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Pose It, Light It, Love It

Lesson 5 of 33

Shoot: Hannah and Amanda

Clay Blackmore

Pose It, Light It, Love It

Clay Blackmore

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Lesson Info

5. Shoot: Hannah and Amanda

Lesson Info

Shoot: Hannah and Amanda

So what do you think the first thing I want to do when I'm putting two people together? What do you think? Analyze the face again and decide I'm gonna light from the right or the left also on a great picture of two people together what's critical is you know what? Okay, though it's critical for putting two people together is that they both look good individually. Which camera? My speaking to you right here I'm going to say that again and I want to say it over and over putting two people together I'm going to rough in these two circles in my head and I'm going to show you these circles that are ingrained in my mind and these circles are what I'm looking at and then once I get the circles where I want them, then I get the shoulders, the expression so I'm kind of creating this little template of where the heads go okay, usually one a little higher than the other. Now I have to decide that each person if you cut them out of the picture would buy that picture so I see a lot of group picture...

s and you know what? There might be five people in the picture and three of them look good, but two of them just look awkward, you know what I mean? You can't push the button until you no everyone's name so you could say bill chin down daryl daryl scoot over here jeremy I need you to get lower bart lower jeremy stool to bring him down and get all the heads where I want him and then it's up to me to get the expressions but you know what using that technique of names is so incredible because you can't say you you oh no no no no not you you yeah, yeah you and then before you know it you're like a lost in this little yu and yu it's like darryl I need your chin down and I need your nose to the right samantha, I want you to turn your face to the left and you show him and you help them with your hands so the hair style here is the first thing I'm looking at look how pretty she is back up just a little bit more see how how she smiled when I said that that's what we're totally into here is we're selling and you're a model so I can talk about that but what? I want a wedding I'm always selling oh, you look great oh that's fantastic on ly monty could get away with some of the things he used to tell the brides and that was something like this their bride would come out looking so beautiful and the bride would say oh monty you know what do you think the mother goes is that the dress beautiful and monte look you've seen one you've seen them all but then he would laugh real loud and they would all laugh so he used to tease the people you know I mean he was a joker but he had a gray beard and he could laugh really loud and the delivery was so good it always worked one time he was doing a bridegroom's portrait and the groom's name was jimmy and the bribe was over he says hey jimmy, I got a deal for you I'm going to make the wedding ring look real for you and then once he laughed it all came together we all have together so I'm doing a wedding once and there was so much tension in the room I could tell the people were just all looking at me and this is I was about twenty two years old working for monty doing portrait on a green background and I was nervous I could be I really didn't know what I was doing I was faking it and I said don't worry I'm going to make the ring look real and the room was silent you know? It was like the worst delivery and I could have just crawled in a hole but you know what? We got it done and they later on we all laughed about that little story all right let's go to work here so what can I do for two females you know it would be beautiful is just working with the the basic and feminine pose and show you how we put those two things together so come on over for me right here well as well amanda because I want to work strictly with two and there's another chair around here posing chair go so how about turn this way a little bit and cross your right knee over your left good all right so we'll set it right there not yet just did right there stand up for one second I'm going to raise you a little bit there's a trick to these stools I put a piece of tape here so have a seat here now the tape always goes to the back all right and spin it and find it there should be tape right there so now if she's in a wedding dress I don't really have to have her get off of the stool to adjust it all I do I know when I seed it or the handles of the back so now I've got complete control I can't say this looks great I'm gonna lower you little just stay right there don't go away you see I brought her down an inch I could bring her up and it's just like that so those are the little shortcuts so let's go live uncreative live elbows out a little bit and lean this way a little bit and turn your nose to me tip to top your head to the right she is in our beautiful feminine pose right let's focus and I'm going to tip the camera to my left a little bit yeah raise the hairline a little bit work now I'm going to bring her sister in I could do this so many ways so let me show you a couple ways usually when I'm at a wedding and I'm in a hurry I anchor the bride and just bring people over to her her mother her sister the grandmother and try to get through that siri's that make it fun so let's bring you right in here amanda and kick off one of your shoes are the harder they buckled okay if you could take one off I thought you'd be a lot of the women wear