1940s Glamour Lighting
I told you that vintage or nineteen twenties in nineteen fifties is a very common theme that people like to dress up for. And so for me, this applies to a lot of different things I've done nineteen fifties nineteen twenties engagement shoots on. So you're thinking okay, what plays into this theme? Um, if you're on a location, maybe. Okay. There's, nineteen twenties location. I know. For example, in san francisco, they have kind of ah, speakeasy restaurant that I plan on shooting on that has that field. Then you have to worry about the hair is the hare fitting the theme where the kind of general timeframe um is it an individual is a couple is the clothing. This clothing is all it's rented from kind of vintage shops. I actually have a stylist that I will put a link online to who you can rent the clothing for him from her and so it's kind of per outfit and you can get book discounts, things like that. Uh, so for this concept, if I am shooting, um, kind of film you are or if I'm shooting k...
ind of a nineteen forties glam look, um, what do you see in your head, um, for me, it's, black and white and I know that I want some kind of, you know, perfection and hair for purposes of this we did kind of in between of a finger curl it doesn't have to fit I mean that someone says okay it must be exactly nineteen twenties nineteen forties doesn't need to fit um I also kind of wanted lace something sensual so you could play this up as a boudoir session one of the things that I think is a great great selling point for those of you that do wedding photography something that I'll pitch is ok we'll shoot your engagement session and then of course you're going to shoot your wedding but another really great thing the pitch is that you will shoot the bridal gift so and I know that general here shaking her head yes because what I'll do is I'll say okay let's do a boot to our session for your husband to be so on the day of your wedding you give him this gift and how I like teo how I've done it in the past who is a box of matted square prints on dh not that you all came to this but one of my favorite smokes successful sessions was in the beginning it was vintage and you start off with full clothes and then the last shots were fully nude so as you took off the box it was kind of getting more and more revealing but it was a really, really cool and I know very successful um bridal gifts so I always pitch things like that were additional you know I say to the groom okay, you know, maybe we didn't do your engagement session but let's do a post wedding fashion flare session so you your bride what we'll make a day out of it you know, we can bring chocolate covered strawberries and wine and we can go out on location and shoot something and so I'm always thinking of how I can use my unique services as gifts for people because it's not just ah photo it is an experience this is something that people don't normally get to do dress up player will have fun and these air images they likely won't ever have a chance to shoot again in their life, so I always keep that in mind. Um let me think I should think of a couple questions that people ask um over the break a couple questions that were kind of floating around there honestly, I don't usually use a light meter um at this point, I am very, very familiar with my lights s o that I kind of feel it out and so I know and I can look at it and now I need to close down the shop a stop a tip for you guys though at home if you do want to know creative, I've have several great beginner lighting classes or introduction to lighting. Um, I could not cover everything that I wanted to cover if I needed to do kind of basic lighting tips and tricks and set up, so check them out. I know that you have, um, mark wallace, you have done gina any we have zack area, so I mean, you're all lighting horses, so I'm not going to really cover that as faras settings. I'll give you some general idea of power. Um, but check those out, and once you get that foundation, this stuff is easy. It's the same exact same kind of light modifiers as people use and it's the same pax is just a matter of angles and how you put him to work for you. So this is going to be kind of a nineteen forties glam style shoot. Esso I want dramatic light, so I'm gonna show you how I would kind of build it and change it a little bit. Um, so I'm just starting with one light in the back for me. If you look at those old time photos, they have a really dramatic hair light it's not subtle just to get a shine in the hair it's it's dramatic to kind of pop them out, it looks kind of like a movie scene. Um, and then I want a slightly harsher light in the front. Um, if I were shooting, maybe riel film, you are our glam. I might use another one of those silver dishes because it is really dramatic if you think of that light, those lights are, you know that those highlights and shadows are really crisp, but let's say that you're working with a normal person, you want a little more forgiving light so I might use a beauty dish and maybe a beauty dish with the grid, um, for posing. I'm going I know I'm gonna shoot this in black and white, so I already know that I had a time. Um, I'm proposing I'm just going to do a lot of sensual. Um, I'll have a lot of touching neck touching the side of the body. Um, a tip that I give you is I don't usually say okay, touch your neck, touch the side of your body, I'll actually