Bob & Dawn Davis: What the Flash?!
Thank you for having us it's really an honor and a pleasure to be here. Um, I may be the drop a cheese, the bonus, right she's this thing, so we're going to kick it off with don because without her marketing, I would be able to put a roof over our house because he would shoot for free. I would action for this. I'm not about to negotiate contracts or talk about, and what I want to share with you is the technical side of it. The back inside a vibe really believe that as photographers, we can't practice our craft without light and technology today in cameras today have lowered the barrier to entry into what we do, so we really need to shine and what we do right and that's through professionalism, it's through awesome composition, photography and light because the cameras today can shoot it just about any esso and near total darkness doesn't mean you should if you're doing weddings, portrait's things of that nature it's about quality of life for me, not quantity and your image is need to h...
ave that sparkle they need to sing because you have to separate yourself from everybody else running around with whatever camera they have in their hand, right as suicide, saying earlier, you have to strive to continually educating our market and our clients as that we're not expensive, you need us, we're a value right? Because we are different from everybody, but I do everything on location and I pretty much do it alone. I don't have a lot of assistance we travel all over the world doing beautiful weddings and so my tool of choice are speed lights because they're easy to move around their light way now, with a radio controlled technology, you khun completely control the lights right from camera, creating beautiful lights still using studio quality like modifiers for your portrait. But then the reception lighting that I use is something I came up with called the triangle of light and that's what I'm really excited to share with you because rarely do I use an on camera flash at my receptions, but the images just sing because use the power of the ice so and then the sparkle from the speed like it's, you want to be a good photographer and you know, you all come to learn how to, you know, shoot natural light in, you know all different kinds of photography, you have to be equally a good business person because if you are an amazing photographer and you don't know how to run your business, you're going to be a starving artist it's true, so what bob teaches in what we teach really makes a good balance in your business everything is cyclical so like when you when you could walk into a poorly lit room and not say crap right? Because you know you've done it a million times you're lighting and all that is they have right on you don't have to worry about it what does that do for you that boosts your confidence so when you walk into a sales meeting, our potential meeting with a bright anybody should weddings here? Awesome, yes that's fantastic when you walk into a potential meeting with the bride you've not fumbling because you know, here you're solid and when your salad here that's where it all comes from is being confident in who you are so learning not only the technical side getting your off can replace not about he's he specializes in off camera class he's known for the triangle light he's known for backlighting. That doesn't mean you have to be but definitely learned how to use your flashes so that when you're in a situation where you need them unless you live in california, you know, we live in the midwest from chicago, we don't have that opportunity, so you really need to know your gear, okay? So what I'm here today is to share with you that these are the topics that we're going to touch on that today I want you to know one of the coolest thing about creative lives I sat listen to supervise today, and I was like, who? She's everything she said was like, I don't get I don't do that way do almost complete opposite and so that's. The coolest thing about this is because whatever works for you, what you will connect with when you hear people speak is what you need to take and run with. I don't want you to think, ever that this is the way in that you're say, oh shit, I'm not doing it that way because part of me back there went, oh no, no, I don't listen to that, you know, I had to do it works for me. So I'm going to share with you today the things that worked for us to get our business from the small tone outside of chicago, internationally known. So we're going to talk about staying true to who you are, which is really, really important. We're gonna talk about loving everything about your brand people, the important what's unique about you getting to know your client's, presenting your books, your products in the best way in working with quality vendors. So quickly I'm just gonna tell you if you think about bob and I see you have an idea of who you are I don't even know I'm not I'm not walking in this room assuming you even know who we are so just a quick to let you know that bob and I have been married twenty years in october we celebrated way renewed our mouths and really yes, it was really, really cool I got here so not that wei have to children about the nearly fifteen and fourteen way have adopted them they've been home with us for almost eleven years, which is really exciting um give me all my greater which you don't see now I think she really has three kids. Yes, way that was a photo of a photo journal from the newspaper for over twenty five years I used to be an accountant, and in two thousand five I quit my job to help run our business weii travel the world, sharing our talents with nonprofit organizations that we believe in. That is probably one of the biggest things about us that we feel that we've been blessed with a gift and now it's our job to share that with the world I think one common thread if you're a fan of creative live and watch a lot of the presenters on here and even today what you're going to find nobody is selling photography, right? Because if people get into that mindset that they're buying the papers and the chemicals while yet and it's only in the ninety nine cent reprint, you're not selling photography, we're selling in experience, we're selling artistry were selling a creative vision, and there are as many people out there, too, purchase what you have to offer as there are photographers offering that high level of service. Yes, that's absolutely true. Okay, so just quickly we work from home way our kids have photographed engagement sessions and weddings with their daddy family comes first because I don't know about you, but I hear all these people talking and they're all single and they don't have kids or whatever they're married with no kids, and they've got this amazing business, and I feel this big because I didn't block the last five weddings and I have to let that go, I have to let that go. My family comes first, and I'm going to do in my business what works for me, and if I can't block the wedding, I gotta let that go. I'll get to it some time, and I have to be ok with that so that's, one of the gifts that I gave myself is to let things go, we've had the opportunity to photograph several celebrity weddings and events, which has been wow, just amazing experience and what a gift and first and foremost we give god all the glory because if it wasn't for god we would not be standing here today he has been so instrumental in our lives and has pushed us further than we could ever dream for ourselves and it's just such a gift to be able to give that to him and say thank you so we make sure we do that every time we speak and every day twenty thirty authority maybe fifty times okay, so these are our kids quickly bobby and sally this picture here was taken when they were in the orphanage at house today kofi on february thirteenth, two thousand two this is february thirteenth at home two thousand three february thirteenth, two thousand four in every day since then up until last february so we have another one coming up very soon it's just a tradition that we do and it looks all fine and dandy doesn't it like oh, how cute you