Jason Groupp: 4 Lights and Some Gaffer Tape
So my models today I'm really lucky vanessa and rob are here to model their back my studio manager karen on my new who has taking a lot of pulling to get to come here to do this with us today on my buddy tim um so just so you guys know when george asked me teo do this uh I immediately went on a diet and as of today I've lost twenty pounds so korea I will now call it the creative live diet they worked it was the best incentive I could possibly have ever had so I want to thank you guys for being here I know you guys have been sitting here for how long I know you guys have been here all day right so I hope that I can you guys continue to laugh at my jokes as well I thank you for being here because I know you're all taking time out from your day on again thank you for creative life having me here all right so four lights and some gaffer tape I feel it's kind of appropriate if I was wearing bow ties then so it just get that out I started wearing bow ties merrily twenties when I had long hai...
r and that whole grunge thing and the boat I was kind of like a funny thing to add to what I do when I shot weddings back then but this is me in nineteen ninety three I started shooting weddings in nineteen eighty eight when I was a senior in high school, working for a local wedding photographer not too far from here in the city. And it was something that I had always done. It was that that job that I had. So while my friends put beer flip burgers for beer money, I was shooting weddings instead. And, um, it was a great thing for me. As I went off to college here in the city to shoot weddings on the weekend. I wanted putting myself through college shooting weddings and later on, when I was pursuing fashion and commercial work, I had always shot weddings on the weekend. So it was always something that I did. I'll be honest. My first decade of wedding photography was not something I really enjoyed. It was just something that I did for money. Um, but I was good at it, and I learned a lot of valuable skills over the years. Um doing it. That was my fourteen year old assistant. He used to come out and shoot weddings. I hope he's watching today, uh, because they told him he's going to get a shot up today, but he was probably he was my best assistant out of all of these years that I had assistance, so, uh it was on, and wedding photography has changed so much over the years. So about fifteen years ago, I moved into my studio in the city, which is actually just a few doors down here from from here on dh it's ah, it's been a lot of fun, so the last decade of my career has been about finding ways for me to keep charged in doing wedding photography, so I'm kind of like a little bit of an artistic brat like if I'm not constantly feeding my artistic ego, I'm really miserable, so I am constantly trying to find ways to keep myself going as a creative person on day. As a result, I kind of run my business through that way a little bit differently than a lot of people. I'm an artist first in a business person second, which works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't. So I feel like it's appropriate before we get into lighting and I'll get into lighting quickly. But one of the things that I do in my business solving preference, identifying problems that I have, and then finding solutions from that. So if you think about like any great invention over the years, there was a problem that was fight and then a really great solution came out came of it, so whenever I feel not feeling good about something, I'll go into you know, hey, what what what is this problem that I'm having? Why am I not happy with this? And one of the earlier things for me with wedding photography was the engage in session somewhere along the lines ten years ago. Somebody said, you're going to give that engage in session to your clients for free on dh, they're going to love it and you're going to get to know your clients and it'll be a nice gift that you give them on dh. I kind of had a big problem with that get into that a little bit, and then I'm also going to talk about now, throw my first plug out the zacarias my problem with gear acquisition syndrome or suddenly he likes to call it gas. Um, we'll get into that later, but let's go to the engaging session. All right? So for me, here in the city, how I had a couple of problems one I hate doing anything for free, like nothing there's, nothing good, nothing good comes of free. Giving something free is always problematic. It's problematic for you, it's, problematic for your clients. And it was one of those things where ok I'm giving you with a bake a package with me and then they say ok, we're going to get that engages session everybody checks that off on their list and they would say ok, well I definitely want pictures in central park that'll be awesome central park that was a problem for me in general but you know there's also the our problem so I made it tuesday through thursday's anytime after four o'clock you could do your engage in session right that's what a lot of people were doing a problem with it wass it's a one hour and gave in session I'm pissed off going up there to do that a session because it screws up my whole day they're pissed off because they're coming early from work so nobody's really happy it's not really a great situation you kind of phone in this session for an hour and you get great pictures that that's that's not the result but there isn't really there's no great client interaction and you know I don't think anybody's really enjoying it and not the other problem that I was having wass this couple here like she's wearing this beautiful dress great shoes she got her hair and makeup done maybe a little bit earlier and he shows up in in the suit that he wore five o'clock in the morning donna wall street with the brown pleated pants and it's a nice enough outfit but you know, I would spend most of my session like how do I get him out of the picture? He's a good looking guy but like, how do I get those? Brown pleaded pants out of my picture, you know, like so I was pretty good at it, like put him behind over here or just hide his face entirely and, you know, get get those shots and you get and picking on him and I apologize I hope he doesn't see this, but you know, if he does, I'm picking on him a little bit because he's, you know, a really nice guy, but this is a really great example of a big problem that I had so that engage in session, how am I going to solve that problem? The other problem I had was I moved into the studio I'm paying a ridiculous amount of rent and I want to shoot on the city streets. I want to be the new york city wedding photographer that was my goal twelve years ago when I moved into my studio I want to shoot on the city streets, I want to be that that new york guy and, you know, there's a little bit of competition here just a little bit there's some great shooters, I'm friends with some of them it's a you know it's there's plenty of work for everybody but you know it's a competitive city and you know it's it's it's been a tough challenge trying to figure those things out for myself so how do I shoot on the city streets more how do I make the engaging sessions better so what I started doing wass let me do it a little bit longer ok wanted me in central park fine let's do that let's take another fifteen minutes and go out on city streets do what I want said ok, we can do that on dh those were the shots inevitably that they love because I'm working harder to make those shots better those of the shots that I want to show right? So I'm making an hour and fifteen then it becomes an hour and a half now I'm in two hours just it's still the free in game seven where two hours now but I'm doing things that's charging me up so that makes it okay for me. So I come home one night after a three hour engage the session and my wife says to me, oh, hunger shooting today and I like three hours and she's like one of those free engage in sessions and I'm like yeah, and she says you think maybe at some point we might figure out a way to monetize that now three hours instead of one hour I hear that you're you're enjoying it and I get that but so it had been something I'm I like how do I take something now that I'm doing that's a lot of fun so I'm giving them