Controlling nature – Portrait photography outdoor and indoor | Profoto (MX)

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Controlling nature – Outdoor and indoor portraits

Course participants’ average review after course completion.
(58 Reviews)

Part 1 of 3 in the Professional Portraits series


100% satisfaction guaranteed. We offer full refunds up to 14 days after purchase.


About this course

Hannah shows you how to create beautiful, natural looking images by mixing ambient light and flash. In the first scenario Hannah photographs a local coffee shop owner in a small indoor space. She demonstrates bouncing techniques with an on-camera flash and how to create early morning sunlight with gels. Shooting a fitness blogger in the second outdoor park scenario, we see how flash allows us to shoot in any situation or weather. Hannah sees what she can do using available light and then introduces flash to increase her creative options, such as choosing direction of light and background.

Lighting skill level: Basic

Duration: 56 min

What you get in this course

  • Online light shaping course
  • Downloadable step-by-step guide
  • Scenario based teaching from real life photographic shoots
  • Unlimited access on all devices
What you'll learn

Discover how to:

  • Use bouncing techniques with an on-camera flash
  • Simulate a sunrise or sunset using CTO gel with flash
  • Assess available light and the best location for the most flattering shoot
  • Choose the type and direction of light with your flash
  • Shape the light easily with an off-camera flash
  • Control the ambient light using the shutter speed

What you may need

Essential information

Here are some things that are good to know, as well as useful gear to use for this course. These are simply recommendations, not requirements.

Recommended gear

  • 1 x light for on and off-camera use
  • 1 x umbrella or similar light modifier of choice

Useful knowledge

  • Lighting skill level: Basic
    • No or little experience of off-camera lighting
    • Want to start exploring simple lighting techniques
  • Camera skill level: Comfortable handling the camera in manual mode


01 febrero, 2021


Colin verrall
24 enero, 2021

Excellent very clear

05 diciembre, 2020

Good but a would like to now who to use High speed shutter speed. It don't shows any were.

11 noviembre, 2020

Love the kind of workflow, but she talks extremly fast so that it was sometimes hard to understand why she changes the workflow.

Roamy Fils-Aime, CPP (Beat-Mining Productions, Inc)
14 octubre, 2020

I love the way the videos are straight to the point and the reasoning for each topic is clear and concise.

Ricky Yunata
26 junio, 2020

Hannah explains it well on how to do an environmental portraits indoor and outdoor. Great tips and easy to follow.

Arash Beheshti
17 mayo, 2020

That was a high quality video tutorial. Thank you!

Kaye Cooksey
03 mayo, 2020

Great video

Stefano Marsili-Libelli
16 marzo, 2020

The course is simple but effective. The photographer sets her goals in very clear terms and shows how to get them through very detailed explanations. Congrats!

22 marzo, 2020

The course was ok but,... I expected more. You can get the same information for free in any YouTube channel

15 febrero, 2020

Continue making portrait courses that allow viewers more selections; home cooking portraits in the kitchen, walking your pets, corporate, sports portraits and real estate room portraits.

Åsa Stöckel
11 febrero, 2020

Hanna - you are the best! This is exacly the kind of pictures I want to take and you explained it perfectly! Thanks Hanna!

Ken Marks
26 febrero, 2020

I am a Pro. Somehow I don't think this video was aimed at working pros.

No, thanks.
09 febrero, 2020

how about to change the 2rd model as baby, this will more interesting .

08 febrero, 2020

Key informations are missing to be able to reproduce... Like how is light measured ? Does she shoot manual or with A or S mode ? If manual, how does she determine her set ups without measuring light ?

ISA Texas
23 noviembre, 2019

Good presentation. Definitely learned from her experience and the problem solving she explains. Thanks.

Mike Harding
22 septiembre, 2019

I like the details and science provided by Davids courses. These felt a bit more subjective and more like the usual internet stuff than something from Profoto.

24 noviembre, 2019

Fairly basic stuff, no actual focus on the flash settings

Michito Kawamura
08 julio, 2019

The condition was too good for the video.
I would like to acquire the ability to cope with adverse conditions.

Hyrom Jones
18 mayo, 2019

I enjoyed and learnt some new skills from this Video. I enjoyed the creativity that was demonstrated in the Video and will continue to use those skills within my artistic photography activities.

Christian Weymann
09 abril, 2019

It's an interesting course, simply explained with good examples

11 junio, 2019

Very basic

Hyrom Jones - BOUTIQUE PHOTOGRAPHICS - Perth, Western Australia.
28 marzo, 2019

Well presented and understood. Thank you. :)

02 marzo, 2019

No English

11 marzo, 2019

The lesson was very easy to understand.