should see this craft that we have to go through to get critical in your sister could sitting on her quick pulling her hair that's it's a nightmare but it sure looks great um and I would go I would love to go on and on and on and on about our family we have an adoption video if there's anybody that I have to be pro in advocate for it if you're struggling you know there's just we got great our adoption video on our website it's at father don davis dot com davis family by off so I don't want to get into too much about us because you're here to learn so you could see it there if you want this really cute but don't laugh at what I'm wearing and bring tissues okay staying true to who you are is really important what you see is this right? You see me all put together my makeup on my hair done looking really good that's not what the autopsies five sees that eighty percent of the time what we put it it's like it's like taking the when we look at other people's work online what are we doing? We're comparing their best footage to all of our bloopers I mean it's hard we have to stop doing that one of the best gift I ever gave myself was to stop comparing what super I said I don't care I don't care what anybody else is doing I don't look at their work if I do it's because I want to be inspired if I start to feeling a tinge of why isn't at our wedding or oh my gosh they're doing this and they made the cover of this and we didn't shoot that and oh my god I have to let it go I have to let it go and I have to say you know what this is who I love it to be that's where love tv and that's ok, because I'm a mom and you know moms they don't take care of themselves very well so give yourself the gift be true to who you are keep it riel let me give you a quick for instance when we first started our business I got a phone call from a potential bride actually the mom and she said I want to meet with you tomorrow at nine o'clock and I said, well, I can't because I got to take my kids to school she said, well ok, well, how about, like around three o'clock and I said, why can't then either because I have to pick them up from school and she went okay, well, what about, like, new and I said that's per I think I would love to meet you at noon and I hung up the phone and bob looked at me and he said, you know what? You need to stop doing that that sounds unprofessional and I said but it's true it's true and she's a mother, she she gets that I had to say this is what works for me if I'm not available, I'm not going to put my hand in my kid's face and say I gotta take a meeting my family comes first I know what's important to me my important to me is my relationship the on ly thing that's important to me is what happens under our roof, okay? Everything else is a bonus so we worked really hard to keep a strong structure in our home and then everything else we just throw things up on the wall and hope what sorry hope that thinks six sometimes they do sometimes they don't, but being true to who you are and not trying to be somebody else is just an amazing gift that you can give yourself to be comfortable with who you are, so when you walk in your into a meeting you you can sell you and you're comfortable with that it really it isn't easy, it isn't easy and it takes a lot of work but it's very, very true, so loving everything about your brand, you guys, this is really important what you're going to see with our brand I've got I've got a few things up here is consistency the first thing that you're going to see and this is so opposite of what sue said, sue said she doesn't want to have about knees and cups of latino and starbucks bob and I feel that we're not there's so many wedding photographers, especially in chicago how do we compete? How do we say that we're different from them how do we do that? They're amazing photographers, they're friends of ours. I mean, how do I say oh, they stock they don't what do you do there really, really good? We have to differentiate ourselves by putting us out there, getting people to fall in love with us getting an experience, I want them to come to our website and I want them to to have an experience our average viewing time on our web site thirteen minutes that's phenomenal to me, we just met with a bride and her mom of lovely family she is working for us. Can you get all this information? Don't try and make everything that everybody does yours, but take the little nuggets of gold from what everybody is sharing with you and apply it to you and make it your own that's kind of what we did, but as don was saying, we just met with this family right before we flew out here and they're like, oh, you do this and you do that? I love this picture and they're quoting pictures and they're telling us about what we were wearing on the legs don't talks about shoes and the bride is like, I love those shoes too, so immediately we had a connection before we even met them, so the first thing that happened when we walked up to them at starbucks is a big hug like, oh, my gosh, it's so great to meet you. I feel like I know you. I love your website. Those air like that's like music to my ears because that is our true selling feature for us. We don't advertise. We don't do much advertising. I should say we don't do a lot of social media. Social media is awesome, and we do do it. We try to keep up and that's that one thing I have to yeah, you know, people, people that have kids. Your anybody have kids here that you know what this is like, right? You know, mom, mom, I need you. Yeah, um, so, you know, trying to do it all we have to be okay with, you know, another thing I had to let go was working. I worked till, like, two o'clock in the morning. You know what? I heard? So many people say you need to have a structure. You need to work from nine to five and you need to put it all down. You need to walk away from work. And I thought why? Because I was killing myself trying to do that. It doesn't work for me, so I get up. I take the kids to school I come back I may take a nap I may sleep for another hour I may you know, get up when they work out I may eat something, you know and then I get to work my kids come home, I work with them and get them settled in get them ready and then I go back to work and we have dinner and I go back to working I work whenever I can fit it in and I work a lot but I don't ever put my hand in front of my family space ever because they're the most important thing to me so and that works for me and I had to let that go I had to say oh my god, I'm not perfect I'm not doing this right and you know what? I am doing it right? I'm doing it right what works for me so I want to share with you our brand when I created our website we use show it for our website anybody you show it here oh it's like the most amazing website program ever. Um and I've been with him since day one I cannot tell you anybody used template websites with a temple you just can't make any changes it's just so unforgiving was showing whatever you could dream you can you can build so when I designed our website this is us this is our black and this is our workshop website the thing that I want you to see when you visit our is a picture about that's the first thing you're going to see is a picture of us and so there is a lot about us on our on our web sites and I love that because it's what differentiates us from all the other amazing photographers in chicago oh I got an email one time from a lady that said him huh I gotta go okay, yeah I could talk forever I got an email from a lady that it bit was looking to hire us and she said well I'm I'm looking at you and I'm looking at this other photographer can you tell me what the difference is between the two of you and I thought, why don't want me to tell you that our case well she's got blonde hair and I'm blind I mean really our work is equal it's great it's beautiful I mean what do you say she's tall? I'm not it's call I don't know I didn't know how to respond to that so that's our goal our goals that we do not sell photography we selling experience with us when we meet with you I'm going to give you my undivided attention and I'm gonna make you feel like you