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Lightweight Location Lighting

Lesson 15 of 28

Shoot: Groups

Kevin Kubota

Lightweight Location Lighting

Kevin Kubota

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Lesson Info

15. Shoot: Groups


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Lighting 101 Duration:49:48
2 Lighting Gear Duration:22:13
3 Speedlights Duration:10:38
5 Lighting Kits Duration:16:29
6 Additional Lighting Gear Duration:19:44
8 Postprocessing and Q&A Duration:20:27
10 End of Day Q&A Duration:14:39
11 Reviewing Yesterday's Images Duration:20:24
12 Shoot: First Dance Duration:29:49
13 Shoot: Candle Lit Dinner Duration:31:55
14 Shoot: Couple Portrait Duration:31:44
15 Shoot: Groups Duration:31:06
16 Shoot: Styled Engagement Shoot Duration:28:22
17 General Q&A Duration:24:21
18 Shoot: 50s Housewife Duration:32:20
21 Yesterday's Image Review Duration:20:50
23 Shoot: Steampunk (Mecca) Duration:37:15
25 Shoot: Alley Steampunk (Group) Duration:36:47
27 Rooftop Shoot Q&A Duration:23:57

Lesson Info

Shoot: Groups

so let's move real quickly to our group shot and we're gonna use the same scenario here but we're gonna change our lighting which is a little bit in a minute we'll keep you guys here bring in their their best man and best woman in the wedding who they don't know what they just met but they're gonna be best friends all of a sudden it immediately let's figure out what we do so I think we're gonna do actually we'll stick the couch up we're gonna turn the couch around so I could get some hands just spin this couch one eighty yeah that's great uh we're gonna have you guys kind of around the couch and so we'll have um you're nice and tall someone have you come on a kind of sitting towards the edge right baby right over here somewhere it's kind of leaning sitting on you know this guy pretty well right next to him I might have you stand on this side so scoot over just a little bit and she could stand on this side of you and kind of face that way a little bit towards him all right then you guys...

