Career & Lifestyle Portraiture By Bill Frakes

43 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

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


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 ...

Bill's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of Ibelieve75 Ibelieve75

    Very informative! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  2. Profile photo of JCam1964 JCam1964

    Great Course! I really like Bill’s teaching style, simple and to the point, while still providing info on settings and gear … —- Yes, please post my feedback

  3. Profile photo of vpuro vpuro

    Great tutorial! I like how flexible Bill was with the lighting and combining it in different ways. Great Job! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  4. Profile photo of Brent Brent

    A very nice course, I really liked the varitey of locations and those being photographed. Well done. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  5. Profile photo of Karen Karen

    This course would be so much more instructive if Bill would include more information about his camera exposure.. and why he is using them. Thanks —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of davestarrett davestarrett

    A good speaker, and the process of what he is thinking as he is creating something is of value and although I thought some of the resulting images were weak, it worked well in the overview of the lesson. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of suzannamars suzannamars

    Terrific short course that illustrates how to do commercial portraiture with one light, or with ambient or a mix. That’s a big selling point that would be useful for those without a lot of gear. The “master class” with the chef was particularly useful, showing results from different set-ups and explaining why they were chosen. I like the instructor’s no frills approach and his short-and-sweet rundowns of the hows and whys. It is just as much about lighting as it is about the aesthetic of posing for portraiture. Make note of the way Frakes directs his subjects. His command of the situation is a good lesson in how to gain control of scene. Highly recommended! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of Linda King Linda King

    I just finished watching this series by Bill Frakes. Well done and offers great ideas for different scenarios. I will be marking this one as a favorite to come back to from time to time. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of Ray Warren Ray Warren

    love watching Bill Frakes work the situation. I learned a lot. Thanks —- Yes, please post my feedback

  10. Profile photo of Rick Luiten Rick Luiten

    What I really liked about this course a bit more some of the others I have seen, which are great by the way, is that Bill showed many more photos than we usually see. He kept talking which was great but we got to see far more photographs than usual and this is a big help. It is hard to see many photos being taken and only seeing one or two. As always the course was great. I have been a pro for some time now and originally signed up for Kelby Training after looking a a number of different training programs to help train my daughter who has decided she wants to be a professional photographer. I was very pleased to find such good instruction at Kelby Training and at a fraction of the cost of some other programs. I began looking through the courses in order to help her pick the ones that would be most beneficial but I became hooked and have learned as well as reinforced much in the process. Thanks again and great job. Rick L. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of Ron Deviney Ron Deviney

    enjoyed this, very fast effecient delivery….like this guy’s style. Like the short versions cause it gives me inspiration and I can go shoot and learn in the same day. You guys at Kelby ROCK!!!!!!!!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

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