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Pose It, Light It, Love It

Lesson 25 of 33

Shoot: Bridal Session Part 2

Clay Blackmore

Pose It, Light It, Love It

Clay Blackmore

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Lesson Info

25. Shoot: Bridal Session Part 2

Lesson Info

Shoot: Bridal Session Part 2

Now I'm gonna bring you forward. Stand up a little and now sit again. Now turn your face to me a little bit and look to this direction pull this back a little bit now turn your nose to me. Okay, so how about you remember how cool that was when we shot through the plexi yesterday with the spraying the water on it? I'm going to try to what I'm thinking here, I'm coming down to my I've done the formals, I want to do something, you know that everyone at home says, wow, that was cool. So first I'm going to do the pictures, I know that I'm going to sell and then we're gonna play turn your shoulders this way a little bit, and I'm thinking about adding some flowers, maybe around the face. I see the neiman marcus catalog there's a lot of flowers involved on the headdress and things when you know that knows this way a little bit more a little bit more, keep turning, keep turning and I'm just wondering back tall bart, get that picture all handy and what we could do and the spritzer with the water...

is that around? I think so and what we could do, we could put that in a minute, we could put that plexi here again it goes on two stools or to any apple boxes we spray water on it and we go soft focus is that my plan? Was that my plan this morning no, but that's kind of how it goes hey just kind of have a good portrait that's just you know it's a chess game here is well just like with the kids I move she moves I move anybody bring any scissors will take that piece of harold that got it a smile your shoulders to the right a little bit to the right to the right a little more keep going good right there beautiful that's it right there uh now let's take a quick second and review these last three pictures let's go to picture one full face what your great in full face as well. Now go to two thirds the next one yes don't you love the two thirds better? I didn't even have to ask her she loves the two thirds I go back please full face the mouth is too tight rope go back again go back! I love that I think you're just beautiful and I think the background we brought in is better than pure white the bridal magazine is full of pure white but you know what? It's full of grays and darks and greens and mobs and I'm kind of a guy that says I don't see the veil when it was pure white I'm seeing this beautifully now we'll go to the next one to two thirds. Yes. That's to me is really good. Now keep going around a little bit more. Keep going. Keep going. Uh, you love it. I mean, I think that's magnificent. I think you've got to tell me you love that, right? Yeah, I mean, all right now so we know how to do the formals by daylight or strobe and what I do it just like this in my studio. I probably would just kind of the beauty of this is I do like one, two, three sometimes I might go three, two, one sometimes I might go to three and say that's enough and that comes from a lot of experience and you're not going to, you know, you just need to get a road and practice practice practice, and I think the profiles great. Now I want to make it just that I'm just a little more bob in dallas is asking was your camera height the same for those full length shots and the sitting shot esso and curious just about yes or no are camera height is so important today so many people are shooting, they're pictures with the camera up high and they're shooting full ends up here and that's wrong that's wrong now christine, can you just stand right over here by this by this camera and I want to do it with christine, okay okay, I'm doing christine's told aunt I met navel I'm doing christine for the knee up I'm at the chest I'm doing christine head and shoulders I meant that I'm at the shoulders let me let me say that again I'm going past here I'm going to a full and picture I don't even think about it cameras right it enable I'm going to you from the knee up I'm right in the chest I'm gonna do your head and shoulders I'm right here at the eye level I'm gonna do a close up I'm above eye level that's that's where the camera height blonde thanks, christine. Thank you question they were noticing that today and also yesterday the way you crop, you leave a little bit extra breathing room in the image and is that for specific print size is later on. Yeah, I know I hate to keep speaking to my mentor, but he would say the same thing monty would say crop it in the camera. I uh when I go live you sometimes on the video and this isn't an excuse it is I shoot the picture when I'm using video sometimes the crop is a little different in the final picture but I think you're looking at a picture on the screen right now if you're seeing that the bride in profile that's exactly the way I would crop it so I do like to crop in the camera sometimes I need a little off the top or bottom and I have to choose um I'm going to leave the extra room off the top or eat leave the extra room off the bottom and that's where that comes in awesome and can we just I know we've moved on to a different background there, but could we just review again the high key? I know that high key is really challenging for a lot of people. They get gray in the back, they get heavy shadows. Yes, again sort of how how you made that