Portrait Photography: Creating and Styling your Environment

Lesson 37 of 52

Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 2

 

Portrait Photography: Creating and Styling your Environment

Lesson 37 of 52

Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 2

 

Lesson Info

Shoot: Row Boat in Fog Part 2

All right John, you ready? Yep. We've got camera jib in frame. Yeah, my light went out. I'm just waiting for it to warm up again. Okay, let's hold up, Ken. Are we seeing that blue light on the boat? I'm seeing it now, but... I see it if it's hitting that. You might be all right. I don't know. It doesn't seem to be coming in frame. I think it's the fog that you're seeing-- Oh, okay. Making it look like it's ... I see like a blue light though. It's fine, I'm not going to worry about it. I don't see it in the pictures, so. Almost. I'm still waiting for my ready light. Okay. Man, we need some music! (laughs) I've got music in my head. Start singing! I'm afraid I'm gonna start singing (laughs). As long as it's not a commercial song. (laughs) Exactly. (everyone laughs) We can license that, right? Write your own music. Oh boy, that would not be good. Still no ready light here. I'm still plugged in, right? Yeah. I'd love to settle that thing. See whe...

re there maybe is-- The grass? Yeah. The grass on the, Ken's port side of the boat, camera right side, I wanna maybe put there, but it's gotta live somewhere in there, we just, I'd love to settle it before I walk. Go ahead and smoke it Ken and then we'll ... Okay perfect. Alright, here we go. Chin down there a little bit Jessica, there we go. Good, good, good. There we go, good. Lips together for a couple, eyebrows up a little bit. There we go, that's good, that's good. Lean a little bit toward the camera, there we go, that's nice, that's nice. Hold it right there. I don't want it to be that prominent. Because it should be less of a player. Okay. So I'm gonna yank it. Just altogether? Yeah, or at least shove it way off to the side here because I think if it plays off the edge of the frame it tells a story of more water. You know, I don't want it to feel like she's rowing through a field. [John K] Yeah, yeah. I feel like this is so heavy, I do feel like we're gonna need some balance. But I think if it plays more coming in from the right side, let's see ... Not out of frame, you're just saying, okay. Which I just did, I moved it out of frame but let me have it play in on just the right side there. Wanna tell me when I'm in? Yep. I don't see it, are you in front or behind the oar? I'm in front of the oar. Okay, keep going. Keep coming. I think you're maybe starting to be in now, but, okay, I see your hand now there. Alright, so Ken let's try to highlight that one and see. Oh, you may be in more than I realized. We'll see. It feels like it's well in but that should work. Ken, I would just put that thing right at the base. The light or the? Sorry, no, don't move the light, the fogger, I'm sorry. I'm buying that, Ken what do you think of that? Okay, something is reflecting back there. Do you see that Josh? I feel like I'm seeing things. I don't see what you see. Alright well maybe we're okay. There's something reflecting back there. This looks cool. I don't know if that's gonna be good. That's good, that's good, that's good. Alright. I think that's John's cables. No that's the tree. That's the grass. If John's good with the grass, I'm good with the grass. I think I am. Just for composition, but see how it's just sort of playing in. Are you twisted here? What's going on? How far over did I do this? I kicked the camera, tell me how far off I am. I went over quite a bit huh. Alright, let me see. Try one more where that highlight ... Compare that with overcompensated a little bit. Try this. Pretty good, oh, we're back right? We're in focus. Okay, I think we are ready to roll. John Levin. Okay, I'm gonna bump it a little, camera left. And then I'm gonna stop fussing with it. Where'd she go? (camera shutters) Alright. Alright, ready? Nope, I'm not ready. That's reflective. Maybe that's what it was. It's like the bulk of a cord that's right there. Oh, I see. Can we pull it more this way, do you have ... No I do not. Can you hit one so I can see where that ... I don't know how accurate it's gonna be. Well just for placement. Okay. We don't have anymore black fabric do we? Yeah, there is some right here. Yes. So then that's out entirely now so. Alright. (camera shuttering) It's just barely hanging in there but does that ... (laughing) Do you want a little more presence. I think a little bit. Walk me in there. Just give it six inches and we'll try it again. That much, okay? Or four, four inches. Try that. Okay. Totally in that. Yeah, cool. John Lavin's happy. I'm walking away. Okay, walking away, going to set number four. Alright here we go, here we go, let's do this. Let's make this the one. There we go, looking good. (camera shutters) Like you just witnessed a knife fight and you're getting out of there as fast as