Portrait Photography: Creating and Styling your Environment

 

Portrait Photography: Creating and Styling your Environment

 

Lesson Info

Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 1

If we're ready, do we have Jessica here? I can't see anything, but let's bring Jessica out. Jessica, everybody! (group applauds) Awesome. So I think it's actually sturdy this time, so you can hop on. Okay, cool. Yeah, I'm going to have you face.. we'll have you sit just like the test shot, facing back and then, Yeah, here we go. And we'll have to probably- before I get too specific about the orders and stuff, I'll just have you kind of cheating out a little bit this way, and then kind of turning back and looking that way. We have to get the smoke right first, and then I'll start telling you when we're really rolling. Alright. So let's just get a test shot and see where we're at. Here we go. That's good. Alright firing. Put hands on the... (camera click) Alright, so that's a pretty good base. The boat looks good. I think there's way too much blue up here. The idea is there, Ken, but it's- you know, hold on, let me think about it. I mean, it's more saturated than I want, but that is ...

something we could change. I have to think about what the consequence is if we're gonna- how many, how many sheets do you have on the? I have two right now. I can go back a few test shots earlier. It was the dark one, but I can punch up the power. So somewhere in between. I mean, the light's nice, though, because it's not totally highlighting the side of the boat. Let's get the fog machine going and see what happens before we change the light. Okay. And hey, John, sorry, Lavin. (all laugh) Five people go, "Yeah?" I think, I wonder if there's a way to tie off the top of the sack so it kind of reads more like a sack right now? It just feels kind of like... Sure. A dead body or something. Isn't that the idea? Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but... Where's J-Pop? Right here. Oh, right here, okay. (all laugh) I just wanted to make sure. People don't really realize, but she's actually the one in charge here. Yeah, I think that's better, John. Yeah, let's do the fog. (fog machine hissing) Oh, there we go. okay. (camera clicking) And this fog machine was acting more like a hazer. It was like really fine, so John cut a hole in a paper cup and put it on the end to kind of try to concentrate it a little bit more. (camera clicks) See if that's going to do it? So if we go with these grasses, then they are right to be on the other side of the oar. Sorry, what? The grasses that are on the right should bump further out. Boy, it's hard to see on that. I know. We've got to figure out, so Ken, I think you're gonna, is that? Where's that fog machine? Uh, right in front of the white disc. You're going to have to hold, I think, John and Ken, you're going to have to hold those up a little higher, I think. Okay. Because they're focused out of frame. And I would hold them even closer to the boat. Because I think by the time they get there, they're just too... You want them physically higher? Yep, and I would put it closer. I'll tell you when you're... John, can you do me a favor and just fire a frame to see what this looks like? Alright, firing. (camera clicking) Alright. Little creepy, Lavin, little creepy. (laughter) But I kind of like it. Um, let's see. Am I in the frame? No, you're good, and we need to get this guy. This is the one that, the other one is the one that really (camera clicks) works. That wasn't so bad. Does that get hot? We might want to put it on an apple box, so it doesn't. Its warmer but its not as bad as yesterday There's an apple box right on camera. I'll just make up stuff. There we go. Okay, let me see that. It's warming up. Thank you, little things. Jessica could you turn a little more towards, just your head, your shoulders are great. Yeah, just like that, and look right here. (camera clicking) Perfect. That's great. Alright, the light on these, zoom in, the light on her looks really nice. Um, that key, I would drop. Can we, let's drop the key down like just a couple inches. So you want, I want, that shadow feels a little, little long for me. Keep, keep going. Okay, stop. And you'll probably have to refocus. Alright, let's see. What do we got, Josh? What are we doing here? You like this one stray piece of grass coming along the front? I'd prefer, I'd prefer, uh, I don't mind, but I think there should probably be more than one, if we're going to do it at all, you know? What are you saying? Uh, let's see here. Like this one? I think, I think there's still just one. Yeah. Where is it coming from? That one? Nope. Nope. You're out of frame. Uh, that one, I think, That's the one, yeah. So, let's see. We've got to figure out. Alright, Ken, you're going to have to, you're going to have