Photoshoot #1: Reacting to the Environment


Wedding Photography Problems and Solutions


Lesson Info

Photoshoot #1: Reacting to the Environment

So this is a problem solving course. We're going to be spending quite a bit of time creating the problem I will read, I will try to say what the problem is, which is obviously all around we are limited to a small area, we are freezing on da, it creates a lot of issues and little by little, we're going. We're going to use the elements around this area to create the best photographs we can possibly come up with. We're gonna use the plants, the grass we're gonna use, the little bench, every little resource that this location gives us, we're not going to be mentally blocked like, oh, this is not a good location because it's not a good attitude. We're going to try to change the attitude. We're going to make this problems into a solution based photo shoot so let's, go ahead and get started. We want to thank our models again because they're taking one for the team. Totally freezing. Um, you might want to keep your sweater on as long as possible. Keep that sweater on and we have j or otherwise...

known as deja right o j and then we have al anon, which rhymes with parana. On dh she is definitely the one taking it for the team because you can see his well dressed so he's nicely covered. You do well, my friend. Okay, so we're gonna go ahead and start um one thing I want to talk about it because of this location because of what I'm seeing, I actually decided to you to start with my seventy two hundred millimeter lens. And I'll explain why once he started the photo shoot, I also want explain how if you look at this camera, this can already has a flash ready to go? Uh, this is the diffuse today, so we want to try to emulate amore warmer, more sunny day. So that's, why that flash is ready to go now this flash is set on master and it's actually not going to be doing any of the firing, its only a master flash on I'm holding in case you were wondering kanan six hundred e x r t so it does have radio transmission built in. If you do not have a flash that has radio transmission built in, then you can use ah bucky wizard or a radio popper, and that will give you the same the same results so in this case, it's all built into the flash I don't have to worry about it, I also have another flashier this flash is actually already set up as a slave, so I'm on group a channel one. This is on group a channel one. So this is the slave off this flash and this is going to be the flash actually creating the mood and the sunny situations. Andi, I also have I give julia a couple off filters that are orange filters to give it that warm, sunny look, there isn't what I'm telling you that is because the problem here is that we have a diffused they on we have that means it's a problem because he looks called on cold days are not good, it doesn't look good it's like cold light, it doesn't look good so that's a problem? The solution to that problem? Use a lot off camera flash and use a lot off sitio filters. We have a quarter cto have cto on three quarter and full cto sitios an orange filter. It means ah, color something orange color transmission or insure color. I don't know ceo, so we're going to use that to make this blue light into more warmer lights, which is the solution to that first problem that we have. We also have our students here and they're gonna be doing some photo shoots as well we're going to be pushing them and trying to get a little more creativity out of them we're not going to worry too much about posting because the twenty one posting points that we talked about are gonna take care of a lot of the potion that we're gonna be doing all right guys come on this way so what I'm doing right now it's very simple I'm taking my time I'm gonna scout I'm just gonna look around the location and I'm gonna scout I know what I'm I know what I'm seeing here we have a couple of benches and we can obviously use them to sit down um when you sit down we can actually have them lose the height difference and when we do that maybe a good idea to crop it horizontal or crop it landscape and then put some warming flash to kind of make it look really sunny and beautiful on we can actually start there I'm also noticing I'm actually also noticing that there's a big bush thing here toe behind us on this bushes here if we shoot this bench from a non obvious angle by the way what's the obvious angle on just like if you think about it the obvious angle is right here isn't it you're standing front you have your beautiful bride and groom your beautiful bread and okay groom you know, the obvious angle is right here that non of your single might be to actually shoot it from a side perspective, this is the difference between a good photo on a really great and created photo. So why don't we do those two right now? Why don't we start with the obvious? And then we kind of choose the other angle that we normally wouldn't think about on. We retake that picture and see which one looks better. Okay, so go ahead and, uh, let's see jay, go ahead and take a seat right there on dit see elena going along and take a seat right there. Do you want, uh, actually into that? Maybe how long before you sit? So we pull out one of my little reflectors? I'm actually going to use this to solve another problem. What if the bright tells you I don't want to get my dress dirty right on? Just give me the case, actually, do they just a case of the actual case for it? I thought about this because one of the questions that somebody asked online watch what happens if somebody says to you, I don't want to get my dress dirty on you say, oh, he want, but