Buddy System


Portraits at Night


Lesson Info

Buddy System

What better way to level up when you're doing night photography or night portraiture than shooting with a friend? Let me start with a story. My buddy, Gabe, took me to a place, I don't know, about nine-ish years ago on the west side of Manhattan that I had never shot of or even heard of before. It's this beautiful location where something out of history had happened, but it still existed there and the juxtaposition of that to all of this bright and clear and busy New York that was right next to it, was pretty amazing. The fact that he chose to share that with me and that we spent the night doing this night photography together, sort of unlocked deeper things in our friendship. And that's one of the points I'm trying to make here. When you go out shooting, it's great to shoot with a friend. Use the buddy system. On top of that, it adds a level of safety that you wouldn't have when you're shooting alone. There's two people with situational awareness, and there's two people with periphera...

l vision, looking around. You know what? I think I'm forgetting some things, so hey, Gabe, you got your ears on? (walkie talkie beeps) Oh yeah, Matt, I'm here, over. Oh, fantastic. You mind coming over and helping me with this? I think I forgot some stuff, over. Yeah, sure no problem. Hey, Matt. Hey, what's going on, man? Hey. Oh, sorry. So Gabe, I know we've done, I don't know, probably hundreds of night shoots together now. What do you think that you've learned the most by hanging out with me? Well, I think there's always the challenge of exploring the location together with people. And oftentimes we'll go, we'll not set up side by side. We'll kind of, we'll note, we'll kind of wanna level up, as you like to say, and look for a different interpretation. And I like, I'm always looking at you and I might think, whoa, I'm using a wide lens, why is he using a telephoto lens? And it's great to also have a fuller picture, a fuller interpretation of the scene when you bring friends with. Right, I agree. And I think that I've picked up some crazy other technical stuff. You keep me asking, what if? And like those child-like eyes. So it's often time we can also just get bogged in on our own head and our own ideas and the rules of night photography, but sometimes when you're bouncing off friends, then it opens up more creative doors. True, thanks Gabe. So let's keep on clicking together. Deal. Shoot with a friend, your life will be better.

Class Description

Learn to capture amazing environmental portraits at night and incorporate a starry landscape or beautiful urban environment with your subjects. Get started in night portraiture by knowing what gear to choose, what to look for in locations and how to use your friends as subjects. Incorporate lights into your night photos and bring life to a long exposure. In this class you’ll learn: How to take self portraits at night without losing any of your background or subject How to choose a light source and add life to long exposures What to get right in camera and how to develop your images further in lightroom How to safely use pyrotechnics to take your portraits to another level  



I learned some techniques in Matt's class, which were helpful, but believe this was for the advanced photographer and i was a little confused at times. i would've liked to know the "how to" with the lights, showing how to program them with more detail. I am just learning how to set my camera for different lighting situations. But a very interesting course and glad i went through it.


Great class! Liked it so much that I booked a trip to Colorado to work with Matt and Lance on one of their National Parks at Night classes. Highly recommend.

Peter Mackenzie

I don't understand the negative reviews. This class feels less hands-on than the other classes in the series, but the information is useful and makes sense. You also need to understand that all classes out of the night photography series will cover the basics in one way or another, so there is some repetition. Whichever class out of the night photography series you view last will feel like it has more repetition, especially if you have some skills before taking those classes. Just skip the intro and move on to the tricks Matt has to share.