Advertising Vs. Editorial


Environmental Portrait Photography


Lesson Info

Advertising Vs. Editorial

Advertising verse editorial. So this has nothing to do with the retouching. It has nothing to do with a lot of the stuff we talked about, but I just wanna kinda lighten it up and go on a different topic to end this chapter before we move on to another shoot and I know it has to do a lot with the questions I get. So for one, for those of you asking, editorial would be the magazines and the subject, this is how I compare what I'm shooting, as far as environmental portraits. I meant to address this earlier, but when I'm shooting for magazines or even personal work, it's more subject-oriented meaning I let the person kind of tell the story. I'm more focused on who I'm dealing with because if it's a real, I mean we're all real people, but if you're shooting the owner of a business, that's not a model, that's a real person. So I let them tell the narrative or kind of supplement the story or even drive the story because I want to capture them in their environment, I want them to be comfortabl...

e. I want all those elements to feel authentic and if you let them kind of drive and not be real pushy, you'll get the shots you want and you'll be a lot happier with the results because they'll look real, where on the other hand, with advertising, those images are used to sell a service or a product or whatever. Advertising images sell things. So I'm not so concerned with having the person drive the story. It might be more product driven. It might be, what's the story of this, whatever the product, service, or mood they're trying to sell, so it's more of a way of how do I direct the subject to get that vibe more so than let the model take control. So, for instance, I was doing a shoot last week for a company that sells wine. And it was kind of environmental portraits with the beach and it was actual models, it wasn't so much people who work, who enjoy the wine or who make the wine, so we needed to get the models in the right frame of mind to tell that story. So it's almost coming up with fake scenarios of, oh you're with your friends and your boyfriend's walking up the beach and, you know, it's not that they're actually living this moment. They have to act it out so they're almost acting more as actors than models, but we're creating an environmental portrait that's almost based on a false narrative to get an authentic look and you really have to strive to get there and convince people that it's real whereas the man standing in the butcher shop with the meat, I don't have to tell him what a butcher does, he knows, he's been doing it for 50 years. So that story tells itself where some of these other ones with advertising, to get an authentic look, it takes a little extra level of production and convincing and planning to try and get, it's like if these people don't know how to do the task that's done in, let's say you were doing an ad for a lawn mowing company and you had someone out raking leaves and they had never raked leaves before. Well, there's some really wrong ways to hold a rake and other people will look at that image and be like, that is not real. So it's getting in there and convincing people to think it's real even if it's not a real scenario, but also having the smarts to be able to research it and I said the same thing earlier with the fly fishing. It's important for you as the photographer to know how to rake leaves or how to fly fish. If you're gonna photograph that person because if they're doing it wrong, it's not right and I actually just saw an ad on the airplane out here in a magazine and it's someone golfing. And I love golf, so I know how to swing a golf club and how it should be swung. And it's an ad of someone swinging a golf club and they're in the stance to swing, clearly the photographer nor the model was a golfer because I'm looking at this and I'm like, that's gonna be the worst golf shot ever, like they have no idea. But I wasn't thinking from that, the terms of this talk, I was just thinking in terms of flipping through the pages, I was like, that guy is brutal at golf, why is he in this ad? But it's because I like to be familiar, even if I have no idea what the content that's being pitched for an ad or for a shoot, I want to go research the heck out of it so that way no one looks at my photo and is like, wow, this guy has no idea about fly fishing or golfing or raking leaves. I want it all to make sense whether it's sports or sewing or who knows what. I want to know the terms so then I can talk about it one-on-one with the subject whether it's, again, a real person or a model so we can come up with the real, authentic-looking photo that kinda, it ties together that entire environmental portrait scene, whether it's editorial or advertising. And again, these have different goals, they have collaborative differences like I said, how you're working with the model, and they have a different approach but they all come together and that's why I think having personal work that is authentic will help you get hired, but when you are trying to get hired, be prepared to know how to recreate those moments without the authenticity because people are gonna wanna see that in the image.

Class Description

Are most of your portrait sessions in an environment other than a studio? Learn to light your subject in any setting through simple techniques that lead to dynamic photos. Editorial photographer and lighting expert, Dan Brouillette teaches how to work in and shape light for any environment (indoors or outdoors) while creating a workflow that allows you to work independently and quickly. You’ll learn:

  • How to light in a variety of portrait scenarios
  • The benefits of tethering while shooting
  • Quick lighting solutions to enhance your shot on set
  • Culling techniques and post processing tactics to create high end images and portfolios

By incorporating light in new and inventive ways, Dan will help you push the boundaries of your portraits and improve your workflow. It’s time to work on your skills and expand your creativity to attract the clientele you’ve always wanted to have. 


Julie V

I had the chance to sit in the audience for this class and absolutely loved it. Watching Dan create amazing images from start to finish in front of us was so inspiring. I've learned so much from this class. It actually gave me the confidence to start playing with lights in my studio. It was really useful to see how he sets his lights and how he can easily mix ambient light with artificial. I also love how he focuses on getting the image right in the camera to only do light edits after. I recommend this class to anyone wanting to learn more about lighting, shooting tethered and editing efficiently!

Rita Carmo

I do this kind of Photography for almost 20 years (previously in film, obviously). I can see myself exactly in all that Dan is teaching. Congrats! It is so great to see that, (almost) on the other side of the globe, we can work exactly the same way :)

Terry Hammond

The information given so far is so valuable! Dan is so relateable and shares personal experiences that I personally connect with! He shares information that I thought would be a stupid idea; a perfect example being taking a notebook onto shoots with things to remember. Dan even said that sometimes he also goes mind blank on set, so the notebook keeps him grounded. Love this guy!!