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Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business

Lesson 21 of 39

Shooting Outdoors and Camera Modes

Matthew The Body Kemmetmueller

Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business

Matthew The Body Kemmetmueller

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Lesson Info

21. Shooting Outdoors and Camera Modes


Lesson Info

Shooting Outdoors and Camera Modes

My dumb joke for this segment is what happened when the butcher backed up into the meat grinder he got a little behind in his work ah come on lala we could start with the giggle it's not so bad so this segment we're gonna go over outdoor shooting I'm going to talk about shooting an automatic modes I'm gonna talk I'm gonna show you guys my camera bag stuff that I would bring on location and I'm gonna walk you through how to deal with high school senior guys kind of how we talked over the rules of things we look at for girls and lighting earlier I'm going to show you the difference isn't go through that with a guy session since that's what we're doing right after this so let's get started ninety percent of our sessions have outdoor work and the way that we've had to structure this creative live is I'm not able to show you guys an outdoor session we just don't have time to go out there we don't have the location it's just not possible it seattle and april it's raining it was raining yeste...

rday it's raining today you wished for more rain ice saw on the weather he said that your first day and it's raid yesterday too today and tomorrow so thank you for that wish I appreciate that so with ninety percent of our work being done outside it's important that I tell you guys like that things that you have to look for when you're shooting outside and how we do it, maintaining the one shot one pose and getting the results that we want quickly so things that's talking about shooting outside even no control over the weather you can't control the lighting, you can't control the wind and there's some things that are really, really like negative about shooting outside some things that you are just going to have to know as a photographer that if you're doing an outdoor session, you are not going to have full control of your environment just by the nature of the beast, right? But there are some great things about shooting outside, and these are the images most the clients think they think they want that's what they come to you thinking is going to be their favorites, whether ultimately it is or it isn't. They come in with that expectation that I want create outdoor photos, right? And if you learn your lighting, if you learn it quickly get ty, identify great lighting and you learn your equipment it's very easy to do fast sessions outside with great results, so to go in and explain to you lighting looking outside it kind of showed you guys the basics of our studio lighting for girls I want to talk to you about the basic lighting outside because there's a couple of different types understanding this the natural light is going to help you be able to identify where you want to shoot when you want to shoot and how you have to shoot it so you got the golden hour sunrise sunset got hard light backlight and diffuse light and those of the four that we're going to talk about today the golden hour is that hour right around sunrise and right around sunset in golden hour is going to give you the most amazing light it's this yummy delicious smooth light and it's at times of day that I have no interest in working sundown minneapolis during senior season is like nine o'clock I don't want you to see your session at eight I want to do it and the golden hour although sometimes that lighting is just so delicious and wonderful and it's what you want to shoot in it's really, really heavily affected by weather so if you have a storm and a bunch of clouds it can give you a much different result than the same day the same time or the next day the same time it's really inconsistent so it's hard to bank on it now sometimes you're shooting a wedding and it's wonderful and that's what you want take the bride and groom out from the table and you said I just need you for twenty minutes because it looked it's gorgeous but I'm sure my senior sessions that way I don't and I got examples for every other kind of light except for this because we don't do it and I wanted to only show you guys senior samples and because it's so inconsistent and because the time of the days don't work with what I want to work, I don't have any samples to show you this is gives you a really long shadows though really it's it's long shadows it's a nice horizontal white because the sun isn't right above you it's coming in at this side so you got hard light hard light we already discussed what hard light is earlier but its harshest light from like a sunny day you're going to get dark light in the eyes you're going really bright, the face is going to be super bright in the eyes going deep, deep set okay in general, I don't shoot this light all the time now, it's not something that you need to avoid always and I'm not saying it's a hard, fast rule that if you're in a hard light that you can't take a great photo gerry g own instead workshop on that and showed lighting examples from hardly and they're amazing if you do that though it's it's a distinct I feel that you're going to get to your image and it's not it's it's good if you're gonna go with more of a fashion type look, if you're going to go and be a little bit more aggressive with your posing this lighting, it could work for you so hard light right in the sun blasting away alright, hard light right in the sun so if you're going to shoot hard light, what you need to know going into that is that if you're going to try to overpower it like we did with this, you need a big light you need a lot of power that you're pushing out of a flash to beat the son so this shot is done with an alien be sixteen hundred in a beauty dish on it and it's just dropped down and I'm just blasting away that that light because I need to overpower the direct sunlight that we're in and you'll see that if you do it that way this still like I like this image is a good image and I'm not gonna rag on this image at all I got good skin tones I like the pose that like the background but you could tell that it's shot hard light it just it kind of has that feel to it it's not that soft dreamy sweet light look so it's good and it could be done but you gotta have the equipment you got to know how to do it back like this is still