Shoot: One Light Setup
So I wanted to do a shoot today that was typically something I would do stay in my apartment or in a small studio, because I understand that most of you either looted with equipment space, the one I need to do is kind of stripped back toe like a simple fashion. She is something that I've been doing a lot lately with texture, backdrops. You know, just one model, usually very simple light to show you how simple that khun b but if you get the right connection the right look in the eye, it can be really stunning portrait as well. So I first want to introduce you to my team today so fast. Donald, would you come along? Donald is fantastic. Silence. So I brought with me from new york. We've been working together a couple of months now, right? Yes. So we met a while ago and eventually just made it happen, right? But, um, do you want it's a little bit about yourselves? How you know you got into everyone? My name is donald hicks. I'm fasting stylist. How I got into the industry's about five year...
s ago. I used to be a classical ballet dancer, and I was working retail, and I always had a love and passion for fashion on dh I said, you know what dance is not for me anymore I'm going to stop I'm going to move to new york city and become fastened silas and everyone thought I was crazy I had no experience I never assisted anyone I you know I knew designers and I basically started my own business and put myself out there and I made a basically a model mayhem account on guy didn't have any pictures of any models I bought a mannequin off craigslist and I went to the store and I basically took pictures of myself I mean that myself I'm sorry the pictures of the mannequin and that's how I got started I'm posted for pictures and and then I had a friend in l a that asked me to model on time and I just basically just myself and use those pictures for men and women and then within two weeks I started people people asking starting like oh you want to test you on a test and that's how I got started so one thing I think a lot of people will have questions about when I have a stylist sunset is how do you pull clothes for low budget shoots for tests like one thing I waste buggy for you will you please that's one thing I think people are always wanting to know about like how is it ha tau pulling for a new photographer pull for a test I would suggest to buy in return that's the best thing I'm serious I'm serious if you're just starting out I'm serious. You're just starting out by in return, you know, when it comes to magazines they sent out a poll letter in l a a r letter basically saying there you're reliable for the clothes and then you have to return them etcetera, etcetera. You know, if it's just for testing and you're just starting out, you know, go to each of them, go to zara, you know, go to a top shop goto you know, eventually you like designing? Yes, yes, yes, yes. Basically it's like, you know, a little bit more water down, ready to wear clothes and just, you know, that get it together and make sure you're okay with it and bring it back with a receipt and no makeup on it. Call it in ways you can have anything. I think it is a little risky, but you know, you got it, you got it, you got to make it. So I'm gonna talk to you a little bit about the method of how I just transferred my idea, teo donald today for what I do and usually what do I do if you just want to quickly go teo styling rack and just kind of in a way, just go through what we've gotten, why and why is it relevant to the background as well? And it will make more sense when we put the rest of the team in in a little well, but I center donald a little mood board, if what I was thinking for this, so I think in classic portrayed, but I want some edge to it. I don't just want it to be like beautiful white gown because that's not my style, my stylist, to have a little bit of edge to a portrait to make it relevant to my work. So I'm trying to show you today how I would shoot it in my way. So I came to you with a meat board, and then you have your ideas with a sleeve of what you have yet. She sent me the move bored, and I thought of something, you know, classic portrait women, you know, something lay something beautiful, something that's going to be fashion forward, but not a little too much. So let's see something like this something a beautiful top, this beautiful skirt, something like this would be a really interesting story that way used to work out how you could pull from that that's actually something that I just thought about how you could actually pull something like this. Yeah, from a stolen yeah, I actually used to work for the company buffalo exchange that's how I built started building up my styling kit was people were bringing in close and I could get high in close for a pretty good cheap price so it's, like I would start just getting things and getting things slowly growing things and then, you know, they starting the lending things to me and that time that's how I got it started getting a little bit more on the designer side, so crane, I'm really excited teo put these into play we're going to be shooting, probably two outfits I was two to three outfits with what we're doing I really like to bring rachel a longer model should be able to come yeah, just be careful in the field so rachel is our model from photogenic in l a on dh she was perfect for the theme because we're going along with this classic portraiture, but she has that like the rial like, childlike, beautiful look that I love to work with this thing she got something interesting about it at a view of perhaps connect to so that's where as soon as I chose in the club and I've spoken to donald, we then casted the model based on that seems so usually that's how it works sometimes it could be that I have the model first and then I'm like, wow, I need to put an idea around this model just to be able to shoot her as well it's always gotta be relevant to the theme as well, so I would like to bring a final person now he probably met before felix felix has been working me for a few years now. He's actually you're an excellent portrait photographer himself if you don't know he's work it's felix dot com on dh I let you introduce yourself actually because you've got a better way of telling your story but felix actually helps