to go ninja style on that, on that fogger. Okay, so what I'd like to see happen. How are you on a long chord? Yeah. Let's hit it real hard here and then run over and hit it from where John is. And John, I would just let that one lay for now 'cause I don't know if it's. Might do it backwards. Yeah, that's great. Okay, go. Okay, down down down. There you go, yep. Alright, good. (camera clicks) (computer beeps) (camera clicks) (computer beeps) Alright, let's see. (camera clicks) John, I wonder if you get the same effect being in front of it and pointing sort of straight at it? You know he could be, he could be here and down lower and kind of going across both directions. Yeah, that might work, huh? He wouldn't know that we're closer. Right, we're not getting the same concentration that we had last night in the test shots and I don't know why. The room was really filled last night with smoke. You think it wasp pretty late? Filled with smoke last night. So you think it was just overall atmosphere? I think it just had more atmosphere. Hmm, alright let's, let's But what if he's, what if he's, what if it were in front here pushing right at it? Okay let's try that. Did you try that? That's a good idea. Maybe yours John is where it is, but Ken's, you know if yours were just sort of that way. So it splits the bow, the bow splits the-- Yeah and as long as it's close to the camera, you'll never know that it's not over. Yeah, that was, that's a nice plate right there, we just need to have a little more definition to it. You could, Ken you could come up quite a bit. There we go, yeah Jess, that's good. (camera clicks) Okay nice nice nice. (computer beeps) (camera clicks) Just gonna fire away here. That certainly feels, that's yeah. Savvy short bursts. That kind of, see that's too, we have to somehow catch it I think. (camera clicks) Maybe when it dissipates? (camera clicks) I wonder if um, what if we had, what if we had a couple spot grids reaching past the boat that were just for the purpose of illuminating? Like what if we got more light? It might end up washing out the colors on both if you're okay with that? Well you would gel 'em, I think. Okay. (camera clicks) Can you match the colors? I cold be totally wrong, but. You can always try. Try just like a 10 or a 20 degree grid, you know so that it's not affecting anything else in the scene. Let's see, alright that's good Jessica. I'm, oh I need new battery. Jessica, I'm gonna just adjust your arms a little bit. (mumbled conversations) (camera clicks) Can you zoom in and check? I wanna, I haven't seen the key since we adjusted it. (computer beeps) Okay that's pretty good. I like that. 10 or a 20 on the grid? (computer beeps) It feels premature there. Before you move, J-Pop, just take a quick step back. I wanna just have her turn real quick and then see, can you turn a little bit? Yeah, right about there. That's good. (camera clicks) Perfect. Can you check focus on that? Good. Hold on, I'm gonna refocus. I feel like we can do a little better. Let's see. Let's see. Okay. (quiet deliberating) (camera clicks) Okay. That looks better. Alright. Let's see it. Let's see, sorry. I'm doing a lot of thinking right now. There's like, I'm not talking a lot I know. What are you thinking? Um, (chuckles) that is a very good question. Well I'm trying to just kind of feel out, there's a lot of, I mean the thing that's interesting about this picture is, just the light itself is really beautiful. Like I, part of, it kind of makes me wanna just take pictures of light and haze, you know? I just love the color. So I'm trying to separate emotionally, it's really easy for me at least, in this case, to just be like, oh that's so beautiful. And get excited about the fact that it's beautiful, at least to me. But I need, you have to think about the picture itself and it's easy to get distracted sometimes. So I'm trying to see myself in the actual moment and feeling that I wanna create and make sure that I'm, and I'm having a hard time if I'm being honest, making sure I'm paying attention to those kinds of details. I kind of equate it to, at least for me, this kind of goes back to finding your style, whenever I'm looking through a magazine or something I'll see an ad or a picture someone took and it's completely different style than what I do, but being like a curious person and someone who, you know as we all do, we all have things that we like outside of our jobs and that sort of thing, but I find myself like, Ah that's so cool! It's so beautiful! And I get so excited about it and my first response is I should do that. You know it's like seeing a beautiful flower and feeling that you need to pick it as opposed to just being able to appreciate that's a really beautiful flower and I'm really glad I got to see that and experience that. So I feel like as a photographer