Fine Art Portraits


Fine Art Portraits


Lesson Info

Shoot: Elaborate Set-up using a Boat with Flowers

Amazing I'm very excited so I am creating an elaborate sets and I was so excited about this because I came here and I said ok, I've got really big ideas and you could tell me no whenever you want and I never heard the word no at all so that's why we have this incredible boats that you see here they filled it with flowers I didn't even have to touch it which is amazing I just gave them very, very specific directions about what needed to happen and here we go so what I did wass I was thinking I was planning I was saying, you know what is a feasible set to build at the creative life studios? And when I thought about the creative live studios I didn't know what that meant I had never been here I just knew that there was an indoor space to work with so I said to them is it possible to create an antique indoor set with walls that are textured and a boat with flowers fill a minute and a sale that's going to blow in the wind? Oh, and along with fog on the floor and a wind machine and this and ...

that and everybody just said yeah, sure, why not let's do it so here we have the set and I want to take you through um the different shots that I'll be doing today so what I'm going to do here is I have got this boat, I've got it set in place, and I have my camera set up, so I'll be talking to you guys more about why I chose this camera angle, what the lighting is going to be like and things like that. So I've got my boat in place when I started this idea, I thought first about the prop, and I thought, what amazing prop can we bring in now? Because I was thinking about the prop I was able to build everything around that one prop, so because of that, I had the boat, I thought, what does a boat mean to me? So start thinking about boats sailing away, being free very, very dreamlike, like I mentioned earlier, this is all about dreams, so we're going to have a model and a gorgeous red dress it's sitting right in this boat, and we're going to create some motion. We're gonna have the pops of color from the red dress mimicked in the flowers, and then I asked for a chandelier, so we've got the chandelier hanging above. I have that rigged up here, and the chandelier is just going to be that one extra element that we're going to be using to make it look like an indoor believable space. So if it looks believable than this translates to the viewers, if something doesn't look believable, if we had, I don't know a fake chandelier hanging here or flowers that didn't look realistic, then that would just ruin the whole entire idea and there's no point in spending all of this time creating what we have going on here, so I am going to go ahead and just get our model in the set. Now, the reason why I'm doing it first instead of getting my camera settings, is because we have a really, really simple set up for her to get into. So if we have a simple set up and it's really not an issue for the model to come sit in place now, if I was going to say, cover the model and mud and make her lay in dirt or put her in gnocchi water, then I would probably wait and get my camera set first and then have her get into the space. So several beautiful model lisa and we're going to get her in the boat, so this is the dress that we're working with here. This is the dress that you saw and some of my images that I showed you it is so incredible, so we've got the most amazing motion, as you can see, so if you want to flap your wings, it just I love this dress uh kills me keep flapping just way need yeah, there we go. Awesome. Okay, so we're going to play with that motion now. I knew that I had this dress I knew that it would look amazing with the flowers, so I'm going to utilize that I'm going to take that movement and do as much with it as I can in this one set up. So the idea here I want her to look very elegant. I want the dress to be billowing. I want her to be like a flower emerging from all the other flowers, so that's kind of what we're going for with shape and movement here, and I'm going to go out and get her in the boat, so I'm goingto have you step inside and john's going to help you, and I think and we're going to have her sitting in this little middle rung inside the boat, perfect and yet you're sitting the exact right way, and I'm just gonna pull her dress out from under her so that she doesn't sit on all the fabric. Perfect. Ok, she is in the boat exactly what we want so you can just have a seat there, hang out for a little while and I'm gonna head over to my camera and I am going to go ahead and get my settings and so you sorry I just wanted to interrupt and just ask um did you talk about like the emotion that you wanted for this yes I will get into that right now thank you so to talk about the emotion because I do love going back to emotion so in this image we're going for something dreamy something very wistful so when I have her post here I'm going to have her leaning forward with her head up and if I do that but I'm creating this long line of her neck and she's almost reaching for a better future so that's what I'm trying to create I want her to be the head of this dream she is going to be the one manipulating everything so I'm going to get my camera settings and then I'll come over and posed her very very specifically in just a second so I am starting right now with my um f stop at three point to my s o at four hundred and my shutter speed at one twenty five so I'm just gonna go ahead take a look through see what I'm seeing maybe I will move my