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Shoot: Be Creative on Set

Lesson 29 from: Capturing Story in Portrait Photography

Kelly Brown

Shoot: Be Creative on Set

Lesson 29 from: Capturing Story in Portrait Photography

Kelly Brown

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Lesson Info

29. Shoot: Be Creative on Set

Add variety and creativity to the senior portrait by building in different poses. Gain insight into working with the older generation, including posing with a subject that likely won't be able to sit in one position or stand for long periods of time. Work to imitate the look of natural light, window light and even a curtain using studio lights when a window isn't available.


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


The Power of Portrait Photography


Introduction to Newborn Portrait


Find Inspiration for Newborn Portrait


Create The Scene for Newborn Portrait


Prepare & Pose Newborn for Portrait


Shoot: Techniques for Photographing Newborn


Newborn Image Review


Introduction & Find Inspiration For Child Portrait


Create The Scene for Child Portrait


Prepare Set for Child Portrait


Shoot: Capture Child Portrait


Image Review for Child Portrait


Introduction & Inspiration For Teenager Portrait


Create The Scene for Teenager Portrait


Building Set for Teenager Portrait


Shoot: Portrait with Teenager


Shoot: Pose Teenager for Multiple Looks


Image Review for Teenage Portrait


Introduction & Inspiration For Adult Portrait


Creating The Scene for Adult Portrait


Lighting for Adult Portrait


Tell Your Subject's Story


Shoot: Lighting for Double Exposure


Introduction to Senior Portrait


Create Storyboard & The Scene For Senior Portrait


Connect With Client to Create Portrait


Shoot: Lighting for Senior Portrait


Shoot: Be Creative on Set


Image Review for Senior Portrait


Portrait Shoots Recap


Global Adjustments in Camera Raw®


Editing In Photoshop® CC: New Born Portrait


Editing In Photoshop® CC: Child Portrait


Editing In Photoshop® CC: Adult Portrait


Editing In Photoshop® CC: Teenager Portrait


Editing In Photoshop® CC: Senior Portrait


Introduction to Entering Print Competitions


Process of Print Competitions


What to Consider For Print Competitions


What Judges Look For Overview


Image Impact


Creativity, Style & Composition in Images


Entering Photography Competitions Q&A


Image Lighting


Image Color Balance


Technical Excellence in Images


Photographic Technique


Storytelling & Subject Matter


Lesson Info

Shoot: Be Creative on Set

So this is kinda what I had in mind when I was visualizing it, we did our pencil drawing, we had an idea and a concept. And then the more you get to know Janice, the more you get to talk to her, this is where you start to go, right, oh, I need to do this, I need to change this up. So, what I'm gonna get you to do, I'm just gonna move your chair, it's on wheels, just forward just a bit so you're a bit closer to the desk. Is that okay there? Uh-huh. And I'll hold it while you sit back down. So if you can be straight on to the table. So, yep, and feet up. There we go. And I'm gonna just wheel you a bit closer. There we go. And I want you to kinda come forward. Yeah, that's it. Perfect. Yeah, I like that. So that modeling light that we can see coming across there, I'm having a look at the shadows, and if you keep your face exactly there, yep. Perfect. So you can see when Janice goes straight on, that shadow and that light on that side of the face. So we're gonna try and fill it with th...

