Photography by Scott Robert Lim
as I bring up our first photograph here. One of things I notice is I was kind of going through your website looking at your different photos. Is that location scouting? I think it seems to be a big part because you have some great locations. Tell me about scouting, finding these locations even before the shoot. Um, yeah. Sometimes you you're gonna never you know, the time that you get there. That's the first time you're going to be there. And so And if you're like going Teoh like, really far away place, you can't go there beforehand to check it out. Now, unless you have a few $1000 a spare or whatever, but I search online a lot I'll put in that place or, you know, let's say I'm going to Central Park, so I'll just type in Central Park and Google, hit the images, see what come up Instagram hashtags and you can actually find a lot online. Yeah, the research has been so much easier now years ago And so is this Central Park? Yes, because I think I think I've been there now. One of the quest...
ions that I'm sure people are gonna have as we go through more of your photographs is what do you do about all the other people there now? Are you going there at a particular time of day when there's just less people, you know? What? Innovation? Okay, this is the best time to go on location somewhere when it's raining clouds off. Well, those are added it. But, you know, um, that's true. I've been there when there's thousands of people walking around, and so you have to learn how to. Yes. Although it's busy, let me walk around the corner here. Let me take a different perspective of that iconic location and find a little nook where you can shoot, but it still has the flavor of the place. But there's not as many people walking around. And that's a skill in itself. Yeah, because you a lot of people are drawn to that most iconic location. Okay, I gotta be right here, front and center, right. And they could move themselves back a little that just to get to that, You know, the Spanish steps in Italy? Yes. Thousands of people, right? It's always crowded. Yeah, size do do a workshop. And I said, Hey, guys. Do you think if we go to Spanish steps at 1 a.m. In the morning, and they're like, uh, yeah, sure. Let's go. Because that and it was empty. Rose Empty. How beautiful. Yes. So it's just, like, kind of, Ah, landscape photographer getting that sunset. Yeah. Sometimes you got to go out of the way, Teoh. You know, you just get the shot that you want. And that's where that passion really carries you. Yeah. Morning. Like I'm crazy enough to do that. Now, was this a shot that you were setting up eyes this for the couple or what happened? What was this for? Yeah, So I was in class, actually demonstrating, um, shooting with couples and using a landscape. And, um, just creates a different posing. Beautiful love that. I love that. Now, where are we? Okay, wait. Here we are. You know, we're at an iconic location, but we're not front in Central were a little little corner. Just a hint. It's something. Right? So I rented this huge five bedroom flat for the workshop. Yeah, and so the balcony was really, really long. But the reason why I chose it because it had a view of the Eiffel Death. Like I know I can get some sort of shot there. Well, you know, I could see how a lot of people would rent this room. They'd go. Oh, well, you can see the Eiffel Tower. It's It's kind of down there. It's like front and center. It's not like right next to it. You're you're probably half a mile away, if not more. Right? And so you had to pull out your long lenses. I think I was shooting within 85 here, you know, bringing compress it to bring the background closer. Now, obviously, you're adding in some external lighting here. Yeah, well, this is not the natural light that they have on the porch. No, I had a guy pressed in the corner there with a flash and an umbrella firing some light down on top of her. So? So if you were gonna go traveling to do this sort of work, whether it's for a workshop or you're just gonna go do it on location for a client, how big is your lighting back? Um, you don't need very much at all. That's what I really love. Teaching is going out with a couple manual flashes in a video light. An umbrella. Good to go when you say manual flashes you're talking about, like on camera flashes. Really? That Oh, yeah. Ah, wireless system where you can control the lighting off camera. Um, and you could just use a basic triggering system, or you can get sophisticated, do whatever you want, but yeah, it doesn't when you kind of get out there and, um, have a little experience doing it. You don't really need a lot if you have the knowledge. How many lights do you like to work with? You can you can deal with zero. What do you think? About 1 to 3 lights? Yeah. You know, um, and I use the sun as a light source to So if you're using the sun as your life slips and even