Importance of Challenging Yourself


Wedding Photography Problems and Solutions


Lesson Info

Importance of Challenging Yourself

On the first day, we did a lot about the light five, and there isn't why I brought this light five it's because I figured it's a lot easier to remember what you cannot, what you do not want than to remember all the possibilities of what you do once when we talk about especially flash and light, which is one of the most confusing topics in photography, we don't want to be bogged down with thirty five thousand possibilities, so why not start with five? What not to do so if you can. Everything I did yesterday when you guys were talking about thea the position of the flash and you saw me on the first day I was able to correct this crazy shadows are appearing in places by moving the ice light a little bit to the left of the video light to the right. I'm just really thinking to myself the first thing I do when it comes to lighting, I think, do I have any of those five things present in my photo on? If the answer is yes, I simply fix that one element it's easier to fix those five elements onc...

e they get those five elements taken care off, everything else could be an added bonus to make it even more creative, so that's what it is start with a solid foundation start with a peaceful peace, peace of mind knowing that all you have to worry about is five little things on dh I think looking at some other comments from yesterday, I realize some people were still confused about when the face is darker than the background what's the problem with that? I want to kind of repeat that one real quick if the face is stuck in the background and the background is it's not a sky, you're basically giving the background on your subject the same level of importance that oh, that it on dh, not to mention if you're if the face of your subject is talking in the background you're also not having any catch lights in their person size most likely you don't have catch light so those to kind of come together um the good thing about these kinds of things if you actually go on vacation like if you goto whatever europe or whatever, you can actually practice just getting the person to be brought in the back on my word you position them in the photograph and like you said, david, you know, yesterday, uh, you tried to do a photo shoot that he wasn't going as well as you wanted it to go on and you realize, well, there's a there's a discrepancy on the on the, uh, you know, we're photographing your under pressure you're trying to produce but I've been doing this little practice things for years and years and years where I sit there and I'm like, I have my wife with me and we go on vacation and I'm like, I just wanna get you branded in the background without using any tools just by where I positioned her try that it's super super fun to not have a reflector or a diffuser or a flash or anything. I'm choose strategically where you put the person, so they're a little bit brighter than the background. Sometimes a fedex truck is all you need I fedex truck he the sun hits a the light dances on your subject because it's a white truck if a huge reflect or just sitting there asking you to use it, I've done. I photographed my clients with vance like that are just to drop things off like flower vance, fedex trucks, whatever it takes, but the idea is had I not going around thinking all I want to do it for this next twenty minutes is make my wife brighter than the background using whatever is around me, if I didn't do that most likely when I'm doing for shoes like here a creative life, I would probably get stumped like I wouldn't know what to do you know what the beauty about this is? The little exercises don't have to be boring or difficult it can be fun and I'm not saying two people go out for forty five minutes or or an hour or spent thirty spend two to three hours a day you know, drilling yourself doing this you know it's not it's not what it's about it's about challenging yourself periodically throughout the week. Five minutes looking at your image is circling do I have any of the thiss light five things in them if you d o what could you have done to fix it? You know, there isn't why I pushed this point I wrote a vocal picture perfect practice because I am devoted to the industry I want to change the industry worldwide in their attitude I want the photographer's attitude, toby the same attitude as a professional music performer like a classical guitarist or a classical pianist or a violinist. Those guys do not go on stage without practicing for forty hours a week they don't it is just not going to happen. You do not see a classical musician or a jazz musician or whatever and they haven't spent it's insane amount of time working on their craft. You just get to enjoy the results of all of that on dh from years and years of teaching experience, I've traveled all over the world teaching workshops to the most beautiful people in the world and I asked everybody how often do they spend working on their craft on dh literally ninety nine percent says I never do it I basically I read books, I study, I do things like this but when I my cameras are nicely talked into their backs on their put away. So there's never any time where you say I'm gonna leave my camera out on I want to challenge myself for five minutes right now on how to do five minutes of making my making my friend be brighter than the background using the surrounding area. That's it yesterday we also talked about how, even though diffused cloudy days, you still have a direction of the sun. The sun is still traveling through the earth the sun is the honey badger don't care, you know, and it don't care, guys, I'm goingto I'm going to ask you, since you're representing people watching across the world now, and if you're watching online right now, I beg you, I mean, sincerely beg you to enjoy the riches you will have by