can hop in there you like girlfriend yeah there we go perfect yeah yeah you guys may stand up this away a little bit so we have your heights like that because you looked like too short now there you go perfect so you can kind of just been your legs I'm gonna like head and shoulders so you can bend your knees it'll feel weird but you're actually be the right height on the head and shoulders like that okay so when you're working with people of really different heights you know she's not vertically challenged that's not what I'm saying okay uh but he's really tall and she's normal like me short and so there's a big difference so long as you're not doing if you're fooling portrait you can't really mess with stuff like you can't have him you know standing like that just looks got a crazy so but anything anything from waist up which what we're gonna do here just a waste of horizontal classic group shot you can have him you know lean on something crouch down a little bit you'll never know and that's just a classic posing thing dealing with opposing it this again if you want to really learn about posing watch soup rice or doug gordon they are awesome they're experts at this so I'm not claiming to know this to be opposing class but there's a few basic things with posing people that every photographer should know and one is to try to get their heights not extreme but also that there's triangles and that their eyes are kind of slightly different levels so if you think of a triangle so we got a little triangle right here uh vanessa and her eyes in his eyes and then there's dane was a little bit higher so if you can get a group where their eyes are not all perfectly the same level it's just more interesting so we may have won a little higher one of the lower one little higher well there were some like that right now it's just right you know they're great he's up there but out here a little bit up they're gonna step up there it kind of frames it that way the girls in the middle so by just having him squat a little bit and dane kind of he's kind of semi squatting but doesn't need to squat too much uh we got nice levels and their their heights just happen to be just right sometimes you can find things for them to sit on a pose on to help do this but uh we didn't do to do too much so now we're going to tweak we'll start with this light here but we're going to bring it forward mohr and feather it across the group a little bit more so that it skims again and not be so bright on this side and darker on that side so all we gotta do is pull the scrim for dish okay so let's bring that blocker over here too and I'm angling it back just a wee little bit so that it's kind of if you imagine the light coming across them here who's on the light here I am coming across rapping rapping rapping rapping it's kind of falling this way in the hot spot of the light is really here which helps me to kind of even this out now we do want to make sure that there's not anything speaking through right here that's gonna make a bright spot on him just kind of keep it on that way have our fill light which we'll probably use because we don't want any deep shadows on a portrait like this everything's okay everything's okay all right we're quarter power there still and we're set up with fifty and I'm gonna use my fifty millimeter lens this time to give me a little more space and we'll have a cameraman back we're just gonna do a test shot so to see where our lighting is that just looks really mad dude get off me come on that's hilarious all right okay so then we're gonna add some flowers in their lighting wise we're pretty close for pretty nicely even across the group on uh there's a tv in the background but I think I will just switch lenses to crop that as much as possible so I was on the fifty millimeter lens but I'm gonna go to my eighty five millimeter and one of the questions I often get is when you're shooting groups uh would you use a long lens auras close it sort of lens fifty million thirty five and I see a lot of photographers shoot groups with like a thirty five millimeter lens like this you know the wide angle lens what what happens there ah yes he's gonna look even taller and bigger and weirder and he's going to look wider the girls look pretty normal in the middle which is really important for the girls in the middle for that very reason but the guys in the end you're gonna look like ticks you know with big little heads and body started stretching out and stuff like that and not ticks are bad thing I'm not like fashion on tics you know but so whenever you can get further away in fact weddings I wouldn't have claire said about group I'd sometimes go across the street with a seventy two two hundred and try to shoot it two hundred millimeters because he end up then compressing the group's special if you have people behind them compressing him so they all look kind of in the same plane and people in front to look bigger than the people in the back and so I get these weird looks from guests as like the photographer disappears across the street you know but I've got a really long telephoto and claire knows what to do as far as polling them and all I need do is yell okay ready we're gonna shoot and shoot so if I can get this far away as possible I will do that in a room like this I can't obviously go across the street so let's see if I can go maybe just this far back and that would work pretty well eighty five we'll do a test shot jeez you guys are also handsome and pretty that's not even right way lose signal here you just don't check this camera's firing off time okay happy loving couples all right it's a little bit tv so there is a difference eighty five millimeter and when we get ready to finally shoot we got our lighting checked out we're gonna have everybody just a little more snugly together so you two in the middle of little snuggle er yes um that looks good and I want to skip that we're gonna have a tv in the back but we're just gonna deal with it that looks great and you could even put your hands on her dane gets grabbed onto a little bit there don't be afraid cute so one man I'm not gonna mention names is not smiling in that let's just say he's a tall black dude and he ain't smile and all right and we got it we got it we're gonna steer leg splay thing just a little bit more there okay alright flowers up good smiles are on everybody's pretending to be happy that's awesome and last one okay there we go way okay so we're set there with the big light now what if he didn't have a big giant scrim toe like this kind of group up what if you wanted to just if you're traveling light again I'm getting reception's you know you have this big giant scream to set up so let's just try and like this with a light box one of our little portable boxes that we had the what do we got set up the quick box could work we'll take the scrim away now this is a great set up uh what we just did here if you know you're gonna be doing a series of family portrait ce and maybe in the corner of the reception room or you're going to do uh guest shots things like that where you want to do a series of photos this is actually a great way to set up something quick that makes a nice group you could get two more people in here probably even a couple more in the back and we could do with a really big group here with that same lighting and it'll be very nice so quick way to set up a portrait studio in the corner of the reception hall or wherever and and just kind of pull him in and light him up and do some portrait so if you have time and you know you're going to use this set up for a while then it takes you know literally three minutes to set up that frame and put a light behind it if you don't and if you're just doing grab shots you can have your little box ready to go here on a speed light on a stick with a trusty assistant with a pretty green dress on on she can like them like that okay so this becomes more important now make sure this is off here that she feather this light because this is a much smaller light source much more directional and if it's not right it's gonna like let them up real bright and then they're going to kind of fall off into shadow okay so what I'm really make sure that we're feathering when we use something smaller it's a lot more critical power we at sixteen one sixteen let's start one sixteen probably a little bit more with looking right so were alicia's pointing this at and what she could do is you can actually lift this up a little bit above your head so you can peek under and aim that you're aiming it at dane's shoulder at this speck of dust right there it has to aim at that little piece of hair sticking up right