heels today really tall heels and sometimes they kind of overpower the scene and they're too tall is all and then just one foot and I just stand next to amanda my camera turned off and turn this way a little bit yep not come behind her put one hand on his shoulder do you see how I got the head size a little bit better I made straight in my camera bring your left it to me a man keep coming keep coming and let me come in and lower. Hannah an inch stay there so now come around this way and just kind of put your arm around each other and kind of hug sisters now see here I've actually taken handed down too much that watches just stand up for just a second now sit again that quickly I brought her where I wanted I can't do anything till I get this relationship right so this is just a hug this hair right here and then sometimes you know I could reach in and grab you and pull you forward but uh do you have a camera right there live watch this let's go live on this camera because lean back a little bit sometimes what I'll do when I'm working my groups as I might say you know amanda just put your nose right there comport yet right there that's all I had to do do you understand? I just come on reach to me now that's an easy composition of two people posed light kind of rough it in because this is kind of an amateur ristic look to to people but it's easy and fun and a wedding my whole idea is fun, so I start kind of with the familiar so let your head's lightly touch and then now look at amanda needs to straighten your head a little bit this way and your chin up a dash and I always say a little hair off the eyebrow off the eyebrow man that just off the brow on this side yeah that's good. I want to see those eyes because I've had a lot of artwork in that area now that I think amanda's light is good but look what's going on with hannah's lighting it's broad lighting and it's split split lighting so a manager I mean hannah, turn your nose to the right tip your head to the right lean into your sister just leaning and relax your shoulders put your hand on your science that right in your elbow up a little bit good now they're roughed in lean in there a little bit more amanda amanda tip your head to the right and hannah turn your nose to the right good sometimes what I just did as I just moved my camera over sometimes I'll just come over to help me with these these little moves at the last second chin down hand a little bit more and just cheek to cheek real soft it's sisters at a wedding that's beautiful right there one two and smile let's see what happens when hannah smiles good right there hand in your eyes right up here now sometimes when people smile their eyes particularly close down and I see that a little bit more with hannah so sometimes I might do this smiling and hannah you look at my hand but amanda you look in the limbs and I'll do stuff just this accurate and amanda tip your head a little more or to the right and take your hair and throw it back a little bit yep right there you got it lay on your sister and pull the hair off your eye we're done yes yes yes turn your nose to the right just a little hannah just a little more right there not squeezing that have that after this picture all forms around each other it's a wedding just go ahead and just hunger yep. Now cheek to cheek that's good right there that's the shot I'm looking for and that's come on camera right there yes so you could see how that would cut into an album beautifully and that could be sisters that could be a mother daughter that could be anything like that relax that's an easy way to put two people together now let's do something a little more refined something a little more in keeping with the pot's light love so I'm going to bring amanda on the other side over here it's already make you take your shoes off you're probably uncomfortable that's good. I'm gonna stand you up for one second and sit here you know what's funny where is opposing block? I do these big wedding parties right and I oppose all of the women in the front all the men in the back and I'm getting ready to take the picture and I see the dad poor guy I just wrote a check for a couple hundred thousand dollars and he's hiding behind these big gowns they're all in high heels they all steal the show and I run over there and say, charlie, stand on this and everyone gets a laugh because I pass it over to him and he takes it and there's your high heels and he comes up and guess what he's in the picture you know what I mean? Does anyone do that these days nobody would take the effort to take these. They go on one little shoulder bag that's that's the best giveaway of of today's morning is this the handsome fong posing blocks were gonna give that to somebody today here we go. So now put one hand on each of your sister's shoulders. Now watch how I can talk them through this. Now this is communication. You guys are looking up here hey, but you know it just come up and pull the kicker light to my left it's kind of, but enough against that little rust piece I can also pull you guys this way and they'll stand up for a second that's it again this you know, when I took so many classes growing growing up and I watched monte do this so many times, and this is where everybody had the trouble. And that was the cumin communicative skills as to tell the people what you want. So we have to have the finished picture in mind so I can see this picture in my mind's eye. All I need to do is make it happen. So watching I'm not even going to touch them. Okay, so, here's, what I'm gonna do? I see hannah's got this, like vertical line happening on her left elbow. So let's, bring it out. Yep. So what am I doing? I'm creating