Shoot: Create a Pure Black Background


Introduction to Flash for Children and Family Images


Lesson Info

Shoot: Create a Pure Black Background

Well I wanna keep the learning going, and so what I wanna do is, is I wanna show you all here in the audience and those at home, I wanna show you how to create a pure black background, okay. And so to do that, we are going to move you farther away from the backdrop. You can stay there or you can walk, what would you like to do? I want to walk. You wanna walk, okay. So you're gonna walk up to, somewhere in this area. And then for this, do you wanna stand-- Julie? Yeah. We'll have you stand for this image. Okay, and actually, I'm gonna have you stand right here. Can you stand right there? Cool. Do your jeans have pockets? No. No pockets, okay. What I was thinkin' was maybe you could do like a country girl, with your hand in your pocket. 'Cause you got those boots, and those boots are pretty cool. So for this, I'm going to go to the softbox again. Oops (laughs). Everything's falling down. That's hilarious. And so here I'll go with the softbox, and since she's standing, I'm gon...

na go vertical on the softbox, and we're going with black on the background, and so to me what that means is a little bit more dramatic look overall. Yeah, you look good. Let me see that hair. Alright, I like it. I like the hair. We're gonna take a picture with you kind of doing that with your hair. Is that cool? Alright, so have you play with your hair. Move this way, actually put your foot right next to my hand, right there, right like that yeah. Cool, I like it. And I gotta do a quick little meter reading here. Alright, make sure that our brightness is still kind of close. Do you wanna push the button for me? Yeah. Okay, so we're gonna hold this right by your chin, and you're gonna push that button, right there. Can you push it? Oh good, I think what happened is actually, you hit a different function there. Well sometimes all good intentions, it's all good intentions until a button gets pushed that doesn't need to be pushed. Okay, at five-sixths and four-tenths, and given what I've learned so far today, with this setting, I'm gonna add another stop, so we'll go about maybe F8-ish, F9-ish. Okay we're still at a 250th of a second. I'm still at ISO 200, and we're gonna take a test shot, and we're gonna see what that looks likes on the computer. Look right here at the camera. (camera click) Do you know how to do serious look? (beeping) Like one where you're not smiling. Have you ever done that before? 'Cause I know you like to smile a lot. Yeah. Maybe we do a serious look and see what that looks like. Okay, so that's pretty strong cross-lighting, right? And for this photo is a little bit too much. I think it's too much for a cross-light for this young beautiful thing, so I'm gonna move you back a little bit there, and I'll pull this forward a little bit more on axis. Okay here we go again. Nice, look right here at the camera. (camera click) How about your eyes looking right at me? Oh, fabulous. Nice. Let's see what that looks like on the computer up there. Hmm hmm, the main point I wanna make here is all about making that background black. That's kind of the big teaching moment and that background now has really become nice and black, and that we did that by moving here farther away, and then kind of feathering this light, so that it doesn't shine all onto the background. So it's kind of on her, not straight on, but off at a little bit of an angle. Super! Did you see your photo? You wanna look at it real quick. Nice!

Class Description

When capturing images of families and children, you preserve memories for generations. Learning how to use flash opens up so many options, as you now longer have to be constrained by weather or location. Photographer Mike Hagen will help you incorporate flash into this genre of photography to create family heirloom images that also capture a moment in time.

In this class, Mike teaches you how to:

  • Create looks that wouldn’t be possible in natural light
  • Use your flash to freeze action
  • Use reflectors, modifiers and other lighting equipment to enhance your flash

Learn to harness the power of flash photography to make their memories last a lifetime. Give clients those special images by using flash photography to preserve their special moments.


Jayne Fletcher

Amazing class! Lots of information


Love the natural way Mike has to explain and to work on the studio. Plenty of tips and clear knowledge transfer for me that I manage quite well natural light but that I still mess with the on-camera flash.

Robert Spencer

The class seems great, but my connection - even at 20MB still give me 20 seconds and then butts out for a minute :(