Intro to Creating a Successful Photography Portfolio


Commercial Portraiture


Lesson Info

Intro to Creating a Successful Photography Portfolio

on today's schedule the first thing that we're going to talk about is creating a successful photography portfolio ok so as photographers you know we can go and do many shoots we can choose to hide the things that didn't turn out so good right and we can display only the best stuff so we're going to talk about the things that I've learned over the years which make a good photography portfolio okay um after that chase jarvis is going to join me and we're gonna have a little kind of banter open chat talk about the industry where things were going from our perspectives after that I have a key note about how I interpret light and images so I think the most useful skill that a photographer can learn is learn how to dissect images and dissect alighting from them so they can kind of pick and choose the things they like about that image and re apply it to their own images later so your style can kind of be made up of everything you like about the things that you experience and look at and film ...

or another photographer's work you can take that and apply it to your own work to get something you knew original and unique okay um after that kino since we're goingto know how to define things that I could do an actual demonstration here in the creative last studio using what we learned okay so the first thing what makes a good portfolio okay before we go into portfolio let's define what I'm talking about first so a okay everyone's getting their nuts that's good what it support for right so ah poor foil is your collection of best images okay whether you choose to display these in a printed book or whether you to display them on a website I'm still talking about a portfolio okay it's any means necessary of showing people what exactly it is that you do now I think the most important principle when I talk about putting together your work is obviously only showing strongest images so if you're like me you do a shoot and you kind of fall in love with the picture is right you're like don't want to get away like a king hoarding gold you like no no no and then over time you start to realize that people and yourself are gravitating toward certain images from that shoot right so for me what takes up the majority of my time and like what keeps me awake at night wondering is the selection process k so in my portfolio I'm only choosing the strongest images to show so I'm xing out all the other stuff and I can still choose if it's on a website to show it in a different gallery but in my portfolio I want to maybe show like three or four images from a shoot max in my entire main base portfolio I'm taking on ly about forty to sixty images that's it the rest can be locked away and other galleries as reference if someone sees the quick version of your portfolio and wants to see things afterward they can always access those in different parts of the website but just the main highlight section I recommend forty to sixty images of just your best work so let's look at this slide of a shoot that I did for rebel anc magazine photographing a guy named rico the zombie zombie boy you might recognize him from lady gaga music videos or that commercial on youtube ridic they put makeup on him to make it look like he's not tattooed um he's a performance artist really interesting guy that I had that opportunities photograph for the cover of rebelling as I was saying so during the day we got a lot of different stuff like every single picture you take of this guy looks good but it was what I had to do is kind of narrowed down to three images right so although we have a lot for the shoot and I still did a blogger post about that body of work I only shoes to display like the top three so in my portfolio this is the actual order that I'm using to display them is we start with a portrait just to show you know his face is the most interesting feature I think is a skull face tattoo then we go to a wider shot which shows oh wow he has this whole body covered in tattoos and then the third thing I show is something a little bit more creative so this is drawing off inspiration from salvador dali infill policy in photo where they make the new human bodies make a human skull that was inspiration for the shoot so I end on that in that small siri's within my portfolio the thing to think about is I know a lot of photographers are in a rut and they like hate all their old work like I'm the same way like a certain amount of months passed on like scrap like get rid of it interesting thing to think about is if I'm saying on ly you know forty to sixty images in a book let's say you're making your first portfolio and you want include forty pictures right and I'm choosing four images from one shoot what it really means is that you only need to set up ten shoots to have a complete new body of work right because really as photographers we don't have to show all the stuff that goes on behind the scenes anything that you've shot leading up to now oh it's just made have been practice right or might have been learning so if you're not happy with anything you've done and you want to go out by yourself you don't have any clients you just set up ten shoots to me as long as you're getting about three to four images that's enough to build entire new portfolio of work so as I shoot I'm actively getting rid of old stuff and putting a new stuff and keeping it fresh on lee keeping the strongest stuff okay the other thing that I think is one of the main important things of a photography portfolio is to specialize and this is where a lot of photographers go wrong in my opinion is there so many different genres and so many different industries in photography that it makes sense to specialize and have a sort of cohesion with your work so let me give you an example it's very rare that you'll see a very successful portrait photographer also doing things like still life and also doing landscapes and like mixing it all together instead they choose to specialize especially in the beginning so that they sort of have a brand and people know when they hire them what they're going to get so if you have a portfolio that's like mix and match this this this it's like when I hired this guy am I going to get this or I'm going to get this I don't really understand if you had an eye problem you wouldn't go to a near doctor to fix it right so photographers also have to be specialists in this regard I said this before but there are many different professions that drive automobiles and drive cars but they're all separate professions so what I suggested people starting out when they're building their first portfolio eyes to pick a subject matter that interests you or pick a style of shooting that interests you okay and then you can pursue that exclusively force just to build kind of a look in a direction of where you're going doesn't mean that you have to stick doing that forever but will certainly help people understand what it is that you do the other important thing that I always talk about is happiness so if you're going to really put years of your life into this you're gonna have to choose a subject matter that means something to you a subject matter that like keeps you awake at night because you're so interested to shoot it so for me my own work it's personal right it's ah I like to shoot portrait ce I liketo work with people I think it's one of the most challenging things for me to do I'm actually not a very good landscape photographer like I go to some famous amazing country isn't c like this I might oh that looks great like drive right by because I know I could never properly capture instead I prefer to focus on people and portrait so although the subject matter in my portfolio is very vast so maybe indigenous tribes in southern ethiopia or even celebrity work what I've been trying to draw toward is having a sort of unison of all this kind of like portrait style all right so the way that I define my style is kind of ah cinematic portrait on location so these two examples here although they're very different in terms of lighting their very different in terms of subject matter they still kind of fit together right so when someone flips on my website or flips threw a book at least everything appears to come from the same hand okay so the other thing that I will talk about is flow so the portfolio it should fit together like a good album like a good collection of songs I like to make this comparison because it's something that everyone understands right so when you listen to a good record and he listened to a good music album it's very unlikely that they'll put the heaviest song right after like the slowest song right so when you establish the order of your portfolio it can say a lot about you okay and I'll explain what exactly that means so for me I know personally I came from shooting a sort of different style that I'm shooting now andi was very difficult for me to kind of like merge the gap and it still is today every shoot that I work on I'm slowly kind of moving away from where I started going in a more refined direction but that doesn't mean that I can't display things and I have to get rid of everything all I have to think about this flow and how I'm going to organize the images for how they appear when people experience is the portfolio okay so this could be their clicking through the gallery on the website or turning the pages in a book if you have a certain style a certain subject matter when you turn the page and all of a sudden you're like whoa how did this get here it doesn't feel like it's from the same hand to me that distracts from the portfolio and it takes away from the work because it doesn't look like it all came from the same photographer so if you follow my last point and want to become a specialist I can help that so I can talk about it forever but let me give you an example if you look at my work here these are two different photos who's that have done wonders for zombie boy like we saw before and one is for from the tv show it's always sunny in philadelphia okay now if you look at image one and image eight their starkly different from one another if those were organized in my portfolio following each other so you started with that portrait of zombie boy number one turn the page and it was like all of a sudden number eight to me that would feel like kind of daunting are kind of jarring like well like a big a big difference in both color scheme mood and feel one is kind of serious one is kind of silly completely different color schemes to me that takes me out of the work on dh it feels kind of like all over the place so what I can do is sort of like establish a flow okay and an order in which I choose things