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Final Thoughts

Lesson 51 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

51. Final Thoughts

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

In this lesson, Pye Jirsa shares some final thoughts and reflections on engagement photography. He discusses the importance of creating unique and memorable images to differentiate oneself from other photographers. He also shares personal anecdotes about his journey in the photography industry and encourages students to work hard and hustle in order to succeed. He concludes by mentioning the partnership with Creative Live and the availability of more educational content.


  • What is the importance of creating unique and different images?
  • How can photographers differentiate themselves from others in the industry?
  • What personal anecdotes does Pye Jirsa share about his journey in photography?
  • What is the significance of the partnership with Creative Live?
  • Where can students find more educational content and resources?


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Posing Guidance for Him


Posing Guidance for Her


Foundational Posing


Posing Touch Points


Couples Body Language


Posing Three Point Check


Posing Tips with Demo


Lesson Info

Final Thoughts

So we've covered a gigantic amount of content. It's kinda crazy just how much we've covered. Again, this is that Join Us slide. I wanted to give you guys a little bit of a kind of outro right now just to talk about my background and so forth. And so first I wanna you show you guys just a few more images. We'll talk through a couple of these and how we're doing these. Neutral density filter, slowing down the shutter, allowing the water to come in and drag over them in this frame, processes in HDR. These are my kids. I love throwing them into any possible presentations I can. I'm a dad. This is Ethan. This is Ellie. And one of my favorite things to do is to take my kids out for photo shoots. Not only is it, like, great practice time, but it's also stuff to remember. Jared Yonis had a super powerful line which was we immortalize other, we immortalize moments for other people at the expense of our own. And I felt like, when I heard him say that to me, I was like, you know, you're exactly r...