their one hour then I'm two hours for myself I'm doing stuff the lighting gets into that part of my problem equation and I came up with this idea that I would call my engage in sessions I heart new york's and instead of just doing a one hour engage in session I would brand it as this stylized shoot so taking some of my fashion experience and taking some of my commercial experience in my production like let's make a real shoot out of this let's they'll be the models and put it all together but and it worked great we were doing these full days and I was able to get a little bit more money for it and they were you know it was good but something was missing from it the thing that I discovered wass it was a full day of shooting this is a key thing for me so now I added hair and makeup to it lots of tasty treats we all like to eat and keeping the energy up all day like talking them into this full day of shooting and I could talk a lot more about this but I'm trying to get through quick lots of tasty beverages this was the one key key element getting my client's drunk was the best thing I could ever ever have done because everybody's happy we're getting drunk they're getting drunk everybody's happy and now we're bonding so that one hour engage in session where we're just kind of like like not were chatting with each other it's uncomfortable chit chatter is now like, oh you're my best friend were drunk together, you know, like it's fun and you know, we're having a good time and, you know, we're making this day, so I also go into which are not going to get into today, but I will go into, you know, really trying to figure out who they are as a couple and that being really important to me and it all leads into the lighting that I do and, you know, everything's about their personality so that one hour engage in session is now a full day about them that we share bond in new york city, and I've been working with jeff yoakum I think he's got t max and he talks about how like, getting to know your clients and knowing who they are, whether you're doing something like this, you doing something on your own? What we do now as wedding photographers taking pictures is really easy it's not hard anymore, like when we have had to load the mommy is in the twenties twin lens reflex is that was hard what we do now is easy but what we have now is that that touch with them and that's I feel like the next step in our jobs to connect with our clients and you can't just do it in one hour and gave sessions impossible to do so I take this full day now where to make a story about them and from that we make a guest book that we have at the wedding of my past these thieves new books from fideo around that's a plug female female for um I really like these books it doesn't really matter what it is it's a guest book that you can leave lots of space around the design and they consign it at the wedding and what it does is it takes this day that we spent together this adventure we've planned in new york city and wraps it into this nice little fortune cookie that we bring to the wedding and everyone at their wedding sees it and they remember this day that way that's connecting with my clients king drunk guest book and a great timeline for the day new yorkers you know I need to let them know dude, we're going to be done for clock you'd be home for the football game that night I promise so you know those are important things any questions on that before him? Because I'm going to move wal away, out of the art new york stuff. That's terrible. Okay, moving on, let's, get to lighting. So lighting was is a big part of what I've always done, and I'm kind of an old school guy. You know, commercial days. I used to shoot cap on camera flash, emmanuel shooting weddings, that's something I'd like to see people did today, but I have this little problem called gear acquisition syndrome. That's my studio closets with the mop and I over the years have gone through these trade shows. And at the end of the trade show, like this diffuse is going to change my life. If I get this diffuser with this grid spot on it, I will be the complete photographer on after twenty four years of it, you have a big closet of them. So one of the things that I was discovering in doing the I heart, new york's and weddings is I was bringing alien bees with me and pro photos with me and big lights to do different things with them. We're renting, you know, production vans and going out and shooting with the stuff with big v flats, and it was ridiculous. So part of me needed to kind of gear down the production, I mean, even for wedding, so one day after pulling literally ten rolls of gaffer's tape out of one of my bags and I was like why is this bag so heavy because there was ten rolls of gaffer's tape in it um I said something's got to change so I came up with the no excuse bag I literally pulled the bag out of the closet and I said everything that we do with our lighting needs to now be done with this bag one little bag four lights and something to trigger with and that was my goal two years ago I did this everything we do needs to go in expensive lights in this bag with one role gaffer's tape and we're done no more we're going to make it work with this stuff so what it did is at the time I have been using the guitars it doesn't really matter like the gear I want to show you today it doesn't matter you don't need to use that year what does matter is its gear that you're comfortable with and you know it's in your price range this bag here is like twelve hundred bucks for all this stuff you could probably do it for less you could do it from or but what I find is as I like to move really fast and I beat the crap out of all of my equipment so I'm not going to put for six hundred dollars speed lights in there nothing wrong with that, but I'm not going to put forth six hundred dollar lights in there and beat him up. So this is what we did for lp one sixties lp one sixty is made by midwest photo exchange there's lots of other cheap options out there and I really like these lights because it's got the same power is the speed light and one of things that I like to look at with manual flash is just how everything's going to talk to each other. It needs to be super, super simple and easy. One of the reasons that I liked this light so much honestly was that little connection right there. This is a three dollars cord that I could buy a radio shack and these cords break a lot. You need lots of these, so figuring out how you're going to connect your light is really important doesn't matter what it is. I hate hot shoe mounts if you're going to mount your off camera light on a hot to mt to your radio trigger, you're guaranteed that your light is going to fail because at some point or another that's going to get loose and not make a good connection, this makes a great connection, right? So it's one of the reasons I love this life alone by itself but also loved it because it's got two things on it it's got power and zoom and that's it so two things on it all I would tell it is up and down and zoom in air out those air really easy things for my simple brain toe to handle um it's also got slaves in it it's got to slaves in it it's got a pre flash slave I never use it it does work but I don't use it and then the other thing for me is I don't care what kind of radio trigger you use to me all these things are this is a transmitter turn on okay all it is his light switch on that's all I wanted to do on I shouldn't be doing in a full power it always like a lot faster that's all I wanted to do this is all I'm telling my flash studio I'm not telling the camera what f stop it is talk back to the flash go out it's just it's just power that's all it is really, really simple so when you kind of break it down like that, I think lighting is really easy if you really break it down I think is this is really great way to learn keeping it really, really simple and I love these lights so much that I have the guinness book of world records for the most camera flashes ever used to make a photograph so I had a dream that I would get a guinness book of world records and before after dark a conference that I had been teaching at I called them and I said I want to do a guinness book of world records at your event and he's like all right let's do it so I