Career & Lifestyle Portraiture By Bill Frakes

43 min
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Every picture tells a story! Join Bill Frakes as he goes on location with subjects such as a mother and son, a corporate executive and a chef in a working kitchen, to learn how to create unique images that instantly tell a deeper story about the subject. Bill shares tips and demonstrates techniques teaching how to work efficiently to create simple yet elegant portraits of people in a variety of lifestyles and careers, both indoors and out.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

In this first lesson we join Bill on location in the boardroom for a series of executive portraits. These portraits need to be elegant, simple, powerful, and fast.
You can vary the feel and the mood by moving to a seated pose, bringing in the reflection from the table, and having the subject make subtle changes in expression.
The final shoot in the executive portrait series takes us out on to the balcony, where Bill demonstrates how to balance light from the strobe on the subject's face with available daylight for a very natural looking outdoor portrait in a corporate setting.
Creating environmental portraits is not always a walk in the park. In this lesson Bill creates a series of outdoor portraits with a mom and her three year old son. Being able to remain flexible and creative even when things don't go as originally planned is the key to getting the shots your client will love.
A working kitchen is a challenging setting for an environmental portrait due to all the reflective surfaces. Bill demonstrates a few different ways to approach this scene.
A slight change in camera position can make a big difference in conveying a sense of the scene and helping to tell the story of the subject.
Profile photo of Bill Frakes

Meet your instructor

Bill Frakes

3 Courses


Bill Frakes is a Sports Illustrated Staff Photographer based in Florida who has worked in all 50 states and in more than 125 countries for a wide variety of editorial and advertising clients. His advertising clients include Apple, Nike, Manfrotto, CocaCola, Champion, Isleworth, Stryker, IBM, Nikon, Canon, Kodak, and Reebok. He directs ...


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of Filipe Torres Filipe Torres

    Can’t wait to see more videos from Bill Frakes here not so far from this days. Very good teacher.

  2. Profile photo of Bryon Wiley Bryon Wiley

    Very good! There were a few times that I would have liked to know his camera settings.

  3. Profile photo of Ray Warren Ray Warren

    Loved this. Bill Frakes is brilliant. The shots were excellent and he’s a great teacher with a very pleasant manner. I learned some valuable stuff. I could watch this guy all day long. Thanks

  4. Profile photo of Ulana Ulana

    Would like to know more about the settings being used. The Fstop, the shutter speed, the focus point, how much to underexpose to get the sky darker. These are critical to understanding the starting points.

  5. Profile photo of Doug Dillon Doug Dillon

    Great job!!! Bill gives some great ideas and insight into some sports photography. I’ve done a little but he brings out some good ideas. I particularly liked the way he shot from under the plexiglass. Great perspective on the shot! I also enjoyed the baseball shot with the young man. He brought in some great thoughts on that and how much those type of shots mean to parents and to the young man himself years down the road. Thanks for sharing those ideas! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of Mark Mark

    I loved “Environmental Sports Portraiture: Action Sports Photography” by Mr. Frakes. His personal stories were excellent and help put his philosophy in focus. While I am not a sports shooter most of what Mr. Frakes taught I can apply to my work. Thank You! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of Mary Ann Land Mary Ann Land

    Very helpful video. I like the way he explains things. Very easy to follow. Very pleasant with his subjects and co-workers. Interesting to see how he works and his ideas. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of gordonpatti gordonpatti

    Really great class. I like being taken through so many different shoots with different subjects, speeds and environments. I also feel like I am being shown what is done and not just told, which I find much more beneficial overall. Frakes also gives all the information that I would want, what lens, how to shoot with available light, how to be considerate of your subject. Both this and the sports photography gear lessons were hugely beneficial and I am not even primarily interested in sports or action photography. Thank you. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of 1379784 1379784

    I’m interested by Bill’s use of the long lens in the beach volleyball shoot. Is that a 300mm he is using handheld? Or a 80-200 zoom? Any way to find out? Thanks —- Yes, please post my feedback

  10. Profile photo of alanjsmith93 alanjsmith93

    Another great course from Bill!! Thank you Kelbytraining! —- Yes, please post my feedback

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