Image Critiques


Posing and Lighting


Lesson Info

Image Critiques

Okay, ready? Go to flicker. Yeah, let's do flex because I already I was peeking over my shoulders go let's get the clicker thing. This is awesome. Ok, um let's see this friend this picture? Ok, summer pool um ok, where is the main light coming from? It's coming from underneath and we've been talking about that that that's not a real flattering angle. I love love love the concept though I think this photographers got a quirky attitude and a kind of a quirky style and I like the idea of photographing from up above the subject, but this is not executed. Well, this one this one falls short and you need a little bit of work first of all, because you're photographing straight down on her and the main light is coming from underneath it's creating a bit of unflattering light in the eyes and it's just not it's more listens what's called cool light when you light from underneath. Second of all, we're cutting off the arms a bit and because were photographed, we've cut off the legs at kind of a he...

avy point in the leg and the thigh it makes her thighs look a bit heavy so I would like to see of the maker recreate this picture and I what I do like, by the way, I just noticed that she this friend wanted a new profile picture for facebook and it is quirky for facebook I think this would be highly appropriate it's kind of fun and quirky but if you want to really flatter this subject then I would recommend doing the s curve in other words, if you've got her sitting in the pool she can still sit on her thigh and she can rotate one direction and then turned her face and look up at you. Um if you need to flash fill her a little bit to fill in the eyes from a higher camera angle them that's what I would do okay, I love the light on this little boy's hat face love the expression on his face it is absolutely adorable I think he's got a very, very sweet look on his face I would like to see you move the subject away from the background just a little bit but overall I think this is a very, very pleasing little picture. Very nice. Okay, which one of these two subjects is closer to the light source? Bride yeah, you can tell ok, so where is the main like couple of actually the lights coming from it looks like from behind her it's actually coming from behind them and I think what's really fooling us is the treatment on this picture you know, there's the treatment and sometimes with the treatment it can kind of blow out the highlights a little bit I like a number of things about this photograph I like the the tilt of her is very nice the way that she's got her head tilted into him I think is very pleasing he is not looking quite as believable to me because and it's because he's basically sitting up fairly straight with his head tilted towards her so I'd like to see a bit more tilt into her but overall I think it's a very sweet picture so the groom is is closer to us back in yes he is bigger no I don't have a problem with him being closer to the lens in her eye that doesn't bother me at all in fact, if anything I think it's a help because she is a tinier girl and I think that it makes her look a little bit more vulnerable it's just very sweet that doesn't bother me at all by the way out this is a great him his picture I would have gone in and liquefied his chin a little bit and just pulled it right on up just a tiny bit. Okay ok where is the main light coming from this picture right in front and especially if you're trying to show the shape of a belly that light should beware the main light should be on the right hand side crossing her tummy because then it's going to show the shape of her belly more it's going to give her belly round it's going to show it is a little bit rounder as it is it just looks a bit flat it's a flat object the other thing is is that her she's standing flat footed and I can tell because you could draw a straight line from the top of her head down to our feet I love love love belly pictures I think they're really a lot of fun to do but I'd like to see the maker I want you to do this for me this is your homework simon james I want you to move that light source around to the right hand side and I want you to read you something like this for me and email me a picture okay this is actually quite a pretty photograph um I'm wondering why that kink is in the curtain right there it's kind of pulls my eye away because it is so close to her face but the one of the thing that would softness image up a little bit I think she's got a very very sweet look on her face I do like the camera position in relation to the light source is because you can really see that beautiful soft cheekbones she's got a very pretty cheek line when you have somebody looking straight away like that this by the way is a good profile you know, I can tell because look, we can see the eyelash on the back I but not the eyeball on the back. I I would like to see the the only thing I would like to see the maker do it's just slightly till the top of the bride's head towards the camera because it softens that look, it just looks a little bit more believable, but still very nice picture. Okay, this is very, very flatly lit, but flat light, as we've learned today, can be very, very flattering, the the kicker light the kicker like that they're using to accent the hair is a little bit too bright, so you need to skin that light and feather that light a bit back away from us or towards the camera, and use a bit of a goebbels that doesn't come into the lens. But it's a little bit too bright on her hair and I can tell because when you squint that's, the first thing I see is that that hairline but still very, very nice a nice portrait in the front, a very pretty picture of this beautiful girl. Adorable I love it. I love everything about this picture now it's in perfect, isn't it? There's there's it's in perfect, but I really, really like this picture a lot this is this is a good example of editorial photography, because editorial photography I mean his arm. You can't see his hands, arms kind of cut off there on the bottom but it's working for me because the treatment, the lighting all fit the subject, it all fits the scenario and they look, it looks believable to me. The connection between the two people editorial photography does not always have to be so perfect, it's just in other words, you can fudge a bit with editorial work. I think this is a nice, quirky little picture. Um, I'm the only thing I would like to see is I'd like to see a little bit more of a laugh from her, I think, but still no it's not bad. Ok, um let's see she's facing pretty much straight into the camera except her head is turned. You see, this is what she's doing, I think see, it looks to me like she's got her head turned a bit too much. So what I would recommend doing is first of all, if you dropped that shoulder the shoulder, if she's going to look away, if you drop that shoulder a little bit it's going to look a little bit more believable no towards in other words, I would just I would have just dipped her this way you know she could have dipped away from you know like just sideways like this they would have softened it up a little bit but I would still want her face turned a little bit more towards me because I feel she her shoulders heir to this way and then she's turning her head a little bit too much does that make sense? Okay okay where is the flash in this photograph coming from okay it's right on it's very very hard light would you agree that this is a small light source right? First of all the maker gets an a plus for expression fantastic expression it is so hard it's so much harder to get a great expression than it is to like the picture that you got the hard part down you're doing a great job the makers doing a really good job with the hard part now I need to see you let's let's let's finesse this picture and light it properly there are a couple of ways that the maker you could have let this picture to get a better picture michael how would she have done that or he had done that so another one over here? Yeah ok that's one thing you could do what else are you okay? What is another thing you could have done? Okay, what if you would this not be a good opportunity if you have the ability to turn your flash if you had a flash on your camera cause it looks like the flashes on the