got these guys involved in radio popper involved they were awesome they provided me with one hundred thousand dollars in gear to do this the stunt and my original idea was that I wanted to like light up a stadium or have three hundred people hold it maybe we do something really creative and artistic and then I contacted guinness and they were like yeah, what we do is theme adjudicated will be standing next to you on dh he or she will say ok, are you ready to break the guinness book of world records and I say ok and I take one picture and hand the camera to them and let them count all three hundred acres so with that parameter kind of changes things a little bit like I'm not going to be lighting up stadiums or big landscapes are so my friend p came up with this idea he says, why don't we just build four panels and uh we'll take a picture with them so that's what we did pretty simple my friends have now called it the world's most expensive self portrait so it was it was funny but I now have a guinness broke the guinness book of world records next to this the guy who ate the most meatballs I'm pretty proud of that right um all right let's get into lighting that only took me what? Fifteen minutes? Ok, so one of the things that we discovered this's the part when you guys ask questions ok? Lighting so we only have this bag of light on dh I found that we were kind of doing the same things over and over again, but what if we create something where, you know, I was finding a lot of people who are getting into off camera lighting so they like you learn how to turn everything on and make it work now what am I supposed to do with it? So we started coming up with different things that we would do with the lights so like I make this joke like, if you don't know where to stick it, I'll show you where to stick it right and just specifically stick it in these places and do this on one of the things that I found, one of the things that I found was basic off camera light is just my lovely assistant basic off camera light is generally like rob come over for second sorry that comes there so basic off camera light is is these were shooting rob like this and the assistant or stand is holding it up like that and it looks like statue of liberty right? So that's the statue of liberty like I can say to my assistant or a groomsman if they're with us enough during the day go do the statue of liberty and they know to go over here and put up the light and that's what we call it so we started giving different lighting set ups if it thinks way started doing different lighting set ups and giving them new york names because we're new yorkers so um but then you know, just taking steps with it you know, one light set ups what can we do and I'm gonna do this live with you guys so it just kind of wanted to get through some different examples but what can we do with just the one light so instead of being you know off the record is of an angle on I don't use really technical terms like I'm not going to use different lighting examples it's on off go stand there stick it there um what right I call it's instead of power settings I say click up click down two clicks three clicks um but I mean here like all I'm doing is this is during the reception and I see this big chandelier and I'm like well that'll be nice we'll throw some light on that so I get in available life exposure and just bring the light around front left these two examples over here because I don't get it perfect, you know I'm not getting I'm not nailing it in the first exposure, I'm getting it close. So the first one, I'm completely over exposed and I say that karen knock it down three clicks and she gets it, daryn, she knocked it down that's three clicks there and I'm looking at him like it's. Still a little too hard now I said I didn't thanks karen, I said, no soft boxes, no stands, no, no, um, umbrellas were not going to do any of that so here's myself box it's a piece of diffusion on a piece of duct tape or gaffer's tape on dh. I bought a roll of this frumpy in nature at around. I don't remember ten years ago tried the same role. It was twenty dollars a piece of diffusion, and instead of using soft box, I just quickly take out a piece of garbage state do that and now I've got a softer life it's not a soft box, but what it is is it's a softer light and it's going to throw the light around kind of like bob what bob was showing you before with the with the tupperware this is a cooler piece of top where as far as how good third, yeah, thank you for asking a question in breaking the ice you're like, I'm not afraid to die. So anyway, my question for you is all these things that you're talking about with him saying and gaffer's tape in that, uh, if are you saying that we're basically requires that you've gotta have an assistant there with you? Because a lot of times my second shooter, I have been shooting, and so I end up having a to bring a stand along with me up with it, and yeah, I mean, for a wedding we will bring will break the rules, and we'll bring two stands, um, but if I don't, I'll just find a drunk rooms, men and pull them over and go stand over there and hold that light for mayor helpful bridesmaid, we'll help. Like I really like at this point, I've gotten really good at, you know, kind of throwing these lights around that I don't want to bring the stand. I want to work really, really fast and my earliest mentor, who I shot weddings for all the years used to say they don't judge you on how good you are, they judge you on how fast you are. So you're fumbling with your stuff. I don't care if you the most expensive photographer in the world, you cannot get its nobody's going to see that other than this guy doesn't know what he's doing. All right, so you could or find something to prop it up with or something like that. But let me well, generally bring a couple stands with us, but I hate well, you put the stand up somebody trips on it, you know, it's okay, if the trip on somebody so this just making it a little bit softer it's hot in here, all right, next one. Ok, outside here's a great example and this shows some of the limits of manual off camera flash. So I'm going to need a lot of light overpower the sun to pick up these nice dreary clouds in the background. My solution is not to shoot in the middle of the day, but that doesn't always work all the time. Sometimes you have to shoot the middle of the day, so I still want to create something that's. Nice. I'm gonna need to overpower that son. So instead of dragging an alien be or something like that, you can just come over and do it will take two lights with a piece of gaffer's tape struck him together put him on full power, and now I've got two lights, and if the two lights isn't enough with the four lights at full power on one of the neat things too is if we're outside and I know I'm going to be using it a lot. I'm gonna need, like half power or even quarter power because it's going to be some recycled time there? I don't bring battery packs his name too lazy to do that doers chargeable batteries that's got to be charged fresh batteries in there every time we're up two lights around and if I do it at half power quarter power in iraq, four lights together, I win the recycle really, really, really fast, a little bit of planning ahead of time, but I knew that we were gonna have to do a shot like this, so we wrap to together with a piece of duct tape straight up still statue of liberty on dh, you know, banged away and the one limitation with manual off camera flash is your sink shutter speed, so you're limited canon, nikon, sony, whatever actually don't know sony, canon and nikon you're limited to around two hundred thirty two to fiftieth of a second right as your top shot of speed so you don't have the advantage of using the speed lights to use high speed saying that's the one huge difference everybody understand that so that's the one huge difference if I was bringing alien beer a big light with me and have the same problem so you know those air those that that's the one limiting factor with it, but I try not to shoot in the middle of the day about what anyone barrick street, one of my favorites super easy superfast find someplace cool to shoot and I like tio think of these things is there like, a little lighting hand grenades? So I'm just going