he really will this is going to get it's gonna get a little but we're gonna try to minimize it by using the case of a reflector with that's right? Oh is that really okay take a seat on that guy all right? Can we get that? C t o feel they're on that we can just turn it on he's ready to go? I think I'm going to do it guys I'm going to actually turn off this flash from firing so this is this is not going to be firing this flash it's only going to be sending the transmission signal through them. Okay on julia, maybe we can have a stand for it ana or somebody that the standards inside the case the flash case okay, let me get that cable out of there quick make sure make sure we're tethering okay let's go ahead and start with nothing. You have nothing going on just legs everything's wrong. Okay, I'm gonna just like a picture here real quick just to test it. Okay, now we're gonna start to fix the problem so if you guys want to come this way maybe we'll be probably better so you can see what the angle is, okay? The first pictures that I took exactly what you would expect they have raccoon eyes, which is a major problem there are coolness is happening because it's diffused sky so there's no light coming around so hey joe can I have the reflectors you can please on did you see where I stand? West is right here. Yeah, this plant is it's right here. Thank you. All right, so this is a little standing comes with a reflex you buy you can put it in there and that way you don't have to have a person standing behind your shot to something sense so wait right now all right? This photo is an example of the obvious angle so let's shoot it and then well let's improve it. Okay, all right, guys, go ahead and make a v shape with your color bones so color concern to an angle let's go ahead and put your both of your hands one hand goes behind his back the other and you're going to get real close to each other this hand is gonna go around the cheek and you're gonna soft in the fingers really nicely you can turn your face towards where we don't have energy towards each other you're gonna have this going like that soft in the fingers the whole time this elbows gonna stay down actually if you keep the elbow up this is an example of that elbow sticking out remember? So that was gonna come down on then you're actually going to you are going to look at your shoes jay and you are going to go ahead and smile and laugh out loud towards his eyebrow, right? The reason is if you are what I'm doing right now if you put people close together like this and you you make him look at each other which is cheese it's cheddar cheese fondue party watch going and tickle each other look at each other quick that's very cheesy, right? Never you never remind you that if you if you have somebody close to your face and there in your personal bubble one person naturally looks down. One person can stay and stare at you, but the other person naturally looks away because it removes the awkwardness right? So I'm having him look at his you know what I'll do here? I'm gonna pick up a leave you can always find stuff on the ground let's see? Put this leave right here. If I put the leaf here, his face is gonna be facing towards that leaf, right? So I'm controlling where his chin and his eyes are right? If I put the leaf over here now he's pointing his face in this direction so let me see, okay? I actually like his face in this direction better it creates more of a contrast so we're gonna put the leaf a little less we're gonna put the leaf right there all right, now you're gonna go in and just loosen up your back listen up your legs and your whole body I'm going to unbutton your jackets with more loose and you're gonna fill your body towards her okay? You are simply going to make a joke and you're gonna crack up laughing aloud and you're going to basically keep staring in his eyebrow not he slips his eyebrow let me see actually something look at his lips put your head towards him tilt your head towards him look unzips okay we have an invisible plane angle check problem the groom's face is about seven six inches from the bride's face so this becomes this makes the grew more important in the bride so we're going to simply push her forward makes sense now when I shoot that angle's gonna hit them both at the same time sounds good it doesn't solve the problem in case you have a two point eight aperture you're not learning one of them. Okay, okay see look at his lips again and keep that hand really nicely post on his cheek really nicely and get closer to him put your forehead and now look at this okay? And I look at his eye brand okay, I did the lips first I don't like it the eyebrow looks more fun because he's looking at his reaction okay, all right uh you can spread your legs a little more you can keep the handing somewhere in the side yeah that's fine. I'm not gonna worry much about he said because I'm gonna photograph right here does that make sense? But I do need to make sure there's a cop anyway so I will I will do this to you send even though I'm not going to photograph it because even though it's not going to show it still shows the top of the arm doing that so all right, so you're going to keep looking at that leaves you're gonna look at his eyes and you're gonna have a religion that moment when I tell you squeeze his face a little tighter and top your head against hiss like that you don't exactly seem specific that wass they know exactly what to do okay, okay let's see you guys look into your future just getting the go ahead and why they want to go put your head together to you nicely on and smile more at that lease man it's a good lead and you go okay separate