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Pose It, Light It, Love It

Lesson 24 of 33

Shoot: Bridal Session Part 1

Clay Blackmore

Pose It, Light It, Love It

Clay Blackmore

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Lesson Info

24. Shoot: Bridal Session Part 1

Lesson Info

Shoot: Bridal Session Part 1

Come on out. Show me this beautiful dress and bride you look great just come right in here and let's talk about this now I hope we can know this yesterday we unplugged a couple of stage lights just when we use our spider lights and what that did is it gave you a little bit better of feeling of the modeling lights so I think I'd like to speak to the full length first and then move in because we have this white sweep here come this way. Just a dash. So what's going through my mind right now I'm going I'm thinking facial analysis we're okay if you can't do that I just like the people at home to see the modeling lights I'm gonna raise up the hair light a little bit there we go and we're going to really think about which side to put the light on okay, so let me take a look. Turn your nose this way little now turn your nose back this way a little I love the light on the left do you see why the hairstyle comes together? So if you're going to be looking in this direction where's the body going...

to go in the other direction christina winner winner bring your right toe to me a little bit yep, there we go good, good, good now, let's, look at a couple of flower bouquets. You could lay him right up here by the array. Just up here on the desk. I want to see if we could just get a little pink bouquet of flowers down here. Yes, perfect begins. Told those two together yet perfect. All right, I'm going to lower your flowers a little. Now bring your right toe to me. You see how I'm thinking backwards? I'm bringing my left foot, which is her right, and I speak to that and I don't say bring this foot to may or bring this foot now pick up your heel now when the hell is up where's all the weight ambika on the back leg, isn't it? Which frees this need to go like this, right? So drop that knee over yet more. Is that important? What we just did? I'm building this portrait from the ground up and I've started right where it belongs right here. Now I want my students to push those chairs on the wall and stand up with me because this isn't this is a group activity and we're going to do this together and I might have you pull a veil, tug a dress, I've got the helpers let's, just use them now here I'm going to use my main light and guess what we have to pull out right now are light meter I'm not going to get through this without a light meter and before we pull out a light meter we pull out number twos they used to be one's about a month ago I don't know what's going on here you know the feeling um I need to know exactly what my lights are in fact usually bart turned that one away I want it meter them individually because they're all going to build up their adding and adding so I'm trying to get my exposure on this light all right it's f it's on seven right here that's kind of what I do at home I say put them all on seven and then we'll go from there and so let's just take a look my s o has to be down I'm gonna go two hundred eso hundred eyes so it's going to be a quite a change from where we've been all week from one hundred and and I'm on daylight I need to go mod flash I'm really doing this they would go on and turn on that sending in it's a d one air I was blocking it hey bert just come around and push the test button because this thing there we go that's telling me six point three six point three I think it's just a little further away from me than I'm used to but I'm going to probably use that as my base exposure lower your flowers so it's just like we did in the studio remember how we did one light so six point three I think I want to get that up a little I'm going to go turn this up to eight this is a good shot of someone toe mobile just to see what I'm doing in the back of this light it's the pro photo d one air their magnificent lights that doesn't my shutter speed need to be up to two fifty in here not really right this is just an f ate light and f eleven light it's not oh it's one twenty five it ate the one twenty five the shutter speed means nothing so I've got it in eight right now so now I'm gonna add a light on the paper what I want there eleven I want a clean high key so bartles turned this light right here up to it's on six I'm going to go kind of bold here and go to nine there we go. You can take the one off the camera to bart if you need yeah let me just take the one off the camera the light in the back is gonna be a little brighter you can just test it from the camera just hit test you see it on the very top button you turn it off, I know that happens all of them so this one's not firing meaning the slave needs to be turned on to radio try again do it again. You need to know your equipment I'm here in front of the whole world and one light's not firing and I know why because it's it's got one little button in there that didn't work go ahead and again it just stay right there with it again again, again, again and again. Okay, I've got a light head there that messed up and it's probably just from flying out with it and that's okay, we'll just order to d one ares go ahead, martin and again, I'm gonna take off this new ah and again one more time for five again because they're going to have twenty five okay, now I'm putting a lot of light on that paper. Um we've got the paper lit up bring your right toe to me again tip your head this way now let's do the hair light