are important because you are I we really love meeting with people, it gets us out of the house, we work from home, and we just love to make a connection because the connection they will spend a little bit more money with you if they've connected with you. If you're just if you're let's, move on because I could talk on that subject forever. This is this is a client side of our earth, and you can see what I guess. What I want you to see with all of this is the branding is all the same throughout. This is our marketing pieces, a twenty page booklet that I give to all of our clients, we drop him off at venues, we drop him off at event planner's office is because it has all the information about us now we're not on the cover of that, but we are on the first page and there's a little, a little paragraph in there that talks about how we love driveway theater with our kids and things like that, but you can see the consistency with the marketing. This is the suitcase actually have really cute suitcase. Now that we put the the thing the marketing material in I use bags and both a lot for crunchy stuff and all the good stuff in between and on and that's what we deliver to an event planner if they will take our phone call and see us and we drop those off that venues trying to build relationships with people is really, really hard. But that is what we leave with them when they decide they do want to work with us. This is our business card, and this is what we leave in the back of our books. I think this is really important. We write this is the last page in our photography books, so you can you turn to the last page? No, no, this one. I don't know if it's in that one these air. This is a sample from the trade show floor, so I don't know that's what we have on all of our and every single one of our fine art books, it says photography and book design got our website, our phone number in our block, and it says book printed in italy by gravity studio, obviously there's something to be said about having anything you know, girls anytime to turn over a pair of shoes, and it says it's made in italy, doesn't it? This's there's something? Come on, I know it's, not just me, I market that I use gravity studio books, they're the only company that I use we use and they are amazing, but anyway, so I leave that logo and one full spread just dedicated to my logo instead of putting my logo on top of a picture in the back of the book, I just I want I want everything that we do to pare high end, and I think it looks really, really nice when we do that. So, um, let's talk about what's unique about you, everything I consider all day long and tell you every one of my secrets, about how I meet with a client and what I do and exactly what I say it's, not it's, not going to make a difference. People say to us all the time, why are you sharing all of this with us? We're in your market, it's okay? Because you're not me, I'm not you. Even I have an editorial background before coming into wedding portrait with shopper time, newsweek sports illustrated, and we just continue this model all the way through it's about relationships. Weddings are so personal and there is a reason why I like a big box company has not really made inroads really strong inroads into wedding and portrait's, because it's sort of emotional it's an emotional decision, it's a personal decision and you can't always quantify it from a spreadsheet, so the more you could connect with people about relationships from our point of view. Then the business kind of falls aside yes the money will come but if they like you as a person they want to spend time with you they're going to love your pictures right? So do you have a strong presence of you on your website? Do you? I mean you know the whole I don't I don't have all that I love starbucks and all that stuff on mine but we do have a really strong presence of who we are when we get the tiger you know, emails from photographers three hundred a day like sue was saying I mean it's just crazy and we try to personally respond everybody but when I do decide to reach out to somebody and see what the first thing I want to do is I want to know who I'm talking to so I go to their website and it amazes me every time when I see just a little picture I don't have time to read all that so I want to know who you are I want to know who I'm talking about I want to get a feel for you know, do we connect and so if I if I don't see that I I tend to lose interest I do I do s o on our on our block the first thing that you see is a picture of us and it stays stagnant in the header I don't have five beautiful pictures running through you all know that we're photographers right when somebody comes to our website they know that we're photographers that's why they're there why not give him announce of who you are quickly before they go off and start rummaging through all of your galleries that's what I want I want you to connect with us I want you to say the relationship so that you know it may be different in portrait we don't do portrait we do wedding so this may not work in the whole portrait industry but in the wedding industry it does every single decision a bride makes this by the way, every single decision a bride makes is based on emotion writes every shoe they buy every dress they buy, every photographer that they mean every every vendor that they choose it's because there's an emotional attachment you have to get them somehow right. So if you're walking into a sales meeting in lane all your stuff on the on the counter and you you're talking about all how great you are and how amazing your work is put it away I asked them who they are or I am going to get kicked off here any minute um when you walk into a sales meeting but with a potential client get to know who they are, so what we do is we listen a lot god gave us you know, one mouth and two ears and the journalist in me comes out at the consultation meetings I want to connect with the groom brides are really easy to connect with but the groom's you got to engage him in order to have really good photography and good images and great moment it's so pat was really nervous as most guys are so I'd like to find out more about them and start off in their environment he was a trader at the chicago board options exchange and I said hey let's go there let's play let's get you and your environment you can engage lauren and we'll have some fun he thought that was the coolest idea so once we got him engaged in his environment he started coming up with ideas then after that he sat down it was fun I need to get a shot and a beer and then we're gonna go out we're going to have some real fun right? So we brought it to him and made it fun and then lauren appreciate that even more so as we continued in the shoot he didn't want to stop yeah then he started throwing in ideas and I'd like to do this okay, I want to share with you how I presentable and I'm in and I'm going to do this quickly because um this is our selling featured the book for us is the hook so we spend the first I don't know our that doesn't matter our two hours if you talk about shoes that could go long if we talked about her sister's or our cousins or our parents or whatever we may have cried we may have left yeah, I mean we talk about where we met we talked about bob and I and how he proposed and how they propose and we share stories and we just connect and it's really amazing what happens there I mean, you just feel so safe it's talking to them and once there becomes that awkward pause that's when I had my when we go to somebody's house to meet with you because you work from home and we don't have anybody come to our house because I need to get out of um we go to them so we'll meet a starbucks will be in a restaurant I don't care whatever is convenient for them is where we meet but the first thing I do is I pull my suitcase I have a blue suitcase with all of our books in it and I leave in the corner because I don't want the meeting to become about the books because if I haven't hooked them here and got them to fall in love with me right now it's going to be all about photography and they're going to be like