yourself and squeezed better where they went through three go good. Now you might have at least man because you're not smiling out already go! All right let's, take a look at these photos were quick let's take a look at photo number then you see if it's tethering okay in phone picture number ninety nine fourteen ninety nine fourteen take a look at the reaction is nice right good but the hand is kind of creepy and it's not coming off it's coming off I know where there's an origin problem then look at the next one to get rid of the hand problem by simply posing by simply changing the composition but his face wasn't into it some exams that's the third one I made him laugh she's actually literally laughing at him now I almost took care of the problem I should've cracked a little tighter I know he looks more with more relaxed than makes sense but we still have kind of looks bad the photos to looks a little dead so that's a problem let's fix it yeah, but he's actually arresting on something yeah oh I wanna know can you talk more about where you place that flash yeah it's like talk to my chest hair I talked to my chest all right now we're going to go ahead and get the flash ready we're gonna actually use this is the firing device but it won't fire itself it would just send a radio transmission okay, we're gonna put the flash here's one here's another problem people have what if you don't have an assistant right? You haven't assistant it's called the little plastic stand it comes with your flash so I'm gonna turn this on I'm going to make sure I test this make sure it's good well, that's way too good whoa that's way too good now because I want to kind of get that blamed the light which is again another problem how do you blame the light with a flash? I'm going to actually turned this down to minus two okay, so it is dtl it is freezing we're doing great. It's minus two. All right, so guys, quickly her veil it's over here right it's on the right side so I'm going to actually put the flash more on the left side more behind him so when the flash hit sir hiss that they won't hit that white white veils so directly that it will blow it out to some extent but I find the light catch to the veil ria little weaker all right, so I'm gonna put the flash right here on I'm going to basically draw a little line with my finger and I'm gonna draw across toward maturity hits him right here not exactly here right here. Some life will still spill over but if I put the light like right there, it will not blend in with the environment okay, so we still are going to get some, but we're not gonna blow it out of proportion there yeah, talking about more the settings and the flash what's assume that you have in the flash right now right now the zoom is at the same sumas on having my lens so it's going to be about one hundred fifty millimeters? I usually do zoom in and zoom out manually right now I'm just gonna take it and they were gonna roll right now, I'm still in the obvious angle last how much better this photo gets wednesday. Change my angle. Okay. All right, guys, keep looking at that. Leif, bring that chin and I have a candid moment there. Keep looking at his eyes as he smiles at that leaf. See him react to that beautifully. There you go already. Take a look at that. Leave nice. They see that fire. Okay, let's, look at the difference here, let me do one more adjustment here. Let's. See, I'm gonna go ahead and go to zero so he will not be my nose. Wider minus two will be zero. Okay, when I had a little more power there, if I do this on this still doesn't give me that cool light that's in the background. Then I will go ahead and change. Switch it to manual. Ok? You look at the way that I just freak everybody out. Let me see something here way have a nice car, stop your forehead against his forehead, ready to go what's that all right, right. Let me show you guys this picture here quick so we started with this kind of lighting setup which is what typical of seattle this is picture nine nine one eight and right now the han is not in the right places. Just our lighting. Example. Once we put the flash in order to get it to warm up, we went into picture number nine nine to zero actually nine nine to one let's let's play nine nine to one this looks like a nice warm day. It's beautiful. I also was able to get rid of the white line that was coming across. If you guys can go back to picture number picture number nine nine one six you can see in picture nine one six others a white line going right across their heads which is the problem? The problem was there was part of that side while going across there across their head solution let's not freak out let's move two steps to the left and then we have a salute or to your rights. So now we have we got rid of the problem with a cold light. We got rid of the problem with this and we ended up with this okay, so it's a lot better. We have a little car here, but this is still a lot better solution you can see how she's not blown out and the lighting kind of matches with the whole environment so this fixes that problemas well, now this is all great and fine and dandy now let's go ahead and switch angles all the way over there and you see how much better this gets careful with that I'm gonna keep pushing this hey, guys, if you guys could look come over here you can see how this tree is actually gonna frame them from here. Do you see that? Okay, so we have a nice framed drea e yeah, you keep looking at the river when I freaked out on you looking that it was all right. Let me see here. Okay? The problem with this angle is that I'm going to photograph you and I'm gonna block her. Does that make sense? So we