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Pose It, Light It, Love It

Lesson 9 of 33

Groups of Four and Five

Clay Blackmore

Pose It, Light It, Love It

Clay Blackmore

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Lesson Info

9. Groups of Four and Five

Lesson Info

Groups of Four and Five

That's a group of three let's make it a group of four so I am going to pick this is a busy shirt. This is a little bright so come on with me right here we're gonna add the other brother the long lost brother tell me your name again, don don. Okay, here's, what we're gonna do done first going, shawn, this way a little bit, shawn, you fit and dawn, you come sit up here in the front row and you know what? I almost think we should switch it let's put the ladies out front of the guys in the back any time I'm doing the big groups like I'm popping around a party and there's just a cocktail reception going on and I see my photographers just click click, click they're just trying to make sure the cocktail is just kind of covered there's no attention, too drinks or glasses are name tags or any quick posing? What did you used to call it bharat the two twenty two twenty four, which means you're at a wedding, you've just done the ceremony, you're sweating and you're trying to do room pictures. You'...

ve got to move the equipment from here to there and there's a cocktail hour going on it's the last thing you want to do is go through a cocktail hour and take pictures people who don't want to be photographed because they're eating as fast as they can, and here comes the photographer and they're not gonna finish eating, so we call the to twenty four mean, in two minutes we would go through the room and shoot twenty four pictures, right? But what I'm doing is I'll go up to the group and say, women in the front, men in the back, so now we get a row of women and the men fill in the gaps and you tell the taller men to go in the middle and you take the picture because you never know when one of those pictures could be super super important, you know? I mean, I've done a lot of corporate affairs, and sometimes you do a picture of a cocktail hour and you get a email, we need this for our website or corporate brochure or whatever, and you look at it go, why didn't? Why didn't I take my time with that picture a little bit better? So what we're gonna do, guys, just step over to the side road quick for me. Come right over here. I'm going to show you my relationship of the two girls stay right there good, I'm gonna raise you just a little bit, stand up and let's go live I think I did too much and I see if you can just squeeze your handle stand up and just just just right there you got to see how easy that my clients could do that too. I don't have to do man handle everything is good and just a little hannah right there. All right, guys. Here's how the picture starts. You see my imaginary circles one here, one there. Now, what am I going to do? I'm going to film in, walk over with me and put your hands where the guys are going to go but, you know, once I know over here, come over here you no one's going to go in the middle here and here. Yes. Good. Sometimes my even my own employees that I'm training, they'll put it here and there and it doesn't work. So here we go now, who's gonna go in the middle. I think we'll put down in the middle, maybe on a little block. Sorry, don, you get the booster that's usually fun at a wedding. When the booster comes out, everybody goes, oh, I get the booster now come on. And you know what? Actually put your hands on your two sisters right there, right there on the outside shoulders and everybody lean together good right there is a group of three of donald lean in good and down a little taller. Good on chin down a little bit. Chin does. All right, you got it made, don. I'm gonna take this picture. You're going to send this home? Look what I did today, mom. One thing about eyeglasses we haven't even talked about that. Have we let's talk about real quick? Don, you're not getting any reflection in your in your glasses, but there's three things you can do to eliminate the flare off these big soft boxes. The first thing I might do is raise the light. If I raise the light, you don't see it as much. The second thing I could do is your chin down a little with his chin down comes that takes the glare away and I can also if those two first ones don't work, I can tip the camera, the glasses up from the back. So I tipped the frames up off the years. It feels funny, but it looks fine. You would never know it in the picture. Chin down a little bit done right there. So I do one of those three, sometimes a little bit of all three, but you want to get rid of it, you don't want to say, I'll do it in photo shop, dear photo shops no fun so now there's the group of three and you'll come right over here for me sean and your left hand here move this hand here let sean have that scoot in there a little tighter I feel like you're leaning and there we go and then you'll come out just a dash turned to me a bit of it sit up a little stronger there good, good good good turn to me a little bit more here good I love it hannah your nose to me a little bit more good right there I love it right there sean you lean in just a little bit a little more good and go behind a little bit good right there that's great candy you lean a little bit tighter good hands chin down a little bit and the back road on come this way dash good don't stick your head right in there and and you're back up a little bit amanda good now the plane of their faces are all very narrow if you see what's going on there they're all very narrow meaning that their noses maybe eight to ten inches you know what I mean between the front in the back row so here's the first picture and in your eyes that's good right there and smile and everybody amanda smile it's your wedding day and then a smiling meant a tip your head to the right a little bit don lina and they're a little bit more amanda you back up just a dash I like it I think I gotta blink here but I'm going to bring an inch down just to see donald little more you stay right there I just brought a one little inch is going to make a little bit better different dons chin down a little bit good right there and everyone here smiling I love it I love it last refinement look att amanda's left elbow up come on you see what I did there? Who would have saw scene that mean because that's what you're looking at later on in the picture your chain of command a little bit amanda tip your head to the right a little that's the picture one two and sean your right shoulder in behind the group now lean in a little sean there we go. Tip your head to the right. Sean look at that now, sean, I want you to stay right there and I want you to tip your head back the way you had it just a little bit a little more good right there not smiling right there and relax for one second guys, I wanted teo review these two pictures I see this a lot. I mean, his handsome is shawn is he's in a feminine posed there you see that now look at him here that's meaning every single person in this picture is just like the statue either feminine or basic there and they've only got that light light pattern that we've been talking about all day and we've got it going well here I think this is really good now I've got a question again for the audience for one of you guys jerry right okay, you're gonna add a fifth person to this picture all right? I want you to walk up to the screen and show me where that fifth person is going to go and the prize for this is I'll come up with it oh my lab pilot imaging