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Pose It, Light It, Love It

Lesson 18 of 33

Shoot: Family Group One

Clay Blackmore

Pose It, Light It, Love It

Clay Blackmore

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Lesson Info

18. Shoot: Family Group One

Lesson Info

Shoot: Family Group One

Families and children are going to be, you know, unpredictable and fun, and guess what? You don't have to pose it, you know, children, you just hope you get it and I have games up my sleeve, you know? I was out in the hallway, there's five I think five kids out there and I just asked him, you know what? Your favorite flavor of ice cream, you know, vanilla or chocolate, and they came to me like a magnet and there I'm all their best friends, but we got to get some ice cream because we're going to have to bribe them. I have a lot of tricks up my sleeve, and I think before we go into the family's now, children, I say you don't pose, you just really played games and play a chess match and go for expression, but families that's a different matter and families, you know, that's where we're heading today and my program today, it's called how to photograph everyone, how to photograph everyone has been my brand because I saw a tour coming through town talking about, and it was my good friend san...

dy put bellies and baby, and then I saw one coming through on weddings and then have someone coming through on corporate, not someone coming through on business, and I'm like I do all that because, you know, and I don't specialize, maybe I should, but I love to speak to the whole thing and you know what? I want to teach you how to bat a thousand, and we talked about that three fifty, you're in the hall of fame, we're going to bat one thousand by the end of tomorrow, I'm going to show you my secret, my shortcut to batting a thousand. I'm gonna bring it right to you. The batting a thousand is a great principle, and it gives me the confidence to know there's a family right out there. I've already won him, I've already won him over, I've already actually made the portrait in my mind's eye, and I'm going to do it. I'm just going to go super simple with a white paper and a big bank of windows. You could do this in the garage, you just open your garage door. If the weather's nice and put out the paper, we're going to start a new fact foundation new group called g p p ay garage portrait photographers international because it is so much fun to work in a garage and the light comes to you, so I'm going to show you and speak to that really firmly today and what I'm going to go to now. Is a little review because what I did on the roof happened so fast I'd like to take you to a little key note about adding the stroke to the ambience so let's look at this first picture up here of the family walking up the hill I'm working with my good assistant john aching and of course we went to the jima memorial where you can see the entire washington d c background it's almost exactly what we just did right by seeing the seattle see the needle up there now what am I going to do is expose for the background the background here was two fifty eight eleven it was a sunny day so what did I put the flash out here the backgrounds to fifteen eleven tell me jerry with a j I'm going to match on this on this such a what situation? The light on the family matches the lincoln memorial because then it marries together kind of what we did upstairs now let's look at this picture now made this in november and italy were in tuscany what a beautiful pose now I'm adding the light it's that q flash I'm trying to go for that luke shadow but what I'm getting is kind of a rembrandt like you see the rembrandt and what I thought about was posed light lift watch the difference come on see how when she set up what a difference right slouch sit up I mean that's huge and we got the light kind of he wrote in that I put in effect on there from my own one software suite this is a great picture for me it was cannon used us for high school seniors and I photograph seniors and I'm real big in the teen market because I do bar and bat mitzvahs and I'm really strong with teenagers and they love the fluff they love the music they love the wind machines they love the smoke mirrors and the kids walk out of there chewing their bubble gum saying mom, can I go back I love it and the mothers have called me what they've said to make clay that's the best therapy we've had for our child and so long she's a new person she's got so much more self esteem and to me if I can add self esteem to a teenager and keep him out of you know drugs and street crazy stuff and shopping in the malls and just make him feel good about who they are as a person through my photography that's bad in a thousand right there that's doing a good job the key to this picture is what I exposed for the cloud what's the cloud f sixteen I put the light on her at f sixteen to match okay just like we did on the roof do you see the edge light on her left cheek? That's a mirror it's a reflector right back there hitting her cheek and it runs up her left arm you see that that's that's what makes that picture? Cannon chose that for a full page and their cannon brochure for their lenses and the reason that picture made it was that chrome on the catalogue I guarantee it here's my beautiful little son daniel and this is a long story I'm not going to tell him but he kissed he would not stand still kids keep moving and you'll see I used a little flash and what happened the flash blew it out so I can't moving him back moving him back got the flash turned down and here's the picture what's the first thing I picked before I took that picture the background look how beautiful that background is I talked at the flash warms up the picture do you see it there see that beautiful skin tone that's right out of the camera no retouching and that's a cannon six hundred flash shooting through his umbrella that's a david's isar shoot through umbrella and that's how we made this picture this is what I'm doing most of the times at home this is demetrick evans he used to play for the redskins than I think he came up here to see out on play ball here and he might have been on the san francisco forty niners that went to the