Shoot: Senior Portrait with Rain and Umbrella
We're going to get our next set up and I'm going to just change the backdrop real quick and we're gonna have a bigger backdrop now, which is our sheet. Thank you. And you wanna help me hang this again? Okay? And we can just leave that right up there and just cover this up. Oh, yeah, no way I'm gonna need the stool for shore. Okay? All right, so once we have the tape ready, I will hang this and this is a much, much heavier sheet, so we might have to I'm good s so we might have to tape this quite a lot more than the other one. We're just fine, no big deal, but it also stick better because this is a jersey material and I specifically got this material because of the fact that it's stretchy. So if you're looking for an expensive sheets, you're going to goodwill or a thrift store wherever you might be able to go. This is really awesome because it stretches, so if we wanted to get rid of all the wrinkles we could just pull it and then the wrinkles are gone. So that's why I looked for this sh...
eet in particular actually went on a hunt for the perfect blue jersey sheet and I found it thank you! Alright, awesome, could you stick one more up in the center okay, now I'm not worrying about the tape, you know, covering the fact drop or anything like that. It's not a big deal, I can get rid of that later, and for this set up, we're getting a little bit messy, so we are bringing in water and an umbrella, and I suggested that she stand on a bucket, but I don't think we got the bucket so let's set up for that shot, so if we have the umbrella, that is the first thing that I will grab thank you. It looks like we have a tarp for her to stand on. So if you're someone of lay that out there, that'd be great, and now I am going to shoot this picture on a tripod. So what this shot is I'm going to have her standing with this umbrella open above her, and then we're going to have water pouring down on her as though she's in a rainstorm, she's, not in a rainstorm, obviously, but we're going to make it look like that with just a glass of water in an indoor set. Now they're a couple of reasons why I have this backdrop and that's really important to note the fact that it's blue is really good for me because it's a water shoot, so I want to echo that in the colors that you see now if I had my choice of wardrobe here I would have put her in a more neutral colors and she wasn't wearing red because that's a little bit distracting but as it was under the circumstances this was our option so we're going with red today and I'll show you tomorrow how to change the color of that red dress so I would probably try to dis saturate it make it a little bit of a cooler color something that didn't contrast so much because red has nothing to do with this picture when you think about when you think about color like that but blue does because it's water now the other reason why I have this backdrop is that it's dark so if you have a dark backdrop with water it's going to show up think about it if you have a white backdrop with water on it you're not going to see it it's just going toe blend in with the background so that was my motivation here okay so I will have you step in thanks now you stand right about there and hold this and you are really tall so we're probably gonna have to fix that on your end oh yeah yes can you knew thank you that's great okay, so I'm just grabbing my tripod and I'm going to set this up now the reason why I'm doing this on a tripod is because I want to make sure that I can composite the water in if I don't get all the water in one picture so I want to be locked down for the shot all right? Okay think I totally can't work this drive pod okay, so I'm just going to move forward a little bit here and I am going to get a little bit lower to the ground just to match her height I want to be able to see a little bit under the umbrella because I think that's a nice detail so I'm thinking about camera angle very practically making sure that I can see everything that I want to see and that looks really nice straightening everything out tilting a little bit could I have you moved back? Just uh two, two knee step there we go that's great. Ok, wonderful. All right, so now I'm getting set perfect and now I'm just going to grab my focus and take a test shot for you so you can see what I'm seeing okay, locking it down there we go. All right now we have a really dark prop in here, so I'm going to brighten this up again and now what I'm doing though is making sure that I have a fast enough shutter speed to catch some of the water I still want there to be motion blur I want there to be that sense of motion but I want to free some of it so I'm going to take my eyes so up again to about twelve fifty and that way I can raise my shutter speed to one one hundredth of a second take another test shot okay so now I'm definitely freezing motion a little bit more now if you're looking at this and you're seeing that shadow on the side of her face I definitely want to get rid of that a little bit so I'm gonna have you hold the umbrella to the other side of your face perfect that that's great now I also want to make sure to get more light on her face don't actually just gonna tip the umbrella back into that side that looks good I'll move that out of the way all right, that looks really nice now I also have to make sure that she is not going to get wet because I am pouring water on her so if if you can imagine there's like a mom here and she's like don't get my kid wet well I'm going to make sure that I do that okay so I'm gonna take a test shot you might get a little bit wet I'm I'm not going to guarantee anything okay good so that's my last shot just to make sure that the light on her face looks nice and it does so we're ready for the water uh cup first the cup for the picture he says, uh, okay, so I'm gonna have you stand on this side. So again, I'm making sure that, you know, whoever is assisting is going to stand where they're not blocking the light. So what? I'm gonna have you d'oh this stand just about here, anywhere around here, I'm gonna have you throw the water up so you just gonna toss it up and then make sure that it hits the umbrella. We'll see how it goes and I'll let you know when I'm ready. I'm just going to make sure that