Skip to main content

photo & video

Darkness in an Urban Environment: Managing Light on the Streets

Lesson 3 of 9

Working with Models: Etiquette and Considerations

Joe McNally

Darkness in an Urban Environment: Managing Light on the Streets

Joe McNally

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

3. Working with Models: Etiquette and Considerations

Lesson Info

Working with Models: Etiquette and Considerations

We're gonna be working tonight with models. Models are wonderful because they know what they're doing in front of the camera. You don't have to be pulling teeth, and telling people what to do with their hands, and coaching them along. Theoretically anyway, the model is going to kind of work with you and project the mood that you want them to project. So you have to think of yourself at the camera as a little bit of a film director, and they're in your movie and you want to create a mood. So we're gonna have a male and a female. And obviously the light is gonna be different. The male is kind of angular, dark hair, he's got that Pierce Brosnan scruff going on, and all that sort of stuff. I haven't met him yet, but I'm thinking that he could handle a hard light pretty well. I'm not gonna do that to our female model. Probably light her a little softer, maybe try to do something approaching a glamour or beauty light out here on the street in an impromptu way. So definitely the quality of li...

ght that I'm gonna bring for the two characters, or individuals, in front of my lens tonight is gonna vary with those particular individuals. I'll make my specific choices later on when I actually see them, and get up front with them, and kind of sort them out. One of the things you have to do, even with a professional model, is make them comfortable. Keep them safe, make them comfortable, give them breaks, give them water. Your talent in front of your lens is your most valuable resource, so you have to take care of them. Treat them well, treat them like human beings, don't kind of fuss with your f-stops endlessly while they're out in the middle of the street, you know, dodging traffic, pay attention.

Class Description

In this exclusive class, join legend Joe McNally, on the streets of New York to see how to bring light to one of the busiest and most dynamic backgrounds. He'll walk through how to prep your gear, scout for locations, direct your models, and incorporate flash to make your subject stand out on the city streets. He'll discuss how to set your exposure and plan your shot to achieve the "bokeh" look of the city glow behind your model. Learn tips for planning your shoot so you're within the city regulations as well as techniques to help work through any troubles you may have while on location. Gain the confidence and know-how to photograph your subjects with flash in what can seem like an impossible environment.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Janis Shetley

This behind the scenes class is great for those that already have a solid understanding of how to use their flash off camera. I really learned a lot watching Joe work with the models, seeing where he put the flashes, where he stood, how he framed the shots, how he had the models move - especially in the "movement" segment. The three light segment was also interesting - I would have never tried putting the reflector on the pavement with a flash firing into it - so cool. If you need detailed instructions on using your flash and camera - this is not the class for you. If you want ideas on how to get the most out of your flashes on the street - this is it. Great class. Plus Joe is just a great teacher and fun to listen to for 90 minutes!

Benjamin Lehman

One of Joe's most magnificent qualities is his ability to be *real* while teaching a class: Is everything going haywire, or are there troublesome problems that are challenging to overcome? Joe doesn't shy away letting you, the student, realize that even the pros have to deal with constant, unexpected problems. His other strength is showing you how to persevere and overcome those hurdles; and one of those biggest hurdles all photographers run up against time and time again - Light! Joe will go down in modern history as the father of small (and large) flash photography. He's not afraid to use the entire US output of flash watt seconds on a single photo, but he's also quick to remind us that flash is a tool, and not a crutch. This was a great course for those photographers who want some experience out on the street before ever leaving their house. As you grow and learn more about your camera and what it means to be a photographer, you can always come back to a class like this and learn new things that may have seemed alien to you the first go-around.

fbuser 4d17acbc

I like the class. It is a good primer for getting an idea of some of the things that you need to think about when you are doing a night shoot. This is a quicky class Joe just touches on a bunch of stuff so you don't get a lot meat and potatoes on this class, but I found it helpful. Worth the cost.