ight. Like, how often do we spend all of our time in the computer editing and doing all these things. And that's why we've hopefully instilled on you the need to create processes and systems and getting yourself out of that so you can spend more time with your clients and with your family. This is at the beach. Light right on the right side, lighting into their faces, balancing it for the sun so we can get all the detail in the shot, keeping it with a little bit more of a in between something dramatic and something natural. Kind of right there. Shutter drag on the beach. Putting them in a high point in the frame. Letting the water lead you around the frame and up to them. This is that shot that we talked through. This is a shot we were talking about suing the aperture to control shapes of light, right? We're simply going up to a higher aperture, F14, placing it so that the sun is coming right through them, and then putting them into a pose where we're not really seeing their faces too much, 'cause if you were, this would be really annoying to have their faces blasted out with a, the flash behind them, or the, I'm sorry, the sun behind them. But it creates a really cool artistic type shot. Downtown. Slowing down that shutter. Letting a bus drag by in downtown while I stood in the middle of the street. It was a not so busy street, okay? I love natural light and the cool effects that it can create. Some of our clients that have come through and wanted more natural-looking images. I love it. This shot has made us go back to Victoria Beach to shoot it probably 400 times now. This is one of the signature shots that we have on our website. And one of the things that I love to say that if your images are unique and they're different, if your clients can tell the difference, and we talked about how if we can only see, if we, if your clients can't see the 90th percentile, right? Our 90%, even, like, our 80%, our clients can't tell. So for them to differentiate your images from somebody else's, there has to be a dramatic difference. It can't be within that 20% that we can only see. But if you can create a dramatic set of images that are different from other people, man, it's so easy to get clients. And we get clients that come into the door all the time, and they'll go, I love that image. I don't want that shot. It doesn't look super natural to me. But I love it. I just love the fact that you can do that. I've never seen it done anywhere. But I want light and airy. Do you know how many times that's happened where they come in because of this image and they go, I just don't want it. I just want light and airy. But we still got the business because of that. And then we've shot that location 400 times, probably. We're literally there three times, like, a week shooting that location. In the next part of this class, we're gonna come back, I believe, in March, at this point, we're gonna come back and we're gonna do a nighttime piece where we're gonna go through this shot, how we created this image, getting more creative with our shots, how we shoot nighttime portraiture. Nighttime's one of our favorite times to shoot, and we're gonna be going through all the nitty gritty of that, including talking about, like, our whip pans and all the kinda stuff that we do to get cool effects in our images. I show you guys all this stuff because, I'm gonna try not to get, I think you said weird, right? You get weird when you're up there? Like, I'm trying not to get weird. I don't, I'm not, like, an emotional guy, and when I get emotional, I feel like it's weird. But I was the kid in high school that wasn't good enough to make it as an artist. I don't know if you guys read my blog post on Creative Live, but I, my art teacher in high school pulled me aside and he said, you're not good enough to do this for a living. I would think about doing something else. He was probably right, that I wasn't good enough to be an artist who drew and created paint, I remember, like, we did this thing where you're supposed to take a portrait and draw a portrait out, and I chose Einstein. You're supposed to take a celebrity. I chose Einstein. And all of my friends who had never had any experience drawing whatsoever came into the class, and they, like, drew amazing portraits that went up in, like, the halls, the high school hall of fame, you know, that little glass box that everybody wants to get into and you're, like, a loser when you're not in that glass box. Anyway, I drew my Einstein, and I was so impatient with it, I drew an eye, and the eye looked perfect, and then I'm just, like, I was, like, four hours into it. Like, I'm like, I got one eye. I'm like, let's just do the rest of this real quick. So I took, like, one hour and finished the rest of it. It looks, he looks like, it's, like, Einstein with, like, a pirate face. He, like, has one eye that's, like, working well and the rest of his... It's just not good. So I get it. I understand what my art teacher was telling me. The problem was that I hadn't found my thing yet. I hadn't found my niche, the area that I could excel. I knew that I was a creative person. Nothing else really fit into what I wanted to do. I just didn't find it yet. It took me a long time, actually, to find it. I went through high school getting not so good grades. I wanted to go to BYU, but this is the funny thing. I actually knew the president of BYU, and he's like, just send me your thing. No worries, no... Your grades are bad, no, I'll help you to get in. I sent him, like, my grades and my ACT. I took the ACT and I walked out halfway through. I was so annoyed. I'm like, this sucks. So I walked out, and I got an 18 on the ACT. That's a 50%. That's a good golf score, though, if it was, like, I don't know. (audience laughs) Anyway, I sent him my grades, and he's like, I'm sorry, I can't get this in. Like, this is just not gonna happen. So I went to the University of Utah, I studied accounting, and I came out and became a professional accountant, worked for Ernst & Young for two years, got my CPA, became really close friends with Justin through my mission, and we became best friends over time, and became super close friends with Chris. All of us became CPAs, and we're all like, we wanna do something creative. It wasn't till the recession hit when we quit. We actually tried to start up a web start-up. We had funding for it, and that funding got pulled as soon as the recession started, and we quit three weeks prior. So we quit three weeks, we had funding, the recession starts, and that funding gets pulled. We're like, what should we do? We started doing some web design. One of our clients goes, hey, do you guys do photography? And this is me, in my one-bedroom apartment with my wife, like, in the other room, Justin and Chris sitting next to me at their desks, we're trying to figure out what to do with our lives, and I'm like, absolutely. Let me transfer you to my photography division. Hold on. And I put the phone on hold and I handed it to Justin, who's sitting next to me. I'm like, tell them that we do photography, that you're in charge of the photography division, and that we will take the job. We need money right now and this is getting bad. 'Cause we had a hard time finding design work for websites. So somehow we get this job. We go out and we do it. I knew enough about Photoshop at that point 'cause I'd done design work in college that we did okay on it. We took pretty terrible pictures, but we, I only had to deliver one picture for a campaign for, like, a billboard, and it actually turned out all right. And they put it up over the city, they put it up into the sides of buses, and so we'd be driving around Compton. That was where we were living at the time. Compton, Gardena, you know. So we'd driving around, and then you'd see it on the bus, and you're like, that's such a cool feeling. So we're like, let's get into this a little bit more. Let's do photography a little bit more. And this eventually led us down the path of focusing on this, saying we probably need to learn how to take a picture, and studying photography before we got into it too much. But I wanted to say this. It's super difficult to succeed in the arts. It is. There's a lotta competition because it's so easy to jump into, but it was so much more difficult for me to succeed in a career that I had no passion. I hated my life. I hated waking up every day and going to work. I hated the hour and a half drive that I'd make to clients' houses or clients' office buildings. I hated every bit of it. And at one point it was quit and do my own thing, or I actually was considering something far more extreme, and just, I don't wanna talk about that. But I had no choice. And sometimes it might take you to get to that point where you have no choice to make you force your way down a path that you might be a little bit offbeaten. It's kind of off the beaten trail. But maybe it is difficult to succeed in the arts, but if you guys are here and you guys are just going through your education, it's not that difficult, because guess what, this stuff, the educational stuff is what puts you ahead of 90% of the people already that are not doing it. And if it's your passion and if you're willing to put in the time, then you will succeed at it. The only thing you have to think about is making sure you're putting in enough time. Because if I'm doing 50 to 100 shoots a year and you wanna compete and you wanna step into that arena, you need to be willing to do just as many if not more to not only catch up, but then to compete with all the other people around you that are already in it. That's not to discourage you. It's to say that you gotta hustle. I wanna end on that note. You gotta hustle! All right? So work hard. If you're passionate about this, it's gonna be super easy. You're gonna love every minute of it. We have more education. As you guys know of the partnership on Creative Live, we have adopted Photography 101, Lighting 101 and into the store. Guys, we're so excited for this partnership and we're so excited to bring more content in and to keep doing live education. So if you like it and you dig it, check it all out so that we can keep on doing it. On-the-move portrait gear. AT the end of our gear guides, or at the end of this tutorial, we have the gear guides. This is kind of the on-the-move portrait gear. You can see our full list of gear, the software that we use, so forth. The discounts, everything that we have with our partners, on gear-guide at slrlounge, as well as our favorite software towards the end of this, and we also have deals and everything on that, too. And that is the end.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Pre-Shoot Videos
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Presets Installation Guide
Gear Guide
Favorite Software
Lightroom Presets