and a collector probably, and someone who wants to be involved in everything and has a hard time saying no. I find myself always getting distracted by all those bright lights and so I think in this moment, and going back to finishing that story. I have to remind myself like, that's a really beautiful ad, and I can appreciate that I love the color, that's really cool, but that's it. I just need to appreciate it and let it go. I don't need to try to recreate that or pick it, so to speak. And so I think learning to understand myself and my style better allows me to have that separation. And so I think it's the same here. There's lots of really cool things that are happening, especially because it's changing so much with the smoke, I'm just trying to like settle myself and not get distracted and focus in on what's working and what do we wanna stick with. I think that's why I'm being so quiet. Do you want me to pin her sweater back? Um, I don't even really see it just yet, but we might wanna get that. I feel like in that monitor I can see it a lot, like the wrinkles and that's it's slightly baggy. Pin it, do you think in front? Pin it in front. On the, opposite side of you? Yeah we can do that. Let's do that. But it's also not really bothering me that much either. Alright, let me see. It was just something we talked about earlier. While we're waiting on this potential bad idea of mine, let's fire a few more first of, if we have any, I don't know if we have anyone to do it. I'm also trying to figure out (mumbling) Yeah it would help me to get a couple more. Okay. Alright, I'll take a quick shot firing. (camera clicks) Ken, are you working with John on that? Yes. Okay. But I can multi, what are you needing? Can you hit here with the fogger again? Did you like this, angle wise? Yeah, I think that's nice, let's do that. (camera clicks) Did you like that, Jessica? Is that working for you? Alright. I wanna make sure you're comfortable. Here we go, that's good. (camera clicks) That's good. (computer beeps) (camera clicks) Is that working for you, the more screen time ratio? You're feeling better. You're feeling better about it. (camera clicks) (computer beeps) Alright. I like that, okay. You kind of just have to fire fast with this stuff, 'cause every frame is so different. (camera clicks) Can we, let's do another burst. Okay, Jessica let's get your hands on the oars. I like the position you had, like kind of looking back towards me, but yeah there you go. (camera clicks) Plants over here alright? I don't want the box to be in, but I, It's not in. Yeah, okay. (camera clicks) There we go. That's pretty cool. I think if we can get some more plates of just like, (camera clicks) thick, kind of controlled bursts up front, I think that will, (clears throat) I got a little smoke. I think that'll be, I think that'll be good. John, when you're up with that, let me know though. I'd like to see it just out of curiosity. Do you want us to try that light first? And then just get? I'm not talking about killing the other edge lights, is that? No, he's plugging it in. Oh, okay okay. Alright, so... That's good, Jessica. And where, can you see? Is that, can you see my hand? So I would just kind of look right about there and I like the very kind of calm expression, but I want just a little bit of wariness and maybe even, you may actually be hard to see, I don't know. But kind of like slight squinting, like you're kind of focused on a certain point. Yeah, there we go. That's great. Good good good. (camera clicks) Is that firing, JC? This one is, yes. Alright, let's go back and see what happens. Alright, well let's, I would feather it camera left. Yep. And then let's light that up and see what we get. (camera clicks) I'm just gonna fire away. I'm seeing the sandbag up there behind the oar, do you want me to do anything about that? I don't, let's see what happens when the smoke fills it though. 'Cause if the smoke's where it should be, then I don't think we will see it. Okay. (camera clicking) That also could be an easy fix. Yeah, also if there's any duvetyne. Oh let's yeah maybe take that off. Or duvetyne or something, do we? John, is there any duvetyne in the house? I need just black fabric we could throw over the bag? (J-Pop speaking indistinctly) That'd be great. Yeah, that's a better idea. Um, alright. I wonder if, what would happen if we had a ladder and someone fanning it down like so against where, when it wants to rise? Or before we get a ladder, let's just get a, let's just get a fan and try it just overhead first and see what happens. [Assistant] Put it on the steps with that fan. Okay, that'll work. So John let's get, we're gonna need you over here. John Cornicello. And, I think... Ken maybe, I'll have you just overhead fanning? And John I'm gonna have you on the smoker. Alright there we go. And