super bowl too bad the ravens took care of you the metric but anyway I didn't have my posing stool there you know had to metric standing he's standing like this his back is tall but his feet are spread out to get him down to his wife and julia and then I brought them together with a little flash a reflector before after before after which side is the light on the fifth flash right or left on the left because I said I always place the light across the woman into the man said it three times yesterday if I ask that question again monica you know the answer the light always crosses the woman first I mean these are things you shouldn't think about these are the things that make your life easier because look how he's leaning into that basic pose look how the light is head and body right into him and she's in a feminine pose and she's tipped her head back to the light loop shadow loop shadow this you know if you have to step to say what's your favorite picture you know this could be it I mean actually my answer is I haven't made it yet and I'm going to make it today all right that's a good answer but how is this maid? We had a flash the flash came on and I said you know what? It just looked to contrast it to me so I went back to the silhouette that was my image, but this is a neat photograph cameras at waist height and I think the one on the roof today is going to resemble that photograph and this is one of my favorite pictures what's the first thing I picked when I went outside the background it was the sky and I put her up on a table kind of like what we did today when I had, you know, kenna standing up on a ladder to get her above the fence and then I put the infrared camera on a strong flash and this is what we came away with beautiful shot right there here were on the beach in santa monica actually laguna beach and this is the day after their wedding so they didn't care about putting on their very expensive wedding clothes. The sister of the bride held the flash. Now this is again a two o'clock in the afternoon worst time of the day to work look at the sun right overhead I cannot compete with that I'm going to join in I'm going to put my flash it eleven I'm going to put my camera to fifteen eleven and we're all just gonna be the same, but you can't take a picture outdoors without a flash off camera like this because what's it gonna look like raccoon eyes you're gonna have overhead lighting ian is going to be terrible so we're gonna have one light off camera here we are shooting from the through the rocks around the rocks and the last minute we all got down low sasha he just flew in from moscow I took him to the wedding and look how he went low I have a fourteen millimeter on my infrared camera you can see the cue flash when the veil picked up in the wind I went low and got this picture with him and this again is just pretty close on the flash is the only way it would have happened now today we just took a picture on the way out I said you know cannot you and laurie stand over there again I love the seattle let me get that for you click click click and I said you know what? I changed the peeper program remember and I said you know my flash didn't go kennison know know it when I saw the flash go it went but guess what? It didn't sink you know why I was above two fifty now that's a lesson so if I'm above to fifty of the second the flash doesn't sink I'm on the beach here in cabo this is about two months ago clicking away the flashes going every time but guess what? The shutter speed was on a four hundredth of a second what happened? The flash did not go the flash was going it didn't sink and it didn't appear in the picture so from here to there is dramatic I was able to save the picture in light room that's what I did and I just picked it up like like that exposed for the sky add the flash here were out in the philippines I saw this guy kept want me to go on a boat ride I said look I'll take a boat ride if you'll hold my flash pointed at her nose and his name is joe joe you see him in the corner where friends on facebook and jo jo just ran around and he kept pointing the white at mariana's knows and there is the picture I love it how did I get the color in the sky jerry fast shutter speed shutter speed so at what point do you say? Like rare there where you're your subject is at a different lighting levels in your background at what point do you not marry the two get or are you still marrying again on the beach and I guess what I look at the scene I say what I want to exposed for right here it's the sunset for sure right here the seattle's tower for sure but most of my work has done an open shade with green trees willow trees backgrounds that are non descript ok working on a white background is nondescript this is called the clean uncluttered look, this is what peter galan was famous for right down in santa monica he had a gallon flex camera. He was famous, he shot pin up playboy. He developed the camera, he was a genius. But he called it the clean, uncluttered look and that's about what I'm going to do right here. Most ofyou take your families at home and lum from around on the sofas and shoot away. Maybe put him on the front porch. Where there's other items to look at, I want to see the faces so on that particular picture are using, like a lower shutter speed and then like a rear sink on the flash to hit it at the end. Or no, I put the camera for the sky. Which one? Twenty five at eight. All right, so I exposed for this guy and you know what? I want a little more color in this guy. So what do I do under exposing? So maybe I went to two. Fifty eight eight. Okay, so what's the flash eight. Okay, there it is. It's it's a little bit of, you know, guesswork and and I love this image right here and there's a, you know, you never make this picture on program I had to expose for the sky and then and then bring the light upon her to match and I think that's about where we're at at weddings I think the flash and the reflectors air just like we're talking about this was a brilliant move it was a chilly day in october I went in the front of the country club where there was no wind you see what I took this spot and look what's above me just out of luck they had translucent plastic in the country club