possible. There we go. That's good. That's kind of cool even. I don't know, I mean, I was originally thinking there would be like these very defined smoke and stuff but it's like the really hazy ones are almost so cool I could even see it's kind of taking it in that direction. Alright, I just wanna go rapid fire and just get as much, as many different options from the back and side as we can. And see what happens. And we'll do it in post, as they say. Or maybe not, maybe we'll get it. Alright, Jess, yeah, bring your shoulder up a little bit, split the diff. Bring your shoulder up a little bit more, like kind of where you had it a second ago. And shoulder away from me. Yeah, there we go, there we go. That's good, I like your head kind of tilted that direction a little bit. Good, good, good. Tell me if I'm overshooting the lights. (camera shutters) That's good. Alright. (camera shutters) Alright, let's waft that out, I wanna try to get just John in the back, once we clear up a little bit here. Earlier, you got to a point where you were like okay, we've got it this is it, let's keep going. What were those elements when it all came together? Was it a feeling, was it the lighting placement? It must've been a feeling because I don't know, I don't even remember saying that. I think this shot ... You said ready to roll, that's what you said, ready to roll. Yeah, I think it just started feeling like, you know, the hardest part for this is you cannot control the smoke. It's just gonna do what it does. You can try to, and as you see, we're figuring out the best placement for it, but every shot is gonna be different. If you see something you like, you'll probably never see that exact same thing again. So, I think it's a little unsettling and it's like, I think that gets in your head a little bit. I mean you saw me kind of messing with the set yesterday, but I don't think it was to the extent where obviously we're being picky here. So it's just trying to set yourself up to get the best pieces you can and build something. But it's also harder in this case when you know you're possibly gonna be building something in post, to know when you have the shot, because you have to think about it in terms of five different shots. You're not thinking about one shot, you're not seeing it in front of you so more in my head I'm thinking okay like, I need to make sure I got one of Jessica I think we have. I need to make sure I've got like pieces of ... And then make sure we have pieces of grass and the fog and all that kind of stuff so it's just a lot more mental, for me at least. And you still wanna trust your feelings, but it's obviously not a true feeling, like I see it and I feel it in one shot kind of thing. So I've got a question about creating a cohesive body of work when it comes to like, multiple photos. For me, when I shoot I often end up coming in with a few ideas, but also trying a lot of things because I'm not shooting with lights so I don't have to worry about being really tied down. But for something like this, you had to conceptualize this series and these photos months in advance and now like, you can really only change a few things without it being a dramatic amount of work. So how do ensure that these four photos that you're shooting are going to work together really well as a series. Yeah, that's a good question. I think that a lot of it is just time and practice. Because there's been a lot of series that I've done that didn't make sense together. Even images on their own. I think a big part of it is kind of like I talked about in finding your style, learning to make choices that are truly you. When I said I wanted a rowboat, I sent pictures of what I was looking for. I said I want a white rowboat that looks like this, possibly a dark wood one, but my first choice was white. We were able to find it. And then they presented the options that the boat rental place had and I picked the one that connects with me. Now, someone else might have been like, actually I love the brown one or whatever. But I like the white one, so I picked it. And so, if you can be true to all those choices yourself, the total of it is gonna be a visual reflection of you. So that's, in my opinion, the best and only thing you can really do is try to make each image a visual reflection of who you are and you are gonna be what matches it all up together. If you try to create something that someone else did or someone else might like, or if you're trying to please a client or something like that or whatever. Or I'm shooting this because I think so and so might really like it or whatever, then you're totally outside of yourself. Ernest Hemmingway says when you start to live outside yourself, it's all dangerous. And I think that's exactly what we're talking about. So you have to be the center point that anchors it all in together. And so, we certainly talked about color and theme and our models and all that kind of stuff and we're using similar lighting. I'm trying not to change my key too much, so there's those