um, John you might need to hold it up a little higher and kind of like a little closer to, yeah right around there is good. Okay. (camera clicking) That's nice, that's nice. Good, just like that Jessica. That's great. (camera clicking) Perfect. (camera clicking) It might just be spreading out more, it's hard to tell. Seems like it does slow it down a little bit. What do you think, Josh? Is that really doing anything? It's changing it. Sure it's not necessarily keeping it away from her. Yeah. (camera clicking) There we go. Is it, I can't tell, is it that one we're seeing? (camera clicks) It's full, it just needs to warm up again. Alright, let me review it and see where we're at. I think I had to restart or something like that, yeah alright. Okay it's working again. Since we've got a minute, hide your lead seam of the paper, too. What's the recycle time on the edge lights? Am I going too fast? They should be super fast because they're at low power. Yeah, it's went off for a couple of them. Alright, let's try again. Alright as soon as John's out of there, let's try. I don't know if this is gonna catch more light than it... It definitely cut down on the light on the boat a little bit, but... Oh, okay. You want it to bounce off the floor then? I don't, we'll see, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Trial run? We could put a sheet of foam core off frame, too, if we need to. (camera clicking) Okay, that's good. Ken, let's actually hold off on that, yeah. I don't know whose idea that was, but it's not working. He'll never work in this town again. Yeah, whoever came up with that, you're out of a job. You know on the big monitor you can see, I think that's actually worked okay. Does this sort of help us out? Should I try it over here as well? Well, you've got that hard line though, which could be problematic. Yeah, I mean, yank it and see what you think. I think, it might be better to just put a couple strips of gaff on, Is that better? Hold on. Oh, you took it out. Oh, I see. There is still a line from the seamless, That's what I was trying to-- Yeah yeah yeah, I see, I see. (hands drumming on knees) If you can cover the whole section so we don't create another edge for ourselves, that could be fine. Yeah, I think that's what it'll do though. (crew talking indistinctly) Well I think anything we do is gonna create a line in between those colors. But if the overlap goes that way, you won't have as big a shadow. Right now those lights are casting a shadow forwards, because the lips are popping up. But if we-- I'm with ya, yeah that's what I-- Something this way the shadow will go away from the camera. That's what I did with the gaff. I mean with the duvy. But the duvy was still creating a line in the corner. I think it wasn't like, if you can get, if you can take it off frame here and off frame here. Still the duvy, oh do the duvy, but just lay it flatter and go further. Yeah yeah. Okay. Alright, John, let's take that smoke machine and try to shoot it right through that grass so we can kind of start getting some pieces of defined grass. (fog machine hissing) Okay okay, let's try that one. I was, actually, sorry I meant there. (camera clicks) Now if you could get even closer, I would go around that fill. (camera clicks) You know we can get rid of the steps, someone please? Gotta wait for it to warm up again. Can you just talk to some of the adjustments and lighting that you made? What have we got going on over here? So we were seeing a sandbag at the bottom of the boat, and so we were trying to just hide the white sandbag. And then we laid down some black fabric, but that was creating a new line, that's what we were seeing. So we're just trying to hide that, which maybe just taping it would be easier but then I didn't even realize anyway there was also a line from the seamless that we were seeing. So now we're just trying to cover all of it with a big piece of cloth. We still have a bit of a line, but it's maybe less than what we had before. So I think this feels more manageable than what we had before. So the black is just trying to mask pieces that we don't wanna see. (camera clicks) Sorry, were you? Okay, yeah. And now we're trying, I'm trying to define these grasses and stuff 'cause I think before we had all the smoke in front, it was just basically hiding anything behind it, so. John what I would do is let that dissipate for a second, and then I would hold that sucker right up at the base of the plant and fire one off, and then pull it back. (camera clicks) Yep. Okay, I would even go lower maybe next time. Okay that's good. (camera clicking) I just wanna try to, (camera clicking) isolate like some of those grass blades so it looks or reads more like grass. Um, you know... And we do have, let me, let's kill this new edge light and see what that does. Alright, can