Skip to main content

Inside the Home Studio

Lesson 27 of 31

Dining Room Shoot: Long Blue Dress Window Light

Tony Corbell

Inside the Home Studio

Tony Corbell

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

27. Dining Room Shoot: Long Blue Dress Window Light


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Class Introduction Duration:04:07
2 Find Your Voice Duration:05:24
8 Photography Education Duration:11:18

Lesson Info

Dining Room Shoot: Long Blue Dress Window Light

all rights now yamamoto video where we moved to the dining room yeah and we're gonna photograph her with the window I think there's there's a remember when we first did that walk through earlier today uh there was a real nice window in the dining room and so this is a unique home because it has a kind of ah opening area there that you can see kind of between the dining room the living room but I didn't want to really be out there as much as I really wanted to get in that dining room with her then the more I started looking at the more I thought wait a minute don't take advantage of this place but you'll see what we're talking about when you could get a little quick look at this video uh it's all about the ambient light here and then it's going to be a back toward the end us using a little twin size sheet as a is a little fill in for the shadow side so take a look at this and see what you're thinking we'll be backto maybe discuss it so for this for this last portrait of evan I'm just wa...

tching this window all day long in this morning we couldn't have used this window for this portrait but as the sun has cleared half way up the roof line of the house and that's on the front half of the house now these windows along the back now they're very very usable so now I've got this beautiful soft window light from this side of the house and I think there's a gorgeous portrait of her just waiting to be taken right here so I wanted to get uh get in here and get this done before he left so john can you give me a reading right there sixty eight five six and a third just a little bit more importantly window just a little bit more yeah five six and a half had six six teeth of a second I s so is four hundred so what's interesting about all of this is that uh when you start doing this kind of work you realize that with a longer limbs from where I'm from what I'm seeing there's a whole lot of kitchen going on back there there's dining room table there's a lot of stuff going on there's a lot of confusion here that I'm not seeing any of it because I'm isolating her from the distance that I'm at I'm isolating her with my two hundred millimeter so I'm out here in the living room she's in the dining room and I'm shooting through this opening and I'm gonna crop more so than crop I'm going to frame her just in the small little window of a nice clean beautiful background behind her that's just a plain wall so I think it's going to be real nice and the way she's positioned this is almost perfect let's just move you just turn you that way a tiny bit yep and just bring your head back to me right there actually asked too much just bring your head back right in there and your chin down just a tiny bit let me raise us up a little bit now one of the things is I'm sort of very very slightly aiming up at her I can get away with it with a two hundred millimeter I could not get away with this with a normal ends our seventy even but because of two hundred millimeters I can get away with very slightly looking up and you'll never know I was looking up so that's something to think about um that really looks nice uh let me just tighten this up just a bit right here good I'm gonna move over two inches this way right there that's great can I move you toward the window on inch right that's two inches come to me just two inches this way yeah yeah yeah and your shoulders again that way just a little that's it and I'm just in your head holy toledo holy moly bring your hands together in front yeah yeah that's great and uh this has turned your head that way just a bit right there that's great really great stay right there for one second just tighten all this up a little bit here good good great wow that's really pretty and you'd never know where we were shooting this from just one more those a little sparkle in your eyes there good good good let's do something with your with your hands let's just let's let your hands go back down for just a second and just let your hips go away from the window that way just a little great now bring your head to me just a little bit right there great great great bring your shoulders a tiny bit to me right that's perfectly do a couple of real quick just like that one more of those now I do want let's go and take your glasses off just for a couple of real quick and just bring your head this way just a little chin down just a tiny bit right there one more of those good let me just double check that oh do that again what do you just do look at that way turn your shoulders to me a little bit otherwise sorry sorry sorry that's it let your eyes come this way though her head turned that way now don't just bring your that's it yeah let your eyes like split the difference look over hmm never mind I don't like it after you did it I thought I liked that I didn't like it let me do one more of these with your head turn just a little bit like they're ten down a tiny bit right there great one more of those it's really nice a little bit of a smile in this one it's just a big right there good now let's go ahead and turn your shoulders toward the window a little bit more turn all of you toward the window a little bit there you go now that's too much come back just a bit right there now this time bring your head to me right there and let the top your head just tip over a little bit to the side and chin down right a little bit more right there great great great and this set your glasses and just hold your arm same thing but I just want to kind of get something they're here yeah yeah I just lean your lean over your waste this lean lean forward like that yeah yeah yeah nobody will know you're doing that but me move over just a tiny bit now just let your eyes go away from me just a little bit like right there that's it perfect little bit of smile on their face just a little good good good now turn your head to me a little bit more big smile one time right there could get good good one more of those like just one second I'm just gonna come in a little bit more and just see a tiny bit of the edge of the window great right there more those good you can always tell when I start to get something really good I get real quiet I'm weird like that great we just check that sharpness on that last one o more yeah that's gonna work great one more and let's just put your arms back down straight again yep perfect you're just you're just right just like you are I wish I was a little bit taller if I can cheat great gorgeous gorgeous way go write me a little smile in this last one right here good good good relax I got it that's really nice let me do I'm sorry one more do that a lot don't I won more no this is it then I see fifty more