Day 23: Shooting with Studio Light
Here we are and we're doing this shooting with studio lighting segment as you guys all comptel I'm very much more comfortable talking about business that I am very these sessions, but this is our last one and I am excited to share studio lighting because it's something that a lot of people struggle with or they're a little bit afraid jump into and it doesn't have to be scary and if I could do it, anybody can do it. I am so not technical but my studio lighting a super simple and you're going to get to watch a little video of me talking carly through the setup today saying that about studio lighting most of us when we start photographing were all outside all natural light maybe moving into window light and a reflector and that's how I started was all available light and so when it came time when I moved to iowa and knew I had to shoot inside, I knew I had to buy a light and a reflector and that was almost fifteen years ago that was fourteen years ago and so at the time there weren't a lo...
t of people that I could watch or see that we're going to teach me studio lighting there was nobody that I could just call and so I opened up my larsen catalog and I bought all that I knew and that was a window and a reflector and now, thirteen, fourteen years later, it's still what? I use it so what I love and so we're going to be talking about this today, carly, so far you've been shooting some in the studio, but with some umbrellas yeah, right? Yeah. So we're gonna teach you a better way. Yes, and I do love the one light, one reflector, and so I'm excited to show you how I use it. I have used multiple lights and we actually have multiple lights here in the studio, but I always go back to the just kind of the safety of the one light, one reflector, and the reason that it's safe is because it really does give you just this nice soft light and lots of white wrap around, and so your subjects can move around a little bit in it and you don't have to worry so much about being, you know, super technical with moving the lights every single time here, your subject, maybe especially if you're photographing kids, yeah, with the umbrellas, you get lots of shadows and a little bit harsher, so let's play awesome. The family that we're going to be photographing and just a little bit is going to be coming in greys and blues, and we're matching some tones in their living room and so that's why I chose this wall this's just a painted while in the studio it's not a background but uh it's just we've got, you know, made use of space in the studio with some different painted walls and this is when we actually love a lot I'm going to kind of keep him away from the white jumped up area although I love shooting there too, but if you've got a family of four so we're gonna keep him right in here I'm shooting on a design revolution floor and I love these floors too because you just roll him up in store um roll him out when you need him so this has worked really really well for us and then our lighting equipment is going to be a larson four by six soft box I'm using a photogenic light and we'll get all that turned on here in just a minute it's pretty simple, but and then I've got a larson reflector and a radio popper is gonna trigger by light and I've, um I really like the radio popper, nano's that's the latest and greatest from radio popper and they're just small, tiny and they're very reliable, so that's one thing I like about him cause I'm an over shooter, so and it does they fire really consistently and do you have anything like this? No, I'm attached for the cord right now, so all right, well how would you like your very own radio poppers weigh awesome well they sent you some so we're going to get you hooked up with that so these air bananas this is your receiver that is going to g o on your light okay and this is your transmitter which is gonna go on to your camera so we'll go ahead and open that up and then we can both shoot today yeah and we're gonna loosen this part up and then it just goes in your hot shave all right taking it out and then if you just push on the power test right there that's gonna light you up and it's gonna tell you what channel your on and we'll make sure the whites on the same channel all right and then we're just going to turn on our light pretty basic we've got justin on off switch back here that's gonna turn this on and then we've got some power uh buttons here or we can turn it higher and lower the modeling light I usually turn all the way up so I can really see what's going on and then this is where we're going to change our power based on what happens when we shoot I do meet her through my camera and so we'll take a test shot and then I'll adjust either power or exposure to get what I'm looking for and so we're going to start it about an eighth of the power there I am using a photogenic light. This is the power light twelve fifty. There are a lot of great lights out there, but I've always used photogenic so that's just kind of my light of choice with this one light set up my preferred lighting there people who shoot different ways, some people like the same lighting from head to toe. I prefer to have the natural fall off that the larsons off box gives, and so I typically I'm gonna bring this up either teo either almost shoulder height and just just like for the face and let it fall off or like it is now about mid links. Um for me and my style, I don't like to light the whole scene, but that's just