why is she more money than the next person while they're giving me more but if I can get them to say, man, she's really cool or they're really cool, I really want to work with them, they're willing to spend a little bit more money they're willing to see the value in the experience is that you're asking them to pay for. So I'm assuming that awkward pause times and there's a couple minutes, you know, there's ah, a break in our conversation, I just don't know what else to say, I'm like, and I laugh every time because I think it's so funny, I'm always like, oh my gosh, I should probably go get my books, these why you're here and so I go on, I and I pull my suitcase over, and I'm talking to them about how our books they're handmade in italy, how I'm so proud of our books, I cannot tell you I love I'm in love with them, and I love sharing them, and I think that they can feel that because when I'm pulling him out, I'm just crazy about them, so I pull out our books and I'm unwrapping and when I'm talking about how they're made in italy and andi, I'm talking about well, this book is taylor and scots, and they're just such an amazing couple in the family was so dynamic, and I can't wait to share this with you, and I start to talk about the covers up with a book on the table, you know, like a like this, and I start flipping pages also talked about cover their salted grab, the studio has over one hundred cover options that's crazy, and I'll start flipping through the book and I'll start talking about how I love taylor and the dress that she chosen, how she and then after like, two or three pages, I'm like, what am I doing here? You look through the book, and so I slide the book towards them, and I kind of just sit back down and what did they do? Anybody? What do they do when I give him that book? What do they do? They do this. Can I touch it? Of course you can touch it really get dirty, we use find our paper with graf e, you notice I'm never going to call my books in album because why everybody else calls him albums, they want to know that when they're spending a lot of money on a service that they're getting something that's fine are something that's high quality something that's different than their friends and so we use fine art paper we use finer and we call him fine art books because that's what they are and they're handmade in italy. So anyway, so it's a sigh handem over the books and they start flipping through isn't it beautiful, it's crazy? I mean that you should see the looks that our moms on the bride's give us it's it's so fun images from the engagement session to create a guest book it's very personal and people can leave little love notes and their love letters that's been a big plus for us because it gets the images out there versus maybe just one image at the wedding from the shoe where people might sign on a man. This again tells the story and we take that storytelling approach so it's really important to me that I produced a fine art prada for them that I produced something that's high quality I want them to know that when they're looking at it, if you're walking into a meeting and you got all your stuff out, how many people do that that's what we didn't wait for started we like everything out on the table and we just started talking about us, so I just I have to in the reason why the reason why I'm putting even putting this spread up here is because this is the best business decision I've ever made in my life this and I love show it too graphic studio has been it's what sells our clients they look at these books they look at these books this is from the trade show floor so it's unsure what paper they used but they look at these books and they've never seen anything like it there's a million reason there's other photographers in our area that use graph e books but the way we present him, the materials that we use the design elements that don does it it doesn't look like the same book that everybody else has never been lt is calling them albums and we don't become fine art books because we want their memories to be secure in a fine art book whether we're shooting a wedding and we do baby and family portrait but only through our wedding clients that's not something we promote but we'll do seniors will do all those other things and we continue to use the same product they have free software they got a free book design softening education the commitment that they have two photographers is crazy way I shoot for the book you know when I was in the newspaper I shot for the page so I shoot for the book I try and keep dawn in mind and the book is our marketing well when I get a book and it's really a great couple like the guest book that we're passing round we'll bring those to the venues will bring into our event planners we keep our sample books very, very, very current because it represents the latest work we're doing I'm a leaves of believing in being green and growing so I'm pushing myself all the time I don't have one style that it locked into there is no formula that I have when I approach an issue I kind of like the energy the couple dictated and the environment and then I choose my lens and lighting and everything accordingly so each is unique and then we deliver the books to the clients and then also as I said, we leave him at the venue in the event planners and these book have legs man they get around, people seem we get phone calls that's why we put our website and phone number in the back of the book and often times I had a call from someone in california I saw one of your books on a friend of ours coffee table didn't find our website on anything they like I love the book so much they call us up immediately so that's what we use for marketing, right? So whatever works for you, I can't tell you how much the books mean two venues as well. So we build relationships not only with our brides but with all of our vendors, so we use again the books we get an extra one for the event planner because then showcases all the details there is a trend brides are now very much appreciating you photographing details do not catalog do not make snapshots of details lightem make photographs make images right because a bride is going to spend a year planning her dream wedding and she's going to go through the details and pick out the linens the flat where the glasses the table said everything is important so photograph it has such him once it ends up in the book it's two fold it serves the bride and it serves the event planner in the venue if those air the relationship she working to build I guess what I want you to take away from this is if you're in the wedding industry I really think that for us selling an experience with us getting somebody to fall in love with us because when she goes home and daddy because daddy's always there too and he's always doing this steady is the one paying the bill um when she goes home and it's a week later day later or whatever and he says all right, sweetheart, we need to wrap some of this stuff up let's talk about photographers you know what are we going to do? And she says, all daddy, I love bob and don and he says, well, they were the most expensive honey um and she says and he's and he says that the guy down the street is, you know, twenty five hundred less with a book and whatever and she goes, but daddy, I love them what's he going to do on his baby girl's wedding day what's he going to d'oh he's going to fudge it somewhere else for her because she felt over the check off all over the floor is maybe or whatever there's something that they're going to be able to pull the money from or they're just going to spend more money, you know, that's, our goal is to make a connection, I'm not looking to be their best friends, I'm not you know, I have a family, they've got family, they've got lives on that look into go go on dinner dates with them and all that stuff, I just want them to know that they're in wonderful hands and we're going to take the best care of them and I'm an amazing recapture, so I'm right, yeah, so I'm going to switch it up to what the flash right way could switch the screens over, pull up yes, please put my laptop so my