Softbox Set Up #2: Beauty Box


One Light Wonder


Lesson Info

Softbox Set Up #2: Beauty Box

So, folks are asking about your studio, Clay, and is this a typical setup that you would also mimic in your studio? Do you have a good sized space where you could have this-- Yeah, absolutely. This much leeway with lights and cards and such? Yeah, I definitely keep those big cards in my studio. Definitely a part of it. We there Chris? Yeah. Okay, cool. It's a little blurry. Little blurry. Alright. And then I love this question. When you say you're adding that sauce to them, what do you really mean by that? I can elaborate on that. Yeah, yeah. Chris you wanna elaborate on that? Yeah, I'm just hitting it with a little bit of sharpening and little bit of clarity, as well. When the file comes into the computer right away, it's gonna be pretty soft. There's no sharpening applied right there. So, I sharpen it. It's a touch of contrast and I'm making it a little bit darker because Clay likes those moodier images. Yeah, it's just tends to be how I wanna roll. You know, ...

I just... Raw files tend to be a little bit flat, you know, and I wanna just give 'em a little punch, a little contrast, and have them look a little bit more in my style, you know. I do think that there's a game changer in your practice. It's like digital photography and shooting tethered is such a great combination. You see your pictures bigger. You see the work in real time. I can't really tell what's going on on the back of my screen so well, right? Um, so you can come out for a second. Yeah, you can come out. I was just getting that shot. So, we're talking about setting up our lighting diagrams right now. So, just a good picture of the set in that particular way, working the way it is. Could you flip this so it's white side? I want the white side of it. And could you flip this so I see the white side, too? Be careful not to smash everything. That's lot of lights in the ceiling and stuff like that. Yeah, that light right there. Maybe just go over there and do it if you need his help. Okay, cool. (clicking) (grunts) I want that silver. This thing? Yeah. Do you want it held or you want it locked down on a small stand? I want it on this small stand with the knuckle on top of it. Yep. Okay. See, you two are great. Um, just put these on standby over here for a second while I get this light in place and then we'll bring 'em on set. Alright, so doing quite the opposite. Had light coming from the top last time, gave us a little bit of mood, a little bit of a look. Now, we're gonna come light straight on to you, for a more beauty look. (plastic crinkling) And I'm gonna get a lot of sag. Mhm. Alright. (clicking) This thing is sagging, driving me crazy. Come over here Chris and help me for a second. Hold this, Dee. Yeah. Alright. Is that as tight as it could be? Mhm. Okay. Perfect, tighten me. A little bit higher. Right there. Cool, let's come back a little bit with this. Mhm. Unlocking the legs. Push that one, too. Come back a little bit. Cool, let's bring in those white cards. (crinkling) You want it higher? No, I like where it is. Got it. I think I might stand in it. Another white card comin' in. Thank you, people. Good work crew. Yeah, alright! (clicking) So we're creating like a beauty box for you, and make you look as beautiful as possible, yep. Anybody work with the beauty box? It's like a go to, easy. You know, it's like, save yourself a lot of time in retouching just by lighting well. It's just an enormous reflector that I found here at Creative Live. I was like, yeah let's check out that thing. So, this is not something that's usually at my studio, but can you let it go? Yep, cool. So, I'm puttin' that on a baby C-stand. Let's get a bag on that. Could use a little dirt bag. It's got some nice movement to it, alright. (footsteps) Alright, Douglas, ready to do this? Just take that bag out for a second. Yeah. Get right in there. Alright, so this is the opposite situation. We were talking about subtractive lighting before. Now, we're talking about reflective lighting. Trying to creamy, creamy beautiful, candy bar soap skin tone for our man, Douglas, there. Make him look as hot as possible. Yeah. Chris get on this card there a little bit. Now, walk it, walk it around this. And I'm gonna come in with that. Yep, great. Great, oh yeah! Alright, yeah. Can I get that camera, Chris? Oh, yeah. And that meter? Alright, so I'm gonna, sometimes I would stand right in front of a giant light like this, you know, if I want that creamy, beautiful skin tone. Right, we're gonna pop him. (camera beeping) 16 three. 16 three. Alright, manual. We're gonna overexpose him just a skosh to really make him a little hot there. 16, I'm gonna shoot it at 16. You're 100 ISO? Yeah. Yes, alright. I can use that longer lens for a... You ready? Yeah, I could use that longer lens. If I can't really get in there so tight with him right now with my 70, I'd like... Not getting as tight as I want, so I'm using a longer lens to kinda get in there a little bit tighter. I'm a man. Alright, bedroom eyes, Doug. For the ladies, yes, uh huh. (camera snapping) Alright. Wow. Alright, so let's compare that. I know it's a little slow during these lighting diagrams, but when you get there, you really get somewhere else, right? Let's see your head really straight. Take your, okay, keep in picture right here. Uh huh, chin down a little bit. Yeah, great, twinkle with those eyes a little. Yes, thank you, beautiful. Uh huh. Great. (audience laughing) Yeah, and let's turn, turn the shoulders again. Turn away from me this time. This way, turn that way, like I'm facing. This way out here. Yeah. Yeah, and just kinda give here, just turn those shoulders to me a little bit. Yeah, great, come a little forward. Yeah, that's great. Nice. I like the serious look. Great, okay, cool. Let's compare that to where we were before. Alright, you wanna come out and just take a look? Actually, stay there while we shoot the set. Can I get the normal lens? Yeah. Here we go, cool. Alright. Just gonna shoot the set like it was. Could you get that tripod? Yeah. Now, one thing I do when I shoot the set, I just use the available light in the room. I don't shoot with the strobe on. When I shoot with the strobe on, sometimes I don't see the set as well as I'd like to. I'll just show you that and how that looks, quick. So, um... If I shoot with the strobe on... Actually, it doesn't look so bad. We'll leave it like that. Sometimes when you don't see the strobe on, you can't see the rest of the set. You know what I mean? So, sometimes, I'll just switch it to the available light and go to, and shoot like this. We see the difference. Right on. Right, you see, just compare those two. See how you see a little bit more the room and the space that way? So, helpful. Yeah, come on out, yep. Alright, and let's just take a look at these two shots back to back. This one, the dark one? Yep. Right on. So, very different feelings just in same light source, couple different ways, right? Guys with me there? Right? And I really think that this is where you start to find yourself in photography. It's like, what do you wanna say about people? How do you want them to look? Sometimes, you know, client comes to us for a head shot. You're gonna wanna make them look as good as possible and you gotta admit, like, we did get a lot done there, right? You with me, you with me? Yeah? Okay. (audience member mumbling) Yeah, me too, me too. But, you know, I'm telling you, some middle age woman's gonna come to your studio one day and, like, the beauty box is gonna, it's just gonna be like, it's gonna get you there a little bit quicker, right? So, and we're just looking at this light four different ways, four different diagrams, bada bada bing. So, we're gonna try to rip through this and it would be, you know, kinda cool to your client, you know, if you're presenting a client options. You have one soft pass, maybe just to show them a couple different things. How do you feel in this shot should look, you know? You know, you might like yourself looking a little bit more like Patrick Stewart there, right? Right, you look like some thespian actor or serious, right?