me no writer on um but I love the just the e's and simplicity of using it like this and so about shoulder height, so it's a little bit lower, probably than I would normally do, but we're going to photographing a family so we need a little bit more uh, you know, light wrap around and somebody probably drop it down, I may even drop it, I'll look down a little bit more, depending on the height of the kids, but about shoulder height and then to the very back of the soft box and I usually went a little bit behind the subject just because I want to have some separation between the background on the subject but you know more of the soft box and in front of the subject and what's so great about this boxes I can feather it towards the back ground if I want to lighten up the background, I reckon feather it away and bring the subject up too dark in the background so it makes it really nice and very versatile and with the reflector we're just that's going to be our fill light we've got main we've got phil and the phil I'm going to bring in just to pop that fill in a pop in the second light so I'm actually gonna let you stand right here, okay? So our audience can kind of see what's going on okay and let's put you right about here I don't want you to close to the background I'm gonna pull the light out just a tad and we could go a little higher than this, but I'm gonna keep it right about there. I like it kind of light in the background and a lot of times people when they're start using lights, you get really afraid to get people to close to the light but you know always remember that your light this the closer you get the software lights going to be not the harsher and so getting a closer to it is not the bad thing usually it's we need to pull the power up or down but don't be afraid to get loose with your subjects once we've got a family and we want to make sure that they're evenly lit all the way across and so I might pop in a second reflect reflect or for a family we'll probably do that today all right? But I'm gonna take this away we still have a pretty high light coming from the soft box but now if I bring in reflektor you can see that a second highway that comes in underneath your eyes and really the eyes are the soul of the portrait so you always want to make sure everything you want happening is happening in the eyes the rest of it can be a variable and that's okay, as long as you've got that highlight in the eyes that you're looking for and that catch light that you're looking for, you're gonna have a pretty lit portrait okay, so that's that studio lighting set up you can see it's very, very simple one light one riff tucker does anybody have any questions about that before I show you our session? Yeah reflector that is from larson for this larsen also ours and also so it's a larson four by six off box and it's a larson reflector and they actually larson has a special for anybody who wants to get the lorry studio in a box and it's the simple assed they may have its one soft box one reflector but in that goals workbook not goals workbook it's the business plan workbook that's free for you to download download at photo talk dot biz go download that business plan work bug and in the back of that there's all kinds of fun things from different vendors that I use I ask them all to give you guys some fun discount so they're doing larson is doing that for you guys all right we're now going tio watch the session that we did in the studio karl and I shot this and I'm just gonna move again through it pretty quickly like we did before but again when you purchased the course you're going to get the entire session and then in your workbook you're also gonna have everything that I'm using so it's got all the vendors that I'm using the lighting the soft box reflector the radio poppers the props that you see you're going to see in this video that flooring that we were standing on that's from design revolution online dot com they have all kinds of fun things for the studio as well as backgrounds and floors those fake floors which are awesome they're like kind of a thick rubber pad almost like a mouse pad oh and I really like them uh, and then back to back design works has the posing blocks that I'm going to use in there, but that's all there in your work for you and let's watch this video. Patty is my friend from here in town, and she is also a photographer. So we have traded services often on over the years. She has photographed my family and I photographed her family. We're finally getting them back in here for a family photo. We haven't done it in a while, so I'm excited. Have you guys here? Thank you. And thank you. We know what we had to drag you out of work. So we're very thankful we love when dad's air here to do this for their family. So this is good stuff. Okay? Hunter lauren, I'm gonna have you come this way first. We're gonna pose. Mom and dad first has come out here by me always always start with mom and dad and build around them. So that's, what I'm doing here and I'm just gonna go ahead and photographed them first. Since kids are older, I can take a little bit of time to do that. If they had little kids, I would probably photograph mom and dad towards the end. Or if kids are getting restless, I can tell kids come over by me, jump up and down and make sure mom and dad are smiling and doing what they're supposed to do and then the kids can come by me and get there wiggles out well in photographs mom and dad so but you can see that this