work. Yeah, you know what? It is a matter of fact before we go for this little kind of crazy look, can you just you guys pull that gray out part because I want to get in close on the face and do really the magazine cover shot lets do the cover shot. I'm going to put the cover on brides magazine seattle and what it is it's in close it's f sixteen on the background I think they brought us another light from glazer's camera thank thank goodness and we're going to put up sixteen on the paper at sixteen and I'm going to put f eleven on the face. So the paper's going to go clean white now, there's a lot of problems. You can get a high key where the paper the light can hit the paper and the light can bounce into your lenses. You know, man it's called blow by and you get gray pictures. Now, if you're suffering from a small studio or a basement studio, like if you got to go downstairs and you have a low ceiling and you have, like, a seven by seven room high key is very difficult. Who's got the pop out white westcott background. I just saw it. But that's an easy way to go. High key. Because it's, about seven feet, I think. It's right over here, bart. The high key, the west got background, it's white on one side. You can put that in your basement. You can use a few speed light and you can create great high key. But the whole idea is that the back of the paper or of the background is brighter than the face. In fact, let me speak to that. If you like the way your background looks, then what you do is you put the light on the face to match it. If you want the background darker, you simply put less light on it. If you want the background brighter, you put more light on it, but you always keep your exposure based on the face and can you can you ever use photo shop to get it? If you're a little bit? Of course, of course, which is now times where you get money corners and you get you know, you get a little hot spot here and that's again, where I would use what I call screen multiply mood and I would jump in there and I would screen it and just take it out, you know, just photoshopped a white and a little bit better. Great. Okay, well, here we go. We're going to do a little bit of glamour lighting here, and what we'll do is very handy. I'm gonna put this right here for now, this is gonna be kind of are finished and, you know, I know I'm just I just I feel like I've been doing the same thing over and over and over and I'm kind of tired of to be honest, I just wanna have some fun I want to get after it, so I'm gonna unbridled this, you know, from here on, I told you today is going to be the fun day and but I had to teach again so I got to keep teaching so we've we've done all the teaching I'm just gonna work from the heart, okay? You know and that's what it's all about if you have technique inside of you, you don't think about it. You know, I heard keith richards of the rolling stones you know? He said when I play a concert, I don't think I feel and that's what I want right now with all this commotion going on behind the camera, you can't imagine what's going on in this room in the next room and I'm going to shut it out and I'm going to shoot, okay? I'd love to have a little music on, but I know it's got to be world free, but whatever that's what I would do in my studio so, bart, why don't we talk about a light from underneath? Take this light off and we'll hit the knees with it so we're going to basically give you a load light turn this way a little bit hung keep turning, keep turning good how about those flowers we bought at the market last night for ten bucks or those over there? Why don't you grab those for me, monica there's a bunch of flowers over there just bring them all and just lay them around the stage here and I am going to feel hold that right there taking me so what is this light doing it's hitting the knees and the knees if he does this we're gonna have monster lighting we're going to hit the knee's okay, great just take him out make sure they're dry on the bottoms those these little things right here smell so good if you smell those how about just give her this whole bouquet of flowers just take the paper off and make sure they're dry so you know whatever and then I'm going to do glamour lighting look what we've done main light light from below and how about bart? I'm going to take a back light back here. Can I get a little more slack on that cord right there? See that a little more slack? Uh caitlin, look at that court caitlin caitlin see the cord right there? Can you give me a little more? Is there any more room with that? There you go. So I'm gonna send a backlight through the vale thank you. Is that it all right, don't worry. I can hit it from right here and make sure this is down on like four five all right five so my back light coming through the veil I don't want to kill it I wanna have it nice and soft this light right here is going to be the kicker so you turn and look right back towards bart but you kind of move over this way a little bit and let me get a test shot in here we go this is kind of like clamshell lighting now let's give her how about give me that big bouquet monica that big one and let her just hold it with two hands take these flowers let me see these for a second guess what are you girls ready over there can you film this one here and one there whoa always a bridesmaid here we go that's good all right now lower those flowers down tip your head right in there put your face right in those flowers beautiful right there let's take a