kinds of things. And then also I'm picking like monochromatic outfits, for the most part, they tend to be blue, darker blue. So there's kind of you have those color themes to tie it together. But ultimately, I believe, it's just all those little tiny decisions that you make that are truly what you wanna do that's gonna make it work. If that makes any sense. Thank you. Yeah, of course. Alright. Let's, it looks like we're a little clearer in here so, let me get a couple frames before we go do anything else. But John, after I get a couple frames here, I'm gonna have you get after it back there. Check focus for me Josh, just to make sure. That's nice. Let's actually, before we fire it up, let's get a few frames of Jessica while she's kind of clear, before it gets crazy in here again. Up the contrast. I think we're doing alright. Alright, let's see. Can you slide a little bit more to, yeah, center of frame for me? There we go. Good, good, good. Turn your head a little bit more towards me. And then tilt your head, there we go, that's good. Maybe back a little bit, there we go. Good, good, good. And then swivel your head towards me a little bit more. Chin up a little bit. There we go that's good. And then tilt your head again. Just like that, perfect. And look right here. That's great. Alright, lips together for a couple. Eyebrows up a little bit. Kind of confused at what you're seeing, is that what I think it is. Is that J Pop on the shore? What's she doing here? I thought this was a river. There we go. There we go. Alright, good. Right there, that's good. (camera shutters) Perfect. I'm gonna have you slide over a little bit more even too, just to kind of make sure we have a couple of you centered up. There we go, that's nice, hold it right there, just like that. Good, good, good. Tilt your head again a little bit more. Alright, swivel your head. And then chin up again a little bit. Lips together a little bit, like you're kind of talking to yourself, you're trying to work it out like ... I thought she was a makeup artist, why is she out here? There we go, tilt your head a little bit more. There we go, good, good, good, good. Perfect. Eyebrows up again a little bit. There we go, good, good, good, good. Alright, I want a little bit of judgment in this one. I can't believe she wore a white wedding dress. There it is yeah, just like this. Right here, look right here, tilt your head a little bit more, real intense. (camera shutters) There we go, good, good, good, good. I wasn't talking about J Pop in that last one, I just realized (laughs) that was not my intention just to make it clear. That was me just being bad at telling dad jokes. There we go, good. Right there, right there. Hold it right there, perfect, I like that, good, good, good. Alright, let's get that camera out of frame, there we go. Alright, John are you ready back there? Alright, here we go. (camera shutters) Good, good, good. Good, good, good. (camera shutters) Oh that's cool, I think that's starting to look pretty good. I'm about nine images behind on here. Okay, I'm shooting a little fast. I think we're looking pretty good. Yeah, let's do it again. And then we'll review after that, alright. (camera shutters) Good, good, good, good, good. Perfect, lips apart a little bit, a little more confusion. Like focus, yeah kind of really focus, like you're trying to see through something. Chin up a little bit more. Bring that shoulder away from me a little bit more, other way sorry, there we go. And give me more profile now, you can kind of look off to the side. There we go, that's good. Perfect, cool, these are great. (camera shutters) Alright, let's relax for a second. Take a quick break, I'm gonna review some of these images. I feel like we've probably got it. I feel like I wanna see maybe her on the side now, maybe. We should maybe move the boat and try a different ... That's cool so like this frame will be great because we've got that smoke covering all of our seams like you don't see the seamless or any of the edges. Oh, you know what we do need to do though ... Hey, JC, we need to get one more plate of that kind of smoke that you've got going on right in the front of the boat like kind of, so the front of the boat maybe looks like it's hard to see. And then, because probably ... Hey, so I think we're good, I mean, I think we got some really cool stuff. I'm just gonna get one more plate of some smoke in the front to kind of feather it in, but then I was thinking, while we're here, it wouldn't hurt to maybe put her to a side. Just to like get a big open frame on one side and her kind of, I'm trying to decide more like to the left ... Clock in the boat? Well we could clock the boat or we could clock the boat and kind of put her more like left frame. So it's kind of like she's left-weighted. What if we, keeping this stuff where it is, all that business, what if we clocked her like ten minutes counter-clockwise? And then, then she's sort of looking still over this shoulder, which is more directly at us. I just feel