a hard light okay backlight adds a lot of contrasts here images and the thing that you need to be aware of if you're shooting with backlight is not only that you have to have a good feel like you have to have something that's goingto put light into their face because obviously the light source is behind your subject if it's a back light so you need to be ableto light the face but also be aware that you need like a lens hood this is super easy to get lens flare and so you might have to have the lens hood and he still might have to put your hand out over the lens hood to extend your lens hood and lens flare is great if you like it and that's your look and that's what you want to go for awesome do it but be aware that if you're dealing with backlight and you don't want lemon square it's going to be an issue and it's got to be something to deal with because you don't want to deal with having to take that out on post and if you get a lens flare over different objects it'll get all creepy and the color and not good so backlight and see it's not bad for portrait's it's certainly not like that you should run away from and my clients like the girls go crazy for that they love that look I don't know it looks like the hairs well frizzy for me but the girls that might female kind of love that look so if you can get backlighting and shoot it right you'll be able to sell it you'll be able to sell it every single time when you're shooting back like the like I said you gotta avoid the lens flare and you also got to know when you're looking for when the issue backlight it's closer to that it's you gotta wait until the afternoon when the sun's starting to go down you gotta wait until you aren't at that new an hour that heart that hardly that we were talking about right away that's noon that's the brightest, most intense light you're going to get that's when your shadows go straight down now with backlight you're starting get the shadows that are going away from you you're starting get those longer shadows diffuse like this is what your aim for this is the sweet spot for portrait lighting generally it's like through a cloud it's shade it's a soft light it's gorgeous it wraps around things it's nice and me the only one like we get in the car and you're like who how good today see yourself in the mirror and I won't oh yeah you're like yeah, why it's because you're surrounded by banks of light and you're in this huge diffused box because your your roof is shielding the direct light and he got all of these banks of light pouring in it's gorgeous light you gotta look for that car light that's sitting in your car light remember that when you're dealing with well we'll talk about that in a second this is also if you're shooting with diffused light if you just shoot existing light it's really easy to get flat images it's super super flat lighting it's not going to get you that pop you are not going to have that contrast that you get from backlighting or from hard light because everything's just everything's in the shade right feels like so diffused lighting is the goal and a lot of times when people are looking at diffused lighting to like like I was mentioning with the car window stuff the car light I realized that just shade isn't just shade diffused light isn't just if he's like different qualities of diffuse like if you put someone you want you want the brightest shade you can get so you don't want to put your kid's way back in the deep shadows that's not good you want to make sure that you have the brightest shade possible so let's talk about camera modes ninety nine percent of our photos are shot two point eight or wider I shoot everything wide open even my family's shoot is even this stuff it's not one subject remember that a lot of people get concerned about depth of field it's not only just your aperture it's also affected by your focal length to eight on a fish eyes, and I'm thinking that shallow end of the field and it's also affected by your distance to the subject. So if I'm shooting it to eight and I'm from me to you away, that might be a couple of inches, but if I'm shooting it to eight and it's a football game and I'm shooting across the field, that might be several feet. So understanding that depth of field is affected by not only the focal length and the aperture, but your distance relative to the subject that all changes it. So don't be super afraid of shooting wide open but do understand that it's something that you need to be aware of its different than shooting at f sixty, where everything from here to the moon's gonna be in focus and your shutter speeds and fourteen hours and no, I mean it. You got to know that you've got to know that it's an issue, but it's really not as big of an issue is what people think, and my goal is to give them stuff they can't get from their iphone. I gotta make my image is better, I got it, I could do that easily, I have the gear, I have the knowledge. So I use things to my advantage that my gear allows me to do like shooting with a shallow depth of field and do it responsibly so that you know that you weren't hitting the nose is tak sharpen the eyes are out because they're shooting that one too look at your camera make sure everything's good so ninety nine percent of seven shot it to eight or wider still one shot, one pose and in most situations it's wonderful light with a little phil flash I don't shoot I don't pick my backgrounds based on the backgrounds I picked my backgrounds based on the light if I could get amazingly lit portrait of you that's going to look really that's gonna look way better than a poorly lit image of you in front of waterfall if the lighting's awful you can't really you can't sell that image it doesn't look good so don't get too hung up on like I want that in my background because if the lighting's awful and you don't have the equipment to beat it, don't take the image because the lighting is the most important part of your photos all right camera settings so you got manual program shut our amateur or shutter priority aperture priority in program I said program all right manual is like you're telling camera everything you're saying you are a dumb camera and I'm going to tell you everything I want you to do you period don't think do this is what you have to use if you're in a studio environment, you're using the studio strobes they don't you e I don't use t ell all that nonsense in my studio shrubs it's not, they're compatible now some fine oprah photo as like the fifteen hundreds and it's starting to come down, but even then I would so shoot all manual in