have them do the motions and then tell them when to stop. So seok, start with hand your faith and run your hand on your neck, and then I'll tell them when to stop it's better than saying, like, okay, um, put your hand on your hip. You know they do this it's a treasure your hand up your thigh okay stop right there and that is a much nicer curve and hand and saying put your hand on your hip your hand on your thigh so just have people kind of naturally the same thing with hand in the hair and so just put your hand in the hair people go like this and then it looks terrible I say just change your hand around the side of your face and it looks much more natural um so that's my recommendation to you don't force it have it be natural movement if you do need to go over there and place the hand because it's just not working for that individual that's fine, but I try to start more organic and work with that because people look much less posed in the much less tense in their muscles. So hi hi again how are you? Excellent. Um I am going to switch my lens there over here. Okay? They see how far this reaches without tangling me can we can you slide that here? Maybe not. Um let's start with the same two hundred lindsay. Yes, I forgot one very important uh lighting class yes. And that was mr john cornyn tello's one day a home studio lighting class you didn't do that and it was awesome it was awesome if you have a home studio that is the class for you so I wanted to shout that one out to another word of encouragement I'd like to give people is you do not need a large studio space um for the longest time I think I think my studio was twelve by seventeen um for a really long time it's a little bit bigger now I mean, it is it is larger but you don't need ah lot of space so you don't think that you need to have no high ceilings and space like this in order to get the shots done? I mean, I have easily I worked in small spaces you just need to know, okay, if you have white walls and there's too much fill, you can hang up black fabric so the light doesn't bounce around and if I mean low ceilings, one of the solutions you put the subject closer to the background because if you have low ceilings and you're back here, the perspective looks like there kind of hitting the ceiling already so you can definitely work around it it's obviously easier when you have more space, so don't worry if you have a small studio space okay, perfect someone have you start right there um I'm gonna have you turn this way just a little bit, drop your shoulder back what I'm looking for is I'm just going to look for some kind of angles um if you have your subject's face straight towards the camera with their hands at the side, you can't really tell where their body ends and begins so they could actually be another two, two and a half inches wider on either side of their body. So I always want a little bit of negative space, so I never have somebody kind of stand tight always have them just give a little bit of space. Um another thing that I'll do as well. It's basic posing you always kind of put maybe your weight on your back leg because what it does is it takes it from the hips, being forward to point the hips back and that slender rises someone and particularly for a woman, it brings the chest in the eyes closer to the camera. Um, those air just like the basics and I'm always considering, but I usually will bring an ipad for my mac and have it set up there with shots like I will look up. What is the nineteen forties glam shot look like and there's? No reason I can't kind of build off of that. Um, so in this instance, I'm gonna have you take your left hand kind of just broke, put it on your neck and turn your heads looking longingly over at me um we'll see how that works good internet by towards me just a little good and really soft fingers put your fingers right there good and put your pinkie in just a little bit good so what I was seeing is when she did this it just pinky kind of hanging out and so it makes a jointed line so I just got a pink in the rest of the hands were nice and soft so it's perfect perfect just like that relax your shoulder good. So just let me relax a little bit with a little tense good and long fingers just a little bit good just right there. Perfect. Take a look at that. All right, good. So then where does it take a look at the light for a second? I am going to shoot this in black and white um when I look at the light see how that nice the beauty dishes carving off saw fox wouldn't be right normally I wouldn't have a hair light that bright because it just looks a little unnatural, but for what we're going for, it should how I will actually end up crossing this processing this is all actually overexposed so you lose some of that skin detail because, you know, if you're picturing those shots that they do, they have blown on highlights in the face dark shadows, bright highlights in the hair so those rules that were supposed to follow not to lose detail in the blacks they do in those shots and not to lose detail in the whites will they do in those shots? So keep that in mind um pretty this real soft chen good just like that and bring your fingers to bottom fingers in a little bit good just like that and roll your head way back and eyes at me good hand right there a little bit more separation just kind of do like this hand down a little more time looking for just a little bit of space versus