so they lead into one another so this is actually how they're displayed on my site right now and in my printed book right now is if you go to one okay we know the order of the zombie boy went to three and instead of going right to number eight that light picture I kind of started with like this darker individual portrait of danny devito which kind of matches the mood and the color tones of the image before it right if you go into number five it's like getting a little silly like a little bit of humor and but it's still kind of like a similar feel right still kind of like somewhere tones number six is getting even brighter it's a little bit light hearted kind of like posed like with his feet up on the bathtub right but he's still a member of the same cast you saw him previously on number five number seven we have another picture of danny devito which is like completely lighthearted right he's laughing like ha ha ha okay that is an okay leading to number eight so this order flipping through it doesn't quite feel as discombobulated then like having them in a different order that's what I mean when I say flow okay the other thing when talking about flow is displaying things in siri's so I review a lot of people's portfolios and by the way when I'm speaking and speaking off for like my personal experience because everyone's going to be subjected really no that's not the way that I learned from someone so so from my personal experience I like to assemble the flow of my book in stories okay because oftentimes let's say I'm working for an ad client are working for an editorial magazine is there's usually going to be more than one shot that they require from the day right so I actually like to group things together so in this example we have like the three images my favorites from a shoot I did for national geographic channels film killing lincoln um and then I have the three zombie boy images that you have below so I'm displaying them in siri's to mix them up and put them in different parts of the book and be too dependent on color tone is going to be backward because we want to also make sure that we're seeing things in serious so when you look at any magazine they'll have like the cover photo right it's a cover story so you have like that base covered you turn the magazine you have the table of contents picture later on flipping through the magazine you find like the double page spread right and then maybe like some other vertical photos as you go that's a photo story that's how I work is I get hired to do different image siri's so again in my portfolio I'm going to want to replicate that and show maybe like three to four of each thing so it doesn't get too boring of like the same subject matter and we move on from there okay um the other thing that I want to talk about the other main pillar of a successful portfolio is that it's a conversation piece okay so basically when I sit down and show someone my work the worst thing that could ever happen is like complete silence it's so awkward right when you're sitting there and like looking like what is this guy thinking oh my god he's like that's the worst so I like toe also structure my portfolio to be a conversation piece and I know that if I could talk about my work as you turn the pages and there's never a dull moment then that also means there's probably a pretty good order right so a conversation piece what's gonna happen in a good conversation you're going to start with something interesting right to talk to somebody approaching girl at the bar you don't want to say like how's the weather out that's that's born right approaching someone right you want to start good and good but also keep it consistent throughout so for my portfolio speaking when I like to do is I like to start with something relevant something new that I've shot that's not too old that maybe just passed so in my work for example I have the oscar nominee portrait says something that just happened that some of my entertainment clients will appreciate they're not my strongest portrait's ever but they are an interesting talking point because I'm not sure how many people are aware of this but those portrait's we're taking extremely fast like there's like no time at all unlimited time the pre light instead the light in terms of my time with a celebrity extremely fast so to me opening up the portfolio says something about that right so I can have something to actually talk about that they're familiar with then I can go on to like a little bit more obscure things and as long as there's an interesting story we can carry on the conversation um and then I like to end with a bang so my portfolio usedto have my personal travel work first because I didn't feel like my commission work was as strong but nowadays I've been making um a very hard push for shooting my commercial work the same as the personal stuff that I'm doing and now that gap is being merged a little bit on dh what's happening is people are approaching me to shoot that style in a paid kind of gig and it's the best of both worlds because I could be extremely creative get exactly what they want out of the chute but kind of like merge the styles and have a very more cohesive theme through everything that I do so I like to talk about things the other thing is since I'm ending and personal work I can tell a travel story right and they're going to remember me for that so those are the pillars of when I feel mate it's a successful portfolio I'm sure been rambling on us so you guys like scribbling notes so let's pause for a minute before I go on and talk about specifically the personal work that I'm doing and how that relates to the portfolio and maybe we're gonna have some questions based on what I just talked about all right joey first of all I cannot tell you how engaged an active that the chat rooms are right now we probably already have fifty plus questions going on in here just about that segment so it's fantastic thank you guys for being so engaged but I do want to start with our studio audience here and if anybody has a question here will take that first or we'll go to the interwebs and described my please yeah you mentioned you have a selection process for picking the images ukraine put for you are you the only one there is part destruction process or you have other photographers there friends involved in because definitely because as you know like when you shoot something like you're very biased toward it I really like to get opinions from people who aren't photographers like for example my dad I can show him work like what the hell this crap but like no but look at the depth of field like look at the thing most people who experience my work are going to be other photographers right so it is nice to get other people's perspectives also I asked my agents because they have a lot of experience more time in the commercial world than I do so they might think oh well you know this variation or this shot is more relevant to get like pitching for jobs right so they're good opinion for me also um at the end of the day it always comes back to intuition and gut feeling so I'm in control like all my selection I oversee everything from the final element but I definitely do rely on other people because I'm sure you're the same like you do shoot and like you have like three variations and like one like their chins up like this when their chins like down but that'd be like who cares just pick one and we're like stressing over it so for me I like to get a taste of photographers people in the industry and also people who have nothing to do with photography just to see what images that has the most impact that's another question in studio yeah my question um and specifically in terms of an online portfolio where I'm looking at shooting both editorial and commercial work my goals to shoot more or less the same style but for two different types of clients do you have any suggestions for mixing those on a website should they be in the same portfolio is it better to do too you know like a portfolio of editorial and in commercial or more like a portfolio of mixed but like here's portrait's and here's more documentary work it's a great question yeah so what I recommend is almost the way that my website structure because idea shoot editorial and advertising them in the same kind of boat is what you're describing is for the main base we'll call it like highlights section or a quick portfolio right that's where you can mix the stuff okay so you can mix it and then later on in your website in different sections then you might choose to sort things by editor editorial and advertising with more content so images that weren't in the quick portfolio but can you make like the bass book mix absolutely because the things that are true teo editorial are still very true to advertising what I do personally is I have some ads in my book that have um that are the photography but also like the title adds to it we're like the layout that the ad agency designs around the image and if it's not distracting to my work I'll actually incorporate those throughout the book a cz long as it doesn't break up the flow if it takes away too much from the photography they don't just put the photo and by itself right so even on my website if you go to joey l dot com right now okay for those interested watching if you go through I make it's in the advertising with the entertainment but I was staying true to the flow into making things feel consistent but as long as you already said like you're shooting similar subject matters as long as it's together and feels cohesive it's fine to mix the two does that answer your question yeah okay there are so many people having that have great questions but one that stands out to me is from beauty of the late who is joining us from st pete florida they ask if you have a physical portfolio book and if so how do you display your images innit relation to using both vertical and horizontal images isat a printed book and thank you yes so first question the first version of that question like the first part is that in my portfolio I think it takes away from the experience when people like when you have to actually physically turn the book so for example people are shooting like horizontal tze and it's late like this all right and then you have a vertical and eternity I try to stay away from that because I think it does take away from the experience instead what I might do is incorporate like dip sticks so you have like two verticals together that go beside one another and maybe unlike the left page you have you know something long and wide and then like on the other page you have like the vertical so it doesn't feel like you're losing too much space in a horizontal book um and what was the second part of that question it was if it