Class Description

We only have one sun, so why should we need more than one light? In this course, celebrity portrait photographer Clay Patrick McBride will dive into lighting with intention. Through a variety of live shoots, he’ll demonstrate how to incorporate lighting diagrams into your workflow so you can create setups that you can use again and again.

He’ll cover:

  • How to control your light
  • Creating hard or soft light
  • The importance of documenting your setups
  • Sculpting with Light
  • Removing and creating shadows with intention

By the end of this class, you will be able to create incredible images with confidence and the use of only one light.


KIS Photography

WOW! I was getting ready to go to bed, when I saw this class last night as I was perusing the classes available. Got the notification that it was playing, so I thought I'd check it out for a minute or two. Well, once I turned it on, I couldn't turn it off! As someone who has shot musicians on stage since I was 16, I've recently been interested in shooting portraits of them, so Clay instantly intrigued me! The more I watched, the more I couldn't shut it off, and I stayed up til 5:30 in the morning to finish the course (financial issues, so I can't afford the class right now) This class is amazing! I love Clay's teaching style, his willingness to step outside the box and play by his own rules, and his lighting is awesome! As soon as it is possible, I WILL be purchasing this class! Loved it! Thanks again CreativeLive for introducing me to yet another outstanding photographer to learn from!

Jason Darr

I absolutely loved this. Great instruction, great content and very inspiring demonstrations. I'd highly recommend this course

Gene Tolan

Awesome intro to lighting. I love Clay's teaching style and his personality infused presentation was a pleasure. I highly recommend this course.