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Pose It, Light It, Love It

Lesson 23 of 33

Student Portrait Homework Critiques

Clay Blackmore

Pose It, Light It, Love It

Clay Blackmore

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Lesson Info

23. Student Portrait Homework Critiques

Lesson Info

Student Portrait Homework Critiques

We've laid the foundation so now it's time to un bridle and just let loose however we need to keep educating in the beginning I want to talk a little bit too dslr cinema because it is a profit center in my business and I think since I was twelve years old is a child that I wanted to be a filmmaker and so I'm going to be making films keep up with me on video clay blackmore dot com photograph everyone watch my films I'm going to team up with the right people because you can't do everything, so we're going to show you some films were also going to speak to high key and guess what I'm going to do today I'm going to switch off the spider lights and I'm going to go to strobe because everybody has a set of strobes jury have any struggle at home speed speed like most of people doing speed likes any of you guys have a set of strobes because when I got into photography that's how you did it, you bought it has a bladder and a set of, you know ellen chrome or pro photo or photogenic lights and wha...

t's the difference there's a lot let me just discussed it real quick, the spider lights what you see is what you get their soft in there daylight and my lenses usually at white f stop what? What for rumor? So what did that do to the backgrounds and let him melt out of focus now I'm going to be shooting eleven and sixteen this is a very commercial look and you know what if you look in the magazines this is what you see a lot high key is current my wife is so wonderful I love her to death and she looked at my photography all the time and she says that's so old fashioned and then she sees something that's great and usually she's pointing to the high key work you know, the white on white clean and it is a good look so we're going to do white on white and I'm going to show you how to zero in high key you'll never forget it, you know, basically we put f sixteen on the paper in half eleven on the face but there's a lot of tricks involved and it's not that difficult before I speak to all the portraiture and what we're going to do and the ideas let me show you a couple of slides here of homework assignments okay, here we go christina we are going to take a look the assignment was natural light individual am I correct? Here we go let's take a look, okay? I love it you're getting in their pose it light it, love it now you're you're making these wonderful wonderful portrait and these wonderful, wonderful little mistakes that I think everybody's making my eye goes to the lightest area and a picture okay, what is that the sky so we want to get a nondescript background I had a slide in my slide show but my slide shows were so mammoth we kept tripping him down but I was photographing my son and my wife against a paltry and it was so beautiful for the holiday card and I said okay, but it looks so great okay, I got it all set up and I ran over and jumped in the picture on my assistant teo took the pictures and guess what? He moved the camera this much and he got white sky in the photograph and he ruined it because your eyes going to jump over there I do like your back profile you've got the shoulders in the correct position you've got a beautiful loop shadow going her eyes are not egyptian eyes where they're over to the side her eyes are beautiful, the people as you can see them I'm going to give that portrait a c plus if you do that against a nondescript mohr of ah darker background without this you got an a plus okay, I love it you did the pose and you did the light I love monica oh look at this backlighting you're getting it really nice here. I love what you've done here in fact, that the day we were going to family portrait bart said, hey let's, just back like him it's a free light, you know, because it is look what you've done here. The angle of incidence is equal to the angle of reflection, meaning when you shoot into the sun that rim light's going to come over your portrait hey, when you go in the studio, if you can think that way you can actually create studio portrait with a rim light and that's great! I love everything going on here. The hands are a little suspect down here I might just crop that picture right here. You see what's going on? You don't really need all that. You could darken I've been yet it now you're lighting it feels kind of cross later you are you've got a flash on camera here. Um off camera flash on I should be able to see it looks like it might be coming in this direction is shadow so that's good. You put the light on the same side as the woman but now all you need to do is come together like this job up here, christine, a real quick look here I just want to fix the pot's, okay, here we are I'm leaning back you're leaning here and we're looking at the camera now we need to come together bodies that avi or bodies back to front bodies always parallel does that make sense? Anytime you bring two people together we've done it. Here's another thing can you just put both arms around my neck like this and just that had nothing to do with the program. I've been out of town for a week. I just needed a hug way go. Is that good? Here we go. I wanted to hug from christine. Thank you. That's. One way to get a hug. All right, don let's. See what you got. Oh, look at that. D c b and you you've got a beautiful shot there. My problem is the background is catching my attention. This this brick is okay, but if you could mash it down and dark, innit? You've got a nice portrait there. The last thing I would have tipped the camera, but you know what? I wouldn't have tipped the camera because