camera instead of trained the flash towards the subject if there was a light colored wall behind you over your shoulder to the right, would that not have been nice? Yeah, that would be good, so that would be a nice thing because otherwise I think you're on the right track you just need to learn to work with your light and a little bit better way and not use that hard light source on because it's a little bit overexposed and it's overpowering the subject and it's kind of producing a a little bit too sharp of a light on her body and the you've mentioned a couple times bouncing off the wall just like now when were you too far away from the wall to to be able to effectively bounce it in? T ell, um I haven't found that point yet where you're too far it's you the farther you are from your wall you're going to need a higher eso I have found like that you know how far is this room forty feet easy twenty twenty, forty feet you would need I would just say practice that and the farther you are from the wall just need you need to increase your eyes so a bit to compensate for that use a shallow depth of field but but if you're a ten or fifteen feet you are in the zone is really crazy and that's what I would be looking for if I only had a flash on my camera if that's what I had to use and I would be walking in the room what I would look for in a room to get my pictures I would be looking for a white wall that's exactly I do I'd say I don't care I want a neutral background find me a white wall so if for instance if I had to do pictures and I needed I didn't have pretty natural light I didn't have fancy lights all I had to work with and it was pouring down rain outside was this room exactly as it is right now I can promise you that is my bouncing off the wall and then my background is going to be probably where you are at or maybe in this direction right here and use the briquettes by background so because I'm getting moist thinking in plan what's my plan of action if this is what I have to have okay let's go forward okay I love the idea I'm not crazy about the follow through why is it not why is it falling short here? Yes because she's faced squarely into the I mean she's tiny so there's that but maybe if her hips had been turned one way or the other we'll see and I got to tell you this picture's close it's actually close and I bet you that it's not quite as overexposed as it is. It looks like it is on the screen. I bet you anything. This is probably a pretty nice looking image. I like this picture, I think it's actually a beautiful picture. What I'm what is bothering me is that there's no room for her eyes to move it. She is square into the camera. See she's right in the middle so there's not a lot of room for her eyes. For where eyes to go kind of goes right off the page so I would actually I think the pose is actually quite pretty. And in her case, she's one of the few people who can actually be right in front of the camera with, you know, facing straight into the camera and get away with it because she's a very slender girl and because she's got tiny arms, she can cross her arms across her her waist and get away with it. It's it's okay for this young lady. But I just would like to have a tiny bit more room for her eyes, but still it's very graceful and I like the fact the post it's, the environment, the dress fits the environment and you see how important that is when you have a garment, when you have, when you're opposing your subjects, you want to think about what kind of environment does this visit fight against the subject or doesn't work with it? You know, if you have a bride use during this beautiful romantic ball gown and you're trying to get her all vote against the brick wall like what they were just feels uncomfortable. It feels like it doesn't belong there. Um let's go forward. That to me is the picture of the day. That's absolutely beautiful. Um what do I what is not to like about this photograph? It is flatly livid. But you know what again? Flat light is flattering. This maker has done a very lovely job with this image. The child has a very engaging expression on her face or on his face. I don't can't love it's a beautiful little boy or a gorgeous little girl, but beautify anyway. Oh, angie and one of its by inge again beautiful, beautiful picture of the face I love the soft light. I love the soft tone ality all the way around the background is not dark is not too dark in relation to the clothing. It works in harmony to me and even her eyes are in harmony with the environment the shallow depth of field there is no question as to where my hand my eyes go my eye goes right to that kid's eyes first and it settles there even though they're wearing she's wearing that or he's wearing this little white out I would think usually my would be pulled down to that area but because their eyes air so engaging and the expression is such a sweet little expression and it's such a beautiful child to begin with I feel that it's working in a very pleasant way very nice again adorable I think this is very cute the only thing is is that it looks a little bit overexposed and I can tell and I'll cut you some slack maker if you if it's not overexposed I love thee the composition I think it's quirky I love pictures of little kids when you when you put them in this kind of it's just kind of funny funny kicky looking I think it's just very cute um the light in the eyes looks looks nice the background does its high key image the background does look white but it does look a little tiny bit overexposed but still a nice effort okay this this is obviously the maker did this on purpose they've they've increased the contrast just so this little girl's eyes show up from a technical standpoint, this would probably not be an image that would do well and competition for a variety of reasons. But from the standpoint of just an image that has some impact, it has impact to me by my eye goes right to that little girl's face. What is pulling me away from her, however, are is that the her hair on the left hand side is so blown out, I'd like to see a bit more detail and the mothers eyelashes and that kind of a portion of the moms face. But still, I think it's an interesting picture. Um it's got a little bit of possess, I think it's just very cute. Okay, by the way, this is clamshell lighting. How do I know you look at the catch lights? This is a very pretty portrait of this woman the light I love the soft light that's being used on her. I love the positioning of the hands very, very lovely. The higher light source causes those cheekbones to pop and the maker has done a nice job of lighting in the light on the forehead. Seems to be a tiny bit looks a little bit overexposed, but as I said, I'm not going toe fault you too much for that because I don't know if it's this monitor not very pretty posed beautifully, beautifully done ok, where is the main light? Down below? Stay away from the ghoul light stay away from ghoul light don't like from underneath it's unnatural looking and it doesn't look, it doesn't look pretty it's just not a very pretty look. And the other thing about this supposed is you're overdoing the pose whenever you're posing your subjects, it's just tiny nuances of barely tilting or tilting ahead or moving the shoulders, you know you don't need to overdo it don't get too carried away and with her, you can tell that she's just really exaggerating hurt our neck. Her head is tilted to a very exaggerated degree, and so it doesn't feel believable. Do we have any questions, by the way, from our from the people out here, I was told by celeste that we're going to do about thirty minutes of q and a, so okay, so after after we do the critique, okay, great. Okay, um okay, so I need somebody else to critique this image for me. Who wants to do it? Linda, do you want a critique this already from what we've talked about backgrounds kind of competing with, ok, what else you want to repeat that again? It seems like the backgrounds competing with what's going on with a couple, because the contrast is kind of the same okay. Anyone else have a comment? Michael, you always have something to say. Um, the first thing I notice is the composition. Um, I think I like the trees. Um, and I think they kind of, um, go down the perspective, and I think if they were more to the right of that, that would be kind of cool. You know what? And