creating a soft box overhead so now I've got my set up there's my tripod but look, I'm not even on my tripod like I showed you I can come off it on real quick so I'm grabbing the light on the highlights side toe light the veil there you see where I've got the reflector not on the shadow side but the highlight side and then I've got these portrait's coming together like this one morell surveys sean outside you're not using any modifiers on your flashes you know the modifiers outside to catch the wind and knock him off and I like I'm just pure and clean, you know? Good question you know what I mean? They're going to add a windscreen to catch the wind and take off look at the trifle ector under the mother that's a triple reflector from westcott throw that under just light up the eyes from below and these are the family pictures that keep me going I mean, these are very important people to me and everybody knows the man on the upper left j brown jewelers they all by the jewels from him and you got to make their family look good and they love the work the bride we're in the middle of about six albums for her from her friday night dinner to her wedding, her rehearsal dinner and her engagement shoot and that means I'm doing my job I'm shooting and I'm selling and this is a cool little thing the road mender you that's if you ask about the light my fire that's what I might do and act like a little reflector okay, how to photograph everyone we're goingto do it we're going to photograph everyone they're all outside I'm gonna make some family pictures and I'd like to come back and speak to photographing everybody everyone after I take these pictures so before I even bring the kids in here what I need to do I need it I need to get a monkey I guess I want to be the monkey christine I like you to help me okay let's put christine right here go ahead and then let's put the camera right here it's going we don't really need a lynn shay doing and how about, uh don can you get me ah block I need to anchor you know I'm gonna have an anchor uh just a you know barda throw you one you sit right here and don't you come over here with that block please and youjust sit the block right here and you know what done can you just go in here behind there and just take a knee on that block now that block is black right so are we gonna cover it? We're going to shoot me up three quarter length okay, let me get in here behind your real quick and just see what's going on now what I think I'm going to do guys and this is a exactly what I'm going to do at home I'm going to turn my cue flash on so far can I get a meter and I'm going to bounce the queue flash off the back wall of the garage and all that is is a film like and I don't think about it but what that's going to do is lock the skin tones actually, um why don't you go up on the ladder? I'll hand this to you because you're then you'll be right up there it's just like an umbrella the nice light stand so I always told you I'm going to guess the exposure all right? I'm actually going to kick my I s so pretty high on here so it might be a little harder for me to guess mode alright good I s so why don't we go I s o I mean eight hundred safe for may I go really bright with my opening my aperture meaning I'm going to go about f four here we go wait I'm one twenty five for okay one twenty five for if I could appease you I'll start at f four okay that's cool you know why don't we slide these chairs a little bit and why don't we pull in that sofa over there and just stick it there in the middle and maybe they could hang out on the sofa they came in so beautifully I want to keep engaged with them but I want you guys I want them to have their own place to sit so how about this you know I'm just kind of I'm thinking now about them I'm not thinking about anything but making them happy guys come over here you sit over here this is where I'm going to give you the chocolate over here of course they're going to get treat so how about I just take that exposure reading one twenty five just one second one one twenty let's go sixty four so I'm gonna go manually turn on the camera we're gonna go live feed here so when you go life feed we're going to shoot a little slower this is so much fun, isn't it? This is like this is the best these are the good old days guys. Oh, look how pretty they look, I can't wait to take the picture. I'm going live there all in the studio here now we talked about clothing beforehand and, you know, the best idea with a big family like this is just a spread to close out on the bed and just kind of blend them together. We had a bunch of things that kind of fit together more greys and whites and t shirts, but I kind of like the dressing this of these shirts and I think they look very neat and pressed like that. I like the look here I s o is what I said eight hundred there we go and I think the meter told me sixty of four okay that's close enough? Yeah, it says one hundred for it did I knew that why did I say sixty four anybody come on, this is an easy when jerry I'm opening up my lens for some reason yes, because you want though it's the other exposure is going to make that great white yes, I want cleaner exposure and I want to open up I'm gonna be brighter little overexposed so the whites not great and I'm sixty four and I think that's pretty good I'm going to go off of manual phone off of auto focus because that's really the only way to do it and let me go live you know what's so neat guys you want to be on television look what I see up there you see the guy up there in t v c that I could put you on tv too? That might have been a bad idea they're going to keep looking at that television looks like willy wonka so so you don't actually have to look through here with a die after have a seat here and just take a picture right here at home I have catherine I have paul I have bart but I won't part with me let's get a feather and let's get a bell ready and here's uh for my friend I'd like you to warm these up. Okay, so you all get treats okay? You know what this is? This is a tickle feather it tickles you hold no, it tickled me I can't believe whoa be careful claim you want to say but you won't because you you want to see fun? Who? What? Who wants to get tickled first