me a lot of set for bigger jobs where you know there's a budget to hire like a digital tech photo assistant essentially his job is to kind of replace where I can't lift light to move him he knows what I want in lighting because he knows me well so it's not essentially he's doing the job for me it's he's transferring what he knows I want onto a set so I please the client so I let you introduce a little bit about yourself and what you do know that we work together three feels like a long time yeah so I was on laura's last crate of live on dh you know, I think we explain the same thing already I've worked with lower so much that I can really take her vision and I know what she likes on dh you know, it's morning we had a little conference and said okay let's do the lighting that we used before she wants it soft she wants it to be we'll show you a little bit of how we did that but as an assistant that's kind of what you're taking a take that photographer's vision it's because I work with lower so much it's kind of easy to translate that people was asked how to spell my name, by the way it's f b l a x like felix like the cat on my last name is k u and the dot com they go to get the plug in right on dh so yeah should we uh yeah let's get started so first I just want to give you all a quick intro to the equipment and what I'll be using I hear have a bronco kit this is the score oh pack I'm not going to go into too many technicalities about pack and what it does because it would define the idea if we're trying to do really sinned, we'll set up here I'm not trying to confuse you in any way, but we have to score a pack we have it but I believe six point zero, which is the lowest setting memory like soft light I don't like overbearing light try and replicate natural light as much as I can so I think of my lighting like I would, how I defuse the son I was a natural light photographer when I was younger that's how I learned I never assisted so everything to me is if I have a light of power I diffuse it if I use a hate you my if I use continuous light I defuse it I put it through a scrim I make sure it has always refused to it's very soft and I never have the light really based on the model very powerful you'd actually yeah let's show him so this is a five feet doctor box which is quite a regular thing I have in my studio and what it does is it diffuses the light quite nicely and this one you see inside this one doesn't actually have stay on your side way somehow managed to lose the inside diffusion is usually a clock on the inside, so you have to two layers of diffusion so what we did instead it's we, jerry rigged it with some ways have todo way tried to make it look beautiful, but don't judge on dh this just gives a really big soft light I mean, the bigger the light source the soft light is going to be, you know, that's it's very simple you can use one or two of these it's also really nice if you want to pull the model so that to you and have a further after background you could even like one of the optics on the background and have her lip on the front but what I like to do, we decide before I start shooting I just kind of want to show you this I like to feather and that's simply where the light phil is like not directly on her it's like feathered coming into her face here on what this simply is here if you haven't heard of it of the flat and it's polystyrene board, you get these from like d I y stores or things like that and it's a way of taping it together so it's like the card and it could hold it self of the white here will obviously reflect whatever is going on here, so instead of it being direct, it will bounce off here because it's not on her directly and bounce a little bit here so this side isn't going to be too dark so it's always like he's a great having a studio because you khun like things very naturally and bounce strong light sources off of them as well now if you use the opposite side that will actually emit light so they'll be shadows on the side and what that's great for you say if you had like lights on the background so if you put it in this scenario, this was a white backdrop he had to be flats here and they were both black and you have the background lit with two umbrellas and you had hurl it at the front what it would do it was to create a nice black line so she would and now against the background so that's the way of to think of how to work with the black feet flat. So, yeah, I would love to can I go to the feathering thing ago? Because a lot of people asked that on the forums, so if you you know it's so easy to just point the light straight the model that's going to create more harsh light, a few feather it you're just taking it off the model very, very simple it's kind of hitting her about five feet three feet in front, it's just cascading across really beautifully. It makes itself to such a simple little trick you can do. The other thing I want to say is everyone again, you might see another light that we have it's just on standby, not actually firing, so we're doing a one lights set up for this, which is pretty much if you see my instagram posts or those test shots you've seen my port bow black and white usually one light and I've been using a lot of texture, patrick's they actually I just want to introduce two bodies collide. You get a lot of questions about thes text you back, drops I'm looking to have a few custom ones from elephant studios based in new york it's her website studios comma yeah, studio dot com she actually rent them out for shoots, but she also discussed in matt drops on dh they you know their investment, but they're really great because you can use him in so many ways like them so differently. This is actually a canvas piece that we brought with us from her it's all the fun with an a with it by only so if you are looking for backdrops like that it's definitely worth a look into that for even inspiration, or you're making your own as well. On my last creative life, we had, um, backdrop, there was one wall that someone had made from, like scratching things, so if you are in a budget, this is achievable with whatever lighting can't you have and what whatever text you back but you have a swell, so always try and keep. Although we have this expensive equipment, this is achievable with five octave it's, perhaps