like if we ... Just sort of where she is, it puts her more picture right. I like the symmetry of this, I like the balance of like coming right at you, right in the middle. But I think we should twist it and push it over a little bit. Is that what you're saying? I think so, but I was thinking twist her and push her ... To the right? Camera right, just because you've got the sort of weight of that thing and her look will still be, her look carries that weight. Let's take a look. Because if she's turned and looking this way and over here ... If she's on the right, I just worry that she's looking at the edge and you're gonna feel the ... I think if she's still looking this way, then she's balancing and bringing it out. Yeah, yeah, yeah, you're right. Before we do that, yeah, let's get the front of the boat. Jessica, I think we've got you but just for the heck of it, let's have you back in character for the shot too. In case we get it in. I'm sorry what? Coming rom slightly behind? You know, I would, I think you could even like, lay down here and just put it right, I'd like to get it as kind of like defined here as possible. Alright, here we go, here we go. (camera shutters) That's nice, that's nice. What's that? (mumbles) (camera shutters) Can you get even closer? Cooled down, I gotta wait to heat up. What? (whistles) I'm trying to think. Ready. Okay. Hit it. (camera shutters) Can you maybe come in from the other side? Yeah, I think I've got ... I'm gonna come across set. Let me look at it on the big screen. You can see so much more on this, just in terms of composition. Yeah. I kind of like that too, where she's not even looking at it, it's sort of awesome. Alright. Trying to figure out, make sure I like my angle and everything before we switch it out. Yeah. Like is this grass too high? I don't think it is, but ... I don't think so either. I'm just trying to make sure I feel strongly before I just agree and move on. But I think it's good. Well you can certainly take a plate with that just gone. Yeah, we probably should do that. Do we have plates, did we try grasses in here just for the heck of it? Did we try that already? Early on we did and we didn't like it but let's just throw them in there. Let's just plate it real quick. Alright John, are you ready to roll? I'm gonna have to move some stuff from elsewhere. We're sort of coming to the end of our plants. We can pull from the back. Profile for me, look on to the side, there we go. Okay, good John? That guy's slowing down. (camera shutters) Let's see here. Maybe, let's try the big one with the ... From John's side, yeah. Wanna move the plants while that's happening? Yeah, we could get a couple plates, just like literally grab a couple. Okay cool, let's hit it one more time real quick John. Get real close, real close. There you go and lower, try lower. There we go. Okay. You can pull it back a little bit. (camera shutters) We're only looking for smoke on the boat in this one. Man, it's still not thick enough. Let's bring that one over Ken, real quick. Okay. And John you wanna, let's plate those grasses real quick. Do you wanna switch it out? I don't know, just leave it. (mumbles) Have we really shot that many pictures? Uh, 399. Oh, okay, not 800? Okay. 820 tests. Oh geez, oh. Alright, firing. Yeah, that's too much. Let's just, is that one plant over there or two? Is there a smaller bucket, or they're all the same size? They're the same size but they could be trimmed. Let's just put it over to the other side now real quick. Just for the heck of it. Yeah, I don't think we'll need them but, we've got that at least now. Let's rotate it real quick. Is there a thinner one that's not quite so lively? Yeah that one looks maybe ... Alright and then maybe just one more on the other side. Just for the heck of it. I think that just had a bunch of me in there. Oh, I got your hand, sorry. Let's do one without me. Here we go, okay. Alright. Okay, good. Alright John Lavin grass out, John Cronachello. Get it in even closer if you can. There we go, that might work on that side. Ken can you light it up with the other maybe just shoot at each other for this last one, before we move on. Give us a sec. And then John Lavin we'll get this last one and then we'll just turn the boat. Yeah. Alright, hit it. Get a little closer Ken. Check focus on there for me. Looks pretty good. Yep, okay. (camera shutters) Man, these guys are getting tired. Okay, here we go. (camera shutters) Nice. John can you go back and just get the oar also? Ken, can you get the oar too? Alright that's great, this will be plenty to work with. Try to go back by the oar Ken, if you can. (camera shutters) Alright, cool. You guys can let loose. Alright John, let's tip that boat.

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.

Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

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.

Doppio 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.

Vitamin Dee
 

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!