spending five minutes ten minutes a day, ten minutes if you are lazy thirty minutes a week once a week on just one little thing. Just one little thing when my friend david here did his photo shoot yesterday. It would have been awesome if you would have been like this is it's gonna happen? I know exactly what I want to do one exercise you can do without taking even a camera out is visual pretty visualizing a post on everyone khun pra visualize the torso but it's very difficult to visualize where the hands are where the fingers are what the expression is where the feet are and where the legs are much more difficult to do that so if you sit in your house and you're watching your tv on goes from commercial break go on turn it off for five seconds and visualize a post off someone sitting on that autumn on that console without tvs and just see what you come up with then put two people in there then put a flash to the left and see what you come up with then put a reflector under face all of this is in your head no no this is really happening sometimes I'm watching tv and I'm serious I'm seriously like going like you know what's like what's wrong with you I was like oh I was pretty visualizing I was just pretty visualizing um I've also I also want to say I feel like I'm pretty lucky in the sense that because I'm a judge for photo competitions across the world sometimes the competitions like in russia or in europe they call me up and they're like robert and you have three thousand for us to go through three thousand photos to judge on I'm sitting there going okay it's gonna be a long day I get the coffee going I get the red ball going I get my pattern on paper and this is probably one of the trainings that I've had that was by accident because I have to watch three thousand photos on just one competition and I purposely have toe say what's wrong with this photo is this what's wrong with this photo? Is that what's wrong with this photo is the leg or the expression is not believable because I continue to do this three thousand times injust one competition off course I'm going to get decent I've been able to recognise where the problems are in my posters before I even take that shutter push the shutter button you know, imagine if I gave you the three thousand photos and I asked you write down what's wrong with each foot on what's right about each photo for three thousand of them you're gonna get very good you're gonna get very good now multiply that by fifteen times a year you know that's what happens every year every year fifteen times russia japan mexican competition spain competition switzerland competitions, frustrating competitions, american competitions everything so you start to really develop a sense ofthe second nature to these things we also talked about the twenty one posting points yesterday on the day before uh yes there is overlap imposing posting is posting you know, to make a person look good you do have to especially ah woman you do have to separate her arms from her waist there is no one who knows about posting is gonna tell you differently so one of the things they're a little more abstract besides the obvious posting stuff like the elbows being out like shifting your body away too sir, those are obvious things but the stuff that's not so obvious is things like that how to strengthen the body and soft in the face how to strength in the face and soft in the body how to keep that tailed off the head instead of slouching the spinal cord or bending your back one of the most abstract and the most important ones is the invisible plane angle check if I'm taking a picture of ashley right now on my cameras here and I shoot in this angle from here and I shoot is going to hit her knee on your eyes are about twenty four inches or twenty five inches from that knee so basically and I always tell people you're basically taking a picture ofthe actually snee you're not taking a picture of her it's about her knee another one that's not so obvious that that is not so talked about is the nose x factor to create a candid feeling on a candid moment I know the one that we talked about yesterday that was crucial was the personal bubble. Remember, we talked about the personal space when somebody is in your personal space, you bet you automatically become awkward about it when you get awkward, what people normally do, laugh or look down or look away. So it's not natural for you to post people were looking at each other when they're close by, when their faces are near each other and you're you're making them look into their eyes or whatever. It's not an actual thing when you're in their personal bubble. This is my personal space. As soon as you come into the space, I'm looking down, I'm looking away, I'm sure not going to be like staring contest, you know I'm not gonna be like, hello, let me take your eyeball, you know, saying so, um, I think it's important to provisional eyes, what kind of expression you want, you know, are you trying to go for ah, fun laughing moment? Are you going for a tender moment? Is one person is the grass, the guy looking at the girl in a tender way while the girls looking down at smiling at whatever moment they just had some sort of joke, um, or some sort of funny memory that was triggered the significance of things that when you think a picture the viewers like what's happening why are they so happy what's going on in the background when this picture was taken and you have to kind of have that answer before you even posed a person one mistake that I see a lot of people doing is you have you're your client whether it's a wedding or not it doesn't matter what I'm teaching it has nothing to do with weddings it has to do with people on what happens is I see them coming up with the post as you are actually posting the person so you say, oh, let me try um, why don't we go here and then you once you get to your kind of committed to the