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Capturing the Narrative

Lesson 6 of 9

Creating an Outdoor Studio

Nigel Barker

Capturing the Narrative

Nigel Barker

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Lesson Info

6. Creating an Outdoor Studio

Lesson Info

Creating an Outdoor Studio

So for this next shot what I've decided to do is actually isolate a piece of the beach and sort of make it a feature. I've introduced a sort of studio effect on location. As you can see, I've got a lot of people holding it. It's windy, we wanted to get this done fast. But it's kind of cool. It's kind of unique and certainly for a cover shot sometimes you wanna do something where you have an element of what's gonna be in the story, but you're not revealing the whole story. That way, the tag, the name of the magazine, or the name of whatever you're doing is there, an element of the environment is there, and then when you see the rest of the story, it unfolds. That's kind of what I would be doing here. It's almost like my safe shot. I know how Anna works. I've photographed her now. I know a lot of her moves. We could do this fast. That's what we're gonna do right now. Anna. (footsteps approaching) Okay, got this rather cool branch. Wanna come around this side for me? I'd like you to sort ...

of get up here and almost perch yourself on it. Shoes off? It's up to you. I'm not gonna see your feet, so that's fine. Woo! You okay? Mm-hmm. That's nice, yeah, almost kind of lounge along. Yeah, it's beautiful like that. That's nice, gorgeous. Feel the light coming through here. Tavio, I'll take my camera. Can we get a reflector, please? Now I am shooting at ISO 100, speed of 500, and F-stop is 2.8. Part of the reason for the very open lens is because I wanna sort of knock a lot of this out. It's gonna become very dark. It's all gonna be about her and this element of the tree. Okay, look out there for me, beautiful. (camera shutter clicks) Kind of looking out that way. Face this way, sweetie, sorry, there you go. Chin up high, beautiful. (camera shutter clicks) That's nice. (Nigel exhales sharply) There you go. (camera shutter clicks) That's nice like that. Just looking right out there, beautiful. Falling on the ground too much? That's nice, there you go. (camera shutter clicks) I look at my light. Light's gone up, gorgeous. Look at that, the sun's come out for us, beautiful. Very nice. (camera shutter clicks) Gonna frame it a little bit. (camera shutter clicks) Nice, shake it out. Right up onto the tree if you can. There you go. Sitting? Yeah, why not? There you go. That's kinda nice. Beautiful like that. Feel that light on your face. Beautiful there. If you're in shot (murmurs) (camera shutter clicks) Beautiful. (camera shutter clicks) Really pretty. Gorgeous. Love that. (camera shutter clicks) Beautiful, hold that. Backing up, coming in tighter. Love that head up, gorgeous like that. (camera shutter clicks) This is gorgeous shot, really pretty. (camera shutter clicks) Now, this is called the Duvetyne. It's this black backdrop. It's a cloth, it soaks up the light, unlike, obviously paper, which would reflect. This really sucks up a lot of the light and it costs about 200 bucks. It's not cheap, but it's not crazy expensive. I've got about three of them. I love them, they fold up, very easy to carry, very easy to travel with, and really, really useful. Couple more. (camera shutter clicks) Beautiful. Yeah, looking straight out to the water. Beautiful. Looking right through my lens, right above me. That's nice. Chin up a little higher. (camera shutter clicks) Gorgeous. (camera shutter clicks) Make it nice. (camera shutter clicks) We got it! How about that for speed? Yeah.

Class Description

The more you know about the subject you’re photographing, the better the image will be. Internationally renowned photographer Nigel Barker wants to show you the best methods to connect with your subject and how to bring out the story using lighting and direction. In this class, Nigel will show you in a live shoot:

  • How to connect with your subject using conversation
  • How lighting and posing can create the story
  • Different ways to connect with commercial and corporate clients
  • Ways to use the environment to create different and creative portraits that the client might not have expected

Connecting with subject establishes trust and allows you to craft a story behind an image. When you can create a story in a single frame, you'll be able to capture the imagination of the viewer and your clients.

Ratings and Reviews

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Brenda Pollock Smith

Nigel brilliantly demonstrates how to connect soul to soul. He uses his finely tuned empathic gifts and transforms them into art. This class will help you relax, trust and find what is real and honest in your subject. I love his flow and intuitive approach to creating a narrative with passion and soul. I want all of his classes in my library, he's just that amazing.


The feeling of this class is one of the Joy of the Why we do this. His excitement is perhaps the best lesson. Talking through the working with the models was VERY instructive. Not an overblown, pretentious, too techie, I am impressing you with me, type of class. Loved it!

Stefan Legacy

Nigel is an excellent teacher. He always explains everything he does which in turn helps you understand why he's doing it. Short but effective course for someone looking to learn how to capture people and get comfortable with shooting them.