Skip to main content

photo & video

Crazy Stupid Light

Lesson 12 of 12

10 Steps to Remarkable

Scott Robert Lim

Crazy Stupid Light

Scott Robert Lim

staff favorite photo & video

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

12. 10 Steps to Remarkable

Lesson Info

10 Steps to Remarkable

You know, I just love going into situations where things are just not quite perfect because it makes you think there's a photographer pushes you and it stretches you and that's the great thing about photography is that well, we decide to take the road to excellence now you have to decide whether or not you want to be good or not because it's going to take a lot of sacrifice but if you decide to take that road to excellence every time you go on a shoot you're committed toe learn something new too bring your vision into it and you along the way you don't know what's going to pop in front of you and you're gonna have to manage those roadblocks and overcome them and to despite those roadblocks you were gonna still have to be able to create your vision, your art no excuses do you want to do what I do or not it's up to you uh and it's going to take everything from you but definitely I know you can do it because this asian college dropout did it so I know you guys could do it too. So anyways ...

let's see always cute up ten steps too remarkable tools for extraordinary success and the way this lecture was derived wass I thought in my mind I go what are the ten things that people need to know about getting to the next level what are those most important things that they need to know technically but what are those most important things that they need to know in regards to a life principles on getting what? Getting to the next level but but I think it's a little bit personal it's what I needed to get to that next level so we're ready to go here what's the real deal with earning money with photography okay, we want use photography as a tool to kind of launch our career so we could brought provide for ourselves or provide for our family and give us a life uh where we can actually live comfortably and also pursue our art I mean, what better life than that right? So I think there's uh this is a very common scenario uh there's this stuff the stuff we shoot that pays the bills okay? And on the other end of that is the stuff that we shoot that we love and in the beginning I think there's some what separated you know, we're so excited about photography you know, maybe we do some sort of vent and we do some sort of birthday party and we're just so happy to be hired that we do it and we still love it but then maybe after a year or two or something that's like well mmm it's okay, I'll do it it's for the money but I'll do it it still beats working at somewhere else starbucks or something like I don't know if he's work its third likes nothing wrong with that but I'm just saying something else okay uh and then there's stuff that we love stuff that moves us stuff that we have a passion about and and then fortunately there's always stuff that does both that pays the bills and what we love but what I always tried to do and I still do is I blend the two where I could earn a living and on ly do the stuff that I truly love and that's what we really really, really wanted to and that takes a lot of growth a lot of learning but I think this is the end goal uh and so we have to uh you know, in the beginning we have to do this stuff okay and his artists I think we get a little bit up in the o man no, I don't shoot that stuff not any more I'm mannerist man family stuff no not from there you can do it but hey okay and but we've got to do it you gotta pay the bills okay? And we can't be uppity about that every job that we get it's like gold it's like precious silver it's we need it because we have to survive we have to provide for ourselves we have to provide for a family and then eso there's always that stuff that we got to do we can't get lazy about that and then eventually we work it into what we love and I'm goingto kind of teach you on how I did this I blended the two and so in photography and uh when you go to college for say, a lot of colleges the really focus on fine art photography and photo journalism but guess what it's really really, really hard to make money if you're going to be a fine art photographer or photojournalist it's extremely hard if you want to make money the highest chance of making money is shooting people and make it like what we talked about before making them beautiful and those are what weddings portrait's fashion family seniors on things that that that's where you have the highest chance of earning a living right here okay and so these steps that I'm gonna be talking about I'm mostly going to be focusing on this type of photography um what you okay oh I'm gonna back up a little bit what happens if you actually do like fine art photography that's really your passion well I think what the goal was to see you still got to shoot the stuff that earns you a living but don't give up that fine art of course not do the stuff that pays the bills but keep just realize that that's keeping the dream of fine art alive okay, and so when you're doing that, that job did that you don't necessarily like doing just say, hey, this is keeping by other dream alive, and this is why I gotta do this, and eventually, when you keep trying and keep pursuing and learning that eventually it might make earn you a living. But you've got to give yourself a chance. Okay number one rule choose education over equipment learned first by later I'll give an example example I used to play guitar maybe why talk about guitars? Suppose I'm playing a song and I'm using a thousand dollars for, uh, guitar okay, then I go to the next song and I pick up this other guitar and it happens to be two thousand dollars it's gonna make me any better not really might look fancier might look cooler but in reality, it's not going to make me better entry level d sl ours are light years ahead of cameras five years ago. Ah, lot of the imagery that that I took that you see that you see on these walls they were taken with cameras like, you know, canon mark one how much can you get a cannon? A five d mark one right now for six hundred bucks, I'm right, I mean, you get embark twos for around a thousand uh, you know, so and a lot of that stuff that you saw, you know, was with the mark one if I used the mark three with that focal even better? I don't think so. Tragic air when striving to be great, a great photographer is investing mohr into equipment uh then into quality education don't get tricked. Don't be fooled into keeping up with the joneses, you know, we feel a little bit embarrassed going to giggle ah, I don't have the dext l lands I'm not that good never feel that way because look what I'm going to ask you what creates a great image. I you asked this question all the time I'll say ask it to you is does the camera make the fa tarver or is the photographer skill? Is that what makes a good image? What would you guys say? Of course, without a doubt, we always we always say that okay, add up all your camera equipment, how much it cost you add it all up in your head have you haven't equaled that in the amount of education spent on photography? And I think for a lot of people it's a vast difference, but we don't realize that really that equipment is not really going, it doesn't affect the imagery it's the knowledge he sought out there the knowledge of light I was using a two hundred dollar lands out there okay the knowledge of light and and uh and less than a fifty nine dollars andy filter right to do some of this out it's the knowledge of light the knowledge of posing that's the most important thing and don't really worry about equipment now this is I won this award with this photo but I used a ninety dollars, fifty millimeter one point eight lens and a flashlight to create it it's my understanding of light you don't need it and I got to tell you this story of marie lisa by here she was my student visa building my students I posed them you