we waft some of this out? Thank you. Alright, so Jessica let's get hands back up. There we go, good good good. Chin up just a, yes, oh not quite that high, a little bit lower, right there and then head towards me a little more. There we go, good. (Camera clicks) Hold it right there. (crew member whispering) Right, I see that. Probably gonna' crop it. Alright. Can you give me before and after with that secondary light? So, it feels like it was doing something. I know it's hard to tell at this angle, but. I think it gives us a little more atmosphere. Yeah let's turn that back on. I think that was actually good, and we may wanna do something similar. Camera right is just feeling really dark, like I'd like to see a little bit of, a little more environment on the right side. So if we could put another low... Background environment. Definitely forward. Forward? So I would almost just make it a light for that piece of grass even, so I'd put like a 10 degree grid on it. Cool. And you could, I'll leave it up to you. You could put a gel on it, but I don't want you to try, don't try to match that blue. We don't need to add more. It might need to be motivated by that, but we don't need to add more saturation. Alright, let's see here. Here we go, good good good. I'm gonna fire a couple off. (camera clicks) John, if you could just run around like crazy with that fog machine. John, I don't know if you can see the monitors, there's a difference in resolution. This is really inaccurate, though. Oh fair enough. And our eyes, yeah. 'Cause like the, with the grass and the black plastic cans next to her boat and you can't really see it. Well, yeah. I mean we'll have to get pieces of fog to cover that. I mean there's no way to, even if we took the cans off, you're still gonna' see whatever they're sitting on unless we can mask it. The whole idea is we've gotta mask it with fog. Fair enough, okay. Or it's not gonna work. (camera clicks) Oh, sorry. Hold on, John. You can wait 'til she's finished doing what she's doing. Okay, that's fine. J-Pop I got your picture. Does that work for ya? (chuckles) Keatly, we do have a question, if you wanna take one now. Yeah, of course, yeah. I have a question about the process that you're actually going through. Are you getting the environment set so everything is almost like literally perfect and then you can kind of adjust your model to where you wanna' go? Because once it seems like you're getting everything around, everything around the set just like you want it, and then once you have that in place, then are you able to direct your model and kind of go for it? Yeah, that's a good question. I mean there's, you could go either way. I could just get a great shot of her, and probably she could leave and we could just get all the elements around the boat. I'm trying to make sure that we're getting all the elements first. I love to get it in camera, you know? So, I guess I'll put it this way. If this were an editorial situation and I have like five minutes with my subject, she'd come in, we'd fire our, we'd get whatever we needed with her and she'd leave, and then I'd spend the next hour or two, however long it takes doing this kind of stuff. And I'd build it around her. So, you know thankfully we have time and I'm not feeling as rushed you know to like I have to nail it with the model right now or whatever. So, if by the end we could get something really great, if we could get 90% of it in camera, by all means I would love that. I'm not trying to create more work for my retouch or anything like that. So, that's the idea right now. You could, you know like you could, it just depends. You could do model first and then environment. There's no real right way to do it. Alright, let's see where we're at here. Oh, sorry Ken, are you ready? We're good? Okay. Let's fire this off. Thanks John, that looks nice. Alright John, let's go get back, so coming towards camera with that. (camera clicks) From maybe where Ken is, kinda I think. Yeah Ken, can you feather that off? We're getting a little blue on the boat. (Ken speaking indistinctly) (camera clicking) Chin up a little bit, Jessica. There we go, there we go. Look right about here. Yeah, I can't even see, I can barely see you. If you can see, there we go. Very good. Alright John, let's try to really cover the base or the sides of the boat. I would even go, let's see. I think what we need to do, side is kind of relative, it's long side. I would even, I would try to hit from like right here. And then I think if we can get some smoke like coming in from this side also. That'll be good. Alright. (camera clicks) (fog machine hissing) Mark that last one. Two back. Uh, no well. I don't know, I lost it. We'll find it later. [John Cornicello] Over here. I don't wanna miss this. I'm gonna come across. Alright. Duck down a little