to throw in a corner over there and you know we'll have a little lighting explosion back care, right? So one light comes with way usually save all the gaffer's tape and wrap it in a little ball let's pretend and nothing sounds better than wait, hang on, nothing sounds better. I mean, how cool nothing, nothing sounds better than that. That is the coolest sound on the planet. I don't care who you are rolling gaffer's tape one one advice that I will get. Unfortunately, you do need to by the thirty two dollars roll gaffer's tape because otherwise that the glue doesn't come off on this, so, like when you wrap it around, if you buy the cheap home depot stuff, you're going to be very sorry because the glue is going to come off, but yeah, so it just can make see that so we'll just, you know, throw it on the ground and just, you know, I used that to prop it up, you know, a bog of gaffer state and throw it behind, you know, and this exposure for whatever it is like, who cares about what the power setting is? It just needs to be something close, it could be up by stop, it could be, uh, you know, it really doesn't matter what it is it's establishing the exposure for this and then I'm just using my on camera speed light straight out them in e t t l mode, so I'm using my speed light and more light behind them and I'm letting the speed light do the work for me in the ta also have to think about the light on my camera cause I'll be moving around doing different stuff I don't that power is going to change, and I let my camera do that work for me, the other stuff that's off the camera, I'm going to put manual and, you know, I have to do a little bit of thinking for that, so make sense on camera flash lighting, grenade over there, all right, no soft boxes let's say we do need to soft box what we discovered is I do a lot of talking about lighting, but my reflectors might go to thing if I can shoot a valuable light with a reflector on with that all day. But so that's one of those things that I have to have with me so we need a soft box every now and again you just you got to soften it up somehow right show instead of bringing of soft box with us we will you hold that theres are soft box so this will have to find somebody to hold it works is a great soft box and me part is is like different soft boxes are different. Soft boxes have different baffles in them and they have different different ways that their shadow is going full somewhat harder. So are softer, big ones are softer. But if I just do if I go from if I'm shooting carol let's say if I'm here it's gonna be harder from here it's going to be softer so I have lots of different soft boxes with just this one light right here, right? Um disadvantages somebody's gotta hold it. It's really kind of tricky toe to do that, but you know, more often than not there's usually at a wedding there's enough people to say, hey, come here, give me a hand can you help me on day usually behave a little bit more if they're helping you're doing something right or will grab you know, some homeless people off the street who have them hold stuff new yorkers are friendly, they'll hold stuff for us to so um like that so ok, we're in costa rica should be leading spent two days planning when we're going to do bridal portrait at nine thirty in the morning on the beach and we're here it's one o'clock in the afternoon so what are we going to d'oh? This is again one of those cases, so instead of shooting through it we had brought this reflector with us and it wasn't translucent, so we just bounced into it so bounce into it and back disadvantage of bouncing into it is you need a lot more power, so we're gonna need four lives at full power and what I'll say to them you know, four lights of full power is going to take fifteen seconds in between each flash, right? Especially if I don't have any battery packs but what I say to them is what we're here one o'clock where two hours late so you are punishment is you're going to have to wait fifteen seconds in between the shot you can do it's no big deal, you make it work right instead of bringing a ton of gear with me or freaking out and in this case like to do something nice for the reflector wasn't possible light was, you know, directly overhead there was no place to even bring that light back to them. So another another case where but you are stopped to the two hundredth of a second and I have to shoot it after ten which is not something that I want to do every day I want to shoot or more wide open um where this is where high speed sync would be super super advantageous at this point but I'm too cheap to buy six hundred dollars feed light so we're stuck with this valerie one of my favorites so with my heart new york's I kind of got this lighting inspiration from watching like hip hop videos where the lights always coming from behind these guys and you know they looked real cool and so you know what? Let me do that with my client so all I did is take two of those grenades put one here one there like him from behind again speed light on camera makes it to fill them in the front here and two lights on and this thing this shot here they're literally on the street I'm not gonna put two six hundred dollars speed lights on the street and get run over by a taxi and it's happened yeah, by the way little question in the meantime course where do you get your vote but where do you get your boat oh you know my mom is watching she got me this jacket for today thanks she uh bow ties you know I've been wearing them for a long time and then it's like he's now it's my gift I like gifts like it's the bow ties like I have a closet full of these bow ties that don't match any share it's like I found this shirt but I was really excited um do you want to know exactly where I got this one I think this one's from well gary cooper asked that but high terror um I'm sorry you had a question difference between the speed lights and the life that you're showing here that is a good question okay so speed likes the one made by canada and icon this is the one that I'm going to be able to use an tomo what kind of like the ones that bob was showing you before the's the ones I'm going to put on camera I don't even know if you can put these on camera like I don't know if it'll hurt the hot too if you put them on camera I don't think you can I think I think it hurts the hot shoe if you put these on your camera I could be wrong and I'm sure everybody in that shot for him right now is answering that question but this is what I'll use on camera and this is what I use off camera this one has the same power is this one but this one just just basic manual flash oh, one hundred seventy five dollars that I forget to mention that this flash is only one hundred seventy five dollars okay? And there are lots of companies that make it I'm trying not to be too plugging because there are lots of companies that make inexpensive flashes. This one is great and I specifically know they only have a few of these left so there's other options visitar there's I think it's I don't you know there's a lot or you could go out and buy like zack always recommends like an inexpensive old spiel life like an old nikon speed like those who work to it doesn't matter I like these though she used a diffuser on those even with the l p s I see you have them on there through this diffuser on here yeah, yeah I always leave this on because this is really nice that happens here. I don't know what that is like. This diffuse is really missing the soft they're likely to lose a little bit of power we d'oh d'oh and it's it's generally not too much of an issue I guess we haven't in like the bright sunlight situation will pull them off and I have a friend you just hate the battery door comes off I think you know we might see something new from them sometime soon but I can't say they won't even tell may stinks any other questions I have one more slide will get tow lighting stuff all right my favorite we call avenue a or a k a the ghetto ring flash and that this one is super super easy um you ready to do this it's camera so right, so right here I'll be taking the picture and she's doing this theme that's the whole lighting on we're going to do that with live it's it definitely like if you learn nothing from me today, you could take that one home with you on what we'll