Shoot: Future Presidents


Turning Personal Projects Into a Career


Lesson Info

Shoot: Future Presidents

We're so excited to watch you go through your process and be part of the future here with your future presidents photo shoot way also we'll let you know that meera is back with us today if you were with us for day one of the shoe which will have siri's you may see her walking around because her kids are with us I'm going to be part of the photo shoot today with matthew so we're going to say hello hello to pass clean and blaze they are part of her shooting if you see mira floating around yes she's part of the team to she shooting some behind the scenes stuff with us so welcome guys already you matthew sells good so I have two amazing second of three we have passed colleen we have blaze we also have hazel in whose will come back to the set and say hello and hazel give me for a quick second bring you out here and we shot her in seattle um six months ago or so and she was amazing and I'm going to recreate that shoot today with her here as well thanks coming back I see state but make it the...

re you stay warm and pasqua lean and blaze come here for a second he's my two subjects what I've just met for the first time I'm really happy to have them here and we'll have them shelling us not on lee it was like to be in a photo shoot, but sharing their thoughts in being the president and obviously things for the first time with you what they've written about what they would do if they were the president of united states. So thank you guys very much, stay warm. So when I'm out shooting on location and going all over america, I want to make sure that this project feels the same, whether I'm shooting in seattle, hawaii or the carolinas or new york or of the midwest, I want make sure has the same feeling throughout the site entire process. So could I go over american shoot with natural light? Absolutely, but what makes it special? What has the same thread? The same feeling I'm making sure that I light everything the same way, whether I have son or cloudy day or rain or whatever I want, make sure I have a consistent feeling throughout the project. So as you're planning your project, make sure that all the indians had that same feeling as well, so it seems like the same person did them, so I am dragging equipment around for that reason. Can I go around and shoot without anything and just use the camera alone for sure, but by dragging on equipment by myself, it's worth it? And it's heavy as I go around the country it's have any care around the profile lights a stand my modifier whatever I choose used as a modifier it's all heavy but it's worth it because it makes all the images look the same the same feeling throughout the shoot and that's what I want so I use the camera the lights as my tool to give that same feeling I'm also making sure I shoot close to the same feeling in terms of my my exposure actually almost everything f sixteen or f twenty two because I want to drop the sky down I'm using my stroll to overpower the son and drop my sky damage deeper richer and make my subjects the hero of the shot my backed up is america but it's the backdrop my hero with shot are my subjects I will make sure they stand out and then they're not you know taken over by other things in the background like mount rushmore or washing monument those background elements are just meant to be the background my subjects of the star so today was shooting in a situation where it's a very hard location shooting it's not perfect and as you do your personal projects it won't be perfect you'll be forced to shoot sometimes in places where it's not ideal so here I have a location where it's not perfect it's not beautiful I want to make a beautiful shot now I do that I use my light I use the perfect lens to focus on my subjects and blow out had the background the out of focus a little bit but I'm close to my subjects on using a twenty four to seventy lin's which for the most part has been my island of choice in doing this project I used the eighty five and twenty four seventy four most all the shots I own almost every lin's they make but I use those lenses the most on this project and today I'm going to use just the twenty four to seventy I'm sure get f twenty two and we'll look at one twenty five and we'll look at shooting at uh one two fifty five seconds for the six speed and see what it looks better what I love about having this camera on location having the sun ae eighty nine is the best camera to have on location before this camera I couldn't do what I can do now so when I'm out shooting real people I can't say oh wait a minute hold on let me get this and tweak it and move around I'll lose them I'm shooting children I can't fuss around and make sure I have the right shot I mean I know it in the moment so as I do my fast test I know the lighting I know how I want to look and you a fast test and I see it through my electronic viewfinder as I shoot I don't like goto inn chimp anymore I see it the second I think the first image I shoot and then an instant later I see the image in here her perfectly and when you outside and bright sun you can't see the back of your camera is too bright if those you off well, I see the image through my electronic viewfinder I see it perfectly I can see in the instant make a judgment call if I want to tweak the light really fast I can, but nobody ever knows that I'm seeing the image here against that connected with my subjects keep involved with them and I shoot it still seems as I shoot and that is huge when shooting anybody whether you're shooting a wedding celebrity, a big campaign, your kids, your mother, whomever you're taking a picture of this