Shoot: Clam Shell and Ring Light


High School Senior Photography


Lesson Info

Shoot: Clam Shell and Ring Light

We're at two eight on this light set up right now. Okay? And what I want you to focus on here is the different lighting set up. So we still have two strobes, but rather than have, like, kind of ah, main phil here we went with more of a clam shell light up. So this is going to create beautiful lighting on her eye. So if you ever see some of that beauty high fashion, those high fashion look that's, how they're doing this and sometimes they'll do this with the main light, and then they'll actually have a reflector under here to push light up to mimic what this is putting off. Right? So here we've got two strobes. This is what we're doing here, and I'm going to take a test shot and let's see what this looks like. Perfect. All right, we gotta go a little higher with this guy so I can see through it. Perfect. See, it always helps to have an extra set of hands here. It makes it makes life a little easier. All right, let's, do your hands on your hips, love it, pop that hip a little bit for me,...

and I'm just gonna take a really tight shot here, there you go, beautiful smile just to see what we're looking at here. Okay, so I don't like the exposure let me adjust my eyes so here I think I had it set wrong chin down just a little bit for me. Beautiful. So let's see what's coming up here? Okay, what do you think of that? Do we like that lighting honor? Okay, do we like her eyes are eyes popping give me some feedback. What you guys think you're staring at it? Are you intending the background to go so dark? I know you just pushed your eyes. So is that why you pushed your eyes? So because on the previous one the background was almost goes to dark. Yeah, we lost it so I want to bring back a little bit of that and I had my eye so set wrong. I looked at the meter, the meter was so two hundred on my camera. It's it's one hundred so I just want a little more sensitivity to light uh, if we look at the image, if you look, can we bring up a history graham on this by asking for a miracle quick question from never too late are the two strobes equal power? Yes. The two strobes are equal power so that we have even lighting lighting going on now look here. If we look at the history graham here, you can see we're not we're not losing any any detail here so we're not losing any highlight detail which would be very important for post right so you know what the viewers air seeing on their screen what we're seeing on this tv monitor and what I'm seeing in the back of my camera or three different calibrations okay so when you get into a situation like this what I'm relying on is making sure that history graham I'm not losing my highlight details the rest I'm going to control in post production so that we can add it some of these images and get them to look exactly the way we want right but the lighting itself can we zoom into her eyes you'll see those catch lights in her eyes this is very much what you'd see in mohr of ah fashion fashion look fashion experience now if I'm setting up for this you can see from the light setup we have behind me see look at her eyes look how tack sharp that images that's very very important I'm we're zooming in here and she was beautiful okay so this is going to allow us to sell mom very nice portrait so let's zoom back out on this what's getting up happening his all the shots that I'm taking here with this particular light set up one hundred percent geared towards creating a beautiful portrait head shot right head and shoulder we're not going to go full body. And with this light set up and that's not the intent. Itjust mohr again diversity a different lighting technique for your clients. And I would absolutely switch to this in the middle of her outfit so I would have done this in the middle of her first off. It would've been like, hey, just give me a second here and I would have in my studio this soft box ready to go get that on there I could easily in my studio while she's in her outfit switched this light set up in under four minutes. Okay, so she's not waiting around, wondering what's going on? I'm like, hey, just give me a chance I'm gonna do something different this would be at another look for her within her environment. Yeah. Would you ever want to raise up the top light a little bit to give him more shaped face or is that going to kind of throw things off? You do that? Well, now you're going into more butterfly lighting, right? The choice is yours. So if you want to raise that light up here, fire it down. We absolutely can let's just try for argument's sake, let's, just do nothing else has turned this one off let's, keep it let's, keep it there and let's just turn the bottom guy off, okay? So we're going to do is we're going to turn one light off just give just give it a world see what it does on dh then we'll see what that light looks like it will create more of a butterfly light under her nose that is your look right. So remember we were talking yesterday you're lighting is part of your branding how you decide to light your portrait there's no right or wrong answer she should be well exposed that's the that has to happen she has to be well exposed but once she's well exposed what you do to shape the light that's totally up to you, man there's no right or wrong but what you should do is be consistent. So this is a look that comes out of my studio which what we're known for it's what I know I can sell right? It's got to be salable. It could look a school is possible like we could in theory turn one light on from the side, right? Give her some sidelining real hard shadows on her face I don't know if anybody's going by that right a boy might buy it, but she might your your client might not be willing to buy that does that make sense so that's very, very