e reflector. So if you can bring that reflector just this way just a little bit. Perfect, woop. Come back a bit, Jamie, 'cause it's leaning on the flowers, yep. Is Jamie still there? No, Jamie's not there. (laughing) Jaime's gone. (laughs) Can't see on the other side there. Sorry, Adam. You're good. So if I was in a client's home taking this, I would probably use the available natural light and a reflector, because it's more intimate. For me, to just be knowing the light that's coming through, I can see it and I can focus on them, as opposed to continually moving our light source around. But it depends obviously on how good you are with light sources, artificial light sources, in terms of knowing their placement straight away. That is perfect. (shutter clucks) I love that, I love that position. I feel that that's a little more powerful to me. And I'm gonna bring that exposure up just a little bit. (whispering) Oh, yeah. It's grabbing that. Yeah, weird. All right, here we go. (shutter clicks) Better? It looks like it's grabbing this. It is, yeah, but I'm focusing on her eye. Which really strange. Yeah, move that toggle point. Unless you wanna like disconnect from the back and maybe with your viewfinder, maybe, it's just... Let's have another go. We're just having a look at that focus. I'm moving my focal point to Janice's eye, I am shooting this at an eightieth of a second. So it should be in focus, but it seems like it's just grabbing the front of the album there. And often when you are focusing, the camera can sometimes struggle when it is trying to grab that focus. And sometimes it will grab the highest contrasting point, so we'll just make sure that we nail this focus. (camera beeps) (camera beeps) And what I might do, actually, I'm just gonna bring up my ISO, because it's on 640, so I'm gonna increase that to a thousand, (camera beeps) which is gonna help me with my shutter speed. So I'm now at 1/25, so hopefully we can get this working now. Okay, here we go. (shutter clucks) A little bit brighter. That's better. Yeah, it's better. Much better. Okay, perfect. And I think I really like that light. So I'm having a little look here at the histogram as well. I can see that the highlights, there's lots of detail in those. But one thing when you are photographing someone with gray hair, when the light comes through and it hits the grays, you can lose detail in those. So you gotta be careful that you don't overexpose those highlights in the hair. So this is where you would kinda come in, you would get some more sort of close up shots around, do you want me to hand that to you? I can take it. (laughing) Get some more close up shots, things like this. Do you know what I love right now which I'm gonna photograph? Janice is sitting there playing with her rings and it's paying attention to all those little details. And it's just perfect, and I love the way she's kinda looking there. So we'll get one more of that and she's been an absolute trooper. So it is a lot brighter on the screen over here, because that's not a calibrated monitor. I'm going off the screen over there to make sure that it is exactly how I want it to be. (camera beeps) Perfect. (camera beeps) And a little smile. (shutter clucks) It's a little brighter. (Adam whispers) It's pretty good. Yeah. Not bad at all. All right, so I've got lots of detail in the background in terms of the shadows, nothing's kind of falling off there which is gonna cause me any concerns. Because what I'm looking for when you've got a lot of information here, I'm done with that, thank you, when you've got a lot of information here in a set with a lot of dark objects and you're trying to expose for the highlights, you need to be able to bring some detail back into those dark objects, which is why we use the reflector. Because if I had not filled those shadows and then what I'm gonna try to do in post production is lift those shadows, and this is where I'm gonna run into noise problems, banding problems, all of those and that lack of information. So yeah, was that okay? Not too painless? (laughing) You've done this before. I've done all sorts of things, but I've never done, let's say I've done everything that was legitimate. (Kelly laughs) But Janice has been in front of a camera before, so it makes it very easy for her to understand sit this way, pose that way. When you are photographing someone that's not used to being in front of the camera, first you've gotta build that rapport with them, you've gotta build that connection to help make them feel comfortable. You've gotta communicate with them. Ask them, number one, if they're comfortable, because I know Janice has got a sore knee. So you're gonna come across people within this age group that are gonna have either back problems, hip problems, (Janice laughs) knee problems. And making sure that you are not positioning them in a way that's uncomfortable is really important. Yes. Because if they're uncomfortable, you're gonna see that in the photograph. So you've gotta continually ask them are you comfortable, are you okay there? Because you don't wanna make them sit in one position for too long and you definitely don't wanna make then stand in one spot for too long. And then you gotta take into consideration like having regular breaks and things like that. When I went to the home to photograph the baby with the great-grandmother, there was no way