Portrait Photography: Capturing Authenticity

A course by Catalina Kulczar
Photographer and Director of Photography. New York, United States.
Joined February 2019
, Photographer and Director of Photography

Learn photographic techniques and the creative process to capture people's essence in a portrait

  • Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 89% positive reviews (56)
  • 1344 students

Learn photographic techniques and the creative process to capture people's essence in a portrait

Spanish with subtitles in English
  • 89% positive reviews (56)
  • 1344 students
  • 15 lessons (2h 13m)
  • 16 additional resources (8 files)
  • Online and at your own pace
  • Available on the app
  • Audio: Spanish
  • Spanish, English, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Polish, Dutch
  • Level: Beginner
  • Unlimited access forever

The most complex part of taking a portrait is not the technical aspects of the shoot, but capturing the essence and authenticity of your model. Through her lens, photographer Catalina Kulczar looks beyond the surface of her subjects to discover their true identity and bring it to light in striking portraits.

In this online course, learn Catalina's entire creative process for portrait photography. She guides you through the steps to set up your shoot and shares her secrets to working with models, such as directing poses and talking to them, as well as connecting and making them feel comfortable. She also teaches you about editing and retouching your photographs.

What will you learn in this online course?

Course table of contents

  • U1
    U1. Introduction
  • U2
    U2. Preparation
  • U3
    U3. The portrait
  • U4
    U4. Post-production
  • FP
    FP Final project
View details

Catalina begins by telling you a bit about herself and how she came to become a photographer, along with her influences and what inspires her work. She then gives you an overview of what the course entails.

Before you start shooting, get to know your subject. Catalina explains how to better understand the person you've chosen to photograph by creating a mood board.

Next, look at the differences between working in a controlled environment, like a studio, or on-site, and gather all the equipment you need for your session.

Time to get to work! Prepare the set, including the lights, camera, laptop, photo gear, and an atmosphere that's comfortable for everyone.

Learn your teacher's techniques for directing your model, as well as how to make them feel relaxed to show themselves honestly and openly. Discover three looks to create a variety of portraits.

Move from the studio to a location, removing all the objects from the set, and shoot a portrait that focuses on a single element.

Finally, select your favorite photos to edit in Lightroom. See what you should take into account when making the decision and, once chosen, how to adjust the style that defines your images. After retouching, prepare your photos to share online and print for a magazine.

What is this course's project?

Shoot two portraits of the same person: a studio portrait and another in a location that represents the subject, such as their home or work.

Projects by course students

Who is this online course for?

Photographers with knowledge of lighting who want to enrich their photoshoots with a greater level of production and preparation to capture portraits that deeply connect with the subject.

Requirements and materials

Knowledge of photography, such as the relationship between light, aperture, shutter speed and ISO is required.

As for materials, you need a digital camera with manual mode, a light set-up, a computer with Lightroom, and props to build your set. A tether to connect your camera to your computer is recommended, but not necessary.


1344 Students
56 Reviews
89% Positive ratings

Catalina Kulczar

A course by Catalina Kulczar

Teacher Plus
Photographer and Director of Photography

Catalina Kulczar is a portrait photographer, filmmaker, and visual storyteller who creates authentic connections with the subjects she shoots and captures their essence in striking images.

Her work tends to be project-based, or group portraits that convey a larger theme, often exploring concepts rooted in women's roles at work and in contemporary society.

Catalina is interested in creating informed narratives about individual women who have bravely overcome adversity and obstacles in their path, regardless of the sector.

Catalina was born in Caracas, Venezuela, but her parents are Hungarian. She comes from a long line of immigrants and strong-willed women who have survived wars, Nazis, and tremendous upheaval in search of a better life elsewhere, always with their optimism and sense of humor intact.


  • U1


    • Presentation
    • Influences
    • What will we do in the course?
  • U2


    • Creative Research
    • Creating the image
    • Equipment and light
    • Study vs. location
  • U3

    The portrait

    • Preparing the set
    • Address and inn
    • Portrait in studio - Part 1
    • Portrait in studio - Part 2
    • Portrait in studio - Part 3
    • Portrait in location
  • U4


    • Final Photo Editing
    • Basic settings and final formats
  • FP

    Final project

    • Portrait photography: capturing authenticity

What to expect from a Domestika course

  • Learn at your own pace

    Enjoy learning from home without a set schedule and with an easy-to-follow method. You set your own pace.

  • Learn from the best professionals

    Learn valuable methods and techniques explained by top experts in the creative sector.

  • Meet expert teachers

    Each expert teaches what they do best, with clear guidelines, true passion, and professional insight in every lesson.

  • Certificates

    If you're a Plus member, get a custom certificate signed by your teacher for every course. Share it on your portfolio, social media, or wherever you like.

  • Get front-row seats

    Videos of the highest quality, so you don't miss a single detail. With unlimited access, you can watch them as many times as you need to perfect your technique.

  • Share knowledge and ideas

    Ask questions, request feedback, or offer solutions. Share your learning experience with other students in the community who are as passionate about creativity as you are.

  • Connect with a global creative community

    The community is home to millions of people from around the world who are curious and passionate about exploring and expressing their creativity.

  • Watch professionally produced courses

    Domestika curates its teacher roster and produces every course in-house to ensure a high-quality online learning experience.


Domestika's courses are online classes that provide you with the tools and skills you need to complete a specific project. Every step of the project combines video lessons with complementary instructional material, so you can learn by doing. Domestika's courses also allow you to share your own projects with the teacher and with other students, creating a dynamic course community.

All courses are 100% online, so once they're published, courses start and finish whenever you want. You set the pace of the class. You can go back to review what interests you most and skip what you already know, ask questions, answer questions, share your projects, and more.

The courses are divided into different units. Each one includes lessons, informational text, tasks, and practice exercises to help you carry out your project step by step, with additional complementary resources and downloads. You'll also have access to an exclusive forum where you can interact with the teacher and with other students, as well as share your work and your course project, creating a community around the course.

You can redeem the course you received by accessing the redeeming page and entering your gift code.

If you're a Plus member, when you complete a course you've purchased, you'll instantly get your personalized certificate. You can see all your certificates in the Certificates section of your profile. You can download your certificates as PDFs and share the link online. Learn more about certificates.
Portrait Photography: Capturing Authenticity. Photography, and Video course by Catalina Kulczar

Portrait Photography: Capturing Authenticity

A course by Catalina Kulczar
Photographer and Director of Photography. New York, United States.
Joined February 2019
  • 89% positive reviews (56)
  • 1344 students