all of you how about can I start with your your sister and then articulate twenty okay, come over here and I'll tickle you ok you're out, you're out and you're in come over here who's got a quarter with anybody have a quarter twenty five cents I'm gonna tickle your sister stand right here. Okay, come right here. Good right there and you know I anchor people with this somebody were all broke. Nobody has a quarter on him because there's a game we just put a twenty five cent piece on the floor and look at this dont you move. All right, let me see. Oh, that's so pretty I got a zero in on her a little bit better you hold this, you could be a good monkey christine also oh, look at that. See, I would have had ten pictures that were already because I'm just trying to get this being all projected, okay, I'm gonna play a game with you, okay? Don't you laugh at me? I'm gonna guess how old you are don't tell me can I guess how old you are? You are five years old. Are you she's just standing there kind of wondering what the world's going on oh, looking there. All right, I got it now I've got this kind of zero day and you see the exposure there, let me do this I'm listening because I have to stay right in with her engage with her there we go there's the picture let's make sure we're sharp, I know the best game I'm going to make it sound like a dog, okay is that funny now do a kitty cat mew you know what you know what I'm gonna do now I'm gonna dio account you know have a cow goes cow goes like this way bit ribbit wave it does a cow go ribbit ribbit I think he does grab it there's no light in the eyes okay you're all set come back in here and sit down so you're comfortable let me have this and you'll take a few pictures the cow doesn't go ribbit ribbit now the game was I was going to tickle you okay here we go you laughed at me would you lap it may yours she's good you're next you come over here with me and you can actually tickle her to write right there don't you stay here we come over here somebody find me a quarter this whole room we don't have a quarter here we go don't you laugh in me oh you're so good I would like to pay play peek a boo with you right here don't you know what I'm gonna tickle christine watch this don't you? You know laughter is dina particular brother oh wait the hour week at ten frames a second we would have had thirty pictures ever if we wanted and she's doing so good how about looking her look at her where's the video camera now woo hey let's play simon says simon says ready look at me tell me your name away I'll guess your name your name don't tell me your sister's hand come here come here your sister's name I know what it is cinderella are you cinderella right there is the shot right there oh you wanna play simon says alright let's with you come in and you come over here okay come over here bring your sister over here. Zoom back a little bit oh quarter okay thank you, it's all right. Right here. Oh, I might have just focus right here. All right, who won't come out of here with mei I wanna play a game with you. All right see the quarter you want it all right, put your foot on that quarter come over here for us to wait right here. Put that foot on the quarter that foot now, look, don't let me see it, okay? Don't let me see it that we have a meeting that flasher we just let it go. I dont remember meter reflector is barely in the picture you're doing great your feet a little closer together I'd like to tell you the flashes should be two stops under all right don't you love me come over here, come over here, all right, good all right, come on, you don't let me see the quarter can you turn like this a little bit yes keep turning your body turn your feet turn your feet yeah I'm gonna play a game you wanna play games how about simon says simon says come over here come over here simon says touch your knees no you need good good good simon says touch your back stand up simon says touch your ears simon says touch you come but tongues simon says touch your hips oh yeah simon says don't let me see that quarter simon says arms in the air yes yes yes alright hands down so look we're getting beautiful portrait so far of everybody everyone so look at that last picture was great you can't miss if I unplug the camera it would be more of a rapid fire I almost want to barton can you throw my mark four together and just put a eighty five one two on there? We'll have this for the folks at home and I'm going to just tear it up go ten frames a second and I'll show you what I'm because we're really inhibited by our transfer speed you were great so did you like chocolate ice cream or vanilla? Both okay, you can have them both you know when we finished the pictures you all get surprises now who's next you want to do it all right you come over here, leave the quarter, I'll give it to you in a second because your brother is going to put his foot on it. Put your foot on it. Wait right over here. But the other foot, that foot. Oh, cool. Can you put your hands in your pockets? Oh, is that nice? You could also make a gorgeous video here, guys, in your own studio. You know, I've got six canon cameras, half of them do video. I would just sit here and make a little fan. I'm a film, and it works all the time. You get that all zeroed in bart, go. I s o eight hundred and we're not going to be adding flashes. We could you could send a unit. All right, here we go. Don't you laugh at me, all right? I'm gonna guess what your name is. Ok? Don't you tell me? Okay, let me guess what? Your name is. Your name? Look at me. Look at me. Oh, I know your name. Your name is silly dilly. Is your name silly doing? Yes, it is. Yes, it is. Is it really? Camera height, right it enable. All right, look at this. All right, watch this. Here we go. Can you put both hands in your pockets, both hands? That quarter is so cool you just keep shooting as fast as you can to show the folks at home what you're getting oh you're cool you know what I'm going to do with you I'm going to ask you to do one thing that you're gonna love to dio turn around to me turn around to me come over here yeah right there now watch this watch this on three both hands in your pockets good, good good I'm going to guess what you had for breakfast okay don't tell