location, right? But then you're like yeah, let's see, can we kind of get together and I don't know hold hands or maybe hog or okay, you're holding hands that's good, maybe local rachel you basically stick to your comfort zone once you start panicking you're like okay, I gotta have a solution pronto like I watched my solution kiss hug, kiss, dip kiss on maybe later kiss again okay when you get really creative kiss again so I want to encourage the people online toe remember tow try to spend five minutes professionalizing the post and the expression on if you want to really take it to the next level and you want to go a little harder on the mental gymnastics added a lighting to your to your visual to your visual ad, the actual lighting like say to yourself, what if I had a reflector here? How would that improve the photo? And then actually mentally at the reflector and see what that will look like? Somebody asked me yesterday what happens if you have someone pale with someone with darker skin? Well, reflectors come with a zebra, which is gold and silver, gold and silver, and and a alternate well, point that zebra tow the person that's pale, but bend it backwards, bend it towards you. The reason is, you don't want to blast him with a spotlight off light, so by bending the reflector towards you, you actually that there are light rays actually expand and they brought and she wouldn't mean so it's better to do it that way. If you want to have a single person, go ahead and keep it flat, but with two people, if you're only pointing in the one person you want to flatten that thing backwards on that insures that she looks a little more ten without looking like chance a lightbulb in her face, right, so, um, we also discussed the ability to push yourself creatively whence you take a picture can you push yourself to the next photo what's the next picture you khun take um we also talked about especially in the first day how to take a photograph off a detail but at an element of photo journalism to balance the picture out remember the first day I took the picture with the bride putting on her bracelets that's the word photojournalism aspect but then on the right side there's her wedding dress so next time you go on a job or if you're just doing photos for fun if you wanna have an element even if you're on vacation, you can go to beijing or something take a photo off some detail in beijing on then maybe add like a one of the residents of beijing on the left or something at an element of photo journalism it's going to exercise your brain is going to make it harder for you and you'll see the results will be beautiful on when you're under pressure, you should be ableto pull that off very nicely so we're berto not all of us are judging three thousand photos for a contest on all the time what are some of the places are ways that we can go through that same exercise and should we be looking at professional photos? Non professional photos what are a few suggestions are even if you was in the audience, have some ideas about that, you can share those that's actually a good question on because you don't have to be judging for competitions you khun goto people's websites and they start out with the top started with a top photographers, you can think off and look at their photos, study them a little bit, ask yourself questions like what is the lighting like what's the expression like, if you don't do this, it will never be second nature to you, it's just that simple as he gets. So ask yourself what's the post like it's, the post believable, or is the expression believable? Why's the bride? They're wise the groom there. Does that make sense? How is the this is a good one, how's the environment affecting the couple or the person in the photo is a complimenting it or is it fighting it? Okay, you have to ask yourself these questions is a is the environment complimenting the portrait is of fighting it that's why a lot of photographers shoot with a seamless paper in the background because they basically say, I don't want to have any competition. I just want to have you and that's it, but when you're shooting fortress in the environment or environmental portrait. Just when you have to that's when you have to bring all kinds of tools at the table you don't have seamless paper anymore toe come all your problems that's nice and cool but when you're doing environmental portrait ce you have to think what can I use to frame can I use a tree branch to frame a couple what about the colors are the colors distracting if they are what can you do with anything distracting guys you balance it so if you have a knob that distracting put the are distracting object with the left foot the portrait on the right and you practically solved the problem okay um ask yourself do we have reflect anything reflective on by that I don't mean just meters I'm talking about a table with a black lacquer like a piano that glass tabletop over there with that we did yesterday look that's not that original is just a glass table top it creates a reflection so just use it if you can grab an ipad on dh turn it towards the person with ally and you will see I will see your reflection on the ipad too I can grab my phone and turn it on on attorney and I can actually see you guys on the reflection of the meter take a picture of that so what I mean this is like a mirror basically even just looking at susan's susan's ipad I can actually see her reflection on her on the ipad so these air mental gymnastics you know, we also think in aa environmental portrait you also think about foreground middle ground and the background what's in the foreground what's in the middle ground maybe your subjects on what's in the background is there anything happening in the background that's distracting like a geometric form like a triangle or like a stop sign which is like an octagon right with red anything red, blue or green in the background is gonna be