do with that and you'll see it kind of gives this ring flash effect and what we I started using it for is like in the case of this couple, this is like, perfect this is this gritty urban location this isn't like the middle of the day, so I had to get rid of all of the available light and just kind of blasted so that kind of has that look to it, but I mean, I could have tried to ring flash with me to create this it would have been a great shot, but man, I'm so proud of myself to do that, which is the two lights just, you know, ghetto like that and weigh started using this lighting set up like the end of the wedding way inevitably you know your contractor for ten hours and it's nine hours and forty five minutes in that bride is not going to let you go home and tell your ten hours are up so you need to find something to do for fifteen minutes so what we started doing is like driving drunk people at the bar and bringing them up against the wall and doing all these goofy pictures with these this catering flash look and you know we'll bang off fifty or sixty of these little shots and they love him because they like this kind of little unique candids super easy to do it's always the same thing and I'll share with you always with my fifty millimeter lens always I so six forty it's like ten feet away and it's five point six it's always the same so it's like the wall if that's the wall there I'm here she's standing here I fit as many people as I can in my fifty millimeter lens and it's the same exposure it's easy every time and now at every time super easy alright russians doinit all right let's get to work way yeah online oh sorry I think someone was asking from hank let's see? So we have a question from w r photo jason that was talking about if you heard your beach lite which what are your beat shot? Um if you've got the reflector, why not shoot white open with a faster shutter speed and use the reflector toe bounce light in you gonna make me think ok let's go back so here why not shoot more wide open? But I don't think that's his basic question, so I'm stuck too my ceiling of that shutter speed in manual off camera flash so I can't really go much above to fiftieth of a second, so I haven't had another fiftieth of a second to work with there and I'm at low is hot on s so I don't really like going below one twenty five on my five d mark to, um I just my preference and I also don't like going above two hundredth of a second I just have found some weirdness that goes on between two and two fiftieth probably my camera I don't ask questions like it doesn't work, I just make it work so two hundredth of a second I'm down on my highest shutter speed lowest I so only thing left to determine is my half stop so that's, why that's why I'm not now there is a couple of things that I have added to my kit bag like uh variable andy filter and we tried it in this shot and all of the pictures were out of focus I don't know why, but when you start stopping down it's harder for the lens to focus. So that's one thing I need to play with that more. But that is an option. You could use a circular polarizer would knock down a stops. You could go toe where? Ten do you go, teo? Eight or five? Six. Like, if you start doing stuff like that, you can pull it away. But every time you do something like that's another thing to fumble with it's another thing to kind of, you know, take away from it so that it was also really hot and we're lazy, you know? So were mad that were out there. Want to talk in the afternoon, so yeah, one more question from the wise before speaking about keeping a year simple. So on these sort of shoots, how many lenses you bring with you? What are you doing? Ok, it's a good question. I always shoot with three lands is twenty four. Fifty, eighty five l siri's lenses. I have the twenty four to seventy. I have the seventy, two hundred. They're great lenses. I started with earlier, like the fifty one for the eighty five one eight and kind of graduated to those three primes, and then I just discovered, like again it's super lightweight to just have those three lenses and I don't really need anything else just those three lenses all day long I actually shoot with fifty all day long and at some point or another let college probably changed lenses just change things up a little bit here but I'll use the eighty five from portrait ce generally I use that just a little bit and then the twenty four all used for dancing pictures all night long so I don't really find that and they're super sharp lenses I really like the quality life it comes quality of the image that I get from those three primes and it wasn't a hard transition for me going being this old timer who shot with prime lenses like when I started shooting resumes and I moved to thirty five millimeter film house I call my god this is amazing I could stand here and shoot the whole wedding like this soon in and out all day long although that was great but going back to crimes after shooting medium format and thirty five millimeter actually meeting for that was all prime so like that transition was really easy from may our feet making great great zoom lenses fantastic all right anybody else had just me and like sweating like a hostage of here all right rob let's start with the statue of liberty thirty two minutes need a trigger starting simple way if we were in here we have this nice lighter. And bob said it before, like there was really not a lot to do, but we'll make it work. Come on over. How do we give them a hand thing? I mean, the first thing that I would do is I would look around for what a valuable I like what's. The best life I could, you know, work with here and let's kind of play over by this window over here. So you guys come over here let's, try and make some pretty shots out of this, right? Right. There's get closer. And the big thing for me and I think with learning howto ad, whether it's ah, video light or off camera light or any kind of light is just figuring out what you got to work with first and that's a really, really important step in doing it. So do not connect this until you know what's in here. Like, what do you got here? This is great light here. Every wedding has something that's nice or portrait working on the street. There's always something to find, and I usually start if I know that I don't have that the high shutter speed to deal with, I'll just start an aperture priority going to goto. Let's say four hundred s o two point eight and just being off one quick shot of these guys all right, all right, go for karen always want to make it so just looking at that ok? So let's say this is the light this's the best background we got right? We have this these windows here there's no sun coming in but you know, we've got a little edge of light coming on these guys right here so what needs to be added here if they they're like that so the lights kind of falling you need stay just like that bringing heads a little they like that get still working so working with that right and again the lights nice things to look for, like there's a little bit of light falling on her nose right there so getting rid of that before even add anything else so bring heads to, uh, together like that and turn your face that way a little bit good. All right? And that just kind of helps solve any problems that we might have to begin with and then we'll add our off camera lights so I got rid of that nasty thing on earth knows before on dh now I I'd like to that so here's what I'm thinking like we need some light over here maybe add a little kicker over here bring it from behind them and that'll be the start to the statue of liberty so carol come come from over there I think you should be so now I've established exposure I'm it one six forty eighth of a second that's not gonna work cm still still fumble with it I have to go back so one, six forty and I got to go back to two hundred second I can't believe it separates really bright in here let's do that again all right two hundred five six, two hundred five six because again a ceiling with our shutter speed and it really isn't that breaking and that's amazing I'm gonna lock my exposure at this point you have two hundred five six and the reason that I go from aperture or in this case I just went to shutter priority because I knew that my shutter speed