again the hair light is fourteen, which means I just want to raise it a little bit that's all. All right, the lesson here and we talked about it was zero in your life before your subject comes in here and this morning I was zero in it in and look good but this is an important light right here this is our fill light I'm probably blocking everyone's view let me bring it up right there you guys okay so now we're kind of exactly where we were yesterday main light feel like spin this away and then but why give me a feel like okay this is five six this is eight that is one stop different okay that's what I want all day monday and all day tuesday I had a to stop different sometimes three stop difference meaning the ratio from the highlight to the shadow was three stops when I shoot high key I want one stop does that make sense to you because I wanted all clean and what the shadows there but kind of transparent I'm almost afraid to take the test shot go mess with that light in the corner for some reason it just doesn't seem to want to go with the radio turn your nose to the right now look at me tip the top of your head this way chin down good and lean the knee and just like this good right there you know you know what a great light is um that looks beautiful now I'm going to zero in there you can see how it's all coming together I'm looking at it right there in light room so lower your flowers just a little and bring your left hand behind you a little bit good right there perfect chin down lower the flowers a little bit good the light stands barely in the picture bart right there all right now here we go beautiful smiling what happens teeth good turn you nose directly to me right there here we go your left arm behind your back a little as petite as we have our beautiful model she's so petite turn your nose to the right she's she's great turn your nose this way dash tip your head to the right a little turn your nose to the right that's that's square to the camera okay I'm doing that for a reason she can pull this off I don't have a customer in the world that could pull this shot off because my customers are real people I'm going to tweak your shoulders this way a little bit and your nose back to me good now tip your head to the right a little bit good a lot of times at home I might have a bare bulb behind and the bare bulb can do both the veil and the paper but this paper's throwing so much light right back through the veil it almost disappeared you see that so I think I think I see right where we're at lower your flowers a little bit good and a real smile teeth drop your left shoulder left yet and hide the hand back a little bit more turn your right they're beautiful turn your face to me a dash right there and smile teeth teeth tip the flowers over to me a little bit yeah and lower them a little bring your left elbow out just a dash your left right there yes smiling right there. Okay, uh we are there this lights feathering across the front let me get in here and look at it is the firing barton see what I would love to see, hear and and and I took this light, which is the kicker light I took it out of the equation because I had to like the paper but you know what? I'm gonna put it back in as the kicker and I'm going to show you what it's going to do. Okay, good keep you head this way good right there. Lower your flowers. Yeah. And you know what? Douglas kirkland said the art directors like this when you can turn a white piece of paper gray that fast it's variety and the art directors when they're doing magazines love to have that variety and now I'm making a decision on the fly here would I prefer to have clean white paper or what? I want to get into my model and my subject and have that kicker like tip your head to the right a little good I just pulled the whole thing out of there for a second because the stand is showing and stick it out here and just kind of punched punch every button as fast as you can ha ha there we go tip tip the flowers forward to me a little bit right there you got it smile all right we're there were right where I want to be because where would we go from this picture? This is full face let's go to two thirds I love it let me relax there right there this has to be in your repertoire making a clean high key porter it's great with children it's great with fashion it's great with everything but what did I do to it? I apply posing and lighting okay, what I'm going to do now is I'm going to a two third so your hand back here pretend you're on a lazy susan you know what I mean and you're just sitting there and I want you to rotate to me a little bit right there and I want you to look right at that beautiful photograph of the bride on the beach that awesome picture that I took here we go relax your shoulders down left shoulder down more okay and you're that's gorgeous now watch me tip your head this way now she's in a two third view of the of the of the face lower your flowers a little more and when she's in to third view where should the shoulders bi look forty five for full faith straight on yes, but I said this three times the only time you can go straight on and two thirds is when you crop above the bust remember so her to third portrait the face is there I want you to turn your shoulders this way right there and your nose back to two thirds isn't it better people buy pictures based on two things and don run in there and give me a nice little fishtail just pulled the dress really easily on both sides are you come on this side dawn's got decide just pull it out a little bit on each side beautiful and just lay it down real quick just lay down right there up by the