know, just was her very first workshop everybody's at that time everybody had five d's and l lenses and all that everybody's running around with that and she came and she felt a little bit embarrassed because she's had a rebel x t and she filled a little bit like a second class citizen and you know we're china's up lisa it doesn't matter what cameron that you have just forget about that man just go on do your work and I'm telling you I gave her a full few tools just like this week on howto see light and howto pulls in man she just took it because inside she was an artist and with that rebel she was the fastest student that ever taught mentored in my entire life that made it at a world class level between six to eight months after her first workshop, she she needed to be after the end of that first workshop, I clearly remember it was in paris were we we had a great dinner. It was the last day we're on the bus ride. We're tired, it's about ten o'clock she comes up to me and she pulls on my arm. She goes, this cannot stop. I want this life. And then a few months later she quit her high paying job and chic lit full into it with a rebel x t and she made it. And now she just, uh, she lives in montreal and she just sent me this email and she she's been winning these national war awards photographer of the year, and she just recently won this award but it's in french and I have no idea what it says, but I'm sure it's something about great photographer, and I'm like, oh, by gosh and then her dream came true, and then I see this other picture and she met oprah winfrey and she's there with oprah winfrey and it's because of photography took her there, her little rebel x t paved the way for her, so that was a great lesson to me about just equipment and what you could do uh and just an amazing story but you can go look at a work she's really an amazing person okay, if you spend ten or twenty thousand dollars on equipment don't be afraid to spend that amount on quality education let me ask you do you guys know what the average cost of college is it's one hundred and fifty thousand dollars and its five years of your life okay that's what it takes to get a bachelor degree average okay, how much are we willing to spend on photography? And this gets me really upset as an educator do not treat photography as a second class career I'm pissed off that this when I think about this is because look it if you wanted to be an accountant if you wanted to be let's say a dentist, what would it cost you? Eight years of your life average of five hundred thousand dollars and yet we gonna him and hall about a ninety nine dollars download and we treat like, well, suit man we invest so much in every single other industry we invest a whole lot more but we're not willing to invest that time in that effort and those reasons for photography if we did that we would be a lot better off and don't please please don't treat photography as a second class because you know why being a professional photographer is one of the hardest things to do in life and I'll prove that to you how many doctors lawyers cps do you know I'm sure you knew a lot and I think there's some in this room actually but really when it comes down to it how many full time photographers are there that are self sufficient that could provide for themselves or provide for their family very very few compared to the doctors and the lawyers and in our society we think that wow it's so hard to be a doctor so hard to be a lawyer it's a well becoming a professional photographers even harder it's a rarity if you actually make it and yet we treat it like a second class career that we don't give it the justice like we give these other careers don't do it please don't disrespect our industry conclusions feed your soul and mind good information and expect exponential growth with practice you kind of practice practice practice and when you get that good information you're going to grow exponentially but she got the need that too to you just you just can't have the information you've got a parrot with practice and together that's when you've been a grill and get the equipment that completes your vision nothing more or nothing less so if your vision is to shoot commercial and to have that high fashion hide hide high dynamic range shots using you know lighting equipment get that lighting equipment I don't care if you have to go into debt getting getting get it or if you if your vision is is shooting white angle shots and you need that sixteen to thirty five lens get it do whatever it takes to get it. Why? Because if you can't complete your vision you are nothing if you can't complete your vision, you're not going to separate yourself from the masses so get the stuff that completes our vision and don't think about it whatever it is, it could be a course it could be like you wantto learn baby photography, right? You know? Hey, I fell this on a, uh, creative life downloaded I don't know download a hundred things if it's gonna work for you how much you spend on college so if you lack vision you need more good information you need to fill your mind with with things that inspire you, it could be learning about light, it could be going to europe. I also find that a person is inspired by taking them out of their normal environment and showing them different kinds of beauty that they've never seen before and that's why people love travel and people fall in love with people of different cultures and different lands because it's a different type of beauty and that inspires us the way we see that difference and then we blended into our life and it makes us unique so enrich yourself if you want to travel travel well life is short man I'm fifty years old already and it's like man I might only have twenty thirty years left it's almost over man time really flies if there's a will there's a way go for it do it don't stop yourself two twos remarkable over good begin your journey of excellence just being good is average nowadays because of technology you can't be just good you know why? Because most clients can't tell between poor, fair and good they really can't you might you might know that you're a little bit better than your competition but when an average client who's not trained to look at art sees it they're going to clump you together and then who's going to get the job person with the lower price I find you know it's kind of interesting well, some people kind of put my work you know, up here, right? And but when I talk to clients it's like you, your work is pretty good no really that's what they say to me you don't like what I'm thinking well, did you know what all these awards or whatever and a lot of people just like, oh yeah, you know what? Your stuff is a little bit different yeah, I like it, you know but in my mind I'm thinking of all the way appeared people are appear but not really so that's what I found I found if I wanted teo teo create a mark I literally had to be wow this much better than average just to get me that much gain in an average client because they can't tell the difference you got to be so much better most likely your imagery looks very similar to everybody else's and I don't mean to put anybody down or them but I'm just going to tell it straight like it isthe I review a lot of portfolio work and it's like stuff pretty much looks the same just like everybody else's stuff so be different to be successful photographer aimed to be better than ninety out eight out of one hundred photographers you got to be that two percent that two percent that's different so if you're in a room with one hundred photographers you could say you know what I'm gonna kick butt or ninety eight other photographers in this real go to w p p a walk around you see thousands of photographers there you realize that and I got to be better than ninety eight percent of these people here now if you wantto get to world class and do that I estimated spelt the one out of thousand went out of two thousand as a totally completely different level you got to be committed to that it's tough okay