Advanced Portrait Photography

Creative Lighting for Studio & Outdoor Portraiture

Advanced Portrait Photography

Photo: © Ibarra Deri

A 2-day workshop by Ibarra Deri.

Lighting is the magic ingredient that will make your portraits rise above the ordinary and make clients come back and send referrals. Master portraitist Ibarra Deri, himself a painter, brings the lighting principles of the classical painters into the photo studio. Students are taught to study lighting direction and quality, and how they “fall” and “wrap” around a face, rather than memorize textbook lighting setups.

Outdoors in ambient indoor lighting, Deri offers solutions for working with the sun (or no sun), with uneven light, with light modifiers, and with portable flash. He guides students how to anticipate problems, fix location backdrops, and produce a great portrait anywhere any time of the day.

What will be covered

  • Understanding the qualities of natural and artificial light
  • How to read light and shadow
  • Working with one or more studio lights
  • How to deviate from textbook setups
  • How to develop your own style
  • Working in open shade or out in the open
  • Using reflectors and light modifiers
  • Adding flash fill outdoors or indoors
  • Choosing and controlling the background
  • Correct posing, orientation, angling
  • Defining potential problems

Who will benefit

  • Serious enthusiasts and professional portrait photographers who want to take their portraits to the next level, who have absorbed all they can from books and basic photography classes and want to apply what they know in creative ways.
  • Studio portrait photographers who wish to expand their repertoire to include formal location portraits.
  • Professional photographers in other fields such as newspaper and magazine, advertising, and fashion, who need to shoot formal portraits on location occasionally, with or without portable flash.


  • Participants are expected to have better than average knowledge of camera operation, and preferably should have attended the PCCI workshops on basic photography and Portrait 101 (commercial studio portrait).
  • Participant must bring their own camera, preferably with manual-exposure control and a zoom lens or lenses spanning from wide to tele.

The instructor

The instructor
Ibarra Deri is a well-known portrait photographer known for his unconventional approach to lighting, espousing an intelligent analysis of the portrait subject and situation rather than slavish adoption of textbook methods. He has photographed well-known celebrities and politicians, and was official photographer for the Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant.

He is a former multi-term president of the Society of Portrait Photographers of the Philippines, and as advisor once turned an unknown camera club into one of the country’s most creative club.

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