me for breakfast you had pizza? Yes no waffles what'd you have for breakfast? Yeah look at that smile. Okay no waffles. I know what you had you had tuna fish sandwich for breakfast yes yeah look at that smile yes oh, I love and jump jump jump how high can you jump put your hands up on no one two, three jump yes just jumped up jehovah who? Okay, all right, you come away, do you? Which what kind of ice cream and you're going to get you guys all like yogurt because I know we have yogurt here because we'll give you some yogurt and we have chocolate good chocolate for you now who didn't get a picture, you've got to come in a little older, more mature you're great come right in and put your foot on the quarter god that quarter I'm gonna have to get some more quarters for these guys you guys want to see yourself on tv oh lookit there oh looking there look at that okay look at that great shot I have to do auto rotate or something I mean that's just perfect I mean isn't it you are so cool but you're staying in sideways what did you do look at that boom boom boom I could make a movie right there are you dancing look atyou you are so funny oh look at that ok couple of little soft shots in there what did I do with this camera eightieth of a second at five six why don't I take them this one up to sixteen hundred okay because I don't care about the flash and I've got eighty five one two why don't I go to a one point eight let's go to okay I'm gonna put you on tv right now you ready look at me good put both hands in your pocket now he's so but cooperative he's really good what could I do with him you hold your daughter just like that holder because watch this look at me guys put your head right on her put your hair out of your mouth honey because I don't want a photo shop it now look look right here may look right here me right there don't you left her chin down her hugged you daddy's neck thank you daddy never look at me look at me look at me cheek to cheek that's it that's it that's it look at this look at this right here and this is how it happens right here this is the beauty of the shot because we're building these albums so you know sure I'm just going to be in the garage looking for these magic moments all of a sudden I turn around and say let me go back a little I turned around and I see mom over here just loving what's going on now I need your name let me find her hugging her daddy I do it again hugging real slow rush right there don't you laugh look at me look at me daddy's eyes right here it's smiling she's got a smile can you take a little right there right there look at me look at me look at me no no no no no do it again do it again a bright white background that flips out right there didn't we have it on the roof because I just show you because we do this all the time oh thatyou're a terran you're right he's right I got to get his picture let's let's bring him over okay, I'm sorry. How about you hug your daddy okay you know he's right wait you know what I'm going to guess how old you are now this is going to be good okay you know what I did I really this is great lesson great lesson hey zach I think we need to let him take a picture can you take a picture for me you want to push the button come on come on I'll show you come come over just push the button okay you're gonna love this watch this company but I know how dare you six or seven you're six I got a seven year old son come here and I love boys now watch this you're going to take the picture watch this let me get ready you just push that button right there and you're gonna put him on tv see that button right there right there now get ready there pick her up and put her on your knee get ready isn't awesome here was funny get out of the way little guy get out of the way little guy that's great that's funny right there oh look look at the pictures you just took you see oh you got a title shot jamal oh look he's going to come up again oh no wait we're gonna push this button the scene there he is you got a better picture than me you're better than I am you look at that that's the picture of the day let me take your picture okay you go stand on the paper goes down the quarter and here we go are we doing all right we can't miss all right you gotta tell me your name but let me guess first okay uh you gotta turn toward the window this way and look at you. You're so good look at that light there the broad light so soft so pure so beautiful look right here may how about can you put both arms behind your back and then look at me good, good, good, good, good good I love it now who's got that great t shirt just I know we're going to build a group I thought maybe we might just show the audience at home what? Stripes versus solid wood dio in a black and white so we don't have to do to second but let's get some wardrobe over here you know, we might change it a little bit it's hard to dress one, two, three, four five kids all right, you know what? I want to see how high you can jump before oh, whoa I look on the tv I think you're gonna be way up in the air look at that. Let me do it again. I mean, did it and how about this time turn this way to the window? Yep, now look at me right there, so I got to go vertical to get him full in let me say right there, okay, I think I'm getting there your name is how about is don are you here we go that reflector for me a little canyon I feel like the lights gotten a little dead there you go right there now look over here me and your name is I know your name and then giago our union giago you know and the jogger is levi I thought it was thomas the train you know thomas all right turn this way leave I turn this way good right there now look at me both hands in your pants pockets both hands in your pockets what booth alright levi are you wearing levi's that's good tip your head here a little oh just a little too much too much how about simon says touch your knees yes right there yes now touch your head now touch your years yes I love it your great now how about can you lay on your tummy? Go ahead really now put your knees and put your knees way over here yet your knees yeah so you're gonna lay sideways good right there. Can you give me a reflector? Another reflector right there on the floor I c apart right there