Course Length 1:01:04

Vogue Portrait

Course Includes:

6 detailed videos - 1 hour, 01 minutes of video

Membership Includes:

350+ courses, downloads, a helpful community, LIVE broadcasts & more.

Vogue Portrait

Prep: Vogue Portrait Set Up
In this video, we will learn how Vogue creates its simplistic signature portraits, and Sue teaches us about the many variations of a black-on-black photoshoot. She then shows us how to effortlessly introduce black into our studios, how to create our own black velvet backdrop, and answers the most requested question, “How did she tape those V-Flats together?”, so you can create a multi-paneled and multi-purpose studio fixture that is one-side-white, one-side-black and can be a reflector, tunnel, or background.

Items Used:

  • Sewing machine
  • Black Velvet


Key Points:

  • In both shoots, the model is facing the window directly and for BOTH shoots there are black v-flats on either side of her.
  • Buy upholstery velvet NOT crushed
  • The velvet will not allow any light in so your backdrop will be pure black
  • The black v-flats will allow more light in so that you have more light hitting it than with the velvet
  • The tight crop, top of the head to just about the nipple line, slightly off-centered is a gorgeous Vogue style shot that you should have in your portfolio. Show the shoulders only enough to hint that they are there and make sure she stays square on to you.
  • Your light meter will get confused because of all of the black and give you an incorrect reading, so make sure you shoot two stops under.
  • Every time you change the backdrop or their outfit, make sure to get 5-10 amazing shots. Don’t overdo each sequence. Once you get the shots, move on.
  • When you need inspiration, don’t be afraid to google Vogue portraits.
  • Watch the retouching video with this series to see how I retouch, enhance contrast, extend backgrounds, and edit to black and white for these shoots.

Shoot – On Velvet
Sue emphasizes the effects and profound beauty of a close up, ‘Vogue’ style portrait shot on a black velvet backdrop. Watch how she create a dewy look on beautiful client and fellow photographer, Justine Ungaro.

Items Used:

  • Black Velvet



Shoot – On V-Flat

Sue switches over to the V-flat backdrop and continues to shoot Justine in a series of classic Vogue portrait poses, teaching us how we can recreate our favorite inspired shoots on any size client.



Sue walks us through her selection process and shows which images she is drawn to and why. We also learn how Sue finds inspiration before a shoot, and she shares when to use discretion when researching for your shoots, because high fashion magazines most likely will not have realistic components (such as lighting) for your clients. We also get to see what the different black backgrounds look like and Sue talks us through the various effects of each.

Retouching #1

In this video we learn about the Vogue hack of warping, but with Sue teaching us how to “warp responsibly”. We then move on to editing with natural light onto a black background, using the clone stamp to create even light on the skin, how to edit freckles and soften lines naturally, and what to listen for from your client when they’re in studio. Finally, Sue shares her process of picking a filter in Alien Skin to finalize this signature Vogue-esque portrait.

Retouching #2

As we move onto the next image, Sue teaches us how to keep it light and easy as a retoucher and reinstates knowing when to stop. We learn how to create a sort of ‘spray tan’ on light that is hitting parts of the body too harshly, and then experimenting in Alien Skin by comparing the old style Vogue black-on-black vs a color filter. Finally, Sue shows how to warp legs responsibly and reminds us to always check our break lines. We see the final gorgeous image of client, Justine Ungaro.


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