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Commercial Photography: Thriving in a Competitive Industry

Lesson 10 of 12

Shoot: 45 Degree Softbox - Rembrandt

Joel Grimes

Commercial Photography: Thriving in a Competitive Industry

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

10. Shoot: 45 Degree Softbox - Rembrandt


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1 Class Introduction Duration:02:54
2 Building a Game Plan Duration:11:29
3 The Power of Branding Duration:07:45
4 Setting the Trends Duration:19:48
5 Speak the Right Language Duration:12:27
7 The Portfolio Duration:10:21
8 What Should I Charge Duration:16:01
11 Post Processing: Set-up Duration:08:24
12 Post Processing Duration:20:13

Lesson Info

Shoot: 45 Degree Softbox - Rembrandt

Right. So let's go and let's do this let's talk about um cross light if you go to school and you go to a nice school pay fifty thousand dollars a year and you learn photography att least up until recent years ninety nine percent of time when they talk about or talk about rembrandt lighting this is how they have you set it up right there forty five degrees and I have people that are smarter than me that have chewed me out because this is the correct way to shoot rembrandt cross light okay, now that's okay? You can shoot like that if that gets your your vision is an artist do it that's what you're taught that we're about so when I go and speak at you know ah really nice expensive school they bring me out and I explained my cross light and the one instructor in the back's going that's all wrong you know? And so it does go against the grain and why do I shoot like this? Why do I bring the light ninety degrees over here like this? Well, first of all, if you look at rembrandt and the dutch p...

