Portrait Photography discussion and examples

Portrait photography can be one of the most challenging forms of photography. Capturing a photo that appears natural and conveys the subject’s personality is a skill that takes patience and practice.

The first thing you need to do is to ascertain the market place that the image will be going into. Is it a quick online portrait or is it going to print as a large A4 image?  A lot of portraiture I do is simple photography against a white background. his is the most effective if you only have a small image area to display the photography such as an “about us” page on a website. Here the portrait needs to be engaging and friendly.

Environmental portraits are often more compile in nature. Firstly you need to understand the subject and the intended use that the client has for the images. I have done a lot of photography for large organisations around Melbourne and Sydney where the images are displayed as A1 size posters around a factory domain. This serves two purposes, firstly it gives the company and image which should be consistent with its branding. Secondly and I often feel more importantly it gives the subject and immense sense of pride that they have been recognised by the company in their job.

Working with a designer is critical if they have a specific purpose for the image. I love shooting with a live tether onto a laptop so the client and designer can see what is being recorded in almost realtime with all of the adjustments on image quality made in a program like Capture One or Adobe Lightroom.

I like small portable lighting where i can respond to the environment and time demands of the subject very quickly. There have been significant improvements in the ability to control small portable lighting recently, in particular the Godox unit gives great control over lighting.

Austin Hospital ppl12

Amcor Orora

Chadstone Shopping Centre Aerial Drone Photography

Recently I photographed Chadstone shopping centre using aerial drone photography (also called UAE photography) to record the mightily impressive new shopping centre under construction for Peri Australia (they did all of the scaffolding for the building). Peri Australia provide formwork and scaffolding systems. The images were also used extensively by Probuild the chosen builder for the project.

Drone photography offers a unique and easy way to get fantastic perspective on subjects viewed from the air. In industrial photography the use of drones to photographically record the progress of a major building work such as the Chadstone Shopping centre provides imagery that was never as easily attainable as it is now.

The construction photography was done on a rostered day off at the site and no workers were present.

The drone photography images were also used by extensively by ProBuild the builder for this project. The development has added more than 34,000m2 of space including a major 25,000m2 retail expansion and a 10-level, 17,000m2 office tower with basement car parking (which achieved practical completion in July 2016).

Each of the several thousands of glass panels were imported from Germany. Every panel is different and manufactured to very small tolerances. The result is magnificent.

David McArthur 2016

Parallax Photography













Photographing Chrome for Phoenix Tapware

I am sure a lot of Photographers develop a nervous twitch when asked to photograph chrome or reflective objects. Rightly so, they can be really difficult and leave the photographer tearing there hair out.

I must confess to spending many hours earlier in my career chasing down reflections in chrome objects and working out the best methods of photographing chrome. Building elaborate light tents and then using tiny pieces of black and grey card. Many would say Photoshop has changed all of that. Sure Photoshop has helped but I think its always better to get it right (or close to right) in the camera rather than spending hours in the retouching process attempting to create what should have been done right int he first place.

Here are a couple of photographs that I have taken for Phoenix tap-ware, one a lifestyle shot and the other more of a straight product photography.


chrome photography



Our New Website

By the power of the grey skull its been a long and bumpy road to get this new website up, but the new Parallax website is finally here!

It has been a difficult task assembling all the images and getting the design and functionality to the highest of standards that you see here. I want to thank Mito Cubic  (email mitodc@gmail.com) for his fantastic design sense and Sharwan Kami (sharwan@gmail.com) for putting it all together and making it work! Both showed extraordinary levels of patience in dealing with a sometimes indecisive photographer.

I am very comfortable advising clients on the best images or approach to use for their project, but I must concede deciding on my best images to use for my own website,  and the format that this should be presented in has been a challenge of a magnitude that surprises even me!

The blog section seen here is going to be kind of a work diary where I put up some of the images that i am doing and perhaps entertain you with some dialogue about the work and details of the jobs.

I look forward to both writing the articles and receiving your comments.


David McArthur May 2012

Kashmir & Rajasthan

Anyone that knows me well knows my passion for photographing people and culture throughout South East Asia and in particular  India. India is a country that fascinates me with the depth and complexity of its culture and religion. I managed to persuade my wife and 2 boys to travel  for 5 weeks through Kashmir and Rajasthan.  Here are some photographs that i took during this time.