let's say this well soon I want to be a world class photographer but I'm not there yet so how do I get remarkable imagery scott that you're talking about? I'm going to give you two clues on how to do this with the level that you're at right now one you've got a style your sessions now I didn't take this picture this is one of those first place awards by our friends jessa right? I'm so proud of them they're gonna be coming tonight so I get to meet them but look you don't want they made a mark in the industry you know why? Because a breanna is brought a new definition to photography she brought styling to the max because she was a style fanatic you should go to her house, you see how many magazines she has stacked up because she has a passion for fashion and for glamour and she loves it she combined it with her work and made her unique and so look at this photo everything about it is style perfectly the trouble to get the magazine everything they rented that plane so they can shoot in it because that was their vision and you've style your your sessions you're literally making people look beautiful by what they wear your maximising the beauty factor so that's one way you could do it is to stuck style your sessions, storyboard it out think about it just don't go there and shoot it but create a story with style substance stewed in exotic locations people are attracted to exotic places and beauty from around the world that's why they have the travel channel right don't we love looking at that travel channel we are track I think you know what I haven't met one photographer that has told me I hate to travel I think if your photographer is just innis we need to see exotic beauty from around the world we are addicted to beauty and we want to see it and the world is so huge so vast there's so many different beautiful types of things and we can't wait to get on a plane and go see it experience it right show the world our beauty if you build it they come okay if you want to be a destination wedding photographer you gotta have weddings that have done it different different if you live in san francisco you gotta have weddings that were done not here that's why homework sops all over the world is still that my students could have that exotic imagery around the world so they can get hired around the world and it is it is I remember doing these workshops and during the week as they would blawg that they're here in paris or they're here in italy someone would you know I just got a wedding in somewhere because they knew that that person was traveling so how a client thinks is okay I'm doing a letting in venice well what they're going to choose a photographer that's been to venice I think I choose the photographer that all they do is see you know imagery from monrovia california that fry from no they want to have proof that you can travel in that you can shoot in different locations and that's what they're going to higher so bill imagery that that helps me create a unique portfolio is these exotic images from around the world and they post on my website and my clavicles man I want to be there I want that what am I doing I'm creating a dream they see this couple online and they go I want to do that and they consult with me and say guess what you deserve it you need to do that and they do it but you've got to show it if you don't show you can do it then was gonna hire you to do it so look it I start showing pictures wells in new york and you know I talked about this image in times square and then boom all of a sudden somebody from new york hires me who coincidence I don't think so show images of paris right I've got that in there my portfolio oh wow! I get a wedding in paris. What do you know? I think that's coincidence I show all these different locations that I doing all this photography and, well, I get it. I get a wedding in korea. I get one in canada was in canada shooting in it. And all of a sudden I get hired to do a wedding in canada. Do you think that's coincidence? Not really. If you build it, they will come feel the dreams if you build it. But you gotta build it. You gotta have faith in yourself. You got have the resource is and say, I'm going to do this hawaii, right? You seeing these? These are some of these photos are around. Oh, holo wedding in hawaii. Same location is where I saw that girl. What do you don't build your portfolio with remarkable imagery? Have someone give you an honest assessment of your work? Not your mom, not people on facebook, but a professional. Somebody who'll be honest with you. And I know there's play photographers on creative lives that are world class that could tell you to and, uh, you gotta get assessment got to face the music, whether it's good or bad can't hide behind it. Three we are talked about this. I feel like you have to know how to find dramatic light, which we did today. Which is reactive photography finding things for we need to create dramatic light you need to find it and then you'll be able to create it and we hopefully we did both of those things today look at this session this was shot at eleven p m at night but my vision wass okay jeez we've had sex all night and now we're resting and it's morning time why I have well you know that dad so that's what I'm thinking but really it looks like this it was just a room at eleven a hotel room and so what did I do? You know, I took a flash with the gel and I fire it through these shutters here to give me a pattern on the wall using an orange jail and I used like five different for different uh flashes on different people in different areas to give me that feel creating a story you gotta learn how to create that traumatic light sandwich techniques which we talked about okay five create glamorous and or fashion forward images you've got toe learn howto create these glamorous shots and there's a reason for this who buys photography? Did you know that ninety percent of the prince ninety percent of the prince of purchase by women ninety percent that's true in my household my wife buys all the prints I don't like family and I got in the computer what's up this there don't wade these friends yeah and he's ok she goes and she makes the effort to get them printed at me my wife does our target customers then r women if you can make women look good you can stay in business for ever just as super I see what she thinks about this you have glamorous pictures of women on your website and blah blah blah lives in these hallways report of them so we're gonna be moving forward making women look beautiful this art form pay attention to it do what it takes I'm going to show you some images of mary ann okay this is a wedding I did and some of the basic things that we learned around and basic portraiture I want you to take a look at these images you're gonna probably think okay yeah they're solid they're decent images she's got a pretty face you know using this the light from the natural light uh you know the rollover going in tie going in back okay looking away adding a little video light nice portrait nice smile guess what these images of marianne she was seven and a half months pregnant it's because I knew the art of portraiture that I could bring out her beauty basic things do you know how to maximize do you want to go back to look at those of inches? You're curious right where did I put the bouquet? I she had really sexy legs so I focused on that. If you would have said sorry stand up she was just like that I mean there's no doubt she was pretty you can kind of see it there but I told him pull the skirt up okay that's just basic portraiture it can take you far I could tell you how to maximize the beauty of people there are portraiture zmax licking enhancing the beauty of an individual the more you make people look good the more good in your wallet that's plain and simple strive for that look at your image is what is the beauty content in your images that's going to get you hired look at it review it have somebody have ah expert look at it six you've got to create a grand vision for your life you gotta have