a little cheaper or alighting kid is perhaps a little cheer cheaper is focus it's all about what's in front of the camera. So I always start if I'm planning to use more than one light, I would start with one light and then I add accordingly. So what? I would like to get that hooked up doing a few test kind of thing. So this is think here to the light. So instead of using the cable it's generally easier on people don't trip over a swell, do they? So I used the cannon five d mark three I have done for quite a while now. And two lenses I have in my kit I have fifty mil one point two and I also have eighty five one point teo and what I like about eighty five when you do poor traces, you generally get distortion. So for me, like, if you shoot seventy or over that's kind of more true to what we see in the eye on what I like when you catching someone's emotion and beauty that's relevant in dimension to what you see in person, it kind of captivates you a little more. So if I shoot with the fifty that's when I kind of want to pull back and you can also bubblehead your subject a little bit, so if you do in someone that's, perhaps not a model shape by doing a fifty and kind you know their head looks a little larger than their body does but it's also nice to have the fifty on option for when I want to pull back and do full length as well so right now I've got that sink down low power I've got here I've got one twenty five on my shutter speed I've got seven point one of my aperture and I've got eyes so one hundred and the reason for that is one was thinking with strobe we always want to be below two fifty second because of the ways is to first you start to see that black line we also want to keep the eyes so quite low in this scenario so I always think when people are confused about these settings I always say that you know that has to be below two fifty keep your eyes so it one hundred to start your opportunity thing that you're working with now if you wanted to say go higher with the aperture I would place that light off and go from there so the way I like mita is I tested in camera I mean like me, it is a great if you really want to be accurate on set but I feel with digital we get an instant preview it's not a worry for me to do that plus I trust my eye with what I want so what I'm gonna do is just go in and take a few shots. You can kind of see where we go in and go from now as well. So rachel, I would love to start with if you were looking towards the space that said and what I wanted try with shapes is kind of for this porch it's going to be like a classic beauties. So it's going to be all about your placement of your hands is going to be about the placement of your shoulders. Just open your lips just a little and just your eyes kind of like yep, just gaze to make you want to see how that looks and by the way, love people ask me what I d manually focus it's, just something I kind of going get teas to get used to the sight of broken lens for the longest time. So if you see me doing this a lot that's why? Great, beautiful. Okay, look more towards the light there. So we're using a pocket with to synchronize the flash that's what we've got on top of it. Okay, so right now from I can see that it's very lit in the background where we want a bit more of them ut look to it, so what I'll do is I'll feather this light even more felix would you mind jumping in there yet so we're just going to turn out this space so the phil is left on her as well so that means that this won't be a slit in the background on what you can do is move your model away from the background as much as possible and light her and again if you wanted to like the background you would do the same pull everything this way and like the background that way too okay you're for and for me when I'm doing this kind of crap I leave a little bit of space in front of the head and kind of crop down to about here as well so you can see we don't have the light actually pointing directly at her it's pointing almost in front of me now you can see from that it's more like what I'm trying to get is more like a window light so it's not too you know it's not too overbearing on her this is soft it kind of goes along with that a motive theme if we get the softness there and helps would like the emotion in the eyes as well again just with the pose in and one thing because I know we haven't going to be discussing poison tomorrow but I kind of want to give you an inside how would work on this for portrayed I like shoulders and I like arms valley hands I don't like this I don't want to see any of this part of the hand I don't want to see a pin the arm like this I wanted to be classic I looked for inspiration like masses of painting look att abadan it's simple posing but it's about the shapes that they give us well okay if you face this way for me yeah just go a little that way yet great can you hold your arm like that yet to be delicate so with pointless little finger you got it? Where is the clip? Oh yes please see that's why you need a stylist by do you want to know anything about the hair makeup? Oh yes where is samantha? Samantha committed so samantha gonna is our hair and makeup girl today and I she did amazing like a soon as I saw this always like it you got it stayed away, right? Actually we had never been formally introduced, but we've been communicating via email and she sent me some inspiration images what she wanted to do with this look today way talked about doing some really great texture in the hair it just kind of makes it makes the image a lot more interesting I'm going a little bit soft but still semi editorial on the face like adding some real nice glowing skin just really makes her features pop out super super beautiful and it's important as well I guess is a photographer to kind of transfer and you know, my starts quite soft yet what light and is he used that will affect your makeup on side absolutely kind of know what you did a beautiful thank you so much you guys can check me out at gun glamour dot com all right, so what I want felix, can you meet the light a little closer so by moving it closer to her there's obviously going to mean more contrast on her face and it's going to be more contrast image overall so when I shoot the next one, you'll see immediately how that changes move closer. I'm