skip to main content
Portrait Photography

Portrait Photography

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Peter Cattrell


'This essentially practical course will help students to develop a personal style and confidence with technique. They will photograph each other, and models or friends with studio flash, portable flash, and daylight. There is an emphasis on working with studio lighting. Topics include using reflectors, digital cameras, camera formats including the use of 6x6 and 6x7 cameras in the studio, 'fill in' flash - balancing with daylight, and working with portable flash.

Topics covered

Through  lectures we look at the work of well known photographers, discuss their composition and style of lighting.

We review students' portfolios and project work in progress.

There is a focus on digital photography and we have  Apple IMacs, and  high end film scanners.

You can also work with film, and we have a darkroom for film processing, a machine for resin coated multigrade printing, and a wetbench for silver gelatin paper printing, but recently  most students have been working digitally.

Level: The course is not suitable for beginners.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Peter Cattrell has taught at Central Saint Martins, and other UAL colleges since 1986. He has worked for magazines, and design companies, doing portraits, landscapes, and architectural photography. His work includes landscape images for the new Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, and he has written a book called 'A Foundation Course in Photography' published by Cassell. He works on commissioned, and personal projects, and has prints in several national collections.


For ALL students: Please bring with you to the first session:

  • Your camera and lenses, and a notepad. 
  • Film if you are using it.
  • Bring in examples of your own work to show on a memory stick - they don't have to be portraits - they can be any kind of photograph. 
  • The college also has 3 Medium Format Cameras that are available for use for studio projects (they cannot go out of the studio). If you would like to use these, please bring 3 rolls of Ilford FP4 120 ISO film

Please bring with you to the first session:

1) For those wishing to work with digital cameras:
Most students use  a Digital SLR. We don't provide digital printing facilities. Students can then get the images printed in a lab, or at home if they have a PC/Mac.    
(In practice, those working digitally have their own PC/Mac at home and will print them there.)  
Students can use a college Digital SLR in the studio and then download the images onto a memory stick to take home.  

2) For those wishing to work with traditional films and paper:       
Film: a minimum of 3 black and white films:    
1 x 400 ISO speed    
2 x 100 or 125 ISO speed (recommended are Ilford Delta 100 or 400, or FP4 125 or HP5 400)      
OPTIONAL: 1 roll of Fuji colour 100 ISO film

1 x packet of paper (25 sheets of Ilford Multigrade 9.5 x 12 inches)    
Bring your own 35mm cameras   
Clear plastic 'see through' Kenro negative bags.    

Available dates