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Environmental Portrait Photography

Lesson 26 of 48

Advertising Vs. Editorial

Dan Brouillette

Environmental Portrait Photography

Dan Brouillette

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Lesson Info

26. Advertising Vs. Editorial
Editorial work and advertising work have several distinct characteristics. Learn the difference between the two and how to please both types of clients.


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:06:15
4 Personal Work Duration:18:36
5 Find Your Process Duration:20:20
6 Tethering Duration:18:35
7 Purpose For Action Editorial Duration:05:19
8 Prepare for Shoot Duration:06:10
9 Action Editorial Process Duration:11:27
10 Set Up Action Editorial Shoot Duration:12:43
12 Studio Portrait Shoot Overview Duration:05:58
18 Shoot: Action Shots In Studio Duration:04:00
19 Review Images in Capture One Duration:14:54
20 Raw Processing Duration:05:24
21 File Handling Duration:05:19
22 Retouching & Color Overview Duration:05:45
23 Retouch Images in Capture One Duration:11:37
24 Retouch Images in Photoshop Duration:07:00
25 Retouch Images With Presets Duration:27:40
26 Advertising Vs. Editorial Duration:04:49
27 Indoor Location Shoot Duration:13:12
28 Indoor Location Shoot Process Duration:11:19
29 Get to Know Your Subject Duration:13:12
30 Test & Frame Your Shot Duration:10:44
31 Create Natural Light Duration:24:33
34 Indoor Shoot Results Duration:19:00
35 Outdoor Location Shoot Goals Duration:16:51
36 Indoor/Outdoor Light Setup Duration:17:27
37 Studio Light On Location Duration:09:56
38 Create Location Portrait Duration:11:41
39 Outdoor Shoot Results Duration:13:26
40 Post Processing Overview Duration:08:42
44 Portfolio Management Duration:28:13
45 Importance of Website Duration:17:55
46 Marketing 101 Duration:18:51
47 What About Reps? Duration:05:54
48 Bring it All Together Duration:10:52

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


  • Confidently create environmental portraits
  • Light any portrait, indoors or outdoors
  • Compose strong environmental portraits
  • Cull and polish high-end images in post
  • Develop a portfolio and marketing tactics


Create dramatic images anywhere by mastering on-location scouting, planning, lighting, and composition. Join professional photographer Dan Brouillette in a start-to-finish course on the art of environmental portraits. From planning and scouting to post-processing and portfolio building, gain the skills to shoot high-end portraits, anywhere. While designed for environmental portrait work, this class is also for any photographer that wants to create better light, on location.

In this light-intensive course, learn how to craft environmental portraits using photographic lighting techniques working with both natural light and studio lighting equipment. Work with multi-light strobe set-ups and natural window light to turn difficult lighting conditions into beautiful light. Then, learn how to mix natural light and studio lights for dramatic effects that complement the scene. By incorporating light in new and inventive ways, Dan will help you push the boundaries of your portraits and improve your workflow.

Finally, work with culling and post-processing. Learn how to polish images using a combination of Capture One, Photoshop, and Alien Skin software. Then, gain insight into building a portfolio and marketing your work to work in editorial and commercial areas for environmental portraiture.


  • Budding portrait photographers
  • On-location portrait photographers
  • Photographers eager to learn on-location lighting
  • Photographers branching into commercial and editorial work


Capture One 11, Adobe Photoshop CC 2018, Alien Skin 2018


Dan Brouillette's high-end editorial style has lead to work with celebrities from Anne Hathaway to Scarlett Johansson. A commercial, editorial and senior photographer based in Nebraska, he's known for giving everyday people the Hollywood look. His previous work as a lighting technician helped him build his signature style using dramatic lighting techniques typically used for commercial work. With an insightful and easy listening teaching style, he helps photographers learn to craft with light.


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!

a Creativelive Student

I love this guy! I so appreciate his honesty while he is explaining his thought process, admitting that his “shoulda/coulda/woulda’s” - which I experience ALL the time. I am now going to dust off my light meter and start using it on location as I’m convinced that it works now that I’ve seen Dan’s class. I enjoyed the detailed way he sets up each light individually, checking to make sure it adds the amount and quality of light he wants. Definitely recommend this class - especially for those people who have experience using studio lights and want to see how they can be used to get specific results. Dan’s clear, simple explanations, his unabashed humility, and his sense of humor made this a truly enjoyable way to spend my time learning his methods.

a Creativelive Student

Dan is an excellent instructor! He's completely transparent with his thought processes, from technical to creative. He doesn't waste time horsing around or getting off topic, but is structured and sticks to his outline. Every minute watched is on topic, and is understandable. He's sincere and likable. The course is great for anyone interested in this genre!