ainters some of the dutch painters actually put the window in there painting and the window was set up at ninety degrees coming across now however you look at on wikipedia and you say rembrandt lighting they showed the source coming to forty five degree angle well, if in fact that's true it would be impossible for a painter to stand back and paint a model with the window at forty five degree angles you'd be actually through the wall outside so that's my first you know beef with that theory so it's across light coming across and here's why it works this is beautiful folks and I stumbled across it is I'm not that smart I just kept repeating enough times and one day it made sense to me me see this distance here that's got a lot further to go to get to her cheek or her face this is closer, right? So what does that tell you it's going to be brighter here more intensity on her than here. So what does that mean? This is a gray dated source brighter here's weaker here. So what does that do? Well, if you take and shoot it sideways like this and shoot it like this, you find that I've done that with I've taken a sort of a soda can I take a half by eleven piece of paper and tape it around so it's just a big cylinder you know it's eleven and just tall and I put it on a stool I just put it out your stool that's high enough to where it would be where the faces I said it and then I put my life and I take it and I run it forty five degree angle I go in a dark room, turn off the lights and I use the modeling light and I've done this in front of a class and I've taken a walk it like this and you watch the cylinder it's like pure white to pure black. You watch the cylinder and all of a sudden the great asian from pure white goes like this it spreads you get a greater smoother wrap of light from pure white to peer black when you do a great asian, its magic and I stumbled across it, and one time I was shooting in this photographer it was very, very good photographer he came in and saw me with my light cross like he went, you do that too and I go yeah, just don't tell anyone that's my secret how did you discover I go just by trial and error? So that's, why run it ninety degrees this direction so we're going to do now is determined where to put it in relationship to her. Okay, so before we start, I want to show one thing to do my little trick over on the photo shop side I need to make mike background fifty percent gray so how do I do that? The history ram so step out for a second and let's just let's let's do it this way first let's kind of make it a little darker here and I'm going to shoot a picture and we're gonna go and I don't know if my history ram will show up on the screen let's go to his two graham saiko info I am so my history graham now is way on the left is that showed in the show well so it's on the left side of the frame so that means it's saying it's darker value right? So if I go like this snap another one that should be on the right side oh that's actually kind of middle so if it was if it was a whiter if I brought it in it would get on the right hand side I want that great to be pretty much I was showing a great um I want it pretty much so that the spike goes somewhere in the middle. That means I have a fifty percent ish gray that later I can use a blending mode to grab it. Does that make sense so that's in doing this trick, I normally don't take a value of my background, but in this little scenario I want a gray that's fairly middle toned does that make sense? So that's the only time I ever use a hist a gram is when I do this so let's get off the history and there we go. So now let's, step back in so and if I wanted a little light, I could move her a little closer now. Here's another little challenge with gray folks graze the hardest color drip drip reproduce in digital and paper has wobbles and gray shows more water but wobbles than white or black. So you have this kind of this quandary of how my gosh gray's always wobbly, you know? And so a lot of times I'll actually paint again my studio, I paint a wall grey it's hard if no wobbles, but papers not bad and I'm gonna have I'm going to show you if I had time, I would have a little bit I have a little trick to get away from the wobble background in a minute with a nd filter so let's do this. I want to start off and let's take and show you a bad position of where the lightest so stay where you're at and I'm gonna push it this way, ok? So we're gonna push it and we're going to make this a little too dark on on her left cheek is going to be a little too contrast, so and I will show you as I walk out this way so just we're now every shot I want you pretty much straight on okay, so this is not going for aesthetics this is just for the the class all right, so we're going to leave the camera the same position let me get my focus point right here. Okay, ready we go click here we go ready? This is the first one second you blink you try it again kaye was do they get really sorry one to three so that is just a little teeny bit of the light hitting the cheek and this that was the first one so so let's keep in mind this monitor in the studios a little brighter than the one over here. So let's do this let me just make sure looks a little over all the way around so let's john I'm going to take that down let's take it down. I don't have my glasses were my glenn you just go down a little bit. I actually have my radio poppers that control all my strobes from here. Okay, but um all right, so my goal o is to get the rembrandt triangle on the left side of cheek so as I let's let's go even further let's go this way a little further trying another one it's going now there's gonna light in the background little bit but let's just do this ready so this is really exaggerated so now she's got hardly any light hitting the left side over cheek stride here come on if this is about a big mega pixel camera here it's the new cannon five d s are ok this is like amazing um so again we're a little overexposed so this monitor shows a bit more on what this does but basically I'm barely getting any light on the opposite cheeks watch what happens now though as I start to move it this way this section right here starts to hit her cheek it's really soft very fate and is wrapped so let's go like this going straight here okay we're gonna go one here ready one two three so we take a look at that not quite right course on my monitor here which you know is nothing too is um I take my monitor on my cameras and not bring the luminous on the screen down one notch because to me it's over when I go toe drop it in my camera so maybe that's what we're doing here that's a little more exposed in here and that's a lot more exposed so let's not get down in power with more because I want mood not mood and I want to overexpose it here's try another one real quick we're gonna walk their light this way so let's take a look at that ok so now let's get more light on her cheek that's by pulling it this way so bring it this way bring this way right about there okay what's gonna happen is I should end up right about here with her shoulder roughly but every face is different so you can't say well, that's an exact position to end up every time I'm watching the monitor and so I watch again here we go click so that now this is starting to show up? Not quite. Still a little bit off here getting better. Okay, so let's bring a little bit more jon and bring it in just a tad this way. Okay? And what I do sometimes because I'm walking away I'm gonna pull that just a little bit because I could get a lot more light in the background. I can also move the whole set toward the background to this you shoot one