that one light one reflector set up is going to be super simple I'm posing lauren that was cool and I did bring in a second reflector here for the family, which I do many times if I'm photographing more than just a couple people in a darker area I do have some video light going on here for the purposes of shooting this so it looks a little lighter than it normally would in my studio but if it's in a darker area I'm just using that one light I might pop a second reflector in for a family and now I do a test shot charlie is going to shoot okay see what you're getting so this is her first time with I blew you away with radio and I am shooting just so you know, I'm shooting at uh my eyes so is one twenty five I'm shooting at five point six at a hundredth of a second, so and then carly and one of the things that we noticed carly shooting nikon I'm shooting cannon and her and I'm not really sure because I don't know her camera I don't know if it was the back of her screen that's brighter than mine if it really was the lights but we power down the lights just a little bit for her and so I'm walking through that and what we're doing and now she's going to shoot again and this is just a coarse simple with the family standing let's see what we're talking you're going to use in housing blocks now and get them seated and so we're going to start with that bring him in first first I've got some posing blocks here from back to back design works and I'm gonna be sitting here needs facing that way perfect all these people have long legs so and they do man this is a little long legged family so dad and son and will photograph mom and lauren later so we're going to get patty in there and patty's really tall so I'm making her shorter getting the kids in there and by the way now you have met not only myself but two other photographers for winterset iowa you might have to town we're like anywhere else there is a photographer on every corner of our town eric I love that because we constantly hearing people like oh, but this won't work in my small town yeah there's too many people that air like competing and patty does an amazing job her style is very similar to mine and she doesn't know she's a great photographer and of course carly is have you know she has come such a long way from when she started and it's been so fun to even work with her and because I you know, seeing the images I know she's she's committed to making this work and her she's just gets better and better all the time and has her own style it's different for mine and different from patties all right, so we're just once I get a family like this into a pose, I'm going perfect the pose and so I might even especially its little kids I might get him into a pose and just shoot it, but then I'm gonna go ahead and perfect it and that I do that whether it's a newborn just kids families I'm going to get him into the pose and just shoot it take sure I have it first and then I'll do, you know, make the little perfections of moving hands where I want them are getting kids snuggled up and I'm going to show you I'm going back up just a little bit and show you carly's actually going toe suppose the family here panicking a little bit that just a teensy bit towards the light just a little bit like your nose towards it just a hair okay lean back on then looking back at him just a little bit okay? Hunter lean backing them on this a little bit okay, look beautiful there you go. And lauren, can you put your the other thing that I think is great is, you know, here we are three photographers in the same town all doing different things different price points and we're all friends, you know? And I think that's really important that you embraced the other people around you and lift the other photographers up in your area instead of you know, we get so bogged down and what other people are doing and we tear people down instead of lifting people up and being there for them and, you know, that's something that's really important to me there are photographers definitely my area who don't want my help, but I always want to offer it to them and at least try to get to know them and what their situation is and see if I can help them. I would so much rather have everybody in town doing exactly what they should be doing then you know, hurting the business, hurting the industry or hurting their families even more importantly so mom and dad together again giving them a second little pose there and we did uh this family they've got a wall that's just kind of a grey wall and then they had a great couch and so everything was kind of neutral colored in their home so when I had paid patty layout her clothing on the couch, I wanted her to pull in something from the room and this is a family that I was telling you guys about yesterday that what I've had them pull in that red clock and so then she matched this scarf of lauren's up to the red clock and, uh, you know, kids individually here we're shooting for grouping, isn't she pretty? And mom and daughter, we aren't a photograph dad and son so just getting all the different little configurations that we want and that family is also after we shot in the studio, I took them outside as well and this is something that I got of them outside, but, you know, just doing multiple things and mixing it up I didn't want to make sure that we got to show you guys some studio lighting and I'm going to just quickly go through just one more studio session and see if we have any questions about studio