tripod just ever so slightly all right and I will take a test shot here just so then you guys can see what I am seeing now I am fixing my focal point just right in the center because lisa's head is perfectly centered in my frame right now and I am framing this so that I have some of the boat, some of the floor at the bottom, the chandelier at the top with our model right in the middle and then I'm leaving enough space to the left of the model so that we have the room for the dress to sort of billow behind her so I'm just gonna go ahead and get my focus take a test shot and we'll see how that looks so I love love love these walls in the background so I'm really glad that those air standing out we have pretty nice light coming in here, which is really great because we have natural window light coming in we also have some studio lights on but that's okay, we work with what we've got, so the model is in place I am just taking one more final look at this image oh yes it's so nicely upon the screen and I can see that I actually really like this exposure if I went any darker than the model space would be a little bit too dark and if I went any brighter than the bottom of the boat would be over exposed so I am making sure that that is not going to happen now there are some things that I want to do to decorate this scene, so I'm gonna come over here and grab some more flowers I was actually supposed to use these flowers yesterday, but I forgot so now we get to use them today somehow there in purple water, I don't know how that happened it's a little bit wet, so I'm just going to take these and place them around the frame now, some of the reasons why I chose this color palette first of all, we already had the background painted it was a very, very light sort of peachy color, so I wanted flowers that would sort of go with that soft color palette. Now, I also have some purples and blues, lots of different colors in here, but overwhelmingly, aiken sort of take this color palette and work with that because there's a lot of red and a lot of purple, and I'm going to mix more purple in with that, so I'm gonna go ahead and drape some flowers in here, I could be really, really terrible it's stuff like this, so I typically just have to start picking things through and then take it out later, but I do want to add pops of color throughout this image, and I'm actually now that I'm dropping stuff on the floor I'm debating leaving that stuff on the floor, we shall see, because I kind of like how it looks, so I'm just placing these pops of color all throughout the image especially where I see colors that I don't like, so for example, if I'm going through and I see these pinks, then I might come over with the purple flowers and just sort of drapes some right on top, we'll see how that looks just so then there isn't so much pink in one area because as I've mentioned many, many times, I do not like the color pink, so we're going to try to avoid the color pink but it's funny, because when we were getting this setup, you know, everybody said, oh no, you don't like pink should we take the pink flowers out, but absolutely not because I can change that color later on in photo shop, it's really not a big deal? I'm not too worried about getting the purple flowers in the background because I want everything in the foreground to really stand out, so I'm just placing the last of these in here and don't want anything to look to clumpy. So when we put these flowers inside, we actually still have them in the pots, so they're all inside either plastic or ceramic pots, and we have them just sitting all along the rim of the boat, and what they did was they took a tape and just taped it to the sides in the back so that it wouldn't topple over by doing that, we had height to the flowers and they weren't just falling off the side of the boat, and so this was really great because everything is nice and sturdy inside here, the model doesn't have to worry about knocking the flowers off, and I don't have to worry about moving her dress around and then knocking the flowers to the floor. So I'm just going to go in and see how this looks take a look through my camera, steal the flowers, look, taking a step back. I love that one little purple flower hanging over the side, which is great, so I'm going to leave that there, and I'm gonna leave the dirt on the floor as well, but I am going to remove the vase because that does not belong in our image unless I decide to pour it on the model's head, but I won't. I'm not doing that this time. I'm getting looks for the head. No, I want to start posing the model, so if I could have you sort of pushing your chest and head forward, great, and then we're going to have this hand come gently over top of these flowers, just resting there and spread the fingers a bit more, yep, perfect and for this hand. I am going to have that back so you're pushing it back it's wonderful you can drop your hand to the round great now what I want to do here is create the motion believable motion so what I'm going to do is go ahead and use this fabric to start moving that around just like that. Now the great thing about this particular fabric is it isthe so lightweight so if I throw it up it's gonna hang for a moment, which is great for photos, so if I don't click at exactly the right time, I still have a little bit of a safety net now let's say that you were working with a fabric that just wasn't this light, it was a really heavy fabric and you're throwing it and let's say you throw it and it just keeps going like that hitting the model right away