actually have to find a way to bring her around so it's between the two of you so let's see, can you let me try something? Can you come over here and sit on this side and face that way? Let me see. Can you go ahead and keep the sweater on your head and, uh lean towards come over here so the as close as you can possibly can go out and spread your arms because this looks very shy like that, so keep your arm like this or whatever bring your uh let's bring let me see here is it possible for you to wrap your arms around him like can you actually I said morning the edges has more space to wrap herself around you so seymour on the edge more this way and then you have more you can turn your whole body around a little more effort if you can do that because of you okay so we won't actually do with that so she gets a little more more space there okay now if you can't bring more of your body out there you go okay and I look at her and you look at her lips now let me see this looks kind of weird me so you go ahead and look back at the at the street and when I tell you go on give them a squeeze okay so let's try give it a squeeze I go ahead and keep your chin there on dh kind of laugh at hiss you see this right laughing his nose real quick that's good and when she loves that your nose you're gonna laugh at the tire of that car okay because that is hilarious okay and it's freaking hill areas but now you know what to do you're gonna stare at that you're gonna just laugh at that tire as he laughs embarrassingly on that tire you gonna laugh of his nose? Okay, now we're gonna put this flash around here the car more challenges is that car moving? Wait do you know when that car to move? Okay, so we have, uh, ratio issue here there's much of the guy showing I'm not as much of the girl showing so actually had her lean more around so she can see she's gonna put her chin around him on because we have less of a racial with him we're actually going to show her face first make sense so he's actually going to come across you see how she's further closer to the camera then she hears about go ahead when I say give him a really squeeze state really squeezy put your keep your thumbs keep your thing right there and keep your no stores his towards his nose like that you're going to keep looking at that darn it okay, look at the sidewalk where that dog you see whether she's walking just keep looking at that little line with grass. Okay? That's hilarious, hilarious line okay and make sure you squeeze him really tight like almost happened almost having lucy's breath a little bit. All right, go on and take this off now okay guys ready one hind higher than the other so green your hand over his stress to squeeze the heck out of him bring the hand slightly down more towards his chest that hand on your your left hand needs to squeeze him really tight when she does you're going to stare at that piece of grass and just crack up at it on a seacrest's up you're going to look at his notes and crook up his nose ready squeeze him really tight one two no good they see the flash go off let me check something real quick that flash is not going off so let me fix that real quick here on dh it's not firing for some reason there this okay it's a problem solving class right we have to solve the problem with the flashing on firing let me see something give them a squeeze real quick and what do you threw your face towards her yeah but that looks to bring your chin towards me I now give you a squeeze on are you close close your eyes okay I'm when he closes his eyes you look at his nose so you're not looking at that and you're gonna close your eyes you're closing your eyes because she's going to squeeze the air out of you okay all right all right so you just squeeze real tight look at his nose close your eyes okay ok guys ready want teo squeezy good one more time real quick julia can you please move that flash are behind them yeah way past this real quick look at the camera rimmer and close your eyes want to squeeze tyrell tight bring your chin down my friend ready one two squeeze will type good give me a second. I'm going to change the power of that flash can I go to a group a and I'm going to change the flash two plus three readies question right I go okay very nice bring your chin down a little bit when you close your eyes okay jay okay ready one two, three squeeze anti go very nice j and when you close your eyes close on with more endearment okay like endearment ready one two go very nice when your chin down a little bit more jay ready went to squeeze go ahead on and when? Last time when I change my angle here to solve the veil problem alright ready want to squeeze real tight good put your hands on her hands so your hands are doing something j just one hand there you go. Okay, now squeeze one too go okay, very nice, cj that looks good one more time I went to a squeeze real tight. Very nice. Okay. All right, guys. Let's, go let's get out of there for a second. Let's, get out of there! You can put your sweater on for now if you want, you can put your sweater on real quick so all we're doing in the situation is trying to change the angle around a little bit the ankle that's obvious is putting the brandon groom here and having the photographer where you are and then just kind of shooting them straight by changing the angle a little bit to the that direction I was able to get rid of that sidewalk by putting the flash I was able to warm it up now we're changing the angle all the way on oh my gosh there's smoke right there let's let's use that come on that the smoke disappear on me no that's beautiful seeing gives locations kiss can you stand behind the smoke actually