a platform for their heads. The pose is not the picture. It's merely a platform for their faces. Is that a beautiful way to think? And their faces are beautiful. So let's see him? So now I've got handle looking pretty good, but what's wrong with her shoulders. Their level, their level. Drop your left shoulder a little hannah. Right there. That's. Good. Now, that's better now. I've got handle looking pretty good, but what's the lighting pattern what's going on it's broad lighting. You see, I'm lighting the broad side of her face. So hannah, turn your nose to the right. Turn it more right there now look at me chin down a little bit and I tipped the top of your head to the right how bout a man to help your sister with hair and just kind of pull it back a little I want to see her shoulders yeah there you go good right there now hannah lean forward over the belt buckle go this way now she started a lean forward over her hip and that's wrong I wonder leaning forward over the belt buckle drop your left shoulder again there we go now I've got handle looking great now amanda one hand on his shoulder and you come into a little bit yep and turn your nose to the right you're almost going to feel her hair with your cheek I want you in that close yep and your chin up a little more that's good now amanda tipped the top of your head to the right turn your nose to the right good little hair off your eyebrow now I want you guys to realize in a minute I put that together and I never touch them all right you see that let me take the picture lean in a little more amanda good now if I'm gonna tip my camera which way am I going to tip it? Tell me I'm gonna watch the lighting watch this look it amanda amanda turn your nose to the right a little good back a little to the left and tipped atop your head to your sister to the left right there I'm getting the light right out in the front we had a call earlier said my lighting seems a little contrast e they really need to get a shot of what's going on right here I would think eighty per cent of the light is hitting my reflector and that's how that's how come it's so soft and this is beautiful this is so nice eyes here both of you here I'm going to tip the camera here's a good way to remember it she's really the whole picture I feel like hannah's kind of establishing like the the common denominator where she's leaning this way the camera goes that way so from now on if I'm leaning somebody this way I tipped the camera the other way lean the camera this way tip the camera that way that's an easy way to remember it for me all right, here we go tip the camera little look at look at what the tip does wow that's beautiful that turned your nose to the right a little amanda and come forward a little yep that's right she's a man is kind of in a basic pose now let's, get out of the really little refinements how about your hands amanda back a little bit yes beautiful I love it did you see what that did before we had this heavy hand on their this is beautiful right here and smiling both of you why not yes all right relax I'd like to look at this picture and talk about it see if I can pull it up is that what pose is hannah in you got to know by now dominant and what poses a man basic and that's what we're going to start doing is bringing these two elements together and I do this all the time so now let's see if we can and I think it's a beautiful I think it's just a beautiful portrait so now let me try one other view like we just ask you jump in with a question for that that you just started teo to speak tio um and that is from saralyn and pittsburgh can you again just go over clearly the difference between posing and lighting in that feminine versus basic they're just still a little bit country I'm I'm in a basic pose and my head and body are going to the light okay that's a basic pose you can also just as long as the head and body are going in this direction you can like that picture from here is well my favorite part portrait of winston churchill bye bye karsh you know they pulled the cigar out karsh was like this it's a man and a in a very basic pose and it's broad light so there's your there's your basic picture the feminine picture is like this tipping the head to the high shoulder but the problem is the lights on the wrong side we did that this morning so the feminine poses to turn the body away from the light and then tip the head back to the light that adds texture to the body to the gown and it keeps the light crossing and it's so beautiful when the feminine poses done well now feminine poses can't be done with the grandmother can't be down with children really I mean unless it's just a cat shot it's not great for men you know if a guy goes like this you know like jack needs to go well I mean I'm probably probably nobody even those ejectment he is but he was being funny he was being a feminist and that's what we men need to be going head and body straight ahead so the thing that imposes reserved for young slim women okay that's so helpful thank you we're gonna back up just a little and go this way so let's have a little more fun here have a seat right there and I'm gonna take the same portrait and I'm going change let me just show you may bring it back up come back in a minute and your hand on his shoulder I really like that picture isn't it nice I love it so I'm just selling you guys I mean, I've seen this a million times you see how I did that and you agreed and that's how I am and that's what you need to be doing, you need to totally be in into the sales mood meaning it's not about money sales is about appreciation about yes about you know, good feelings so now lean back in we're going to pick