that's not the kind of motion that we're looking for I want it to be believable so often people go overboard with the motion and it kind of looks not believable anymore even though you're putting motion in it's not the kind of motion that would actually happen I want to create a breeze I don't want to create a huge windstorm inside this room, so instead of doing that and tossing it super high up in the air unnecessarily I wanted to flow like this very, very naturally through the image so one way that I achieve that is to hold the fabric and just do this and then edit the person out of the shop so from editing the person out then they can keep holding on to it and they don't have to let go because once you let go that fabric you have no control over where it's going so I like to keep holding on and see it's great that these flowers are secure because they would've all been on the floor by now so I'm going to go check my camera settings again check her pose probably put her in a little bit of a more dramatic pose so take a look and lisa if I could have you leaning as far forward as you can yes just like that and now if you could turn profile to the camera more so with your whole body that way other way sorry there we go yep and then head out even more good and then turn your head away from me that way keep going keep going keep going a little bit more there we go so I just turned her enough to wear from my camera I can see the eyelashes from the eye that's further away from me in profile oh, the lights went off okay so I'm going to get my camera settings again and let me see how this looks as it is and then we'll go ahead and adjust from there so if I am looking at the image, it's definitely too dark now, so I'm going to go ahead and fix that and to fix that, I don't really want to change my shutter speed become because I'm at one twenty five right now for my shutter speed, so instead of keeping our taking the shutter speed down a little bit, I'm going to leave it where it is, because I don't want to get a lot of motion blur in this shot, so I'm going to take my I s o up, and I'm taking that to six forty, and now I'm just taking another test shots, and that definitely looks a lot nicer to me, and we talked yesterday about how you can add light, the face and things like that, so if something is a little bit under a little bit over exposed, that is something that I'm not too too worried about, so I am just going teo set my remote setting here, make sure that I have focused on the face and I'm going to lock down my focus, and I'm doing that because I know that I want to expand my frame a little bit in this shot because this isn't quite enough to crop into a square, I'm going to need to add some to the top of the bottom, preferably the bottom. So I'm walking to place I am setting my remote setting so I'm just going to take a test real quick okay? It works my hands probably in front of that one so I'm going to come over here and I'm just going to test this out I don't have everything in the works yet but I'm testing to see how it goes I'm grabbing the fabric and hoping that it triggers okay so I'm going to take a look at that no I was just holding on to the fabric billing the fabric and we're going to see if there's too much motion blur if it's going out of frame or what's happening so that looks pretty neat I think it's actually a really nice movement to the fabric but I don't really like how it's coming up over her shoulder here sort of looks like it's coming from her shoulder I want it to come from down in the bottom of the boat a little bit more so I'm just going to reposition the fabric and I'm actually just going to move the top part a little bit more rather than moving the other side come on camera don't fail me now okay we gotta reset it this happens constantly okay so I just reset the remote by half clicking the shutter of my camera although of course it's still not going to work oh you's a ten second timer if I have to wade got line I'm going to see how that looked even though it was not intentional not that one not not the one of me there okay, so that's what? I don't want an image, that exact thing that I just did because we have the fabric looking really unnatural it does not look like there's any wind going through it it looks like somebody's pulling it definitely don't want that now hopefully that was a little bit better much more subtle and trying to get ripples in the fabric so I don't want there to be this one streak of fabric being pulled out I wanted to look like wind is naturally rustling through it, so getting a little bit better I'm gonna try one more and instead of always doing this up and down with the fabric you khun go left and right to create some really interesting motion as well yeah, I tried to move out of the way in time, so we'll see how that one looks now. I was moving that one side decide I don't know if I moved out of the way in time, but that's definitely much more of what I'm going to go for so now that I think that I have everything in place, I'm going to start with the fog machine in just a couple of minutes so we're going to get the fog just moving all over the floor here and the goal there is to sort of mask this wooden floor that we have if I were shooting this you know, with where I got every single wish that I ever had I would have a really nice dark wooden floor, but the great thing about having this floor that I didn't want is that I can now find a creative way to cover that up so I'm going to use the fog machine, which is actually really awesome because even though we clearly