approach is about light, right? Everything I do is I see the light first, I'm kind of like a dog when I walk into a room with a bone like where's the like, it wasn't like we're getting the light right? And if they're this studio in the way, it slipped right now, you know, I wouldn't have a light anything. So how many people again shoot weddings? A handful, right? How many people get stuck in dark reception halls? And they really challenging and they run around in their bounce and everything with our off him or non camera flash and maybe one off camera flash, and you want to be able to make those images saying so one of the things that I've come up with that's really easy and there's all kinds of ways of getting there so let's, just keep this quick because we're on a time constraint. I hope you come back if they invite us back to creative live, but we'll get into the nitty gritty of it, but you need wireless triggers, right? I do a lot of e th I like you a lot manual, I I use all the buttons and all the modes on all the cameras all the time, because it's, just a tool to create what the vision is I have in my mind I'm so with that I'm going to share with you right off the bat the triangle of light so don't if you'd help me pull these three lights out here so I'm going to show you how these are all set him up and then I'll show you some examples and they were going to shoot live right and then what we're going to do is maybe we could draw the curtains here you just pulled a girl behind me just so we could cut down some of the ambient life because we wouldn't way go possible right and in reception halls I've shot in reception halls like this that are lofty white spaces to me this is a duck in a barrel I could like this all day long because the lights just gonna bounce the environments white more often than not I'm shooting and kind of old clubs where they have the dark wood paneling and everything's a challenge and there's nothing to really bounce off of so in that situation I'm going to use three speed lights at the reception and I set them up now in this particular scenario for what I used the triangle of light I do use the lights here gerri phone lights here and I shoot direct and I don't use the diffusion dome because I want some speculate ari I want the highlight in the eye right so obvious questions is why am I shooting direct flash with the lights were on anybody you know kind of yet remember I won't speculate arat e but the reason I still have this cup on is because if I'm at a reception and if I point all three lights that state toward you exactly as this cup fills up with light it spreads out so I could photograph him over there I could photographed on over there because this still fills up with the light and diffuses out to the sides so if I know I'm going kind of outside the triangle I'll adjust either the s o or I'll adjust my aperture really quickly I want you guys to repeat this shutter speed is equal to ambient light thie aperture is the output you want from your flash apertures equal to flash so if I'm shooting at one twenty fifth of a second it does not affect the output from this flash but if I go from ford faa it's going to dramatically affect the lighting in my scenario so I'd use the power of the s o first I'm gonna shoot let's say eight hundred s o and roughly shoot between two eight and five that's my range you know I don't want everything to be super sharpening focus of picked matter so I put these in different groups now these air the cannon six hundred e x artie's so I've got the radio controlled built in most weddings, I meant these would be up on the stage next to the band in front of the speakers there, out of the way, right? And I put them in different groups, so these would be in the b group. Okay, so I can then control the flash output from the lights, and these are going to be an e t t l mode and the reason being is because they're going just the flash output. No matter where I am in the room, I kind of get him up and I'm gonna point him toward the center of the room and I could even have this back over here. I always use the back like I'm a bad fight aholic I'm addicted to backlighting, right? I love the rim light. I love a little bit of separation because if you're in a dark hall and people have dark hair and you have no light behind him, all of a sudden it just goes to blackness. So a little kicker light in the back and I'll put this even before we had the six hundred sorties that was using radio poppers and I still do use radio poppers. I put this in a different group soc group. The advantage is now right from the camera I can make this manual mode or I could turn it on and off someone to run this to the back of the room it's in c group let me get it in the right position and then don could put it there and you're gonna put up right behind the camera man I'm actually gonna tilt it down a little bit to make sure we get a little green lighting on the hair and it's the same thing by having the light's fear it allows the light to spread out and I always make sure that they're safely out of the way so I'll dons doing that I'll pull up a few sample images of what the triangle of light looks like right so quickly again I was I was mentioning to you how important detail shots are so if I met ah wedding I'm getting my resolution back here there we go yes all the way back against well this is in a hotel room right got a chute details but it looks like a commercial shot someone has christian new batons or jimmy choos really expensive shoes that kind of thing you really want to light it up so it's just using two lights it was a beige while blasting out the background every hotel room has a desk with a glass tabletop like that glass tabletop down get the dust off of it manual mode on the background right so I've got all control because the tl tends to make everything great front nights r e t t l so I have a continuous light value on the wall so it stays white your horizon disappears because the desk is about three feet four feet away from the wall right? So you make these stunning detail shots three lights no on camera flash right. Same thing details in the room I set up the room with three lights like this if a bride and all of her entourage was in here getting ready I have no on camera flash so what we create is highlight in shadow which in turn gives depth to our images you need shadow if you bounce everything it's flat light in your images look flat right? So I go for highlight in shadow and if I want the backlight brighter well, I just turn it up right from the camera and I could bring down the front lights so that's, so empowering with the technology you have um let's get to the reception again detail shots huge let's make this big lots rio state and then you could see the meta data here eight hundred s o after four five, one hundredth of a second shutter speed at eight hundred s o at about two eight I get a little bit of ambient just a little bit that's my giant phil but for speculative ready for the shadows doesn't look very natural coming through the glasses that's a photograph that's an image it's not a snapshot it's not cataloguing her table where that's that back light shining right through and if I wanted the backlight writer I know my back ideas in c group I crank up the power to see I dial down to be group and I have this wonderful fill the glass where is creating the light pattern through the table so I use this approach on everything here is a lighting diagram in the triangle of light so it's just as we have here two lights in the front one in the back you could do for but then four is going to create a little bit more evenness in your lighting I like to have that one strong back light source it's kind of emulating riel daylight because we have one sun in the sky and that's your brightest source everything else is kind of fill the sunlight bounces off of buildings it bounces off the clouds these are my film or vice versa however I wanted to be when I'm in the room everybody follow me so far with me looks like a question that's the key that's the key to this whole life is is he's looking at the lights fear of with the triangle