was a physical book that usually have so physical books are being used less and less in the industry often times in the past if there is a job what would happen was the client or whoever would call in a bunch of photographers books and they would sift through them and kind of like feel feel out who is right for the job okay I see it actually physically mail you're booking two do that and it still happens it's still very common but nowadays more and more what's happening is just website links okay actually it's easier because you don't pay postage like worry when your book's coming back o one gets damaged by fedex or ups oh god right so it's easier to send likes okay however I think that the printed portfolio is an amazing piece to go in when you're meeting face to face meetings right especially if I'm if you think about shooting for editorial or advertising we're shooting for a print medium that's going to be the final output of what I'm working for so I would choose to display what I would like to be hired for so I'm showing for print I want to display in print there's also something nice just about like turning pages so I've kind of what the way that my book works is that it is like printed and it set and I might change and get it reprinted like once per year but if I do have new work I throw it on an ipad right so I'm not totally against like displaying things digitally what I'll do is like it's really hard to print something I did last month for a couple weeks ago and get like the whole thing redone is very expensive so instead of like put my new work on a laptop or an ipad and start off with that I'd be like hey I just finished this I just finished the retouching I just finished this one month ago um and then after that we'll go and look at the printed book I'm just going to take one more from the internet and then send it back over to our studio audience and this question is from addie far in england what makes you pick a certain image to go into your portfolio is it the way you make someone some is it is it the way it makes you feel something that best represents your style or something more of a technical aspect and it was also said I wanted to ask that combined with do you have different portfolios for different clients okay so the first the first question which I'm now forgetting what was it what makes you pick a certain image to go in your portfolio it so technical something you feel brain fried okay so the first part of that question is in my basing my selection based on technique and technical elements or the performance of the subject for me it's always more important than performance and how that makes you feel in the past when I was starting out it was definitely more technical and I'd worry so much about always a light perfect and the shot versus the shot but then like someone like my father would look at it and be like oh is stupid right he doesn't care if like the rim lines here he doesn't care if like it's like perfect so to me I would rather get an engaging look or an engaging expression and you somewhere might have missed the focus a little bit I'd rather have that then something it was just technically perfect however if I have to selections that are kind of similar of course I'll choose the one which is like technically superior on the second one was do you have different portfolios when you go talk to different clients so what's very interesting is I shoot a lot of entertainment and advertising but then I also have clients who really liked my personal work right so like the travel stuff so I have two different versions of the same image selections so the same group of images I have two different versions one is how it reflects on line which is the entertainment stuff first and then the other one is exact same image except that put the personal stuff first right so depending on who the client is or who the who are meeting I will I will choose to bring that specific order but the selections are exactly the same so the reason why on my website I decided to put the entertainment stuff first is because the majority of people want to see that stuff first for me okay great and when you are building upon that when you are thinking about that order and can you talk again about do you start have to start strong and end strong is their middle strong like what is the kind of flow that you want when somebody is looking through it has to be all killer no filler right so obviously obviously there's going to be images that are better than others right that's true to anybody but kind of what I was talking about the conversation pieces like if you can keep it flowing throughout and yes you need to start strong in the s and the n theron would like the entire might of the book can't be bored like can be boring so uh I tried to keep it consistent but I no like I'm I know when I look at my work like what's better than others so I just keep that in mind and like keep it spread out because even if you organize things into siri's if you organize things like three images at a time it was going to be one that's better than than the other so I just make sure like the start is good the start is good of each three so it's like okay it feels like you're a little bit of a better photographer also in shane thank you very much for waiting but you have a question yeah actually you kind of touched on it a little bit but I was kind of interested to hear how much emphasis you actually do put on the technical so if something is slightly out of focus okay you each mentioned something about that but as far as even like photo competitions I know they get really upset if there's like a clipped highlights somewhere or ah cross shadow or something like that how bent out of shape doesn't are director get just looking through a bunch of magazines they're all through all kinds of slightly less technical photographs out there so what extent does that actually go to as photographers were seeing things a lot differently than people who are you know in advertising or looking you know maybe not from photography perspective but they're looking for different things so I mean you mentioned photo competitions there's so many different one somewhere like complete crap that our total scams like and other ones are like good where they're actually relevant right so for me I would look at what criteria they're judging you for obviously technical skill is extremely important like photography is half science half art right for me when I'm shooting what I like to do who is you know have all the light set when everything is ready to go I'm working almost like a cinematographer right I don't want to touch anything when it's set and I could just work with the subject so tomorrow when we actually do like location shooting here you'll see like I said everything either with that model or with a test subject get everything ready to go and as I'm photographing I'm like not even concentrating on light especially flash I can't see it in the foot and the viewfinder anyway so I'm working with them making like the better performance so when I started way more technical like worrying about stuff nowadays I've just been trying to focus on what is the most engaging expression and does that change when you're obviously in the studio we have a little more control but when you're outside doing stuff like that then it can be a little more unpredictable it's in every every scenario yeah it's hard when you when you travel but still the same rules apply so it just becomes more difficult especially you know I photograph a lot of people maybe that come from reality shows or someone who's not maybe necessarily a train model so you're gonna have to work with them more to get the engaging expression are joey well we have so many fabulous questions again but I think we can keep going we still have another dedicated q and a period at the end of the segment so I know we have s'more photographer's work to see great so the other area of the portfolio that I'd like to talk about his personal work okay you'll see me use this term a lot I'm huge excuse me I'm huge advocate for what we call personal work so again like a defined portfolio let me define what that means is I say personal work for any photo shoot that I'm doing that I'm not being paid for right I'm just doing it for the love or for the experience or to build my portfolio that's what I mean when I say personal work okay so for me a sze yu guys know that's the stuff that I like to go shoot and traveling okay this is something that I get very excited about something I do on my own time it's sort of my hobby but of course it does lead to commission work also so people say well how do you finance these trips how do you go on these things when you're missing so much work back home the thing is is these personal shoots that I do help my commission work right so it's kind of like it's a healthy balance anything that I go spend out money doing myself that's finance can lead to commissions down the road okay so the first reason why I'm doing these chutes is like sometimes you might see me here like maybe getting a little hippie is obviously like because I like it okay I don't want to live my life doing something that doesn't make me happy I think it goes like it needs a uh needs a special mention and the creative field because like creative people can get depressed and getting islam's really easily so if you're going to dedicate you know years to doing something and better make you happy so the first thing about personal work is the obvious pleasure right so I'm doing this just because I want to do it I love traveling okay no other craft other than photography can you meet somebody be like hanging out with you all day and take photos and your food and like figure out stuff about you like you can't do that with any other job right so it zone amazing thing and I do it just because I love it even if I wasn't a working photographer I'd still like go out photography maybe stock some shelves back here save up some money and still do this okay so it's the thing that keeps him passionate um creative people I like to surround myself with passionate people when I'm talking to somebody about their work like I know when they're into it or not like their eyes light up like oh like I love surrounding myself with those kind of people and those people that choose to work with so first of all personal work it's obvious pleasure ok the other important thing about setting up tests or setting up your own chute which you might put in your portfolio later eyes that helps you grow as a photographer right so let me give you an example um is if I'm photographing a large body of work right and I want to get hired off of it typically the clients that hire me don't want to take too much of a risk and hire a photographer