if you just had one, then you can add a rim, light or back light on top of that or whatever natural lights given to you. So I feel, you know, in general, couple flashes will do it because when you're shooting in bright sunlight, you might need to put them together to overpower the sun and then Also, you can split them up so you can have a main in a rim light or something. So 2 to 3 usually don't go past three, cause you don't have the time. Yeah, you know, it gets it gets complicated. Yeah, thereof in Paris. And even if I'm setting up a backlight, that could be somebody walking around and kicking it or whatever. So you don't tend toe, have time to set up four lights and a location where the bunch of tourists are and everything. So, how big of soft box will you bring with you? Yeah, I just use the sheet through umbrella. Umbrella. 83 inches. Holds up. Holds up. Damn protected from the rain, too. I can tell you how many times that came in handy, like it's raining and you're all good. Excellent. All right, let's check out this next one here. So, whereabouts was this one. This was in Australia, actually had a museum that we shot around. Um, and so, uh, that was a really fun shoot. And, um, I'm just using ah, popping. There's a great rim light in the back there, and I metered for that rim light. And then I just added a little bit of flash. And so a lot of times people meter for the background, wanting the background all nice. But when I'm shooting a portrait, it's really hard to recreate a rim light in photo shoot. I don't know, baby. If you could create a after a program that can do that a filter that you be like a millionaire So, uh, even at the expense of blowing out some background, which I know I'm doing, I love to just get that rim light, even if it's suddenly there to keep that there to preserve. Well, it's a nice separation between, Yeah, sick in the background, It really said yes. Now, when I look at her and I look at her dress and I look at her makeup, you're working with other people, hear that air helping set this up? No, I mean, yeah, I mean the makeup and the dress. But when you're on on this on the location, it's all me, the photographer, directing and telling with the track of everything. There is a lot of things. I mean, just beyond the photography, there's organizing people and making sure every detail and I can't tell you how many portrait's I've shot and then realized. Oh, this is turned over. And this is in the wrong position. It's hard. It's really hard. I think you'll go through a stringer shots and go. Oh, shoot her hands right there. Why didn't I get that? You're you know, you love yourself. And I think that's just when shooting a lot and doing it. Um well, you know, just in ah workshop that I taught if you don't have some of the fundamentals down, let's say you don't have your lighting down. Your mind is concentrated on how'm I gonna like this. Is this gonna work? You can't notice all the other small details that are there, right? Yeah. Just consumed by that one thing that you're worried that Yeah. So what? You kind of have a handle on the lighting, the composition, the portraiture, I mean, the opposing. And then you don't really have to think about that because you know what you're doing now? A You can see the little detail. Oh, can you remove that bag back there? Then what's more important? If you don't have to worry about those fundamentals, you can be more creative. And that's the thing that is going to separate you from everybody else getting to that creative side of yourself. But if you're bogged down just trying to understand the techno, you know that if they don't know their camera, they can. It's like the Senate's going down. What do I do? Right. So you have to have those fundamentals allowing creativity to shine. Nice. Nice. Let's go into the next one Here. Interesting location. Whereabouts is this This was in another museum in Australia. Yeah. And you know, it was great there. Ah, because it was in congre, which is near Sydney, and they let you do anything in their in their museum. I mean, like, shoot if that was in Los Angeles that we have security guards all over permissions. You sure we could shoot on your Oh, yeah, we do it all the time. And I was having a ball cause and they had these. This was like a wave struck, sir, metal waiver concrete wave, you know? And so I just used that as a backdrop, and we had a beautiful sense that going and and had some light coming in that edge light where it was, a couple flashes from behind her just to give that. So on this piece, in particular or in general, in the other work, How much of it is your vision ahead of time. You know what the backdrop is? You know what the shot is versus you get on location and you start going. Oh, this is gonna work. And you start changing and moving, right? I would say, you know, you get a location because you don't know what the weather is