would be up around two hundredth of a second is I just need to know what the f stop is I figured out with my eyes so is I need to know what the f stop is so two hundred five six once I know that I'm going to go to manual, this isn't going to change right? And I'm going to get consistent exposures and that's what it's about for me like figuring out available light exposure, then bang out a bunch of exposures that are not going to change because if I let the meter and my camera do all the work for me. I want to wind up with a bunch of different exposure especially if I move up or move down or they move you know I want all exacts come around from behind so statue of liberty and again sometimes it's just a guess I'm thinking considering so bright. Probably half power half hour right about there on dh. Okay, good. So that's too bright and I usually I usually will get it within two clicks. So this is way too bright, bright burning them up over here. And I'm just gonna tell karen go down two clicks or just back up a little bit, carry out right? The first time I usually should just listen to her good, good and that's not bad looking at that. I went from that to this and now I just got a little kick here. Now it actually looks like that maybe there's a little sunlight coming in the window, right? And I could do a couple things here like I'm looking on the back of the camera. It looks a little dark in the front. I could add on camera flash, which I'll d'oh, so I'll just add on camera flash and I'll move instead of keeping the radio popper on my hot shoe I'll move it up here and plug in on the side of my camera instead and that's going to be really hard. There we go, lots of velcro, good velcro and I'm going to keep this in the tl mode and I like to use this little diffuser on top. I don't care what it is again, it could it really doesn't matter, but I like because it's small and it is kind of intrusive and it's still throws light around a lot and I mean the gto that's a lot better that's gonna be hard to see out here, but just filling in their face a little bit, right? So I went from oh, I went from that to bright to that or that dega. Thank you. So just, you know, and for me, it's about working the shot, adding a little bit of something, something from what we already have been filling it in if I needed to and then, you know, dialing it in nailing it and then going from there banging off real quick so once where it's something like that. You know, we've got a nice shot there. We can work all day, we'll meet you, become pictures of you, put your arms around is like around his neck like that, just look at each other and again, I'm still paying attention toward the lightest so like I see the light on his face is a little bit too much I either need to get some light on her face of just turning them a little bit good I'm getting a little more light on her face and where is that coming from? There okay, this'll wait right there and these guys are really they're so hot that you know, they're not hard to shoot right there easy camera loves these guys, right? So, you know, I'm just like I could just sit here and they're easy don't you guys like these every day, right? Good let's just look at me not to you it's all about her good, good now that you see here like that, that little thing on our noses that she's turning face that where they've got good, okay, so that's one questions, no questions awesome that's not so bad, right? And, you know, we can can just keep looking in the back of the camera with karen, we can move her around different places, it's just adding a little something too. You know, great life that's already there. A lot of times we'll be shooting outside in the shade how many times you don't like a family portrait or just bridal party pictures and you find a nice shaded spot you being away a bunch of shots it looks great in the camera you bring it back and it looks really soft it's like not really sharp just by adding a little bit of off camera light or even this for that matter just by adding a little bit is going toe completely it's going to snap up your image a lot so when you bring it into post it's going to give you much sharper, sharper image on dh this is kind of along the same lines so you have all of this great by adding a different quality light, you're going to create something a little different so let's do one more over here, so taking taking like what I was showing you before it will do like that bowery shot that I was talking about the guys a little closer good on dh I want change lenses without anything and tim, you grab one of those lights too no let's get somebody from the audience who wants to hold the light. Come on, you ask the first question who was the other person that asked a question? You can come over here show where go so carrie knows I we've worked together she I said we're gonna do bowery show her about yeah way have a third light my goal is to get all those lights out of the bag and he's off all of them if I can see why that up uh let's get one more so I'm going to actually turn this one off and I'm gonna use an off camera light over here so let's use one more statue of liberty over here so I'll say you know, to room lights and and the statue of liberty and she'll know what to do exposure should be about the same kid and once I've kind of established what I've got in the room it's easy the light's distance is going toe stay the same and you know, I look at that and like the life a little too hard on rob so I'm just gonna either dial them down or just tell him to back up a little bit no wonder the lighting that I'm showing you is it is not perfect light it's ghetto quick light so again those people in the chat room cannot make fun of this ghetto lighting it's ghetto lighting that's what it's supposed to be it's not supposed to be perfect it's meant to be something a little bit different that's a little fun that we're doing really really, really quickly okay and we're just tweaking it a little bit I think that was too much would you do that was too much come back back to sixteen actually that's not too bad but yeah ok, good yeah that's perfect so good it's nice because you know we're picking up some of the some of the city escape in the background that's kind of cool let's do a couple more so here's one thing like I'm noticing ok I want to make it better and I called good better great like good lighting to start with better lighting if I have time to tweak it great light if they give me the time to do it so now I'll just tweak it and I want to get that light off of her nose so where is that coming from? It's coming from her over there so just come back a little bit more that way good cheer so nervous that's funny. Yeah, very good, right? I want you guys to look like I pissed off this car. Yeah, your best get yeah that's better now I got rid of that that that light shadow on her nose right there still there a little bit but it's much better okay, so um turned to each other actually, you know what? Hold hands just hold hands good. And while I'm fumbling with the lights a good thing is, you know, what's kind of knew what to do with the I heart new york says, you know, working with couples in a full day of shooting is that I'm learning how they work with each other if you have ever noticed like some couples hold hands really well together. Some couples don't want a kiss like you learn all these little quirks and then I'll come home and I'll make notes like couple does not like to kiss or, you know, has awkward smile don't smile or something like that, like all right, little notes that I remember, but since they're spending the day working with may they come the wedding day, I can fall back into those same poses that I really liked and just makes a quicker, better, easier and after I've given them a great one, one of the great, um, solutions to another problem as a result of doing these, I heart new york's I always like to take the couple out do some shots during the wedding is a nighttime shots just something different that we haven't done all day? And you get this point where, you know, you go up to him and you say, hey, you know, I love to do some shots and lobby, what do you think they're like? Oh no, I'm doing tequila shots, I'm not going outside is that happens, right? So what I find is after doing