of light set up with the flash being direct that the lights were actually does capture light and spread it out if I didn't have a light modifier on there the light's fear the light would be concentrated direct there's nothing catching it to bring it out to the sides and if I used a diffusing dome over the top of it I lose the speculator pretty you know there is speculating and all of your eyes because they lit the room this way so you all have life in your eyes to me that speculated and brings the image brings the subject toe like the key to that also is not just coming out its surrounding as well exact point okay right so I could shoot outs I could photographed on even though she's not in the sweet spot let's say for the triangle but because of the spread of from the diffusion I did and you still pick up speculate retty from the other lights correct and therefore none of these have on camera flash right another key is I use all the light that's available to me most of time you're in a tungsten setting this is a tent that was candle itch and the leaders everything it is an in tungsten environment so therefore I make my speed lights match atonality of the available light so I used a full correct orange cto gel and then if I slowed on my shutter speed to bring in a little bit more ambien all my color stays true I don't have a color shift in the background nothing worse in my opinion it looks far more professional but nothing worse for me to have this beautiful white dress lit properly and then borns super orange behind right that's not our client they want finished images they want images that saying you know you get again see how we have speculated on one side highlight shadow wrap around it's not all flat, you know, beautiful room shot we are getting a color shift here why exactly? I'm shooting and tungsten space and there's some daylight coming in the room, right? But that's ok bride groom walked into the room for their first look they're not getting their focus is not on me because I don't have an on camera flash going off at them they're looking at the room because the lights in the room are totally undermining them it's a much more natural look and feel and through the power of the ice so if you're in a very dark room well, shoot it sixteen hundred you know here you could see him catching one of the back lights going off now when I get into the huddle like thiss call it the huddle, I shoot two ways, I shouldn't ask you two ways a shoot with two cameras all the time, so I have usually a twenty four to seventeen or sixteen to thirty five around my neck in that case it was a sixteen to thirty five and I have the seventy two, two hundred over my shoulder with a speed like transmit around it ninety nine percent of the time on camera flashes just a trigger it's just communicating with the other ones, but in this scenario I'm going to be in the huddle so therefore if I'm down lower, if I'm in this mix of people, what happens to my life, right? The people in the foreground would be totally in the shadow they'd have this beautiful room light going on, but he'd be in the shadow no speculating his eyes so that's when I would just pop this flash on I would turn the power down so my main nights are still my off camera this is just a little phil really natural looking really fun right? And it gives the whole room depth and dimension when you agree yeah and it's really not rocket science. If I could do this, you can do it. What it is is most people will not take the time to do it will not take the time to practice this and this isn't something you try on your next wedding this is something that you practice at home this's something that you do not on game day, right you want to have this nail down before you go out because if you're in a scenario in office shit part my lights firing right you want to know what to do so you're prepared and you're gonna be able to go with it and your last thing you want to do is have the chute suffer for your technical reasons it's all about the moment for me and all this technical stuff because I practice it so much in its second nature it just falls away it's just tools for me to create the vision that I want so emanuel everybody knows my back lights back there right? All I did is I had the father and the son sit and like I know my back lights back there I get down here I dialed the front lights just way down there were e t t l so they're like minus three my backlight was at a quarter power cigar smoke lights up really easy and boom you know, simple shot but it's thinking it's thinking it through it's keeping that in your mind's eye so let me I'm actually going to do that switch over here and we can shoot some images live who want to be a model I'm gonna pick on the crowd first so just so you could see right so if I'm here and again there is plenty of light here so if I wanted to know what we're dealing with here is the way I would take this in a really approach I walk into an environment turned the flashes off set my eyes so and I'm going to take a test shot so I start off generally and after priority this is all daylight so it's super easy to do and it's very bright so beautifully that three twenty years so it's about an eighty eighth of a second and a for four five so let that come up you can look in advance it'll come up in a second so this room is really easy so what I'm going to have to do to make my lights sing is we're gonna lower the ice a little bit but you could see the way they've lit the room two we have a back light see the hairline right okay turn yours can you turn him off and then shoot it's no no no I'm gonna use the speed lights oh this is there's no speed like sound bites to see that we're in a white studio for television but now let's say we weren't so I'm going to do is I'm gonna go and I'm gonna kill the ambient so I'm going to go to a nice so of let's say one twenty fifth of a second and what is shutter speed to ambient light so one hundredth of two hundredth of a second it for I'm gonna go a little faster so now I've killed the ambien so then the next shot will do is all going to be from the triangle of light right way hit the the key you could make it bigger and now we're gonna engage so it's barely barely noticeable there's just a little bit of indian right so engaged the speed lights these air already set in b group the back one is in c and everything is set at zero what I mean is there's no flash exposure compensation there's no racial right? Okay, yeah get this nice highlight on your right now you're right now so this is going to come up and initially and teo it's going to be a little bit dark for my taste right? Because what it does is it tries to bring everything back to eighteen percent great right? So knowing that it's not bad it's emulating the same light that is set up in the studio nice highlight in the background, right? So everything is cool now if I want it done can you hit thie? We'll pull it up full, we'll hit the hut and then we're going to get the adjustments so we could see the history and I judge images by the history ram hissed a grams a really important you get all this information right on the back of the camera as well so did that color the rgb values when there are in alignment that's near perfect color and I say near perfect because it's subjective I go for a nice flesh tone I'm not not a white balance I'm in kelvin already dialed in the color that I want if we took a bunch of images at a wedding reception in otto white every time I move a little bit, each image is slightly different in color and then when you go to post correct anything, you gotta do each one and painted it, but if I just pick a calvin and if I'm in this environment I could shoot all day long it's going to be very, very consistent I strive teo I strive to get it right here he had so we don't have a lot of post production value and if we have information from left to right, you know you have a good exposure, right? So we're all e t l so I could go anywhere from here, you know what I mean? So we can make the backlight really strong so I'm going to just hit the the ski etc group and we're gonna put it manual mode and I think