there or it ain't gonna work I'm just saying all right uh yeah this will be all for ophelia all right let's see what we got here and that from my guess is that might be a little too little too little power but we'll see what do you say that was at eight sixteen sixteen we're not too far off like okay so there's our previous there's with dr were pretty close on that sixteen away I am I am let's say let's bring it down like a third and then we're let's you know let's bring our two thirds and come closer and we're golden no not that close just a half area raymond that was had the husband I wanted a picture of your bloody video all right aiming at dane's fuzz I mean the fuzz on his shoulder and here we go three two one nice couldn't even I can't really see eve your smile I'm going to trust that you are so good okay snuggly up there no making those twenty faces vanessa it's good all right I like it yeah lights looking good that one was my false shot okay okay so see how evenly now if you look at the light across them it's a nice even the distributed it looks pretty close to what we do with the big panel little more shadows because it's a smaller light source the phil still opens up the shadows nicely it's probably a three to one if we want numbers three to one light ratio highlight to shadow um nice and even on easy step so any any questions on this so far yes yes we do kevin uh where to begin so question that just came up from shutter stop um why shoot it s o eight hundred and turned the strobes down rather than s o one hundred with the stripes with the lights turned up is the question uh yes the reason is that I really wanted those mohr of that window to flare and to catch this daylight so if we were in a dark room there's no windows I didn't want to have a shutter speed that would allow me because if I shooting isa one hundred I would have to shutter speed um quite slow takes to get those windows to kind of flare the way we're getting them now little too slow I'm already at sixty eighth of a second I really don't want to go any slower than that in the shutter speed now if I'm in a darkened room totally different situation and at night I don't have these windows then sure I could shoot it at the one hundred turn the flash up but that also means that any ambient light is going to be harder to capture that I also won hundreds of candle lights or warm glow like we had we been doing all this last couple of days that would sort of be eliminated by shooting it s so one hundred uh unless I'm shooting wide open one for awesome thank you that's very helpful so a question from same cocks in loveland colorado are you just used to the flash cycle time and adjust your shooting tempo to it or do you have some kind of indication that the flat ready for another shot yes my my alicia is uh she goes like this every time it's ready no I'm sorry there's there's a beeper on the u turn the beep on and yes I am kind of uh used to knowing if we're only at a power I can shoot pretty rapidly if I was at full power I'd know I'd have to wait but it would be safer and if you don't have any reason not to turn the beat on your flash the recycled beep to let you know when the flash is actually done recycling yeah okay um I'm just going to ask this question because I just love I love this question and if boots girl if you're watching I really want to know where you're from so boots girl says what would you use for lighting set up to take pictures of people seating sitting down with cowboy hats on sitting down with cowboy hats on rabbits girls from this girl I want to know where those girls from well you got uh forgive me if I commit any cowboy for paused and I don't really know you know what the rules are about where a hat khun b but of course you would angle their heads back a little bit maybe tilt back a little bit but then your light source has to be at or below or slightly below the edge of the hat you know obviously if you're here and she's got a hat on its casting that shadow so you're gonna have to then bring your source down here so it's eye level rather than a little but which is typically where we would shoot a little above eye level you don't want to go too low because and it's up lighting so we're going to need be need to be at eye level with the center of your box or your light source and or have them until their heads up a little bit to make sure that works no I've almost touched a cowboy's belt buckle wants to try and fix something and he trampled me with his horse so again that maybe something you've got a just based on what you know about your cowboys good story ah question from little is do we still go by ear to hear with group yeah uh although we're not going to start back here with a big group but the same principle if you just bring it forward we're following that line come on back here alicia and so it is essentially from the line of where it would be ear to hear would be technically here right we're just gonna light close up but it's still pointing at my camera lens and I'm just bringing out here if you saw alicia when she had it here go ahead hold that it's still right along the cone of my lens just outside of you and it's just come closer to me so when you have a group you have to modify that bring it forward so that we can feather it across better but still following that same line is shifting closer to me so susan kelly had asked you always shoot ah one road deep group shots wide open and then someone else had people were wanting to know how you would do this with more people so see image I would like to know if you have the group with a whole nother row how would you change how would you change the shot yeah well if you have a whole another road I wouldn't shoot it as close to wide open and I wasn't shooting wide open I'm still the same f stop that we started with which is four point five so I gave myself a little more latitude because they were gonna play on the couch because we have a group so also if I was further away than that compression we can put another role in the group behind me on the chair behind what helped to make them appear closer together but then otherwise you're just gonna have to justin say this is all we got to work with I'm going to see how far back I can go home if I got a bigger group I could go back to the wall shoot from here and we can actually weaken put some other people and if we turn the couch around we need to finish up with that will throw the rest of you guys in there for a group shot or something with him and do a group shot you have more questions you want before you do that we can go ahead and do that do that do that thank you standing on the back of the stern the couch around we have some sitting some standing and bring it all together switch it back a couple of feet back a little bit get this pullout of u and I think I'll scoot over just a wee little bit this way you get a tv monitor out all right so have brides and grooms and anybody else want to volunteer to be in a group shot one of the girls in the center guys you can kind of baby sit on the edges here coming on your girls waiting to get you guys compressed as much as possible so go ahead and sit back and kind of cross your neat o does that even happen I've already worn it that's a no so dan you're gonna be right here and all but just in line with these people here back there st already so let's have our taller mike let's have you in the center tall persons in the middle and we're setting that up here let's have least you're gonna be in the shot because they're on why don't we have I don't know if we can because of the we're going right into the tv set here gonna try to keep it here just like sitting on the floor we're gonna keep it here yeah there you go can you just be out you could help me then all right so gorka come on up behind we're gonna have one less she's gonna help us hold stuff okay so we're looking for again varied heights we've got little triangle going on here see dane in his two girls behind and his other girl here like wow do decide this side's really lucky maybe look up here and we've got a well liked guy girls easily lucky you're out of luck teo so he's a solo man he says all right he's right middle so we're also looking for the height so if you look again we have mike a little taller in the center so we have nice little group thio going on over there here because you guys are different heights let's try switching and just see what it looks like okay so that looked better there you go practice your best super ice posing techniques yes we go and you're gonna come just slightly and you could pretend you know him so you just put your arm on his shoulder there there you