this when I have people put their hand on their side I never wanna have right angles or and everyone have kind of bent wrist I'm always looking for just setting there, so if I had people leaning on something I don't have them lean I have them set their hand and put your hand on your hip you set your hand on the hip on some looking for nice soft curves so perfectly just like that perfect fingers together a little more and so you had even more good and she was like this. Okay, now face me straight on you put your finger like your kind of whispering good just like that perfect it's distance great counts take a look at this one it looks beautiful here I also am totally fine showing my subjects their pictures um thing that people has left me so I'm totally fine sharing their pictures if this they're good for us uh either bad pictures okay directing models a tip for directing models I never ever and I'm not talking about all the time what your subject as well anybody that your your subject you're photographing I never will say if something's not working I always say good and good might actually be bad but I switched to great we're perfect when it's actually good okay that's good all right good but you know change this a little bit oh great okay right there so it's the same thing I never want them to hear no or ah hesitation or me thinking that it's not quite working um I am okay sometimes if there's a shot and go you know that looks really good but something's not quite fitting what I had and I'll show them or say what do you think about the hand or can you move your shoulder like this but again it's always everything in the affirmative I'm positive I just upped the ante anyone it's actually good like all that's fantastic s o it was funny because for my pre shoot one of the guys was telling me he's like you say perfect a lot um but if it's good that's how do you know that's actually what I want versus good just means okay good let's let's keep going here um so that to me I mean that's kind of what I want I think that's beautiful um the hair looks great the hair looks uh the light on the neck is really nice. Um I would put it in black and white I'm just going to move it a little more dramatic because that's kind of beauty so let's just move the light a little bit more to the side and then who did I say nineteen forties was going to shoot that I'm gonna actually let one of the audience members so have you come here I'm gonna actually have her shoot a few shots and direct the model and just tell you what I'm seeing and what I'm thinking so I am john came with this just a little bit was going to move it off access a little bit to get a little more dramatic this way yeah, you don't have to go major just a little she's already got hit once today um okay. And maybe let me see how I'm gonna shoot that. Okay good. Just like this. Fine. Um perfect and then it's just you and your head that way good. Perfect just like that. So just to show you a little more like it's a little bit more dramatic and little extended fingers a little bit and I want to look like claws a little longer good and bring it pinky in good so this is just a little more dramatically I want the light off access which is going to cast more of that shadow on the side of her face I had her turn her head a little bit more towards the light because what that does it'll still carve out the light under jaw but it still makes everything on her face really illuminated. So look straight at me this time so I moved the light never look straight at me good and just do one finger and live again perfect and your head that we just other way it's a little bit right little less watching for highlights of a mover head is I go too far for her head this direction it catches the backlight and they'd be a highlight on her nose and your eye goes to the prices brightest part of the picture and so if there's a highlight on the nose you don't want that so it's my new movements good let's try one right there and then want to head back just a little bit right there. Okay, so you can see if as I moved her head facing straight forward with the light off access, it gets much more dramatic so you see in a second um and it's little tweaks, so I'm kind of moving her head back and forth, it gets much more dramatic on the picture on the left. You guys, if you know basic simulating that's kind of a rembrandt light on her eye. Um, remember how before we had for heavier people, I would like short light. I'd put the light behind right there on the left is broad light because you still have the highlight towards the camera, the shadows actually going away. But it still will make her face look more slender. That just even front alighting what I which I did for most of my beauty. Like okay, um so try, you afraid? Don't be afraid. Okay? Okay. No, definitely because she had a shed critic. Quite a journey here yesterday. Alright, so you good with cannon? How'd it work out? Ok, good. Excellent. So feel free to direct shoot one frame at a time or so so we can take a look at it. Um and I was just kind of tell you what I see. No. Fair, right? Oh, sorry. Intimidation. I think of coco chanel. Whenever you say film new war in the way she used tio I kind of have those strikingly poses whenever she would pose for pictures and things of that sort, you just turn this way. So as she's moving her that she's watching the light crust across your face like that's what you're