Using unique textures, locations & backgrounds


Posing and Lighting


Lesson Info

Using unique textures, locations & backgrounds

Okay, so let's get started we're gonna finish up our slide presentation this morning and just in we're going to go over a few additional concepts that we're going to talk about today yesterday we were talking about imposing the posing any woman at all what we say about you know how do we pose that female form a za way of reminder how do we do that? We pose it in a way that's flattering to them um so what does the language I use here come opposed me standing post first of all ok, so if you turn your feet towards me and police good excellent. And then uh once you put one foot uh put this foot just behind you a little bit I'm sorry setback a quarter step what does that mean with a four step you forgot the one thing he forgot the hula dancer, huh? I was gonna put your okay that's you know that's okay? It happens the men your age just if you just if you would put your feet shoulder width apart good job. Okay. All right and then bring one foot slightly back so your toe is next year hell and ...

then shift your weight on the back leg sorry shift your hips to the back leg shea, this is my back leg, okay, just get just your hips this way a good job there you go and I know I'm making it hard for you but you see why? Because this is what I'm doing and this is only because I have had this happen so many times in the olden days before I learned how to do this and they would literally both to throw us a very good that's all I needed you to do it just demonstrate that excellent job can we give my hand that was often now the reason I bring that up is that with this with the silhouette right here if you learn that art of communication first of all you don't have to be real close to your subject once you've done this once or twice and you're such a good for you it's adorable I actually see I think it works better for you not to get it right and you did that such a good job you almost it was almost believable that you didn't know what you were doing. I told you I am on fire today it is going to be really ugly, I think good okay, so but even when somebody has not turned facing us, you can say ok, I just want to push you hit this way and the same is true look it with her, you could tell that she doesn't have her wait on both feet she's not standing flat footed she's got her hip shifted this way and that's important because see how it creates that really pretty line on the body so even when someone's not facing the camera we need to still pay attention to the way that we work the feet and always starts at the feet yes michael is she also doing the whole the leg the other leg kind of dipped in honey I mean I don't I wouldn't have known that before I think it's kind of cool I'm recognizing what she's doing because of what we've been learning so that's kind that's right station this is what she's doing right here but with her the kind of dress that she has she could also when I had her do this many times where she did an x in the front see how I could take my leg with as a woman we can go like this with our leg out we can go bring the need close together and drop the name or towards the other knee we can cross that leg and an x and you see the weight is always on one leg and so by doing that especially for those straight dresses this is one that's really a powerful tool and bending that front me will pull that fabric and it creates this really cool shadow area which is very, very sexy from a way of from just from the standpoint of media ring I metered on about this part of her veil right here on the back side of her, her her head because I did not want it to be a complete silhouette if I wanted a complete silhouette than I would have just metered took a light meter reading of the outside, but I wanted to show a bit of detail on the back of her gown, and so I needed to balance between those highlights and shadow areas to get a proper exposure for this image. Ok, ok, good, you can use those same concepts when you're posing anyone I love using randa products. I don't like using having everything be perfect, and so I one of my favorite things is I love to see stacked chairs on a couple of years ago, I was teaching at v p p I and which, by the way, is an amazing organization. The wedding in portrait photographers international I wouldn't be where I'm at today without that organization and so any rate I was photographing and doing a workshop before the convention started, and at the end of the day I invited another instructor to come in my class and we were going to share the platform the last hour and it was with matthew jordan smith and if you don't know who he is, you want to know this man, he is a brilliant photographer does a lot of fashion has done a lot of work for tyra banks on dh for america's next top model is absolute one of the finest photographers I know and so being you want talk about fear let me tell you the bam stir here was seriously off the charts scared to death for many reasons will a number one okay, well, I'm the one I stacked the deck and I bring in all the cute models I had a body pain or all kinds of crazy stuff and so he came into my class and all of my girls were all of a sudden my model like yeah bambi who because he's gorgeous ok he's just absolutely breathtaking is just this cute as they come and so from that moment on my models were giving me the stink eye they so we're not having any part of me they were like yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah way want him get the cute one over here we want him to photograph us so I was really getting nervous because I'm highly competitive and I'm not kidding I'm so competitive and I always want to beat I mean, not that I want to beat you, but I want to beat myself well, I guess I do want to get you to so so I'm always you know, really trying to do the best I could do and so I kept thinking, ok, what can I do to really pull out the stops? And I had seen these chairs I'm sitting over in the corner of my sweet the entire weekend all week long they just called me they just kept bugging me and colony and so literally I drugged them over by the window and then I sat my model on this chair and linda, I'd like you to come demonstrate to me how I've had this model sit down because we practice this yesterday comparing to ensure remember how we sit down we don't just sit right remember we don't just sit that's right? We sit on the very edge now why is that? Why do we sit on the very edge of the seat you remember so with mike? So you take the book out of the the guys that's right but also it's not just the book, what else does it do when you sit on the very edge of the seat folks was to do that's exactly right? So ok, so now once I'm sitting on the edge of my seat is not exactly what she's doing ok, so when you look at that picture what would maybe be my next step so maybe look at my feet, my legs, the way that they are what I keep my feet straight next to each other you would separate and one like forward that's, right? Why would I do that? Put the microchip your mountain of two separate the two so it doesn't look like one leg. Very good. Excellent. Good job. Excellent that's, right? So you see, so by separating the feet now we know that she's got two legs. You see it's? Because if we had just one if we put them both together it's going like one big blob and it would look very unattractive with this young lady's face I meet on the highlight on this cheek right here again. I did not want a complete silhouette on her. I wanted to give a little bit of a semblance of of light on that cheek and I was able to create an image that at least I didn't embarrass myself with matthew jordan smith on. So there you have it, um, way we've talked about yesterday about the importance of how to use light effectively. Well, sometimes when you are photographing your subject, there are some really, really nice things