go yeah he's your buddy hey yeah they're ten forward and down you guys look great in the front was good okay so if we look at our group again we've got some very heights we got little triangle of head heights there we've got a nice little variation there we've got triangles many with their gorky could have to go this way because you're going about in front of buying jane if you don't there you go okay so we're just gonna like a fun group shot eight power now just what was it that before uh sixteen minus two plus two ok so we cranked it up a little bit we'll see how it goes and where we aiming at with this again we're gonna aim at let's line up he's gonna be danes fuzz right here or yes that's where it's gonna go he's the furthest person on those sides so we'll aim it at him on caste above their this light's gonna be just to feel like into the roof just like it was before I'm gonna go back here and we may need to actually crank that up a leash because I'm gonna go to five six a quarter all right and let's see how we go there wait barely fit that's good all right happy loving people uh gorka scoot a little bit more to your right mike and you kind of put like a half shoulder behind troublemaker okay we're pretty e even then is that there's something flaring on direct flash lightning is this something else firing that's this one shooting up I'm gonna raise this up more bouncy okay you know this is a twenty eight millimeters but wonder all right so this fill light we'll try that again okay control yourselves here we go like a peek of going behind let's see where we are now oh so forty by sixty campus level okay we'll need a few more you guys you guys can goof around with your poses I don't really care as long as you're not hiding behind somebody let her rip yeah making out's fine two of the hula eyes ah right here wilmore awesome I think you were kind of hidden behind him alright so lighting wise we've got it evened out way could open up the shadows by just crank up this phil if we wanted to but if we look at the light across the room from a j uh a all across its actually pretty evenly exposed we have a little more shadows let's just the film needs to be cranked up if you wanted to eliminate those shadows but across the group as long as she's aiming it that way so let's let's just do it the wrong way first aim it straight out the group so a lot of people just jump right in there and it's aimed the light right at the group not even focus my camera so now we've got actually think more people would probably come in right here and kind of or get a little too close it's ready everybody paying attention okay that's actually good post so we could see here we've got a lot a lot more light on the left side of the frame it's a lot less and less even then we have before we're feathering it across so uh main thing is really just pointed the furthest person feathered across the group and making sure you have a directional light like we did there that's definitely going casting shadows between people that you have some phil going on so we didn't have the phil we would have a lot of dark shadows from other people could be distracting crossing across the body okay so any questions on that questions from the world beyond the walls of our little room well first I want to say see image says thank you very much for demonstrating that yeah that's what's very cool about kind of lives the interactive lessons that we learn um I think that let's say there were some questions let's just take one from john r who's from alaska who would like to know what the group shot do you still point your focus point to the bride the main subject all the time almost all the time uh yes I would unless we were three deep I would point it somebody the middle row perfect help balance out that focus but here because they were relatively close to her if if my focus is going to be often all it can't be on the bride she can't be off so am I in a perfect world I would focus like right behind vanessa's head you know maybe on her veil um but that would be in between the two groups but to be safe I'm just gonna focus on her eyes for too deep group yes question from uh mess and how did you handle the glare from the light behind the windows here she says I had a problem with that this weekend the glare splitting from behind what you stood right and sneaky glare that sneaky sneaky glare well it depends on how bright and what type of windows these air diffused glassed windows so I wanted a little bit of that flare and but you control that with your shutter speed and that's more important if you're getting too much glare you khun drop or raise your shutter speed to reduce the window light but then you have to compensate with mohr flesh so uh it's been the situation if this was bright bright sun to straight up glass with a sun coming through a lot hotter I'd have to drop or raise my shutter speed and just minimize that or not shoot into the window um coppa toppy would like to know if there's only one speed light in the soft box yes okay and what is the zoom set at for the speed light question from evelyn ford in the soft box or this one here which one I'll tell you both this one is set at fifty millimeters that's popping into the roof that'll trip myself that'll help to constrain it when we first started shooting this this has actually said it twenty eight millimeters uh which is a really good actually lesson to point out at twenty eight millimeters with this flash where it was here I was it was actually so wide but I was getting direct flash come over here and hit the top of this group and cast hard shadows on the wall in the back if you guys remember if we will scoot couple images back I had this hard line shadow on the back of the wall before we change that they're the first ones see the shadows in the back of the wall and I saw the shadows and there's like well that's a direct shadow the hardline shadows coming from right about camera position what light do I have over here camera position that's this one so this was actually even though it's pointing at the roof because of that twenty eight millimeters was spilling enough direct flash hitting them to cash those shadows on the back wall and that told me immediately that that was not set properly zoom it should have been set at fifty to seventy five millimeters so as soon as we change the zoom you look at the next shot the shadows are gone right so now it's just bouncing in the roof and filling and the shadows never showed up again in the back booth that's this one should be when it's bouncing into the roof and it's at this low level you don't want it to be wide number one you're gonna lose some of the power rather when you want more power because you're bouncing into this big surface and then it gets wide to fill so zoom this one fifty seventy five if it's a higher roof he may go to one hundred two hundred millimeter zoom on that and then the one in the box at least what was that set up should be set at about twenty eight to thirty five millimeters it was fifty fifty that'll work too because it's not a very big box so fifty would still probably cover that nice and even and there's two there's a diffusion panel inside so thirty five to fifty millimeters is fine in a small box like that so we have a question from j one who says how does kevin feel about just using a westcott sixty and shoot through umbrella for large groups my question is how large would you go for your lightweight set up what is the largest modifier that you take with well that that particular one that he's talking about is nice because it's an umbrella even with sixty inches it folds down like an umbrella so it's going to be full the down about the same size is one of those frames folded down so it's not a large accessory and they it's a nice one to use so it folds down probably about that big pops up is a big umbrella and that could work nights so sure if that if that is something you used and I have used that one in the past and it creates a great light so no it is not you this is a little larger than what I typically want to carry around if I'm going to go large I'm gonna pop out one of my screams and shoot through it or use some like that because that's sort of kind of crosses the line between the two you would always choose that before you and bringing in a sixty inch umbrella probably used the scream I would probably the scrim just because I I like and I'm used to it it's a little more versatile tool to bring for me because I can use that for nice for diffusing the sun if I need to take it outside I can use it to shoot through bounce off of the reflector just give me a few more options and umbrella boxwood