lighting. We'll go through this, this is a another little family and I'm gonna go quickly here three kids, so I'm posing them and just using this one light one reflector set up even for a family of five and little kids so you've got them going there and you will get you will get the contact sheets of all these sessions so you can see exactly what I ended up with and what I showed the family, and when you get them, they're going to be straight out of light room of files or not retouched nothing is done to them. We go through light room and we'll talk about that in our portrait workflow segment next time our next tomorrow day and but we do just go through light room and cut things down and export for the order appointment, so you're going to see everything just like I would show the client, mom and dad together, all of them. And this I'm just shooting up close, getting them on those posing blocks, I can get them or close together, and I actually ended up bringing a lot of a girl down a little bit. She was a little bit high may have been after already brought her down, but that's, the great thing with opposing blocks is that you can turn them in multiple directions. So you've got all different heights going on very fashionable family, but and this was fun too, you know, and getting clients, you know, I would never want a client to come dress. In these colors, if it wasn't going to go in the room where they were, where we're shooting for and so that's the great part of having them ladies close out with pieces of furniture are tying and room elements kids together and then we're going to photograph all the kids separately as well, but I'm shooting for one area in their home, so they're getting one background you guys and that's what makes it you know, again so great about planning with the family, such cute kids, they were actually kind of too perfect for this, but but you know that that's what makes it so great about planning ahead of time as I'm not taking them in five different places, trying to find just the right look for them? I already know what the right look is going to be because we've pre planned it, and usually when I'm photographing the kid's individually, I'll ask him who wants to be first and it was fun with these kids because they were all like me, so that was fun if she was trying to be serious, you saw her grabbing her cheeks do anyone without a smile because she has that little model look such a cute pie, okay, now I use this stool and this is kind of purposeful I'm gonna back up a little bit you saw all the kids individually I photographed on this stool and I'm gonna use the same stool to pose off three on and this is going to be a grouping for me I've got all three together on the stool and then all three post separately on the stool so I want to even when I'm posing them separately I want to give them each a different look on the stool so I had the little boy stand up on it the little girl lean lean over on the floor on it and then the middle when do his thing so they're all pose on the stool so they could be shown individually and then now we're photographing them together and uh this was funny originally when we shot this, I thought I was gonna kind of show you guys everything that was going on behind me and normally if if moms or dads or right behind me and they're giving direction and doing that smile, you guys you know, you look right here and doing all that right behind me I'd be going get out of my way, but I thought I'm not going to do that because I don't want you guys to think I made them do this like it was that obnoxious I thought if I tell them teo to go over to the side but normally if parents are behind me and really bugging then I'm just gonna tell him, you know, I need the kids to look right at me, so I'm gonna ask you guys, so just walk over to the side so they're not looking at you for direction, and you can say that in a very nice way and get them out of your hair, your family and a studio lighting so it doesn't have to be confusing or hard or scary studio lighting can be super super simple, and I don't know how many of you guys are shooting with studio lighting yet, but does anybody have any questions about shooting with in the studio? Let's start here with our audience? Go ahead. So one question I had about the opposing blocks that you were sitting that first family on when you were shooting that were you going in really tight to not include that? Are you letting that show? And in that situation, I could let them show because you guys will see all this? And when you see the final image is the only thing that's been done to the final images that you'll see in the contact sheets is that they've been cropped if I want a cropped, so you'll see exactly what I was going for, but in that situation, because they were tone to the wall, I could show him, and that would be okay. But otherwise, yeah, we're just using them to get heights, right? And then we're going to crop him tight. Like what you saw with the second family where I've got him standing up, I would never show the kids standing up on the blocks, so I'm shooting for about half length, and I just want to get them all a little bit closer together still going for, you know that that composition that I'm going for and just getting them up on the deck from heights tto be able to make that happen. Great. Well, we do have a number of questions coming in about some of the specifics of what what you use, so maybe we could just review some of