of the bricks the bricks would have tipped as well have been a dead giveaway, but man, I've been trying to get d c b in front of my camera all week he won't sit still he's running from room to room and mike and me and everything else and running the cameras but I love it one thing I would do here he needs a little more room to look into you've got into close to this edge you see that we need to get his eye here that's very important in cropping and it's amazing how many people have trouble cropping their photographs today? So we wantto talk to the cropping alright look at this all natural light it's beautiful I love it actually there's speed like if there's a red light okay and you've got a little live shadow the light's coming across the woman into the man. Okay, so I'm going to start with the background. The first thing I'm going to select when I go outside is the background I think the backgrounds a little busy these verticals and these you know these columns give me too much to look at. What is your camera height here? I meant I'm laying on my back. Yeah, camera very low and you know what it does? It makes her arm and their bodies big people buy pictures based on two things. What are they expression and how their body looks. Don winner winner chicken dinner I'm going to give you something today I promise you in fact, I've got one hundred fifty dollars gift certificate from linz pro to go they just ship me linds I hate to jump off camera but we're gonna try our pancake lindsay came in a pelican case today. I've always wanted this lens, but I didn't want to buy it. So guess what? I rented it for three days and we're going to try it today. But lynn's protego is that one of our sponsors? And if you if you want to get a prime lens and you're like, gosh, the thirty five one four can I really afford it? Yes. Can I do that? I thought I got in trouble again. I'm always in trouble e going, I just want to do tio no. If you could explain what a pancake lens is for people who might not you know, I honestly that's why I rented it. I don't know, I know it's a forty millimeter super sharp lens from canon and I know there's half then it is super sharp and somebody said you got to try the pancake wins and so I'm gonna try today so I didn't buy it I rented it and it's very inexpensive for the rental and you just got a gift certificate to rent one yourself. So back to jerry's portrait the cameras of alot you see how the bodies were pretty full there, those air thin people if you were photographing me in that angle I would really be upset because you'd be like I'd be like where is my face? I'm way up too high you see that? The other thing that's going on gerry here is that they almost feel I love him if you cut him out I could sell him that portrait right? But if I cut her out I don't think I could sell her the portrait so mike criteria for a couple or for a group is cut him out individually would they buy that picture individually? Can I say that again to the audience at home when I do two people three people for people or a group of five or twenty or how about even a group of one hundred which I do on a regular basis I'ma busiest guy you know, back home I have to make sure if I cut anybody out individually that they would purchase that photograph that is the criteria for bringing people together. The last thing is maybe instead of straight up like this, bring them apart a little bit and lean them to gather going for a pyramid but other than that I mean you got a fun picture going on here and I love it all right? So I have so much to discuss I want to go into dslr cinema because it's become a big part of my of my business this picture right here you might recognize ross and jeff they were they were on the show I think a couple months ago weren't they and that's a portrait I took of them in my studio and I think it's pretty creative shot because boy if they're not in silhouette the guys look horrible I hope they're watching jeff that was for you so I got to put him in silhouette I'm just having a good time we all kind of got into this together ross is an intelligent filmmaker he just wrote a book I think he's doing a tour coming up called out of order what is out of order mean it means disney shot the films they shot the last scene first you know what I mean? The scripts all come together and then they do it on the editing board and make it happen some of our highlight films from weddings they are so intriguing again just jump onto our video page and you can see what's going on but here's here's what this this is ah mon fratto trap hard you're not going to make a dslr film without a fluid head what somebody wrenched this thing down for me may see there we go it's probably just from shipping so this is the first thing you need is stability okay? But no matter what if you want to make films or if you don't you need to rest denies this is seems to me where were heading we're heading into filmmaking and they don't have to be big big films I see kids with ipads shooting clips of their friends editing on their ipad and showing to their friends so it seems like it's a revolution can I get a witness? You guys feel that way where does that put me? I'm a portrait photographer my portrait lighting has paid off huge in this area if you don't want to do the films yourself you can go in on craigslist and there are a hundred filmmakers looking for work teenager students everybody wants to do it if you have a good camera and you can entice him in that's the first step now again I had to keep jumping off camera late this over here because I noticed they weren't on the camera but you need to have audio good audio is going to be this little guy right here so this is a road stereo mic and it really just makes such a difference you could you could kind of equate the sound that comes out of this camera to a cellphone it's just a little the microphone