Shoot: Red Backdrop


High School Senior Photography


Lesson Info

Shoot: Red Backdrop

Ultimately, we've got basically a three lights set up here that's what we're going with, we've got a main big soft box here fill, which is more of a strip bank and it's even lighting here so we're going for more of a high fashion look, we don't want to create hard shadows on her I try not to do that with my female clients I want very even lighting across their faith face just creates more beauty lining then I've got a kicker behind her just to create some separation from the background everything's already the metered in and we are photographing at two point eight so my eyes so is that one hundred two point eight and then two two hundreds of a second of course I'm in manual mode so we're going to get started and what I'm going to do here is I'm going to start off at full speed, I want you to focus, you've seen how I've gotten her ready to be a tte this moment and start photographing but something we didn't talk about something I see all photographers struggling with is this concept of ...

rhythm. I mentioned it briefly yesterday tight, middle, wide, tight, mental wide you will hear me say that over and over again, so today I'm using right now I'm using my seventy two hundred I'm gonna shoot at seventy, one hundred two hundred and your photograph? You'll see me working this on and you'll see how I'm moving my hands. I want you to really focus on my hands, because once I get that test shot, I will not do this all day. I'm not gonna look at the back of this camera, right? I'm gonna engage in my closet with my client, we're going to talk, we're gonna have a good time. We're gonna laugh. Once I get dialed in, I'm going to rely and be confident in my settings and get going. They're so tight middle wide, vertical, horizontal, multiple looks, a serious look and ah, smiling look, and then maybe a look away. So I want you to focus on my rhythm because a lot of photographers get nervous when they're up in this moment and they're like you'll take a vertical shot, but then you don't go horizontal and nathan, you told me yesterday you get stuck in that headshot mode. This is where having that rhythm tight. Minal, why type metal wide gets you too? I have is much diversity is possible. We don't want to show the parents all frames that looked the same. We want to give them diversity and overwhelmed them great images so let's get started, right, kendra, you ready? All right here's what I want you to I want you to spread your stands for me perfect popped out hit ok and put your thumbs in your front pocket both of them love it do me a favor though uh I don't like the way your hair separated so reach back in there clean split on each side there you go that side's perfect awesome good pop that hit for me yeah and let those hands relax they look a little off perfect good all right so I love this sassy look you're giving me right now let's start with this let me make sure I like it I do let's keep going with this good so hold that for me there you go have fun with it. Awesome. Okay, now I'm going horizontal guys good let's start off sassy again lob it. Hold that for me beautiful stay there. Stay that with that sassy look I love it and stay there good now I'm coming in a little closer I wanna get a beautiful head shot good give me a real smile laugh for me there you go have fun with it. Awesome. Do me a favor looking off to your left yeah, look over there there's fun stuff going on over there here you go, keep your face there give me your eyes lavicka's sassy formal logic okay, I'm going back up here won't you do the same thing for me? There you go, it's funny shit going on over there can laugh there you go a lot of money for my camera catch up all right, I'm shooting too fast together so we'll give it a second t catch up here, okay, but let's bring up some stuff on the screen let's see, we got here and talk through it. Can we go to grid mode where we can showcase some of the diversity we're giving in portfolio allow waiting for all these catch up they want to kill me because I'm shooting raw right now so let me take a few questions from you guys while this is catching on I don't think they can see this on camera and I don't know if it's intended or not are you actually using the fourth light on purpose or is that backed up against a wall is going off? I just don't know if you're using an upper doing that too. It's got nothing to do with anything. That guy is just drawing power from the battery pack so that we can keep that kicker down about one one four. So yeah that's not doing anything. So maybe you could talk about that a power that you have on all the different lights? Yeah, so what we're doing here is on each one the strobes like I said, we're doing we're shooting as low as possible to get us at that to wait so we're shooting out to wait um let's bring up one image you so we can kind of see what it's looking like okay, so while we're waiting for that, we've got this kicker that's a stop lower than the main lights I just want a little bit of separation I don't want to create a whole bunch of highlight problems for her, you know, around her hair I just want to create some separation between her and the background so if we look at this image we can see what we're doing here so the background is blurred out. All right two eight is a one hundred right now I'm at one hundred five millimeters that's a great three quarter shot notice I didn't cut off her fingertips that is one of my biggest pat peace a great rule of thumb is do not cut off at a joint so don't come off the ankle don't come off the need don't cut him off at the elbow that's really, really bad when they start looking at images they don't want to see that their fingertips are cut off it looks bad so if you're going to cut never cut off a joint now do I break this rules from time to time? Of course I'm moving it's such a fast pace um I'm gonna break that rule, but you will find more