dot com said give a lot of stuff away so this is for a free raw processing meaning you consent an entire wedding to them and they'll process it for you okay, I'm gonna roll the dice and say here and I'm going looking like I'm wrong but your eyes uh so close okay, you missed it. All right, it's over here and I'll show you one all right, let's get that silver stool there what we have to do, jerry is build a foundation so you know what it's a trick question because for some reason, when you see it on the screen like that everybody says upper left and I say lower right, so jeff pilot you're off the hook on the three processing that looks good now see this chair that I added in here is not adjustable so what's going on here I have to work everything around this chair I can't move it so amanda raise your chair a little just stand up a little and just pop it a little there's a little uh handle into there there you go now sit there and have that switch let's put laura in the middle this is low res wedding picture and these are all her siblings now stay with your toes on the floor just yet now it feels weird but yeah across your left me over your right and hannah you scoot in just a dash the other day I did some really big family groups and I'm so thrilled I mean the book we have showed earlier today the extraordinary women all the fantasies linda robb she's married to senator rob they called me their assistant said what are you doing on september seventh I said I'm flying to budapest and um on sunday but that day I was gonna prepare she's any way you could get a family picture in for us I'm like yes you know this is president johnson's daughter lynda robb and I'm going to go to their home and what am I going to do I'm going to do this because it works I'm not going to have to think about man am I nervous? I'm photographing like you know american royalty here because I know what to do I'm going to keep it simple, but at the very end we'll have fun that's what I always do. So your elbow at a little hannah? Yeah, and lean in a little bit more now how my refining these pictures my eye is up here. I can't do this any other way than just keep my eye on the ground glass so just tip your head a little here. Amanda good. I really would kind of like to get that feel like going, but I'm just going to flatten my light out you guys, this is really three lights really three lights I've gotta main light hair light in the background light the kicker lights kind of been turned out you can kind of see it just on the edge. It's not fair because we're doing beauty lighting on hannah and nobody else but it's ok, all right, now, here's what? I'm looking at each person individually and I'm gonna just start lower right and refine it uh give me the thinnest block and throw it under a man that we've been fighting all day to try to get everybody to this silver stool that's not adjustable, stand up and throw this under amanda, lissy and let's just use the block I like it, yeah, see what we did there now your left hand on your sister's shoulder yep oh no uh uh shawn under her hair hide your hand under her hair from the back there you go you did it right there let's take the picture I love it I love it I love it now I'm going to refine each person amanda looks great sean slide this way a little bit good now lorraine is kind of turning your face away from the light why don't you turn your nose to the right a little and tip your head to the right a little bit that's perfect there we go done you're looking good slide to the right though yep and then your chin down an inch to get the square out your glasses push your glasses up on your nose there we go tip him up by yourself just take him with two hands and you know it just a little bit there you go there we go we're there your hand on your sister's shoulder hannah leaning a little bit and I pretend like you're happy to be in the family come on here we go and let ray this way an inch an inch more the rays a little square to the camera she's very petite but I want to do that and then your nose back to me a little bit hannah strain your head a little bit and lean in a little more hand we got there is the family hannah you came in too much because dons back there dawn straighten your back and we're there don smiling don smiling I feel like now sean has drifted so sean come out this way an inch a little more right there we did I guess now that's one picture once I do two or three of those I might say you know it's laura's wedding why don't you guys all just put your arms around come on get in close yet hugger yeah there we go that's what I want come on camera done I don't see you get in there don taller gone taller done sean get in there a man to get in there this is the shot this is gonna be in my wallet facebook everything yes done. Okay, how about a hand for them? Thank you that's great, isn't it it's really final don we might have to photoshopped done in from another picture that's been done before. All right, let's back up a little bit. So there's a group of five right there and I think that's really fabulous and really simple like that so their groups are coming together really quick um why don't we do the two of you come out I'm gonna do to you two guys day you're gonna walk over here to ladies I'm at a wedding this's real quick and how about you're gonna be the sun and you sit right here and then you come right over here come out a little bit more and come behind a little and turn like this and put your right hand right up here stand down for one more second good. Now stand up here again good. I just put your heads together like this jennifer this is seat one stand one all right, pot's light let's go live that's good twenty knows that the right a little bit shawn good right there dawn's chin up just a dash good right there and heads a little closer together straight in your head a little bit good right there I love it sean chin down a little bit a little happier come on, guys. A little happy right there give it to me. Come on, don don what happens when you smile eyes up here put your glasses up a little bit there you go right there and no smile like that chin up just a little right here, sean good right there and just heads together just a little bit perfect. Don strain your head a little bit good right there and the light is kind of missing, shawn but what's happened is the reflector is not even in the picture, so sean, turn your nose to the right a little bit seat one stand one this is a great way the weddings to hook it up and go fast your elbow? I'm just a little bit like the right elbow uh, right there and your chin up? Just a dash good and smiling right there and perfect. Okay, great. So that's a group of two let's make three men together, so come on in with me, jerry even with the white shirt. So three men, I'm going to keep one seated and you're gonna, um, stand forward for one second. Let me bring you around here and you're gonna come over on this side on and then jerry you're gonna stand back here and you just sit here and turn your needs to the right a little bit perfect. And your left hand right here. Good. Your right hand right here, right? Hit good. And then just put your chin right in here. Put your chin now we need to get done up a little bit part let's, get going up a little bit. Let me have a couple of days just to be safe. Step down for a second. Try that. Yeah, look at that. Lean in there, just straighten your head very little bit good. Lean out this way a little bit and then tip your head back in good right there so you could be at a wedding, you could be a family re union, you could be a fiftieth anniversary