my camera's firing and I'm going to catch it, and yet we're good to go. Okay, now let me pose the model a little bit better before we get her all wet, much as we can. So I'm gonna have you holding the umbrella really delicately. But make sure it's firm enough sand it doesn't topple when the water hit. Okay, so I'm just gonna this hand come up to about there? Yep. That looks really nice. Move your hair back and then I'm going to have your head about here. So turn with me. Good. Yep. That's. Great. Now go ahead and tell your chin up just a bit and then look up a little bit higher. Yeah great that looks really nice so I'll show you what that looks like okay good I'm gonna tilt down a little bit just so that I can see her elbow there I don't want to cut her off like that okay, so we've really nice light on her aiken brighten up that umbrella later I know that because I can see good detail in it okay so that looks really good and I'm ready to go so whenever you're ready we're tossing the water one two three good that was great. Okay, I snap two of them there I do believe I can't even remember what I did okay so there we have one water shot and there is another which is looking really really good but I want to make sure that it's going more evenly over the umbrella so I threw it over a little just a little bit more that way it doesn't just hit this side I'm ready when you are oh, that looked really nice okay, so I'm just waiting for these pictures to pop up to see what we see so we've got the initial splash and then all of it flowing off of the umbrella which I really like I think that the second one that we just did their eyes looking really good with the water sort of evenly spraying around her so let's do one more just cause yeah a little bit more towards the front we're going to try to get it a little bit more even. Are you dry enough? Okay, good. The umbrellas working. So so you can kind of see when you're looking at this picture, the fact that the red, you know, it's popping but it's not really popping in the right way. I don't think the red really has a place here, but I do love the look of the costume because it's sort of like I don't know my my time periods, but sort of nineteen twenties damsel in distress sort of thing okay, I'm ready if you guys are wait oh, yeah we got lots of lots of water on that one on my legs to e I deserve it. Okay, so now let's, just try to get one more where her eyes are open in the picture, okay? No, you're good. Want to fill that up a little bit more? Okay? I want to make sure we get, like, the most awesome splash ever. And so this is why it's aria, this is why it's really great that I'm locked down on focus because if I have that water moving at me and I'm trying to auto focus the camera's going to get confused about what to focus on, so being locked down it's fantastic for this okay sorry I'm gonna say a question came up from philip in england who said have you ever got glycerin to the water to make the drop let's stick to the umbrella more I thought was interesting that isn't saying I never thought about that I have not we should try it tomorrow we're going all right let's do it okay this is going to be it this is gonna be awesome yeah, that was pretty good way got a good one I think but I can't stop because because we have more water in the glass so okay one more all right it's amazing you really don't need that much water to make it splash a lot ok, so I think that we've got a pretty cool picture here and now this is the kind of thing where it is fantastic tohave an image of just her with the umbrella because if you look at some of the shots the water is going right in front of her face and we might not want that so to be able to add a different face in there or get rid of some of the rain is a really, really great tool to have so that's why I'm really glad that I've got my shots of just hurt than I have the water shots and we're really good to go okay? All right? Any questions about what we just did have a question in the studio well, I just had a quick question in general with these kinds of chutes are you collaborating with the model or your your subjects at all? Let me know because on the control freak um generally not, but if I were doing the shoot for a client absolutely I would give them some input, you know, if they're not comfortable with something if they have an idea of their own, there are times when I'll stay to the model you know, do you have any ideas of what you might want to try? I don't think I've ever used a final picture where somebody else said that they wanted to do something but that's just because I am really stubborn and when I get an idea, I want to do that idea, you know, and that's why I'm not doing the shoot for somebody else and doing it for me and that sounds really mean, I think towards the model, but I don't mean it to be like that it's just the fact of, you know, I need somebody to be my canvas and, you know, they have to be able to execute my idea, but yeah, I like to get input at the same time yeah analyst might be kind of a dumb question I know is this we're talking to with the birds, ness and the water or is this one composite no two different pictures yeah yeah no, that would be really crazy way could do it but uh yeah yeah not trying to do that, do you are you do you ever shoot for clients because I'm under the impression that you're just to find out photog yeah that's a great question I rarely shoot for a client I don't have a business where I advertise myself as somebody who does that but I have in the past on very rare occasions like there was a time when somebody met me at a gallery and they said, well, you take a picture of me so I did, um I've shot a couple before for an engagement shoot which was really cute and then they were great because they just said, we want to be art, so do whatever you want, you know, yeah, I could see people wanting to say I want to be in that world that you're creating and asking you to shoot them. And I was just wondering if right? And it could be a really tricky thing teo, to know what to do with because there's there's one point where you need a model and somebody's willing to do it so do you ask for payment or do you pay them or, you know, it gets a little bit confusing in that world because you don't really know