same exact thing buddies one turning the other way so let's turn your feet that way your hips yep yep come back a little bit now bring your head back this way right there same thing that your hands are great you're feed everything with good right there right there don't move don't move don't move so keep that same position great now then let's bring in that white sheet and what is goingto I look at you guys go look at them go to stretch it tight and just hold it just like that that's perfect john can you hide yourself another inch behind it but now we had walking into the shot little bit from your side john just moving in closer tour clothes and your side can come in a bit closer to me right there now then turn your head to me a little bit turn turn turn turn turn right there right there right there good bring your shoulders to me a little bit this way let me see that back hand a little bit your left hand I can't see it at all just that it just straighten yeah that's it that's it great little smile little good so let me just double check one thing here so what's happening here is uh because of the because of the sequins on the front of the dress bring your head around just a tiny bit more right there and a little small on this one great and again bring your hands together real quick and let me uh I'll finish this off here great hands down just a little bit lower don't bring them together but just down down down down down down down down right there yeah yeah good one more of those dad dad's gonna kill me there this look so fantastic okay relax I got it so the great thing about this is about bringing in that fabric I want youto what can you can use to stay right there for a second you guys and hold that and lower it down and bring it up when I tell you to in addition to lowering the highlight to shadow ratio on the face distress is made up of sequence in the front when the sequence don't see or reflect into something light they go dark by bringing in this white sheet it totally changes the entire front of this gown because all those sequins or now whitened lit up and they have a beautiful highlight and it really really sort of comes to life any photographer that's not using large source like that on sequins I think is making a little bit of a mistake you've gotta have some kind of highlight in those shiny shiny little small bits of objects so let's go ahead and bring it back in yeah now drop it back down again and just look at that look at the difference from from from the viewer's perspective go and bring it up again yeah so that's perfect it's so opens up the front again let me do a couple more shots real quick I'll do one with him without and then we'll put him up on the screen and talk about him so evan just turn your shoulders to me again a little bit right there uh and bring your head around just a tiny bit more right there so let me get we're going to to picture will do for pictures of anyone here one more smiling just a bit now you guys just let go of that sheet and get it out of the shot and don't move don't move don't move don't move we got it okay that tells the story right there and really really came together nicely with that makes all the difference in the world so that's a that's a great takeaway from window light is if there's something shiny you've got to get a reflection in it so this worked out beautifully for us you know this whole highlight control thing that we just illustrated with that one little bit uh that's a that's a technique that commercial photographers have known for a long time and they and they you learn when you shoot commercial work and tabletop and product work you do understand and learn that uh often your your best pictures are elements of controlling highlights in portrait photography it's usually controlling shadows but with commercial work it's often controlling highlights and uh I photographed a woman with a dress that was a beautiful beautiful gown it was full length gown and it was all solid sequence and my sequins were all beautifully lit from the side that my main light was coming from but the rest of the dress was black because of us sequins or something shiny doesn't see light it just goes dark right and I could not figure out what I was gonna do and what I was gonna do and I was just killing myself and all I finally figured out was well wait a minute and I just got two of those eight foot by four foot white foam course that ravine flat and I stood him up and this moved him in closer close closer and he just lit up it didn't change any exposure or just barely changed the ratio on the face but it lit up all the sequence and just give me a really a nice picture so that's what this was about right here if I'd use a small silver reflector a small white reflect I never would have gotten those highlights in the front of that gown I would have only gotten a little bit of that so for me it's always the details it's all an element of like quality and paying attention to all those little small subtle details even have been even in your home studio so any questions about that anybody bueller bueller okay how about you miss kima do why do you have a question on behalf of dd as well as some folks may not have been watching us the whole time and our gander commenting on the glasses and wondering if you're getting glare how do you correct that is that something you're gonna go ahead and do and post that type of thing it's just a mess good glare glare is a problem it's especially a problem even made worsened if the glass is air little bit convex um and if the glass is really large and she has some that are a little bit convex and a little bit large and and it is a problem and it's very difficult to fix in post so I do the best I can I'll broad like the face I moved the face slightly away from the source to move the speculator angle off of access to the limbs and that helps but sometimes you know it's just like it's just like photographing an executive sitting you know if an executive's on the corner of his desk and his glasses were just killing you just have him take him off just have him hold him for a second we know he wears glasses he's holding you know but sometimes or there's a there's a great photographer that lived in san francisco named christopher spring man who did mohr editorial work of executives and doctors than anyone I had ever seen and he had a signature portrait that it of every doctor and every executive for every session and he always took the last shot with them holding their glasses off on their head like I guess it was more like you know something like that like they were just about to take him off put him up there anyways just kind of a signature move of his because it gave him an option and it gave his editor on option because it's very difficult to retouch so sadly d d that's a tough one that's a challenge and I don't have a fast quick easy answer for you it's a hard it's a one of our bigger challenges in our industry so try having your clients bring empty frames when you can if you if you want but it's a very challenging proposition to do that even so yeah it's just moving around until you find that angle