there's a lot of times you'll be out working and somebody needs a small tight group and this is simply how we do it. We just do two threes and fours really simple like that, you know, while I'm working here, can I get a couple of grips to just start sliding these rust colored edges out? They're not that heavy because I think I'm going to pull the gray paper right out on the floor and keep doing groups on the floor. You'll love it, it's just the same thing. It's a little more casual, so bart, you just find it out and get ready. We're going to just whip that paper right out here and we're going to do a little swore a a roll in the hay, okay, and play maybe after before we do that or while they're doing that after you're done with this way have so many questions for you about groups let's get this picture and we're good here we're bringing in a little bit there don, there we go. Done don tip your head to the left chin down, don right here, turn your nose the left very good, straighten your hand a little bit here, back up a little bit, shawn and then jerry don turn your nose to the right good, jerry a little happier jerry I feel like you need a little more neck there you go on your chin down a little bit good now this would crop in here on jerry off the shoulder so here we go one two and dons chin down a dash right there and laughing jerry jerry you're faking it? Yes don okay, right there and this could be the groom let me do one more time jerry your nose this way little and jerry straight in your head right there and then back up a little bit shawn so these guys knows can come in front a little bit good don come forward a little bit more bring your right foot to me don and lean in good turn you knows this way and lean in a little bit more leaning this way turn your nose to the right chin down down a little bit right there that's it lives together jerry good. How about everybody serious this time good right there. Hint of a smile dons chin down a dash right there don chin up a little right there and we got it. Okay let's do that right? If you'll start working that paper out I want to just pull it across the floor now answer questions all right, let's do this okay, so question number one this came from the last segment, but josh and texas heads asked with all the minute adjustments that you're making, how do you determine the end point? Is it just that it looks right to you or is there a quantitative assessment? And I would say both for individuals, couples and then a big group? How do you know when you're done? Great question? Hey, jerry, let me say before you sit down, help these guys over here and you don't you get in there to they're gonna roll this paper out, so I just want to keep busy back there, so I'm ready to shoot. The question was really answered in the very first slide on the best tips for porter photography and that's have the finished picture of mine before I start. So in the beginning you know what I did? I did a wedding once and again. I hate to keep given everything back to monty, but he's a clay, you got a big wedding go out and shooting and I did the whole wedding and I got home. We were doing slides and I was so happy with the work. I was thrilled and guess what? I looked at the pictures and monty came in and said, clay, the expressions are horrible, they're terrible, I was crushed, I was so crushed because I worked so hard on those pictures. And he hated him. Well, of course, when the people came in, they bought everyone of every single picture. So I learned from that experience that it's the expression is what I go for. That's the best answer I have for you. Great. Thank yu. All right. Next question is from terry, who says I'm madly curious about how you deal with people that are hard to direct. Do you have any technique to get people to pose for you? Can you ask the question? I think, um, he's curious about how you deal with people that are hard to direct. Uh, do you have any techniques to get the people to pose for you? Okay, there are really everybody's beautiful for me, and I can always find that beautiful portrait for everybody. So I see that some people are more self conscious in front of the camera. Some people are a little more nervous about having their picture taken so it's up to me to loosen him up and get him to laugh. But I don't think there's any subject that I'm afraid of, so I would photograph everyone in fact, that's the name of my mantra, my brand is how to photograph everyone, so I love a challenge, you know what I mean, actually? Sometimes when we're doing those events stations at the christmas parties, we might have two or three cameras going at once, and if I see a couple that show upto one of the stations and they look like they're nervous and they don't feel like they want to be photographed, I might run over and switch and say, let me get into make those pictures fantastic folks are working hard back here to get this I just want to loosen this up, you know, it's actually great, because we have so many questions, I appreciate it from dennis when you are, why are you shooting at minus one and a third? Can you comment on about thie f stops that you're using and what your focus points are, especially as the groups get bigger? Okay, so I normally work on manual and we would be just zeroed right out, so the camera must have been on a bee, and when I had a dark background and dark clothing, the camera was saying, hey, I want all men to be great. So instead of having this washed out picture, I had to compensate down a little bit, so I brought the compensation down to get the good skin tones now when I shoot a viet, a wedding it's the same thing if I'm starting to shoot and I'm feeling the pictures look a little hot I just dialed down a third minus two thirds and stay right there, so then the focus point is always I the front I when I was in college they taught us always in a portrait in a photograph of the thing closest to the front of the lin should be in focus okay? And one more little thing on that one how about ideal apertures? Are you starting with that when you got that big group? Yeah it's funny because the digital sensors are so amazing the depth of field you get off of him I can shoot a group of five or six like that and easily shoot that at five, six or even for now if I'm worried about somebody who can't get their head right in there and I'm in a hurry and I'm shooting and I'm feeling boy, I'm focused on the front is that guy sharp? I hope I hope he is you know how the road quick I'll just swing over and get a nice sharp one of his face put the little dot on his face click click, click got him and come back to shoot a few more that could always pull his face in if I have to impose interesting good tip, I do a bar mitzvah once a month, if not three or four and there's the picture over the torah the bar mitzvah born reading a tour the parents are just out of focus in the background, and sometimes I'll put the whole family back there, and so I could focus on the bar mitzvah click and the family cinnamon ly soft out in the back, or I can focus on the family, get them in the bar mitzvah voice soft. So then I usually and really important photographs. I'll do one the other and put him together. Do you know this picture right here? I'm going, I'm going to tell you is to photograph because I was sharp as a tack right here and then I was sharp as a tack right there, because I was kind of playing around, and I said, you know what? I cut and paste them together, pretty handy work. I did it myself. I don't do a lot of post like that, but I sometimes you have to, and sometimes it's, very, very important.

