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Live Shoot: Medium Light

Lesson 5 from: Lighting Styles: Working with Soft, Medium and Hard Light

Matthew Jordan Smith

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Lesson Info

5. Live Shoot: Medium Light

Lesson Info

Live Shoot: Medium Light

so we're now using a soft box. This is a a soft light source again. We have three types of light there. Three main types of light saw medium and hard. I can turn this soft light to you, and it's not going to affect you that much. A soft light. Now when I'm shooting this type of light or my subject, it's gonna give me soft colors, soft hair, soft skin and that's green. I shoot a lot of hair care products, a lot of hair care and skin care. Now, soft light is great for that, but my staff does not mean that solved. I like it somewhere in between, so I'm going to actually go to like that. Use a lot. We'll switch this light for a beauty dish, which is what I consider a medium light source. Again. You have soft, medium and hard light sources. It's totally up to you what you want to use. But think about the colors, the sharpness, the feeling of your work. What do you want to feel in your pictures? Were switching those up? Someone online had asked. Do you always shoot on manual mode after you'v...

e taken that light meter reading question. Do I always shoot on manual mode? Absolutely. Once I want have control over my images. I want to know exactly what the meter readings giving me is a matter of fact. I give an example. What? I'd only do, what I'm shooting. I'll take a meter reading where I go through, and I want you to do one meter reading because one metering will just give me the light. Where is falling right there? I'll do by readings around my subject, usually right under the chin on the left side, on the right side, top and bottom. I want to know exactly where the lights falling that is, Even that's not falling awful. One side and on another side. That's why do more than when reading. Then, once I had that information, I had my camera on the manual mode and I make a decision. Do I want the meter to tell me exactly how to shoot or do I want my shots to be over a little bit or under a little bit or right on the exposure? I make that decision, so I'm always shooting on manual and making that choice on how I shoot. Great question. Also, by the way, thank you guys for that question, but my meter away as well. Now, guys, ask questions as much as you want. Don't be shy. So here's my question. So this stunning model, uh, clearly knows exactly what to do when you come across a celebrity who doesn't know that I mean by that happens a lot. How? What do you do, Teoh? Open them, make them feel quest. You know, make them feel comfortable. Great question has had the same thing happened on Monday is matter of fact. So I have a new client. She is a big celebrity. We've never met before, so she comes in the studio, she goes into hair and makeup. I have to first introduce myself to her. She knows my work, she knows all that. But I want to get to know her and create a relationship. So I'm always going to the hair and makeup area, whoever it is, big celebrity or not, I going through there and I start talking about life, you know, was your last meal to see, you know, um, did you fly in this all kind of weird stuff? I'll ask not about the shoot at all, but about them and their life. Then you start talking about life, get to know each other, make a comfortable with me. So when you finally get here where she's saying there and I'm here, we already have a bond, that something's changed. Like when she came in Monday, the person was shot Monday. She came in. I can't say her name because it's, Ah India situation until a job comes out, which is very often with, you know, advertising today or celebrities. So when she came in, I wanted create that bond and she came in and she was very reserved and quiet, and her team was very reserved and quiet. I'm like, Okay, it's gonna be a hard sheet. That's how I felt right away. Might be a hard shoot, you know, they're being standing off to themselves. So I walk into the hair, make area sat down, but she's doing hair and makeup. Start talking about social media, where you used you do instagram, do you do all this other stuff? And so it show me how she does her stuff and she gave me tips on how I can use a Snapchat. Okay, I start using it now. So now start using it after Monday, Start using Snapchat more. But it was us bonding. And that's so important for you. Shoot anybody to have some kind of report before you put a camera in front of their face. What you do that it makes everything easier. By the end of the day, we were like this and we've been emailing each other back and forth since the shoot. I love that when you make that connection, photography does that. So now we're using a medium light source. Turns around This is a little harder light and notice how this light feels on you. I'm also very aware with my subjects on how they feel under the light. Very often. The photographers right here with shooting. And we have no idea what the feeling and a stroke going off. Watch your eyes for a second can wear you out. We have teams. I can shoot a 1,000,000 pictures today, but I don't want to wear my civics out with us. A soft light or a hard light or medium light. I want to know how they feel under this light source and I give them breaks as I shoot will shoot. And as with shooting, stop shooting. Just talk with them, even Mawr and keep that bond going and build that relationship. This is also guys, how you build Lifetime clients. My first client, first time doing the job on Monday was this was this line and we now have a bond. I know him well. Shoot her over and over and over again. My client, I've been shooting for, like, 10 15 years. They can hire any attire. I shut her since the mid nineties. She can hire anybody. We shoot all the tie because we have a great time with shooting. And she knows she don't get great light and make her look beautiful all the time. You want that rapport where they feel good in front of your camera. That's your fingerprint as well. You're lighting style and your style. They love that how they feel. So I'll make a small adjustment because my lights off a little bit, I can visually see it now. Also, I can see that fights off a little