those starting with the opposing blocks, and people are also asking if you can use apple boxes for posing. Is that the same thing that's from end photo? Yeah, absolutely. You can use anything, stools, boxes, you know, whatever it is, I like the posing blocks because they come in different sizes and they're also their super steer a sturdy, but they're super light and so I can move them in different directions. They're definitely an investment, but they're like a forever investment and you know, if you're going to be shooting inside or even outside to take him outside for different heights I stand I'm on him all the time, you know, if I need teo get up and shoot down a little bit more, so I'm constantly on those things and uh and they are very sturdy they can even stay outside if you've got a home studio and you're shooting outside of your home studio, they are fine to stay outside all the time and they'll they'll be fine, so I like them, you know, with apple crate so you're not going to get different heights, I suppose you could turn it a couple different ways depending on where the openings were, but I you know, that's one of the things I like about them is they come in different heights and then each one of them you can turn different ways and those are from back to back design works great. That was my question and then I know in the workbook you give links too, the vendors that you use the product that used to the websites but again, if we could just talk about the specifics he has somewhere that would be great and almost everybody then I'm mentioning does have a little special for creative live viewers in the business plan workbook and back to back is one of them they've got a discount on the posing blocks and the rocks that I used in the outdoor older kids session and so that's in there as well but in the studio I'm using a photogenic light I'm using a larson soft box a larson reflector the floors are designed revolution online dot com and they also you'll see props of theirs and backgrounds in different things that I use I love pretty much everything they have however I am not a prop junkie, in fact, for my newborns and little ones erika I have pictures america's property of yesterday and oh my goodness, this girl has an obsession, but I'm not a prop donkey I do I mean, I've been in business for fifteen years, I've been in the studio for thirteen and so I do have props, chairs and you no background and that kind of stuff, but I'm not a junkie. In fact, with my newborns and little people, I really like mom's to bring their own things because then it is their own and I'm not repeating things and I'm also even with nursery's, you know what? Your studio you could match any color, but I you know, you don't have to you don't have to stock twenty different colors of blankets you could just tell mom, you know, we were designing for the nursery, so make sure you're bringing us all the color blanket in the color of the nursery door let's match up the betting if you're shooting color and you know some of those little things that you khun put babies in if you're into that you could even have moms bring those as well but a design revolution has all kinds of things for the obsessive a person like erica way except everyone wait keep going with like your triggers your radio popper is trigger triggering the lights and I love level of the new nano's and I think I said that on the video but radio popper I've been using them for several years and they just came out with for the simple person like me you know they came out with the radio popper nano's which they're not going to be for the person who's doing outdoor off camera flash and shooting multiple lighting but for me in the studio whether it's you know one lighter too I can use those nano's and it's I mean they're quick and they're consistent and even in the studio I'm shooting a lot and so and I need that flash to go off every single time because if it doesn't I'm gonna miss the money shots and one of the great things about shooting in the studio is you're always going to freeze the action and so it's great and you know another thing that I love about it with little kids is that with that giant soft books with that reflector you're kind of giving them a contained space and so kids they don't have a lot of places to go, you know there in this little spot and so I can let him jump. I can let him dance. I could let him do whatever and you're gonna freeze that light with those strobes and so that's. One of the things that I love about studio lighting it's, always crisp and clear. And I can get things in focus inside, which is awesome. I have a radio poppers are great and soft boxes off boxes like larson and it's larson dash e nt for enterprises, the larson larson dash anti dot com and the reflectors also larsen perfect. And the lights themselves. Photogenic footage. Ex. Okay, so everybody's got that everybody's got and stick you say one more thing about the soft box before the question. I do get a lot of questions from people that you know, I have a small space. How do I use this? Big giant four by six reflect our soft box and I used to use that four by six soft box in a in a room that was about as wide as this rug. And I had the soft box here, it's a very shallow softworks, even those giant this way it's very shallow and that's, one of things I like about larson but I had the soft box here and I painted my wall white for reflection because I didn't even have room for a reflector so I was in