look we're going to go back over the flowers a little bit we're gonna go back to color why would we use these flowers with no color look picture style it came up that time monochrome faithful neutral portrait wow I'm telling you that is beautiful look at this come on in come on in yes sir no one back there there's there's a radio in an I r all right so now I went I thought it went back to color let me try that again picture style monochrome your style standard portrait there it is there it is there it is I love it lips together wet your lips a little just soften him good right there and beautiful all right. So now let's look at that. What poses she and she's in a basic pose like that beautiful, huh? Chin down a little bit right there there's one big piece I want to get rid of keeping right in here when they smell good, don't they right there how's my exposure right there I think can I do a new meter test on the main light? Uh, right here you just give me a test you just hit the test on test and go fourteen and I've been shooting at eleven so I'm washing it out a little bit and that's not what I want. I'm going to go to fourteen that's going to be an accurate exposure you're much better to be underexposed and over exposed if you overexpose digital you're losing information so we need that information that could hold onto our color how about now watch this just how I love that smile give me that smile again teeth, teeth, teeth right there keep you head to the right a little more come in front of their come in front of that big flower pressure face right in there again right there. Good right there now stay right there, turn this way a little bit keep turning, keep turning now look back to me and I looked tip the flowers this way and bring him up a little higher now hide this and just look right down here right here beautiful right their lips together ken down look as I moved and beak around I move the light as well I don't really have a feel like that's gonna be kind of kind of tough without that reflector in place how about don you really bart? Because I need bart can be this is this is what bart should look like that's what I need so you're you want to do that roll good in here that's what we need we're cooking just hold that like taking me all right, look at that now there's the profile but what happened? The light's missing the loop shadow what number is that of eight for too much go to six go toe five there you go. Keep going great, don thanks. Thank you beautiful your nose to the right of dash yes turn your nose to the right a little more to the right right there tip your head to the right a little more now pull the flowers back so I can get the light on the face turn your face to me a little chin down eyes down right there good right there and now I'd like you to stand up take the stolen part and you take the flowers somebody handed of art and the flowers apart give me the smaller white roses if you can is caitlin over that year there were no let her have that letter hold this you got that now come back for me a little bit this way don right over here and do we have that fan on deck? I saw it earlier keep coming back and going right over in that corner just blow the veil a little how about hold your flowers like this and show me your back of your dress flipped the flowers straight down that's it now turn this way a little bit you're good is there an apple box handy there's a black one right over there can I get that good all right here we go I'm looking at the screen is that a lucky shot? It's not luck it's pure technique it all starts here it all starts right here you know that's the magic is technique will never let you down I go to so many events were people are late people are pressuring me and I say let me get it and do it right and this is what we're doing I look at that picture and I could put that on the cover of any magazine in the world if I just had a pretty model I'd be ok look at that smile I love it out of focus all right now I want to blow some fan on here coming in right now I'm gonna check my exposure little dark that little light over on each side. Especially this one. Monica I mean caitlin, pull that light back a little bit. We're not going to go high. Keep going. Go, grey. Just pull that to the right. Yep. Keep pulling. Keep going quite a bit. Quite a bit, although maybe all the way behind the stand. Yeah. Now, what number is it on? You might have to creep around the other side to tell me now look down here. May I'm going from fourteen to ten. Good. I need a little bit more main light. Go up to eight on it, burt. Now show me the back of your dress. Good right there. Not turn around. Look at me. All right, now this light bart the snoop bring it out a little bit more. I love what I'm doing here is I'm doing two lights from the back and I'm gonna get it really nice and crisp, but go go towards the back wall bart, keep going way back in that corner on the other side of the rust keep going yet not turn it right on in biga now give me a nice little punch out of it, maybe seven and a half oh, I love it right there she's got to go in and I want to see the back of the dress. So turn your back to me. How about right there? But you know, look down and just turn your back to me, right? They're beautiful right there. See what caitlin's lights doing came and give me a little more punch out of it. A little more punch. Come on. Right there. All of it, maybe less green and the flowers maybe raised the flowers up a little bit. You see