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Pose It, Light It, Love It

Lesson 27 of 33

Shoot: Portraits of the Students

Clay Blackmore

Pose It, Light It, Love It

Clay Blackmore

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Lesson Info

27. Shoot: Portraits of the Students

Lesson Info

Shoot: Portraits of the Students

Come on at dawn I'm gonna do your portrait okay? So I'm gonna talk to everything that I've been doing all week long. Let me raise that chair a little bit for you or you know I could just lower this just have a seat right there I like the great color turn this way a little bit now he's got a little mike on here and I'm just gonna hide it inside there that's that fast turn this way a little bit more and your elbow here sit up tall you know what I can do also with one of these blocks is to put this under his left there we go and lean forward just a dash just a dash turn your nose to the right a little bit good and tip the top your head to the right yep. Yeah, chin down a little bit tip you had a little more done and look at my hand right here that's it and I just let me just I'm just glad part that's fine. Just kind of getting my lights tested in the main light is now changed over when I put on here is what's known as a beauty dish and this beauty dish is really quite cool it's just it ki...

nd of gives me the ability to get in closer with it and further away so I had this beautiful bride none but I pulled the beauty dish out for you okay do you feel special now I'm tipping the glasses what does that mean up like this way the shine goes away how about let's get both hands in here I'll tell you a nice pose I want to loosen you up here put your hand like you're praying not interlocking he went like this I want it like this so now like that that's good you do a prayer for me, buddy. I got to get through this half a day with a lot of fun I'm not worried I'm not nervous because I know what I'm doing what I am I'm anxious, anxious to do it I'm just want to do it that's what performers usually say if you're not anxious to get to get the performance in then you should get out of the business what you have to look at let me show you a bad thing to do and I'm not doing it yet but can you turn your hands this way? Yes right there. Okay let's take a look at our lighting we got our kicker light our main lighter hair light what we need to do here it's a little hot but I see the back of the hand you see that the back of the hand you mind bart, give me a test up there eleven so you can see the value of working by continuous daylight I just keep shooting what you see is what you get I'm f eleven now and I should be better here now take your hands and turn them into you a little bit yes right there good good chin down a dash and tip your head to the right a little slowly turn your nose to the right a little more little more little more and your eyes back to me right there sit up taller in the back yeah right there chin up a little chin up tip you head to the right turn your nose to the left right there eyes here eyes their hint of a smile nine you're there you're there you're homework is a plus don a plus to hear me on that lay your hands down let your hands down right there huh? Good right there I think that's a pleasing portrait your eyes right here eyes here and alright next I'm ready come on in, monica I like it. I love it. Did you bring her visa master charge with you don? Because that's all you need for a nice business portrait body of forty five you've got what I want you to visualize here is a tea can can we get a shot right here because I'm looking at a tea right here so in your mind's eye the head should be perpendicular to the slope of the face perpendicular that's great monica, turn this way a little bit and I'm gonna bring this up a little bit more good right there. Beautiful, good, good. Uh, said the hare lights gotta come higher. That's all and the film like what's happening here you're just look at me don't look at that fill light here is getting blocked by the reflector does that make sense to you? And you know what I'm feeling, bart. A little beauty light for monica, which means beauty dish beauty here, right there. You don't help you get here we go. Beautiful right there. Tip your head to the right a little to the right good chin down a dash eyes here. I think I got you in one shot. Let's take a look. I just zeroed in my exposure and I'm done come on up next and I could work just to this fast at a corporate shoot. Um I love it, I love it. Don't you love it? She loves it. Good, good and just turn this way a little bit and stay right there I'm gonna lower you a little bit, we're going to go down, this is not going to hurt a bit, put your go get it right there. I love it. I love it look atyou know it now she got down low. What am I looking for? No, I love it good in there. I've gotta look for a lighting. You know what? Can you like that portrait for me? Actually, I never spoke to this. Can we get your camera right over here? A little bit? I want to talk about the beauty dish here. Come on. I want you to see what I'm doing here. If you use a beauty dish all day long with my reflector with my soft box, I'm feathering it right what I'm doing now this is crazy, but watch the light