have walls and a chandelier it's going to look like there's sort of an ocean right around her because of that fog effect all right, you're ready with the fog machine, but not quite I'm actually just going to cover her face up a little bit and I love her face but she looks so nice and perfect right now and I want her to look a little bit more disheveled so I'm going to mess you up a little bit, okay? Oh wow, you're here's good for that. I like it all right, this is going to go right in front of your face just a bit come your hair so I'm just masking the face like we've been talking about I don't want a model, I want a character there we go just get in there a little bit more rattled up just how I like it, okay now, I want to make sure that I get this picture when this fog machine is on, so I am going to have somebody click my shutter for me. If somebody wouldn't mind doing that, maybe we can have a student run over here and click my shutter for me. Thank you. I'm locked down on focus, so she doesn't have to worry about anything. Now I get asked sometimes, you know, is it still your picture if you don't click the shutter and absolutely it is. I mean, I would never, ever, ever say that, you know, this is julie's picture because she's going to push my shutter, who came up with the idea who built the set that's his picture, it is oh, I shouldn't say that because I did not build this set, so I'll give I'll give, like, full, full, half, half credit to whoever built this set. Awesome. So I'm going to be the one moving this fabric, we have john work in the fog machine and we're going to see what we can do, so if we could have the fog machine positions so it's just sort of sweeping this direction a little bit more perfect? Yep, great, because I wanted to hit the side of that boat over there, senate moves in that direction and don't hear now something that we did with this fog machine when we tested it the fog would come out and then it would instantly start rising and I wanted it to just hit the floor so I believe that they put ice in the front of it and that allows the fob hit the ground and stay on the ground instead of rising up in the air so I am ready back here and when I tell you to click you can click okay all right now we have the fog machine and we're going to see how that works on the first run we're not gonna have anybody moving it around or anything and then after that we're going to bring in um something to fan it with a little bit in case we needed to spread a little bit better so let's hit the fog machine okay? We're gonna let it warm up again so as that fog machine is happening as it's going I'm going to be standing here kind of watching for it and when I see it spreading out on the ground that's when I'm gonna walk back here start moving the fabric and then say okay julie take the shot and hopefully we will catch it in anywhere from one to three pictures I'm giving myself three just in case and then the model all she has to do is just hold that pose or you're comfortable enough okay often perfect I can keep talking, I can always keep talking about something another thing that I'm considering now that I'm here. So we've had a lot of questions about, you know, do you ever change your mind when you're on set? And I keep doing this with the fabric and then seeing how it's coming over the boat and I think that it is so beautiful like that so I might take a shot like that as well? It's a kind of thing that I wouldn't want to miss that. So if ever you know, I got home and I thought about it and I thought, man, I wish that I could have just seen what it looked like I'd be really mad that I didn't take it, so we're ready with the fog tonto it's coming against coming no need for that thank you, though. Oh, it's gone that's a gray. We'll just wait for it to come back on over. So we're just letting this spread very naturally, although it is rising now, but that's actually looking pretty good and as it starts to move back, okay, we can know move that fog machine and we're going to get this shot, okay, julie, take the picture, darn it, I'll keep swaying, we'll keep going, it happens every day is that my camera? Okay, awesome. So I'm going to go take a look at that and we're going to see what we need to change. So that is my test shot. That is the one picture that I am going. Teo look at and see what needs to change. Thank you. All right, so definitely too much fog in the air, so we need to see what we can do to keep the fog on the ground. So that is going to be the biggest challenge here with what we're doing. So if I'm keeping the fog on the ground, then it's not going to obstruct the model, it does look really pretty cool in the air, but it's, not what I'm going for. So is there anything that we can do to keep the fog on the ground? Aye, sir, or whatever you guys were doing before, okay, so we're going to try coming from the other side with the fog machine. Hopefully that'll help a little bit and I'm going to focus this time instead of hitting the front of the boat with it. I just really want to hit this side of the boat because that's really what my camera seeing the most of so we're going to try from that side, we're going to see how it works. This is just the kind of thing that you have to troubleshoot on set. There is absolutely no way to know how this is going to go without trying it. Our model looks great, I'm going to move her hand a little bit so I can see it better. So if you can place his hand right over here yep, exactly. Now, given that we have this whole flower scene, I'm going to add some more details