you could do it having them look over the shoulder. Michael, can I just say one thing about the last image? Yeah, really? Like just just like you were saying about separating the legs to get that space toe, not make it look like one thick like the same thing with the chairs I love how you have those little spots open, because if if you don't have that, it wouldn't really be that interesting, it would just be one big blob that's, right? And so it's, that same principle kind of goes with props as well in this picture, right? Absolutely. And, you know, the whole idea one it is that I really feel is important is for us to create a variety of emotional responses we've talked about about that a little bit and how that when you're creating pictures for your people, you want a variety of emotional responses sometimes you want oh, wow, that's amazing wow! That's always in that sweet oh, you caught her smile. So you want a variety of emotion experiences and that's really important? Because the more emotional responses that you can deliver to a client, the more that you can really you can own them, you can. That client will be yours if you only have if it's just all safe, then you won't own them. You will never own your your subjects, so you want to create some things that are not safe and again it doesn't matter whether they love it or hate it, as long as they have a strong opinion because sometimes hatred is as good of a thing is a cz ahs loving something is because if they just have no opinion at all, it is a snoozer. Ram a and it is over the e r it's not a good thing, so we don't want that so with this young lady, when I decided to photograph her, there are a couple of elements in year that become really important. First of all, when she's turned towards the window she's actually turning away from me a little bit, but she's not standing flat footed issue see how she's rolling her she's, pressing her tummy forward just a little bit and then dropping this shoulder a little bit. And that way I can create a pleasing image of her. But the placement of her isn't important because I want a tiny bit of highlight in the background to just keep it from going dead and black. And one of the ways you can do that is, as we mentioned yesterday, was to turn on light existing lights in the room, use a reflector to create a bit of separation on yourself from excuse me from your subject to the background as well. So there's a variety of things to do. One of the other things we talked about yesterday was using body parts to get people tio s o that you were very specific on what you wanted them to do. So with this young couple with the bride, I just said, I want you to hug your husband with your forehead, hugged him with your forehead, and that would give a real hug. Weii did this yesterday, weren't you what they did with your cheek? Give him a hug with your cheek. Um, I find my chosen location from a lighting standpoint first, always that's where that's going to be my foundation is always laying that foundation of where is the lighting? I want that light first, where is my good light going to be? Because then once you have that laid, you can start with some some images that are beautiful hi mom pictures, and then you can move into some things that are more fun and playful without having to worry about oh my gosh, you know, dropping the ball and not having a great light source because at the end of the day, if you can't see the fun, then it doesn't exist, it absolute doesn't exist, okay, so now we're going to in fact, one of the things we're going to talk about today is using unique backgrounds to create imagery. And this is one of my again one of my little hobbies that I play I always have some sort of little game that I'm playing to keep things interesting for myself so when you look at this photograph would any of you all in this room like to tell me what this background is? What is that could be it could be a red paper background could be what well it could be but it's not the couch in my studio well, it could be a wall but it's not notice the quality of light on her face this is actually, by the way, is just a single light source nope it's not a red curtain it's not the red couch in my studio it is a red couch, a fainting couch um and the thing that you want to think about to see anything at all can be a background. We did a little bit of this playing yesterday. See, I love stuff like this because first of all, it really is impressive to your client don't talk about a great dog and pony show. Let me tell you, if you want to press a client, whip a chair upside down and I promise you they're going to go, what the heck was that? But it's all part of the experience remember was talking about how important experiences as well as the actual you know execution there's just more to the story than just stand here tilt your head this boy children that way there's more to the story. So when I was photographing this little gal with those white flowers you see how easy that background is that wall was just too busy for these flowers. It was just too much and it would be a distraction. This is an image I shot for the cover of metropolitan bride magazine last year and so I chose to I thought, you know, I've got to find a way to neutralize that background I loved the quality of light that was coming through the window it was absolutely gorgeous. I mean, look at where the light placement is in her eyes it's a beautiful soft light source and it's it's she has just a slight shadow on this cheek and then the light crosses that iris and gives me a really pretty gives me just a really pretty eye for her, but I needed a way to neutralize that background. So I took this couch and I just flipped it upside down or the area where her feet are is actually became the top of the couch and then I just had her parker but against it and lean toward lean against it just slightly it was extremely uncomfortable for her but it was a really cool thing it took and neutralized that background, so that could create an image that was something that could use for a variety of purposes. So I encourage you to start looking at random objects as possible backgrounds again, you could take neural chrome's with ease or pictures with your brain. You don't have to have a camera in front of you learned to make this your hobby, because if you d'oh there's always going to be something that comes up that you're going to say, oh, I wish I had this with me. Maybe I wish I had my background with me, and you won't. You won't have the technical tool that you need to get the job done or that you think you do, but I want to learn to macgyver it a little bit, and that way, if you do, then you're never at a loss and you'll actually find really more creative it's much more creative than what you were originally going to do. And this is the cool thing I've found it's been my experience that any time I had a roadblock in front of me that said I couldn't go a certain way every time I found on angle around it that passed that it led me around turned out to be a much better path, and the one I was originally on much better path than I was originally on. And so you know you have to just look at those detours as as where you really were supposed to go you just just is where you should be it's a really really a fun exercise when it comes to policing this young lady again members see how she's got her weight flipped her hips flipped a bit her feet are separated of it faces turned towards the light source sometimes the light is coming from a lower camera angle on dh in this case because the light was coming from a lower camera angle I chose because I loved the color of the walls and it was kind of a contrast to her skin tones I thought well you know what if I can't get the light up to her I'm going to bring her to where the light is and you're going to find this concept a lot that this is maybe the case that's why it's important the first thing that you do when you