doing if you can see it she's just watching it as the highlights kind of come on and off for chicken or dahlin highlights on the jawline like here like right kind of under the doll and whatnot that's good, but as soon as it starts to kind of come across the face too much hit the nose that's bad typically yeah t to meet it but she was right there. I'm like talking to myself and when it comes up you tell me also I want to hear what you like and just like about it I will tell you honestly when I shoot him like this is just because I shoot a lot more friends I'm shooting a lot more so it's not just like one frame to capture it. Okay, so what do you like her just like a looks more beauty? Sure so okay couple things that I would say that if it looks more baby first of all for the hand if you looked at the shots that I had this curve right here you can see that how the curve of the finger to the wrist that's really nice and it gets cut off kind of lose that femininity so just look like fingers so I would give a little bit more below and it's far beauty she's kind of straight on just looking at the camera. So I told her head my half her squint in her eyes. So I'm getting a little expression. I'm being a little bit of movement, like catching a moment and then try to get something a little more motive in there, so just do it, okay? We're only gonna shoot like, three, four frames. Sorry. Pressure on the same effect. More dramatic, more sensual. Who drop your chin just a little bit. Okay. The same thing all the time. Something. Okay, we're gonna take see this shot, papa. Okay, so your eye goes to the lightest things of the camera for me it's her forehead and back for hands and do the exact same thing. But instead I'm just going to rotate her hand this way, and so you'll see this curve and I don't want calm. I want just kind of that curve secret just a little bit, but she sticks a chant this a little bit instead of having the hand be the closest thing that cam, which is big to sixty, chant a little bit and pulled her hand back. You look smaller and you'll see that curve versus face like this phrase like this. So have you two more shots and one more with good good for us and just a little pinky got a little bit of mary had a little bit more, so I'm just looking again. What makes a hand looks good looks good. If you look at a lot of my beauty work, I'm going to totally tell a secret check how many hands are not so many? I only will do a lot of the hands when I'm working with professional models that are really good at hands, especially since an ugly hands like, poorly manicured large hands and the shot doesn't look good. That's what I see a lot of portrait, you see a lot of hands back in here, a lot of hands in here, because as soon as you actually see nails and not nice fingers, it really does mean a shot. That's what you're looking at. So just be aware that if you do want to include somebody's hands in a shot, quite honestly, are they nice hands? Uh, I think one more wider and thank you very much. I wanna switch lenses, so I just have one more wide shot until him white do show how angle effects so when I'm photographing my subjects, um, I generally want them to look taller and more slender for women at least uh so I just wanted to compare two shots of how I might shoot uh when have you turn that way and your hand kind of soft they're good roll your shoulders your head back just a little bit hide that back arm when she had her hand up it just looked like little fingers kind of poking out of side everybody so had her hide it another thing too you'll see that in a lot of my shots I will just kind of hide the hand or the arm behind um if it's not contributing to what I'm trying to say with a shot good rule your head back perfect turner hands sideways right now it's kind of the other return to kind of like this q gone good alright so and then bring your farm in just a little okay so what I want to do I didn't want the hand kind of flat towards the camera I was gonna show you two different angles just like this perfect okay, so here's a middling shot shoot mid length shooting from my height which on her is not actually that hi um let's shoot on an apple box um I actually do have like when I have an assistant on a shoot I actually we'll have an apple box almost always just offset because yep I'm sure I don't wear my giant heels today okay good so we shouldn't move mid length here okay yep is not in frame now. Okay, so here's one shot and then when I get down say that exact same pose same kind of that hand perfect just like that get roughly where was good okay, so if you can compare these side by side one shot I'm shooting kind of more or less eye level and the next I got done really really low um so one's going to really really along get her make her look more slender um I don't have a sweep out here which means I don't have the background extended outwards, but the time that this makes the biggest difference is when I'm doing full length because sometimes don't make people's torsos and legs look short first if I can get down low and makes him look really, really tall and slender here's the here's a tip if you want to get down in the low angle okay, come a little closer if I shoot here and then I try to get down in a low angle and shoot up that's when you get the up the nose problem so that's when you're going to be shooting up somebody's no, you get the nostrils, you get a lot of neck