what the relationship is, but in general, I don't take a lot of commissions, and I do that by choice because I tend to just I know what I want to create and if I'm not creating that that I'm not there's no reason why I am taking pictures because I don't like photography, I keep saying that I mean, I do I enjoy taking pictures, but but I don't love it so much that I would be happy taking pictures for other people, so I don't, but I think that there are a lot of things like what we just did that fly really well to a client shoot where you can get really creative, do something simple in your studio, you know, and it's going to be something that they're probably not used to do it. I was just going to say that, you know, here in seattle, we don't really need to have somebody stand with a cut, seriously, I know somebody with an umbrella way can provide that actually, you know, in l a you do, though, so you learn to do these things, but no it's great, because, you know, if you're in a place where it doesn't rain a lot, or even if it does, you can't just wait around for the rain to make the shot looked great. And then even if you do, then you're stuck outside in the rain with your camera and that's not fun either, so being able to manufacture shocks like this is really awesome, not to mention, you know, if you take a shot outside and you're in a really dry place and then it's raining on somebody that's a concept in itself because there shouldn't be rain and yet it's raining on a single person, so they're a lot of fun things that you could do with something like this. Obviously it extends beyond taking a picture of somebody in the rain um yeah, so I love seeing the people in the chat rooms because they're getting really fancy and kind of creative with this school you've given them kind of a baseline and now they're adding to it so somebody yeah, somebody photo andrea says which she ever backlight the water to have the rain part stand out better people are people are adding there that's interesting because you know me personally no, because I shoot with natural light but it's a fantastic idea and that's exactly why I have this dark backdrop. So then the rain does stand out and you can see it really well because it's almost like white on black in a way it's it's the really light colored rain and the really dark backdrop which I love okay, all right, we have a ton of questions to ask you and I know you've given direction as faras facial expression to some degree, but you know, a lot of us are portrait photographers yeah, so it were so concerned with the direction of the facial expressions so on dh I'm not sure if this is their motivation, but amber had asked, do you prefer to let the model decide on the facial expression and shoot whatever shows up naturally? Or do you have some way of tricking the person into showing the emotions you want for the photo? Yeah, and are you concerned or do you like them tio do what they're going to do and I do not like them to do what they want, teo, if I can stop them from doing what they do naturally that's what I don't do know that's not true, but a lot of people will go into a pose that's already very solemn, very natural where they're just sort of mouth closed, you know, not smiling kind of thing. Of course you're going to run into people who instantly smile for a picture, but the good thing about what I do is that it's obvious that I don't want that, so if you're shooting with me, you know what kind of pictures I take and you know you're not going to be smiling in the picture so I don't need to give direction in terms of that. I rarely have to say, ok don't smile or something like that, but I definitely try to get them into specific facial expressions, and this is where sometimes it's hard because, you know, we all move our muscles differently in our faces. It's hard to really emote sometimes they're a couple of things that I do in photo shop. I'm definitely going to show you how to change facial expressions, it's something that I loved doing. But aside from that, one thing that I love telling people to do is to breathe in and gasp and so that's something that a lot of people say, okay, breathe out and be natural, and I tell them to breathe in and have tension, so also you go like that for a picture like as if they're breathing in and some things just happened to them. So, for example, when we were doing that shoot against the wall at the very beginning, you know, when she had her head back, I might have said to her, ok, open your mouth and breathe in and just sort of gasp in you go like that, and then that is going to give them an expression, it's, a little bit pain that has that sort of mouth open. I'm almost surprised look, I was going to be very natural if you tell somebody to gasp I often tell people to look sad by like pushing their eyebrows together so s so but a lot of people can't do that I find so I told them push your eyebrows together they can't do it and then I do it for them in photo shopped a lot so they're they're two different ways of doing it where you know I couldn't do it so I can't understand why somebody can't do that so I told people it just looked really sad push your eyebrows together they can't do it um but yeah, aside from that I'm not big on facial expressions especially because I rarely see faces in my photos so these aaron exemption again an exception certainly you could see the face and I made sure that she was looking how I wanted her to look so um lucy from california is actually just wondering are most of your models friends of yours or to find people otherwise yeah it's it's both I would say a lot of them are friends of mine but only friends of mine because they modeled for me first, so when I moved to california, that was when I started photography, so I didn't know anybody out there and it just so happened that one of my very first models olivia she was my neighbor, and I saw her in the hall and, you know, said, oh, my gosh, I love you. When will you shoot with me? And so we became really great friends after that, but I do tend to just ask people randomly that I see will you model for me? I mean, like, I saw somebody crossing a street once and thought she looked really cool, and I went over and asked if she would model for me, and she did, and, you know, things like