there now I'm starting to get the mood I want um again, like I said, um on here, now that that rembrandt triangle is the shape of the nose with the cheek around us, the cheek and you get a little bit of a kind of a diamond right there it's not a perfect triangle, folks, I have some people go watch not a really a perfect triangle it's like, well, no it's just a concept you get at this kind of a triangle shape ish thing and everybody's faces different so you know you gotta just it's just a concept so now let's take and get my fill card so the phil card is gonna fill it in a little bit, okay? John let's see, I'm just gonna put it right here like this it does kind of block you guys here for a second, ok? So we're gonna put it right here so let's take that's let's raise it just a little bit now that's about where I haven't you don't get too close he's going to just kill the whole mood but here we go so let's take one like this and right now she's just standing strain the lens we're going to get her moving here a little bit oh, now starting to happen she's starting to get that little bit of softness there and then here actually, I would say I'm about I'm about good on my monitor here so that's that monitor there is much better that's what our audience has seen out in the cyberspace um so this is a little bit overexposed but the point is is I'm getting my mood and let's just move that in for a little bit, show people what that looks like so this would be too much so keep going keep going keep going keep going keep going right about there anyway, like this, can you may say, I love the softness so that's a little bit softer, ok? And to me that's a little too soft, right? So what I'm doing is I'm building my light on her face by my intuition, not measuring it. And if I raise my power of power down, I don't even look at the studies. I don't care with it's quarter power, you know, eight power home care doesn't matter what matters is is it working on the back of the camera? But I saw one hundred by the way and, um so let's back it out again and let's do this. Let me just make sure my background gray's about right it's probably just a little dark, so let's back up about four, five inches, okay? And then I'm going to slide this four, five inches that way we still get a little bit more value in our background. We're going to go now. Bring that phil carter. Where you toward the background, john let's make sure. And then I'm gonna show you how I start working the whole thing here already. This is just making sure. So once I get my light what I want, then I'm going to start to build her right so right now, she's like this so you know she's getting her mug shot for prison so we're gonna work that if she got a great smile too we're working so I've got this she's probably really warm but is black turtleneck and what that does is that the goal is there faced a pop she has great hair is kind of like while little bit you know that's part of a personality so here's what happens? I bet you you try to straighten your hair on occasion, right? Yeah so if you have curly hair you want two straight if you have straight here you want to curl that hair that she's got right now is a lot of women's dream they would go nuts over that hair right so it's like well if you don't have any hearing you're in big trouble but but hair is interesting we always want what we don't have and so any rate love your hair and so that's part of her personality we're going to get that out of her and see what happens. And so now let's try to work the scene let me just gonna work her now when I'm shooting a model I try not to over coach now some people do you watch behind the scenes or like do this this this this this this this you know they're telling them I will do everything what I do is this I'm gonna watch and she's gonna move around and all of a sudden she's going to do something that I go I like that then I might say could you we do that again or maybe just turn a bit when you do that and then I'm gonna build based on really watching her now if if in fact you got a model this like this oh my gosh I don't know to do that happens and then you might have a new coaching then you get a model that moves perfectly every time we've had I've had models at a workshop that every picture is like gorgeous and he was like I can't go wrong and so I like to hide those models when I do a workshop because there were looks good right? But but anyway so we're just going to go so but I don't want to over scripted so let's now try to get a really good picture so that I could go over here and take it into photo shop and do my thing so let's do this before I go into the whole shooting part there is there any questions at this point regarding modifiers in this cross light anything that you kind of like? I got this burning question I hate to have anything go port and stand up please oh okay um I don't I had a question about I've seen a lot of the modifiers and obviously I'm overwhelmed but you've seen the kind with two panels of diffusion inside like, is there? I mean, what? How does that affect the lighting? Having the deep dish versus the so long as your, um, your modifier has an even distribution of light. It is, no matter how they get there. So if they can do it with one panel great, which I don't know if they can, you might be able to, um and so here's, how you find out, you just take a picture straight on and you stop it down. Stop it down. Stop it down. And if it has a real hot spot in the middle and papers out, then you're not getting an even distribution of light on your modifier. You know, though it might be that that that hot spot with the diffusion, you know, tapered out my actually at three feet, be a great light source, jim. Sam. But if you really want to work the rembrandt that I do with getting this amount of light to hit her cheek, you need it evenly distributed just whatever distributed distributed that there's a word there somewhere. Ok. So that's. A good question, though. So take a picture straight on and see where that hot spot is. It is in the middle you're not getting even distribution ok? All right, we're good to go keep going all right we're gonna get a picture that's going to be rocking right? Ok, so let's just kind of start snapping and um remember this at this point if there's any way that you need to turn your chin is toward the source a little bit you know saying that's going to give me a little bit but because you want to be looking out that way because that is going to be really dark okay, so I'm horizontal right now I want to eventually probably flipped vertical but let's just try to go here and I'm pretty straight on right here already beautiful right? They get a whole lot of time you take a look oh my gosh you're gorgeous ok, so here we're going to back it up I was trimmed the head just a little too much there do that same thing okay right there now I'm not gonna watch where my trim her elbows today now in my final it's going to be pretty dark down there, right? But if I want to see the elbows I better show up right if they're just the tip it's like it's not quite there but I have all this canvas on the sides right that's being not being used so I might want to end up flipping it vertical instead of horse out but I still want to go horizontal shot so let's zoom a little bit wider, same thing, same thing we should do it again ready? Yeah. Ok so now I got my elbows in there and she looks absolutely gorgeous. Ok, so let's do a couple of that just move around snap I'm just going to kind of just watch you ready there you go. You could hear me focus right? Because my focus called beauty well, that's a killer look right