there good thing but you know what it is it's a reference audio track and this is much, much better now they make a little let me show it to you right here a shotgun mike which is right here. See that mike that's going to kind of zero in on the audio when people are speaking and cut out the surrounding noises and I had to jump in and grab this the beauty of dslr filmmaking are these beautiful prime lenses from cannon and they make cindy lenses now I just you know it's on my wish list maybe I could get that from linda protego uh like a twenty what do they make the twenty four sini then you go to the fifty and you go to the eighty five and the beautiful thing is there's no f stops they just smooth as glass and then all your filters air the same size so when you're making a movie and you're working fast you can switch out lenses but everything is you know ambidextrous on the top of the limbs this little gadget over here I think you can see me way over there is our slider were on the roof yesterday I don't know if I could show you that film after lunch it came out gorgeous the breeze was blowing the fabric and it came out fantastic so let me jump back to that first line this is us at a wedding three taking pictures three making a film that's pretty that's pretty substantial that's a big wedding though you could do it with four, two and two but it's hard to monetize wedding video you can't charge enough, I honestly think to capture a wedding with dslr cinema, the price should be close to ten thousand. It is such an effort, I'm at half of that, but I'm doing it because I love it and now I'm moving into the corporate world and I've got this experience and I can feel confident of what we can do. So let me push through some of these here's the gear there's a slider there's our stick which is also our mon fratto one man army and that's fluid head on amman a pod and behind the scenes here creative lives there's a lot of this going on there's, a matchbox there's ah slider and about mitzvah or bar mitzvah and it's just the equipment is so crucial I luckily booked the biggest wedding in my entire career went to monaco, the south of france, and photographed and amazing event and here's the picture with the hotel there's, the casino in the back and it's hotel de perea to write and I came home with some infrared, some beautiful shots look at that picture, my good buddy hi and smith took that because I was shooting of a movie, I was working at the video and I was so nervous my heart was jumping out of my heart these pictures we had great on thursday night friday night walking through the window look at the wedding how beautiful wass but you know what I did I went up when the bride and groom kissed and I made this video and I was so happy and I felt like I was a photographer but I was trying to do video so I have a fourteen millimeter lens and I'm walking back as the couple are coming up it's about the worst shot you could ever see in your life I go all the way to the south of france and I blow it and I can admit it you know but luckily my other filmmaker ross was there got it from the back and it was beautiful in the film go to video and type in monaco wedding I mean it is amazing it's epic and we showed it in another dinner real quick here is the steadicam this picture this shot was made by eastward films they worked for me and they germinated out to their own film company and I hired them out for this wedding what is a steadicam it floats the camera I learned from this man right here he's amazing still motion patrick moreau he pretty much pioneered what we're talking about and I hope you can get him on creative life he's brilliant still motion and now you can do the smaller cameras the smoothie like that here's another steadicam shot love what's going on? Uh, go to video search clay blackmore, two hundred films up there and you know how we used to get photographs of the caterers? I'm making short films for the caterers now, here's a little film just I went to the event early. This is a corporate event that I'm photographing, but I got there two hours early and made some video gave it to him as a link for his website. You know what we've done nine films for this caterer nine films. His daughter just had a bar mitzvah. Who did he hire myself? And you know what? He gave me an event with michelle obama as the keynote. And we did the photography and the video. Because now, instead of giving photographs to our allied vendors were giving short films like that. Look at this time lapse every time we go to an event, we did this in here and creative live the first asked had a time lapse in the upper corner and the camera just takes a picture every five seconds. It's a little handheld device about this size that plugs into the camera that we just reposition it all night long. And watch this if you want to see some of my energy at the wedding I'm show up right now with the bribing room there's my pro photo lights there's the bride and groom way out in front of the canopy now we're up on the canopy and look at the size of the wedding party there's thirty five in the wedding party and they say hurry hurry the guests are coming the guests are coming we gotta clear the room so we clear the room and here goes the room's clear let the guests in room three hundred people walk into the room I love that shot but the killer part of this is when the wedding's over they flipped the room meaning we go into the cocktail hour and they turn this into the dinner room look at the energy going on right there there's one hundred people moving tables table cloth and you show your client this and you're their best friend they love it you give this to the caterer the florist you give it to the building museum this is mellon auditorium we time lapse everything I've had people call me and they say you know clay we want to book you for our wedding we heard about this