I agree with you saying I think the trees are actually the way that they like the idea of the trees, but I don't like the composition because they are too centered in the picture. That's one thing the other thing is, is that we needed to hide her outfit. This gal all I see my eye keeps going from her face down to her dress. I can't get past her dress because it just keeps pulling me away. So how would you? Ok, so this client wore that out that what could we do to minimize that to fix it? How do we fix that? I mean, that's what she wore. So what do you do? Well, you could crop, but you certainly could crop it, but they're even full length or the three quarter length like this, you could there's still something you could do. There you go, that's that in other words let's hide her a little bit so that we're not seeing so much of that dress could see we see so much of her garment that it's hard for us to get up to the face to see the two of them so I would probably have turned them a bit more so that an hidden a portion of her shape behind him maybe had her standing for instance come here, michael, I need to demonstrate this okay come right over here in front of me and turned towards me this way turn towards me although it right face me right here face me. This means you okay? So if this is your couple, I'm gonna have okay? I want you to lean into that hip right there a little bit or actually let me lead towards me this way. Okay, now watch what happens. See, I could go like this look at me this way with your face. See, now we're still engaged together we still are engaged this way but now how much of my shape can you see? So if I had that big skirt honor that skirt that's so big you see how you're not seeing so much of it anymore, does that make sense okay, good job okay, okay, shut your eyes and squint for a second what do you start seeing what's bigger than her face? I'd see your forehead okay to forget her face. Look at that shoulder right here see, because she's rolling it forward, that is really, really, really important. You don't want to roll that shoulder forward too much it zoe it's the ruling of the shoulder in relation to the camera angle because you know, we've done a lot of that rolling of the shoulder forward this week. We can do that it's just that when you roll it forward and you have a higher camera angle there you're asking for trouble. You see higher camera angle, I can see the back side of my shoulder, I can see too much of it and it starts competing with the face. I think it's a very sexy expression on the young woman's face and I love the way that I think if they cropped that how to be honest with you that's a beautiful picture say, if you just go like that and crop that arm out to me, I would put that this's where would profit it's right about there right in there because it's actually quite a pretty picture very, very pretty look on the young lady space, I just can't get past the shoulder it's kind of it's, a little bit of a distraction to me ok, I think that was the last critique we had for today. I want to say thank you to all of you out there who gave us images today for critique. I hope you found the critiques helpful. I really try to make them as positive and informative as possible, by the way I do critiques on my web on my personal blawg every single week on mondays and fridays, and if you would like to have your images critiqued, you're welcome to send me an image at bambi at cantrell portrait dot com, and I'm more than happy tio critique those images for you. It may take me a while because we do the on ly monday in friday's, but I do critique every image they are up there for the world to see, so you have to be willing to let the world see your pictures. But you know, I'm going to tell you we don't learn from the things we do, right. We learned from our mistakes, and I hope that you'll feel that it's a very positive experience and that it's one that you would like to share in. So thank you very much for those that share today from the response in the chat room they love watching the critiques right really, really enjoyed that part, so thank you for that. All right you ready to do some q and a baby alice do some q and a right way have a question from maeve um can we discuss how you shoot a bride with darker skin tones in a sea of multiple skin tones or with a light skin groom we talked about that earlier this morning the key to working with multiple with different skin tone al it ease is you just have to understand what is it that gives each of them there dimensionality if I'm gonna work with somebody with darker skin tone one time I worked with a couple of the bride was from sweden and the groom was from ethiopia and he was extremely dark skin this game was probably his darkest my jacket very very dark skin man and she was she had no pigment I mean she was just almost translucent she was very, very light skinned but in working with them it's not about the quantity of light that you use on each of those types of individuals and when you photograph them together you just have to understand what is it that gives their skin dimensionality and on darker skin what makes this you understand that there this has texture are the highlights not the shadows and on the lighter skin tone person it's the shadow areas so what I would do if I were photographing people of multiple or in varying degrees of tonality, I would use a a a reflector with a silver side to illuminate someone with darker skin, and I would put I would make sure that I lit that skin with that silver side, and it would create nice, a nice little speculate that separates that skin tone are that that just highlights a skin rather and that's how I would do that. Ok, ok, next is from britney ray, and she said that she has had a couple of boudoir clients ask her this and that it seems like a sensitive issue. And the question is, what is bambi's response to the client that wants to know how much retouching or local fine was done to their image? Because I know you say you don't overdo it, right? What if they ask you? I would just this is exactly what I would say to them. I would say if I told you, I'd have to kill you that's executive, I would say there are certain, I don't tell peeling first of all, I have to tell you, in all of my years I have never had a client asked me how much retouching I've done on them, I just say, well, let me, then I would turn the question around that say, how much do you think was done? Because think about it, if they say a lot of retouching that guess what he's saying to you, you know, you really worked me over good and then I would say, but, well, it wasn't a pleasant experience, you know? You know, sometimes this is way try to tell people too much, you know, why do we feel we have to tell them the history of the universe? We don't need to tell them every little thing about our business is, you know, what is the deal with that it's? Like, sometimes we feel like we have to justify our pricing, and sometimes people will say, well beyond time, you're so expensive, and I say because I can, because I can charge what I want, this is my profession and it's because I'm that good, and I looked and right in the eye and even if I don't feel that, I'm that good I go it's because I'm very talented and it's because, it's, I can't charge that much, you know? And I think that sometimes we start, we start trying to justify everything we want to do it and have to make these long explanations when in reality would we do that at north trump's? Would we say to our attorney, well, why do you charge what you do, you know? We're saying we don't ask people things like that only people ask photographers for that and when people ask me for a discount and a deal I'm going to tell you right now and you want to learn these words first of all I say I wish I could and then I actually this is exactly what I say to a client when they asked me for a deal I say absolutely I will absolutely give you a deal but and I'll give you half price but only if you let me work half it's hard that's exactly what I would say if I can work half assed hard absolutely and there are no I'm joking because I don't do guest discounts of any kind I do not do deals at all and and I and then this is the next thing I say I said have you ever given thought that maybe it is in your best interest to pay more to hire me now how