there she's doing wonderful. Now again, I have a lot of real estate because we have websites that are designed horizontal. I love this shoot horizontal pictures when you should've vertical and you put on a web site you got all this extra space unless you stack them side by side, which I could always do. So that's why I love horizontal so I'm gonna try to see if I can get one horizontal but probably is a vertical shock ready let's just keep doing that here you go beautiful. I'll do this or you're almost crossed the straight at me there oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah now hold on I'm gonna jump in here and my life always says number one rule when you work with models don't creep the models out right but there's the hair I'm going to take it like this I'm just going to flip right there just let it fall cassie it's kind of this is just not real good does that make sense okay confusion you can't see that can you okay all right so so I just want that little smoother around there so let's here we go again deny creep you out ok good some good I'm good standing so far already beautiful now there's one thing that she's got and that's an absolutely gorgeous smile so so a good smile you can't always force so I'm just gonna watch it if you know if you get youto laugh or smile you can do that I know it is hard ok are you are you going to be the model for lindsay later yeah yeah so well as he will work she'll get you working good all right so you see there are personalities coming out little by little and eventually I'm gonna get this shot that's like that's it you know it's just it's the shot right so let's just keep working we got it very good now this is a fairly fast recycle these air the einstein's the policy but feinstein's a pretty fast and I met like eighth power or something so in theory it could but I don't want to slow this down too much but you know I could go pretty fast if I have to you want to burn a pure strobe though ok so now let's flip someone flipping here I have the really right stuff set up here so I can just go like this now I got this court in here I don't normally have that and what what you need to get the o is the l shaped one so that it comes out over here and even put this flat but I could still work it we don't want to disconnect here we get the tether tools set up here so it's the uh jerk stopper all right so let's frame you here let me get my focus point up here of the top right there okay ready all right so do the same but you don't start for the very beginning and we're gonna do some verticals here ready you don't fall oh my gosh this is gonna be amazing okay and this is fifty megapixels folks I'm not just bragging this is amazing okay beautiful beautiful on now I'm going to zoom in just a little bit so stay there and I can't I got my twenty four to seventy two point eight version too so that's that's what I want right there so do that again good beautiful now just pull it down just just just beloved football your mouth says they're just pulling it right there out of all hold on I'm gonna creep you out we go get this hair it just slipped right over here and then pull it back just a little bit right past her either because I want a little bit that rap right around so here we go any more lips right there beautiful ok so let's try let's try just doing yeah just a couple more things here and how we doing on time when we doing okay because I want about thirty minutes on the at least thirty minutes on how we doing forty thirty five minutes thirty five minutes okay, so we're doing we're doing that right so let me just work it a little bit more so I make sure I got my killer shot shot okay, here we go beautiful so you know you guys know that I love in your face straight on that's my kind of you know I love that why do I like that? Because that gives you power authority, confidence all these things and that's just what you know I try to make people look like there are a million bucks so that's what I'm generally trying to do but let's just try something maybe turn your chest toward the light a little bit so you're bringing your left shoulder toward me a little bit and maybe just curve a little bit just a little bit and that's got it that's a great look to right there oh my gosh look at this come on oh, look at those eyes is that amazing again I'm just going to watch this one will strand of hair back there okay let's try to cut more like that and what I want is again put your hands in position I want to see this hair I want to see it okay but your answer is just kind of like that and I still want to see her her cheek though okay her eye right there beautiful now slowly bring your chin toward me right there beautiful let's see this one right here oh my goodness I love this you know, being a photographer is kind of fun um and you know, after thirty forty years of doing this it's still a lot of fun it doesn't have it hasn't worked out yet so I hope that one of eighty which is what next year no one I mean I'm still doing this you know if I could if I could do it if I could stand I'll do it now do this just do it like that and just close your eyes and touch your head back a little bit right there not start over start over again so bring it down and then kind of just slowly work it right there yes. Ok now um one thing I could always do is build more gray around her right so if I have a little tight like that last one I kind of lost the edge a little bit so let's back up a little bit here I'm still at seventy millimeters and I was center her up a little bit there you go. Okay, so there's a little softer a little more intimate you know who knows I mean the one might work my men not um let's try just let's flip your hair back and just try something like that real quick I get all the hair everything okay? So I really want to see your face there you go now pull your shirt pull out there you're right there get ready you still bring your hands up if you want trying out with the hands behind us all black in the front let's see what happens there so that's always a good one too then your eyes don't distract from the hands you know your face but your hands go right to the fate of your eyes go to her face um ok so let's try a couple more like that hands back with your hair there you go beautiful okay, just give me a little laugh beautiful gorgeous came out one last one let's get this hair to go wild okay, so just I wanted to go is while you get it benny beautiful it's like I wasn't straight on sorry, I was like off the side all that's great dude again here we go, ready let it go and give me a smile so try to get on both shoulders just let it flow over just like crazy there you go reason back a little bit more now try so no smile right there with your hands up just there you go now just right right in the middle like kind of right right there right there oh, yes I can do one last one we're done I keep saying that right? But I want to get I want to close up but just her eyes and her hair here I would probably put my seventy two hundred on but we're going to move right in here like this and this is again what I love is straight right? They're probably the best in terms of my background thing but look at this this is like bam right in your face and it's horizontal which on a website I love it see that can do one last thing right here is gonna make sure this is even is even so straight on cropped at the top there was trying to just make sure I have it casey client asked for the top of the head I always shoot one but I like it right? They're one last focus on the eyeball a little smile a little more I'm done wow amazing thank you very much you could do your job