these I heart new york's and giving them these great shots and great images is the cooperation that I get on the wedding day. I show up your hero you've you've shared this adventure with them you're friends with them you nobody wants to say no to their friends like you're going to say no to made like you're not going to say no right? So as a result of building this relationship with them I get this much more cooperation on the wedding day which is kind of neat yeah how do I pitch the I heart new york's no I don't like doing anything for free e yeah they do they do it was definitely challenge so I currently charged between you know what? I'm not given the number it's not important I currently charged a couple thousand dollars for the engage in session and it's still not enough money but I'm getting a significant amount of money for something that nobody in the cities is charging anything for. So for me I feel like, you know, I'm doing something that's keeping me really charge I'm making some money on it and I'm doing something that that was the big challenge howto why do something that nobody else is doing like everybody else gives it away for free? How am I gonna get my clients to charge for that and you know producing great images helps showing them guest books helps and it was kind of like baby steps, you know? I did a little bit of this and a little bit of that and you know, the way I pitch it to them is I don't pitch because the first thing that guy's going to say this is actually really great question first thing the guys and say, like, oh my god, I'm going to spend eight hours with this fight's over here shooting pictures with him like, are you kidding me? Like that was the big challenge? Honestly, like that was the the big like hurdle that I needed to go the way I pitch it is it's, not it's, not unengaged session it's an adventure it's a day in the city, it's a day that it's a date that we plan together, that you don't have to do any other work to do and there's a lot of things that will do. We'll ask them questions, you know? Do you like to go to bars or pub? So we'll goto pubs instead of going to, you know, ah, little club or something like that, it will stop. We honestly spend most of our time drinking than doing pictures. And then along the way, we take some pictures and that's kind of how I pitch it to them like it's kind of like, you know, beer pong. With photography but once you kind of put it that way but who's going to say note about yeah actinlike to the bowery for a second because it's hard to see behind the screen can you just tell us how you're having is where you aiming your statue of liberty lighting straight? So I'm taking to say it's the statue of liberty it's just like the reverse statue of liberty, so instead of being three quarters of an angle off to the tow one side or the other they're just coming around behind them you see hair like dreaming it scheming it's a kick your skinny to kicker lights but I'm trying to skim it one way or the other yeah, if you do have if you do have valves or voice activated light stands holding your lights you do have to pay attention to groomsmen were like, you know, pointing their pointing it at the career home you do have to baby sit the valves a little bit so yeah, all right, one more let's do the catering flash so generally you need to find a fifteen minutes you need to find some sort of light colored background so let's try this white wall of your first can you just remind us again if you're using manual settings for the flash versus tl and how that's also when the speed lights on my camera ninety nine percent of the time it's t ell unless it decides it doesn't want to do its job that day that I will flip it to manual the off camera lights are always manual they don't do it tio just do on off eighth power quarter power sixteenth hours something like click click click click up to full power and then you're triggering them and I'm triggering that here here to their perfect thank you okay yes so scope against this wall over here you gotta get you got to get real close to the wall so the shadow falls onto the wall itself she actually got almost be leaning up against the wall without it's like the showcase showdown the thing's gonna fall down over there fourth wall what if you put your hands up on his shoulders yeah and you know we'll wait up all right that's what I was doing so I have like this can't dislike off okay so I'm just gonna make sure because it's a lot of lights I need to get rid of all of this light first so I'm actually gonna do without flash first that one doesn't count so two hundred sixty three I need to get rid of some of that life that's going to be hard that's try two hundred for ok so I'm going to find an exposure just trying to get rid of that light two hundred it's really awkward okay, so there's barely any light there now and I just let it come up on camera first getting rid of all the light I'm two hundred feet so that exposure that I gave you before that I said it's same every time all the time that kind of flew out the window all right, but there's still some light in there you're gonna need to go so we're normally lowest power you need to go up one or two clicks yeah? Or one sixteenth already I need more power so the light looks a lot better here. The light falls around all the way around and kind of gives it z distinctive look a little bit darker background would be better but, you know, once we kind of established that exposure and a one, two hundred f eight to give it a light in the room I so on twenty five um well, bang off a bunch of shots so like, let me grab who asked questions I want to come up again come on, I want to keep you away back there fighting for right now. But so remember what I was saying about the drunk people before that I grabbed from the barn just to some candids with I'm going to grab these two guys and you're going to go over by these guys get up against the wall and you're just gonna like you're having a good time give you give each other a hug everybody has good tequila shot yeah not just paying off a bunch of shots give him a kiss good I don't like saying what I do is I find it like the ugliest wall in the hotel that I could find with a tana patterns on it as long as it's a light color and it'll just I just kind of a fun way it's almost like a photo booth a lot like a photo booth but I'm just I'm making a ghetto photo booth like on the spot like well there's a wall let's shoot there and I'll bang off eighty five or ninety of those exposures and if if the crowd is fun enough I'll give them the camera let them shoot some two once yeah exactly for that are you zooming the flash at all when you're way rarely will zoom that in unless we kind of wanted to spot which is great because that's where we're going next um what sometimes we'll zoom it in what's kind of interesting about these lights is they're all that different from this it has a slightly it has a much wider I don't know why but it's like ten or fifteen degrees wider than this light is it's a slightly bigger head so sometimes we will zoom it in but the problem when he zooming in it focuses the light so it makes the effect that it's actually more power even though it's not because you're kind of concentrating that life so again I try and keep it simple and just leave it zoomed out all the time but sometimes we do need to kind of focus that light a little bit I'm gonna do one more and see if I could make it work in this room did you get our coffee cups excellent so we needed we need a zoom we need a grid spot or some sort of did you cut the holes in it? This's tim everybody come on so I want to make some sort of little spot and I don't have I don't bring a little grid spot so I want to make a little snoot and I happened to have some coffee cup from the wine I was drinking before I started this program on dh take some gaffer's tape oh, there it is. Now listen to sound how cool is this out? Another better just tape it on there like that. This is really get how also do you think your clients are going to think you are for doing this? Like what? That's a coffee cup. Now, if I needed more narrow zoo, we're now I just do that all right kind of like a magician like pull a rabbit out of my hat over here come over here you can find anywhere you can find these in