule:
Saturday, September 15, 2018 - 9AM - 5PM
Sunday, September 16, 2018 - 9AM - 5PM
Saturday, September 22, 2018 - 9AM - 5PM
Saturday, September 29, 2018 - 9AM - 5PM
Sunday, September 30, 2018 - 9AM - 5PM

Can't make this time? Click here to follow this class to be notified via email next time we schedule additional dates.

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Optional Payment Plan for Certificate Programs:

We want to make our training as accessible as possible so we offer a simple payment plan for our Certificate Programs. For classes that are $400 - $998, each of the two payments is simply 50% of the total cost of the Certificate Program or "bundle" with no finance charges or other costs. For classes that are $999+, each of the four payments is simply 25% of the total cost of the Certificate Program or "bundle" with no finance charges or other costs. BDA membership is required to obtain a payment plan. Click here to learn about membership. The first payment will be taken at the time of registration and the remaining payments are paid once a month for the following three months. Details the payment amounts for this particular program are listed in the table below.

It's easy to take advantage of this option and we encourage you to sign up early since these programs often fill up fast! If you're interested, don't register online. Instead, please contact BDA staff at 303-800-4647 or email us with the name and start date of the class you wish to attend (info@boulderdigitalarts.com) and we'll get you setup, take your first payment, and confirm your registration.

 

Payment Program Details

  Payment Amount
Payment 1
Paid at time of registration.
$299.75
Payment 2
Due one month after registration.
$299.75
Payment 3
Due two months after registration.
$299.75
Payment 4
Due three months after registration.
$299.75
Note: you must be a BDA member to take advantage of our payment plans. Registrants using the payment plan are not eligible for any early registration discounts and always pay the standard registration fee ($1,199.00).
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