who couldn't pull off their vision right so they want to hire someone they know can execute this portrait in that style that way so they choose me okay or they want to know a photographer who's worked with us somewhere subject okay that's how I'm getting hired but let's think about what happens over time okay you got hired off of old work to kind of do what you already done you gotta hide off that again to do what you've already done you can see kind of like a slump coming here can't you write you're doing I'm doing the same stuff we've been doing for years right that happens so what the whole idea for personal work is to get out of that slump and start experimenting because it's not on a commission commercial job that I want to like start messing around and because you know I have a responsibility to deliver images but what I can do is go off set off a test experiment mess it up doesn't matter all right and then later on I can apply those things to actual jobs and what I've learned and grow as a photographer okay so what's interesting is on the screen here is I was never like into shooting things a little lighter and like flaring the lens this is something I just didn't know much about combining ambient light with studio light I started doing it a lot on my travels and I was like oh okay so later on when I had like history channels stuff I was like very comfortable with that kind of craft so if you look at these two images side by side they're both mine stylistically they're both very similar but one is a commission job and others something like I just did for fun right but they still fit in my book and they still both have merit and they still have help each other out so after a while like oh that's in need effect I could do that for a while then I'll go on and try something new and experiment with something different let me give you a little back story of where I came from is just shooting a lot of musicians right so like five dudes standing there like right that's where I come from that's built my first portfolio so you can imagine what happened over time is that those band saw me somewhere bands would hire me similar bands when I and then all of a sudden I have a whole portfolio that doesn't have like a single women in it right let's single female innit so what happens is is people who hire me looking at that work mayko whom this photographer isn't usedto working with female subjects okay stylistically he's on point technically these portrait's look good but to photograph a girl in our culture is a little different right there certain like things you have to do the harris to be certain way the clothing it's like you have to be tasteful right it's not different so what I had to do is do personal work and test in order to prove that I was capable of doing that kind of work okay so this is an interesting example of a test shoot that I set up on my own dime right just approach the modeling agency and said I'd love to test in exchange for a model of yours time aiken take really nice high quality images she has benefit because she can use it for her portfolio me same thing I can use it for my photographers portfolio and you can get a mutual exchange of services right so this is ahh tissue that I set up just because I didn't have any women in my portfolio did the shoot I did several other since then it only took like three shoots to mix it into my portfolio and all of a sudden now I realize I'm not missing as many jobs that have women and people trust me to do this now because I had to prove myself if I went to a meeting and just spoke about it what means nothing instead I have to like show it in my work okay another important thing about personal work is that you want to break down barriers and be it not just about photography but also say something about you all right so we're going to get a little deep here all right so what I want people to do when they look at my work is yes appreciate the photos but also have that photo transcend just being a photograph okay I want them to learn something about me about my personality and what I'm capable of so let me give you a good example as I talk about those rugged trips that I did in indonesia or southern ethiopia that was my personal work when I sat down and showed history channel that kind of photography yes they know like the lighting's good on other stuff that I've done but it says something about me that I'm capable of working in this kind of environment right so when something comes up like deadliest roads where these photographs are from they think who someone who can live like a complete scumbag for a couple months and who's someone we can throw in like a dangerous situation where he might not come back from oh joey perfect right so that has said something about me as a photographer and yes they liked my photographs but would they trust someone who's like works in a comfortable studio all the time with that particular assignment no vice versa if you had a book that was us all this stuff would they trust you working in an environment somewhere else no so your photography should say something about you also I have a friend named scott shafer in real life he's extremely quirky okay he's like a really funny guy has a great sense of humor if you look through his portfolio stylistically it's on point it's very cohesive but you can look at that and like you know he has a really good sense of humor so would they hire some guy who just has like a really kind of dry book that's like very serious and very atmospheric to pull off a comedy movie poster maybe not although technically they might be the same uh they want to work with someone like scott because they know in orderto execute that he had had the good sense of humor right I just want to make a comment joey chase jarvis is coming out on the in our next segment and the same thing with chase if you look at his work you look at his portfolio who can I get that can shoot from a helicopter and extreme sports and while skiing and not just him but his team but you would imagine that he would definitely be showing that type of work to show what he's capable of doing yeah because when you look at that stuff of like skiers are like chases stuff of like the travelers and um like extreme sports like what you mentioned like I know a lot of people that couldn't do that for example like I couldn't cause I can't snowboard or ski and there's like shots for thinking going down the mountain doing that it's like it's probably not gonna be the best fit for me so yes anyone can photograph you know something in that environment maybe light it there's a lot of photography could do something similar but what that says about him is that he's capable of doing it exactly so it's a working in two different ways right well I hadn't thought about it that way that's all so well that's part of what I'm here to do all right so the last thing which is really important about your including personal work into your portfolio is that it keeps you remember it right so I worked with a lot of people in advertising they deal with ads all day long right doesn't mean that they're not into it but if I have these personal travel stories and these things that have happened to me again they'll transcend just the photograph and they'll be able to remember who it was that took that work right it's like the guy with the stupid haircut that I met like a couple weeks ago like that guy hopefully they will remember me all right because we have in our industry we have like a sea of photographers and you have to think about what separates them at the end of the day we can all grow we can get so technically good and have a good body of work but the thing which is goingto differentiate one from another eyes how you remember them so often times job's come up extremely quick right they come extremely fast and it might just be whoever the person like happens to remember being a good fit so this goes back again to having a very cohesive portfolio because someone who's kind of like a jack of all trades that shoots like this this this this this it's really hard to remember them for one specific thing so if someone has a job come up where it's like environmental portrait and I wanted to look like this and they've met me I hope that they're going to remember that I am the one who can execute that and pull that off okay so we're back to the q and a screen alright fantastic beautiful beautiful work by the way thanks uh let's start in our studio audience before we go to the internet say it go ahead this question kind of goes back tio when you were talking about your digital portfolio and having a book something I like about having a book it's something very tangible it's more than just you know another picture on the internet on dh but in that what kind of pictures do you put on online and what kind of pictures do you put in your book are they the same and yeah so in the base portfolio they're the exact same selection right so on my website uh you'll see a quick portfolio section that mimics the printed book however what you can't do it in a book is have like the different siri's that I've done right I'm going to go through my website after and I can show you uh a visual of what I'm talking about but um to me I think the book should mimic the website very closely because if you're presenting your work on the web right what if they see that first or what if they see the printed book first I would like to see a match on also just thinking off the top of my head another thing is ah similar branding right so does the book have the same thought you used on that does on the wet does have the same color tones all these things I think should be similar two parts when you're sending ah like a link to a portfolio is it better to have it you know when they click on that link it's opening up to a single image that they're they're going to go through is it better to have them open up to an index of images both because it depends on how the website is designed right so when I do pull up my website which I'll go through in a minute it's like there is a large splash page which kind of paints a picture of what I do other friends and examples at a show later it opens in the highlights gallery so for me it's a little tacky like sending like a really long link unless you're sending link that has something specific for that client right so if there's a specific section that only relates to them I was something that link but I would also think about how your website assorted from the splash page so how are people going to interpret the material and view you work just from like typing in your girl and then we'll use me as an example lot of wedding work over the last few years and I wantto you know focus on portrait work but a lot of my you know I use a lot of lighting