stand in front of the smooth okay stand in front of this walk right there where's my camera is in earnest go ahead and take your jacket off go ahead and hold both of us both of his cheeks together with your hands actually no put one hand underneath the other one underneath his armpit we have to hurry because we don't want to we don't want to get that smoke to blow away put your hand underneath his armpit here take a step closer that way so you're more by the smoke bring your hands underneath the armpit squeeze in real tight put your chin over here you go save yourselves a little bit but you were headed towards her on when you know stories sir there you go that's see that's beautiful and we get rid of that hair right then I'm sorry about that. Okay smoke he's beautiful okay guys, locations get you have to hurry come on, smoke come on I gave you some smoke okay squeeze on put your hands on her put your hands on her second beautiful beautiful keep going keep doing that nice squeeze is nice let me get more smaller more of that smoke hold on a second hold on a sec. You know what uh j let me see something separate yourself from her a little bit because of your veil we're gonna buy collided with a smoke okay, so separate go ahead and walk away j grab your veil with your hands very nicely caressed with your hands like this bring it up, cross your legs over each other put one like you yet what I like in front of the other go ahead and go on your tippy toes if you can bring your chin up on to the to the right chin up now let me do this bring the veil up like that and then bring it down and then just keep doing that up on down we'll keep your elbows ever so slightly bent so in every door with that with your hands totally straight okay, let me get some smoke wei have smoke right now chin up, chin up, chin up a lot of second guess him smoke again called on well done on dh I'm gonna go to a speed like control flash flash function settings group group I'm going to go to this and I'm going to lower the power of this all right ready go close your eyes close your eyes again that's it keep that one keep your arms open on one two right there stay stay, stay, stay stay stakes day straight to get the smoking the back and I'm also lowering my angle to get rid of the cars in the background some accents on one two three right there stay julia where's julia would you mind grabbing that reflector and trying to blow the smoke into her? Okay, right now go ahead right there, right there, right there right there. Keep that open on one more time. Keep doing that on dh that's beautiful that's good. Yeah that's good that's good. Okay guys, go ahead and take a look at this real quick if you can so this photo would have looked with the cooling black and white I didn't think it like in a white butt the smoke in the back lighting and all of that yeah, the photos nine nine five one nine nine five one photo number um you see, her elbows are bent just ever so slightly which is what we wanted the arms are being called the veils being open to the flash hits her in the back and illuminates it it also allows you to grab some of the smoke right if this picture was black and white which is what I should have done it would have looked with the cool um but I had to sit there on my camera and actually control the flash functional settings in my camera in other three teo lower the flash or the flash would blend then okay but this is a class on problem solving so we are tryingto if this is the location's giveth and we have it why no use it you know on a lot of times our weddings I'm like I'm walking and I see I see nothing and then I see something really cool and I'm like oh my gosh that's on fire we have to use that you know I mean uh like for example look at this right here you see how this little hole makes a little bit of a frame again that's another opportunity on what can you do it you could have the bride just walk across that let's do that sociable from this way okay go ahead and stand right over there keep going let me see something here go way back way back there is a way I'm having her go way back it's because if I'm photographing or here this is kind of in the shot and that's kind of weird so that's not gonna work stand like right over there stop stop, stop all right, turn around so you're facing the building and think about five steps back right there now julia where's julia do that. Could you give me the flash where's that flash that was there let's put that flash right I ran with her left arm is about ten feet away from her right there right there there right there no further left where they're left that way right there right there right where you are. Yeah, a little more to the right what I'm doing right now is when I'm gonna have her walk across I'm gonna have her turn her face to the right which is going to make her light up by a flash or something since so she's like she's walking like this she's gonna make it turn to the right that flash is gonna be hitting her in her face. The reason is remember we said how he was going to give it the extra punch of light we could be lazy and just be like walk but if you want at that extra cool element just add a little flash to it or a reflector we have to use a flash or because we have normal no other alternative let me just like a quick picture all right, go ahead and walk, grab your veil and moving your face to the laugh towards the flash and just hold it I'm walking what's straight towards the building. Just look at the building on what straight that way and look at the grass. Keep walking, keep walking right there, that's it. We got it.

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!