could it possibly be in the client's best interest to pay more to hire you? I think that's the way we have to look at things sometimes is that maybe you you know how could it be in their best interest? Well, how about this let's say you get up on that saturday morning and you don't feel well or you know you know you've had a death in your family and you still have to show up think about that, you know, the person who's not very well compensated for their talent how do you think they feel that they get up and they've got a couple? Well, they may not show up I'm really well paid to get my butt out of bed on a saturday. What do you think the odds are of me showing up? I'm going to be there because I'm being paid really well and I know you have to give that money back and I don't want to do that, so I really believe that sometimes we just let people being charged too much of our business and I do not allow clients to dictate my company policy absolutely never. And once you let them dictate your company policy it's over, they own you and they start running your business and telling you how to run your business and I refused to have that and it's only because I've done it the other way on the old lady I told you I made all the mistake for you and I have absolutely made this one when I have allowed clients to tell me when they would pay me and I no longer ever allow that because the one time I did I guess what you know, can I pay you after the event is taken? Yeah, well, I guess so well, can I do this and then they start they got your their foot in the door so now all of a sudden everything in the universe is going to ask you for all kinds of things. So I have learned the way that I for wedding specifically my weddings air paid in full before the day of the wedding period I do not negotiate when that is paid it is paid before him the first third is paid to retain my services the second payment is due ninety days before the wedding and the last payment is paid the week before the event and if they say, well, I would have thought, you know, how do I know you're going to even do the job? Well, first of all, they would not be hiring me if they question my credentials and my ability to do that, and if they do have a problem with that a question that then you know what, then that's probably not a good client for me. And so, you know, I really believe that it's important for all of us as photographers, as business people to not allow people to dictate our business policies and you wouldn't do that with your attorney and you would even go to north trips to say, well, you know, I don't know if I want to pay you this, you know, we're just not going to do that gladly pay you tuesday for a hamburger today you have there you get exactly e I think you have a question in the audience oh yes how far along in your career as a photographer were you when you decided to take the hard nose line on? I'm not giving any discounts and I'm not letting anybody dictate my business I mean, not that I don't agree with it one hundred percent but how far along were you when you finally had enough and you said this is what I want to do it took me about five years into my career but it doesn't have to take you guys that long no, I learned I mean, it took me a long time and it's only because I mean I was just dumb I just was trying to be a nice person and because I didn't value my own work because you know, we were artists we don't want to be we don't want to talk about money anyway we don't want to do that we don't like that and it finally I just finally thank goodness I finally grew up and realize that every single time I did that where I gave the deal or I did somebody a favor whatever it came and hit me on the butt and let me give you a little story behind that a number of years ago I had the opportunity tio I was called by one of the radio stations they said, hey, we've got this bride whose we're going to do a give away we're going to do up put on a whole wedding and we'd love for you to be the photographer would you give us your services? So I said, well, you know, this might be really good, I have my name, you know, it'll be in the newspaper and will be on the radio station and everything and so I gave them a full wedding coverage this is that the time was around ten thousand dollars and so I am so the week before the wedding, I called the bride I said, oh, I said, I'm so excited about your wedding, you know I'd love for you to be at the was going to be a garden wedding if you could be there like an hour beforehand, I'd love to get pictures of you you know it's a beautiful pictures of you before the wedding and you know we get a chance to work together before the ceremony and so she goes okay and so the day of the wedding rolls around I go to the garden site for the for the ceremony on the ceremony was at two o'clock I'm there at one o'clock one o'clock no bride one thirty no bride, one forty five no bride one fifty the bride flies in by the seat of her pants, she literally had sweat running down her face. She was she was a gal who really needed might attention. She was somebody who was going to need she was going to need a lot, you know? I was going to need to be able to work with her a little bit and because she did not pay for that wedding because nothing was paid for. How much value do you think that wedding was to her and her husband? It was a big fat zero neither one of them cared about it because they didn't put out a dime to port to happen, and so they did not care one bit about the entire day they did not show any appreciation. It was a huge waste of time and it was not it was not a positive experience in any form or fashion, and so I have learned, in fact, every single time I have done a freebie and I used to do to charity weddings every year, I have learned the hard way that when people don't pay for something and make it hurt a little, if it doesn't hurt, then it has no value, and if they don't value your services, then guess what, you are a servant and you are treated accordingly. And the lower the wedding the amount of the priority of photography the lower on the totem pole you are the less that they they listen to you they are always late because there's no value in fact speaking about being late for those of you that charge if you have like overtime fees if I did overtime fees mother's going to tell you charge a truck load of money for a one hour overtime do you know why law haven't over uh you won't have overtimes no you will know you want the overtime fee you wanted to be really expensive my attorney charges four hundred dollars an hour for his services how often do you think I'm late for my appointment with him absolutely never when I have to call him to ask for some advice do you think I waste his time and I sit and talk about the weather and about his children blah blah blah blah blah you know I get down to business okay I need thirty seconds okay so the moral of the story is you know let's say that you had a seven hour coverage or five our wedding coverage and you had an hour your overtime fee is only twenty five dollars an hour see that's no big deal that's nothing your time is worth twenty five dollars an hour how often do you think that clients going to be late if you charge five hundred dollars an hour how much is your time worth? You see if you have a healthy very big a chunk of money that is designated as an overtime guess what you have you have gone light years from zero to sixty you are now a professional like my attorney and I can promise you they do not waste your time if there's a big chunk ah big payment that would be paid for that our overtime now how do you think I would use it? Because I used to have hourly a no overtime and for you in the past and I can promise you this is how I would use it let's say that that it was time for me to turn into a pumpkin I would go up to that klein and I would say, hey, you know what mary and john it's been such a delight with your wedding this was such a beautiful experience you know it's about that time for me to turn into a pumpkin is there anything you'd like me to do before I go? You know, if you'd like me to stay an extra hour you know my overtime theis five o year with strike baby, you know you're over time is five hundred dollars an hour oh my goodness, you know and if I liked them this is what I'd say so you know what? I just