of my shots than not is I'm going tight, middle wide, you'll find that I'm able to pull back from from this and get everything in there that's a great shot accuse me head room if I want to crop down andi that's the other thing I want to highlight here I see a lot of photographers do this this is really bad by the way, I noticed that you will put your focus point that little red dot when you're looking into your camera, you will put that focus point okay on the subject and then recompose guys know what I'm talking about you recompose because you're trying to composing camera there's nothing wrong with composing in camera, but that red dot when you're focusing has to be on your subjects I and the reason for that is the very nature of your glass it's kong cave. So is you start re composing, you're guaranteed to have a soft image as you start pushing them to the edge guarantee there's nobody who can argue with me about that that is the physics of your lens, so if you're using a five d right unfortunately got like nine focus points, not a whole lot your limited is that where you can put that? However, I would rather get a sharp image crop in post production right verse getting a blurry image but it's composed in camera right so those are the things we have to be concerned with I know your handholding here just because your handholding here probably do you hand hold in studio as well or to shoot on the camera stand of tripod no hand holding no tripod none of that madness is you're moving way too quick to be handcuffed to a tripod to cem stands I am very much a running gun shooter in the moment you know and let's talk to kendra how did you feel about that? That rhythm we just went through wasn't easy was it hard yeah it's pretty easy it wasn't too slow but it was good keep up that pace energetic so here we go here's somebody who knows nothing right she's not a photographer she knows nothing about photography listen to the feedback she's given us the two words she picked up energy pace dude if you start going like click that looks beautiful you look so good your smile so cute okay click okay that's so beautiful he looks this mountain no no let's keep it going man let's get the rhythm going let's have fun it should not feel like a photoshoot for her you with me that's not the experience I don't want her to get bored I want her to feel like yes I want to do more I wish I had twenty outfits to do that's the energy I need to keep up in the middle of my photo shoot so let's go we're grid mode here and I want to cut to the screen and we still have images loading okay? Um uh and so as these images are loading what I want you to notice is the diversity in the shot selection type middle wide tight middle wide I've got nice bus shots I come in a little bit tighter for a three quarter shot I pull back I get a head shot I move my feet I got closer to where now I've got a head shot so let me ask the production team a question because I'm seeing what my raw images are doing here obviously to be better if I shoot j peg for for this okay, so I'm going to switch when I get control of my camera back I will switch teo j peg welcome tto live tv right? And that'll make this this transition go a little bit smoother so let's take some questions while we wait. Okay? Let's do that we have a question from well, there's actually quite a few people asking it let's see this's from md wine and the question is what is the diffuser he's using on the kicker looks like a bag can you talk about why you're using that and what that isthe that is just a fusion yeah, that's, that's just diffusion paper. And all of the only reason we're doing that is to soften the line a little bit more and pull back, pull down some power on it. So I've had situations like that where I need to reduce power, and I put a sheet over a light to drop that power a little bit more so that's it there's nothing fancy about it. It looks like it's taped up there with him. Gaffers kate it's nothing magical. Uh, we're just doing it to kill some power and soften the light a little bit. And a question from phobia who's in guadalajara, mexico. What kind of off camera lights do you use for indoor outdoor shoots? And so will we be. Will you take these outdoors as well or similar thing? Or yes, I do not take the strobes outdoor there's too big of a footprint toe work that way, so I'm more likely I traveled so much there's no way I'm getting these kinds of kids and everything with me from city to city, it's not easy if I were doing a big commercial shoot. Actually, I'm lying. We just did a commercial shoot for nordstrom's, and on that commercial shoot, we didn't bring anything like this, we used our five eighties source our camera speed lights and we were able to get amazing images without bringing this heavy equipment so I'm more like when we go outside to use my speed light yes, I may have to bring two, three, four, five speed lights, but five speed lines have a smaller footprint than all of this stuff would in general. So that's, I'm really running guns. Um nikki coolest asked which do you prefer sow shooting a studio in the studio or on location? Do you always do both for every senior session? I am a being on location shooter, so I love shooting on location I hate shooting in the studio for the record, I understand my studio lighting, I know how to make it work, but I hate being in the studio. I just feel so restricted with what I could do and I know you could do some cool stuff and we're you know we got great backgrounds, but I'm more of an on location shooter that's for a second way do not typically mix if us if a client wants indoors, we give him indoors. If they want on location, then we're on location and the pace is moving ah lot quicker we're on location and how did they decide if they want in studio outside? Are you having a conversation with them and way charge differently to determine which one so if they opt for in indoor that's typically an hour hour and a half session if