a goal and what I say a man without a dream is like a big tall glass of spilt milk. What do you think I mean when I say that what do you think I mean when I say a man without a dream is like a big tall glass of spilt health I want I want you to ask sir, what do you have any ideas of what I met by saying this no direction, no focus? Yes, like you have all this potential to be something but then you just let it go, you know, like it's not going is never gonna come to pass is never going to become a reality exactly, you know, because you don't have that goal, you don't have a plan to waste your potential, don't we hate? Don't we all say that dewey assaults all say man that's person is talented on ly if well, don't be the only if because I see it all I knew is that you're all very, very talented don't spill your milk and what you gotta do is you gotta have a dream that maximizes human achievement and I get a little bit emotional right now because I think about my dream and I think about when I was I think I know this exact situation I was sitting down on the pot doing my business figured about life and I was about seventeen or eighteen years old and I stood up and I yelled out of the bathroom to my mom and I said, I think I want to be a motivational speaker when I grow up and I want to motivate thousands one day it took me freaking fifty years, but I did it and I read my facebook clients and my facebook comments and they say, scott, you know what? You're a pretty good photographer, but you know what, you're really an awesome motivator you are inspiring I mean, almost every single comments said that I go how I did it that's what I wanted to do in life is to help people to motivate people man it took me freaking thirty two years but it maximized my potential it's stretched me it took me the who those valleys when life was rough but I could only make ten thousand dollars a year not after one year not after two years not after three years not after four years not after five, twelve years I could only make ten thousand dollars my wife had to support me through all those years and then when I gave up that dream and said hutton told I didn't quite get the job but I said I gotta reset my life here and it said honey you know but you gave me twelve years and you suffered through it I want to give you your dream now what your dream is to start a family let's do that and I don't care if I have to take three jobs mcdonald's home people on starbuck's whatever I'll just do it uh you know we had figured at that time if we had about thirty or forty thousand dollars a year we could just barely make it and I was committed to do that night gave back and I said I want to give to you now and then in turned I had to find a part time job what did I find wedding photography and then everything came back to me overwhelmed when I decided to help somebody else because when I find that I want to help somebody else, everything comes back to me everything and even mohr and so that's why I'm just hooked on giving I can't I mean it's a drug to me now I just want to help people because it feels so good for them to achieve some of those things that I have and getting them to the next level so the only something that separates the successful from the unsuccessful is a goal have a goal what is your goal? You know what? Some people don't even have goals? Why why is that? Because no, yes, yes, because we're afraid to commit to that goal because we're afraid to be accountable to a goal because we don't want to seem like a failure, so we never set them be fearless you say I've got this goal, I'm putting it out there and you're keeping me accountable and I'm cold for it there are always those with way less resource is accomplishing way more than we thought possible isn't that true? I don't care where you are in life there is somebody with less resource is than you do in a heck of a lot more than you and for example, there's a story of nick poochie chick and what happened with him was nick was born with no arms and legs what did he do? He started making you two videos of him going out and surfing, swimming, playing soccer, playing golf, doing everything a normal person would it would not stop him he got millions and millions of hits around the world and now he is an international speaker to forty four countries and the reason why I know about him he was on the oprah winfrey show wei have what does this tell us? We have no excuses there are no excuses it's all on us don't look around the room if we want to make it it's here because there's been people way less fortunate than us doing amazing things. So your dream the way we talked about this a little bit earlier is that it's a gift from god your dream that little that little a dream that I had sitting on the toilet thinking that one day I wanted to be emotional motivational speaker it was my gift it was my guiding light because if I didn't feel that I would have gone through all those years of hardship I want to settle for regular job because inside I said there's something more for me I am destined for something else I am destined for excellence I'm destined for greatness I know nobody sees it in me right now but I feel it and I know some of you out there feel that too so don't please did I give it up because the world's going tries so hard to take it away from you like it did to me but if you keep hanging onto it I guarantee you you're going to find it it may take you thirty two years but you're going to get there if you don't give up with it because it is your guiding light that dream is telling you what you're supposed to be but the world would deceive you into believing you're not good enough you're not rich enough you don't you can't go on that workshop you don't have enough money you're into young you're not pretty enough you're not smart you're not asian what do you think you're not free enough oh no I got this I got my cats and I got this and I got no way I can't do that I'm not so so now I just don't I know how to talk to people I'm not brave enough you'll be surprised how far you will go if you just vision map your life what I mean by that is you set a dream really high you said a dream so high that if you accomplish it that you actually start to cry and get emotional that's how big of a dream that you want that big and then you say what is that dream and then you map it out okay? What has to happen just don't have that tree but you have to say what has to happen in order for me to accomplish that dream what do I have to do by next year what has to happen and then you think it out from a monthly basis you go at a yearly basis and then you think it had a monthly place okay every month what has to happen okay every week what has to happen and then every day what has to happen and you follow that and you map it out and guess what it becomes true but you have to map it out you have to have it in front of you and you have to look at it every single day and that's what I learned by this book mentored by a millionaire I didn't buy that book because I'm cheap I just got it at the library it's free go get it it's right there seven don't be afraid to reinvent yourself the secret combo for success always changes okay that always changes everything changes that's what I felt about wedding photography that's like oh my gosh every couple of years and styles are changing in this and now everybody's shooting with eighty five one point two lens and don't know wait now we're getting into flash oh my gosh I can't keep up bub bye gets exhausting sometimes but you know what we need to do that a lot of times we need to hit the reset button and try something new and revenge reinvent ourselves, learn the basics but continually build and innovate on them don't be satisfied with just copying the recent trend be the recent trend and that has to happen by learning the fundamentals like we just learned in this class and then brain and your slap to the story the way you see life and that separates you and makes you unique run to the hard stuff okay when something is hard maybe it's