what I'm saying? There you go. Right there. Beautiful. All right, I want you just to kind of sway your shoulders back and forth walk a little so that dress will come out. Walk forward to dash. There you go. Now look over your shoulder at me. Yes, right there now laughing spin around. Give me a one. Eighty yes, right there. Yes, that's good. Now come forward a little bit that's good. Yes, you're on the runway. It's your wedding day you're marrying sugar. Daddy today has got all kinds of money. You're never gonna work again the rest of your life keep going that way. And guess what your dad's going to let you keep the credit cards now look over your shoulder right there yes, I love it right there, I love that shot so ram plan stay under the lights and let's go in there just go beautiful right there lean back a little bit like this good turn your face to the right a little more yeah turn your back to me a little more good right there beautiful keep it going move that way yet smiling teeth tt now have gone off of ire one two three and I'm going a little bit just mohr editorial and I just want youto kind of get right out there in the middle and just kind of swing around yet can I get some helpers all my students and everything take the flowers here these big ones I want you to bust him up okay and I want you to get your hands full of pedals and I want him from both sides I want five hands and in a minute we're just going to hit you with flowers and you're going to go like this part yes and the hair light's got to come up real high board yeah because that's critical take your time just spin around I can keep shooting here yes how about turn around to me and go straight down on your knees like this okay oh wow when I do that what do I have to do I have to a lighter here we go everybody just get just the pedals no green you know don't you know pull him off and maybe make a little thing on the floor of just the petals you know what I'm saying good good get right there good good good right there let me brighten it up a little bit yes look at that dawns in there let me see what I'm getting here this is a gorgeous shot oh it's beautiful her shoulders are square does it matter to me it does turn your shoulders this way a little bit dropped this shoulder and tip your head back to the light yes chin down come in there yes can you cover half your face with the flowers right there half yes right there no you know what you guys have to do is get him in your hands you know what I mean you're going to throw him on her here we go now lower I'm just a little sorry your wrist in you know lower him a little bit right there lower the flowers a little to be in here good tip your head this way yeah, we have tipped the flowers that way yes turn your nose to the right a little more chin down good. Are you okay down there? Check with your people make sure they're okay lauren right under your chin just straight into may that's it right there yes, now the back of the hand is not good so show the sides of the hands beautiful right there all right now stand back up that's you know stand up for a second. Um can I get a spritzer bottle from caitlin? Sorry. Go back down like you just did and go ahead sprayer up. Bart, you hold this? Yeah. Hit her hair with that. There we go. Somebody party hold that there you go. Now we're gonna shoot right through there. Yeah. Beautiful right there is good. Can you pull it right up to her face closer. Pull it closer. Bar, pull it right up to the flowers right there. How's that for soft focus. Chin down a little good. Can you take your right hand and just clean apiece for your eyes? Just go like this. Yeah, right there. Let me see. Get your face right in there. Do it again. Do your hands. Do you love it? Do it again. Come on, now show me love. Beautiful, beautiful. Do it again. Do it again. Yeah, wipe it again. Hint of a smile. All right, let's, stand up pulled the glass out and we're gonna throw flowers on her. Raise the main light. Thanks for the picture. We just don't have time. All right, you ready for the big finish? I know I am caitlin yet two handfuls of flowers she's going to go like she's going to be spinning and you guys are going to pound her but come up high with flowers and let him come down. You know, let me do a little few shots to make sure I'm zeroed in. Can you just start spinning around flowers behind your back? Yeah, well, keep your flowers download nice and, you know, more elegant hands together. Hold the flowers together again. Let me see the back of the dress. I guess. What? You're gonna have both hands up. How about one hand up? Yeah, right there. Yep. How about spit? Are you in heels? Can you can you spin on them or they're going to tear the paper? Probably not. Just like that. Here we go. This this light box don is in the picture. Pull it back, don. You turn it up a little bit to go. Go up to, like, number six. All right, on three. I want you guys to hit her, but you laugh. Look at me. Just look at me. Make sure we get your face. This other flowers up here put both hands like this, okay? One, two and look up when you smile. Go. Yes! Look out. Yes. All right, we got it, all right, I think we did it way.

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.

Class Materials

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Clay Blackmore Top 10.pdf

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Student Work

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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.