The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography

In Books, Resources by David13 Comments


I had a whole other post written and scheduled for today, but I’ve bumped it because I just got my copy of The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography from the folks at DPS. is a massive community of enthusiastic learners and they’ve just produced and announced The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography. It’s an ebook, it’s priced at an intro price of $14.95 right now and it’s huge value for the money. If you can’t wait and just want more info now, then click here for more details

It’s packed – I mean packed – with information that will be particularly helpful to people just starting out with portraits or wanting to work on their portrait skills. It’s well illustrated and it doesn’t hold back. And it ends with interviews with people like Jack Hollingsworth, Chase Jarvis, and myself. And others.

I’ve been sending you to a lot of books lately, and there’s a reason for that – dollar for dollar you aren’t going to get better information or education than in books, and when they come digitally the cost goes way down. The one I’m recommending here is different from my own stuff and I think that’s important – we all need to draw from many sources as we learn and grow.

The DPS site does a great job of revealing the book, offers the intro pricing I mentionned (which is 25% off) and the darn thing has a money-back 30-day guarantee. Not even my books have that. 🙂 Head over to DPS to take a look at The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography. Highly Recommended. Click here to view more details


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  8. Being relatively new to photography and just beginning to get into portraiture I found this ebook to be very helpful. Great start for portrait work. I know there will be more out there…but then again .. this is a journey 🙂

    T-Roy thanks for posting the links to the other ebooks! I just bought Brent Pearsons, and I’ll probably buy Mitchell’s next week.

  9. I’d take this book as a Christmas present as I am still weak on posing skills, which is why I have chosen to specialize in candid style portraits!

  10. Hey David:
    I’m well into VM, or maybe I should emphasize…I”m WELL INTO vm… I have been shooting for ‘a while’ so, from the promo for this DPS book,(Not that I think I wouldn’t learn something from it) I thought I might save the bucks for 3 more of your e-books…customer loyalty?
    ..BUT, I do like DPS’s weekly e-mails. There is always something of interest.
    The serendipitous introduction to PixelatedImages into my life continues as I have recently had a good designer friend provide me with a much needed/desired logo…perfectly co-ordinated and synchronous with the ‘chapter’ of VisionMongers that touches on, or softly hammers on, branding.
    Is it cold up there, yet?

  11. I have to disagree with T-roy a little. While the e-book might not be technical in nature (I don’t think it promised to be… at least the table of contents on its sales page doesn’t indicate it will be) I found it quite inspiring and learned quite a few things from it.

    It is probably suited to the beginner to intermediate photographer rather than an advanced photographer – but it has been a lot of fun to read and has left me thirsting to get out this weekend and photograph my friends.

    It is certainly different from Davids books but I found it to be really useful and well worth the money.

  12. Author

    T-roy –

    Excellent feedback, thank you. I thought for $15 that this was a solid buy, but having feedback like this makes it easier for others to make better decisions.

    Thanks for feeling free to leave such solid feedback. You took a lot of time to write this and I think it’ll help. I still think this ebook’s a solid value, but value is different to different people.

    Anyways, thank for feeling comfortable enough to write this – appreciated.

  13. I’ll be honest, I have bought most of the eBooks that David wrote and love them all. I was excited about hearing this one from DPS. I ordered it yesterday and to be honest…it lacked a lot. I was hoping for some technical info but what it really was, was fluff style writing that unless you just got into photography yesterday would seem a waste of time and be very obvious to anyone who has shot more then a 1,000 pictures. It’s more like a good eBook for reminding one on certain things and not really teaching anything.

    There were a few parts that had some good info:
    A) the interviews at the back were interesting
    B) The chapter on how to bypass your portrait mode on your camera.
    C) Using a flash and the different angles of light you can get when moved around.

    But other parts of the book are just so obvious and boring (and I don’t mean there not important but that it would be like someone telling you how to walk) it’s not a bargain at the “steal” price of $15. For example the chapter of “20 Ways To Take Stunning Portraits” one excerpt is below and let’s be honest…is this what you want to read for 60 pages???

    “18. Experiment with Subject Expressions.
    In some portraits it is the expression on the face of your subject that makes the image. Get your subject to experiment with different moods and emotions in your image. Play with extreme emotions but also try more sombre or serious type shots.”

    This is all no brainer stuff and if it had been only $5 like David’s eBooks I wouldn’t complain much but for $15-$20 I would highly recommend getting 3-4 of his eBooks as you will be 3-4x as happy if so. In fact there are a ton of other good eBook’s out there with better info for the same price with a ton of actual technical stuff on every page.

    Brent Pearson: $19.95 and a solid 10 on doing night photography. People could take a real lesson from this guy.

    Mitchell Kanashkevich: $12 for any of his eBooks. Again another book full of technical how-to and doesn’t need a money back guarantee with it.

    Maybe I’m being a little hard but I really do pick-up a lot of eBooks because they’re usually full of good stuff, instant access to them and are awesome because you can store them on your computer for future references later when post-processing. This eBook was laid out well and looked beautiful…BUT lacked any real content and detailed info. On a scale of 1-10, I would give it an overall 3. If it had been priced at $5, that would have been moved up to a 4. Just an honest opinion…

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