Assistant for a Day

During the gap week I had the pleasure of assisting Lewis Napier on a Portraiture photoshoot. Lewis was preparing a lesson on lighting techniques which will be used in his classes. There was a reason I asked if I could assist.  It is a while since I have been a student. I have seen some of Lewis’s work, heard many of his lectures, and wanted to see first hand how he put all this in to practice.

Full class set-up

While his model for the day -Wiktoria- was being pampered by a hairdresser and make-up artist, Lewis was making sure the studio was set up correctly, lights tested and props were at hand.This ensured he was ready to go as soon as the model came in. All good advice for new students.

Being Professional

Using a laptop to connect the camera to the television, known as tethered shooting, allowed him to view the images full size as they were taken. Another advantage of this is that the model can understand where any small adjustments are needed. New students would show the model the image on the lcd screen which involves taking the camera off the tripod. Did you notice the tripod?? Most students think a tripod would hinder their creativity but as you can see from this set-up, professionals know better.



Putting your model at ease and knowing what you want is something that comes with practice. Lewis has this down to a tee.



A change of lighting set-up made use of a variety of modifiers.





Tethered Shooting


Again the use of tethered shooting works well

Fine tuning directions





Using his hand to direct the models gaze was a great technique that Lewis used. Doing this while looking through his viewfinder helped him to get the shot he wanted.

Another communication technique I have noted and will use.

Two coloured gels


Finally another change of modifiers.

This required precise directions from Lewis to his model. The tiniest movement by Wiktoria changed the outcome of the image.


This was certainly a very enlightening refresher for me on Portraiture skills. The students will get to see the finished images and I hope they enjoy them. Wiktoria is happy with her images and as a student photographer will have taken some of the techniques and skills on board.

It was also great to see how much enjoyment Lewis got from putting all his skills in to practice.

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