Environmental Portrait Photography

Lesson 12/48 - Studio Portrait Shoot Overview


Environmental Portrait Photography


Lesson Info

Studio Portrait Shoot Overview

Well, now we're gonna keep moving forward and go into the studio section. So, by studio obviously we're in the same room as before but we were kind of treating that warehouse type as an environment. Now we're gonna kind of pair that with white seamless in a studio and how I pair the shoots to make sure we maximize the shoots, we get the most out of the shoot. We're gonna be shooting the same subject, we still have Brock here with his basketball gear and we're just gonna continue on. So just give a quick recap, we've covered the environmental portrait. What it is how it works personal work and all that. The action editorial shoot so kinda having a little bit of movement. Letting Brock dribble around with the ball in the warehouse setting. Lighting that and creating some different portraits with different lenses, different lighting setups. And \now we're gonna move on to the portrait editorial shoot so that'll be again with the white seamless we're gonna do two different setups. One with...

a kind of a hot white background, so I'll explain how we light the white background separate and then light the portrait and all that. So this will be the type of lighting you'd see on a lot of magazine covers like Men's Health, Women's Health, things that where they use that stark white background and it's just a portrait usually of a celebrity or something like that. Picture a three quarter length vertical portrait. Not the most crazy exciting portraits in the world but ones that are highly sellable as far as magazines go and also pretty clear to the point and usable on a lot of different platforms from advertising to editorial to you know whatever it may be. Then we're gonna move on to post processing. You've already seen a little bit of what we do tethering to get that look up front where it gives the coloration, it brings the shadows and highlights into control. Gives us a better idea of what it looks like. But that's far from the polished, finished product. There's still a lot that needs to be done. Whether it's custom Photoshop work, actual color toning to really tweak the image and blend it in how I want it to look and bring the most out of it. So we'll be doing some of that and then again like file folder structure and organization of your computer and all that stuff. Stuff that's not necessarily so fun but is definitely needed to keep everything straight especially once you start taking a lot of pictures. And then again in the next chapters after that we'll talk about our indoor location shoot which we already shot. It's a great location with an artist in her studio. Our outdoor location at the motorcycle garage. Post shoot workflow which again same type of processing but with all the images shot on location and then lastly portfolio and marketing. So that'll be kind of how we tie it all together and what to do with those images once you have them all created and ready to show. So moving forward let's talk about our studio portrait shoot. First off what's the purpose, why are we doing a studio portrait shoot? We just have these great pictures on location, what's the point how are we gonna do it? The actual shoot itself I'll talk about two different lighting setups, maybe more we'll kinda see where it goes. It all depends on the timing and how everything works out as you saw with the last shoot it went pretty smoothly. I'll work through all my thoughts verbally so you can kinda hear what's going through my head. Any thoughts on lighting, posing, camera, the tethering the whole works I'll just basically be thinking out loud so whether you want to hear it or not I'll be saying it. So let's get into the purpose. So purpose of our studio shoot is a couple different things. The first thing is this. Many editorial and advertising shoots require a studio portrait shoot to supplement the environmental work. This holds true. Last year I did a shoot of a triathlete for Men's Health. They wanted shots of him swimming. They wanted shots of him cooking just 'cause he has this diet routine. So those were our environmental shoots but then they also said we don't know what we're gonna put in the table of contents or on the cover image, not of the magazine but of his story, so we really need some shots on white seamless. So again the environmental stuff is what we did earlier but to supplement that they wanted shots just on white seamless. Basic three quarter length stuff. Him smiling and they wanted some personality. Just a couple different looks so that way they could possibly use those. And they did run one of those as a full sized image within the magazine so it was pretty cool and obviously I'm glad I did that seamless shot because it was used and got me a little more coverage. So again many of these clients, they want the stuff with the environment but they also want clean stuff if they have to lay text over it. If they have to use it for other purposes. Even using it to cut out subjects it's easier to cut them out of a white background than some busy convoluted you know warehouse or trees or whatever it may be. So having a nice clean background to work with. And it gives you a little more control but it also adds other aspects 'cause the star then is your subject and your lighting there isn't this environment to build around so you kind of have a blank canvas and you can do whatever you want so for me that's kind of fun but I also like having the parameters and direction that a location gives but the studio is unique in that you can do whatever you want it's just kind of whatever mood and feel you want and what fits you're subject. On top of that like I said these shots may be used for the cover. Table of contents or images to give a clear photo of the subject. Pretty much already said that so we'll keep moving forward. What I wanna do next is actually move right into the shoot portion because I want this, this is the last part of the live shooting for me so I really want to take our time, get a couple good shots of Brock. I want to do some full length stuff, I wanna do some three quarter lengths, I wanna do some close-ups, I wanna do two different lighting setups. I want to start off with that hot white background. I want to do some where we have some harsh shadows. I want to do some with some softer light. So the more we can get in here and the more I can explain to you guys the thoughts that I'm having, the better and the more you'll get out of it as far as what fits your style. Because while I do have a definite style I like to dabble in all different types of lighting. And I think that'll be useful for everybody including myself because every time I shoot whether it's for fun or for pay there's always things you learn about light placement and just things that happen along the way that might not have happened on previous shoots.

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!!