like your kids so much I'm gonna give you a gift. I'm gonna stay for one more hour. You see, if I gave them a gift and my overtime fee was five hundred dollars. Now what have I just done? I just gave them five hundred dollars. You see how much of twenty five bucks you know your overtime fees? Twenty five bucks. A big deal. So what you see? So it's not it's about perceived value again, it's? Absolutely about perceived value. And again, folks, you have got to remember that we are not selling eggs were not selling a carton of eggs, that this is our profession and that you have the choice to make yourself did to elevate your perceived value, you can elevate it, or you can diminish it. And you can diminish it easily by the way that you conduct your business. And the more often you allow other people to drive your bus and tell you how to conduct your business. You take yourself and you make yourself a servant because servants are dictated to and servants are told when and where to go places, right. Employees are done that way. People that are professionals, the ceo of a company you don't go boston, that ceo of that company around, right? And if you have a professional person that comes to your home to work on your house and your electrician's even those guys make you know they're they make a very healthy profit and you're not gonna stand around chat with that guy you wanted to get this and get the job done so I mean, I'm sorry that I know that hate to make that such a lecture, but by george I really want us to be able to be good professionals that are job because it is so much fun doing this for a living and having people pay you well, I mean, it just it doesn't get any better than that toe live your dream is just it just doesn't get any better it's so wonderful and we are in charge of that and the thing that holds us back so many times yes, we have tough economic times, but so many times we let that we use those words all weller's tough economic times and so we left that and that completely dictate the entire universe of the way we conduct business when in reality it doesn't have to be that way because my answer is ok, are there still people driving mercedes? Yeah are there still people buying out ease and lexus yet well, who who's buying those cars and why are they buying them? Don't they realize we're in a recession I know think about it because people buy products that they like that are important to them and I want them to feel that my products are really important to them and that they're willing to buy them in spite of what I charge not because of what I charge okay, here here, sister. All right, I have a question from speaking of business leslie leave photo would like to know would you suggest a photographer hire a manager if they're not good at the business? Yes in a minute hire a manager if you're not good at it, I'm not kidding you that is such a great dollar spent it is so phenomenal I can be here on lee because I have brilliant people running my business that are handling my company and taking care of the phones and handling the responsibility of ordering product and I could not come and do this kind of a thing at all if I was trying to do everything and we can't do everything successfully that's the thing and modesty means knowing your limitations and I know what my limitations are. So yes, I would hire a manager and I'll tell you who makes really good managers mature women, older women that have that are maybe their their husbands or retired or their kids are grown many of those kind of women they love organization and they want to get after it I had a gal who was who ran my studio for a long time but I just moved to hawaii a couple years ago and she was her husband you know she was an executive's wife she just needs something keep her busy she just couldn't stand being at home all day long in her kid with store ground and she loved running me around and bossing me around and handling my life and it was awesome so mature women older women are fantastic workers that way they're really good so that would be someone that I would think about even a mature retired woman would be an awesome person for running your business is great so so if you're not good at business, you would you would suggest someone do that right off that absolutely absolutely up this question is from lynn fredo and here she says every famous photographer seems to give the same message I guess about getting over your fears and yet we're still afraid of doing it what's the missing link in between you know, at night he says just do it I'm not kidding you. The difference between successful people and non successful people is not not how talented they are it has nothing to do with talent I'm gonna tell you I'm not a talented photographer I'm really not I'm not joking, you know I'm not I'm not trying I'm seriously not I'm not talented, I'm really a hard worker I'm very hard working and I really don't ever let grass grow under my feet I'm always trying to figure out where the next what were the next phase is what I want to do next and that's how I keep my edge it's not I did not have a little the little bird of paradise coming land on my shoulders I wasn't one of those people who I grew up being a little art the art kid I was the jelly fingers in my family and I was not the art the artist in my family but I just said, you know, I know that this is something that I can do, I just have to be just put blinders on and just do it it sounds it's actually very easy. The problem is, is that we all of us we allow ourselves to be our worst nightmare and we also expect too much of ourselves right away, so we expected to happen overnight and success does not happen overnight to my first ten years in business. I spent the entire first ten years in business trying to be just like everybody else and I was it was a snooze around that was boring and my work was so boring if you saw some of my stuff in the beginning, you would die laughing and it was until I just finally said, I'm not going to pay attention to what my peers do, what photographers do in their business, I'm just going to pay attention to what I see in the pages of fashion magazine and brides magazines to get concepts for photography to keep my work exciting and interesting first and then I'm going to move forward and I'm going to could take lots and lots of classes and I take classes every single year I never go without taking classes because the more that you hear something the more than it can become your personal, your personal feelings that's what they say mother repetitions, the mother of retention and so I take classes every single year from photographers whose work I admire um I go to w p p I every single year I would absolutely not miss that conference every year I go to skip summer school every year and on go to photo plus in new york as well and these kinds of organizations and of course, you know, the creative live experience I mean, it doesn't get any more inexpensive and what a quality education this is, so I think that we cannot educate ourselves enough, I think it's extremely important for us to be open minded, and I think that's really one of the keys to our success is to be open minded and not try to and not go well that doesn't apply to me I'm not going to do that I want to learn that that's not going to find them not going do that I can't tell you how many times I've been teaching a workshop and somebody would come up and say oh you know baby, you know I would I was thinking about taking your less but you're a wedding photographer you know and I only photograph children I'm thinking you've got to be kidding this is so ridiculous so you know I say open your mind and learn lots of variety because you know because it's like it's like you know, a salad a fruit salad you know, a fruit salad could be just full of apples but that be such a boring salad so why not enjoy it and make a fool of you know, lots of different kinds of fruit and nuts and and you know and just you know and so just open your mind to lots of different things and then you know and then you can and then they all start applying it's funny how you can learn one concept and then it starts building on something else and I could be photographing a little child and I will learn a technique and photographing this little kid that I'll take to my next wedding and I'll do it on a bride