front of her foot by the front of her toe yes no don't know the address all right, just give me look what I'm looking for guys, look at this I wanted to go like this I should have sent christine and monica and there you guys get out of there here ago bend the knee over a little bit been the knee over right there there's the portrait guys this is beautiful is beautiful looking at me she's beautiful you are magnificent here we go tip your head to the right now look at that picture over there I showed you look at that photograph on the wall look right in the wall that's good drop your left shoulder a little bit tip your head to the right a little more good hint of a smile good pull your shoulders to the left a little bit more and your nose to the right a little bit more tipped atop your head to the right a little bit more good right there beautiful yes smiling wherever you're looking this is the refinement let your eyes go to the left a dash just your eyes yes I center the eyes remember now teeth teeth teeth yes right there okay I could sell her that picture all day long and now we're going to creep around into profile war that's beautiful you blinked on that last one let me do it again the one before was great here we go just smiling like that yes good, good good lower your flowers a little lower and lower yeah over this way dash beautiful right there tipped atop your head to the right could I tip my camera right now can I yes I can because I'm on a nondescript background let's try I'm gonna tip it a little bit now you tip your head to the right a lot now real smile drop your left shoulder a little more right there good, good good not been that me and real nice real nice yes yes yes we'll pose that light of love it is right there because at the last second those that are refinements that were coming into the camera were huge they were huge weren't they because anybody can do this I'm doing this this tipping the camera get in her head plumb straight up and down those are the things that were really important there let me just say it again she's posed way know how to do that work that shoulder get it like this tip the camera when you tip the camera she has to go like this she looks horrible well in their lens that's all that matters is what the camera sees I'm in love with that shot what do you think? Take a look don't you love it? She loves it because I told her is good you know we've said that from day one we keep selling so now we're going to go to the profile, okay? So I think on the profile I can go ahead and come back and life the paper you stay just like you were just pretending they're the same thing left out of the camera now just like a stat statue again turned to me a little bit right there, bring your left it to the camera and then bend the knee and like this and then go like this and look this way I've seen this pose before where have you seen this pose at christine pull your foot off the dress. We saw it on the roof yesterday the roof the roof is on fire pulled the dress out this way, but a little bit I'm going to start with the familiar and I'm going to get in close to the face because I hate being so far away from that beautiful face and you know what and bicker, right? She has probably the most educational face we've had because she her face is just like my wife's face beautiful and it's round so I'm going to make it angular and I'm going to make it gorgeous in photography. All right, now where do the flowers go? I always had struggled with this look to the right a little more to the right can someone just tuck that little piece of hair in the back? I could probably do it faster than anybody but watch this do the flowers go up front, hold him here and put the hand in the back. Pay attention at home because this is something that many people don't have a clue on this is this is big right here that's what most people do? Everyone does that cause I want to see the flowers and you know what if she were heavy that's where the flowers belong body blocking but I want you to put the flowers in your right hand and hide half of them right there good and the front hand what do we call this hand the show hand and we want to take this show hand and turn it sideways and we want you to hold your dress with the middle two fingers right there and just saw take this fabric so the hand is sideways and like this all right so now turn your nose to the right a little more hey, bart, throw that snoot right back here back on that backlight I might give her this hollywood lighting you have to sneak around and I'm gonna pull the monitor a little bit this way just for a second this snoot can be a very effective for that loop shadow so pick it up and just point it right to her nose is going to be about seven feet hung keep going. All right now let's help bart with the light he knows where it belongs but let's look at it. Do we have a camera that we can get in real close and and because faith one of your cameras right here can you put a close up right here? Zoom in. Okay, turn your nose this way a little more all right, so she's posed pose like okay it's setting in right it's thinking in I love the pose pose light so I'm gonna bring this guy in here a little bit not when your nose to me. The dash right there. That tip your head here. Good. Turn your nose right here. What I'm looking at right here is picture number one and I'm looking at a loop shadow if I go up. Look, there is the rembrandt there's, the loop, the guys. I do a lot of full length work. This could be in a hotel lobby. This could be on the stairs at the ritz carlton. This could be a number of places, but we've got it going. Let's. Get