important since studio c now is kind of your indoor studio I made the assumption in my own head that when you went to the butterfly lighting, you switched the background and the outfit specifically because you wanted a different style of lighting with a different background in a different outfit. But what you just said, wass, I would have done this with the other outfit. So do you do the same lighting pattern with every outfit? Or do you? I mean, would you have the same thing in studio c? You switch to a nude outfit? Are you going to do butterfly lighting in both or you going to do you know, the clam shell in both? Yes. And, yes. Ok, right. So the short answer is, it depends. Were the lighting technique itself can be applied anyway. You want, remember, the ultimate goal is stir fried as much diversity as possible. What I would typically do is because I can move so quickly. In between lighting setups, I can easily offer three different lighting race styles for office. Now, if I offer the client three different lighting styles per outfit and I'm moving that quick, it's got to be quick. You can't have twenty minutes in between changing lighting setup. If I can offer the client three different lighting setups what's gonna end up happening is they're going to be extremely happy overwhelmed with great images but they're going to extremely happy when it's all said and done because there you go oh my god, I love this one I love this one but that's so different first, if you just have one lighting scenario or set up in your studio everything starts looking the same even though her expression is changing it all starts looking same so I hope I'm not being evasive in the answer your question it just depends that's the answer you have to find what looks right within your studio but to that point what you're seeing here is exactly what we do it's studio c so everything I'm showing it today this is real world scenario that we would set up in our studio I'm not just offering you up something that's like oh, wouldn't it be cool if we could know this is exactly what we can do there's more complicated lighting techniques out there but this is what we're using in our studio and what we find actually sells its salable so questions here you guys good let's take a couple of questions online, okay, I have a question from camas photo who would like to know if you could talk about how you would do this shoot differently with boys from scottsdale, arizona uh what would we do differently with boys uh if I'm indoors, I would not do much differently with boys. What I would do with boys is I might bring in some of their sports memorabilia that could be really cool like boys I would do hard lighting s so I guess I take that back I would do some things differently. I would opt for more maybe a single soft box so imagine if we took that big soft box okay rather than using two lights right to keep it even or flat lighting we would go to just one light one big light sauce for a boy put it off to the side a little bit creates a hard shadows on the face boys, they look good that's a little more masculine in the lighting, you know scenarios. So create that maybe get a baseball bat right if they're sports athlete and create stuff that starts looking more like sports illustrated stuff that looks like espn mag these are what the kids are seeing, right? Give them a little bit of that and it creates that high fashion hard edge and the boys absolutely love it. Okay it's taking one morning a question from cathy's photos as well as herman watson uh who are wondering about the duel catch lights and would you take those one or both out in post do you like them that they're split like that? I personally like the cash lights if you want to me this is reminiscent of watching an mtv music video eso they'll do all sorts of cool things with catch lights in fact what I ve seen now and some of the fashion magazines our four catch lights in the eyes so they create a perfect square box within the eye that is super super cool it gives it a very distinctive unique look I would not edit those out that's my personal preference I do know photogs who would actually edit that out so for me uh this is part of our law part of our field because where the light come from if I edit those out we're basically saying there was magic light on the scene like where did it come from right that's that's telling you the lights or so if you become a fashion magazine and you're ever curious about how they lit something grab it and look at the model's eyes that'll give you a big indicator on how they lit it they don't edit that stuff out but that's I think again back to personal preference and your brand so let me let me take a few shots here did we drop down the one light way let me take a test shot here that's actually not too bad let's see what comes up I don't particularly like it you see the difference let's go back between this and the previous image do you see the difference? One's got a certain sense of glow to it and we can and we can jack with this a little bit we could raise it a little higher. Create a little bit more dramatic shadow but that's not a look inside my studio. Look, she's not even happy with the lighting on the right, she's just she's just pissed off about it, right, she's like I know this doesn't look it's out no. So the one on the left I just feel it gives her that that globe do you see that glow? Do you feel that glow of that image it's very bright. I just don't particularly care for that one on the right. So that's again, personal preference whatever you do, there's no right or wrong answer she's well exposed on the one on the right. But it's just not excuse me the look I'm going for within my within my brand, so let me take a few shots here. Let's, go back to this. Um, I can drive you nuts by turning this back