Portrait Photography: Creating and Styling your Environment

 

Lesson Info

Image Selection: Scuba in the Hull

So we started, you know, and this one was hard, just cause of the first perspective and the angles and everything. It took a while to kind of feel... The set itself, is so cool. It's hard to separate the fact that, yes the set is cool, but is this the best picture, or a great picture, and I had a hard time kind of separating that 'cause I just was responding to the fact that the colors and the shading was so cool, but, and also here, like, you know, as we're playing here with lighting, things I try to avoid, like what's difficult about this is, you've got a set that goes away from you, and you have all these walls, and so naturally, light, wants to hit what's closest and it should bet darker the further you get back. But here you can see the foreground is really light in front of her feet, and I like to kind of frame things. So, that doesn't mean always but, I like things to kind of have weight, especially on the bottom, and so I don't want the floor to be lighter than her face or any ...

other part, because that's kind of the brightest part of an image is what draws you in first. So that's obviously too bright. So here, now, I like having a little bit of the floor being a little bit darker. You obviously still have detail, but we don't need to be focusing on the flippers. I want the focus to be on the emotion on the subject. (keyboard clicking) So this might be, maybe the best one. So, I'll just mark that. (laughter) (keyboard clicking) Try to get John in there too if we can. Both Johns. Alright, so, I thought at first it was just gonna be this, literally, like that's all I wanted, but they're were a couple actually, when we were going, was like I don't know, I might actually like her lookin' off camera a little bit. You guys remember, did anyone have any leanings, one way or another? Seagull-- We liked the seagull. You like the seagull. Okay, that could be the surprise winner too. I like this one. There's something about that, I just kind of like, looking off camera, staring, blankly. (keyboard clicking) The hands, oh, they could work. I think kind of like her, hanging her hands down there. Feels a little more defeated, or confident. (keyboard clicking) A lot of this one, John, was you kind of focusing on that direction of the model. So are you mainly, as you're going through quickly now looking at her facial expressions? Yeah, I'm really focused completely on her face. That being said, like her arms and her angle of her face are coming into it. I mean, I mean I'm looking at the face, not so much where I'm willing to zoom in and only see the face, 'cause her body, you know, her you know, body language is also obviously a part of that. So, I have to kind of see it all, but, my eyes are really focused on her face and her expression, and the rest is kind of in the peripheral. They're not even rendering and focusing on my screen, but I feel like I get the gist of the emotion and what's there. So I'm pushing her back, I don't know. I mean it's kind of interesting that it kind of feels like she gets a little lost. Again, I like someone coming at me. I like them being a little more forward. And I'm going pretty... I would spend more time with this typically, but. And I really, I just know you guys wanna see the seagulls, so, trying to get there. (keyboard clicking) That's kind of nice. I feel like, well we'll see, maybe the first setup. She does fell pretty minimized when we move back in. I think originally, having her closer was nice. Seagull time, alright. I did feel bad, Joan. Put all that work in that seagull. It's supposed to be for the robot. It just didn't make any sense when we got there. (laughter) But this could be, this could be the seagull's, seagull's moment to shine. I feel like my angles are off, but that's something that (mumbles) probably could fix in (mumbles). So, didn't I mark ton on this one. I was goin' kind of quick, but for the fun of it, what does it matter, I know what you guys are gonna pick anyway? (laughter) Alright, here we go, let's see. I do like this one. I like the line a lot too. (keyboard clicking) She's leaning back, although I like that as much as I like her comin' forward. That was interesting. Alright, here we go guys. One, two, three. One. Ah yeah, whoo! (laughter) That's my favorite too! I like one! And I think the seagull's fun, I like having fun, but, it's trying a little too hard. You know, it's a little desperate for me, personally. I just love the confidence and the simplicity of this set. You know, I kind of wanna tell the joke and leave early, and that's kind of what this feels like. This feels like, did you hear my joke (laughs). (laughter) I know others!

Connect to your photos
Don’t capture another picture that says nothing of your own style. Grow your confidence in creating or styling a portrait that pops and, more importantly, resonates. Recognize that you’re tired of feeling disconnected to your photography.

Tap into your artistic vision
Establishing your creative voice and finding the inspiration and support to stay with it are essential skills for a career in photography. Commit to mastering the technical elements so you can save time in production, focus on creating images with emotion, and start making the pictures that express your creative vision and ultimately resemble what you want to get paid to take.

Learn from the authority: John Keatley
John’s photos have filled the pages of Rolling Stone, Wired, and the New York Times Magazine. He’s covered celebrities from Anthony Hopkins to Macklemore, and even had the rare opportunity to photograph Annie Leibovitz. He’s also passionate about education and supporting artists to find their personal style.

In this one-of-a-kind class, John breaks down how to conceptualize, produce, style, light and fine tune your ideas. He leads you through the creation of an environmental portrait series, showing you how to make a vision come to life with any budget.

What you get out of this exclusive shoot:

  • Find inspiration and execute your vision
  • Research and create desired environments for set design or location scouting
  • Cast for portrait and direct subjects on set
  • Build a team of support around your project
  • Lighting and styles to make the background and subject work together
  • Creative ways to build your vision, regardless of budgetary limitations

What our students are saying:
“The amount of information John gives is mind blowing. To see the process from beginning to end, the road map to creativity...you cannot help but to be on the right road to success. He gives you steps to take and shows you how it's done.”
- Lorenzo Hill

Commit to your creativity
Are you ready to push the boundaries and find your unique voice? Get the hands-on tools to flex your creativity, collaborate for results, and carry out your vision.

 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • What an amazing show. I'm so happy that I could be a part of it. It was so great to see John at work and in his element. I learned so much from watching his process from beginning to ending. So many questions have been answered. I feel more confident, to get myself out there and create and make work that comes out from my imagination. I will definitely be keeping a journal/notebook with me at all times. I would also like to suggest that we have another course for John Cornicello, home studio. I'm curious to see what John is working on in his studio.
  • It's amazing to watch and understand how this great creative professional work. There's a lot to learn about with his production process. For me, that lives in Brazil, is a major opportunity to enjoy this class.
  • Wow! There's just so much great information in this class. If you've ever wondered what it takes to produce an environmental portrait, this is the class for you! John did a superb job of taking us step-by-step through his process. From model casting to set building, lighting setups to culling; it's all here. He even wraps up the class with next steps and how to put it all together. He gives the knowledge so you can take it to a place you can create your own magic!