that she could've stood to hold the baby. So she actually had to sit in a chair and I positioned the baby on her chest, but I had her grandson's hands in there the whole time because she couldn't hold the baby. He was only eight pounds, but when you are sitting and holding a weight like that for a long period of time, it becomes very heavy, really heavy. So you've gotta take all of those things into consideration as well. Do we have any questions, Kenna? Kelly, are you still going to try to put the scarf in later? Are you going to do that as a composite? Oh, forgot about the scarf. Oh. (laughing) There you go, live. We will do that. Let's do it. We might just bring those house lights down one more time. She reminded me of something I was going to do and I forgot to do it. So do you mind? Well, I would've reminded you, but I didn't know what it was. (laughing) I'm sorry. No, no, not your fault. I apologize. Not your fault. (class laughs) Here, let's open these up one more time. These photos of Janice and her husband, there is one common denominator, they're both always laughing and smiling which I think is absolutely brilliant. So they have lived a long life together enjoying so much time and (chuckles) occasions, which has been brilliant. So I have this one little space over here. Aw. And what we're gonna do is kinda have as I go to capture the shot, we're gonna have the fabric kind of drift in like a curtain, like wind blowing through a curtain. And I'm gonna have sort of Janice lean forward and look up towards the curtain. So yeah, who's gonna be my curtain woosher? I'll get rid of a couple of these frayed edges. Oh, I'm so glad you reminded me of that, 'cause then I would've walked away from here going, oh, I didn't get the shot that I had visualized. So you're gonna have to come in quit close and come in a little closer. Yep, and it's gonna have to be a little bit higher and it's gonna be kind of like just a little, and then as it comes back, that's when I'm gonna capture it as it captures that air. So it's gonna kinda come up (Janice cheers) and then down. Thank you. Let's do this. Good luck. (laughing) So Janice, yeah, if you kinda lean forward on that arm a little bit more and then look in that direction like you're looking out a window. Okay Garrett, give me one woosh and then what we're gonna have to do is come up a little higher. 'cause it's kind of like it's coming inline with the fan and the globes, so just shorten the fabric there. And just level it out, yep. (camera beeps) Ah. (camera beeps) (laughing) Perfect. Okay, show me your woosh. And just bring it down now 'cause you're up higher. (laughs) Keep coming down a bit. Okay, woosh away. And maybe down a little bit more. I'm just looking at where that fabric falls. Down a little bit more. Yeah, go again. Okay, so we're gonna have to try and fan it out now. I reckon if you kinda hold it wider, yep. Okay, here we go. One, two, three. (shutter clucks) Might be a bit too much wooshing. Oh, look. Yeah, it's blowing a gale in there. (class laughs) So I'm not an over-shooter if you haven't noticed, but this is where you would probably take quite a few shots just to get that (snaps) perfect bit of fabric. Okay, go again. (shutter clucks) Oh, we nearly missed it that time. So timing is everything here. Give me one more shot. Okay, ready, set, go. (shutter clucks) I think that's a bit of a wind gust as well. Yep. Okay, here we go. Go. (shutter clucks) Oh, I missed it, go again. Now we've got like one long end coming through. Like that? If we hold it like that, can we kinda just go-- Forward and back? Yeah. Yep. And then that way it spreads out a bit. (laughing) Oh, he's used to me being really picky. Okay, ready? (shutter clucks) Ah, that was it. There's just that little curtain. That'll do me. So I'm gonna then direct some of that light in post production, I'm gonna use a lot of highlights and shadows to really kind of create that impact that I'm going for. And darken down a lot of the area up the space here so it looks like that light is really coming through that curtain as she kinda looks out. But yeah, that was a bit of fun.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Mind Map & Prep Guide

Ratings and Reviews


Among a sea of wonderful teachers here at CL, Kelly is the cream of the crop. All of her classes are outstanding and this one is no exception. Amazing teacher. Amazing class. Amazing education. If you are hoping to stretch yourself to create deeper more meaningful stories in your images, or are feeling the pull of print competition but need some direction, this is definitely the class for you. Thank you Kelly!

Melissa Soto

Kelly Brown is a true inspiration. She has been my idol in this industry since I began. This class was amazing. I love how honest, authentic and genuine she was. But most importantly I loved her wise direction and teaching style. Kelly brown thank you for this gem. You helped light a fire in me. I’m so excited to start telling amazing stories with the skills I have learned from this class.

Marjorie Stevenson

Just loving this class! Kelly is one of my favorite instructors. She is very good at articulating her ideas and carrying them to an absolutely wonderful end product. Her images are always stunning. I love that she always puts safety first with her models. Thank you Kelly for sharing your creative visions with us.

Student Work