and we're gonna throw it under his under his elbows pop it open just go barefoot and if you have to just be right in here with me go on like this for me leave I go like this what I'm building now is I'm going to build the composition for the whole family, okay? We're all going to be laying on the paper and it's going to be chocolate time for everybody. Here we go, don't you? Don't you move! Look at that shot. Can you put one hand like this? Oh, you're so good. Can you take your other hand and hold your muscle this hand here, hold it. Yeah, that's. Good right there. I love it. Love it. Love it. I like that full and look at this and I can come in close one six on the camera. Two thousand. I want to see that picture on the screen. Let me see. Let me see. So I don't know. Everyone's names. Tell me the mother's name. Sonia, what do you think comes up? Great. Did you bring a visa? A master charge today, giving you that's another way to tease and have fun. We're just having a good time. Look at that shot right there, that's. How it is the frame inbetween frames looking over your shoulder. You know, a lot of times the best pictures we ate, a lot of my best pictures are happening right behind me, you know what I mean, so how about can you throw him in a gray shirt? That from is one of them his that looks like a fitting run over there and changed levi and we're gonna put that shirt on you now, let's, get the baby the little boy over here just underneath just taken handy. Just staying now the baby is how old? Six months. So here's, what we're gonna do? How about what is this another gray? I got a trick. Okay, let your husband hold the baby. Look, look at the baby is just so comfortable with mama so hello. Come over here, right. Go over here and sit on the paper and lay back to me. I'm gonna let you hold the baby just sit down face the knees this way. Good. Now come late. Lay on your back now come up this way a little bit right there. Going to get this off the hanger I'm gonna cover you green is a tough color. Gray is great is a wonderful you're going to actually put your hands right on that shirt. Can you bring the baby and lay the baby right in mama's hands and face the baby towards the window and his legs ago off the back of a little bit right in mama's hands, legs going back now hide the shirt a little bit in the front put push him down a little bit towards your tummy toward you there we go right there now want to minimize that shirt can you hide the shirt a little dead coming your name again the father tyson just kind of off off of his shoulders see the baby I want to see just the baby mama's got to get her hands under the shirt really mom under the hand there we go right there that's it you hold his chest now that's good now the who's got the bells part get the bells when we ring these bells he's going to be defenseless right over by my camera right here right here on the other side get him right close to his nose right close there's no right there right there right there that's good who's got a tickle feather he's laughing he's laughing you gotta tickle feather getting me a smile buddy what's his name even abram abram abram you know what that means that means you're a father of many names asians that's abraham isn't it beautiful oh so we just need a little smile I'm getting great shots of you guys let me just show you the picture here it comes it's going to come of what you laugh who's that we don't lose him he's got the tickle feather all right we got him I think we got it I don't want to cry because I got the whole family better better go pick him up a little higher bouncing a little bit kind of who tickle him a little tickle me don't touch it oh, I got it there's the gerber baby shot you guys throw anything at me I'm all right I'm all right with it who oppose it light I love it I love it all right now did everybody get a solo I want to see that grey shirt with levi come on over here, buddy man that is great that's chocolate time we're gonna have to give him a little piece of chocolate after this picture stand over there. How about you lay how about can you just sit down for me just sit down now turn this way and can you hug your knees like this like pull your knees up yeah that's cool keep your all right let's get that reflector out in front criss cross applesauce the reflectors got to be out in front a little bit all right, look if anybody good I love it I love it back real tall sit up tall yeah sit up like this not too tall sit back down. Okay. That's good. Um sit back down. Yeah, right there. That's good right there. Can you go like this with one hand on your knee? Yes, you look great, buddy levi your other hand up on top of your knee you're the hand and your back a little taller look at me oh you're great you're great you're great I'm gonna come in close to you okay so I'm gonna guess one thing you won't I believe I'm gonna gas with your best friend's name is okay I don't have to look on tv you hang on look at this sometimes you get the shot don't push it way where did it go? I would rather keep moving rather than wear him out and just keep doing the same thing over and over there you go it's good isn't it how about sure how about um how about we start putting them all together look at that shot right there I love it dad and son come on out let's see if we can do it let me think here did everyone get a solo one two, three, four, five yes so now sometimes it's better to start with the big shot and then come down but I didn't feel I was ready for everybody and I kind of want to warm up to them who they are and you know what I think they all should get a little surprise worth the chocolate I saw a whole bunch of chocolate let's give them each a little piece of feminine for great is it okay if they have one look guys, you've been so good you each get to take a few eminem's take three to three you want to give one to your sister she should get around you know this would be a great under the lights everybody come over here somebody videotape this right here because talk about how to get great pictures of kids who's next alright just take a couple just like there you go and you got three you get three after the pictures you get ten ten but you get three now okay relax good good good now