lighting maybe it's posing run to that and say I am gonna conquer that I remember uh being in the wedding business and every year I used to sit back and think that's very difficult for muto accomplished what what though I don't like and the one thing that stuck out what was really really hard for me was taking a picture of the bride you're going totally you have what I say that but that I was sighing away from that why? Because I had some baggage there and my baggage wass being, uh asian short asian male uh the way culturally that way america looks at asian merrick health's not very favorite well, for example, you will never see any asian male being a leading role in every movie any leading romantic hero you will always see the asian guys the nerdy guy, the tech guy, the mr hangover child guy which I look like it's just fine like people think I'm mr challenge they start being nice to me feels less cool I'll take it right but just growing up with that I didn't feel that I was beautiful so how could I photograph somebody that was beautiful especially if they weren't asian and taller than me and I had this baggage there and I was afraid of it and I had to realize that that was a complete lie until I could just wipe that away and claim it and do it I realized that my biggest fear was actually my biggest joy and it was actually my giftedness and look at my website all they are beautiful women and I realized that that's really what I loved shooting but I had that baggage there everybody has baggage I don't know what it iss but I guarantee you if you take the road to being a world class photographer you're going to find out quite quickly what it isthe because you're going to reach a point and it's going to stop you're not going to be very excited about to work you got us and then you say I've taken every class in the world I know everything about lighting and know everything about posing I know everything but then it's just stopped there I can't get it it's because there's something inside personal not letting it out he will discover it I guarantee you you will discover it most of us our one skill away from doubling our income if you think about it. That's true, uh, for me and these are the skills that really help me really get to my level. If you want to talk about me going from ah thousand dollar photographer to a ten thousand dollar photographer here, some of the things that I had to learn one is that I had to learn how to find natural light. I don't even know how to do that. So I did that. And then I got into learning how to pose fashion posing. And then after that, I learned how to creatively post process. And I actually wanted a kodak award for my work and most processing. And then what? I learned how to master the mask, the manual flash and that took me to live another level. And then I had to learn how to be a manufacturer. It had come out with my own product, designed them continually changing, adding skills, keeping me in the game so I could have this career. What do you think? You made it, it's time to reinvent yourself. And so is true with me. The your vault dione, a style of continuous light and glamorizing the bride. I did that, and then I had to evolve and learned to create my life reactive, proactive I knew style creating dramatic dramatic light and so you could look at me this is the things that I had to do first in nineteen eighty eight dropped out of college it's a long time no see I did go to seven years of college I'm college educated but I just dropped out okay then I was a graphic designer and had a screen printing business for ten years there are on ly or in ten thousand dollars a year from that I started do wedding photography then I had to change I had to learn these different skills for doing that up to ten years and then I changed again after ten years I realized that I really want although I could do weddings I realized I was really a portrait artist I had to confront myself with that say that yes you know what that's what I am and then becoming a master at flash and then on top of that I had to make a decision like life do I want to be a world class photographer or do I want to be a world class educator because I could not do both because I am so committed to excellence that I have to go all in tow one to be that's why they got my images ok it's not great it's because I haven't been able to hundred percent put my time into doing it but what I love doing is educating that is my passion, that is what I love. I am a still a student of human development, and I love it, and I realized I had to give this up to do this, and it was going to cost me at least eighty thousand dollars to switch the heck have been used to living on ten thousand dollars or floor, so why not? Every time you reinvent yourself, you're gonna have to lease some sort of security behind that's the hardest part, and once you learn toe, learn howto leave those things behind you, khun, get to the next level. Maybe you're stuck at that next level because you're still holding something some kind of security blanket. I have a seven year old and she loves her little blankie and the little tag that's on the blanky ever since we had we got her it's from ten months he's had this blankie and she can't go to sleep without it. She can't let go of it. We have things in our life like that that will hold us back from us getting to that next level, so if they'll learn howto let those things go, sometimes it could be the love of our parents or something very significant, but we have to let it go eight create rave, what is rave? Let me ask you that when I when I asked you if you don't go on your ipads or anything what's the definition of rave to you crazy crazy party crazy party okay no I'm not talking about that kind of raised rave about you yes endorsement ok any other suggestions? Well this is what definition says to speak or write with wild enthusiasm let me ask you right now what people go to your website and look at your work read your story or whatever do they say wow, I'm going to talk about this person with wild enthusiasm if we don't we're fallen short and we're getting zero rave no one's talking about us so what is what is what has raped now you think about all the things that have rave right what's the in thing right? What are some things that are really hot right now? We could talk about creative life right? It's something that wall man is an expansion on learning right? It was innovative it did something in an innovative it has style and that's what I'm so impressed that I came here is that everybody is committed to excellence on producing excellence and the lighting and the camera people and everything is like whoa they've got I came on that satin I'm like man that is all sub function it has definite function of course learning right it fits a need it creates a need by it's a status symbol you ask any educator and photography and you ask them where they want to speak I'll tell you right now they're going to say I want to get on creative life it took me three freaking years I mean you know how long it was creative live in around three years I have been trying to get out for three years but who so who knows about scott robert like everybody used to tell scott you need to be created life yeah that's true but they don't even know about me I want to write him tell him about me finally got on took me three years but I got here so how do you create ready well I'm going to give you him no one raves about a mediocre restaurant do you ever go to a restaurant? That's ok go oh man hey neal you got to go to this restaurant it was cooked the food was okay this service it was completely average the atmosphere it was ok you need to go to it. You ever say that there has to be a component of excellence when you want rave that's why I'm pushing you so hard that's why I gave you the final exam because I need you to achieve excellence you have to achieve excellence you have to run to that so why is the rave the best way to gain market position if you want to get known and somebody to know about you, why should