they offer outdoor we're gonna have five outfits three hours on location going all these cool spot so that's happening during that initial phone call where determining what they want and then how are they determine they're seeing the images on our website so they can quickly you know, grasp that well, you know, I saw this girl she's in the middle of street she's in a field, but we don't have a field in our studio so you know no, no fake field sats, no fake beach that's were either really on the beach or we're not so a lot of folks are asking about how you're focusing with this shallow depth of field in the studio and folks are asking fame your subject is seems to be in the middle do you uh do you focus and recompose and do you are you always using your focus points? Is your shooting if you could just talk again about how you're focusing yeah that's the part we talked about do not focus and recompose that is the worst possible thing worst thing you can do don't do it it's bad I teach for tigers all over the world and it makes me crazy when I see them put their camera there I focus and then recomposed because of that con cave nature of the glass, if you're shooting at two, eight or one, too, when you move that glass, they are going to be soft, and if you're trying to sell your client's sixteen by twenty fours twenty by thirty's, they're not gonna buy that of a soft image. So I am constantly in camera moving that focus point where I needed so that my subject is tax chart and I would rather crop in post production to attack sharp image than have a perfectly composed image. That's soft on if you look at some of these, they're you know, she's in third's on some of those I got a little too tight there a little bit too excited. Um, but go go all the way to the left yet right there that in that particular image that's a great head shot, if you will, it's very similar to the girl who's on the front of this whole program in workshop, this one she's, often to a third, the focus point is right on her I one hundred percent on her eye for that focus point, so I got her into third but a focus point focus points there and you can look at this image. This is a raw image out of cameron nothing's been done to it I love that shallow depth of field I love how blurt out that background is because it's not about the backdrop backdrops you stare to provide, you know, ambiance, if you will it's all about her I love her little smirky look and in postproduction I already know, obviously were going white balance this thing we're gonna and we're gonna throw a level of skin softening on her right just to smooth out some of her skin. And then, of course, just maybe some contrast and, you know, contrast bomb may be a little bit getting on then that would be an image that eye would show that my client and they would love it as a headshot thiss style of shot right here. This composition is probably our number one selling composition for the client to get a sixteen. Twenty four so wait, so let's keep going here way converted to jake magna. All right, so here we go, let's keep the rhythm going now, but start off their pop that hip, okay? And so can we go to grid mode because I lost track of where I wass okay, so now we can see the diversity of the shots we've been kind of you see the tight, middle wide you guys grabbing, grasping this name you grasping this time, it'll wide oh question I was just gonna ask you mean in some of them and I'm assuming it's just a fashion thing but you've cut off her head you know you're cropping it it's just a fashion thing where you're seeing her head cut off like uh the one we were looking at the one all the way to the left yeah that one of the top of her head right yeah that's just my style of photography you know so I like I like doing that you know, I think her top of her head is not really the focus point of the shots you know the one we have on the course cover ah that's cropped right there but if you go to the next one to the right or after that you'll see I pulled back a little right so now if mom says this is not an accident by the way if mom says hey I don't like where's the top of her head that's fine mom you don't like that that composition there's three other compositions where the top of her head is in there so that's where we come back to tight middle why tight middle wide I would never rely on that one shot and go got it nailed it done because what happens is I may love it client doesn't love it and that's very that's very important understand again back to that rhythm all right you with me okay so let's do this let's mix up this pose a little bit and go right through the right through the rhythm we want so do me a favor turn a little bit sideways but go into the main light for me yeah spread your stance a little bit pop that hip to the rear there you go love that let's get all your hair this way love it I love that look out of your perfect okay let's bring that left foot forward a little bit more like that good turtle for me good and down bring it down push it this way beautiful and they shake it off got little stefan here you go good that's what I want out of perfect all right so it's very important that when you're working with your senior you're keeping them loose bring your chin this way a little bit good start off sassy for me beautiful stay there with it awesome big giggle forming kendra there you go love it touching down awesome look off to your left for me go sassy over there is a cute boy you got a cute boy you like now you're really good maybe you like him don't you see in your good graces or he's in trouble he's good he's good good big giggle form there you go love it good let's see what's coming up here hopefully are moving much all look how fast that is no quick question that while we're waiting is coming up a lot. We've got norman in norman, oklahoma mr bill is asking do you use the back button focus technique? No, I do not use the back button focus technique what I do instead is I'm