what we're going to do we're all gonna lay on daddy michael horsey you want to all right? So this I like the gray shirt here can he has a different color shirt too let's go ahead and go t shirt white or whatever it doesn't matter because we're going to even if they're just underst shirts we've got a sure is picture with that shirt on so daddy said um yeah I'm gonna lay you on your tummy so we'll wait for your wife to hold the baby so this is kind of a pile up and people buy pictures based on two things you know? What are they? What are they you should know at home? How does my body look and what's my expression so now what we're gonna do is we're going to go really for faces and it works all right bishop position huang you're coming there and then go back this way a little bit yep and remind me your name one more town tyson good and your hand like this oh, look leave I love riding daddy's back but you know be real careful hey, you know what I should do you guys you guys look great there. So what we're going to dio I know mom is gonna I hate this but we're going to put mom on her tummy come over here. You're going to lay right over here. You've been on your back already. Might as well take your tummy. You guys riding daddy like a horse? You come right in here. Let's do that reflector from below that reflector from bloody ok what? He there we go. Oh yes. Now how are we gonna pull this off? You got the baby now this is going to be rapid fire. You're going to take this hand up under your husband's armpit now I'm thinking about the two of them together now and tyson's chin up a little bit now these children are kind of young. We're gonna have to hold him in here. I might need a couple of groups in here, so you're going to come right up on mommy's back you got her stay right there, come over here, tell me your name what's your name elijah I love that you're gonna put your chin right here can you just real softly come in here? No, not your hand. Your chin like this right there? Yes, yes, yes, yes. Now levi your chin right here now whoa and tell me your name. Your name is anna. Aren't anna your chin right in front of levi here, scoot up on him. All right, scoot upon him part. You're going to shoot this for me? I think cause I gotta pose it. Just get in there, work with him, try to get him all up on top there that's good alive has got it lies is good work the reflectors barton oh, I just got leaving. One lead right there. Reflect, your part was like that's. Good that's. Good now can you anna go stand in the middle of the back. Stand up! I don't see levi's chin leave a shin right there. That's good that's good. Let me see what I'm getting. Let me show the folks at home know ana, look at the picture. You've got to get your chin right in the middle. No, no levi, stay in their more imminent or coming and ice cream this time elijah your chin up and bring your sister way in polar and elijah elijah, pull your sister in yeah right there now like your chin down not chin down elijah somebody come help me in there just put him in there and he's going to stand right in the middle just just put them all together this this could be it this could be a photo shop way got it all right now where's the tickle feather don't tickle me somebody tickled me but don't don't oh no jerry's gonna tickle me oh no no oh no I like it now and get your ten in there come on come on don't get oh no allies you don't you laughing me oh no oh no I like you gonna laugh oh no oh I love it I love it I love your chin up chin up and his chin up it'll be taller and be a little taller stand up right there now lean in elijah lean in good, good good good elijah get your head right in there. We need one lady help veronica put a head on the money you take a ticket, jerry you stay with the kids here we go. We're there we're there. Hey, hey, I know a song. You're gonna love a b they're going can you put it where is the baby but the baby right in the middle of the parents right here wow, you guys don't know nobody that lonely look, I know why you're getting some you keep shooting, just shoot heavy. Just sit the baby right between the parents okay, guys, this is the biggest bribe ever mean and I'm going to give you something so good I'm going to give you cookies they're so good I know right where they're at in the kitchen they are so good I ate one when nobody was looking and there's a cookie jar ever seen a cookie jar? Oh, that's beautiful look at that. You can you know that's good everyone look at the baby. Look at the baby pool allies. You're back. Put poor liza back. Yeah, you know what state coming in her name right here. Come in here, stay with me. You get in there and just work with those kids from where bart just left. Everyone look at the babies. Look at the baby. Look at the baby people. Listen to this, elijah what color? The baby's eyes. What color? The baby's eyes look at the baby. Look over the top of your mother. Yeah, that's good. And arlene in, you know what? Color and tell me what color the baby's eyes are, but look and look and say, look, look down to see that you might have changed look at a baby and her look look, look, look I can't see anna anna taller and a little yana come over the top a little bit come on go go pushing up a little bit yeah is it it's cookie time cookie time cookie time oh we gotta know now I've got to get it good profile of the baby so bring the baby towards sienna right there right there beautiful all right last one elijah one war you're looking for elijah look at the baby look at the baby looked the brother allies you go lower go lower oh no hide behind your mama alive you gotta hide your knee behind mama elijah hi we're all put it all back there we go alright take your hand off mama's eye there we go there we go there we go way gotta hide and his hand is it one more time where's your cup levi levi one more time little mama's on harry somebody fix it come on there we go that's it that's it that's it one two three and live here you got to get in we're going to weaken photo shop of in right there right there one two three hey hey why don't we tickle the baby who's got to tickle feather you go behind go behind levi over here go behind levi and everyone be real quiet we'll see if we get the baby laugh