Class Description

Working from home is a great way to minimize costs, but it can be challenging to deal with the inevitable space and light limitations and it can feel awkward to explain to clients.

In Inside the Home Studio, Tony Corbell will help you address the logistical and practical challenges of working from home. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Work with low ceilings, dark spaces, and small skinny rooms
  • Market and sell in-home shoots
  • Store and organize your equipment.
  • Work with family and client schedules

Tony will help you come up with new ways to shoot in ordinary spaces by sharing real-life examples of home studio scenarios. He’ll shoot formal and candid portraits throughout the entire house, teaching you how to leverage each room for its specific uniqueness.

Inside the Home Studio will show you how to approach different photographic genres and help you make the space you have to work for your business.



Another great course by Tony Corbell. I loved this course. Tony is a great teacher, great photographer and great business man. He's enjoyable to listen to and a great teacher. He holds nothing back and shows how to shoot great pictures even in small shooting environments or on a low budget. I would buy again Tony's courses.

Penny Foster

Wow! Tony is fantastic! So many hints and tips, crammed into this great course. I shoot portraits out of a small converted garage, about 9 ft high, 9 feet wide, and about 19 feet long. Tony has shown me so many ways to make this small space work for me, for which I am eternally grateful. What this course highlights is that whatever small space you have, there are ways of making it work. You need to buy this course and watch it over and over because, every time I watch it, I gain more and more info that I missed the first time around. Brilliant!

Kat Ciemiega

Absolutely wonderful, I cannot praise the content enough. I value Tony's stories as much as the information he is giving away, because it puts the data in the perspective and practical context of the actions we take. Thank you for this class!