on. Um, I'm gonna go back to this. I just want to take a few shots and then I'm gonna quickly we've got ten minutes till we hit lunch on, then I want to get to a ring flash so I want to put a ring flash in here to show yet another lighting scenario which is very much high fashion that's what they're seeing in the magazines a ring flash so but let's we re back up perfect let's see let's do let's do this? Can you uh it's too hot when we can we dial it down at all? It was that sent to what it was before. All right, let's do this two hundred I'll take one more test now the right way to do it is to get your ah light meter out oh, I think you're right let's say bingo now just meet just meet her meters out of hundred and it's saying to o point nine two eight all right, maybe she's the back of my camera let's look at the history, graham yes? So that's what we're doing before I just did my eyes so so she's getting exposed properly but we're not getting enough light on the background, okay, so now I want it now we're gonna move forward so let's, just do this let's rock it out, have fun with it. Don't be afraid to be silly let's get a fan going we're done let's let's have some fun with this, okay, let's, have you let's just have yeah, let's get some disco music point ready to ride baby here we go love it put your hands on your heads cross your arms for me yeah I like that let's do that turn that right shoulder back a little bit just a shoulder chin right at me down beautiful beautiful look chin this way a little bit soften it up a little bit for me that's the look I want out of you beautiful big giggle now chin down beautiful hole that that's awesome man and last one good I love these shots good great I'm gonna keep you in this outfit john I want to switch to a ring flash real quick okay what do you think of these guys? Are you digging these were they thinking online they dig him yeah t long t donald says please congratulate the model she was great yeah she's doing awesome man so shots like this I absolutely love I love her expression I love the way your hair is moving again it gives us some diversity and it's a shot we can definitely do something with in post production you guys talk to me this stuff you can replicate in notice here she has a habit and a lot of kids do this when they start laughing their chin goes up as soon as she did that the next frame I think I told her bring her chin down and we should probably have that looks like it's still loading but you got to be conscious about because if that chin's going up, see now we got the chin down. If the chin's going up, they're not going to buy that is a large portrait because you're kind of shooting up the nose, so you've got to be conscious of that drifting chin. I call it get it down, eh? So that you've got what you're looking for. Yeah, so I guess this is what I struggle within studio, maybe everybody else does. They do the image, and I think you probably already feel this way whether or not it's a good image, technically, it still has a flatness to it where you don't have that texture out outside, where you don't have that, you know, giant depth. Um, is that just kind of what you're talking about when you talk about? Listen, I don't know, I'm not the one who shoots indoors because I don't get what I get outside of the other day in the studio, it just doesn't exist. This is why I don't. This is for the record, why don't do indoor photography there's a lot? There's definitely high fashion photographers that work indoors very successfully, but you're there's a certain limitation when you're shooting for the cover of a magazine you're looking for one shot right? I mean, you've got to get that money shot that you've got that goes on. The cover of typically is shot on the psych wall. You know, everything's perfect. So here, in order to offer the amount of diversity that we're looking for, what are what are our options? If you will, you can only use what lighting different lighting techniques are going to give us different look and feel different backgrounds because think about it, even though that backgrounds going a little dark it's the same background. But it looks different than where the background was perfectly expose. So from their visual cue, it's there's a difference here on that background, the color's different of that background, her expression, her pose. Right. So these are all the things. Now, if I had more time, I would pull a chair in haver sit on a chair. Maybe I will let's do this. John let's. Get that chair. I just know a normal creative life chair. Does this make it to the set? Most of the times. Yeah. All right, so have that chair right where she is again. We're introducing. I hope in your thrift shops you find a better chair, did bambi make this? It looks like we'll baby good job because it looks like like a paper machine kind of chair, right? I mean, it's definitely got some attitude with it I could see putting someone here in like a red like red dress something that would pop off that but all right, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna have you here and notice I'm going to show the senior how I want them to pose okay, so you don't want them in a chair back in here see how small and I start looking this is not how you want them so I bring them notice also the chair isn't perfectly square that's not how I want it I want to turn a little bit to the side and then I'm gonna have her here I want you to spread your stance as much as you can, okay? And don't sleep come square into the camera I want you to maybe lean a little bit to the side all right let's see what that looks like now for this one we're gonna use a ring flash okay that's gonna give it a little bit more commercial look come all the way forward for me good spread that stance go here keep those toes in now lena let that shoulder go