which isn't flattering, so if you do want to shoot up to give them height, what I recommend you do is you try a zoom lens um in this instance I'm shooting a twenty four to seventy and I will do the same thing we're all back way way up then I can get really down low to the ground and shoot a little bit longer lens because I'm backed up further so it's not up there knows its back from a further angle and I've compressed it so it's still they still look really tall if you look at a lot of fashion magazines if you look at richard avedon, one of one of the most famous most successful fashion photographers of all time, if you look a lot of his shots, you can tell his camera was on the ground I mean the camera was literally on the ground you can see the floor kind of leading up to the model you'll see that in a lot of catalog and a lot of advertising in a lot of editorial cameras at a really low angle for that reason it makes them look really tall in dynamic same thing if you kind of want fashion slash nude photography if you look a helmet knew in he always shot at low angles because he was trying to portray the women as really dominant and really strong, forceful individuals and so he always shot at a low angle so you just don't shoot up their nose really close you back off of it um four shot like this I don't mind that on the right it fades to black there's not really separation from the background because of the feeling that I'm going for if I'm going for that kind of nineteen forties glam but you can and one of my favorite lighting situations is to add another light on the other side toe add a little highlight just a little bit of separation especially if you're going for something kind of boudoir maybe or a little more sensual because it will carve out the chest and the stomach and the curves of the woman versus just kind of blending into blackness so what you're asking for me or what I'm thinking about um the more lights I add it starts looking less or organic if that makes sense when I have one like it's kind of simple and pure um it might work it might not work if I add another light I'm separating the subject from the background but it looks a little more produced so add another light it starts looking a little more polished but it starts looking less riel so its way if you look at a lot of shots that's like picture like two different versions of a shop shot of a rapper that I'll d'oh of one shot that's on location it's gritty it's going to be you know the one light really raw harsh shadows it feels kind of like that was really you were there in that moment catching him walking under a street light or something versus another shot I'll have two highlights from the back a light from the front a light on the background that looks more commercial like okay you can't touch him he is that high up on a pedestal it's that much well produced that has two different fields ones ron gritty and one's really commercial and produced so that's why I'm thinking of it as a add more lights it starts being more polished and that may or may not be what you want um do you have anything any question do you think I should have answered? I have a question from vail fujii who asked how do you do with stray hairs I find that when I use hair lights I often have to do lots of post getting rid of them even when I try to put them away all together huh? Yeah photoshopped I mean a lot of times like she definitely has a mr hears and the suspicions I screwed it up so I put that thing on but I really wanted to do that shot um so a lot of it is yes I have a hair stylist that's just onset kind of taking care of that when I do fashion shoots um if I do a fashion floor session that has a hair stylist if I can I have the hair stylist sand set with me all day um or for the whole shoot especially if it's somebody I model mayhem I'll pay them for their one or two looks but they stay with me and so they're just literally off a frame because I don't have time if I'm worrying about the lighting on their face and letting on the background and the angles I can't pay attention every stray hair so if you have somebody who specifically that's their job and they'll say hold on a second let me fix it that lets you focus on what you need to focus on interacting with the model and the posing and the lighting um so if you could do that, do it and it's all about finding a team if you find that individual who's just on the same pages you creatively did work that you get is helping them as well. So you kind of build each other up um but otherwise other than that most the time it's you know clone on darken um I don't have photo shop here, but when you do a clone stamp, if you have kind of a light highlight and you change the clone blend mode too dark and mode it will on ly darken it won't affect anything that's the same tone so it just on lee gets rid of that highlight on the hair um I can't really demonstrated but clone darkened mode I kind of a follow up question. You mentioned model mayhem for makeup artists and people had asked if you have your own makeup artists that you always take with you or you hire them for individual shoots. Or how how do you do that? Sure. My recommendation is that you build a team of people that you trust. I have about five different hair cells. Your makeup artist I will work with, and then what you do is you test out new ones if you have a concept. It's like it's laid back it's. Nothing