is a great tool tohave and I love it because that little tool can save the day and help make you have that perfect shot. If you're trying to make the perfect shot on all your shoots find that moment that's special, you can't lose them and you can lose them in an instant I want make sure when I had them there one set that I stay engaged because I'll go down and look here that may have been the perfect shot that I love us because I'm doing this now when you shoot stay engaged capture that moment after his smile his incident that he has it that she has it and had that image the image that lasts for the next one hundred two hundred years what if he came to the perfect look I'm doing this I can't get it back that moment was there for that instant and then it's gone forever forever so this is my process for shooting I want to bring both you guys out four second we have a board that we've had made and first I should say thank you to all the people who came in with great great great great ideas for the boards there are a lot of great ones and I use them throughout the book for the rest of the remainder of this project we picked one for today I have you guys talk about that for a second as we get you guys together yeah way had I'd say forty or fifty great ideas? Just a ton of great ideas come in from the internet we had some on twitter we had some coming from facebook and ah congratulations jeremy christian it was your quotes that we chose today and we're about to see it alive on air as as matthew uses it with the kids think soul and just a reminder everyone that matthew would love for all of you to get involved in the future president's project even better get your children involved this is just beginning he started a facebook page last week and if you go to facebook dot com and search for future presidents book you can ask your kids to come up with their own wishes put them on boards and you can take photos of them and post them tio matthews facebook page for this project and I challenged everyone tio see how many new likes we could get for that stage yesterday there were twelve when we started I need to go find out how many there are now but it's what's that one seventeen alright, excellent I think we can get it to two fifty what he's gay and then in the next few hours no problem let's do it guys facebook dot com search for future presidents book absolutely so matthew are you ready? I am I am and they look great so the process would be shooting it usually last five minutes ten minutes fifteen at the longest but that's a long shoot for this type of project? I don't want to lose them so it's very important that I have my set up together I could do it really fast capture the moment for them because I know they don't have a lot of patients I gotta make sure I captured the moment in an instant eighty nine lets me do that in the moment oh you guys look great it looks really cool it looks really cool in perfect it's going to like that perfect goodbye because there very strong very powerful very powerful just like that just like that that's perfect oh that's beautiful does beautiful and blaze train fish is a tad that way turn your face even more that way just look that's good like that right there right there fast oh it looks so good this looks so good just like that just like that that's nice that's nice perfect there oh great great great last nice last nice beautiful beautiful beautiful you know what I want to do I'm have you sit down just for a second there right there right there and then put it down in the middle more and then come out on the sides more coming out no further away past nice that's nice as we want that looks good and blades getting right here oh that looks good right things like that that's nice that's nice perfect perfect perfect blaze that let me turn your body all weigh in this way even more even that's great that's great that's quakes like that like that that's nice great now I don't think these pictures think about what you wrote because I think this is so powerful think about what you wrote think about being the president I want that presidential look past eyes that's nice just like that just like that right there beautiful that's great that's great bring the board more towards you rascal yeah just like that and very open strong v s like that like that very presidential that's perfect that's it that's it beautiful that's nice just like that great big strong smells nice nice great uh passing marks a tad right there right there right there that's it that's it oh, I love that you guys look amazing right there right there beautiful, beautiful beautiful now very serious no smiles at all just very serious and very intense right on me right in here right in here right in here that's nice oh that's great right there right there mr and mrs president I love this bad bad nice good beautiful past nice that's nice just like that beautiful that's normally all I shoot that fast is done just like that. So how do you guys feel? Was that like for you being photographed as a future president you like that takes away for one second way into that don't anywhere yet. So I'm gonna each student shoot now and feel that's like because as I'm shooting the only thing I'm thinking about is them and catching a moment I'm not thinking about the camera or the lights I want to focus one just them I can see my image my eight nine nine as I shoot in the moment I'm confident that the perfect lends a great camera the lights are working perfectly I don't have the right gear that part is now out of my mind I'm only thinking about my subject and pulling out my inge's for the story and when I feel I have it I stop and move on but if you push and push and push push you