gonna be like, either. Yeah, so you could look online and, you know, all the shots are like, you know, in brights are nice sunset or whatever. Then you get there and it's rating. Oh, shoot. You know, So I kind of liked I don't do that a lot because I don't want my expected expectations so high because you might get there instead, completely different situations. So I'd say, you know, 95% of the time, it's like, Okay, let's go there and see what we can come up with. That's the challenge that I love. Well, you have a skill set that were that works because you've been in enough situations where you can assess by around lighting and all of them. That's what I love to teach is like, Okay, you're in this situation. Let's break it down into small, digestible things that I could do. And so when I teach about composition and I'm telling them to look for a like, a shape and just put your subject in there, um And so, you know, a few little tools that they could have going into places like that can make a huge difference. Yeah. Nice. Okay, I think we're in the studio now. No, really, I got interesting story about okay. Lets you OK, so I'm in China doing this workshop, okay. And the whole week, you know, we're taking a bunch of great pictures and, um, these air, actually else the students in the class, and then it's kind of like, uh hey, we've been taking pictures of all these, you know, other people. I want some pictures of art, you know, of ourselves, all dressed up in everything. So the last day, I mean, I think this was shot it like, I don't know, 12 midnight hours like that. And so they get all dressed down. Go Okay, fine. You guys get all drizzle will love the suit, you guys. So they got all dolled up and dressed up, and then we just had a great time, you know, shooting. And this has happened to be the room that they were in had an interesting wallpaper, that that's just the wall that wallpaper was like, almost sure that was like a special backdrop you brought. No, it was the wallpaper. And it was actually gray. Wow. Because it looks I thought it was almost illuminated from the rear because it's got It is I put, like, flashes down there and to use, like, for small little flashes. Okay. And then we kind of together kind of thought of this little, uh, getting because that's what they were doing. You know, they were getting each other ready before the shot. And it's actually, you know, kind of one of my iconic shots that I've taken. Yeah, very, very distinctive. Shocked for sure. Yeah. Let that. Okay, so tell me about getting in a location like this, Um, because you don't just walk in. No, you don't. I I was doing a workshop in Kansas, and they had access to this place. Hey, Scott, you want to shoot of this theater? Yeah, and but you know what? Getting access to police. Ah, lot of times you just have to talk to you. Don't realize how many of your friends have a contact of a contact of a contact that can get you into places. But you just have to throw your dream out there. It's like if, oh, I wish one day I could shoot a Dodger Stadium or whatever, throw it out there. And eventually people know some people that know some people. And you're there, right? Let me tell you a story. It's like one of my dreams. I'm I'm a huge, like Oakland Raiders fan. Whatever. Right? And so it turns out that, uh, you know, my cousin works for Marshawn Lynch was big, So yeah, and so, you know, I just kind of threw that a It's my dream one day, toe like sheet at a Raider game there and he goes, and then he set it up for me. So, like, you know, the last game, I think it's December 31st that watch me, I'll be on that side so you throw it out there, you know, location. You see, like you just keep throwing out There might not be, you know, the next month or the next year. Whatever. But you will get in there for assistance. You persistence. So on a shot like this, you're setting up some lighting, and I'm kind of interesting is somewhere topic we've talked a little bit about is once you have that lighting set up and you're thinking OK, well, I can try a few more poses like this, or I can move the lighting over to another location. But you have that moving the lighting. Yeah. Okay. Down here. I reset back up, and it's gonna be 15 minutes before you start shooting again, right? How do you kind of balance off? Well, let me get more poses in this location. Versus Okay, we got to scrap this location and move on. Yeah, well, the first rule that I say, is if you feel that it's not working out right in the beginning, cut it short. And so even I'll do that. I'll be shooting whatever. Go. You know what? This is terrible lets you geo start busting up. They know I'm human and And that's the first thing because it's kind of like you get in there. You're trying to polish a turd and that Listen, that idea that you had just doesn't work and it happens to everybody you know, s so I think that's the