we'll start off in about half power the's are in the b group and I think I'm in a lower flash exposure compensation minus one so therefore the strength of my light is mostly going to be all back later okay you mind if I use you like so what I'm gonna do is I know that the lights behind you I'm dropping down low and maybe kind of glanced toward death you want to go there? Well, there you go just a cute little speculating in your eyes beautiful so what we're going to see in this image is what how do you think the image is going to appear remember where did I send all the life back there, right? So we're not gonna have much front phil on her face, right? So there's a white while back there and remember because we're using the lights fear it is bouncing off of all of the white walls in here, right? So now we could shift that so we're going to make the backlight completely off get to my c group I turn it off and now we're just using the front delights ok? And I'm going to bring them up now I'm gonna bring them up plus one right? Because now we don't have a back like so I just want to see just you there you go cool you're going to see a difference in the image and you can hit the uh page button and it will pop up here in a second but one of the things I always always strive for is to get it right in camera but I hope what you're getting in this a little bit of a demonstration is the power that you can have right from camera with technology, no matter if you're using radio poppers, if you're using canon nikon or if you did this all manually so you can use the classic pocket wizards, the only disadvantage to that is you always have to be thinking, as I get closer to my light source, I either need to change my eyes so or my aperture, right? Because if that light is I get further away from it, it has less I'll put if it's set at a quarter power were with it being a t l it's going to adjust for me so I could walk right up on you and make a beautiful portrait of you and never have to worry about where did I leave that half power quarter power? What was it in general? I just use the backlight as separation so I can leave that at a quarter power, right? So it's, just that little bit of highlight all the time. I like this because I really try excited problems with shooting people with bolt, the shyness that sure you didn't mind it wasn't there didn't come out in this one good picture of the woman I was like, hey, was that one see there's? Not that chinese it's not a shiny and I have problems but I don't do this whole triangle thing and I think that I can't wait to try possible no it's just practice beforehand so let's actually show the power of what you could do with speed lights as well so we're just gonna use thes too and we're going I want to share with you yes you clarify for me are you using the same group for your first your front to yes and in that situation and how do you determine where you would like your triangle to be when you walk into a room that starts around room sure so let me switch back over to the other library really quick you know bob on what she said to I mean I was talking to the jump sit next to me you leave these in one spot once you said it right because I noticed that and send your pictures you could see the kicker lights and sure but you know if you're at a wedding generally all the action is on the dance floor correct it's here the crowd is out there the head table is somewhere back there ninety percent of the time that's why I said the lights up all of our weddings have have bands so I put my light stand right in front of their speaker I use it can you roll in our grip bag please are letting I used bungee balls the little bungee cords with a ball on the end of it on security right to their speaker post so they're not going anywhere and they're small and lightweight and nobody sees these things going off they're not big umbrellas in the a wedding reception it's small lighting like this so this would be the main area of attraction then in the back I'm out that back out on anything I can if I have to use a justin clamp with a month fratto one seven five that has the flash hot you want culture on it I grip it to the pipe or if I get the light stand up in the back or often times were in big rooms this is how he among this old club in chicago two stories and there's a balcony back here well you could kind of see the glow on the top of the cake that's where my flashes is tough on that balcony and there's two speed lights on the stage the cake is say this is the stage where they are the cake is right about here so I think that I mean that's really beautiful image for me it works it's not overly warm because everything is in tungsten right talk about how you telephone way use full cto gels and if I'm shooting in an office environment I would use the through plus green jobs because then most of time it's fluorescent lighting scenario that we're in do you use external battery packs on I do I use the external battery packs? Batteries are really important to be efficient to get your continuous proper exposures. Yes, I do cannon cpi for battery pack and I use rechargeable batteries and I found the best ones have been using for like the last five years no actually my huh twenty seven hundred million batteries because I want the million's versus the shelf life so I charged him up before ever use so that they will just take a pound I could shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot and with the external battery packs I don't have to worry about changing the batteries is often and it keeps up does really you change your batteries out throughout the day on when my change now I did not use to when I was using five eighties and radio poppers with the six hundred e x artie's now you have radio transmission built into the speed light it's using an awful lot more energy now because it's no longer just firing the flash but it's controlling the radio and the radio communication is constant with ease so you could totally monitor when they're ready to fire or not. So yes, halfway through the day I change out the batteries in the speed lights not in the battery packs they're firing but just in the speed lights because it draws from both assignment when you see the reception when I get to the reception, I'll change him out, but I mean, this is just a really fun image saying lighting syria everybody's out on the dance floor dancing away the only time my on camera flashes engaged is when I'm in the pit you know when you get in close and you don't like us have we do location lighting anywhere? This is a senior beautiful image and I love thee westcott products way put together on my favorite lighting kit of what the flash lighting kit and the reason I love these because for the quality of light and the ease of set up everything's out an umbrella shaft so I don't need a speed ring I used to get speed rings and monkey these things together it was hard to travel and I'd bring my regular soft boxes octo banks, umbrellas on location. This travels with me everywhere so easy and they have a grid for it right saying to create the quality of you like you want anywhere very efficient for speed lights with the silver reflect its in the background so you create awesome awesome life don't you want bring boxing? So if I was going to do this on location to a portrait, use my light stand and as I go bigger with a light modifier and I do this at weddings for the bridal portrait's formal portrait it's because if I'm shooting hi and wedding and I go to do the formal portrait with tupperware they're not going to think I'm very professional, right perception is important, but when you show up to do the bridal portrait or anything it's formal and then you whip out a soft box on apollo in a halo well now they're like yeah, he knows what he's doing even though I can create beautiful light with the other like mount of fires as well, right? So we could put a diffusion she in here you could bounce the flash into it firm or diffusion or you could go direct if you choose it's very versatile light modifier way put together our own lighting kid again don did the branding right notice that