serious, but you would like to have more people that you've worked with that you trust you might find someone on model, made him and just say, okay, I had this idea. Do you think you'd be interested in working with me? And then you shoot it, but for me, it's usually just to put it bluntly, john, here yourself are the two that I work with, uh, most of the time, because I trust them, you know, they do a good job. They show up on time. Um, and so, yeah, if I travel and there's no budget for them to come that I have to find somebody in that area, my recommendation is if you're using somebody new, um a model or subject or whether it's a hair cells make up artist um you meet them before the day of the shoot because I feel like the reason feel like how about on him socks um is because they say okay show up to the shoe twelve o'clock on sunday never have spoken this person on the phone never have met them in person then the day comes and they don't show up uh my recommendation is a casual like grab a coffee just to make sure you show up you like each other everybody's on the same page and the fact that they put the effort in to grab the coffee to meetyou shows that they probably will show up actually on that real day um so that is something that I'd recommend doing just don't cross your fingers and hope it works actually I think you're done was easy right thank you so much you're beautiful thank you get around okay, so questions so rich that out yeah. So a question from fashion tv and think poor who asks a ton of questions on dh that question is vintage concepts to h achieved the desired effect would you ever consider using for nell lends to achieve the hollywood lighting and what exactly is hollywood lighting okay uh good question I actually okay so the question was basically riel hollywood lighting it it's really uses a friend ellen so it's really focused and you it has a specific look the way that it has a sweet spot in the center and the way it has a kind of harsh crisp edges I actually brought one with me um and I was debating on using it it's it's an equivalent from ellen's it's bron colors pico light with a spot projection adopt adapter the reason I choose not to use it is it's not chief um and so I wanted to appeal a little bit more now if you bring me back to a fashion workshop where you rent stuff like that that I could demonstrate how you would use that on what it is it's the final lenses and a lot of things like that you can actually stick go boz in between so I can cast light that shaped like a venetian blind or I could do a circle just on the eye so if you look at my creative studio lighting dvd I actually use one of these lenses so if you look I did a uh kind of boudoir knew our shoot we have a girl she's posed and she's kind of in a circular spotlight which is exactly like that kind of hollywood lighting field eso just trying to keep the practicality those air two lights that are very inexpensive that most people have but you definitely could dio the for now and hollywood light is usually just kind of high contrast focused with multiple highlights um and just interpretation again for people who don't know could you say what I go? Bo is again um a gobo is going to be and it could be a global war they have a couple of different names that usually accompany roscoe is most famous for these thes adapters. What they do is you stick them into the light or the projector like on a stage and it will project a shape so they called a gobo because it's a go between it goes between the light. Another name for gobo is if I had a studio light, another name is a flag if you're trying to block off light your flagging off light some people call those goebbels as well because it's going between the light and the subject these are just kind of names depends on if you're in theater ifyou're in photography there use different ways they also have those people sometimes want not even like they want dappled so they'll set up um some kind of like it could even be like a piece of foam core that they cut shapes out of when the light comes through it's not even has a little bit of a texture you can buy those I know that california sun balance has a diffuser that when you put it between the subject and the sun, it'll actually look like light coming through leaves on trees instead of just even diffused light. So it has a little bit more believability to it, then just even diffused light. So if you check out there so you can see one of those okay? Question from tcp photography. He says, I see you're using a paper, uh, roll background. Do you have a preference of paper versus muslin versus sure, I when I was a studio photographer, I had muslim backgrounds for, like, kind of when I was going for kind of earth tones or warm so I had I had brown and I had texture, and I had a grey with the texture. Um, but for my studio photography most of time, um, they wanted on black or white, uh, and they don't usually go for muslim unless you're going for a kind of editorial storytelling. So in general, nowadays I shoot on black or white or gray, a studio photographer. I did have some more textures. And then when I photograph children, I quickly I developed a love of the white seamless because you can cut it and pull it back out makes it easier. And I I don't have my own washer in new york city, so washing those backgrounds, lug him someplace now the white seamless works really well for me, melissa's head