bit, John. There we go, a little more. There we go. Perfect. (camera clicking) Good good good. (mumbling) Ah, that's really beautiful. (camera clicking) (crew conversing indistinctly) Yeah I think we need to focus on some of that. I think maybe we were a little too forward before. So let's keep, let's waft a little bit. We've got a clear frame somewhat. Waft forward? You know what, Ken? I think we could add more color. Okay, to both or? What were we, did you have two orange gels? No, it was just that one, but I did, there is a flag that's blocking it from. Was the color just coming from the seamless then? It's here between the seamless, or let me take down that flag and see what it looks like when you pop it. (footsteps pattering) You okay back there, John? Yeah. Alright. (group laughs) No, I don't like that. Alright, try that. Now it's feathered onto the background again. Alright, here we go. (camera clicks) Alright hold on just one sec. Is that? Yeah, that's the one. I just cut that. There was one other that was crossing through, too. Is it that? Yep, that's the one. This one? Yeah, I would just... That clear to you? I don't know about you, but it looks pretty good to me. Alright, let me take a quick test before you fire. Yep. I don't know does that flag do something or not? Go back and, it adds a little. It does actually. And we also pulled the boat way forward, so instead of the light going from here, it's going like there now. I can pull it, but it's going to wrap around her head more, if you're okay with that. Alright let's try some of this. Light her up, John you're head down a little bit. There we go, that's nice. (camera clicking) Jessica look right here. Mouth open a little bit, like you're kind of, like you're trying to see, you're trying to work it out. There we go. (camera clicking) Perfect, just like that. That's good, that's good, that's good. Nice. (camera clicking) John I feel like the lamp maybe should just go camera right. I'm sorry, Aladdin. (chuckles) Just camera right. [Other John] Three... Yeah. There we go. (camera clicking) That's good. Yeah, that feels a little better. It's not like so centered. Okay, lean your body a little bit to the left. There we go, perfect. And then chin up, just slightly. Drop your left shoulder a little bit. (camera clicking) (computer beeps) There we go, that's good, that's good, that's good. (whispered conversation) (camera clicking) Hey, Ken what if... I might have been in that one. That's okay, just don't do it again. I'm just kidding. What's up? Uh... (ponderous humming) It is more atmospheric than where we were at. Yeah I think that maybe part of it is the fog being in the rear, I think that helps. But I also, I think this is catching more than it was. Yeah. I just, you get a greater sense of depth with the fog back there. Yeah. Alright so we're figuring it out. I also have a card blocking the blue as well. Do you want me to...? (sighs) That's where I was kind of going with it, I just wanna make sure that we don't kind of create this cross light kind of thing where it's like, we've got lights everywhere! Because we can! Let's try it. Let's pull the flag maybe and see, see what happens. Alright. John when this is in hand in terms of props, I'm gonna jump to the other set. Alright, let's talk real quick. How do you feel? You know what, looking at this I feel like maybe that grass, I feel like... Yeah let's look here. You know there's some back in here that you'll see and then you don't see, you know? Right. And it would be good... So it would be good to have those sort of A, B, and C kind of building our space, but um, when this one was back there just like like a potted plant sitting next to a boat, so. Would this one? This bothers me, but maybe those should just come a little closer. Just bump the camera left? Yeah and maybe just, excuse me, cut er, feather. Yeah, what I don't wanna do is feel like it's in the same plane. I know there's that. Let me try, um. Maybe just taking out that thick one then would be enough? Maybe if we see what that's like and...? (camera clicks) This is starting to feel pretty cool. That's kind of cool. I can't tell if that's, is that working? Um, I can't tell. We're gonna have to see some fog in there. John still back there? I love it. Alright there, that's great Jessica. That's perfect, I like that expression. Good good good. (camera clicking) Try a little less concerned, more confident. But just kind of like, yeah you're still watching out where you're going. There we go, that's good, that's good. I like this. I feel like, I feel like this is. We're on to something, I think, with that fog in the back. That's what we were missing. You learn something new everyday. You know what, though? So okay, John that's your new home. Okay. (groups laughs) Um but Ken, I think maybe we should take the other