and will go my god it works simon says tilt your head like this further I don't think I haven't done that when you have someone who's really seriously up tight trust me if you just take a tele bride say simon says walk forward you didn't do it, simon says I'm not can you she bust out laughing and it's just a silly thing so okay, we've kind of touched on this, but I guess in the chat room had asked at what point did you feel that you went from being a good photographer to a great photographer and why and how do you think that happened? I don't know because I'm not there yet and seriousness, heart attacks and I'm not there yet I'm really not I hope you know, I just don't I don't even think about that I never pay attention to great good, whatever that stuff means I just know what makes me happy and what makes a client happy most important that's all I care about if my client is happy I have done my job so I don't think about terms of great good no that I think that's embarrassing I I just don't go that route I just don't I don't want to be up there because if I'm up here then I got to come down the other side and I don't want to be there on I'm still going up yet I really am just a newbie I just been shooting for twenty five years on lee, twenty five years on. I still got another twenty five or so to go. Course, I might have to have my walker by them, but at least you have something amount your camera video that's, right? That's exactly how I feel about I'd have something about my cameras. Yeah, awesome. Um, in ankh inca has asked what is the best time to discuss the price with a new client? Oh, immediately. I want them from the first from the whenever I do on my initial interview, that client knows a soon as we sit down and we're talking about their wedding and such that interview, they will have mike complete pricing. I want them to have that information right away. I'm not a shy and embarrassed about my what I charge. I'm proud of what I charge. I think, as I said, I think it is in her best interest to spend more to hire me. I believe that I honestly believe that it's good for them, I think it's absolutely good for them, because I can promise you the wedding's that I've shot where I was not well compensated. I did not feel good about that, and, you know, not just rich people spend a lot of money to hire photographers, one of my favorite clients I've ever had was this young couple this young couple sent me an email this little gal she sent me an email she said dear baby she says I'd like tio to talk to you about your about photographing my wedding could you email me your prices and I e mailed her my prices and please do not email me asking for me my prices please I ate that from photographers so unless you want me to photograph your wedding okay, so so any rate so I sent her my pricing and then she sent me an email back and she said, oh baby she said your way out of my budget she says I'm so sorry she says, I've got this other photographer who's willing to photograph my wedding for a third of what you're going to charge and he's willing to give me four wedding albums and all the complete proofs and and two family books as well and all this other stuff and I sent her back a really nice email I said you're selling so I said thank you so much for considering my services you know I really appreciate it we all have a budget that we're working on I do too you know my family and I are on a budget I just have one question for you if the photographer gives you four wedding albums and two family books and in two thousand proofs but you don't like any of the pictures will it matter? Think about it because it's what's on that paper that counts it's not how many albums that person gets or how many proves it's what's on the paper folks and so she she said you know what? I'd like to come in an interview with you so she came and interviewed with me she did not buy my smallest coverage she bought my middle package she spent her entire wedding budget on my service she had her wedding at a very, very at a recreation hall but she was thrilled to death because photography was extremely important to her. How hard do you think I worked for that client that weekend? How hard do you think I worked for her? I gave that gal everything I possibly could give and more I would force I do that with all my clients but still somebody you know that it really hurt for them to give you that that it was really a stretch for their buzz it budget let me tell you I gave her everything I had and more and if she had asked me to two to come the next day to give her to do another session I would have said what time do you want me to be there? Because she just she she expended for me I would be have been happy to do that her so I really believe that it's important for us to you know, to not become the purse police here you could take that one and write it down as bambi's quote for the day don't make yourself the purse police how the heck do we think we are telling other people that they can't afford us? I mean, you know, come on think about that you know, you are not in charge of my person, I'm not in charge of yours and my goal is just to make you is that obviously if instead of telling for me to figure out I want to I want to help you to understand why you should try to figure out a way to hire me you know? And I think it's again it's all in how you proceed, you look at things and I want them to I want to try to help clients to see why it is in their best interest a good thing for them well, the features and benefits well, you know what? I'm not going to give you four albums full of pictures, but you know every single picture you get you are going to go so crazy about you're going to want to plaster your walls with him and guess what? Because you're going to get all of your high resolution digital files and all the retouching has been done ahead of time guess what you could take in print your guts out go make your mother that biggest albumin known to man but guess we we win and you win all of us will win because I was really well paid to roll out of bed that day I'm having dignity I'm very well treated I'm treated as a as an honored guest and as someone that is as a respected vendor not you know some some servant that you know that they're going to boss around and not have take siri's um there's a question from our lou wanting to know what other photographers you were inspired by I know you quoted jerry and seems like photographers are really famous among other photographers yeah I'm just kind of wondering how much of your inspiration comes from other photographers versus it just comes out of you oh, I know it does not come from me at all I'm not kidding you have not everything I know I'm not kidding you I see I told you I have an empty well underneath all of this and I am inspired by lots of people and lots of stimuli photographers are some of them terrell georgia rule in the forties and fifties I was absolutely amazing to me I love school oh absolutely crazy about school to look but I'm also but many of the photographic legends of today I am crazy about gerry g honest I think he is a brilliant photographer and one of my many heroes. Your bond there is just he is just the most fabulous batara he's. Wonderful job you sink is another one who I think is one of my heroes. You know, just there's. A variety of individuals. Jim garner is another one. Dawn shields. This one of my favorite photographers, as well as another young woman. One of the things I love about dawn is that she's only been photographing for about five years now, and she took my class five years ago. She's one of the people that I admire so much because, she's one of those people who said ok, baby, what do I need to do? Teo work on my craft, and I gave her specific instructions. Ok, this is what you need to do do this. This this and this just like I've done for the last three days. She's one of the few people who said ok, I'm going to do that, and she actually did it. She she would send me an email every couple months. It's okay, this I did this. Oh, my goodness. This is actually working and it's. Amazing. You can talk to an audience of seven or eight thousand ten thousand people, five people. Well, actually, take that information and take the steps that's necessary, and I hope those will be the people that are in this room today that every one of you will