a little more of the dress. Uh, christina, go over there and give me a cz much back here as you can behind go take a knee over here and just give me a line, all right? I love it. I think what we're gonna do here, go over there and pull those flats off of that piece of there's a board over that it's gray. We might slip this in behind her. Those white flats look over here, take those white flats and move the tripod and bring that gray thing over. You want to help him? Jerry there's a gray background because the white is gorgeous. I want to dress it up a little, but you were going to put it in and out now look to the right good now that's gorgeous turn your shoulders to me a little your nose to the right christina tuck that hair go up right under there you see it just stick it in there when we do a test shot your nose to the right a dash who I think we got a winner here winner winner chicken dinner let me get up here and look at it close uh I mean it's a home run I'm telling you I'm not just in here selling you guys it's beautiful all right let's just walk in it's very light yeah come on tell us what the home run is about that it's beautiful the light's good she looks I think she looks elegant. I think if I were to look at a bridal magazine I think it would look awesome good you guys bring that in. Oh, thank you. Speaking of bridal magazines this is a great place to get ideas yet go back behind that I would like to come in here with ambika and say let's pick something out of here that you like look at that that's a darker background there's some things in here with lighter backgrounds yeah, hold on yeah he's got it I'm going to find something in here that I really love and I'm going to copy it because copy and look at that look at that I mean that's you isn't it lovely and these pictures here or five to ten thousand dollars a shock and if I can make my work look like this hey I'm going to get there and I can do it right now watch this lean this way look this way you show me that beautiful turn the nose to the right a little more a little more christina work on that hair a little bit more I see coming in your nose to the right a little more lean the knee and a little bit more see what I'm seeing my light I lost the light okay so losing a light I needed to come up with a new alternative my high key is gone I can't clear out the background so I'm going I'm going to go with it I'm going to say look I'm at the wedding I'm at the big shoot I'm going to darken up the background and I think it looks awesome here we go your nose to the right a dash uh there's no light hitting that backpage that wall but let's see what happens let's do a test shot we got right there hide the flowers a little bit drop your left shoulder good and then um let's just take a look jerry pull the background to you a little bit been that knee and really strong yes even more can you drag your foot back to the door you came in yet and not been anyway in there just real dramatic it watch me like this yet but point to toto may have been that needs see what I'm doing a mirroring now look this left hand tried this on your hip now turn to me a little turn your nose to the right that's it right there beautiful good, good good good let's take a look I used to study with a photographer john how winnetka illinois he's the most amazing bridal photographer you would ever want to see I'm going to take the same picture three quarter it's going to take jerri out of the mix and I'm actually going to take my menu let's go live and I'm gonna say right there I'm talking out loud I am going to go to picture style monica chrome and I'm going to make some hollywood portrait's turn your shoulders to me a little bit a little more your nose to the right beautiful right there bart can you tighten up the shadow a little drop your left shoulder a lot way back way back hide the flowers a little bit right there nose to the right good right there. How about stay there? You get this did you get me that could take a look mark moved out of the way just a close uh were there how come it went back in color and light room chin down your eyes down chin down and your eyes down right there good right there I think she's gonna be looking this way eyes a little higher right there good don't go away let me see can we make that picture look it's going to come in and black and white it's got too much headroom on it right now but the light rooms popping it back in the color you got to see that that's okay I'm gonna darken it a little bit here beautiful eyes down chin down beautiful chin down alright good right there hint of a smile tipped atop your head to the right a little bit yep right there now I'm tipping the camera to the left turn your shoulders this way a little bit I'm tipping towards the high shoulder your nose to the right but I'm going the other way so she's gonna look up chin up a little nose to the right nos to write and chin up a little and smiling smile teeth bake it now this time serious no smile chin down right there now this is the same thing okay, I could do that thank you let's go to menu it's coming up I'm going to go to j peg the raw and the raw file is taking me all right listen let's get you on imposing here we'll stay color I'll get it it's not recycle let me get opposing stool right over here but there's a couple of I'm going to seat you okay we're gonna get into your beautiful face can we you know we can hold this we have some c clamps right yeah well what we gonna clamp you to let's just let jerry staying and holed up right now so turn to me a little bit turned this way put a chair right here make me another one for a table sit