look at your subjects and you're trying to find an environment to photograph them in pay attention to where the catch lights are sometimes you'll find that the light is coming from underneath now we have two choices we can move locations or we can change the environment can change the environment by placing either eh something a gobo to force the light up and over that environment or we could move our client down and have a lower their environment to match where the light is coming from, which is what I chose to do with this young lady. I turned the bathroom light on, so that just wouldn't be a dead zone. I didn't want that it just to go dead in the background, and I wanted that light to cross her body by bringing this forward knee this knee forward. Not only could I make room for her, the fact that she was going to bend down and pick her skirt up, but I could also create that really nice shadow on the side of that dress that was a little bit more flattering, anti gay for a really nice little bit of cleavage as well. Do you have any questions before we go on? I have a question from your stateroom, okay, great. Katrina had asked bambi, when is it ok to capture the eyes of your client without catch lights when they're looking down? Okay, when they're not necessarily looking in the camera and when there are also willing, let me just say that there's always an exception to every rule. So there, you know, as I said, george hurrell took beautiful pictures in the thirties and forties, and they are phenomenal images and there's not a single catch light in their eyes, and so, you know, catch lights are very important. However, there are times when you can fudge it and get away with it. Why does it work for george corral in his book? Carell hollywood because the photographs himself the lighting is extremely dynamic and it's absolutely so striking the whole picture so striking that you don't you you overlook the flaws and that's the thing remember that if you have the overall scene, if the picture itself and what you're doing is so powerful, then all any mistakes that you're making become secondary so it's not that we're trying to make perfection we're not trying to make make perfection, but we want the best we can get under that set of circumstances that's a really good question cool and just to build on that question from john john, what about multiple catch lights? Oh great question from john john multiple catch lights are not natural unless you live in a in a world where there's like more than one or one more than one son so so quiet. So if I had more than one catch light in the eye there's a number of things you could do, I would maybe retouched one of them out because it does look a little bit weird to have like three or four different catch lights and that happens when you're using more than one light source, you know, a main light and a still light in a scenario of studio lighting sometimes you can see what there you can see where the different light sources are so I would probably go into maybe retouched those the extra catch lights out because it does look, it doesn't look normal now let me preface that by saying that I've never had a client in my entire life go well, you know there's more than one catch like I've never had a client photographers absolutely we're going to nail your bunch of the walter oh, I see those three catch lights on my butt for a client they don't necessarily again beauties in the eyes of the checkbook holder yes you mentioned possibly using a gobo in what way off often flash or okay ago bo is a great thing ago but was basically something that goes between the light source and you hey, uncle john, can you hand me the the the black reflector please to give an example and I'm just going to show you this really super fast but that's a great question let's say that we were going to use this light source are here hey, dad, can you just lower that light source a bunch? Is that going to create a real problem for you? You guys right there? Good. Okay, so here we have our light source and it may be a little bit too low. Well, a gobo might go between a portion of that light and me see how now because this is in in front of the bottom of that global forces the light up and over that light source now this is not this is not as powerful a lesson for you as it would be if we had a lower window let's say you had a lower window you could raise that begin dead if you had a lower window that was where it was maybe the light was bouncing off the sidewalk that's when this is I find it really annoying sometimes the light is bouncing so much on the sidewalk that the sidewalk is bouncing light up underneath here that's when a gobo or something that goes between in the bottom part of that window is a really powerful tool because it just literally forces the light up and over that environment and so it'll it'll change basically that the direction of that light source that's a really, really good tool and also just you know, don't underestimate the power of a black reflected to absorb light it is so much your best friend I love the black side of the reflector very much ok any questions sounds excellent that's right? Can you repeat that since he's not on mike so basically actually come here uncle john, I want you to let's grab a mic because I want him to repeat because he's so good at that okay we're instead of black we can also put in a diffusion panel here and what that come in instead of blocking it out completely so that the's pieces snap off and a new one snaps in just across here instead to the solid black so just a little nick another option excellent and the challenge will certainly want to know what is this that you've got here? This here is so low aluminum reflector frame holder they're made by a variety of different manufacturers but they're really the's translucent panels are wonderful godsend whenever I'm at a wedding I love working with translucent panels I like the reflectors are the ones like this that have that are there wire not the hard ones like this the hard ones I can't pop up into a window the ones that have the wire through them with a translucent okay great that those air really wonderful because you can literally pop those up into a window like if the bright sun it's coming through the window you can pop it up into the window and it totally defused it's the light as well yes another different stops of the diffuser panels do you prefer the one stop to stop? I prefer I kind of like the one stuff diffuser panels that's a great question but it really depends on the situation but for me I like to keep it simple just give me one that's kind of sheer you know, I don't I don't just not technical to me, it's like what? You know, I want it to see how it works here, so that pops open to pull these figures and I think I'm the other cool thing about a roof like you're ok don't pony show you're walking, you know? And this is you oh, this is wonderful just like that and it's just so wanted because people like that I like, I like to let my kids open that get cured because I've been punched in the mouth and your videos, your camera bag, why you have to know how to close it because it looks really stupid for people that don't know how to close like that, their struggle with half hour for me, the way that I do these to see the little tab, but that and I always hold flip it that way and then it's, you know, I don't like it when I have a new assistant, I go ok here's reflector folded for me, and if they can't figure out how to fold it, they're not gonna work for me on I folded in a figure eight yeah, there you go, but that's cause he's a guy and he's technical hole there you go, let me that's part of the theatrics, I like that you can ask the question. Yeah, loose cannon in the chat room had asked, can you talk about why catch lights are so important? Oh, why air catch like so important? Because cat sites in the eye they illuminate the eyes they are, what give, they