when I do weddings and my favorite part of a wedding day is you know the portrait of the bride and the groom and I you know some scenarios I have two or three lights set up not a heart attack material but it I mean can I take that you know in try and restructure some of those some of my favorite work you know a bride and try and restructured into a portrait portfolio you know not so someone sees it they're not going to see wedding photographer but they're going to see portrait yeah definitely I can see her eyes lighting up like what I said you're like why have lights in there so it seems to me like what you said you're not into the like you do the rep atash thing but then you also are setting up portrait's before like the couple yes that can build a portrait portfolio let me give you a good example for my work is I was photographing a lot of bands and musicians but it didn't necessarily mean that I just wanted to do like group shots of guys in bands so what I was doing was giving them something different and unique that they would be stoked about and photographing them all individually so I had these great locations I had all the lights ready to go a lot of interesting faces to write and music industry so I was using them kind of like as commercial subjects and my first portfolio was just all musicians but their individual portrait where they could be anybody right so when you looked at my first portfolio it didn't necessarily mean that I only shot musicians it was just like a bunch of interesting faces in different locations so same thing for you is if you are getting the chance to photograph like these couple shots together it might be a good basis to build the portfolio because you have all the lights set up you have this situation there even like done up nice for that their wedding day so might be a good place to launch off the internet actually has not stopped uh asking you questions I'm going to throw a couple more from the internet and then we'll hand it back to our in studio audience a pro photographer asked do you ever bring back old images back into your portfolio and if so why if I'm pitching for a specific job okay I'm sam sending them a pdf of my work and something relates to them more than once displayed I will have sort of like an archive that I can pull from so let me give you an example is if ah lot of the times for the entertainment shoots that I do I am hired to do something on seamless so like on a white background that they can use for syndication and that I'm also hired doing that same day stuff that's on location so on the set with a background like in an environment so if I'm pitching for one of those jobs I keep a lot of this studio stuff off my website because I think like if you've seen it once it's there like I could do it but if I'm pitching for something like that I might choose pull from my archives like all of the studio white backgrounds and just show them that as a body of work because that's uh I already know what the job needs so all pulled from old work for that anything else not really because I feel like old work is in the past and I'd rather pull from what I've learned from it to move forward right in the studio you were talking you're talking about building a brand on not being a jack of all trades on and I was wondering if you ever had a client approach you that wanted to style that's not represented in your portfolio and would you turn them out down or or would you try to kind of give it a shot it has happened before of people that I've already worked with right because maybe they just like working with me on set and they're like you know it's like not really your thing but like maybe we can do this and I might do it just to keep the relationship good right a t end of the day I might not choose to display it because it could distract and it could keep away other things in the future but I'll do it if it's if it's very interesting for me and if it's like creatively engaging I can shoot it like I can shoot a lot of different styles but I would just be very careful putting it in the main body of work because then you might get into the thing with someone you're not used to working with looks at this they don't know am I going to get this or I'm going to get this so I'm shooting things that I'm not always displaying but I am displaying the things that I think I'm best at welcome all right great maybe one more question before we move on and that is from mark zoetrope in chicago you talked earlier about storytelling creating a story joey what do you mean by story pictures from one shoot same setting name good question because I should have defined that like I like to define my terms so when I say a photo story or photo siri's they're all pictures from the same femur same shoot so it doesn't mean they're of the same subject it doesn't mean they're like all against the same wall or whatever is just something that comes from that shoot so for example zombie boy right we looked at those photos were familiar with him now I would say the story is is how like his skull face khun b examine in many different ways that's kind of like the theme of that shoot you obviously has like a tattooed face okay and then we have like the human body's which make the human skull we have the momentum mor e like skull in the corner so when you look through those three images they're not all exactly the same but they do kind of tell the story of what we're trying to accomplish there if you look at any magazine there's there's usually like a theme throughout all the photos but they don't all look exactly the same perfect thank you for clarifying so I know we have several photographers to dissect so if we can keep going we've got about half an hour left exactly so we talked a lot about different portfolios but now I'd like to show you through mine first and then also some friends of mine that I think are doing things right ok so for those who want to follow along online it's joey l dot com okay just I was with your question I think we're talking about like the main splash page so this is when someone types in there browser joel dot com they're given like this main splash image and I like to change this based on new images that I release right so this is something that I just wrote a blogger post for its new work that's a few months old and I just finished retouching it so I'm going to make the splash page of my image that so that people know like there's something new right so whether they can find it on my blogged our whether they can go into the sections and find it they at least know something's new so paying attention to how my sight is structured you'll see the top knave bar there's three main options for photography sections there's a quick portfolio which was talking about like like the highlight section there's the personal commissions and videos okay but on lee the personal on commissions and quick portfolio is photography so I've broken it down in those ways to kind of like segregate the working is a way of organizing it so the quick portfolio this is what happens we're not on the internet right now in case I type in then google like says something embarrassing right so we're on the slide show I like my past search history right so we're in quick portfolio now and this is what looks like this is like when people click that and they want experience my work right there given kind of an example right away looking from that we know like I'm a portrait photographer we can look at the style and say ok it's little cinematic it's lit it's a bit of a contrived style so that might relate to somebody or not we might turn away a lot of people but we might really went over the people who actually might want to hire me that I care about you work for so going through that first section you can scroll down it looks like this I have a lot of different commission work but what I'm trying to do is transition to the personal shoots that I do right so it would look like what I was talking about the starting and be really hard to follow up some of the personal stuff with a more celebrity to mix and match might be a little jarring so instead if you look what I do on the bottom row um the bottom four images I travel with my friend ryan and I just took photos of travelling in india as a test the final goal might be some advertising campaigns right maybe an air line maybe there's a lot of different uses for this kind of work maybe pharmaceutical I don't know but it's in my portfolio and after those images are shown then it's easier to turn a transition too impersonal work shot in india right and as you go through looking at the india stuff it's easier to transition to what I show in africa stylistically it's very similar but we go through that quick portfolio and you're giving the films and that kind of gives a sense of cohesion toe what I do if you were to click on one of the images it opens up larger I'm a big fan of putting a small text caption I know some photographers there for some r against it for me I like to give a little bit of context to the image so some are really simple like this one of robert de niro it just says portrait of robert de niro actor half of that is to help search engines find the images even this j peg is named like robert underscore the underscore europe so that ghoul can index it and you can properly find it and the other thing is I just think it's nice because if you meet subject matters you're not familiar with right you're meets people who you don't know then you can give like a little bit about their story and to me that paints a much nicer picture behind the image so I like to include a little bit of text as well so that was talking about the quick portfolio but I love to shoot things in siri's or stories so following the knave bar on the top of my website if you click personal then you can see six personal siri's that are ongoing right these are areas of the world where I have been in some of them multiple times to keep adding to the sections um but these given a greater depth they give a greater look at those images so in the quick portfolio I might have choosing three or four from each section so if you're really interested and want to look longer you goto personal and see like there's maybe sixty images and some of these galleries but by then I kind of realized okay you've seen the quick portfolio they want to see more so for me there's not really a rule of thumb of how many images to display afterwards I figure as long as you like keep the crap out it's good okay similar I have in commissions it's the same kind of thing the main sections are celebrity and entertainment and there's another section called advertising but you also see to case studies there okay the gold for that is I like to show the variety of what I shoot on location and