time lapse that you do that you we don't miss anything you know so we just station the cameras around around the room and if the mother ever comes to me says your master picture of salazar said no, I didn't I got everything is right there you know what I mean? So there we go, right? We were to wait in the other day and karen wiener top makeup artist in baltimore I mean she's fabulous, very expensive shoes in all the good weddings my guy french we love french he had a macro on and he made all this beautiful video of her doing the makeup and she saw the video if you google go to the caitlin caitlin and levinson wedding it was beautiful the makeup artist saw that and she's like oh my god and she's innit doing makeup and now we're doing a stand alone piece for karen wiener so I did a corporate film the other day guess what we needed make up so I call karen and karen came out and she gave us a deal and actually gave me the ability to actually mark up the makeup because she said, clay, I'll do it for you for your one hundred fifty I tell my client we can get you, you know, make up for three fifty or whatever I'm making money over here and I'm not trying to make money on all those products is just because of the allied vendors you understand flowers, I need some flowers you know what? When I do corporate shoot me I'm sorry today, innovative portraiture we've got flowers. Guess what I call amarillas back home, right? Hey, could I get some flowers? What do you need? We'll bring them today. Buckets will bring you buckets of flowers. They drive him to my studio and they give me the buckets of flowers and don't charge me why? There's a corporate film for amarillas up on video that they use on the website. Okay, this is the end of our corporate of our dslr. This is one crew at one wedding. We've got three filmmakers, we've got three journalists and we've got me in the middle. I don't know where bart was. He was probably, you know, out of this one way all mix and match. And I have two girls here and I said all I want you to do is photograph every detail I don't wantto take pictures of flowers or the napkins or all these fun things I want to photograph people in paces so that's the crew and again it's hard to monetize. You have to charge for all that to pay all your people who okay dsr cinema, the bottom line is, you know, get involved, get get on an emoto and just send him some pictures and some video clips they'll edit it for you and it looks great and it's very entertaining I want to show you this portrait right here this is a high key photograph and it's kind of what we're about to go into and it's f sixteen on the paper f eleven on the face the cameras at f eleven I think that's a beautiful clean look and you can even see the light and the bottom of her eyes right there do you see that a little bit of light in there we're going to do that so let's ijust want to stir up the studio start shooting but as a review to my students and this is fast I'm going to show you ten pictures that are all basic pose one, two, three four I'm not in an account so who does the basic poe's work for everyone how do you photograph everyone basic post you can't miss head and body to the light if you want to go abroad lighting the lights here but I'm usually headed by this is the light feminine pose there it is the feminine po who does it work for young slim women so you're off the hook if you don't do you know young slim women you just stay with the basic post now watch this this is what we did yesterday little bit we're going to combine the two I'm going to put together a basic and unfeminine this is the ambassador to switzerland and I'm shooting in his residence into the window you'll see me always shooting from the dark to the light okay and these air two pictures that fit together where the she's an effeminate he's in a basic feminine basic too feminine feminine basic feminine basic these air to basic closes I think this is just a neat review feminine basic feminine these heir to two basic poses I'm going to treat taking this picture and I'm telling hannah hannah tip your head this way I'm putting her in that basic pose I'm up in that tree and then I had some fun start with the familiar in with the fun I just spend the camera okay now let's get ready for some portraiture do we have ambika how would look at here? We have just all beautiful here let's spread our lights hey yes I just ask you a quick question before beautiful bride comes out and that is about the time lapse people were blown away by that you said there were some kind of remote or set you have one more grand me the remote I have one and just what is it that people that you use it's cost one hundred and thirty five dollars they are building houses in my backyard thirty five houses they're building no no the little time I do you know what I do I plant a time left every day and it is so crazy toe watch them build a house to pave the road to put the grass down. And all we do is we take kind of a wide lens. We get our first picture. This is a cable release from cannon. It is a tc eight d n three. There it is, it's a controller one hundred thirty dollars. You just plug it in and you can you can enter eliminator and it's an interval ometer you can put it for five seconds, eight seconds, ten seconds. I like five seconds and we're always saying, is it going? Is it going? You have to do a few things. You have to make sure your camera has double batteries because it's going to take the batteries down. You don't think about it. Put a thirty two gig card in from delk in and you can put the camera away down on small raw so you can get a lot of pictures. I shoot j peg a lot because then I don't ever think about it. So that's the time lapse. What else do we turn? The review? Time off on the camera so the camera doesn't show up the batteries.

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.