Class Description

Find out what it takes to get noticed in the commercial photography world!

In Commercial Photography: Thriving in a Competitive Industry, Joel Grimes will share real-world insights on making it as a commercial photographer.

Joel has worked in the commercial arena for more than 26 years and in this class he will share the most important lessons he has learned. 

Joel will teach you how to:

  • Build a successful promotional advertising campaign
  • Win over Art Directors
  • Develop a strong visual brand and create your own trends
  • Leverage a bound, printed portfolio to win clients

Joel will also demonstrate how he creates his own iconic look. You’ll see how he blends Rembrandt cross lighting and and background textures in Photoshop to produce his moody, intense images.

Commercial Photography: Thriving in a Competitive Industry with Joel Grimes will help you gain your foothold and get ahead in the high-intensity discipline of commercial photography.  


James Munroe

Very good course. Joel tells it like it is. Very cool photography & Photoshop tips that I'll use in my business. Thanks Joel and Creative Live for an awesome course! James

a Creativelive Student

Commercial Photography: thriving in the competitive industry is a very straightforward class. Joel is clear and to the point, breaking down step-by-step how he did it. From developing a portfolio to getting your name in front of people; from setting up the light to the post-processing thinking. I am so happy I bought this course. Thank you Joel Grimes for your time and expertise.