right here all right here we go lean forward just a little bit turned your nose to me and your elbow out all right I'm going to do exactly what we've been doing hate to drill it over and over but this time I think it's gonna be a little more comp comprehensive you've been there you've done it we're doing the same thing with flash sure please when you sat her down on the dress I noticed you spread the put the dress over instead of having her under her is there a reason you know I don't want the dress over I'm you know the day of the wedding the bride really doesn't want to sit that often so we're just trying to address that that she doesn't have to sit on the dress this is head and shoulder your elbow out a little bit good right there your elbow and a little bit more right left elbow good let me do a quick test good right there beautiful your nose to the right just a dash I see a beautiful full face beautiful full face I'm going to see if I can get this I'm going to bring that light right and there there it is it's coming together beautifully how my place in this light differently from yesterday nothing it's all the same right this is my little kicker light which needs to come from lower because remember what I said the arrow is a child like that beautiful hair light to khun somebody lower that for me but you got it just bring the hair light down little tip your head this way just a dash all right it's heavy just kind of we've got a really stable boom arm with weight bags on each side we don't want to have a problem at a job with something like this and it shouldn't be westcott makes the most amazing boom arm and it's back in maryland so we have a c stand with weight bags just to be sure we are ready look how beautiful right here not turned your nose to the right good now I'm looking at my kicker light and it's spilling on the nose a little bit let's take a look and it looks a little hot on the edge of the knows let's see it seems like I'm getting you know I'm going to go to j peg right away because it seems like it comes in nice and rich and then light room tries to kind of overcompensated let me see if I can go into the menu and let's go to card one card one and I'm shooting on two cards because I have a backup there we go tip you head to the right I love it you look wonderful now lean this way just a dash good tip your head to the right a little bit good right there let's get it right. Perfect that's colossal I mean, you cannot miss you know, when I was when I was in college I had a beautiful model getting my can't in front of my camera and I was so scared my heart was beating so fast and I only wish I knew how to just do something this simple because it works I love the marble colored background what could I do to make this picture better? Come on, my class I wanted to be better. What can I do? What can I do? I can tip the camera your elbows out now watch this. I'm going to tip the camera watch this. I'm tipped it but she didn't tip her head yet it's gonna look like she's falling over right can't do that now tip your head this way beautiful even more even more can someone just get a shot of and because she blink, I do it again turn your nose this way a little bit and then tip your head to the right a little bit more right there one more time your left elbow out and a hint of a smile easy right there chin oppa dash right where it is right there eyes here boy everything came together the refinements were just firing in there and I want to speak to them one thing was look at my hand right above my you know look at my hand right above the lens her eyes came open did you see that? The shoulder down the hint of a smile I I really don't even think that's her best expression let's look at him real quick we should shoot j peg all along because it looks it comes in a little faster I think well when I'm scanning and they don't scan through that pass now here's this is really I hope this brings it together for everybody can and this is what I'm going to do is take this full face to two thirds turn your face to me a little bit now tip your head here my camera's that has sixteen or f eleven and if you go live you it looks black in there because this is the modeling lights or not f eleven also these modeling lights are tungsten tungsten modeling lights and yesterday we were working daylight so there's a lot of variables with it with the strobe when you're trying to use available light now turn your shoulders to me a little bit good and look right over here to the corner tipped atop your head to the right a little more good right there. Good, beautiful. Can you lean your body this way a little bit more your chin down a dash good, beautiful tip the top your head to the right a little more, little more chin down wherever you're looking look to the left a dash a little more goodness, smile teeth come on right there eyes a little higher that's a fake smile that's terrible right there again again smile teeth now lips together lives together relax, relax your mouth shut up a little chin up a little right there chin down, turn your nose to the right a dash to the right right there and look, I'm gonna darken this down a little bit lips together turn your nose to the right tip your head to the right so I did some smiling some no smile and what I'm looking for is kind of the afterglow the afterglow of a smile and I think that's her expression I love that I think you look great there isn't it better than the full face I think it's so much better

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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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.