draw you in? Remember that you're that you the interest in a photograph? What draws interest in a picture are lighter are highlights are I naturally migrates to things that are lighter, so if your eyes are looking towards the camera, we want to see those catch like they kind of draw you in to the soul of that person. If somebody is looking at us and looking at that us, we want to see their odds. We immediately migrate to those eyes and that's why catch lights are important to have so but a single catch like, you know, a nice a single catch light is is preferable to multiple catch like that, I think probably answer the question, ok, now we're going to talk about light is like, this is one of my favorite favorite segments, and we're going to have an opportunity a little later on this morning to practice this concept of source cited says, why don't we talked a little about this last night, just as we were ending class? Light is like you see anything in the world can be your main light it can be your light source it just all depends on how you want to use it. I photographed this beautiful bride right here in sarasota, florida at the ringling museum and it is an enormous a giant enormous then you for weddings and they spent an absolute fortune lighting the columns and the pillars in this beautiful beautiful building and it's all outdoors so this was I shot this picture about eleven o'clock at night of her standing in front of these beautiful archways outside but to do this effectively you have to understand light and now I could have took studio lights instead of, you know set up my my my studio lights and such but then I might be thinking, ok, where am I going to plug it in it's an outdoor venue that could create a real problem and it's and I don't think it gives me a better picture so this is what I did I want it to the videographer who is on site that said, hey honey, I said we're going to go take pictures of the bride under these arches would you like to come and join us like this? And he said, oh sure so I said, my only this is the only a request that I have for you, okay I just want you to come and stand over here for me and then just turn your light on you see, I knew if he turned his light on any standing right here to the side of this bride right here guess what's going to happen the lights going to skim across her waistline hiss light has become my main light it's become the main light and it was fantastic so he stood over there videotaping his little guts out he got what he needed I got what I needed and I was able to use his video light as my main light source and then post my subject effectively. You want to slow down your shutter speed when you're trying to bring up a background remember the faster the shutter speed, the darker the background will go, the slower the shutter speed, the brighter the background will go. So in this case I wanted to see that beautiful those lights as they illuminated those pillars from behind. So I slowed down my shutter speed. The other benefit of slowing down my shutter speed was the fact that there were people in the background. The caterers were back there and I really wanted to use this this section, this this setting I thought it was really beautiful, so by slowing down my shutter speed to about an eighth of a second I could bring up that background a little bit and if people were walking in the background they were going to be blurry it's kind of a sneaky way to do it and your subject is standing still she was standing exactly like I am see how my legs are in that x formation that's exactly what I did for her is she's got her foot forward like this just like that that front knee bent and that we could pull that skirt just a little bit in the front and get that beautiful shadow on this side of her shape I have become very comfortable at hand holding my camera up to a fourth of a second I can hand hold I don't use a tripod ever I have a very steady hand but again it's one of those little games that I play and right now I'm working on a half a second if I haven't had my starbucks for the day I can do it I can so do it I just stand there and I put my and this is what the seventy two two hundred millimeter lens on I put my arms underneath my chest I let the air out of my lungs and very slowly press the shutter and tell my subject don't move just don't move that's all you do just don't move and it makes it very, very easy for you to get what you need to get but I'll tell you if you do that you can create amazing amazing pictures this beautiful baby I have photographed this little girl since the day she was born and I do my style of photography for photographing children is very much my style of photography for photographing weddings or any other event I like to do life style imagery and so I went to the home came early in the morning with this little girl and was there when she was having her breakfast and when she was the mom was playing with her and then it came to be bath time so the mother had a we went to the upstairs bathroom and she just had a little one of those little tubs that she put her little daughter in that that was right off the sink nothing more toe like this picture than just the overhead light fixtures that's it just in overhead light nothing fancy. My assistant is standing just off camera over on this area right here with the silver reflector like this to just pop that light back into that little girl's face remember it's forty five degrees from where camera position so camera position is right here now in my case I chose not to color correct the tungsten light out I felt in fact I converted this image to black and white and I kept going back to the warm of the tungsten light I felt that it just made a better picture it just gave me a prettier image on dh they had this little game that the mom would play with her daughter where she would take this she would take a cup of water and then she just pour it and the little girl would just continue to take her little fingers and she was fascinated by that so you can use beautiful tungsten light to create a fabulous images or remember light is light if the light is coming from overhead we have two choices either turn the subject's face up towards the light source or we can bounce the light back into the face using a reflector of some sort and so you want to think about this but man alive it's so much easier and it's so my much more effective and it's not scary to a little baby to have a little reflector right here versus pop and flashing their faces that's not a good thing I don't think I think sometimes it's the light is too hard number one and number two it's just too distracting and it takes away the natural feel oven image see I don't want I don't want any distractions between that mother and that baby I want I want to be that person who just happens to be there capturing that moment but I don't want to sacrifice the quality of the image in doing it so I figure okay what is the best I can do to capture a beautiful image that is not going to be a distraction and that takes away the magic and the mystique of that moment and so that's why I chose you that yes linda is there a reason he's is the silver and said over the white reflector great question in this particular case yes there was a recent I needed the silver reflector justcause I needed a little bit more light the white republican elector I tried the white side and it just wasn't enough off because I needed to change the direction you see I needed to make this dream it more or less my main light now you could tell that the main light is coming from overhead because it's still a little bit brighter but I do have a beautiful highlight on that cheek that separates this little baby's face from the background for the gold side do you ever use that I don't use the gold side you know when I shot film I would occasionally use the gold side because it would warm up a picture in a very pleasing way I find it just a bit too