take that we'll take it to say, you know what? This is what we need to do and it's not just is this it's not just me it's all the other people that will come after me and and that you'll be in arthur creative live and the many other wonderful heroes that are going to come and go, they're going to come through the through the gates here and, you know, take one thing from each of us and put it and take it to the bank and then just do it just don't make excuses for failure just shut up and do it that's all there is to it because I mean, that's what's going to happen and you just have to you can't be can't be instant gratification that you have to be patient and recognize that it's not gonna happen overnight, but you don't think about how long it takes you don't think about it just happens, you know, and the thing is, you know, it's like waiting for a flight waiting for christmas, you know, people wait and little kids wait, wait and wait and wait for christmas to come and it takes forever, and yet then finally it's here once a year. So the moral of the story is, is that if you keep trying to look for it to happen, it's not going to happen, so just be focused on where you have to go and write down the steps that are necessary to do it and then guess what you'll turn around you go, oh my goodness, what happened? Look where I'm at because you did focus and you've got to business. I never pay attention to what other photographers, what they're doing and how I could be better than them. I don't even though I'm highly competitive, I don't think about what they're doing. I don't try to mimic their business model like the photographers in my town, I couldn't tell you if my life depended on it, what they charge, I have no clue because I just know where I'm going, and I'm not worried about what other people are doing. I don't care about the negative noise and it's, somebody says something bad about me, and I just say, honey, standing along and there's a lot of people behind you there and, you know, I think that's kind of the nature that we have to think about it is where we want to go, what we're going to do and one of the five things that you learned and that you can take and you're going what you're going to do with it, I say, make a list and then take each one of those things don't do them all at once and say, ok, I'm going to say tomorrow morning I'm going to practice this concept, maybe for you, it was the posing concept and in relation to the light source. And so for for an hour, your home tomorrow morning, before you go to work, you're going to walk in your bathroom and you're gonna go look in the mirror and you're like, ok, ok, look at me this way you turn this way, and exactly when she say about pushing my hips and you're going to practice that and practice that five times and then you're going to walk to the front of your house or something, and you're going to say, your honey, come with me, I want I want to take you to the front door, and I just want you to stand in for just a second. I want to find out where the light is, you're going to take your hand and hold it in front of your face. And you're going to start walking around the room. Ah, there it is. There's, that light source. Ok, darling, come over here. Let me just look at and see it on your face. Do I see it in your eyes? Because the more you physically do it and physically put yourself in that scene, the sooner that it's going to become second nature to you. And then when you get to your office for your regular day job and I know that we have one of our girls here that delivers babies are works in a in the delivery room right now, me. So you're going to be in that room and you're going to say, hey, as these babies are being born, where is the light fall on that baby's face, you know? And then and then you're going to start taking neural chrome's with your brain even when you don't have a camera, you wouldn't believe how often that comes up. There are a lot of cameras and delivery rooms and if it's not real busy, I'll say here, do you want me to take your camera for you? There you go. Absolutely. So those are the ways that you grow you absolutely you absolutely make it happen, you set yourself a goal and you take each little step and you just shut up and you do it because when you do that, then you can move on to the next thing. You can't allow yourself to get sidetracked on the next thing until you good until you've done the first thing and you've mastered it see, because then you have something to build on. As I said, I will walk around finding the light first find your life first, start learning that, you know, we're sitting in your restaurant this evening and you're having that glass of wine. Look where it's happening tomorrow when you check out your hotels and you have to go that down that elevator think, well, if I had to shoot right here and now where's my spot, and then those kind of things start familiarizing yourself with that, and then you'd be surprised within a month you have made certain parts certain exercises second nature to you so that when you have a really event, a riel family that you're photographing or a rural wedding or a real portrait or whatever the case is, you know where you're going to go. You already have it planned and it's in the bag because you've already you already know exactly what you're going to do. And then if you don't, if you're not a wedding photographer, you know you're not a portrait photographer yet. What do you do? I would go find somebody cute. Go find some some folks you're saying, can I photograph you and give them free pictures? Just say, look, I just wanted I need to practice this I need a real body to do this on a great place to find dresses and stuff like that for props. It was if you could make your own dresses remember I showed you a little earlier day so even showed you how to do that, but if not go to the goodwill store and just go find one of those simple dress is one of the things I did at the goodwill store. They had this wedding gown that from the top it was absolutely lee appear the drill dress part so but I liked the train was actually really pretty, so I took the dress, flipped it upside down, took the train and wrapped it around the bride's that's chest right here, locked it in the back and made a sheath out of it. By the way, you could throw those those dresses in the washing machine in washington. I watched him all the time and so that's what I would do if I needed a bride to practice those concepts on dh so that's how I do when it comes to portrait and there's one more business thing and then I'll shut up because I know we got we're probably getting you don't have to shut up mammy I got him for for port it's for those of you that are doing portrait events a stuff I'm gonna tell you a wonderful wonderful little trick and this again is under the cone of silence for all of us people okay we're going to share this with the universe this's one of things I love doing I love med spas and hair salons and I think I told you that I work with the local hair salon in my community and we weii get together every six or eight weeks well those are great people to network with because they're women who are people that have disposable income people that are interested in having your hair done or in and facial injections and chemical peels and stuff like that they tend to spend a little bit more of their disposable income on pictures and such that's the kind of client I want so I make those people my best friends I want them to and I really feel that they are really very good friends and it's interesting I want to work with local businesses and I think that so many times we forget about the importance of local business with that so we are we're a local business we're a little local business and so learn to make those individuals your friends and start networking with them and do things for them that make yourself valuable you know the thing I've discovered about local vendors like many of the hotels and the catering managers and such they do not recommend the best photographers they recommend the easiest photographers to work with and the people that make their life simple they so do not care whether you have won every award known to man they care about whether you make that food cold in the reception room because you felt it was your duty that this was your moment in