to this, so I'm just going to break off some of these flowers and put them in her hair. So this is also something that I did not think about beforehand, but something that I would like to do now that we're here, sorry, let me know if I hurt you, so I've got one flower in her hair, and I'm choosing the flowers that I like the purple ones there's another one, and I'm just decorating her because I want this print to have a lot of detail. If I ever get to show this in a gallery, let's say, I want the gallery to be able to show the perspective clients all the little details that are in this picture, brooke, we've a question over here in the studio machine, and not the smoke bump great before question, so we smoke bombs the other day, smoke emitters and and the issue with the smoke emitters is that it sort of rises instantly it's meant to just go straight up in the air but I knew with the fog machine that we could get it away on the ground a little bit flatter even if it's not perfect it's a lot better than a smoke a smoke bomb would be so I'm using the fog machine and I am trying to get it to stay on the ground as much as possible awesome now we're ready and now we've got the timer off so that will be much much better okay I am ready as well ok so here it comes we're going to try to hope it spreads I think it's going tio it's very slow but I think it's going tio e I just want to blow on it but I know it won't help so let's take a shot for safety right now good now this is the kind of thing I can get this dress moving any time I am not concerned with this dress right now okay? It turned itself off so we're just getting gives us one more second cause it's still moving is it going to the front of the boat yet? Okay let's take another shot good all right I think that's a good as we're going to get so this is perfect to me because this is exactly the situation where you would want to use compositing so I've got a shot of that smoke at the front of the boat I've got it out the back and now I have it covering the entire floor which means that I can composite that together so this is exactly what I've been talking about knowing how to composite can't hurt so because I have those two shots I've got my picture I've got the model looking how I want her now and I have the dress moving have all of these options for things that I can use if I want teo so at this point I'm going to walk over to my camera and I am going to tilt it down and I'm going to take an extra shot no, I'm already locked down on manual focus I'm gonna go ahead and just snap one more here so I'm definitely not in this picture and then I'm just going teo tilt the camera down we're good I've still got some down here here we go and I've just tilt it down now if I were to tilt up anymore you would just see lights and studio stuff so I'm not going to bother doing that but I already knew that I didn't want to do that because she's already so low in our frame I want to send to her in the composition so if she's centered that I need to add more room to the floor all right, so any questions about that scene? Because we're going to change it up pretty soon here, colin wanted to know if you ever added smoking post smoking post no, not very often I have done it only from other pictures that I've taken of smoke in similar situations. I have never created smoke in photo shop, I should say, yeah, so and then I just didn't see another person in the, um, in one of the chat room, kind of asking if you can just tell us again, just your overall concept from start to finish in post because they're saying the colors are all really bright and cheery for you. Yeah, definitely. So, you know, if I were going ahead and editing this, I would take the pink and I would dole that down, and I would make it really, really dispatch aerated purple color, so I'm looking at all of these colors and just thinking about how I can do saturate them and how I can create a more uniform color palette. So, you know, we have blue, yellow, purple, pink, all in one set right now because of that, I need to change that make it cohesive, it's, just like I was saying, I don't want green and red. Together so in that case I need to make sure that I change that green color I need to make sure that the red is the thing that stands out and the green is not the thing that stands out some thinking through the post and you know if they had said to me we have pink flowers for you and I had said, oh, I can't change that later than I would have insisted on a different color flower but I know that all of these things can be changed so I'm not too worried about it thank you um someone had asked if you ever use wigs wigs yeah to ever use fake like really long extensions absolutely you do I do um I once got a wig I think from amazon and I think it was called the lady good dive a wig and it was five feet long and really ridiculous looking and is only eighteen dollars and it's really funny wig bald everywhere except right sprouting hair up in the front you know, because it's really cheap and very plasticky but yeah, I love those wigs I have three of them actually now and I'm using those because they're so long and so golden that it looks like a fairytale so yeah, I love using wigs I don't use them often but I have tried on numerous gray wigs because I have a secret desire to dye my hair gray not a secret anymore you know it's not so do when you do a self portrait so do you extend your hair ever ever I have once I don't usually need to because it is pretty long in a picture it will sort of you know like yeah like white a lot but