distracting for me these days I think it's just too golden and it makes the skin tones look a little bit unpleasant I don't care for that so I prefer to use the silver side or the white side. Oh thank you, dad. Okay, great. So yeah here's this is the reflector in fact, this is the five and one reflector this is what it looks like it's got a gold kind of a gold meshi side with silver in it a silver side it has a zippered pocket which is really cool and then it has all this has gold on the other side as well yeah and then a zero golden has a white side right here I personally want the one that has the block on the other side I want that black reflector I don't have any need for this gold thing right here none whatsoever just from my personal taste but those air really, really powerful tools and especially if you're in a confined area I mean this bathroom was tiny it was a normal little tiny bathroom with just a little camo not no long sink, not even a double sink just a single sink and then a toilet and that was it. And so my assistant is literally standing on the toilet with the reflector bouncing it back and then I'm using a longer lens. I was using the one thirty five millimeter lens and I'm out in the hallway but I like that longer land you see that longer lens was really good because it allowed me to get very intimate without being a distraction see if I were to close to that baby then that baby would start noticing me instead of what's going on with her and her mom and I didn't want to take that experience away from the mother I didn't. I felt that it would be inappropriate for me to try to draw attention to myself, so I choose not to do that. Eighty five millimeter, one point two lens when I shot this picture of this beautiful bride right here this is in a very, very dark room, but my selection where ice chose to be when this image, when I took this picture is critical. I need that highlight in the background so that you can actually see her face. The hairdresser was putting the veil on this bride's face on her head rather she's got a bath towel wrapped around her. This is an example of how you can capture portrait without interacting with your subject and without making it a portrait session she's literally just getting the veil put on her head and I did a portrait of her she's just sitting there looking down and just doing what brides do while the veils being put on. But I can capture something that looked like a portrait of her she actually looks almost like she's praying without it and so I could I could have a two fold purpose I could do my job and get what I needed done but it wasn't her expense, so if she was running late or she wasn't that kind of bride who wanted to be, you know, who didn't wa post he was not that kind of person would like posing that I'm gonna look for natural moments that looked like a portrait that's going to look for this is at thirty two hundred speed, so it is very grainy, and when I have an image where I have to introduce grain quite often, I will go into photo shop and add more because I wanted to have that bit of a tooth that bit of that bit of grit to it, I think it adds a bit of mystique to the photograph is quite pretty to me in this case, I just chose to make it a brown tim as well. I'm focused and metered right on this forward I the forward I must be must be in focus and then everything else I don't care if it falls off. I want that I want the focus to fall off. Do we have questions? We have a request from the chat room if the camera could just get bambi standing in front of the image when she's critiquing it, so when I see you guys mind doing that, ok, what am I better now? Awesome, ok, I have a question for you yeah, from len, be in the chat room. Expect to talking about the reflectors. If you're going to take a picture of a couple where one is really light skin and the others dark skin, what color reflector would you? You that is a really good question. That's an excellent question I'm going to use the silver side of the reflector and the silver reflector is going to be important because if you have someone with people that your photograph to people want and they have different skin tones, what gives? My jacket it's dimensionality, folks, what gives it dimensionality? Huh? Highlights what gives my face it's dimensionality shadows because I'm caucasian skin tone. So if I were standing with somebody who's african american, for instance, I'm going to use the silver side of the reflector and I'm going to use it so that the light skims across that person period I want to keep that I want I don't want to add tons of light to the to the other person. I want to keep it on that individual it's, not the quantity of light we're not adding quantity of light to his skin, tens or her skin tents were adding a speculator pretty you see it's not about how much light is on my jacket that gives it its shine gives it its shape it's about the fact that there are highlights there so I would use the silver side of the reflector isa said I never use the gold side the silver side the reflectors just a really good one for creating speculate pretty on darker skin tones because that's what gives that skin tone it's dimensionality it's easier for me to balance the shadows on someone who's got lighter skin tones than to add a speculator highlight on somebody with darker skin so I would want to add a speculum highlight on his his or her face so that I could create that dimensionality without compromising the lighter skin tones excellent that's a really good bit of information okay, so let's move forward then okay using alternative light sources is such a wonderful fund tool in this particular image this the delight that is illuminating this bride's face is coming from where just the light pictures that air in the room I chose to do this it's an imperfect light source be prepared folks using existing light sources is in perfect it's not perfect why? Because it can tend to blow out those like pictures and make them look a little bit too hot but it is very effective drama it's drama lighting it's not supposed to be perfect so by me posing her in an effective way bringing that front leg forwards you how powerful that is with her by bringing this is that, like forward, I get that beautiful triangle of shadow on the back side of her body, so she's basically standing like this and leaning in to the back of that vanity, I took a light meter reading on her face. Now, in the treatment of this photograph, I bumped up the contrast of it because I wanted it to have the appearance of a bit lighter. Face it in my exposure, I'm exposing for the skin chance to the skin tones are absolutely intact on the original file, but I just felt that it was a bit more interesting. There's a bit of camera tilt going on here? Why? Because whenever you have vertical lines and you introduce them into a picture, it cuts a picture in half and I didn't want that to happen. So by tilting my camera a bit, I could soften that vertical line that no longer is a vertical it's a diagonal line, and we don't see it doesn't split the picture in half, okay, so you would always tilted away from the line. I'm gonna tilting yes away from the line, but I don't have that's on an absolutely just in one way or the other it's going to be tilted, it could be if that's a vertical line one shelter either this way or this way so does it matter? You know, it doesn't matter. It just depends on what the subject is and how you you know, you're posing your subjects. Okay, let's, go forward during the wedding reception. Oh, this is my favorite favorite thing. I love love love using existing light sources for photographing wedding receptions. Yes, I'm going to use flash and I'm going to show you in a little bit about using flash for for wedding receptions. But I also think that sometimes we if we just used if we just use flash for wedding receptions and the problem that we run into is that everything is very antiseptic