consistency I did not do this west got this assault gave him all of the branding all of the colors that it was important to us that if we were going to produce a product that he uses that it was our brand. And yeah, this is a soft box with a grid and a halo. The halo is a shoot through umbrella that's just amazingly beautiful quality of light that you could use for speed lights and they work with studio lights too, so I use and if I'm going to use a model block so we screwed this to the side a little bit for a second what I want you to focus on now is the quality of light and this is with that soft box this one image one night you'll notice the background is changing so it's just this is just all one life so the further the light is away from the background we get more fall off white goes great okay now I want to turn it into something a little bit more dynamic in what I really love again is the sharpness the quality of light the speculator t the highlight on location is not in a studio location to bring a roll of light white seamless paper right not now for this that I used one speed light inside a seven foot parabolic umbrella did that right so to fifty s o shooting at almost f seven one one six th of a second get a little music go in the fan she was a senior here's my studio in our basement it's an abandoned by your friends and if you want that nice white reflective floor go to home depot or lowe's or anything like that get the white tile board it's like twelve bucks for eight by twelve sheet of it and has that nice white high gloss surface so if you scuff it up break it whatever only twelve bucks used two of them and then you have the edge running away from the camera so it overlaps and you get that beautiful infinity look right. And then don definitely goes in and cleans it up and touches up and takes out anything that should not be there. Here's the one speed like which then became my main light in a seven foot wescott parabolic silver umbrella again silver so it makes the most efficient use of a fifty watt second speed like my thing is speed like because I could tangled up in cables and I want to change right here I get really excited when I'm moving around I'll wait, run over and change that you know, it's my thing you may like model blocks and that's all quotes all just light but these work for me on location so just really try and share one other thing I did for fun just because but again, just really quickly the triangle of light I mean, the details. I mean, it really makes these things saying these are the images that build relationships with event planners for us not so much the great bride and groom portrait's but in the actual case in the magazine things love it. Um, bump bump um, can we go so I wanted to have some fun and I wanted to see what I could do and how many speed lights I could fire the goal was going to be one hundred n e t t l in three different groups at night and do an aerial shot, but I I was I was only able to beg, borrow and steal forty five of them. All right, so we're gonna work backwards. So again, logistics is everything, getting him on the right channel, making sure all the batteries are full of ready to go, making sure all the radio poppers were in the proper channel and online. Because once you're up in the helicopter, you know, you can't just pop back down to hate that one like didn't fighter, right? Get everything in place ahead of time. Do your test shots, set him up, make sure they're all work working, pray to the lord of late and then do your shot. So this was at night, one hundred feet up from the helicopter, just for fun, just because just wanted to see if we could do it way had three different groups, so a b and c group apps a being the perimeter, I miss a line one, so I couldn't tell from the ground did know till I got up tried to space mountain way had the b group underneath the airplane, so anything that light bounces off, picks up. The color cast and then in the canopy were in the c group because it was all glass we didn't need much light output for them to illuminate the canopy so we brought that light level way down in the different groups the models were in the b group is well just for fun you know why not how do you learn play right practice play have fun you know stick a flash in the oven and heavier oh I know what I mean I mean every time we walk in refrigerator you know oh, I think I have the one shot in here we were telling about the story of lacey and patil I find the image really quick in the cab ah, a couple of our largest driving good sorry a couple of hours, lacey and can't they met in a cab and so when we do engage with sessions we want them to be about what's out here who they are and what their story is so about decided to hire cab drive around the city with them I mounted the camera on the trunk of the car a five d with a sixteen to thirty five that's actually my nose I fired the camera with a pocket wizard I had the t two on camera with a radio popper and I had the flash now this kind I did use the diffusion dome on top of the lights here so we didn't you have too much highlighting their two to spread the light out even more. And that was being fired from the radio popper communicating so question, I hope that inspires you to go out there and play, use light modifiers, create the quality of the of the light you want. Don't just settle for the light that's available to you, make the light you want, make the image saying she's that I mean that's new thing, kid, put together this's what I primary kit that I take with me everywhere, and I could like just about anything with these three different light modifiers to like modifiers but light stand well, actually, three, because with the grid, it changes the feel of the soft box, so it gives you tons of versatility. This be out in january, they're announcing it at the show it's at westcott. He'll be a panorama being age or your favorite dealers, but yeah, can I take any questions? Um, I just wanted to ask if you're obviously, you're getting like such punch and a lot of your style from doing this lighting setup with receptions, but a lot of churches in different places don't allow you to lose flash, so do you find that hard to keep it consistent style then, or that there's any differentiations between great question no, I don't I play by the rules because I'm a guest in a church and I want to be invited back, and if I'm not allowed to like that portion has just a different look and that's where you embrace these cameras and their ability to shoot in wonderful high esos but then I always when I'm in those environments, look for the light, oftentimes there's the spotlight, so I will I myself with that light, and if the bride looks this way bull, you have the side lighting, you have a highlight, nor I for me, it's not about speed, lights it's about life, so whether I'm shooting in the light that's available or creating the light, I want it's seeking that light to make the image most often times were allowed because I've gone in, I'll show the priest ahead of time that there's not a big one, polite there out of the way and what we've been told one time this year, no question was, with weddings being so buried in, whether they're fifty people or five hundred people in the size of the room, does that determine how big your triangle is? Or do you have, like, pretty much a set distance between them that you like to keep that I do not have a set distance and that's where the power of the speed lights, esso and a child comes into play, as you saw in that one room, it was a two story club, had about one hundred foot with, and the lights work accordingly. So the only thing I might do this increase the so you know, I mean, so that the flash works more efficiently. So I work with it often. I rarely go above sixteen hundred because the lights have just kick out enough, and I'm not shooting at a faith. I'm shooting it at for five, three, five to a whatever, it's, just giving me that sparkle now for portrait's and things group portrait I, man, about five six, because I want everybody in focus. Those are important, okay, um, I hate to say it, but it's done one. No, thank you.