lose them forever so if you guys come in one by one and take your time in photographing them and see what it feels like sometimes my session might last five minutes ten minutes his fifteen minutes that's a long one it's normally not that long I capture it and I'm on to the next place so you hear first come on in okay I'm going toe put this down for you okay go ahead and look at each other for a moment okay and hold the sign up hadn't hold the sign up just in front yourself there you go not give you should give each other a face can you guys stick your tongue out just watch that studies behind the sign from the life okay that on his face okay now go ahead and look at me and just relax for a minute the bright lights air no fun and could you do me a favor could you lower your sign just a little bit right down there we go right there just a little bit more almost half he knows perfect now here's what I want you guys to do for you I want you guys to look at me and you can't smarter okay don't smile whatsoever if I see you smiling then that's the end of everything okay so look at each other who don't smile and then on the count of three I want you to look at me and don't smile either okay ready and one two three look at me I saw one of you smile all right thank you guys next student come on in you guys a great that's perfect that's perfect so as he's setting up to shoot this is little tidbit that's very important using your subject's name constantly as you shoot using their name constantly as you shoot so so you are your name blaise pascal lean so blazing passed clean so how do you guys feel being stars today so can I get you to actually I kind of want to see if I could have the sign behind the wall let's see that exactly yeah kind of like that and then you actually kind of like that and then leave you both could please you're going to fall off they don't want that I don't want to be so uncomfortable exactly um it's good over just a little bit and then blaze could you could you actually I like that actually so exactly you guys look great I mean you guys were actually standing and so um yeah, I like that. And so what's your favorite movie blaze. All right, well, forget about that. Um, I just know that I like, so I'll give you a little advice and you shoot because issuing an adult this way, it's fine to take that much time to compose and get your shot. If you take that much time showing a child, you will lose them. So always think about who you're shooting, keep it going, keep it fresh, even sometimes I'm shooting, you know, I know I won't like that shot in the moment, but I'll keep shooting because I know through that process I will get the shot, but I don't want to lose them. So even as you're working through it, keep shooting, keep shooting to keep them involved, keep them involved and not only with children, the same technique I'm using here worked on celebrities and dignitaries. We have no time at all if you stop and you're wondering about a shot, what they're thinking about oh, do I look weird to look funny and it shows on their face keep shooting the entire time and keep them involved as you shoot with the a nine nine I can see the image as I shoot and that's wonderful, I won't keep him involved the entire time exactly and kind of push and so you know not but I want it on this side I want you to kind of side by side like this kind of an angle and then and you holding a blaze kind of kind of put your arm around your sister like you just want to give her a big bear hug we ask him like that you though just it's a big bear hug there's like yeah and so and there's like think of the funniest spoke of you think of the funniest thing you could do to your sister right now just uh all right I think I've got the perfect sounds good thank you very very much thank you very much. You guys a fantastic you guys a fantastic who's coming up next matthew I just want to give a shot up to jeremy athens from georgia who says he's in all caps truly so so so honored to have had my quote used wow and with mira's kids it's perfect because I mean I get a copy of the book of course a signed copy signed by pass clean and blaze I mean love l o l of and so thank you for getting that quote into us and while our next student gets gets set up what were some sort of learning things that we can get from the from the past to students seeing them what other critiques might you have for them or number number one this I'm also I'm washington shoot right? But it's very great using the names and I love how you use their names and very beginning by asking their names and having them say it but keeping them engaged is so important not just children but it works with everybody when it's a child or ma who shoots all the time, you know, today we shoot a lot commercially and we'll all get it around a monitor looking and I have a monster on the side here but I didn't look at it because I didn't need to I don't want to look at the monitor because even if I'm shooting a big celebrity whether it's you know oprah tyra who shoot a lot if I'm concentrating on looking at the monitor I lose their most well and they shoot all the time so imagine a child or a parent who shoots a picture once a year, twice a year I want keep them engaged the entire time if they big celebrity, you can't do that who shoots all the time? How can they? So I want to make typically I don't lose my time looking at the monitor or the back of the camera I want make sure I keep them engaged and put the best image possible all the time that's how you make a great shot thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you um place could you just could over which is good over awesome and you know that when I grow up I want