on the face that light looks like it's hitting ken over here I mean, it's turned away completely but look at it you see that modeling light so that's how these beauty dishes they're magnificent tip your head this way a little bit I love it yeah, the beauty dishes gorgeous but you've got you've got to feather that big time big time I'm going to go to black and white I can remember how there you go chin up a dash look at you, you're gorgeous look at you oh man, I got you in one picture pulled the left hair off your eye a little bit right there oh you're done get out of there looking and look look at me look at me look at me look at me I'm going to get that eyebrow get get in there you guys agree just a little hair off that eyebrow we have scissors don't move I'll get it I'll get it beautiful there's a little rubber band here just tuck it in all right can we get christina's email out there again for some of you guys that are looking for a date here we go she's probably married I don't know look at that small eyes here one more time I got some color in the face now that's good eyes here chin of a dash right there chin down a little right there real smile yes no smiles no smiles just soft tip your head to the right a little eyes here eyes there I'm goingto creep around to a two third view of the face and push your risk down yep that's it even more and your chin down that's good right there now wherever you're looking look to the right a dash a little more that's it right there push your chin forward way over your watch hide that watch on that turn your nose to me a dash tip your head to the right a dash good right there you're you're perfect the pose is good can you light it for me jerry now that was very, very educational jerry let me come back and switch with me this is no this is good because I got a teaching point here so we had the light in here and jerry went the first thing he did delighted he came away when I want you to do is come around for that loop shadow see it? So here is the rule let's pretend I have ah radius of a light when I move the light it always stays the same distance so when I move the light from here so their toe there I can't change the distance because then I have to change the exposure I zeroed that all in first how close is the light it's as close as I can get it without seeing it in the picture the softer light is in here the harder contrast it lights out there so great great little tip there that you kind of set up and I love it just in your eyes the touch of a smile one more time let me just see this portrait and the light's going to be set perfect for jury with that hat on our love it now let me just see just chin down a little hint of a smile right there just easy how about your eyes at me now let's see what happens when you push that wrist way down down yeah, watch me I'll show you don't make me come over there. You could now you're gonna see the wrist like that hands where we going, teo never the back always aside finger at that finger long come forward there now you know that I know where I want you, right? And so now I've kind of given her a little posing we've been talking about do I touch the models now your chin down just a dash a little more. Turn your nose to the left a little bit good chin damn! Ooh that's gorgeous hint of a smile I am going to move this light without touching the light. You ready? Here we go. Turn your nose to the right a little bit a little more, little more little flat turn your nose to the left a little bit more. Little more little more now can I do that? Of course I can cause I can move this to get the angle of the faith and I can move her face to get the lighting pattern and if I'm in a hurry and I got a line of people that's, how I do it, I can't spend any time over here. My valuable time is with my eye on the camera the only thing that matters is what the camera sees, how about this push I kind of pushed the rest down a little more how about this chin up chin down shana what am I doing? I'm thinking about the plane of the camera up down you okay bark to stay there I'm going I'm going to illustrate that because I'm going to take this block here and I'm gonna go up nice and high you stay right there chin down tip you head to the right hide the fingers back in there a little bit they look a bit opposed to just yeah I just took him in bring your chin way over your wrist come on way forward come on come on right there now turn your nose to me a little bit more a little more a little more a little more right there now what I'm doing is dominating the top of her head must take a look you see that it's not flattering at all now your chin up a little don't look turn your face to me a little now your chin up look up at me right here look at me tip you head to the right this is a great lesson chin down a little bit good smile teeth teeth this is your shot you will never believe when you look at the picture here that I'm a cz hi as I am why because her chin is up to me does that make sense to you chin down a little good one more carrie you want to jump in? I love it wrong. Uh leave it in. That is a great question bar said hey, we got a guy coming in should I use glamour lighting? I see it all the time on magazines I see this light from below being very