it be through rave? Well, what it's free advertisement I look at the some of the best photographers in the world and I analyze that all of them never worry about advertising people just hire them I never advertised at all. I just got jobs and that's how the way it works is that when you're good people talk about you and you know it too all you need are a handful of key fanatics about you and they can singlehandedly create a successful business and I looked back at my career and that's so true there was a couple people that help me with my career one wass to catering manager's the one was at the hotel bel air. Have you ever heard of the hotel bel air inlet in los angeles? It's a five star hotel and uh a lot of movie stars get married there and so forth, but I had one catering manager there that said, scott, we're going to give you a chance and we're gonna put you on the preferred vendor list that helped me get through the rough times when I couldn't look any jobs myself they were feeding me jobs so I could stay alive so I could feed my family and then I looked back at my career I looked at there's a few key things that happened to me to get to my national level and regards the wedding photography there used to be this uh block called the wedding is anybody familiar with that? Uh well actually a lot of asian brides kind of went on that but all brides of different but it was national and so all these brides would go on this block was blogging was big at that time and talk about their wedding and of course what photographer that they hired and I still happen to have one of the riders hire me as a photographer and then I had another writer hire me as a photographer and then one more hire me as a photographer and every other freaking day they were talking about scott robert this scott robert that scott robert and then there was a big explosion about scott robert negative publicity it was you guys talk about scott roberts so much is he paying you guys man he's like a thousand dollars and most of us can't afford them and you're just rubbing it in our face all the time huge comments about they actually had to take that post down and everything right but that's what happened? Just a few people and then from that because I think literally like you know, fifty thousand people a day or whatever were coming to this block everybody in the country knew about me but it only came from three he fanatics so I just told you the story about me wanting and dreaming to be on creative life right guess who's responsible for that there's one person darlene evans she fought for me and she recommended me that's why I'm here living my dream so there's there's just a few people that you need to take you to that next level you want them to rave about you and they will take you places that you never would have thought you could go but you have to produce excellence first you just can't meet these people and then be successful you need to meet these influential people and you gotta have the goods to back it up so you've got to be ready maybe if I would have came on three years ago I would've flops because I know without a shadow of doubt three years like from that from then I am a lot better educator than I was back there everything has a time in a place but guess what mad you better be freaking ready that's why we need to go practise every single day because you never know when that key moment is going to come and you're gonna have to step through that door and you're gonna have to knock it out of the park because sometimes we only get one chance right that's the whole thing about jeremy lin you know real insanity back dad, right same type of thing kita branding any businesses to produce unique quality and have a sincere passion about it? Why do we have tohave? Why is passion necessary? We always talk about that who you could be passing about your work why anybody know well, passion what it does is it keeps her dream alive when the rewards are great and there are going to be many times when we're doing that can we get a raise their hands if we're feeling like we're going through that right now, right? And if you're not passing it about it, you're going to give up, I guarantee you I see it all the time you guys picked people come in and I think I'm gonna try wedding photography, bill of law, what they go to my workshops one or two years things get tough, the corporate money runs out as real time earning money with their photography, and they can't do it or they can't live on that little income because they simply just don't have enough passion keep that dream alive, be passionate about it passion reads innovation when you're passing it. When you're passing about manual flash you all of a sudden come up with a flash card because you know it so well better than anybody else that you can innovate and bring something to the table you want to get up here on this stage? Is that your dream the one day stand here and to be able to influence and teach thousands of people, you better innovate on something. You better bring something to the table they're not gonna hire say hey, come up here. You look pretty good. Why don't you go teach on creative life? Oh, you're awesome. I'm gonna hire you for a twenty thousand dollar wedding in paris. If you're gonna get to that point, you're gonna be ableto do what you need to do and you're gonna have to innovate and bring something to the industry. And so all the famous photographers that I know did that whether it was a bag, whether it was a blawg, whether it was a video light, whether it was a tiny trigger, I don't know it's something extraordinary is the only path to rave. You've got to be an extraordinary and I love this book, the purple cow, because it talks about creating a purple cow, okay? And the purple cow is what they say. If you want to make it in this business, go narrow and focus on something that is small don't try to be everything to everybody. I took this to heart and you know what I did, I said to myself, I'm gonna learn manual fash. And I'm going to be the best at it in the world I'm going to know what inside out I'm going to know it so well that I could manufacture my own equipment so I could I could show people how to do this I went narrow and so people asked me a lot people asked me a lot host got can you uh do a lecture on posing nope why do I only do flash I don't do lighting can you can you do something on business you know if I'm going to speak in front of people I'm on lee doing your flash and that's all I did because I wanted to be known for that one thing I wanted to be said the man you flashed guy that's scott robert or you can call me robert to I don't care whatever narrow because I read that book I read that book it's a ten dollar book and it told me that ok learned to take risks okay why is risk so important to success why risk why we need to take it oh you got to take risks in your life why well I don't have to take risks I like it here in my comfy bed why anybody know well the more we risk the more we grow kenna took a risk today she tried something that she was very uncomfortable with an in front of thousands of people you guys all took risk today but didn't you realize when you took that risk that you had phenomenal growth, the more you risk the more you're gonna grill it's not about being successful it's about growing got a grow, grow, grow, learn, learn, learn, and sometimes the only way you're gonna learn is by taking risks, successes, that accumulation of secret knowledge? Really, if it wasn't secret, everybody would be successful isn't that true? So there's this hidden knowledge out there that if we grab these little nuggets we can be successful, but we're on ly going to get to them if we grow and if we learn these things and sometimes the only way we're gonna learn this things, if we risk something that's, what I do continually experimentation helps you gain valuable information others can obtain why and the reason why is because their fear ofthe risk but no, not you, not the person who pursues excellence, the person who's pursues