my studio because the environment is constant, there isn't variation and lighting, so manuals it and there's a lot of people that shoot manual throughout their photography and I think that's great if that's like your system and it works for you and you're getting good exposures and then stick with it. But I've always kind of had the opinion that they have people that are way smarter than me that make a lot more money than me working at cannon to develop programs that make it easier for me to work fast. So I embraced the automatic mode when I'm on location because they spend a lot of time and money making them work pretty dane good. So when you're shooting program, basically, what you're telling programme mode is like take your best guess I'm going to tell you the esso and even now on like the five d mark three you could put it in ottawa, so take your best guess. Get me a shutter speed and get me the aperture that you think is best typically it tries to get you like a sixtieth of a second and it just dials it in where thinks it'll work a lot of people think that programme mode is like the equivalent of otto and that it's junk and that you should never ever use it and it doesn't show professionalism I don't typically use program but I know a lot of amazing photographers that do you get sort of job you sink? He shoots program why does he shoot program? Because joe's work is the complete upset of mine that joe's in such a high paced photo journalistic mode where he's just got to get the shot he doesn't have time to die a little manually and look at the aperture and get a meter reading and go in and set up this philip he's good he's capturing the raw emotion so he'll shoot in program and his images are amazing in the end all be all is that you have amazing images to give your clients so if you get that by shooting through a program shoot program now there's shutter priority shutter priority is where your telling the camera I'm going to tell you the shutter speed that I need that is the most important thing to me you do the rest now shut up priority I do we use when I photograph weddings a lot of times I will shoot my dances at shutter priority and I'll set it at like a thirtieth of a second because I like to get my flash freeze the motion and then I'll give the camera will shake and it just kind of gets a bit more excitement in the background so you shutter priority not all the time in situations where I want to drag my shutter and I want to make sure that that's the look that I get most of the time I'm shooting aperture priority because I told you guys the most important thing for me setting up I get the images I want is to have that that shallow depth of field toe have that look that dreamy background so we should shutter priority, which is where I say here's your eyes so here's your aperture and it adjust the shutter speed shutter speed is obviously something you need to pay attention to and does give you a little thing is you're looking through it tells you where you're at and you got to make sure that you weren't going super slow or that if you don't have your high speed sync on for your flash that you aren't going over two hundredth of a second because you're exposures will be off so that's why I wish I didn't skip the slide that's why we shoot it it's it's it's a key to my work this so there's also I want to talk to you about mita re modes and there's a bunch of different ways to meet her in your image to meet her in your camera and essentially there's two that I use in their extremes one is evaluative which is going to meet her and everything that's going with that and spot meter which says I'm only going to meet her on this when I same eater what I'm talking about us this is what how your camera is reading the light and it's going to use that to get to your exposure okay, so I use the valuable a tive the majority of the time that does a great job for me I like it to read the entire the entire image that I'm shooting and it works great almost always the times that I have to switch to spot me doreen are when I'm shooting like remember I told you we do two locations for our high school guys one of the locations we do is at a lake and if I'm shooting an image with the lake in the background because of the way the light is coming off of those waves it jack's my exposure up bad I mean it's like sometimes it'll be way over exposed sometimes it'll be way under and by using spot metering I'm able to say exposed for lorenzo that's what I want I don't care about everything else I want that exposed and so the cameras on ly reading that portion of my image it's throwing out all the rest of that information cool this is this is a good tool to use, and I know people that use this exclusively and you can I just I tend to get really good exposures almost all the time she didn't with the other mita re mode and I have to switch in rare circumstances, but once I figured out that that was my problem, like I was having exposure issues and I couldn't like I said what's going on since I switched to spot me, doreen was gone, and so it's knowing your equipment and troubleshooting what? What could be the issues and working through that process one time to guess about exposure lock. Okay, do you guys anyone know what exposure like this? Okay, so when you when you train in on something and you're like, I'm gonna photograph this a lot of times, what I'll do is I'll get my meter reading and then if I want to recompose to maybe open it up to a brighter area, maybe there's a hot spot over there, and I don't want that to be affected in my exposure you can lock that exposure in, at which point your camera essentially turns into like a manual mode while you hold this button so then you're telling the camera I don't care what you think now I'm telling you I want you to hold this exposure exposure lock is that little button it's the itty bitty little star okay, now on the brand new canon cameras like on the five to three and stuff they also have this lock and hold okay, now this is something I haven't found a use for you yet in my business but it's something I wanted to go over just a few guys air curious about exposure lock it's something you might want to explore. Exposure lock and hold means that you lock in the exposure it's in your custom functions it's the second window on your custom functions you confined this so what you do when you exposure like then is it holds that period until you turn your camera so by pressing the start button it's gonna hold it until I take the shot by doing this it's gonna hold it until I turn it off. Cool. Now