effective so let me do this picture real quick just the way you're sitting. I think that his right shoulder is shrugging up so how'm I gonna lower his shoulder simply lower this, lower the table and simply stand up and I can raise your chair and you do the same thing now, he's sitting taller. Next problem is the shirt let's. Take it off. What? Do you have a clip here? You know why? Because we need to take these this pattern out of equation. Thanks, buddy. Good, good, good. So this is I mean, this is gonna be great to address clay. The question about reiterating how you define the basic pose as opposed to a feminine pose. And then is there such a thing as a masculine hose? There is a machin imposed we just don't call it a mascot impose anymore. We must look at the camera, where is that black white background, bart I saw it right they're going to get it because I want to throw real quickly a black behind him because the greys cope I just want to show you how quickly I would be changing on the fly and we do it all the time the next thing is the masculine poses the basic post yes what we have we laid the foundations do you guys remember day one? I don't know I had a guy show up a little late you know the brides are always late he got here and they said ten minutes and he walked in the room and I did like I think twenty pictures in ten minutes tonight I did over twenty and he's back and she's got this beautiful model I'm going to bring them back in and I'm going to speak to that whole session one more time in a formal sense and guess what they're the same poses the same lighting there I feel like I'm cheating I really do I feel like do you remember what I did? I photographed him down here closer up hand up I did like four pictures of him he never moved the light never moved is that fair? It is for me because I'm always in a rush I'm always trying to get it all in look at that black is great alright buddy, scoot your chair way back and get your wrist right in here everyone says you're not going to do that pose are you but it looks great that's it right there impose good your chin over your wrist a little bit right there light refined thanks, don you're doing a great job in there good look right yeah, I know look down that's good. Let me have your eyeglasses. I know you probably wear them all the time but I think I'm going to this portrait without him come down because I like this look of you right here glasses fit me good. Can I wear that shirt of yours? Here we go just like that. Come forward a little bit more and they're looking at me right there I'm gonna vignette the arms look right at me and chin up a dash you know, in the old days they didn't have photoshopped so can you join me, christine I'm gonna do something and the artist did not want to retouch come right right right back here. Hold that right there I am now goingto been yet his arms. You got to get in real close employ that just a little. You see what we just did that's taken the light off the arms just like we did in the garage turn your face to me a little bit and look at me turn your face to me a little more your nose this way that's it now you pose beautifully, I'm gonna get the light on you right there. All right, tip your head to the right a little bit. Good right there. I love it, jerry. What? You good looking guy behind all those glasses and that yeah, they're almost let me take a look. Bart, take how you had your hands full, don where? You know you got your hands full. Monica, you hold his background now it sounds like it takes ten pictures for me to take a picture, but you know what? I'm changing so fast and my studio, the background has a light stand everything's you can do this with two people. One good assistant. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to pop off this soft boxes. What? I was gonna have our due and this light right here is our chrome on the cadillac kicker light. So, bart, with this light here's the thing got a good view here if this light hits the cheek it's like a billiards table, I don't see it, but if I'm over here wow, I see it. So you're going to bring that from down there. Okay? Mirrored highlight. Even that vendetta that christine is holding could be on a light stand. I love the portrait already I'm just going to go, I'm going to speak to that kicker light ah ho! Man, you're now here's what I see right now I feel like his chin's down you stay and let me come down to you. Let me just come down to you and I'm using the moon, fratto product and it's the best lightweight tripod and if I want to come off a cliff and I'm and I'm handheld looking right at me, I'm using a seventy two two hundred two point eight l mark three camera. We're getting ready to put on some magic. I see the light right on time. Oh, it's, his arm it's basically a farmer's tan. I'm gonna hide it. You play golf he's got a white spot on his arm back there. Now look at me in between your nose to the left turn and tip. Good right there. Chin forward, that's it hint of a smile. All right, come on out of there! I got it, I love it. I love the light coming from behind. I love the portrait.

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

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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.