a major distraction tow any environmental portrait you take, so knowing that a primary color is a major distraction, you either get away from it or you balance it that's the simple as that you guys have any questions about the difference between clean seamless paper portrait on dh, the complexity of environmental portrait? I mean you're talking about balancing colors, shapes, reflections um finding natural reflectors looking at the direction of the sun, posting your posting your subject based on the direction of the light it's a lot of stuff to think about what complications for you guys. I don't know to say there was a complicated part ofyou for environmental portrait there's a lot of trees and when you try to pull somebody there they just doesn't look good because it's just too plain in the back so it doesn't I guess it doesn't fluffy up the scenery for me but fluffing up to center it could be a distraction to your subjects, right? Right. Really what I said, if we're the object in the background dominates your ramen yesterday at the photo shoot there was that bush on that other courtyard and I put the bush on the left. But I put the bright kind ofthe fluffing her veil on the right that's because that was kind of a dominant part of the off the environment. You have to have a knife for scanning the environment and saying what's dominating here on if if it nothing, then you can put your bride or your subject or your portrait wherever you want, you know, but if there's a dominant part of the there's a dominant part of the environment, then you need to I think dwight violence a doe I crop it out though I go somewhere else they said the kinds of answers you wanna have, what happened at the photo shoot yesterday that wasn't going so well, like this little room that was like the whole apartment was about that size on and when I was pre visualize ing yesterday, I I thought the bedroom was much bigger than it was, so when I got there last night I was all going so when I ran inside and went to the bedroom and the bed went almost to the wall at the other end and I had sort of had an idea of using the bed on the left and having them there was a wall close by yeah there at the end of the bed came and there was a wall right here and I thought there was more space in there and I was going to use that space and balance them out with the bed but then that didn't exist, so I had to go behind the bed and they had sliding glass doors but then in the middle of the sliding glass doors there was I don't know what the end of you know, the bar that would go down the middle was about this wide instead of like that wise, it was pretty dominant using that light coming from behind is the back like I did it anyway and I know I could go back and photoshopped out that bar that's probably what I'll end up doing but it wasn't what I was hoping for. You said a bunch of stuff yeah like just around the room in my head I was just like, okay, you have uh, walt's near by the bed I do, but they all have yeah, but they were like lamps coming up through them awesome, I don't care because the walls nearby allows you to bounce the light through those walls very, very well so if you were to put a flash doors one of the walls it would give you a huge window source on know what I said if the light source is close to your subject is goingto solved in the shadows if the light source is far away from your subject is goingto harsh in the shadows is the light source is small is going to give you awful super super strong crispy shadows in the face if the light source is humongous it relative to what you're photographing is goingto against soft in the shadows again when you saying walls you know, try to think wells any well it's a window I didn't think about bouncing that anyone's window and in the people online saying what if the wall is brown? What if the wall is yellow? What if the wall is red very simple open up you little diffuser they get out and put it on the wall and now it's a whitewall see what I mean? I'm just saying you walk into any room guys you walk into any room I hope this means I hope this really encourages you to see the possibilities this has been a problem solving class and we just solved another big one right now you walk into a room here like the water nearby and they're awful under full of little knickknacks in the walls and stuff who cares big wall equals a window that's it would help to because it was getting towards evening and there wasn't a lot of light in the room that's a big wall equals a window a sidewalk equals are a natural reflector ah, fedex truck equals a natural reflector on the street are distracting object means you have to do what you balance it or you crop it out or you move somewhere else uh before you post on one what do you do? So you don't start making things up while you're posting your clients you provisional eyes when you're watching tv at your house, what can you do to help your brain do these mental gymnastics? You see it's like just it's awesome just do it. Photography is fun when it's hard it's a lot of stuff to think about yeah, how you blend the light when you're outside, like when you used flash and stuff and you talked about how you know you want to make sure it's at a certain power in that kind of thing and all these technical things about making sure the light is blending with environment you know, are you going to talk about that today somewhere too? Or yeah, we could go over a little bit when you went over that yesterday morning about how dope because yesterday we were actually on location, right? So they're gonna stay here but I think the best way to answer that and officially for you folks out watching online the flash for the most part forever everything in photography is subjective if if that's what you want to do then fantastic I'm not going to tell people to limit the creativity by any means. What I'm going to say is barely as it's