Ratings and Reviews

CPR Photography

I think Pye Jirsa is one of the best, if not the best, instructor for photography on Creative Live. He is very personable, smart and approachable. He has a perfect blend of personality (comments, laughs, tangents..) to the amount of instruction. He asks the questions for you, because he knows you are thinking those questions right then. He's very good about identifying settings, gear, etc.. and not leaving us in the dark about how he "got the shot". He goes into great detail. His instructions flow, but are linear, which is helpful. He's very organized, and you can tell that he really put a lot of work into his presentations (slides, video, test shoots, live teaching, graphics, etc..) I have been listening to him for like 10 hours straight, and still haven't gotten tired of him. He keeps things moving, He's very funny too. Nice job, I've learned so much. :)

a Creativelive Student

This course was AMAZING. I'd say int he past year or two I've fallen into a slump. Uninspired by my surroundings and uninspired by my clients. As a result, it showed through my work. My posing suffered as well and more than a handful of times some of my shoots became more than awkward. Then I bought this course and watched most of it in the course of a day. I walked away inspired, blown away, and renewed. The next day I walked into an engagement session confident. I gave my couples a quick overview on posing and then we just had fun in front of the camera. Immediately afterwards they texted me about how amazing their shoot was and how relaxed I made them feel about posing. The photos turned out fantastic to say the least. I've since shot several more engagement sessions and each one of them has been amazing. If anything, this course should inspire photographers to think outside the box and provide you with the necessary skills to take incredible engagement photos. Thank you Pye and Creative Live! I cannot speak more highly of this course. I should also state I purchased Pye's Natural Light course on SLR Lounge: this course is a wonderful addition to that. If you already own the natural light course and are hesitant about purchasing this one, don't. Buy it and reap the benefits!


This is by far one of the best courses I have taken. Pye makes learning fun and easy to understand. I feel like I have learned so much throughout the course, that I have truly advanced my photography skills. I am so excited to get out there and try so many of the techniques that he showed. I would love to take another course of his. The pricing for the course doesn't even compare to how wonderful the education truly is, I really got more than my money's worth on this one.

Student Work