exposure compensation is something you need to know and I think it's important to understand what your camera is. Mita ring for your camera although amazing and a huge like we got the best cameras out right now like there's never been a time is a better cameras in history, but it sees the world is grey everything your cameras meet oring whatever you shoot it at whatever you pointed at you say this is what I want you to expose for its going to assume it's gray it's not gonna assume it's why it's I can assume it's black second son was bright or dark it's gonna go right in the middle which means that if I was shooting a black kid in a black outfit my camera's going to see that as grey my camera's not goingto expose for him correctly if I'm shooting a pale blond woman in a wedding dress it's going to see her is grey and it's not going to expose for her correctly so if you're shooting situations like that it's easy to get frustrated with these automatic mode because you're like my exposures messed up but it's really because you don't understand what your cameras looking for so how you beat that he's through exposure compensation and the first time you accidentally turned this on it's gonna drive you nuts and we're gonna figure out what's right? You go online and I figured it out exposure compensation is this little bar right here on your camera so it's this little arrow it's right in the middle right now and I can't do anything said under lens on but as you hold down your button half a click and you roll the wheel you can adjust it positively or negatively so what I can say is I know that my subject is dark, that the clothing is dark, so I need to adjust my exposure and you can adjust it positively or negatively and then your camera's going to say, ok, whatever I think proper exposure is you're telling me to go a stop more two stops more, three stops more and that's key to be able to shoot in these in these modes is you're gonna have to kind of figure it out by doing you're going to figure out the situations when you need to adjust your automatic exposure or your exposure compensation? Cool. All right, let's, talk about flash e t t l two is what we got on the cannon system. If you want to learn flash watch, make fulton's class. When is he? Next week. The next wave, I believe thursday. Friday, next week. Okay. Mike is a speed like king. He gets it and he's a good guy to feel free to write and make fun of the way talks though. He's got this southern, this texas drawl thing that's. Kind of ridiculous. So go ahead. Write it two weeks from today. Okay, so two weeks from the seventeenth and eighteenth, awesome, awesome and he's going to do ah, whole class on speed light and it's gonna be amazing and it's going to go through the concepts that I'm just gonna gloss over he's going to go in depth on. So if speed light uses something you struggle with watch his class because he's gonna walk you through it he's going to make it dummy proof it's going to be so simple and you're gonna figure it out and he's, who taught me how to use my flash and how to do the off camera lighting that's that's, who mentored me on this stuff so I really can't speak highly enough about it because he really, truly knows this stuff and he's passionate about sharing so tune in but e t t l what it means see value a tip through the lens. It means that you are taking your meter reading through your camera. It's communicating with the flash and the flash's determine exposure it's an automatic mode just like the difference between shooting from manual and priority. This would be like shooting your flash priority, not manual. Now this works great for me, and I love it and there's actually I use I'm going to show you guys my whole camera gear, and you guys can laugh at me for some of the stuff that I haven't used there's, those reasons for it, learning how to use the built in, uh optical sink is awesome and if you use that you can shoot and still use your t t l communication but just like there's exposure compensation on your camera, there's flash exposure compensation so you can go in and say whatever you think you should be doing for flash I wanted to go less. I wanted to go more because I know that you're reading it incorrectly so we always have it. My theory is that you guys gotta find beautiful light, you have to find the good light that's what you want to shoot it every single day, look for good lighting find that nice diffuse light he find that bright shadow and then just use this fill light use this speed light to give you that pop to give you that separation to bring that contrast in your image to make it come alive. It's really easy stuff and then last but not least, we have talked about this before, but I used my lcd screen like crazy use it, look at it, see if your exposures are good and if you're shooting in shutter priority and you're like all man, this is overexposed adjust your exposure compensation down a couple of clicks, see how it looks, make sure you're getting it right on camera never say I can fix that in raw get it right, shoot it correctly all right, so putting it all together my outdoor shooting setup is essentially this camera said it aperture priority two eight evaluative metering I pay attention to the direction of light because remember, I'm using my flash was a fill light, not as a main light, and we went over broad lighting and short lighting that still matters outside, so pay attention which way the nose of your subject is going it's a guy or girl girl goes towards life guy goes away and I use that that flash just toe pop in some light and I set my flash at one stop under and I said, my white balance the flash but matthew, why do you use flash as your white balance? I'm gonna tell you the god's honest truth. I don't care what you use as long it is it is it is not auto use anything you want because it's as long as it's not otto, the reason is is just like when I told you guys to turn off auto in adobe when you take an image and otto white balance, you are saying to the camera, take a world, what do you think? I could take a picture here? And I take another picture and the camera might guess two different numbers, and even though my lighting hasn't changed and if my lighting hasn't changed my color temperature shouldn't change so even though my lighting hasn't changed, I'm going to have drifting in my white balance. Now we shouldn't raw, and we can set everything up and wrong. We can fix everything in rod's. Easy, it's, just a consistent way. Start at one place with your lighting, their white balance start at one place.