Class Description

Join Clay Blackmore for a three-day immersion into the art of photography. Drawing on decades of experience, Clay will cover the essential posing, lighting, and composition skills that are key to creating jaw-dropping images with any camera.

You’ll explore working with both natural and in-studio light. Learn about the essentials of portrait posing, including strategies for working with individuals, couples, and groups. Clay will also share his fail-proof tips for making on-the-fly adjustments so you're able to work seamlessly with any subject, in any environment and source of light. You'll also master the art of capturing the picture-perfect wedding story quickly, reliably, and completely with stunning results.

Whether you’ve been taking photographs for years or are just starting out, this course will give you the knowledge and inspiration to take your work to the next level.

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Clay Blackmore Top 10.pdf

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a Creativelive Student

Clay Blackmore is the real deal in portrait photography. The guy is a bundle of creative energy and technical mastery. I took portraiture with Monte Zucker, and am glad to have Clay now as his successor. This concepts in this course are the rudiments. They'll never change, regardless of trends and fads. Clay is also very likable and fun to watch work. Keep your ears peeled for every word. When Clay points out those many little details, they all count. Love the course, and have a ton of respect for Clay. He's a portrait master, and a great guy. What else could any portrait student hope for?


This a wonderful class. Clay has worked w/Montey and brings a supreme knowledge to photographers who want to learn more. His skills are creative and insightful with a modest personality. This is an amazing class that comes with a great price.

Tom Lokos

Of all the courses I have purchased without exception this is the best. Clay is an excellent teacher. When he speaks he is saying something and not just talking. He explains his lighting techniques in great detail while demonstrating them . He is clear, concise and fun to listen to. You will learn how to pose individuals all the way to large groups, while learning the correct way to light them. All this while being entertained by one of America's great portrait photographers.