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Class Introduction

Lesson 1 from: Environmental Portrait Photography

Dan Brouillette

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Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction

Jump into environmental portraits with an overview of the class. Prep for the class with an overview in this lesson.


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Introduction to The Environmental Portrait


Environmental Portrait Purpose


Personal Work


Find Your Process




Purpose For Action Editorial


Prepare for Shoot


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

We're gonna be talking about the environmental portrait today. So basically what I want to start off with is an overview of the entire class, what we're gonna cover over the next several chapters, segments, what have it. And we're gonna be doing a number of live shoots, a number of different type of environments and locations and everything. So let's take a minute to kind of go over the full scope of what we're going to be covering. So chapter one is the environmental portrait. I kind of just want to give a general introduction to what that means. There's all different genres of photography, from food to action sports to photojournalism and everything but the environmental portrait is kind of what speaks to me, what I'm passionate about, what I enjoy shooting the most. And we'll kind of get into what defines the environmental portrait, some samples of environmental portraits, and the importance of the environmental portrait. So we'll cover all scopes of that. Chapter two, we'll go over...

the action editorial shoot. So we're actually going to be doing a live shoot in studio. Two different versions, really. We're going to be doing one that kind of focuses on the environment and action. So we'll have an athlete in here with a basketball. We'll be doing lit portraits with action along our set here. And then for chapter three, we're actually gonna turn it over and shoot as if we're in a normal photo studio, so we'll set up a big white seamless with a sweep. We'll still have the same guy with the basketball, but I kinda wanna show the full shoot of what would happen on an actual editorial shoot, whether it's for Men's Health or ESPN or anything like that where you have this mix of action environment along with what you can do with studio and seamless and how it all comes together, where it might be placed within a magazine or a commercial shoot, that type of thing, and we'll also use different lighting setups and, you know, outfits and the whole works for both to kind of get all we possibly can out of one shoot. And then chapter four will be post-processing. So we'll take you guys from the lighting and the setup of both of those shoots to how we go through the raw processing using Capture One to kinda make all of our adjustments to the raw files and then exporting them and even bringing them to Photoshop and doing the full edit. So it'll be the full thing, from how I come up with the concepts to the actual lighting and shooting to the post-work. So we'll start with nothing and we'll end up with some finished images that are hopefully pretty cool. So that's the goal. Then we'll move on to chapter five. So we had the chance to shoot indoor location shoots at other locations outside of the studio. So chapter five is actually indoor location at an artist's studio here in Seattle. She had a great, just naturally lit studio that we were able to bring in some of our, the Profoto strobes and supplement that natural light. Kind of capture her in her environment, so that's another part of the environmental portrait, is letting people kind of do their thing within their space. So she was actually a painter, she is a painter here in Seattle. We were able to kind of learn her process, put her into her environment, and then capture her doing her thing, and then pair that up with some more staged portraits within the location. So it was pretty cool, I'm excited to share those videos and that whole process and the final images, which I haven't even totally finished yet, so it'll be exciting to kind of see how that all came together. Chapter six we're gonna go through and do the outdoor location shoot, and again, we've shot on an outdoor location at a garage, so it was actually called the MotoShed and it's a motorcycle garage where they do customization, maintenance, and all that type of things to some motorcycles here in Seattle. And we were able to shoot one of the co-owners. His name was Richie, and we shot him in the garage working on a motorcycle, we shot some portraits of him outside to kind of show mixed lighting, of using, taking the ambient, natural sunlight and mixing that with strobe. And then doing some portraits of him that are a little more traditional style portraits but on location in his garage. So again, the full scope of portraits there. And I'm pretty excited to look at those as well, because it was a totally different setup, where chapter five with the indoor location was this light and airy art studio, chapter six was this gritty garage that had a way different feel, a lot of dramatic lighting and a little more grit to it. And then chapter seven we'll go through the post-shoot workflow. So again, while today will be covering, from today's shoot we'll be covering the raw processing and all of that, I wanna go back and show how I do post-shoot workflow on shoots that were on location, how we can treat things differently as far as the processing, the thoughts that go through my head when shooting on location and how it might not look the exact same on camera as the final images because I'm shooting knowing what the post-work is going to be. So we'll go through that entire post-shoot workflow from folder structure to raw processing to Photoshop to color grading and the whole works. And then chapter eight will be, what do we do with all those images once we have them? It'll be about portfolio and marketing. So building your portfolio, some of the thoughts I have about building a portfolio, whether you're brand new to commercial photography, or if you're experienced and just kind of tweaking your portfolio and getting more of a vision for that. So we'll go over building that along with your website, and then also marketing through social media, different ways to go about showing off your portfolio and your website, how to get in contact with potential clients, and that pretty much wraps it up. So we have eight great chapters of a lot of content that I think takes us from the introduction of the environmental portrait through the creation and then showing them off and showing what you can do with it. So it should be a pretty good class and I'm excited to go over everything. That takes us to our sponsors. So Phase One, we'll be using Capture One for all the raw processing, all the tethering. Capture One is a software made by Phase One. I've been using it for 14 years and I still don't probably know even a third of what it can do, so I'm always learning and they're always adding new features. Profoto, we'll be using all Profoto lights. We'll get into all that type of equipment as we shoot. And then WHCC, White House Custom Colour. They do all my printing for my portfolio, so again it's kind of taking it from the capture to the lighting to the printing, so it's the full gamut there, definitely check them out. So let's get started.

Ratings and Reviews

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!

Student Work