one way or the other there you go. I love that that's why I want you look good okay you get metered in from here, john I'm about to move you so we're gonna do is use a ring flash now to get a different look and feel nate to your point can we do this for each outfit go you know, three lights set up clamshell set up and then a ring flash on every outfit absolutely yes. And then that would ensure even more diversity for your office because the last thing I want to do is waste a whole outfit and just shoot clamshell style head shots as much as I love that that's gonna be a limitation on when we get back into the sales room. All right, let's see, we got four that's fine. All right, hopefully you guys still do I still have audio take that as a yes good. Get me in there, john. Go ahead. Touch me, it's all good. All right, would you say we're at four o okay, so let me get a test shot here now I can shoot right through this ring flash you just get a test shot here, see if I like what I'm seeing I love it. So let this pop up okay? That was just a test shot totally different look and feel to this image that gives us something that's a very much high fashion look, something they're very used to seeing inside of ah magazine that's the ultimate goal that we're going for here and the cool part is is these ring flashes are not that expensive overall I mean so just pick up a ring flash and give your client's a totally different look and feel all right so let's go here there you go hang onto that for me beautiful one too. I think you need to be a little more sassy with this personally yes, I love that look that is your sassy look by the way good. Hold that and see what we got here. Are you guys digging this? This is turning into be my favorite lighting set up right here. Okay, she's getting red eye on this yeah it's going to be the angle into her eye that zoom into our eyes oh, yeah for sure. So we have to we have to obviously removed that for sure. You know I can price which my angle just sit up a little bit here, pick a different angle let's see, we'll do a test shot I should get rid of this. Yeah, now her red eyes gone so it's just the angle I'm shooting straight in at the same plane that's giving her some red eye that next time you should come in zoom out here gone so all I did was pick a different angle there's no modeling light on this right so what's happening is her pupils are getting adjusted to normal light there wide open and then boom we're hitting this with this monster flash that's making it even worse so if it had a modelling light on it which a lot of the new ring flashes do you this becomes less and less of an issue but the point is do we like this look so what I'm going to actually do here is leave that ring flash on and actually I'm gonna move it over here give it some direction and I'm totally experimenting now guys right it's not like I was in here practicing this shot knowing how it was gonna look I'm totally experimenting do not be afraid to make mistakes I mean guys I'm here we're on live right broadcast if I'm making a mistake we can't hide it it showing up on the screen and you could be like not do tsao really sucks so I'm totally okay putting myself on the line trying different things because that's how you take your craft to the next level if it looks good stick with it if it doesn't look good delete right it's that simple so let's go back into that pose love it bring it in to me just a little bit too much a little bit right there good and give me that sassy look that you were giving me so this is a test shot okay? And I don't like it at all. Okay? So I'm gonna come back into this three quarter let's have you sit back and lean into this? This arm? Yeah. Cross your legs. Beautiful. Okay, let's, have that I'm gonna do this three quarter let that hand go up. They're beautiful and I'm gonna come back to shooting through this and then this is gonna be the last shot we take here. Love your expression. Hold that for me. Beautiful. Bring you chin this way a little bit and down beautiful, big smile, chin down. Beautiful. Good. Those were shots that I'd be very happy with and it gives us a very different look and feel from the other shots that we were that we were taking where the light look at the background now I mean, that doesn't even look real. Looks like we write. We did post production and dropped her onto that background again. He's a raw images out of camera unedited. I like the way these air looking. So this is where I would go with issued and I could pull something like this off with each outfit, I would quickly move between my ring flash clamshell in a, uh, three point lights set up, so questions I know we've got about three or four minutes before lunch yeah, question from amber flynn photography how do you get a more natural smile? Even if I try to get a client to relax, sometimes the smiles come off as stiff or forced what is the best way to make a client loosen up? I find the best way to get the client to loosen up is the way we started right in the beginning when I started coaching her in the beginning, you have to understand that when your clients start off, they're very nervous, they don't know what to expect, they don't know that they're looking good actually s so what I do is that first outfit tailor told you in the beginning is usually their worst outfit that's why they're getting ready, they're still getting comfortable in front of the camp. The best way to get a natural smile out of your client is just start off getting loose, get him comfortable, tell him what you're looking for some when I was coaching her in the beginning, I said, I'm gonna look for a real smile and my deal with you is if your smile looks if you're doing anything that looks stupid, I'm gonna tell you and vice versa if I'm doing anything that makes you feel stupid, you tell me