to be you too it's full of u s oh, ok yeah could you just hold hands beneath it beneath the sign hold hands now yeah okay. All right. Nice s o one more oh yeah some one more and thank you and could he just good question no just leave your hand leave leave you leave your yeah on blaze could you just let it be in front of you a little bit bring it forward a little bit you had to sign forward ok nights all right. Okay. It's she's a time so all right one more someplace couldn't get up a little bit oh, yeah oh ok. I just wanted you get a little talk. Okay? That's great. Yeah, awesome. Okay, thank you very, very much pleasure. I loved how his idea of had them hold their hands now that part took two minutes of shooting. I think in that tomb is a shooting the one where the holding hands is very, very powerful. I love the idea of that it doesn't take a long time you find the image, shoot it and go I don't want to lose them by shooting because I can shoot a thousand years I don't want to shoot a thousand pages sometimes I'll shoot twinges when people this project and leave and know that I have it I just think that one powerful image these guys are so great number one their let their perfect pest lean blaze you guys are amazing by the way say hello dozen dayaks I know she's watching as well so we could say hello to her matthew, come on in matthew is our next student is is getting prepared you know, when you're working with with children it's so important to keep that as you said keeping them engaged the entire time how does your process change and what how would you suggest people work? Maybe if we have more adults older people do we need to keep them equally engaged? Are you trying to be as quickly and third time the entire time? Yeah, and even I'm hired to shoot a story when celebrity and was shooting all day long I'll shoot fast because I know I have the one client questions all the time um very big celebrity but she does have a lot of patients I'm hired to shoot her all day long. I know my secret for keeping her the entire day it's a shooting lee fast get the moment so even whatever they're all day long she feels she's seen there for a long time shooter then changes her top what change something about her so it feels different as I'm shooting and they like you for energy up the entire time as well and just keep things moving throughout keep it marie we're gonna switch back over to the shootings that were not doing both at the same time she's it out for me she is something unique yeah, I love that guys I love that one more do another do not there we go. All right fast lane that's awesome perfect there you go dance all right, okay I'm gonna have you guys do one more thing for me if you can hold yet with let's see user inside hands to hold hold the sign so that's okay he's yeah you're going to use that that hand there in that hand there and then what I want you guys to do is you're going to give each other a high five with your other hand with your outside yeah, so ready one two three osem we're going to try it one more time and you know what please if you can drop it down just a little bit so we can yeah, perfect. We're gonna try again one two, three perfect that's awesome thanks guys. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you so the other thing that's really great about this before you come on, allison is being to let children just be children and that is well, you get the best images glass you just now is wonderful because she let them do what they do best plane alison will have to help me up and down no problem the problem a little play solo passed clean I'm alison we're going to try a few things well, different now can you put this under your chin because I want you to go like this like you're really excited but I need to see your handsome face blaze ok, hold on I got to see your handsome face ready go higher blaze ready? Yeah do it okay but I want that arm up even more ready one two, three a okay, now I'll tell you what else I want to do I want you to look very presidential very serious but plays I can see your face I need to see your serious face no smiles very serious. Yeah, I know no one can do that when I say that. Okay. Ready very serious. All right, now you just won the election all right come big smile big smile thanks. Okay, now I need this down just a little bit so I can see your faces good because I know how much brothers and sisters get along. So can we scoot you two together like you like one another all right? And you're in that you like one another? Yeah, ok one more okay, little lower oh, perfect that's perfect just the way I need it okay ready presidents two presidents ok ready big smile for me now thank you you guys were great one two three there thank you think you think you come on over guess what guys on last one last one harry you today yeah can we move the ottoman and of the son of a bitch we can we can actually is a screw up the lighting yeah we should not shut all right don't let them do it but this is a time we tried not sure that would say we have changed everything we'd meet her anything okay you guys were laughing each other earlier you giggling you were looking at yourself on the screen yeah okay hold the sign down a little bit that oh that was funny okay now let's see what do you see ok so it gives do me a favor and look each other and smile for a second okay now give you a big grin let's get a little closer okay jeff your fingers down past going thank you already place tilt your head in the space from there you go all right past only level of bigger smile all right one more blaze it isthe thank you guys that's great perfect thank you so much thank you. Yes, yes yes but you guys going to stay warm