that tide of a space but still used that one one light and I almost missed that because you have such consistent lighting and my building with eight thousand square feet there it's never consistent because there's different lighting coming in you know you've gotta have overhead lights on a lot of times in a in a building that big I can't select like one little area that I'm gonna turn the lights off and so my light is always changing I'm always having toe, you know, check the back of my cameras to make sure I know what's going on and when you've got a confined space like that it's almost a benefit to you so you know don't think that if you have a small space you can't use that kind of set up well of that thank you. S oh question from wendy dc you have any big tips for big groups of people for example three families coming together with grand parents and grand kids and multiple kids and all that I know that when you have you mentioned that you start with the father and build around him to have any tips for larger groups like that? Yeah, and you know it's always the you know that whoever is the biggest father not in size you know the grandfather I mean, I do start with the green parents of prominent and I build around them if I have a large family grouping and that's such a good question and, you know, and I hope somebody asked again remind me to talk about that when we're talking about sales as well, because extended family groupings are a huge huge opportunity when it comes to sales and a lot of times we miss out as photographers because we are working with the one person who called to set it up and what they think they want, you know? So we'll get back to that, but, um, with posing, I do want to start with grand parents, and then I'm usually giving each of the individual families kind of their own little pose within themselves. And so whether it's to, you know, a brother and a sister and their kids or four, five or six or however many every every family gets their own little pose and then we might break it up and do something different. Where we've got brothers and sisters just with the grand parents and then I always always wanted photographed each individual family alone, I want to photograph kids alone, I want to photograph grand parents with all the grandkids and so there's lots of different configurations to work within, but if you have you know, kind of that system that you know kind of a flow you can still make even those extended sessions happen in less than an hour just by moving through it and making sure you at for me I always want to pose the biggest family grouping first and then break it down from there because you know that's the most important thing and then if you do have a child who's losing it you photograph another family, let them cool down and then you photograph them when they're ready and so biggest family grouping always always first for me but yes, always posing around the would that be the patriarch wear the matriarch? Yeah uh do we have another question in the studio? I was just wondering about that flooring you said it was like a mouse pad. Is that something you can put over carpeting or is it just too I think he's headed over carpeting also it's actually really thick it's like mouse pad put material but think of like four mass pad stacked on top of each other so it's like robbery but you can roll him up and we, you know, have several that are rolled up that we could just roll out on anything I have around my building my building is the old j c penney building in our town and all around upstairs where I shoot there's probably two and a half feet of like this ledge that comes out over the floor so we had a build floor up to it and my shooting areas which you saw where that that rug er but flooring was over and so we yeah we put it over those air just what are those big crazy things that pallet so it's a palette we just have palates laid down there which are not you know you can put your foot through and just have that that thing rolled out over him and it's great you just walk right on top of it I think you could put it on anything fantastic all right do we have any other questions from in the studio you have never walls you pay in the world so somebody that was painted and then the second session that you guys saw was actually we also painted that one uh that is a piece of linoleum that is turned backwards and we paint in the back of it it used to be my white sweep and all of a sudden are you shot you know that high key white black and white for so many years and I was on board I wanted something different and I really miss it so we're actually in the process of getting another white sweep of linoleum in there and unfortunate to have the space to be able to do that and of course we could do with paper we use paper for birthday baby sessions, but that's about it, and I like him for that, because you could just pick it all up and throw it away. Don't have to clean, but that was a piece of linoleum and just painted, and so is the law while painted, yeah, all right, so I think we are about done with day twenty three, let's hear about the download for day twenty three. Good. Yes, twenty three. You're going to get us set up for christmas cards. You've been seeing sessions that we've been shooting for christmas cards, and so I want to make sure that you guys were set up and ready to be ableto have christmas cards available, those templates to be able to pop your images in and get those out to your funds.