using what's I just used the focus single point focus because that back but focus technique is why the reason you use that right so that you can recompose so I don't want to see you re composing that red dot hits them your tax are take the shot I never use that back button focus your just lending to soft images and I don't want off can we get a shot? Where? She's looking at camera through this siri's right there, perfect let's, zoom in on her face tax chart that's what you want I don't want to have to recompose and have a soft image it just doesn't make any sense. Maybe you wouldn't show us maybe what can you show us? Sure, sure, I want to show you how to take a bad picture. I think they might. Okay, I feel like what poses. I don't know if at this focal range let's try. All right, so we got one image coming in let's zoom in our face that's still pretty sharp because I'm so close to her right and I'm using a seventy two hundred zoomed in you get a sixteen thirty five twenty four seventy you start doing that you're gonna have a you know, a tough problem I mean maybe my camera just doesn't tickler images it's not allowed it was it was banned we got the special camera from canon it doesn't take blurry images so yeah, if only that were true all right all right. So let's do this let's have some fun with this to me if ever you got your jacket take it off for me so now we're going to start using props here okay, so let's grab this by two fingers and throw it over the shoulder here you go love it love the way she standing to love your whole stands how about your hands on your hip like this? Okay, now how about your hands here? I like that good let's fix up this hair here you go. Good. All right, now here we go so we're in this studio yeah, so here's how I want you to hold this don't hold this so just grab it like that and then you go like that all right? Yeah, perfect there you go good. All right, good, good. All right so devil's in the details here we go good perfect love that now I'm pulling back here so I can get a full body shot okay so I'm wide even though I'm with a seventy two hundred but I want to do is turn sideways a little bit more go that way yeah there you go and let that hand go over over a little bit see how I'm seeing the palm and your risk and now start pulling it forward there you go a little bit more keep pulling keep pulling keep pulling and I don't want to see this turn your hand over it sideways a bit there you go there you go perfect good chin this way and down good okay now I'm going horizontal notice type middle why that kept her with her sassy look and now give me a good smile perfect keep smiling okay and that's so you're starting to see shots come in and that rhythm it's all about that rhythm tight middle wide and different expression she sassing she's looking away she's smiling so we've got three looks three different poses on then of course compositionally tight middle wide how we doing good all right so now I want to do something else with her okay so let's put that jacket down for a second now once I've gotten what are called what I call my standard shots and how many shots do we have let's go to grid mode here wait do we have what's the count fifty images okay so what's ending up happening here is very quickly and I'm pausing for instructional purposes but what's happening though is very quickly I'm building up a ton of images for her and so now and she's also getting more and more comfortable as this is going on well now I've gotten what I call my standard safety shots right? And whenever you get nervous whenever you're worried about how to you know create great images you always go back to your rhythm tightening a wide sassy or serious look a big smile look away so no matter what's going on in the world I've got my safety shots here I don't need another shot from this outfit and I would feel comfortable in what I'm showing the client so now what I want to do is experiment a little with this what I want to do is let's get all your hair to this side ok now here's what I want to do I want you to actually let's put it all to your back I'm so sorry okay I want you to turn face this way there you go and what I want to do is wrap your hair round so that it comes forward so let's see you do that yes that's what I'm looking for so I'm trying to go for some a little more high fashion now the key here to make making this work okay is for when you do that you get right to camera hold that expression with me so get it all off again. Serious? Yeah. We're gonna start off sassy and then we'll do one fun. But what I love you're doing naturally is you're bringing it and you're holding your chin down. I don't want your chin up here is that I'm shooting up your nose so I want you to come right here boom to camera put your hands on your hips. Okay, let me get dialed in and go for it. Let's. See if I got it for some reason. All the flashes, then fire! Alright, move this way. Good let's, do it again. One, two go fun now I want you to just have fun with it and give me a good smile. Go. Okay, so let's, try one more time. Go. So all we're looking to do is that a little bit diversity have a little bit of fun. Are they gonna buy? This is a sixteen by twenty four. Probably not. I'm okay with that, but I'm adding a little bit more diversity now I've got a little fin. Okay, so a little handheld fan give me a clean split for me, john. Thanks for being the fan holder on this, okay, so this is a little fan that you can have and you may have to get a little closer to her right in there. Good, put your hands on your hips, let me see what it's gonna do, yes. So what this is doing is giving her a little bit of that windblown look. We didn't go out and buy thousand dollar fan. We've got a twenty dollar fan, uh, in my studio, I've got one that's, like a five dollar fan, it's, not really expensive, and we just kind of hold it. You know, just kind of feathering it in.

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.