bit. Wanna bring it over like another two inches this way. That's great so from here it looks the light light is perfect. But to be honest, I can't tell from here the salt box. You put the light almost anywhere and it's great. You're going to medium light and hard light. You must be more precise. So from here it looks right. But I can't tell until I do this and they can tell that lights all from back here. It looked great, but actually all the light is falling this way. So I want tweak it where it falls right on her right there. Just go a little bit there. Perfect. Give fast reading as well as make sure consistent. You've got to be consistent and precise with your lighting. Now that was like a two inch difference. But it makes a difference. Remember, people are not just looking at your work, comparing you to everybody else. If you could be consistent and precise, if you're lighting, it will make a huge difference. And the work you receive having repeat clients over and over and over again. And I'm talking about you to their friends. Simple and easy now that it's great light wise, we still at the same reading nine perfect. Beautiful. So we're shooting at F eight. The reading is F nine, which is eight and 1/3. Oh, that's beautiful. First image. I won't look at the first image. Do you see the clarity difference already from that saltbox to using the beauty dish, it changes the clarity with sharpness, the color small changes. Wow! Now she's beautiful in every picture, no matter what led. Amusing. That's nice. That's nice. Beautiful, Beautiful. Wow! Yes, yes, yes, yes. You see why I love this career? I love it. This is every day right there. That's nice. Just like that. Just like that. I love the dance guys. I love the dance. Go totally this way for me. Turn quite a bit quite a bit last. NYSE there come back to slightly. To me. That's nice. Beautiful, beautiful. One thing about using the medium light, I get a little more detail in her hair. I do a lot of skincare and a lot of hair care. My hecker clients they want to that detail in the hair. It can't be too hard. It can't be too soft, like there's have plants that, like Revlon, Revlon hairs. One thing Loreal hair is very different. They hire you based on your style and your ability toe light and make their product look great. How do you do that? You've got to know about your light. Your lighting style has a total control over all your light. It can't be an accident. Guys, you've got to know it. You've got to know that going from here was that eight inches to here will make a big difference in your light. You just can't sip your light and say OK, looks good. You've gotta know. Remember, you're placing your son where you want to be. It's a clear decision, the angle of light and the height of light. This is all part of your lighting style, knowing exactly where you want to be. The question for the audience there. What that difference would be. That eight inches. What is what happens? So when you have that light high, let's take a closer look at this. Actually get to the hot light, actually better, But you're even though it's a soft light or medium light, you still get more shadows go higher on that light. It changes from very high. I might get shadows under the eyes. It's even more parent. When you have a soft box, the higher you go, it's like that darkness I want to be. This is this is my son. At is my son around three o'clock four o'clock, five oclock, six o'clock, right before sunset. That's the height of your light, whether it's a soft light or not. So today we have an overcast day. It looks like it's the same to our eyes, but it's not that sun is still out there changing over those clouds. This is a very hard like to shoot it. We think that always overcast is just beautiful light. That's not really true. It still changes throughout the day. It's hard to see this light change. It's still changing. We use a soft box. It's very hard to see the light and how it changes on your height. But when you make a clear decision on your height, were using a soft box or beauty dish or any other type of modifier. Once you make a decision on how you want your images toe look and make that consistent, your pictures start to stand out from everybody else. They can't forget what it is about John's work. Looks beautiful. What is it? Picture after picture after picture. They don't hire you face on one picture. They hire you based on ah, body of work. You want that body of work to be consistent and the feeling even looking at you guys from my first came in here looking at the light Coming here now is really beautiful. Now you're all lit. Well, because of the time of day. It's an overcast day. It's been overcast all day long. It wasn't nice earlier. An hour ago was like this. But now you guys are lit very well. When I walked in here, it wasn't so attractive. I'm just getting getting, but you're now look really great. So getting back to my my 1,000,000 light source really doesn't beautiful. This light gives me that clarity, that sharpness that punch. But with the same light. I can make it a little different if I want to make it more controlled and make it where it's not CASS. It's the wide area of light. I could put a grid over my heart light and make it more defined. We have a great here, so when I add my grid. That wide angle of light becomes more narrow but still beautiful. This is medium light. Let's give me another reading is going to change our lighting a little bit. I can change whoever it is. Down to stop. All right, That looks good, actually. There. So down when stops one out. back. Okay, Perfect. All right. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, man. Same light. Always donors at a grid feel are medium light source. That's nice. It changes quite a bit, going from the grid to know grid. You guys see that could go back and forth really fast. On those two images, it becomes punchier with the grid just a little bit. It changes just a little bit. But that's small. Change in a body of work is a big difference. And people notice because they're not get just your work looking at all these other photographers online seeing their work. And since you have something that's different, they have no idea what it is. It's you having a consistent feel with your life, that color, that clarity, that punch with that softness, that romantic feeling. The soft colors has got to be the same throughout all the work. No matter what you shoot maybe shooting. You know Porteous one day and babies next day. Whatever you're doing, it still needs that same The red going throughout all your work last night. Beautiful way. Do that again. Very slow form A. That's nice There. Wow, She is beautiful. That's nice. Lovely. There we are. Ah, what ever let you choose? Make sure you're using it based on your style photography. Think about this tonight, guys. What do you watch? It is to say Well, better yet, how do you feel about photography? What do you want? Say to the world the Mawr You're telling the world how you feel about your photography The more work you will get, the more you tell the world How you feel about beauty. About men's portrait's about a wedding. When you put your personality into a pictures, you really start to stand out. This is gonna be a huge difference in your bottom line. A huge difference in you getting more work, a huge difference in you having more fun as you experience photography. I love this as a career, but what I really love is the relationship I've had through all my career with all my subjects in washing them come alive as we have this great connection on each and every shoot. I love that. It doesn't matter where you shoot in the world where your clients are. It's the same feeling rally shooting in China, doing all directors. We couldn't speak the same language, but we did have that same energy that we could all feel and understand. It makes a huge difference. Let's go to a hard light source while we're changing lights. This have some more questions, guys, while keeping your style. If the client is different and they want to different mood, that's a a doctor mood. How would you keep your style? And so are good question. That's so people ask that when a lot say your client wants to hire you to do a certain look that's outside of you, your realm of lighting style. They're doing that because you haven't made a clear decision on the work that you do with advertising. They hire you based on your style. When I first art photography, I had no idea about that. I was just trying to make clients happy and with my assistance is just starting. They're doing the same thing. They're trying to make a client happy by shooting anything and everything that they want. That's a mistake. When you're shooting your style, people come to you for your style. If you don't make a style there, how you do even if they want, you get more work. When you have your own style, then they come to you for that. When you don't have a style that's that set, they'll hire you and say, OK, you do this for me and do that And still the outside of what you do that when you make your style in stone This is my work. This is my look. They hire you for that. But you got Make sure that you have your style set in your mind and you're giving that over and over and over again. Think about it. Gets about two different artists. Talk about, uh, Matisse and Picasso. They're both painters. If you want. A Matisse painting is very different than a Picasso painting. Who do you want to be? I would not go to Matisse and National Picasso. I won't get it. You want to have that clear distinction in your images. So people see that they see your Picasso, your Matisse, your brand of photography because it seems like the type of light is part of your style. Do not switch, Modifier said. You have a specific model you stick with. Great question. Do I use the same modifiers all the time? I don't I do use the same modifies again, that same SEPA style. So I love that medium to hard light. I'll stay within that range of just using those types of modifiers. There are tons of modifies. I give me a medium to hard life. I don't really use soft modifiers at all is a matter of fact. Might my crew my team? They always ah, would joke if I said Okay, guys, let's try using a soft boxes and they all laughed because they'll know put together, we'll set it up, then I'll never use it, which I've done several times. You know, guys using a soft box today, we'll set it up. I think the first images, like no now go back to using what I love using. Make sure you decide what you love using the type of light. The type is soft, medium hard. They're different modifiers in each one of those types of light. So you don't use the same modifier all the time. But you want the same style of light. That's the difference. Not the same modifier, the same style. If you're shooting soft light, you have a soft box. You have bouncing light into the flats you have using. Um, this is very soft. Um, actually using it umbrellas with four covers Over there, you have other ways of making soft light. If using medium light, you have different variations of medium like so it's about the style, not the modifier. Thank you for that one you have. Or I had a bit of a follow up a quick because I do some weddings and I was just I was thinking, like for a wedding. If you're doing a bride, I like light and airy and so soft And then when you switch to the groom, would you still go light and air s You would. This is your style of lighting. Don't change your life to fit. Uh, the person you can't your style. The same. They're gonna hire you for your for your feeling throughout the wedding. You don't want to change from ah, hard light to a soft light because because you should a man you want make sure it's the same feeling they hire you for that feeling.

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Matthew Jordan has such a warmth and charisma. Listening to the guy talk and praising everyone for asking questions makes one sincerely engaged. I can see why people pick him to work with. He's a talented and personable man. Though this is not a hold your hand kind of class, it's really about the options and making your own choices. For someone who has lighting A.D.D. I like that! :)

Gene Tolan

Matthew Jordan Smith is excellent at his craft and also a great teacher. Very clear and concise information wrapped in a passionate presentation. Thank you very much Mr. Jordan!


A fantastic class which gets you thinking about your own lighting style, interaction with models, branding, marketing and gaining a sustainable career. I bought this on a sale and was pleased with the investment.

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