the back of the room over there. I'll sell this one to you, chief, if you want. All right, uh, so come actually go up against the window over there. So what I want to try and do is block out some of the available light that we have and just kind of put, like, a little spot on our face. All right, so put your arms around his neck and I want your face to be, like, up here. So again, still the statue of liberty. But you're gonna be right there. What I want to try and do is is focused that light that's all I'm doing I'm focusing the light on them that air if you're so good it's on now. All right, so we'll probably around that same exposure actually turn turn your body this way so I could see your face better. Good. Rotate your body that could get there once you face it to be like up here. Good. Nice goods were two hundred feet that's way too dark. And I'm just going off the exposures now. Two hundred. I have nightmares about doing stuff like this live everybody seeing my camera. Two hundred five six that's driving anymore power where were you before? When a so she's gonna get it was it's not enough flights I'm asking her to double the light that's all all right good getting closer yeah swifter preaching a little bit okay, so that's way too much you got closer and it's not falling in the right spot so what I'm gonna ask you to do is to kind of get rid of some of this light over here so it's just falling on her I don't know if I want to be able to do with the coffee cup but we'll see we'll try good thank you that's all right that's fine. Um let's make that a little there are good that works that's about a half a stop good and okay, so it's still too much next thing we'll do is this falling on them and I'm just gonna ask you instead of pointing it right at her I'm going to ask you I'm sorry I'm gonna ask you years he's like uh um that's why you moved the screen? Um I'm gonna ask you to feather it so instead of just putting up come over here for the camera but put the carol so she's good you think she's gonna instead of pointing it right at them she's going to actually turn it or what like a feather it away from them, and then take her hand to block it off on the bottom. So feather and gobo way. No, you're good. Now zooming. Now I'm gonna ask you to zoom in a little bit of focus that little bit good, good. All right, one more, one more. I'm gonna open up a little bit, good, all right, it's almost there. Not perfect, but I've really focused that light, so if they were, if we were on the city streets like we originally talked about when they asked me to do creative, lithe were on the city streets. What would happen is this light would fall. This light would be falling off on her, and I would love to do something that light is actually really nice on them, um, and it's kind of concentrated. And it's. Not falling everywhere else. So it's not falling behind them. It's not going to fall on the ground. A lot of times I'll use a little grid spot when I'm like out in the field. Some place and nobody ever noticed, like the like, just falls all over the place on the grass like this is will focus that light in, um and you could keep that coffee cup in your bag if you want on dh. From that, I'll add two that's. All add one more light to that. How much time? Four minutes. Questions on that let's. Have one more quick thing to ten. Come over here. We'll add a little hair light to that. And, tim, you come over there notice when it comes up on screen, when I add that hair light, all this lights gonna be falling all over the place of that background. Those things are good. Ready? Lowest power. Good. Could even fire. Okay, get closer. Closer. Good, good. Okay, so, it's, just and I have them down to little little a little bit of light there. I'm just building on the shot good, better great. Good light, better light, great lights on. And, you know, just by doing a couple of those things, um, that's, terrible that's close, we could tweak that. Say that whatever she could fix it in post, it actually looks really good here, actually. So couple of questions. Yeah, I just had a question. If you were an actual photo shoot with clients and the light doesn't work, how you want it, will you continue to try the same polls over and over until you get it right? Would you move to it? Well, you mean, if you're just not getting it? Like I was over there at a certain point, you just got to give in. I mean, I don't get it. I'm not perfect all the time. The key to doing like all these little multiple lights set ups is practice, and I learned a lot of these things by going out doing these I heart new york, so every time I would go out, I would try a different lighting, set up for a different grid spot or put the lights in a different spot, and you will find that, you know, you will kind of get it after a while, and a lot of times, like carol, measure out using your feet. Sometimes we call it shoestring tio instead of tea. Also just kind of measuring one, two, three, four, seven feet is usually, you know, good spot, if you, you know, take half that distance down, but yeah, I mean, every now and again, we're not perfect. You just your brain's not working. And you just kind of say, yeah, it looks great. Let's. Move on. Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is distracting, but, um, again, good. Better. Great. So we want available. I what I would do in that situation, I just throw my speed light on and grab a bunch of shots and then be done. Yeah, I have a couple of questions online or several. We know we just have a couple of minutes left. But a question from fashion tv in singapore asks jason, are there situations you will get your subjects toe hold this lead bites to create some cool effects. Any practical tips? So the people holding the speed like mary instructions to give them yeah, what? What you might do with somebody actually having actually having something all the lights themselves. Oh, yeah. I mean, well, incorporate the shots. Um if you go to my side, you'll see some of them were not afraid to incorporate the actual light in the shot so there's actually the highlight on down the street here I've done a few times where I have this like a square like this really cool sculpture that's lit up and I'll actually have hold the light out like this and I'll go shoot across street them holding the light um we'll also use the same lighting set ups for the reception, which I don't really get teo bob cover that before for the reception, but we'll leave them like let's say it's an indian wedding and doing like their little the bollywood type dances I'll leave those lights and shoot into those lights and it just kind of creates this little more dramatic lighting setup to so yeah definitely and like I said, you know, our clients do um kind of get into this lighting with us so they kind of remember like, cool, we're going to do the valerie too like the letter, you know? So they remember that stuff okay? I think we have time for maybe one last question from someone in the audience to have one last question yeah, I was just wondering do you ever use a light meter and for the high speed saying, I've got a really good price on my taconic last year when I saw that I think using a light meter is a great way to learn you know what your flashes air doing and, you know, measuring ambient light um I think it's a great tool toe have I just again doing everything so ghetto like that just doesn't fit in my little my little kid back there it's already exploding as it is I gotta put that coffee cup in there we're gonna put this way we're going to put the psychotic yeah, so but I do think that a good light meter and there's lots of old people out there like me selling their old light meters like you probably pick him up real cheap, but I think it's a good way to learn and I think manual off camera lighting is if you if you I kind of mastered that, um I think moving to eat detail, lighting or complicated lighting you I think learn how the light is being bent and learn how things are going, I always make jokes like, how does that flash know how much power to put out its talking to this person and that person and it's this and how does it know? I don't even know like you saw, I don't even know how does it know all right, I think that's about all the time we have jason, thank you so much