the sun and you had that bride and groom out in that lobby doing pictures for an hour and a half while their guests are in that reception room and there's no food and their and their food is getting cold tricked out trust me they do not like you and they won't refer you I don't care how beautiful your pictures are so you want those people to be your friend so make it easy for them to be your friends and make it and remember that they have a job to do as well and that world does not revolve around us it doesn't okay maybe I just want to say off all of the information you just gave us, you know there's probably so many people watching this that are maybe thinking about taking the risk of stepping out and doing this for the first time. And so it's, just amazing to hear you talk about all of these things and giving them inspiration of what to do next, like what the first steps are for, for people that are watching at home. So that's, what this kind of workshops all about, it sure is, and I appreciate it, you know, and I'm really appreciate that as well, because you know that I wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the fact that I had other people helping me out of the way. And you, in fact, that this has been a free program for the last three days. What a fabulous, fabulous gift it is from creative life. And, you know, I mean, I absolutely cannot believe that they put so much effort ahead of time into such a program. It's not halfway done. I mean, how many people are involved in this company, actual employees. Five yes, five employees, tio, five employees. How many volunteers? There's thirty five people on set today, some of them are volunteers camera between the camera people and the people who actually work a creative life. The funny part is that this this is funny, they don't have any old people that work here. It's just funny, you know, they're all it will, john, but see your young yes, but a lot of a lot of folks that work here that put forth an enormous amount of effort and and I see and that's the kind of spirit that I like because, you see, they just did it, you know? And I think that's the same kind of spirit that I have that I'm sure every one of you had and that's, why you're in this room today, because when you were asked about doing in the video, every single one of you said, ok, I'm going to do it. Who knows? It could be me and who knew? I mean, you know, the monkeys. What is the name of your company? Lite monkeys? Yeah, yeah, but every one of you had the cutest little videos, but that would have you'd have not been sitting in this room if you had not taken that step and made your videos funny and made him interesting and just put yourself out there. And that's why everyone of you in this room are going to be people that are movers and shakers in my opinion, I think that it is a done deal I just don't know when because you were the ones who got off your butts and just did it how many people you know, it just cracks me up how many people few people actually take advantage of programs like that. So the next time you have a creative live event I hope that every one of you guys will get after it and do those videos because I'll tell you this is a really cool place to be thank you, ma'am way we just want to give you a huge round of way. Sarah thank you. Yes, and don't go away, folks, we have a little surprise for you. So not just a little surprise. I d o a big one. Yes, I'm going to sit down and hunkered down with you, bambi. Holy cow! Oh, my goodness! It's it's so much fun watching the chat rooms just explode theirs someone said family needs to write a book with all the unanswered questions written in this chattering it's a great idea and we get fifteen percent commission off that saying, can you guys hear me? Okay, okay, good moving on, then we have a couple thank you's ah, we want to give out. As we said, we have a nice little treat coming up for you soon, but we want to make sure we think everyone that needs to be think before we move on to that first and foremost ban became child. Thank you so much for coming here and just teaching such a fabulous workshops. So much information you're such a little like she is a delightful person to me. Sometimes you meet people or you see people are you you know, just brush it with him that got they're probably total diva asking she was so easy going just every all the ar department, all the model she's, like whatever, you know. I mean, she give me ideas. But if you don't, if you give me students or if you give me nothing, I'll work with it it's like, oh, my gosh, we're just such a delight to work with. So thank you. And, um, in on and she also donated a number of the swag giveaways that you guys won. She gave out the cue cards, which are beautiful those were really fun to flip through. Um sure you talked a little bit about those the photo actions and the instructional dvds. So thank you so much for giving those out to us. Um next up being h photo oh, my goodness. We would not be able to do what we did if it was not for them. Thank you. Be in aged photo um, please support us and support them. If you're going to make any being age purchases, you can go to our affiliate link down here. B h photo video dot com for its large creative live dot com um, I have I have the pleasure of having adam, our technical director in my ear at all times I'm going to go ahead and take that out such a smart alec anyway, so it being age thank you so much. They really made this this workshop in all workshops possible with all of their enormous support. So thank you being aged photo we hope you support them too. Um, we have a lot of getting what giveaways this weekend. Bota bag donated a lot of stuff. Um lexar donated some compact flash cards we hide pwd labs do the post processing credit of three hundred fifty dollars skipped summer school registration another nice value of three hundred dollars you're von photoshopped actions trio pack big thank you to june bug weddings. They helped us try and get some brides in here. So beautiful brides for models on, of course, closures is our our neighbors down the street here who took us up with gear when we need it last minute. Um, we get all of our stuff from from being aged, but every once in a while, you know how that goes the day before or, you know, thirty minutes we don't have this. We run down to glaciers and they hook us up. So if you're here in seattle, check him out. Ah, next, huh? Gerry leone is he hooked us up with a one year membership to the eye society. Thank you, jerry. He also he is also giving a special discount for those that want tio for anyone else that's interested in joining the ice society? A swell. So if you go to the high society, I can't remember what the code is, but if you send me an email gambia cantrell portrait, dot com all look up jared the one that the code for it and you get a twenty percent or something like that discounts what we'll see if we could get that in the chat rooms to see you guys can know what we're talking about. Ah, big thanks to nick software could vote image tools, triple scoop music they all gave away some great prizes and, of course, the handy porter case. Thank you so much, all of you for helping us out here. Um, we do we have anything else or we were going to move on. So again, family. Thank you so much. We're going to take a fifteen minute break and we're going to hold on to us. Can we just say that we'd like people to shout out there thanks to bambi and we have a hashtag bambi. Thank so why don't you shut out he's really? The world is thinking, you know, maybe some love show baby so thank you, but do not leave, we have a really, really cool for you guys coming up. You cannot go away or you're going. You're going to miss the best part of the day and also feel free to give some love to the to our sponsors here. I mean, they make it possible. So when you think them, they know that it's it's worth their while to continue doing this and continue giving you free swag and hooking us up with good deals, so thank them and thank you we'll see you in about fifteen minutes, all right?

Class Description

In Bambi Cantrell's first creativeLIVE workshop, she led an powerful three-day course focused on posing and lighting techniques with a focus on wedding, boudoir, and portrait photography. This workshop was one of the most popular subjects we've hosted.