what I shoot when I'm given assignment so if you look at those advertising shek sections we can see a lot of my work with ads and layouts but the case studies look like this there that entire shoot I have only focused to choose I've only chosen to focus on two in particular of recent things the one is deadliest roads the others for killing lincoln and that's more just to show people the scope of what I could get on one day right so we look through that and it's like you can see there's like the first movie poster there and then you see like the first three images are different like opposing variations clients know that my assignment which is just to get one of those but they can see at least I was like creative toe like mess around play with their idea a little bit because at the end of the day what is someone hiring you for yes they want you to pull of their vision but they also want you to add something personal to it right so I hope someone looking through this section will go through it and be like oh joey gets a lot of variation he can think on his toast fast and come up with something maybe even better than we initially thought so if you were to click on some of these images they're nice but I don't think they're as strong as what I've chosen for the quick portfolio um but just because they're there um they're in a different section you can click through as a case study you want experience that way anyway so I'm okay with that the other thing that I've gotten really active about on my website is my blawg uh sharing behind the scenes stories of things that I've done in the past is used like I used to kind of try to keep it separate from my client's maybe even didn't mention it when I was in meetings but when I actually found recently is that people like it they like if you approach them and do it respectfully before the shoot people like seeing like a behind the scenes look at what happened as long as you're being careful to get people's permission to post that it's usually a good thing for me it helps a lot this is why you're here right because you follow me as a photographer so it's mostly photographers reading this but you have to look at it from an advertising perspective if someone hire me for a job they look at me they see a consistent brand they see me writing about things from a photographer's perspective they think maybe this photographer also understands advertising and branding if you can brand himself okay so the only thing I can actually write about in depth this photography because it's kind of like all I care about so that's that's what my vlog is about but at least it's consistent on dh for any of those people who are tuning and who haven't been to my blawg it's joey l dot com slash blogged you'll find a lot of behind the scenes videos and a lot of behind the scenes lighting diagrams and things like that but it's nice because I speak to one area of the industry which is like photographers but I'm also very active working and actually getting jobs so the blogged us for that side okay so this is a good friend of mine his name's cody tar the reason why I like to show him as the first example who's not mean is because he's someone that took it upon himself to start testing and if me and jesse were just talking about this a few years ago cody was like good but not an amazing photographer but he had potential but like in the past year he just started like unleashing and for some reason something clicked and all of his work is like really really good now and he's someone that just came from testing right he had no clients he thought I'm gonna have to prove myself somehow so he started setting up test and now he's getting hired based on that body of work if you looked through his portfolio there might be things in there that certainly look commission it's not some of it is some of it isn't but the truth of the matter is someone can look through his book and the photos good or it's not so it really doesn't matter if he's had clients before this's how to start out and how to get them so cody's website you can maybe see a little bit of my influence right he's got like the quick portfolio there are not the first one to come up with with it but he's made of ah organize things the way I have but he's got a quick portfolio which is the first selection of his work it's the strongest images and then he breaks it down into three different categories light dark and adventure something different for me but that's all the different subject matter that he shoots so speaking personally about cody hey love sports he loves outdoors something he knows a lot about I couldn't name you one sports player ever like I don't even you can see I mean even unfamiliar with the term sports player how was the match like I couldn't name you one but he's chosen an area what he knows a lot about what she's passionate about to at least start out so the area of the market that he's kind of trying to target is like sports lifestyle maybe like an espn type magazine right he'll start off that way doesn't mean that he can't shoot other things in the future it doesn't mean like this can't just translate toe portrait sure are their adventurous things but at least now when you think of sports like you think of cody right so for example the first images that he has in this portfolio was actually for gatorade and he had a friend of his who was a photographer who couldn't do on assignment and he had to like back out and hire someone so just being affiliated with sports at that point got him that job okay the other thing that's interesting about cody's work as you can see the light the dark in the adventure stuff even in this base like quick portfolio selection right it starts off with a darker stuff goes toe light and then he has adventure so if you look at this thumbnail gallery it looks like the last image of the guy running if that were to follow directly like the gatorade thing it might feel a little bit broken up so the order in which she's choose to display things is nice because there's enough variation and you're not seeing the same thing over and over again but he has been very adamant about separating right so let's flip through his website now I don't know if it's crash yet or not but going through okay he starts off with this portfolio a lot of these are tests this's an olympic athlete ah that he was doing test for it with a modelling agency like just doing other girls and then they started representing her they came them hey do you want to photograph an olympic athlete because it gives value to his work so this is a test he set up he made her come out of four in the morning sit on a dock to get this portrait but it's helping her because it's helping her portfolio she'll have many uses for this and it's helping him because he has an olympic athlete in his book now right so it doesn't matter if that was set up by himself doesn't matter if someone paid him to do it fact of the matter is the picture's going to be in the same either way they're this excuse me just one note from the internet quite a few of our internet audience right now they are just starting out they're beginners and they're not quite grasping what testes can you when I say test I'm describing for those who just tuned in describing something that you set up by yourself right so it's not a job you were paid to do it's something that you actively went out and set up you source the models you found the location you set up to test toe add into your portfolio build value right so those who starting out you can't get jobs off nothing right you can't just be a I'm going to be a fifth photographer why isn't anyone hiring me right you got it test in order to build the first body of work and then get hired off those tests that's what I'm talking about okay so looking through codis work he has more tests he's a big fan of not getting permits and just shooting things really early in the morning where people are too tired to care right so this is like a great location I think it's in new york city yeah and he just set it up I set up his lighting right I find you think you've found the runner off maybe like model mayhem or something or maybe a a modeling agency for sports and it just set it up but it looks good enough that it could have been a commission or it could have been part of the story on this runner and something like espn right you don't know that looking through it going back to his website if we want to look at some of the lighter work now stylistically it's a lot different but I think the subject matter is very similar so it still fits in because if we have a story for a magazine it's like sometimes you might have a portrait of the athlete and then you might have like some action shots of them actually like running and doing things right so at least he's still incorporating that in his portfolio and he's not being too pissed he's like being too specific to not include it yet still general enough that is still fitz and sort of cohesive feel going back this is his quick portfolio again but if you click the other options on the left side you know we're in light here they're certain images that didn't quite make it to his quick portfolio but if someone liked his work and they wanted to say we're hiring him to do something light they can click that and see more variety and more options exact same thing for dark there's some things that didn't quite make the cut for the main selection but he has more below it if I could give cody one piece of feedback while I'm here as I see he's starting off his dark section with the same image he's starting off his quick portfolio I'd actually change it up a little bit so that he's starting with something different because if they're getting there the splash page they have already seen that image so it's important to show but I might put something else first that's one feedback little nit pick that a half hope he's watching now um looking through even more to adventure that's how it's sort of isolating these different subject matters and isolating the people who are like in their environment okay let's crash somebody else's website it's a friend of mine called nick duncan okay uh the reason why I'm really drawn to next work eyes because he shoots a completely different style than I do so someone shoot something simple like god crap rip off artists try toe steal for me so I'm drawn to people who do things differently just because of that right so I love next work I think he understands like extremely well because he can make these kind of like scenarios that feel very real and feel very raw and natural but the lighting still beautiful so his whole thing is like he likes to make things look a little bit snapshot e but and not to constructed but you know there's like whole thought process going on in these