and buy meat developing that report with her, she trust me? I mean, would you agree with that? You don't know what to expect right when you got here? Not really. So I mean, so far you haven't fun? Is it okay? Have you seen these that we got some of them? Yes. Ok, so and that's what we want, I might bring the camera tour and show and be like, hey, look at yourself in this one now you gotta be careful with that because when you bring them the camera to show them that could go sideways on you real quick because they could be like, I hate the way I look so you have to be very careful on the image you choose to show them, but if you show them and they like it all came on right, you just build confidence for them and now this is going to just keep going going going so it could be a lot of fun for them if it's run right, I realized it could change theon tune ity to have different images but you ever get somewhere and go? Wow, I thought I would like that image hate it switching backto outfit that they were already in if you just if it is just not working the way you thought it would, I don't think I understand how would this work so I'm on a location I'm shooting her, you got done with your first set first thing you were in an alley you did it you can the outfit that you did did you like the least right? You get to the second set you thinking love that blue you thinking in your head what is going to look like? You get there and for whatever reason maybe there's you know, some flowers it ended up bloom and from the time that you were there before and it just looks absolutely atrocious together pack it up, move on okay, I would take you to put it back in enough other outfit and take that shot that you wanted there no, just long yeah, what I do is when I arrive in a location it looks good visually but then when you take it for a test brain you're like this isn't this isn't working it looks better in my eye than it does in the camera so it's not uncommon for me to roll up, take a test shot not like it ok let's pack it up and go. I won't shoot one hundred frames if I don't like it right out of the gate so you know, you heard me here a little bit like test shot and it's happened with that first one I'm like let me take a test shot see if I like it I took it I didn't like it at all let's move on so then I came back into more of a three quarter shot I realized that that ring flash isn't really going to do you any justice trying to light a full body portrait so you typically need to be much closer for that ring flash because it creates that kind of glow around so if you find a spot you don't like move on quickly don't waste a whole lot of time there let's take some cup maybe one or two questions online and we're gonna launch okay sounds good. This is from knots ck from new york how do you very lighting ratios for darker skin kids there's a little manual adjustment there, right? So I might go in and we were like me during you know, we're getting it at two eight and she was perfectly exposed in that scenario where she was at two eight, but that background was black, so what I did was I adjusted my shutter speed, right? I was dragging the shutter I went toe like one sixtieth one forty eights of a second to allow more like to hit that background from that perspective, so I'm making some manual adjustments in camera not everything I'm doing is via meter some of it's mine up to make sure I like the way it looks and always, you know, use the hist a gram in your camera to make sure you like what you're getting because you don't know if you've got african americans or you know people with darker skin you've gotta expose for that and I don't know I feel like this is more of an issue when you're dealing with bride in rooms like that can be a challenge I've had african american groom you know, caucasian bride white dress black talks mix it up however you want and that could be troublesome so you just gotta figure I'd up a little bit you're gonna get in there on a wedding day meeting everybody it's not practical. All right one more question from matthew koontz hey matthew and who's in cedar rapids do you have a specific look or composition that you want for the pan o's and when in the shoot do you shoot those? Yes, the panels are definitely some they were known for and we will do some of that this afternoon in studio you're gonna have a very difficult time photographing and getting a fifteen by thirty not to say it can't happen it's just a little bit more difficult when we get outside I do have a composition I'm definitely looking for thirds when I'm photographing that wide shot I don't want them bull's eye dead center and I want a lot of architecture in the shot so I already know in my head and we go up on the roof today I'm gonna have that space needle there on have my subject there, and I'm looking for a very vertical style panel, so it'll be fifteen thirty going vertical. So in my head, I see it, but you never know, right? I take that test shot. I don't like the way it looks. We're gonna move on to something else, so definitely that's when you're gonna get your sixteen thirty five.

Class Description

Join Sal Cincotta for his "take no prisoner" approach to the business of high school senior photography. In this photography business course, Sal digs into marketing plans, business plans, pricing, and packaging. Sal also shows how to create an ambassador program so that your kids are talking about you and advocating your business in their schools.

This business course also includes a series of live in-studio and on-location photo fashion shoots, showing you how to capture the most of-the-moment trends, poses, and backgrounds. Sal also covers why high school senior photography is at the core of every successful photography business. Seniors become brides and brides become long-term family clients.