this up right where we left off and we're going to put a man to this time in a feminine pose so turn your nose to the right good now put your shoulder behind your sister your left shoulder, huh? Hannah, you turn your nose to the right good good right there. You notice that they're both now in the feminine pose we never even held a statue up it's kind of funny when you see how small this little statue really is, but this is what's in my mind, my head all times is this little statue. I'm always thinking it's just like it's a locked in for me and I just you know, I have to tell you it makes life easy because I'm not thinking about it. All I'm thinking about is how are you feeling? Is this going to be a fun day it's your wedding this portrait's going to be great you know that's my whole thing is about them and who they are and not about that that pose so let's go live now what I'm seeing here is again hannah's got to bring her left elbow out a little bit good heartless I got it the reflector needs to come forward a little bit again this would be a vertical composition I'm going horizontal come forward just a little amanda yeah, right there now let's look att hannah she her head straight up and down so let's tip your head to the right good let's lean a little bit more yes, right there. Good. Now come forward a little bit for me, amanda and lean in a little bit more kids and tip your head to the right good I love this beautiful I'm tipping the camera a little bit I'd love to get a shot maybe from this camera of how much I'm tipping this camera right here it's really pretty dramatic and let's take the picture how about you guys were smiling teeth actually, you know what's beautiful watch this, amanda you tip your head back here and go serious, right? They're beautiful no smile hana sorry and your eyes your eyes here it just like that chin down hands just a little and then now a man to turn your noes to the right good just like that. Let me straighten it right here. So this picture in your eyes a hint of a smile easy, just soft the expression I'm looking for is not a big toothy grandma's tried again I'm looking for the afterglow of a smile so just a little touch of a smile on your nose to the right just a little amanda little hair right here is kind of creeping in. You got to get it out don't settle, don't say well, we can do it in photo shop because you can't got to do it right here lean in amanda tip your head a little bit. Just a touch of a small from both of you. Come on hand a little bit more hannah's elbow out a little bit your elbow and your eyes, your hands just a touch of a small hand tip your head this way tip your head to the right hannah yes, right there. Now now I want you, teo. Smile teeth go ahead all the way your chin up a little bit more right there and hand his chin up a little bit right there good and I could control the portrait were hand, eh? You know, don't smile and your eyes here and shut up a little hannah and your sister smiling just like that. That's. Good right there. And you know what? I might do that at a wedding? Because some people just want to look better with just a hint of a smile, you know? I mean, some people look great with a big smile. Some people don't as much now but it's a beautiful shot, isn't it? They love it. Seeing all right now, let's, go put your hands on the shoulders and we're going to go to two thirds. So get your head right in there. Turn your face to the right like a statue. Rotate to me a little bit. Now, here's, the key on this picture, the light is now almost a ninety degree. You see where the light is. Now, I want you to both pick a spot on the wall. You see that photograph over there? Just look at the upper right corner of that photograph. Turn your nose to the right. A man a little bit. So now they have a spot to look at. All right. So here we go. Good, good. Put one hand on each of the shoulders. Uh, both of you look over here. Tip the top of your head to the right amanda and man to pull a little more hair upon on your shoulder there on the top of your shoulder good right there god, I love this portrait amanda you turn your nose to the right a little more to the light tipped atop your head to the right amanda a little bit more tip it more yep, like this that's good right there. I want both of you smiling for this one hannah tip the top of your head to the right a little more good hannah's chin down just a dash right there and hand aware of your look in your eyes to the left a little bit and your nose to the right hannah knows to the right good right there and amanda slide to your right a dash just a little right there and little hair off your I did one picture already because I don't want to have to hold it too long that's beautiful right there and maybe we'll do after we do this one how about no smile at all just lips together good beautiful so these are the same things we did this morning but now we've got two people together just like that just a touch of a small your nose to the right a little bit more hannah right there that's good, just a hint of a smile easy art relax, all right. Let's, give them a hand. They're working really good over there. Fantastic.

Class Description

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

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

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

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Clay Blackmore Top 10.pdf

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a Creativelive Student

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


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

Tom Lokos

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