alive here I need you alive get in get in, get in get it over there no over here eminem time oh you know what he could do it he could lay in front of daddy's elbow I like him on the time put him in the jury come over the top of jerry and tickle the baby let's see if we can get the baby to laugh last time levi lena and real tight and then we're going to take a break right there right there we can't get up and I don't see any right look at the camera camera almost that's good everyone this is going to be a comedy lay this girl on her tell me jerry this girl last one penny oh where's those eminem's could somebody give him to me? They're writers here just when you thought oh this is great give us get there over there look honey all right where's the eminem's alright look what I have chocolate no no no no no no wait stay for one more picture and we get your picture we get talking but I got to get her here but you're never here put him in the back put him in the back I know he could do it and you go watch this can you want if you just take that but getting them in trouble you gotta do me one one watch this alive look a look a like a like a chocolate watch what I'm gonna do oh I missed it I'm gonna do another one everyone look at me look at me this time sit the baby up sit the baby up you take this and have the baby let me let you go better here we go last time pull the maybes time out of his mouth and then put the major right between mom and dad right between mama and turn the baby to the window are you sure we have two more families today I don't know here we go right there all right elijah all we need is your grace but we need you to be a store all right there you go look at me right here type well and I go this way little bit barman mama go this way I'm sorry go lower get by the baby and scoot this way you're kind of looking now go lower right there and put your chan in there and get your chin and yes yes in that little crack over here in the little crack over here over here ana and over here yeah yeah push and over jerry he's got it she's got to be in this crack right in there right there right there sorry, honey all right wait is andr hiding? Yes, we'll give her an m and m and I take oh no we can't give her one and the last one and you'll be my best friend I promise okay that's ok we got the shot let's take a break let's run back and look at it it's okay I'll show you we got it pull the reflectors out you guys look at the television look at the television levi wait way got it we did well I don't know I can't spend to run fast enough thank you so look simply using photo shop we're going to take the one best head of everybody and you know what I might do how about somebody take all the kids and let me just make sure I have a rock with tyson and your wife let me just get a nice shot of the two of you laying right there because that might be the benchmark and then I'll put all the get in and photo shop and it's very common to do these things and to make the sale levi you take the picture come over and push the button daddy late and you tell me right quick mama can you do and you tell me one more time I just want to make sure this is good you're gonna push that button ready one two three moms are coming ready wait let me get imposed so I want you to say pose it light it love it when you say oppose it light it love it mom on her tummy yes I love it I love look at this guy's camera right here and say it right close it I'll do it again pose it light it love it uh all right here we go mom and daddy real quick just ignore it because you could be in the picture too it doesn't matter right here look you guys need a good picture anyways can you get the light under her eyes to reflectors I need help with something barton to reflectors would go nose to reflectors don you want to get that other reflector come on man you guys can't get comfortable on me this is timeto work this is this is magic time on that reflector underneath ask her how did you get the candy look at me guys one two three I need light in your eyes tyson's chin up all right good everyone look at me but put the reflector a little lower a little lower now just pretend the babies right there is that kind of pull your hands in real tight right there and yeah that's it come apart a little bit so I have a place to put the bass all right look at me look at me look at me look at me try to just go drop the baby right in there looking at me because they might like to have this just and that's all the relatives got our new six month old when's the next one coming way go put the baby right in their hands you always put them let me show you a good tip okay? You guys put your hands over the baby's tummy that's what everybody does at home okay so hold the baby and this is what happens all the time mom is going to you know city lap sitting sitting right there and that's it look at that hold them like that now that's wrong what we want to do is put your hands under the baby's knees right and turn the baby to the lights this way and then we make a little noise he's got the bells group abobo being in there leaning there lean in there someone someone get the tickle feather yeah, that was great his hand down close hand down taison we'll put the boat turned the baby's feet this way a little yeah that's it that's it look what you did and I'm gonna holler oh, right in the middle levi little taller oh, no it's gonna happen? I could see it and a little oh, get in there, buddy. Get in there. Get in there. Give him room day. Don let him get in there. Get in their way already got you need some help on this side, elijah elijah! Over here! Over here! Over here! Real quick, quick, hurry, hurry! I'm counting to three, one to know you're in there now, going large on top of money. No, I'm not mommy, mommy, mommy! All right, here we go, like one, two, three and your two low, enter your too low and come, honey. Well, yes, all right, I think we got it. We don't have to redo it, levi, get your head right in, all right, let's, call it issue. How about that?

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

bonus material with purchase

Clay Blackmore Top 10.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


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.