just a suggestion okay when you introduce a flash off camera or on camera or whatever the flash light should be complimentary to your subjects it should probably not be its own identity if you see from photographing beautiful susan on this huge blast of lighters hits your face and then the other side it's all not it's all ambient light the person view in the photo says that looks ambien that has a huge some sort of flash one on that side I need my opinion that's distracting from from from the soul that you're strong you're photographing a person and when you photograph their eyes you photographed her soul when there's a huge blast of light you're thinking technically now now you're thinking oh I see her what the heck is going on over here? You see what I'm saying? Why is there this crazy room light happening all over the place you try to blend into the light so it's not a distraction from the viewer and that's again is here said and done that requires you to really control from you know we'll talk about that from tl to manual to adding anti fusion panel toe adding putting a diffuser over in front of the flash and all of these different things people are asking about this on the chat rooms but if you have like a super dark reception like all wooden walls or something like I don't think hanging a diffuser would be a great idea like like hanging at a future to make it a white wall to be able to bounce off yeah, what would you do why would not be going nowhere without being them they get in a reception like it was like all wooden walls or something like that in a recession in the water too far away anyway so you know you could just go without it you can use that sundance thing that I've got that I have a little wall and you can bounce it against that you can have a friend called the diffuser in next to your flash turned a little flash it towards it it's the diffuser and then he bounces the light back there's a lot that you can just keep going you know, if you have a war like in his situation you could have just taped it to the wall and then shot away and that's the window light right? Okay, yeah how is that? How did that feel? What happened? What happened freak you out a little bit? Did you bring go? Like, what was that? I just triggered your decision maker part of your brain. You see what I'm saying? Which is the next topic whenever there's danger in your life where in your body that decision maker part of your brain which is the oldest part of your brain, reacts aggressively. That's what that's? What happens when somebody song contrasting sound happens in front of you that's? What happens when there's a little spider around in the wall where you're walking on then your your senses can off send something you look at it on your brains like that looks like a huge spider but by that time your brain processes that your eyes already like your brain's already saying danger, get the heck out of there on the way the brain reacts the way you react in your brain has that danger you oughta make it going like that way going the muscle, the muscle movements in your body going toe overdrive whenever there's imminent danger to you or to your body or to your safety on that part of the brain is the part of the brain that makes decisions whether they're going to hire us a photographer or not so let's get to know that part of the brain shall we we shall we shall do it roberto and I just wanted to take a second too because you started talking about what we're going to do next could you just take a couple of minutes to talk about what we're going to do for the entire day because they don't think we touched on that in the beginning and that would be great for the folks at home for the folks at home what is today like having nice hot chocolate by the computer that's very nice lucky um we're going to talk first about a topic that I'm super passionate about and I feel like it's super super important for your ability to close deals I client meetings instead of talking to you about how to show wedding albums and pictures and blah blah, blah and and how do I diffuse objections and all those different stuff we're going to talk? We're going to dig much deeper into that part of the brain that's actually making decisions of whether they're going to hire you or not it's a whole different field ah whole different language ah whole different strategy altogether. My uh my hope for that is after you listen to his class and you watch it over and over, you start to realize that the way you speak to a human being is not the way you speak to a person you're trying to get him to spend a lot of their hard earned money on I said there's a big difference, okay, the second thing is we're goingto we're going to go over some plain meetings and we're going to implement the knowledge that we learnt about how do you how to talk to that part of the brain we're goingto implemented into our into our clients we're going to talk about refusing all kinds off issue's objections were going to talk about time land strategies how to make the time line work for us a photographer on how to make the time and work for all the other vendors as well because we're team players like when you have to be a team player you cannot make the talent just for yourself but there is ways to talk about the timeline that will work for you well what we're gonna talk about educating the clients ok if you tell him about the time line but you don't educate him why it's just words it doesn't mean anything uh we're also going to talk about how to go about showing sample albums were going to talk about howto do some basics of flash and some basics of flash setups that will be second three on segment four we're going talk about howto shoot reception details how does shoot receptions howto use flash to shoot receptions how do you know multiple fly shut up single fly shut up two of life's share ups and everything else so that's the day