I've done one picture where I intentionally wanted to make it look like my hair was hitting the floor so I have done that it's not the easiest thing to dio because your hair doesn't really move from one shot to another if you're photographing it like that to the floor but it's certainly possible on especially if you only want to do it a little bit you can always stretch the pixels if you need to take another shot and added on to be a little bit longer so um mate thirty six in one of the rooms here are the chat rooms is asking what caused the smoked a lay on the ground like that the ice that we put inside okay yep. I know nothing more than that. I just know that there was ice put inside and that's it very fancy but it works yeah, it worked it definitely worked and if we had two of those and we could have it hit from both sides but angry um c t op photo had asked how many images do you produce on average per year let's see, I mean, I'm actually slowing down as time goes on intentionally because it used to be that I was creating a picture every day or every other day so I mean, my first year I took probably two hundred fifty pictures but they did not all get published they I didn't release them all but I was practising a lot and I still shoot a lot um but at this point I'm releasing anywhere from three to six or seven pictures a month or so so I'm definitely shooting a few times a week um but of that I produced I guess on average one picture a week that I feel really, really good about it just amazes me that you could come up with these concepts that many concepts in one week three to seven constant concepts like this in one week we'll you know, it's funny because it's like it's not me you know what I mean? It's the idea that you can harness inspiration so I have all these inspiration exercises and I used them you know, I don't just tell people about them and hope it works. I have very, very secure ways of finding inspiration, so once you have that it doesn't become that difficult to find ideas it becomes it becomes more difficult to find an idea that is fresh to you and it's really exciting that you feel passionate about well so do we want to check in on our sailboat here okay, I think we're still working a little bit it's looking really cool yeah we're still working a little bit because we're going to get the model changed into the next dress which I'm very excited about so by chance wants to know what is the longest time from brainstorming to final products it has ever taken you to do a shoot I know that you said that it usually takes you pretty quick since you do a lot of planning but is this one of the most elaborate things you've done this yeah in a way it is because I've never been able to build a set before you know this is you know walls were painted and a boat was bought and a sale was made and all the stuff happened and to talk a little bit about the sale to that we have you know it's just a regular piece of fabric and a giant stick and that's what we use for the sale and it looks really, really cool eso even though this is a really elaborate set it's still sort of a do it yourself project because you know everything was done just by a few people painting and putting things together and that's what I find really cool about it but you know typically I have not built a set so yes, this is one of the most elaborate sets that I've ever used but I have brought a lot of different elements together whether it's in post or in shooting that has created an elaborate image so for example, the pictures that I've done we're on layering small objects onto address that's the kind of thing that I considered justus elaborate as a set like this so elaborate does not have to be, you know, tons and tons of elements being brought into a picture, I think of it more as being an elaborate story or an elaborate production I wanted to ask you about elements he brought up elements, and I noticed that in a lot of your work there's there's air and there's water and there's earth yeah, I don't see much fire, you know? Yeah, fire no, I'm scared of fire really? Yeah, I am actually when we're testing smoke bombs the other day and I said that I was too scared to use the lighter, so yeah, no, um I mean, I've never really I felt connected to that element, so I don't really use it. I like using water I love air, I love the earth that's just what I personally love and feel connected to and think about it so that's kind of what I used but yeah, fire doesn't interest me too much, but it's still really cool and I know that there are pretty safe ways of lighting people on fires, which I'm sure you could figure out if you wanted to put your imagination. Yeah, why not?

Class Description

Forget flashy studios and expensive props. Join award-winning photographer Brooke Shaden to learn inexpensive ways to create elaborate, gallery-style works of art from scratch.

This fine art portrait photography course is dedicated to teaching you how to add fine art sensibility to your portfolio. Through the use of her creative techniques, Brooke shows you how to transform mundane images into dramatic, eye-catching works of art. Intended for motivated beginners and experienced pros alike, this course walks you through everything you need to know to create jaw-dropping fine art portraits and have them hanging on gallery walls in no time. After taking this course with Brooke, you will have mastered new, innovative lighting techniques, Photoshop editing, pitching your images to a gallery rep, and much more.

This class is part of the Fine Art Photography courses