it's very antiseptic and very literal and I don't necessarily want all literal pictures. I want some pictures that have feeling that are moody that's why, when you watch a movie of any kind, if you watch any kind of television and they were setting a scene for for dancing at night or you know some sort of party scene, they light it accordingly. They don't like everything the same way do they? Because there are some times some moments that should be very literal where we see, you know, perfect skin tones and perfect highlights and shadow ratios, and then there are times when what gives the picture it's mood what sets the tone is the moody light that goes with it and so in this case with this young couple I used the eighty five millimeter one point two lens I got up on a ladder on a stepladder of my stepladder always goes everywhere with me so that I could get up on photographs of the bride and the groom using the seventy two, two hundred millimeter lens on dh captured that along with the people that are in the background, the light in this photograph right here the only illumination is from the video light just a videographer who's following them around and I time mike pictures so that the video light becomes an extension of me. So if I am if I'm taking this picture I want that video light to be about forty five degrees from my camera position. So I time myself when I place my tribe might know my tripod I trade place my my step letter in a spot that I know is going to kind of be parallel to the dance floor and in a way that I can get a forty five degree lights or so I just follow the videographer around with my camera and wait for those moments when he has his when he's about forty five degrees from me and capture my pictures that way my assistant is using flash and he may be out on the dance floor as well capturing using flash we get are literal pictures as well, but buy n large absolute my clients will almost always go for the ones that are a bit more moody who had a question uh, yes, whoever wants go first I was going to ask, would you ever just put a video light or heavy resistant hold a video life? There are times when I have an assistant hold a video light, but but I like if I can avoid having them do that, I would refer them not to because it's one more element that draws attention to us as a company. You see, the videographer is supposed to have a light on his camera, see and so it's easier for me, it's one less person that I have to have out on that dance floor. If there's the videographer myself and then my assistant with his life, you see how that could become a distraction and could create a bit of a dog and pony show. And I really don't want to draw a lot of attention to myself because it's been my experience that the maura people we have out on the dance floor myself, the more working photographers, videographers and such the more that that becomes a distraction and people don't like it and in fact, that's actually the one thing that I don't like about a lot of the videographers using our cameras now to take video is that they looked like photographers doing so and then I've had people come up to me during wedding receptions to go me how alive how many people do you have here and in a negative way and I had to say excuse me let me clarify that is a videographer using a video camera because they're making us look bad because it ends up looking like a bunch of people out on the dance floor with these cameras when in reality if they had their video camera people wouldn't automatically they would not automatically assume that it was me that it was my crew out there more photography people and so that's the one thing about I don't like that kind of bothers me just a little bit away from that fly on the wall element exactly and I do try to keep a low profile I want I don't want to make the wedding reception a three ring circus I want to keep a beautiful dignified affair where I don't need to be the center of the room I don't need to be in the center of the room to capture my pictures I'm going to be up on a little stepladder maybe and then I may have one person that will be out doing like hi mom pictures of people looking in the camera you know dancing and so forth you had a question on me okay uh terry lloyd did I lie to you so if you were it kind of relates to terry's question but say there was no videographer for the wedding and you still needed to get obviously the first dance and stuff like that would you just bump your eye so and just deal with the film green because that's the way that the environment is or how would you would you do with that? Well, I can't tell you if there was no videographer I can't tell you that I wouldn't use a video light I would not have a problem with that I'm not saying that's an absolute but if there is a video over I don't really want to add video because that's one more person out there if it's just me then I have absolutely no problem I would my assistant knows hey, he watches out for where I'm at and he would be forty five degrees for me maybe using a bit of illumination the other thing that I will do to them and we're going to talk a bit more in a few minutes about about receptions and using flash there are some other alternatives or additions that you could do during receptions to create some pretty images these air all the these are all things that add variety c I love wedding receptions I think that's one of my very favorite times of wedding a lot of folks don't like him they find it how boring but I think they're just a blast there is so much fun to me because I like the challenge there is very challenging they're much more challenge because you are very much at the mercy of people and there's so much going on that you have to capture I think it keeps my brain really sharp it's a very, very fun thing to do so as you can see in this picture not only do I want to put photographed the couple as they're dancing on the dance floor but I want context to what's going on you'll notice by the way that there's a highlight in the background I'm photographing towards the band and that's important because I mean I want to show the context of what the experience is about do we have a question for I move on can you tell us with the highest s so you would go shooting a photo like this? I don't know that I have a limit I would do whatever I needed to I'm very comfortable with thirty, two hundred sixty four one hundred whatever I just know that the pictures are going to be grainy those photographs are going to be huge wall portrait's anyway they're going to be you know ahh smaller print that's going to be in an album but I think grain can be really pretty so I don't have a problem I think it's also part of the mood of that moment you see, if it was outside on a bright, sunny day and you had a lot of grain then it's gonna look muddy but under the circumstances here where it's this moody kind of cool room where there's you know all of this wonderful, you know, funky environment going on the grain is not a bad thing. It's an enhancement to me I think it's a plus so let's, move on. I got a whole bunch of stuff to go over with you hang up, I'll come one last question, their love ok, just a quick one. Are you many really focusing? You know, I'm not manually focusing I hardly ever manually focused almost always I auto focus. Okay, thank you with one exception and I'll tell you about that. I think in a minute, but almost always I auto focus because my eyes aren't as good as they used to be thought of focus is much more accurate than my personal vision. The other thing that I do is you notice in this photograph how that the bride and groom are out on the dance floor dancing and I'm outside I pre visualize concepts in my mind, not pictures, but concepts they spent an absolute rich and lighting this enormous ball room, and they had they had these really cool doors is a really cool castle in napa, california it's early in the wine country and then