excellence will risk it despite the fear because we want to learn we need to grow success is a siri's of attempts and adjustments, attempts and adjustments try fail a just try failed suggest you do that over a long period of time and maybe it might even take you thirty two years to get there, but you're not going to give up failure is a process, not a birthmark don't look att failure as something that scars us but it's something that it's just a process in order for us to be better if you fail a lot to get to extraordinary right, you got to fail a lot and let me tell you, anybody know the story of colonel sanders colonel standards one day god, he is retirement checking has said ninety nine dollars he goes, oh my gosh, I cannot live off of ninety nine dollars I need to do something so I can earn some extra money and so what he did he had grandma's brave it fried chicken recipe that he thought was very good so he had this idea he didn't have any money he goes you know what? I don't have any money to start a big old restaurant what I'll do is I'll give this recipe to restaurants and they'll just give me a nickel every time they took a piece of fried chicken so he went door to door knocking business hey, you want grandma's recipe you could just give me a nickel ford slammed the door shut no fail he went to another door fail he went to another door fail he went to another door fail he went to you how many doors do you think he went to before he got his first person to say yes anybody no one thousand people one thousand you know what I would have done after twenty? What it said, you know what? I don't think grandma's recipes that good, but no, you've got to be tenacious and you gotta believe believe in what you want to be, not what you are now get that believe what you say you are what you want to be, you aren't are what you are now, because life will take over and it will crush you and will take away your dream if you don't think that so you have to think of it in that way and the tenth way the final. This is the number one way to make it is you need to find a mentor. Why is because a mentor hands down and you inherit a legacy of success. That's why? One time I was I was watching this movie called the final season. It was really intriguing to me, as you know, like watching a lot of movies, right and it's a true story. There was five hundred people in this town, and in this town there was one hundred high school students, and from this there was fourteen players baseball players, and from that they won nineteen iowa state championships from this one little school, and I saw that movement I go that's it that's what the mentor does well, how did that happen? They don't have very many resource is to choose men. Obviously they didn't have the best players in the country because they were the population is so small, how did they do it? They had a formula of success, and they handed it down from one generation to the next generation, and they had a secret formula and one nineteen iowa state champions that's what a mentor does for you! Like I told you before, a mentor goals and he tries something and it figures out and it make maybe takes him ten years to figure that out, but he tells you how to do it in fifteen minutes. How much time has just gained? I don't care how much money you spent on a good mentor, it will pay for itself. Moreover, because that mentor will tell you things that he's worked on secrets little nuggets to getyou successful not only that that person is probably influential, influential and can let you in the door to some very influential people if they believe in you, and if they think that's, you're great, mentor's really the fastest way, and I can see that I could see all those people that I've mentored and they've got phenomenal fast, and they're a lot of women just like amazing better than me and doing great and it's, just the fastest way oprah winfrey says this about mentoring a mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself. The mentor is someone who allows you to know that no matter how dark the night, the morning joy will come the mentor is someone who allows you to see the higher part of yourself. When sometimes it becomes hit into your own view nobody makes it alone. Nobody has made it alone. And you look at these all these famous mentoring parents and this south do passing of this success right here they are all of them famous people. But guess what? My favorite iss luke skywalker and obi wan that's. When you think about a mentor that's what you need in your life I wish I had that that's. Why? I like being a mentor because I wish it because maybe when it took me thirty two years to get here, so if you can find one that's great. So my mentoring philosophy is this there's a seven step philosophy that one you have tto observe a person at world class level. You have to see the way he acts. You have to see the way he disciplines himself. You have to see the way he socializes all that kind of stuff and learn from that then you have to develop technically and you have to make sure that technological development is true you go back to the mentors am I doing this right? Then I get things the sliding right by getting this posing right? You go back and forth and then you nail that, you know that like the back of your hand and you repeat it over and over because why, then you can get to the experimentation part developing your own signatures style and then after that, you need self evaluation and you're going to see if that's gonna work for you if it fits your passion if it fits everything going back and forth with the mentor, but then you're continuously learning on top of that and it's the seven steps cycle and that's how people make it and that's why I say mentor is sochi with that, so if you want to do the impossible, you have to learn from those who did it. So if you're looking for somebody, you have to say, well, what have they achieved? How far have they got? And if that person has done that, then they can give you please up clues on how to do it, but have they haven't done it? They can't teach you that part, so this is the final aspects of it, so just take I'm sorry, maybe going overtime or whatever, but people ask me all the time, do I mentor and who had I mentor and I do mentor my schedule is so busy, but the way I mentor is, I'm enter, especially those people who come to my international workshops because usually the crowd is a lot smaller, say, twelve people or so, and also during that time, I could take them away from their normal surroundings, and I could make them think about life twenty four seven for a whole week, and we can really get close to each other and there in the community, and that way, I know that they made a sacrifice see if I want to mentor somebody, I need to see somebody if they're willing to sacrifice, if they're not willing to sacrifice, I know I did, they'll never make it anyways, so I need to see that sacrifice. How much sacrifice does it take? And are you willing to do it? And those of the people that I love mentoring? Ok, so let's review the ten steps again. Choose education over equipment she's remarkable over good know howto find dramatic light, learn howto career mate, create dramatic light, create glamorous fashion forward images, created grand vision for your life don't be afraid to reinvent yourself, create rave it learned to take risks, and one find a mentor I really want to thank you for allowing me to share with you and just teo, be apart of this community. I just feel so wonderful and great. And I, you know, I'm extremely blessed being here, and so I hope I was able to, in some way, in a small way, I help your life to be a little bit better, and to maybe give you a tiny bit of hope. And I just want to wish you from the very bottom of my heart, all the success in the world. And I wish, uh, that you do have that dream in that one day that you can accomplish it, and, um, don't let go. That definitely don't let go of it and just keep hanging in there.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