kind of lighting setups like you know he's thinking about lighting and thinking about doing things but it doesn't appear that way on camera so he works a lot for like lifestyle campaigns and advertising editorials that focus more on that style of work right and flipping through his portfolio you see there's a sense of cohesion through it it looks as if it was all from the same hand even going toe like black and white he has a black and white section in his book where he hasn't really broken it up but between because it might feel a little weird to less snap to a black and white image than color go back and forth he's kind of put like these as a siri's together right so when you flip through his work black and white or not it feels like it comes from the same hand is a very cohesive style another interesting thing that I really like about nick's website is you might see down below in the slide in the bottom right corner if you have your mouse over it he has an option to add images toe light boxes and that's because a lot of his clients are making things called mood boards what this is is if you're putting a shoot together you might reference a lot of different photographers and put their images together and sort of like say I want my chute to feel like these images all together right so he's allowing people to pluck images from his web site using a light box and use them as reference hoping that they'll actually hire him to do that since the reference comes from him so it's a nice piece of coding but if you hover and like add things to light box what happens is you can choose just to display those images on lee and you can actually export a pdf directly from his web site that only has your selections in it so he's saying here is my work pick and choose what you want and then hopefully that'll help me get the job later something that's really nice another little hidden gem in next website is you look that when you open an image and download it on the website it doesn't display with a watermark right it just says there's the picture there's nothing distracting but if you do add it to a light box and if you do download it some engine automatically puts in his water mark over the image so it's really nice feature because let's suppose someone makes a mood board to get inspiration for kind of shoot and I like a man who is that guy that did all these good pictures at least us names like right there right so it's a good example of a very well designed portfolio going to give you one more sight to crash before I move on uh this is another friend of mine named sam spratt and what's interesting about sam spratt as website sam spratt dot com for those who want to crash it out there um was interesting about him is he's not a photographer at all but the same rules apply to his portfolio even though he's a painter right so he paints this super realistic um extremely photo realistic but still like fine artist brushstroke style on dh he organizes his website in a very similar way to what I recommend for photographer so if you first go to the page go to his website and opens up with a highlight section this is the same thing is like a quick portfolio he calls the highlights and he chooses images of his work which are new and relevant to display first but also his best work right so he kind of like filters out it is something interesting where on the left he displays the full image and on the right he shows a close up and that's just because for his own clients he's a painter so he wants to show like the actual detail that he's able to get with brushstrokes right so that is true to him looking through his work it is extremely cohesive because they're all paintings so he probably has to rely less on organizing things through color tone because he just has a style no matter what he paints it kind of looks like it came from sam spratt right so we always joke me and him it's like oh sam you have it so easy if you want an environment you could just created you could just like brush it in there you know if they like hire all the stuff you know if the light it probably lock he says yeah but joey you could just go there like take a picture and you're like job's done so we kind of have like equal equal amounts of work going into what we do some of you might recognize this poster right it's for the personal film project that I'm going to be working on sam was nice enough to design some of the early concept art for it um he does a lot of celebrity portraiture right he doesn't have to get him to sit for a painting he can pull a variety of different references to understand how their face looks and he can do commission's you do personal work and you never get really going to really know the difference okay so um looking for a site everything looks cohesive and good and we're still in the highlight section now but if you came across something and you're like oh look at this angry birds paintings this is good he's going to choose his best three for the highlight section but really he did a whole series for angry birds right so if you click on gallery at the top you confined the different sections in which he's chosen toe have separate case studies so clicking on gallery going toe angry birds he chose his best three for the main selection but then he went in depth and showed every single one in this gallery by itself because if I was interested to hire for this kind of work right at least I could see the variety but this might be a little bit too much to show in the based highlight section on back to the cure great examples from your friends I love the diversity that you shown between you noticed painters and photographers very very cool there are tons and tons of questions from the internet but first we're going to start in the studio audience here because I know you guys have questions as well did you ever include is that a no to include like anything from the environment so it's I have portrait set up and then I have a few shots that are you know a good portrait shots and the night have like something from that environment that's not a portrait to completely leave that out no give me an example because it's it could be yes or it could be b no itt's kind of a case by case so I have ah set up a lighting scenario in there playing shuffleboard so I have some cool shots of that but then there's one shot with the exact same lighting that I got of you know the the puck goes shopping landing into the salt in the salt exploding is a really cool picture but so what you would have to do is sort of determine at what is the goal in what you're going for it right so if you're shooting for like let's say shuffleboard the first thing that comes to mind is like a travel and leisure magazine were going on holiday place himself aboard right for them something like that would be very relevant right because in their magazine I know how those look right where you flip the page and they do have detail shots especially let's say aye hotel that had a shuffleboard court hired you they want these kind of details shots and the people playing so I think it's a great way to show a story is actually different close ups for me it has less relevance because what I don't really do detail shots that much andi mainly just focus on portraiture and ads but to tell a story you might need close up things and you know I think it's I think it's good simple answer yes this is kind of more of a background question but how important is attribution in online galleries I mean do you need to attribute like makeup artists or others who were involved maybe conceptual crediting things yes yeah so what I like to do is in my section is the reason why I like to have text as well it's because I could do things like that so for example those national geographic images like I was one piece of a very large puzzle there was a lot of people who collaborated on that so I'll say you know what the production company was or at least what the client wass like national geographic channel I don't like the clutter up too much with credits from everything where I might do that is in the block post so actually wrote a blogger post where I compared like the test subjects to the actual subjects of killing lincoln where it was like the people like standing in for like test shots and in that post I gave a shadow to everyone involved I even mentioned how a lot of the creative concepts weren't mine they're the creative director andy baker's and in that context I'm writing a lot but like beside a picture I don't feel so necessary to give up every single credit as long as you do it at at some point especially remember that I'm working ah lot of tests sometimes makeup artists are coming out for nothing right and they're just doing it for the shot so I'm making sure that I at least give them the high resolution images toe work from and a shot out like for coming to help out so hopefully they'll get hired off and hopefully they'll get working it was worth their time getting the image but also they need toe have a roof over their head too right hey joey question from fashion tv in singapore which is one of our regulars here it creative lives that joins him uh when you mentioned to be remembered in your opinion what should be best we met what should we be best remembered for you mentioned earlier feel over technical competence for portfolio avenues for example working attitude or technical competence or the feel of the overall image so what I don't understand what the weather question when you mentioned earlier to be remembered in your portfolio in your opinion what should we be best remembered for okay yeah I think choosing individual images you obviously wanted choose the most engaging one but what I mean by being remembered is being remembered for the style in what you shoot or the subject matter that you choose to shoot so that if someone has a job that reflects that and that becomes necessary that's what you become remembered for so I think the subjects become more remembered for how they look in the photo that's not necessarily me right it is me taking a four of them but that's for them but what I meant was is like remember how you shot that and how you executed that as a photographer fantastic alright joey well it's time for our first fifteen minute break you want to talk a little bit about what we're going to do when we come back well if I'm not mistaken chase is going to come out and we're gonna have some uh talk about the industry and where we're headed

Class Description

Joey L. has balanced hard work, technical execution, and boundless creativity to become a commercial portrait photography wunderkind. In this class, you'll learn how Joey gets inspiration, organizes his shoots, and processes the images to create the stunning shots for which he has become so well known.