first thing you've got to feel excited about, what you're doing And it feels like, Hey, it's coming together. But if not, don't work at the death. Just go to the better location. It's kind of like when you take a whole string of photos, that event, you know, the ones that are good and you can just see it right there, and the other ones are not so good. But then if you try, keep working, getting Photoshopped forever, you're still it's not gonna be a great shot. You just got to move on to the good shot, and that's the same thing with locations or the idea that you have. Uh, it's going to just come to you to go, So okay, this is magic right here. So find the magic places and just go to them. And if you don't feel there's any magic there in the beginning, just cut it. Just move on. Yeah, that makes sense. Makes sense. All right. So I threw this one here because this little different multiple exposure later, I depending on how you want to do it, tell me a little bit about this one. Uh, I just edit. Did this one in my phone? Actually, you're killing me. Okay, Over. Then I took it in tow. I then I took it into photo shop and smooth the skin out a little bit more, but it just did a double exposure of my phone. Um, and so I just, um I wanted to kind of I had a lot of great shots, but then I didn't want to make people look at a whole string of them. So I go, I kind of like these two shots here. Let me just see if I can find put him together. And I had some empty space from the other side. And so, like, tried that It was kind of experimentation. Yeah, and I think that's what you gotta do sometimes is to experiment. And it might, uh, give you an idea about going down a particular style to develop more. Right? So currently you've been shooting for decades. It sounds like Ah, yeah, about 15 15 years now. What's your current challenge? What are you working on right now? Oh, man. Um, I think it always comes down to, um, for me teaching and creating programs for people. And so, like, for me, photography wise, I love it. And so what I'm trying to do is take my photography knowledge and create parole, Take take a person through a program where they could finish at a certain level and make a certain amount of income. And so my mind a lot of time is, Although I love the photography, my mind is actually more on the people and getting them to the next level because that's what really makes me tick, is saying Damn. And so that's what I'm trying to do, is is create something in the industry where they could go through a certain program and then, hey, make X amount of dollars at the end. Just like any kind of profession of being an engineer or a doctor or whatever, I don't feel that they're yet for photography. It's just scattered all over. It is, It is, you know, in the universities have done a terrible job doing that because you just come out of their un prepared to make any kind of money, you know? And so anyways, that's a little bit different than you know, my photography, But that's really not perfectly fine. I mean, it has me thinking. So you you lied a number of workshops yourself. Yeah. And when somebody comes onto your workshop, what is your hope That they already know they already have down? Because they you're not starting at. Okay, this is the shutters. I You need to have them to have a certain amount of skill level. What are those? Basically. And I'll need to be seen. All I say is like, if you can shoot your camera in manual mode, then you're good to go. Yeah, that's all I require that when I say change your I s so they know what that means. You don't have to come around to figure that out. Yeah, because that's on life. Suit is in manual, and I'm not a guy that knows every feature like you. I know my five network for May and yeah, yeah. Good. You know, that's the way most people are. You get the few figured out and then that you can go all right. Another interesting location here. Now, where is this? This is one of the most iconic places to shoot in Los Angeles Museum, and they don't let you bring a lot of lighting equipment, gear. Anything that you can hold in your hand is a little. But once you put it on the ground here, cover the security guard. Get up, Get up. You're from Los Angeles. Los Angeles has got obviously the huge movie industry, but there's a lot of still photographers down there as well. And it seems like every couple weeks on some photography block I see about some location. You now have to get more prayer. I know it's terrible. Yeah, you know, Goto, Australian students. Why Spain is pretty wide open to I loved it. Well, there's a lot of countries that you can travel Teoh not have the rules and regulations that we have here in the US, you know, it's just getting terrible. Can't do it. Can't you do anything? Can't even shoot in a restaurant and more, you know, it's like, Oh, gosh, talk to me about working with models or everyday people in how