Learn how to find the best light available in this CreativeLive photography course with Scott Robert Lim. The award-winning portrait photographer will help you master simple photography lighting techniques by using available light and small portable strobes, you can create amazing images on location and almost anywhere within minutes.

Scott Robert shows you how to shoot in lighting environments from extreme bright sun to dim light and partial shade. This course also covers how to use lighting recipes to maximize your shooting time and capture a variety of stylized images. Finally, you will learn to pull off crazy "one-shot" images with Scott Robert's amazing off-camera lighting techniques.

Class Materials

bonus material

Crazy Stupid Light Slides

Master Flash Guide

bonus material


Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



I just finished this course today, and I'm so happy that I bought it! It's been on my wishlist for months, after watching it as a rebroadcast here on Creative Live. I absolutely LOVE Scott's approach to lighting. The way he explains how to light manually is so clear, and easy to understand; he also has a great sense of humor which takes the edge off of trying to get everything perfect the first time. I like how he encourages the class to just try new techniques, and if mistakes are made, that's okay, just adjust and keep moving. This has allowed me, as a perfectionist, to try his lighting formulas, with a lot of success. I'm so appreciative that as an instructor, he took the time to create a class that helps us as photographers to be more creative. Because of this course, I feel so much more confident as I experiment with light on my own, and then apply it to my work. I feel that I have all the tools that I need to create amazing images that really stand out. Thanks Creative Live for making this class available, it has changed how I shoot! =)

Jack C

This course is simply amazing, super good, and completely exceeds my original expectations! Scott is such a brilliant photographer and teacher. His way of teaching is of great fun, and he delivers the ideas so well. I learn really a lot from this. Thank you so much Scott! Creative Live is doing such a wonderful job!!


This is by far my most favourite course on Creativelive. It's inspiring, funny and most educational. I learned so much about flash and lighting and can't wait to practise all that I've learned. Scott is an enthusiastic teacher and his way of teaching just clicks with me. Highly entertaining! And it was fun to also get some posing, composition and other tips out of the workshop for variety. I 1000% recommend this course if you want to learn more about lighting in an inspiring way.