these massive doors that opened up and so I went, hey, this would be really cool if and they had lit the doors and the wall in purple, so I thought, would it be cool if I opened those doors and photographed through the doors to the subject in the room because the walls on the outside or purple and guess what color tungsten light is? It's got that warm golden reddish town, so those were opposites on the color wheel, and I knew I was going to be able to capture a pretty picture by doing so, so I went outside open the doors used the fifteen millimeter lens to capture the picture to get what I wanted metered on, the couple took a light meter reading of them and then photographed them as they were dancing a single light source from up above can absolutely be your best friend if you look at this image with this young couple right here, same posing concepts that we have been talking about for the last two days are important she's bending that front me to bring in that beautiful shadow down below if you're going to use a single light source from up above, what do you have to do? You better turn that face up to the light. This is not a hi, mom picture. We're not going to be having a look in the camera, so hi, mom. Because what's going to happen if the lights coming from up here we have dark eyes, it's not gonna look good. So we have two choices. Number one. Bring this subject low to the ground and photographed down on them. If you want their eyes, tio, if you want them to look in the camera or you make the photograph more editorial and you have them leaning into each other and create a moody photograph, this is just a simple hallway at the end of a ah card or in a hotel and lots of hotel hotel's light there archways or their corridors and such the meter reading, you'd be surprised how much output, how much light that that single spotlight is delivering it's actually producing a lot of light. I shot this on ly at four hundred s o so you don't have to have, like, you know, sixteen hundred eyes. So for most of those spotlights, they actually produce a very strong light. You do need to meet her effectively, so I'm metered on her face and you'll notice that the groom is african american in his case I did not want to like the front of his face I just chose to have him he wasn't going to be the center of that picture was going to be more of a more of an editorial image of the two of them interacting with one another so by turning his face downwards a little bit and he's not as much in the light I don't have to worry I don't want to expose for his skin I want to expose for her skin his skin is two stops under ambien right his skin is going to be too stuffed under ambien his skin is going to stops under whatever the light meter says her skin tones because she was caucasian it's going to be whatever my meter says so I needed to put him a little bit away from the bright part of the light so that I could properly expose for his skin you look like you have a question on your eyes any of the data question me okay, the question in your eyes yeah somebody I could tell I thought oh no I'm just thinking this chic location you know she was she was caucasian she was lighter skinned than him quick question from the authorities I think off what was that quick question from dennis b who wants to know are you using aperture priority during the reception well, great question no, I don't in fact that's especially when I need to use manual exposure emanuel meter reading I the only time I ever use aperture priority I used to use aperture priority by the way all the time in fact, in my if you read my one of my first couple of books, you're going to see aperture priority aperture priority nowadays I use manual meeting because I find it so much more accurate because of the differences skin tones of people in the difference in what I'm trying to capture certain tone al it ease um I think it's much more accurate to meter manually occasionally if I'm photographing a little kid, a little child and there's lots of you know, there's lots of differences in the highlights in the shadow areas like like if I'm photographing a child outside running around then I might go toe aperture priority because I need to get it in the ballpark and I don't I have maybe time to keep changing my settings it's a little bit too fast for me to keep changing my setting so that would be the caviar for that um questions before we move on any other thing else ok, ok, ok, one of the other things that we're going to have a really cool opportunity to do in a few minutes is we're going to have a chance to photograph in the bathroom here I love bathroom light. I love it. This portrait I shot in the bathroom at the howard johnson's in san francisco, california. I was photographing this our group of models. And this young model was late, and so we didn't have our lights set up any more. Something ok, what am I going to do with her? Well, all day long in the bathroom they had these round circular lights about this big that were the's clear light bulbs. They were just beautiful. It created a beautiful soft light. So I took this young lady and I satur down on the ground, on the floor, in the bathroom. I put paper towels under her arms so she didn't have to touch the floor in the ladies bathroom, by the way, because we know we ain't going in the men's room, right? Because we know they can't even aim, right? Did I just say that? I don't believe I just said that. I told you, I'm going to go down from here on and then I brought her face up towards the light source. So again, you can use an existing light source to create a beautiful portrait. Just remember, if you're going to use those lights and the lights coming from up above, turn the face up towards the light source. Eighty five millimeter, one point two lens the eyes or tax sharp. Everything else falls off. Yes. Are the lights like on the wall above? On this, on the side of the wall or above, like they are there on the they're about this side. They're like up there on the war around the mirror. That was like, right up in that area. And you can tell this is, by the way, a good example of multiple catch lights. You see all the cash lights in her eyes. You see there's like four of them writing cirio. Yeah, there's a series of cash lights in her eyes and were they diffuser clear. They were clear, however, the ones we're going to work with today or diffused. But you still get the same idea. The clear once actually surprised me. They produce such a pretty soft light source. Okay, now, let's, talk about camera angles that flatter, who love this part because you can change the way a face looks by the camera angle that you select by dropping the chin and photograph ring from a higher camera angle, you will see how the eyes it makes the eyes larger and you can really create a beautiful portrait of anyone anywhere by paying attention to that. With this bride, I sat her down, she was a big girl, and I sat her down on the steps I should actually shot this outside on the steps are actually on the on the sidewalk. I just can you to sit down for a second. I took the train, which was this piece right here that's across her face, and I put it in front of her face. And then I had my assistant stand approximately in this area right here with the reflector to bounce the light back into her face were photographing on the shadow side of the face because I'm standing above her and she's dropping her chin. We get that nice shadow under the chin area, which is really, really important came another area that works really, really well is to photograph from a high camera angle you can eliminate or our hide things. This young lady was five months, six months pregnant, and we wanted to do support its of her. So by having her took her tummy in between the groom's, his leg and the edge of the couch, I could create an image because she didn't from the back didn't even look pregnant at all it's like a creator really pleasing portrait, the