Class Description

Learn to create studio quality lighting under almost any condition! With lightweight, affordable, and portable lighting tools, Kevin Kubota will teach you to create beautiful portrait lighting in a variety of environments from typical urban locations to more challenging situations. He'll teach you how to do it using speedlights and smaller, battery-powered lights with simple and affordable accessories to modify and control the light. And after every shoot, Kevin will download and show how he quickly processes and enhances his images in Lightroom and Photoshop before even leaving the scene!


Karen Witter

I LOVED this class and I don't hesitate to recommend it! Kevin did a great job explaining how to incorporate additional lighting for on-location shoots and what those items would be. Then he illustrated those ideas for the class in various types of shoots. I loved the gear he recommended and especially his DIY suggestions. He has a great sense of humor and I felt like I was right there in the class. I would highly recommend this class to anyone who shoots on location and wants to make sure they're not only using the best lighting options but also the best lightweight lighting options.


I am enjoying this course so much!!! I am 100% happy with it. I just became a big fan of Kevin ! Great personality! Makes the use of flash a breeze. I just want to go outside with my gear and have fun now! thank you.

Maxx Walske

This workshop is fantastic! Kevin goes over every little detail you need to know for Lightweight Location Lighting. He shoots during the workshop, instantly shows the image and talks through how to see the light and make the proper adjustments for a fantastic image. He includes details about all his gear and post-processing tips, too! Kevin is incredibly inspiring! The course is easy to follow, fun and worth every penny!