that, so I tried to put myself out there, I used model mayhem, I think it's a great sight, honestly, a lot of people, you know, say bad things about it, but I have had on ly amazing experiences on there, I've found some amazing models on there. Um, yeah, and then people e mail me to to say, do you want to shoot? And I typically I try to say yes as much as I can, but I do a lot of self portrait is too, so I don't need models a lot of the time, so when you approach somebody on the street, what what does that sound like? You don't think I want women, I just say I said something like, you know, I just I don't want to be weird or creepy, but I just saw you I'm a photographer I do fine art and I'd love to shoot some time and then I give him my card and you know and I tend to just describe what ideo so then they don't think that I'm some weirdo and I do have like the young girl thing going for me so it's not like I'm some like burly man coming up to a young girl saying you want to go take some pictures but yeah, I mean, I just hard to explain what I do, so I you know I'll say to them it's not fashion or anything like that it's just sort of ah conceptual portrait and um and I'm so bad because I usually don't have like an ipad or anything with me with my pictures on it, so I'm usually not able to show them right away what I do, but sometimes they contact me sometimes they don't use one of your five words to describe what you do e d'oh ii dio I mean, I I say that I do sort of surreal and fairy tale inspired conceptual photos and I try to let them know what it's like so they don't think that it's anything weird, although I could easily say something that describes my work and have them still think it's really weird like morbid yeah, exactly. So you'll be dead in a trash can. Is that okay? Let me think about that. Well, I know we talked a little bit about your creative process or a lot about your creative process, but question came up from essence who's from london who wanted to know if you ever stop and sketch out ideas while you're planning or shooting. Do you have the idea? And then you just executed or do you ever stop? I d'oh most of the time, I have a sketch, I have the sketch ready. I go out, I execute the idea. But there are a lot of times when I go out and I'm already out, you know, hiking or something. And when I'm doing that, I need to be able teo, you know, adjust and figure out what I'm going to shoot on sight. So there are times when I don't have it planned out a week before a day before, but I'm still out there assessing the situation before I ever take a picture. So I went out once with my friend. It was it was pouring down rain and l a and everything looked really amazing. And I just this is gonna sound terrible. So I had to take off all their clothes and then I had her sit in a pile of sticks and I just sort of like sat there with my camera being like okay now what for a little while and I try not to do that you know it's like put people in that situation but she's you know she's a friend and it was okay and but yeah so I try to always think about it before I shoot it and if I can't if something's not working then I'll just say okay we're going to stop and you can you know um put your regular clothes on we're going to sit here for a second and then I go back into it cool so I can keep going forever if you guys have any questions okay, so do you constantly have your camera with you at all times because I know like in vegas there's no way I can leave my camera in my car like if I'm you know I'll drive but do you have your camera your carl times like oh my god I gotta pull over and cheat this no, I wish that I did I almost never have my camera with me it's terrible I missed so many opportunities because of it I just never think to bring it because I'm really not like a photographer photographer where I'm like looking for for things to take pictures off so I go out very specifically to take a picture and that's what I'm going to capture, and so I take my camera then, but aside from that, I almost never have my camera with me, and I wish that that wasn't true. I wish that I could, you know, have it with me at all times, but I don't. But but you being a self portrait photographer, you could technically, if you had your camera with you and saw a great spot, yeah, you could pull over and like, absolutely, and I'll tell you about a time when this happened, I basically was out meeting a friend. It was really early in the morning we were going to go shooting, so I had my camera, I was driving down the street and I saw a ton of fog and I was so excited because I don't get a lot of fog, so, eh? So I pulled my car over and I texted her. I said, I'm gonna be late and jumped out had my camera had my tripod, did a self portrait and that's the kind of thing that I don't do very often it's really impulsive, but I knew exactly what I wanted to do, right when I saw that fog, so I did it. In cock lovett sorry if I'm saying that incorrectly in the chat room says brooke today I had the feeling of giving up on photography but your talk was a slap for my fears and inspired me to embrace my new beginning. How do you manage to keep your faith in what, uh what you create? Oh, that's really sweet. Yeah, I mean it's hard sometimes because it's so easy to second guess yourself not really know if you're creating something that's powerful enough for the other people who understand. And I think that the key is just creating what you love and then trusting that other people will love it too, because what I have found consistently is that if I love something somebody else loves it too no matter what it is, if I hate something somebody else hates it too. And I guess the thing to remember is that, you know, people are going to love things and hate things at the same time every time you know there every for every picture that I post somebody dislikes it and they want to tell me that and that's great. I honestly love that because at least they feel something, you know, at least they bothered to look at it and say, well, you know what, it's not what I like, but at least I thought that you know, I didn't just pass right over it. And that's what I'm looking for. So, you know, as much as you could just create what you love. Put that out there. That is my best advice.