much time you have with them, how you direct them. You're making things easy on them. So you get the memorize them. So usually you know, the people that you see on my website like for here They're just friends, actually, you know, and so I like working with people who are not like trained is being models, cause it's better teaching examples, so you don't have a lot of time at all. You just have a few minutes. So you really have to practice, um, knowing how to direct efficiently somebody to get a shot off. It's nice. And, um, you know, for me, I find that if you let a ah person just do whatever it usually is not very good. They need your direction and you need to fine tune it. Because a lot, you know, even some trained models, a lot of times they don't their hands or not is finished or whatever. So you need to know your craft and then executed don't have that expectation on the model. It's because it's all about us. Good advice. Good advice. There. Now, I wanted to throw this one here cause this just seems a little bit different. Yeah, some of your street photography or way we're doing on a eso. Uh, we were shooting this model here, which happens from my cousin. And so, uh, we're just walking by and I saw these guys taking a cigarette. Break a goose. Stan, do you mind if she's standing that that doorway there? So then we put her up there, and they all started walking away. Going Teoh No, no, no, no. Stay there. Just do what you're doing. And just damn clicked a few shots. And I loved it. And that's the type of thing that you don't plan for. No. I mean, you could hire everyone, but you can get it. Just if you're quick, right, your quick and you talk to him, right? You can make things happen. That's literally, like a 32nd shot. Nice. That's it. Taking advantage of the situation. Yeah, perfect. Perfect. And I think this is our last vote of years to look at another great location. Talked to me about this one. Yeah. You know, every year that I go to Paris, I run out this huge chateau. It's actually the place where they started horse racing. So it's built in the 14th century, and I rent the entire place out for our class, and we always get some amazing shots in there. And I always kind of do, Ah, one of my things, his nose towards the light, right s. So that's what she's doing and just taking a wide angle of it. And sometimes you have to learn how to shoot tight and wide. And so this is more of an exercise of trying to kind of show the kind of, uh, the majestic, you know, the the huge the grandiose place that you're at, right? Is this all natural it? Yeah. Yeah. And you have a shop in there to give it that pink tone. Give it. Give it a little color. Yes, beautiful, great collection of images. I have so many great ones like that, Like boys is a really awesome to be able to choose from all these different ones. So thanks a lot for bringing those. And let's see, we might want toe let people know where they confined your other classes. Here. Creativelive tell the folks at home a little about these three different classes here, you know, what? I'm really proud about this. Ah, portrait photography fundamentals. Because that was kind of the class where I felt like I could put everything together in a short amount of time. So if I if you know of a student came to me and said like, Hey, I only got, like, a couple of days. Can you teach me everything? Oh, OK, that would be that class. And hiring you for a couple days would probably be a little more expensive. Yeah, just a little bit more on. So that's one where I put everything together and then the other classes, Um Ah, we're on photo week, right? And I kind of get more specific and detailed about things. The natural light is great. It's like give you several different ways to shoot in natural light with bright light and all that kind of stuff. And then the third workshop. I really love to that. That's when I kind of get into business and life skills were talk about. It's just not knowing your camera to be successful, to earn a living, you still have to have these business and people and some life skills. These are things that are important. And so it's just a really short workshop, given you overview of because I've been an entrepreneur for 25 years, and so I'm able to take all that knowledge and put it into a really short, condensed class. That sounds like a great class. So, folks, if you want to check those classes out there all available at Creative Life and there were more classes as well, wait, you don't overwhelm you with classes around himself. There's those of three to take a look at right now. And if people want to keep in touch or follow you, Yeah, actually, on Facebook I go by Scott Robert Limo together like that. But there's also another business page, but I'm really I'm more involved in my personal page. So just follow me on my personal page there and then Instagram. Of course, that's got Robert