fogger and put it, 'cause I would like to see a little bit more in there coming from behind the grass. So like right here? Yeah, you might have to creep up and creep out, but... Look out. J-Pop everybody. (group applauds) yeah, J-Pop. Yay! You know I love you. John, what about this one? Just for laughs, try that for a second. Okay. Feels like anything. Alright JC. (camera clicks) Does that feel like the boat pushing through something or does it feel like we just laid a plant against it? I don't know, I'm trying to decide. It feels like something, but, Maybe a little too much of a something. Yeah. Maybe it's not something enough! Jessica, you good? Okay, do you need water or anything? Okay, alright. (indistinct conversations) I hope you don't feel ignored. I don't want you to think that fog is more important than you are or anything. You have a big role to play here. Alright, here we go. Um, oh, where are we at? Many cords. (John drumming on his legs) Kenna? Can you talk to us again, uh this is from Daniel Sanchez, as you're tweaking the lights and the fog, what are you envisioning where these lights are coming from? Is it the moon? Is it the dock nearby? What is that in your head? What is it in your head? (Kenna laughs) How does it make you feel? That's a good question. We've talked about that a little bit. You know I'm not, in this particular case, I'm not so concerned with that narrative as long as it doesn't feel like, you know, unbelievable. As long as it's not a situation where there's no place in your mind that makes sense. And that may be for some people, but as long as I can convince myself. You know for me, I think that, as I imagine this, maybe it's somewhere in, maybe it's somewhere kind of like in the bayou and there, she's rowing down a river, and there's like huts or cabins on the water's edge and they have lanterns, you know, that are left out at night or just that kind of general practical lighting. So that's kind of my idea of it. You know, again for what I do, I'm also trying to affect and stylize things. So I'm not ever trying to completely mimic reality. I mean I am in the sense that I don't wanna get don't wanna get distracted by it, but I also like to have a little fun. Like I enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland. So I think some of that is probably influencing, as well. Just that, if you've ever been on that ride, like that we just went on it with our kids recently and just, it's not real but there's a part of it that does feel real and so like finding that balance for me is where I'm going with it. But yeah, I'd be real curious actually to hear what people think where they see the lights coming from or if that's something they're thinking about? And certainly also, I'm thinking about post. You know, for example, that blue may not end up that blue on camera right in the final, but if the detail and the tone is right, I'm not really gonna sit here and fight it too much in camera because I know we can de-saturate it. So I kinda keep those things in mind as well.

Class Description

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.

Lessons

1Class Introduction
2Creative Photography Path
3Importance of Personal Work
4Concepts and Inspiration
5Choosing Your Environment
6Research and Mood Boards
7Finding Your Style
8Establishing a Team
9Jobs on Set
10Production Hurdles
11Working with an Art Director
12Pooling Resources
13Casting
14Wardrobe
15Set Design and Props: Interview with John Lavin
16Gear
17Lighting
18Technical vs. Flexible Lighting
19Creating Environment
20Gear Essentials vs. DIY Solutions
21Lighting for Your Subject
22Lighting for Your Environment
23Q&A
24Directing Your Subject
25Tips for Directing Talent
26Pre-Lighting and Test Shoots
27Shoot: Stylized Portrait - Close Up Part 1
28Shoot: Stylized Portrait - Close Up Part 2
29Shoot: Stylized Portrait - Close Up Part 3
30Set Tour and Lighting Set Up
31Shoot: Building Environment & Lighting Adjustments
32Shoot: Building Environment Part 1
33Shoot: Building Environment Part 2
34Photo Critique
35Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Set Tour
36Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 1
37Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 2
38Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 3
39Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 4
40Shoot: Scuba in the Hull Part 1
41Shoot: Scuba in the Hull Part 2
42Shoot: Scuba in the Hull Part 3
43Image Selection: Stylized Portrait
44Image Selection: Building Environment
45Image Selection: Row Boat in Fog
46Image Selection: Scuba in the Hull
47Next Steps: Create New Work
48Next Steps: Share Your Work
49Next Steps: Marketing and Branding Consistency
50Final Image Reveal - Concept and Casting
51Final Image Reveal - Retouching: Communication and Direction
52Final Image Reveal - Final Q&A