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The Portrait Photography Course – Principles, practice, and techniques: The essential guide for photographers by Mark Jenkinson – Published by Peachpit Press – Book Review
Mark Jenkinson has enjoyed a 25 year career as a pro photographer shooting a variety of genres including portraits and fashion as well as assignments as a photojournalist. He also teaches photography at New York University Tisch School of the Arts.
Mark Jenkinson’s intent, when writing this book, was to help young photographers by inspiring them while keeping a focus on the reality of starting a career in the photography industry. The Portrait Photography Course is designed as a university level text book for photography students. It will captivate a much larger audience such as hobbyist thinking of turning pro, pros wanting to learn new techniques in portraiture or anyone passionate about photography in general.
Every aspect of portrait photography, in studio and on location, is covered in the book. Composition, psychology, posing, lighting, equipment, post processing… It’s all there in detail with tutorials and dozens of images to illustrates each point. Each tutorial section includes objectives and exercises as well as tips and tricks. Most of the images used in the book are not by famous photographers but by students or emerging pros. In doing so, Mark Jenkinson intended to “ […] Help young photographers bridge the gap between aspiration and accomplishment.”
A section of the book is also devoted to a series of insightful interviews with established and successful pros, from celebrity and family photographers to photojournalists. Last, but not least, the author approaches vital aspects of the profession in a chapter titled “Going professional” from defining your own style, putting together a portfolio to finding a job in the industry and a list of equipment necessary to get started.
The wealth of information you will find in The Portrait Photography Course is incredible. It is definitely one of the most complete photography book I have ever read on any given topic. Whether you are a student or you’ve been shooting portraits for a while, I can assure you that you will learn something new and be inspired by the tutorials, images and stories it features.
Best of all, the book retails for $39.99 USD but you can save a few dollars on Amazon and it is worth every penny! This is undoubtedly the reference book that will be on your desk for years to come with dozens of colorful sticky notes marking important pages with useful tips and information.