Toshiaki Takagi
23 febrero, 2019

Thank you for the great course.
I think that drawing arrows and letters to explain the photos helps me to understand the course.

Marc Lang [fotograf-mannheim360]
10 febrero, 2019

This course is made for everyone. Even professional photographers get inspirations for better pictures.

Chanda M. Scott
28 diciembre, 2018

It taught a lot regarding the basics of lighting. If I just implement the techniques mention in the class my skills will drastically improve.

Stephen K Mack
12 noviembre, 2018

Very informative and well produced. It's a step up from similar YouTube videos to be sure.

29 enero, 2019

The production of this video is simply awesome, however the content was a bit lacking. Namely, there were several scenes where Hannah made adjustments to flash settings but the on-screen reading didn't give what those adjustments were. While I do understand that each scenario will be different, it's also helpful to know how Hannah handled her adjustment as a guide for the viewers/learners. I unfortunately am severely underwhelmed.

John Walton--but I am not intending these comments to be public. They are for the Profoto staff. Also, I have dot done part 3 yet. Maybe that will be more advanced, I hope.
08 diciembre, 2018

Although his course has some good information in it, I do not think it lives up to it's name-"Professional Portraits". I bought this course because I thought it was for professionals. It is really geared to those who aspire to be professional (and that's ok), but being it is my first series I purchased from Profoto, and have Profoto gear, I was expecting something more "by professionals, for professionals". That's not to say the instructor is not a professional, she is, I think it has more to do with how the course was marketed. That is evident by the quizzes. They are very "beginner" type of questions...not "professional" level.

Chris G
26 octubre, 2018

Content good for 10 $...

20 octubre, 2018

Be better provide english subtitle

John Jury
16 octubre, 2018

Interesting but regret not worth £49.00

27 octubre, 2018

Course material was too basic and I didn't really learn anything. Some of the videos could've been shorter and more to the point.

Paul Eriksson
31 julio, 2018

I like the arrangement of the education films. That one can see and hear how you should or could plan a phto session. And that the pro photographer let me know how to think and what to look for.
Very well balanced -not too basic and not too difficult.

17 julio, 2018

Consider mentioning the importance of white balance and using a color chip card or gray card.

Jeff M
21 junio, 2018

Great tutorial for getting started with lighting. Love the A1 too - I ordered mine as soon as the course ended.

Ryoko Kuwamoto
07 junio, 2018

It was very helpful.
Thank you very much.

Antuna Manu
09 abril, 2018

Despite a small personal experience some of us can have, i found this « Live » conditions lesson truly useful and inspiring, everything was clearly detailed and explained by Hannah who’s a great teacher !

Tim Matthews
14 marzo, 2018

Extremely helpful course. I really appreciated the inclusion of the kit list upfront, through what kit to use and why throughout and the onsite workflow, trying different things to come up with just the right shot, explaining what was working and what was not, all the way through.

21 marzo, 2018

It very much depends on their skill level. It was very well done, but I felt a bit remedial. I was hoping for a little more detail.

12 febrero, 2018

I like to framework of this class. It's direct and to the point. You are teaching valuable skills to capture standout portraits. This class helps to master the basics which are essential.

30 enero, 2018

Very nicely presented. Indoors and out, plus subjects who very different in looks.

13 febrero, 2018

No further comments it was useful but could include little more about lighting positions and different light modifers

06 marzo, 2018

Great content, but would like a touch of technical.

Meet the teacher
Hannah Couzens
Hannah is an award winning professional portrait photographer, who shoots everything from corporate headshots to families and celebrities. She also runs a successful high street photography business in the UK and twice won the Young Business Person award. Hannah is involved in many UK speaking engagements for Profoto and runs her own workshops.
Meet the teacher

Hannah Couzens

Hannah is an award winning professional portrait photographer, who shoots everything from corporate headshots to families and celebrities. She also runs a successful high street photography business in the UK and twice won the Young Business Person award. Hannah is involved in many UK speaking engagements for Profoto and runs her own workshops.

Profoto products in action

You don’t need to own Profoto products to learn from this series. But just in case you’re interested, here are the ones we used:

Umbrella Shallow Translucent

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between a series and a course?

A series consists of two or more courses from the same photographer. If you buy a series, you will benefit from a bundled offer for the entire package. Also, when you complete a series, you’ll receive personal feedback from one of our instructors and become a Certified Light Shaper.

Do I have to own Profoto products in order to take your courses?

No. All our courses are designed to improve your photography, regardless of what equipment you’re using.

How do I access the courses I buy?

As soon as we’ve received payment, you can view or take all your courses online - simply by logging on to the Profoto Academy website. You’ll find your courses at the Profoto Academy start page.

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