also gonna turn the power down a little bit. Good idea. Yeah. What are we on? Yeah, five point five five five to the lowest of that x goes to three great mind. Yeah, but they're all different. Yeah, relative number and when you want that usually have some people give you different light and you just got to figure it out it's usually the case so I just kind of go you just kind of go along and yeah that's beautiful. Can you face that way completely with your price all yep here for great and one of dewey's I'm kind of seeing the way she's posed in her face and I'm china I see what's magic when she stares that way. She kind of does that what's that thing called the what? Smile, smile only where can like transparent. I hate that word, but it's like she was a bit of the smiles and in her lips to kind of open a little. So it's kind of intense nous that I like because it's kind of that more edgy. Lucky isn't like conventional beauty. It's the only thing you've taken away from the show don't take anything else. E todo is a little too drop this shoulder here that says, you kind of pulling around, so if you see what I'm doing, these kind of clothes in there is a way like someone would pose no paint, someone in a portrayed it's kind of all the arms and the fingers beautiful move out a little great and so for me, because he's changed the lighting a little bit. I'm still checking the pictures, coming up on the screen here just to make sure that it looks right on dh er like I want to achieve consistency between what we shot before and when I move the light a little bit. A little bit more than that it's just I want you to stand there really strong shoulders back but not too bad just kind of relax strong mouth opened just a little bit and gazed down way like step that way but that feeling when you pulled the b flat and a little more sneak some more balance because it a little too much shadow for me just on the side here you get one shot with arms down yeah would you rather have in them up? I like down have a habit of tripping the wire in heels for your eyes to me for ten back yet so this light is actually bouncing almost directly off the b flat thinking face toward yes very good what I'm noticing by moving her around is what works and what doesn't and this is a beautiful gown with the back I didn't realize until she just turned out I mean it goes like flower is beautiful back then obviously when you're shooting with brands you want to get the best out of the dress because you're selling that so for this for me the shot would all be about the side seen a bit of the vaccine the beautiful sequence in the shape of the laces well ok and profile straight to hear beautiful further out great and a little more delicate with your own pool in with that arm and look over your shoulder to me yeah, I think it's really strong when you profiled this way um and they move up a little bit more to that great leon here she's a little con trusted yeah I'm gonna go up to eight on my appetite it because she was a little bright on the face there, but I like the contrast not that fingers see how it's like pointed just kind of more delicate like that you move a little closer to the light yet just a touch kind of like that yeah that's my snow. So now you're getting a more even say that we always do this looking at yeah it's like you never know what you want straightaway and clients always expect that on jobs like that's why I have a digital tech to kind of work with and then eventually they're like do you think you've got this shot with yvonne? Should we test the next one out? So it's to be expected that there's always going to be those changes especially if you're working with a client doesn't know what they're doing, what they want that's what they far you're there to kind of bring your fish just dropped that on the little lower that sits is just kind of come around there and bring your arms this way at that your body's that way but your head is kind of thin again just open your mouth and breathe out a little and by moving myself a cz well in front of her it adds the different like visual image so if I'm here the lights are going to be different based on my placement so I tend to move around a lot to kind of get the best this's especially what I do when I'm on a test and I want to kind of see what works best for the girl as well that's great and can you do want a little more straight onto me to turn your body that's it was still delicate with hands like just yeah both hands just got always point this little finger just delicate like that and breathe out for your mouth chin down just like you and slightly to the side you got it you know fall I'm trying with you had that clicked so if you notice the way I'm shooting is I'm leaving myself that gap which is almost like I've trained my eye to understand the krupp through if I'm doing like the portrait I try and go into that here I know about here and then I do a full length or if I'm doing beauty it's pretty much about here and then here is well I'm just going to take a few more and then I think we'll try something so straight on for me very strong but kind of turned your head a little bit more and then with your hands again very delicate yet can you again, beautiful. Just cropping into that hair again. Okay, great. I'm really happy with what we've got here. So what I would love to do is change your outfit with donald. Donald. Do you have an idea of what you'd like to use next? Yes. Ok, so we're going to change the outfit and then let's put in another architectural light back. Yeah. Should we do that? Yeah. If we could just before she leaves. And before we change up this set up, people were wondering about the distance from that light to the model and why it was set that distance. Yeah, because we changed it from the original place. It was pull back because remember, if you using window light again, I was referenced back to that. You don't want your model really close to it because it's very contrast id. If you move it back, the light is even more diffused. I moved her forward then because I realized that the contrast was nicer. So when the light goes closer to her, even though this is diffused, he start to get that white like contrast in its darker at the back, which is quite nice for this type of portrayed on the background as well.