for a second so now that process what I feel like for you guys was that, like, shooting this way and wasn't like, if you also see the image as you shot, I have a son in some kind of used to it, okay, okay, you guys, we haven't shot slain before. What was that like for you? You definitely have a little bit more of a connection because when you're focusing and when you're looking straight through the elektronik viewfinder, you don't have teo, you know, break your eyes so feels a little bit more natural and that's a big deal, and I was like one feature in the camera, but it's, such a big deal toe have that especially shooting on location when you can't control everything around there's a lot of chaos around, I'm doing a big shoot and it's a celebrity shoot and their fifty people want sitting is all this stuff and gear and lights and people in agents I want to focus in on the subject is that connected to them, and that allows me to do that because you can lose them in an instant and once you lose a person on a photo shoot, you can't get them back. It's done that one feature is such a big deal if they only realize until you out shooting and for me, it's the end all be all. And just being able to read their body language as I was talking to them because you know that most kids when you asked him, you know, you absolutely can't smile it's one thing that they don't write exactly, but being able to read their body language and how they responded, as you know you're thinking about something else or setting and being up to stay connected was valuable, very valuable pass the torture one was it like shooting for the first time this way it was powerful I really want this camera so more than you can imagine so like universities like bring it forth, please. And so, um, like my colleague said, shooting through and being able to see it appeared it was incredible and watching their reactions even you know, I could quickly adjust what I was trying to accomplish because of what I saw and so it's just an incredible camera I'm not one to like just go on knowing about gear because I like, you know the image so much. But when I first started doing this project, I was using a different body using the nine nine a nine hundred sorry and when this one came out halfway through the shooting, I'm choosing shooting both cameras on location outside throughout america, right? The first time I shot it was like, oh my god, this is huge because being outside in the elements, when you can't see the back of the camera to check everything you can't, I don't have a big mantra on location it's me and the camera so that first image before I want to check it, make sure things right now I don't do that. I see it with my eyes to the viewfinder all the time, it's a big difference and being out in america on this project and she with the old camera versus this new one it's a big difference and that's a big deal again, that that is a huge selling point for the camera, for sure, because I just moved from florida to chicago, so I was predominantly shooting beach weddings and on a bright and sunny day in the beach, you just cannot see your viewfinder, you know, you just you can't see used to the back of the screen, it's too bright, so you have to just kind of trust that what you did was right and hide and try to figure out. So I really love that I definitely like he said, I'm leaning towards tony so you could save the day I totally saved the day was awesome and save the day the other thing because I said, I shoot sony, and I just love the view finder, but pulling this out I know that's not exactly what you were talking about that that's been amazing and I have people walk mommy go what does she do? Look at that so this's one of my favorite favorite things I really love it it's very cool, very cool I loved it I found it very empowering to be able to see the picture there expressions if you want to tweak it o r move the sign or whatever it is it really is very helpful, very helpful thank you very helpful I know also tiger's feel like they've got a shoot aa lot to get an image and you don't you don't you have the ability to shoot a million images if you want to but you don't have to you shoot when you feel you have the image and then I'll let go I think that's that was one of my biggest lessons I think as becoming more experienced photographer is wanting to keep going and going and going with a particular subject or even just a pose and then being able to say ok, I'm good I'm done e o some people can but most people can't I like that a long time ago when I was photographing michael jordan and he had hired me to shoot his family is the first family party you've ever done which everybody and he's paying me a lot of money and I felt I had to give him a full day's work and shoot always images and I did and after the shoot he told me I feel like you had it the first part of day I'm like I did too but I want to get your money's worth he's like you know what I'm paying you for your talent not the tie on that's when it hit me it's not about the time and she in maine images it's about your talent and capturing a great moment and I had forgot that thank you michael jordan for that way all right ready to move on target let's do that so now we're we're we're going to bring his will and I know who have shot before all right hazel in c l trudy's daughter iss so when this image I'm gonna have you standing and very much the same way we did before I'm gonna move are so far out of the way wait get smoothed out in that corner over there I guess to be great so in that bank is my medically put meter out for second what I've put it away uh in the other room now sorry so here's let me have you come stand right here