In this class, you'll learn:

  • How to embrace the creative concepts that so often stay trapped in our heads
  • How to merge cinematic lighting techniques with onset special effects
  • Joey's post-production tips in Photoshop



Are you keen to learn about creating painterly portraits - as much in-camera as possible? Then you likely get how important lighting is. What you may not realise is how little a role photoshop plays in creating such effects: what such JoeyL like portraits seems to mean is: - thinking about portraits - what they are - how light creates them - how therefore to see and manage light "if you can use one light you can use many" - how to tune the image to create the output in your vision. Within this there are thoughts about photography as a business, workflows and data management. It's all remarkably accessible, too. Joey's teaching approach is calm and effective: he has mastered the art of the recap to make sure everyone is on the same page " first we did this; then we did.. then we did..." THe pragmatics of the course - the lighting/shooting sessions - are sensible progressions from one light (including using a flashlight and a foil lined cardboard box) to a multi-light set up. Intrigingly the lenses are limited no. of primes in the dlsr sections; the medium format is well motivated too, and clearly not a limiting factor for creating the desired image look. This course should get bonus marks for going above and beyond expectations on two counts: the portfolio section for people looking for work is v.well done in that a) it exists at all and b) Joey is not just highlighting his own work, but showing the work of others to allow him to explore options in presentation. Fantastic. The discussions of workflow- including data back up strategies - and image processing including print and web - are also sufficiently detailed and rational to be able to test out quickly. Delighted to see this work being done in PS v6 for those who haven't leapt to CC versions yet. It's also rewarding and inspiring to hear Joey say "i don't have a studio" Likewise, though Joey does work with a crew, it's clear they're working as a team and for very specfici purposes - all of which get costed into a budget. There's a lot of questions about the experience of shooting for a client - about the air of calm one has to maintain even if freaking out - to get through these points. It's all very real. WHile joey is clearly very confident about what he does, he's not arrogant, and the confidence is earned and reassuring. IT's clear he's an alpha kinda guy, a little competetive, and working for him (preferring folks who don't sleep - oh dear) may be different than attending a class - but this IS a class and his manner and way of teaching/organising/presenting work extremely well. Because the course is so complete, going not just from a to z but -z to +z it seems, these next bits are small beer: There's a rather surprising section with CL founder Chass Jarvis - but many CL courses have guest teachers bring in guests to add perspective. Here the section mainly demonstrates how gracious Joey is as an interviewer. And because all the other bases are covered it's no loss to have this business discussion of de-bunkings about how to get into this game. In other sections we see Joey as a patient guy too - answering quesitons it seems several times that had been answered previously in the course - while not everyone has tuned in for the whole thing, it's undrestandable why live questions weren't better filtered to highlight new questions - but Joey calmly will indicate as discussed before...and then give the answer. Never get the sense he's irritated by the repetition. While we hear his father as a strong critique his folks must be well pleased with how Joey's doing. This course has no extra materials - and that's ok: the links to the portfolios and software used are all in the discussions. Joey's blog also goes through a lot of discussions about gear lists. So head to his blog for supplementary detail. Overall it's hard to find a more complete course in CL on a complete portrait photography workflow. Scott Robert Lim's somewhat more frenetic but incredibly detailed 10k wedding photography and Joel Grimes Strobe workshops are also v.good in this end to end regard. But this one goes a bit beyond these perhaps in terms of vibe/cohesion (that may be unfair - it's just a feel thing between the three). Some folks label courses as "something for everyone" - i don't know if that's the case or if this case largely appeals to keen beginners who are exploring lighting and thinking about business thoughts, or if more experienced/pro photographers will be gripped by each moment, but my suspicion is that even for experienced portrait'ists it will be engaging at the very least to see how a fellow pro manages a shoot. Excellent excellent offer. With the guarentee, this is a no risk, slam dunk if commercial portrait photography (or painterly /cinematic and maybe earthy portraits) are for you. Thanks CL for bringing this together.

Vinh Huynh

I think this is a great class. You can definitely tell Joey L is a master of his craft because of his simple explanations. He's concise in the way he teaches, demonstrates, etc. The most important thing is his workflow or process he uses while setting up the shot, how he builds, etc - it's essentially a "checklist" of how he likes to do things. Something newer photographers need to know. He did forget a couple of the models' name here n' there, but I'm sure he met them shortly before filming for the day started, lol. This is something you should not do, but he apologizes and openly admits. There are times a couple questions are asked and he has no shame in admitting that he's just "openly thinking of what would happen," but does not know for sure because he shoots in a specific style. For someone his age (younger) who has penetrated this tough industry, you can definitely tell why he's successful - very mature with a great knowledge base. You can definitely tell he sees lighting differently from how an advanced amateur or even semi-professional photographer does... even in the introduction he talks about how important lighting and the quality of that light is. For those who are more advance, there might not be as many nuggets and pearls. There isn't any information on how he got into the industry, how he grew his business etc - with exception to how he feels you should display your portfolio in both web and print format. Overall, I think someone who's looking to get into commercial photography would benefit from this workshop. However, someone who's already getting paid and just looking to advance his or her own career probably already has the skillset that Joey L teaches and is best spending time just studying light. A little about me... I'm primarily a natural light portrait photographer specializing with families, kids, pets, etc. I'd consider myself an advanced amateur and I found this workshop beneficial. I hope that helps!!