Class Description

The success of your photography studio depends on your business model, not your location. Learn the key strategies that have propelled a booming second-generation family photography studio for more than 40 years in rural Minnesota.

In this course, Matthew Kemmetmueller will show you how to set up your entire high volume senior photography business step by step — including successful sales tactics, shooting techniques, and efficient workflow practices. You will see Matthew’s strategies in action as he takes you through two live shoots from start to finish — each in under 90 minutes. Matthew will also teach you how to increase the value of your services, market directly to new clients, and create unique products that will delight your customers.

Whether you’ve photographed thousands of seniors or just looking to learn high volume tactics, this course will give you a comprehensive, replicable roadmap for multiplying your revenue.

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a Creativelive Student

I decided to listen in on the free course of Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business w/ Matthew Kemmentmueller...I thought it would be good to have the skill sets even if I chose to do another photography forum other than seniors. And I was laughing thru the whole thing...he is one funny guy!! So, I decided to buy it...not only is this course full of great tips/advice/ and "did you know facts" but it's really informative and again, he is down right funny. I'm learning lots. Thanks for having him on Creative Live...this one is a keeper.

Diane Yvon

I absolutely loved this course. I am primarily a maternity and newborn shooter and to my surprise what I learned here applies to my current work as well as developing my senior work. I thoroughly enjoyed Matthews delivery of each topic as it was clear, precise, fun and non intimidating. I will watch this over and over and the course downloads were amazing! 100% satisfied with this course


Matthew's class is excellent! I watched it live, but decided to buy it since it's so foundational. I think his information and materials are excellent, whether someone wants to be "high volume" or not. I love how he continually drove the point home about how so many photographers overwork themselves and gave excellent ways to resolve this issue. CL does such a great job of covering the gamut in education of all types. Thanks!