Class Description

In this photography class, Roberto Valenzuela will teach you solutions to common wedding photography problems facing anyone who picks up a camera to photograph people. Roberto will use his practical methodology to give you a systematic way to break down and overcome your challenges.

In this class you will learn:

  • The 21 points for Posing
  • How to find the best light
  • Practical tips to quickly read the room

Roberto researched and polled various photography communities to find the most common problems facing anyone holding a camera. Through hands-on demos and easy to practice challenges, Roberto will show you how little changes can make big differences in your final images. 



Roberto is a great photographer and a great teacher. Roberto took me a little bit to get used to because rather than just memorizing, Roberto teachers you how to think like a great photographer. Roberto studies the best of the best photographers and painters and he incorporates it in his photography business and his teaching courses. Over and over, I have heard other top photographers referring to Roberto. Cudos to Roberto, for being the go to Pros,' Pro. Roberto is a great teacher and a great photographer that takes beautiful pictures with mastery of beautiful light, posing and composition.


Roberto is a photography mastermind. I'm very grateful for his CL courses that are available. He shares so much during these courses, I cannot help but making many, many, many notes and I'm sure if I rewatch it, I'll still learn new stuff. This course is not only for the wedding photographer, but the information he shares is applicable for all kinds of photography. If you want to learn how to make use of the gifts of any location (while throwing some very helpful posing advice in the mix), this course is for you. I'd also highly recommend his course "Location, posing, execution", which I saw before buying this one. And besides his very inspiring teaching style, he's also very funny! This course is a joy to watch.


Absolutely amazing. Roberto's background as a classroom teacher (and crazy OCD perfectionist) is a true gift to us, the students. He has analyzed, practiced, and tried/failed his techniques countless times and it shows in this course. I have become so much more aware of an environment's "gifts" after taking this course. I myself was a science teacher (and am also a goofball) so his style of teaching resonates with me. While some workshops are amazing at making us feel inspired and fantastic, these are short lived emotions. Roberto's preaching of get out there and practice is a no-brainer!! Best course to get me started on my wedding photography career! Thank you Roberto!