come back one small step so I'm going from horizontal vertical so what's which my light and when we did our photo shoot apply lasted maybe ten minutes you think it wasn't long but I felt in the moment when I had a powerful image I thought by showing her the sign this is not the board we used but it's a bored with the same message so often show my subject the message so I want them to be involved in every part of it so you need to know what it says so they can own it feel it so that you hold that I'll tell them about the project in detail so they feel they're part of it in every which way and then I'll do a fast check with my meter and no missed me by myself put that out, I do a fash check with the meter and as I meet her I want to know what's give me all the way around that's how I meet her all the way around all the time I want to know how the lights falling off or if it's falling off or I need him a small adjustment and if I do it's usually one small clique it's me coming here doing a fast click and explain to my city also why I'm using this people always ask what's this for she may not know this is ah meter maybe a camera to her or she not sure what it is I'll explain what this meter is then I'll go and start my photo shoot and on location I don't have assistance to help around and do things it's me it's my subject and usually my fiance who's way with me and she shooting behind the scenes of us all going on well that was really good like that that was good right there perfect beautiful just like that that's great wow wow so this first picture is so amazing I could stop right now I love the way she standing I love the energy I love her hair flowing around the first picture is enough for me to get it the first image I have it I love how she is the hero even though I had this background that's not a great background but I feel her in the frame they have on the outskirts of have things around to show an environment but she's the focus I love your earrings too that's great right there that's great just like that beautiful beautiful that's nice that's very powerful very beautiful strong I love that he's linda's beautiful give me when we're looking off away from me like right in there just like that like that there past lovely that's beautiful eyes back at me again nice nice beautiful beautiful fast nice now bring the hands we hold it a little more like yeah right in their eye level you're standing before that was so cool I want see these hearings also I think it's very cool yeah yeah that's it that's it that's great I love that beautiful smile beautiful smell great great now very serious very serious nice there right? Great! They're beautiful fast liza size very strong give me a wider stance now if he was powerful that's what I want that's what I want I love that that's great ask right there look now just above me like right in here that's it like you're looking into the future nothing is an accident the reason why on this project usually shooting where I am lower my subjects I want them to feel powerful in the image is bigger than life I'm usually shooting from a lower angle if I'm standing up and I'm photographing hazan from here it feels very different in image if I'm down here shooting up at her she's like a superhero and that's what I want I want superheroes around america as future presidents to change the world so I won't make her look here a week presidential thank you thank you so much it's not hard it's not brain surgery it's you having your project connecting with your your audience with your subjects and making powerful images? It isn't take you shooting thousand images of each person to find a powerful image yes, I'm your chute morson you shoot less but when you find the image in the moment you know it the first image I shot I knew I had the shot in the first image I could've stopped. I shot mohr to make her feel like you know, I'm taking pictures, but I knew right away in the first image I had it, I knew it because the first image I shot I saw the way she's standing, the energy everything's perfect, everything was perfect, the rest is just covering my back and it feels good to capture that moment. It feels good and the old days when we're shooting film, I don't know when I had it in the back of the camera, I had to feel it it's the same thing. Now you've got to feel it, but you have the actual bonus now as you can see it in the viewfinder and that's incredibly powerful when you're shooting and you have the pressure of a client who's paying you to get an image and make it perfect, you see it right here, you don't need the monitor. Someone has been here all day long, but having looked at all because I see it right here that's for my clients, I'm shooting in studio, they could be back there looking at the monitor, I don't need that I and save my civic and talk to them the entire time because I've seen in just already back here.

Class Description

"You build your business shooting for other people. You build your career shooting for yourself." From creating and choosing projects to organizing details and financing, this course will teach you how to effectively manage personal projects to grow your photography business. This inspirational workshop is designed to help you practice your craft and elevate your photography business. During this comprehensive course, Matthew will offer step-by-step instruction on how to launch and execute personal photography projects. Matthew’s workshop is part of a 3-day event sponsored by Sony called “Shoot What You Love", a 3-day inspirational event sponsored on April 22-24 with fashion photographer Matthew Jordan Smith, family photographer Me Ra Koh, and conservation photographer Cristina Mittermeier.