only light source that I'm using is from the outdoor I'm standing on an eight foot ladder. Having him separate his legs a little bit and having him look towards me, I could create a fun image of the two of them I chose to in this photograph. I've enhanced photograph and increased the contrast to make the colors pop. Why would I do that? Why was it appropriate for this image? Because look what she's wearing bright colors, the picture in the background that's on the wall has that vibrant color. The couch was a very bright blue, so those kinds of elements kind of dictated to me the a bit more editorial nature of the picture. Okay, higher camera angles can also be really fun for before defining shape and also for just creating an interesting look with this picture. I stood literally on on this area right here. You can see where there's a there's, a ledge well grabbed all the way around this way. So with this young lady, when I was photographing her, I thought I want to get some pictures of her running down that beautiful cobblestone path because it was such a pretty path. As we learned yesterday, I'm going to bring those elbows out slightly said that we can give context to her waistline and I had her run with one foot in front of the other just to create kind of a nice little a nice little segue way for her so you can see that she slightly blurred I want that bit of motion blur with her. Yes, I could do it and photo shop, but I kind of like to get it right in the camera. I like to do it the way I want it to appear and that way it just it's already the foundation has been laid, so where possible? I try to get it as close to where I wanted to be in the camera and then we'll go from there on dh that way I can do any additional work that I need to and photo shop I want room for her to run into the same. So in other words, I would not want to crop this picture like right in the close to her head because she needs have room to run towards whatever she's running. When you have somebody running downstairs, get them at the top of the stairs or at the bottom of the stairs you want you don't want him in the middle, you want them running into or out of a scene. Bambi. Yes, image sweetness would like to know when you're photographing something that is posed like this, we're not posed do you use a checklist ever? Oh, a good question to numb absolutely not I wouldn't be caught dead with using a checklist, but I have used them when I first started in photography twenty five years ago, my boss gave me a checklist opposes with twenty eight with with the sixty pictures that we're going to go on their album on that checklist I would not dream of using a checklist of poses I do want to know unusual things like you know, are there going to be godparents, sorority friends, fraternity and friends at that event things that are unusual you know what in the world by photographing weddings for if I have to be told to take a picture of the brian your mom and her dad and you know the normal things like the bridal party kind of photographs if you're a new photographer, I would recommend assisting someone for quite a while so you could learn the routine a wedding instead of grabbing a checklist opposes the problem with the checklist opposes is that if you have something on a checklist opposes, you are obligated to take that picture and I don't want to be locked into something. It was so cute I had this one client she was adorable the first time I photographed this family I did their their children's but and bar mitzvahs and the when I first did the first child she sent me this elaborate I mean elaborate checklist of poses my son from high camera angle looking at the torah, my son from low camera angle gazing up and I was like, oh my lord, this is going to be something so I immediately took it, put it in a rocket ship and shot it to the moon and you know, of course what and what she had done is that she just went through her album her personal album and had gone through and collected and this is, well, this is what I want this kind of thing, so basically I took that I looked at the scenario what she was asking for and realize that she just wanted a large variety of of experiences and then I was able to capture a variety of experiences for her without having to be tied to a checklist of poses so I don't use the checklist opposes ever I do want to know the special people that are there because obviously I'm going to take pictures of anybody I thought of everything that moves and breeze and if there's unusual things that I absolutely want to capture them let's move on has got so much to cover and I'm sure of getting down to the wire here quite often I shoot in sequences of pictures so that I can capture a do a story. So the first sick picture on the left hand side the bride is standing at the end of this hallway again the same posing she's pushing her hip one way, waiting on the groom to see her the middle image she picks up her skirt and she twirls around cause he sees her for the first time in her beautiful wedding gown, and then the third picture, they come in beautiful and tight and have this wonderful, wonderful romantic look. The great thing about silhouettes like this is you can hide a multitude of sins with with a silhouette. You can't tell that there's all kinds of wires on that wall behind them, because if you just over expose it all, that stuff goes away. It's a very, very flattering way to do it. From there, I came in tight and a few beautiful, beautiful, very tight face shots of the same couple. I love the intimate portrait. This is very much my comfort zone right here, I'd have to say, probably, if I'm going to do a formal pictures, I'd say a good seventy percent fifty, sixty percent are going to be beautiful, tight, emotional, invoking pictures like this. Yes, I'm going to do beautiful, full like pictures of that gown, and of them as a couple outside and in a variety of environments, but the kind of images that has been my experience that call them that call them to just cry or have emotion are close up pictures, I'm going to notice that you can't tell what the background is. It's all blown out I'm just seeing the beautiful expression on their faces real relaxed hands behind the head I love this intimacy that's very much my comfort zone is to get people just intimate and warm and fuzzy. Yes. Here. Did you meet her on her face? Yes, I made it on her face right up by close to where her eye is a metered on her face with this young lady and I kept telling her story this again is she's putting her wedding gown on that's, her mother's hand and her mom they were literally working to take, so have you have to get there? She was getting into her down. Just remember that even if you're acting as a photojournalist and you're capturing the story rem remember where the light is and where you need to be in relation to that light source. So as she got ready, I pay very close attention to what's going on. I know that my camera angle is not on the other side, but there is this side right here because there's a highlight that background, which means it's going to illuminate that brides face also, whenever I'm if I see a really cool environment, then what I'm going to do is I'm a pre visualize an image so that we're prepared for that particular moment so with this bright I love love love the staircase and I knew that she had to walk up that staircase to go to where the ceremony was, so I had my assistant michael s they might go I want you to go stand over there in that spot so that I can pre visualize what I want to get I metered on his face so that as soon as she was ready to go walk up those stairs I did not have to do anything I didn't have to say oh, could you stop for a second because you kill the moment? Sometimes when you do that I want to not have to stop the motion the emotion of a mill ament if I don't have to and then captured them picture of her right there so many times with moms if you understand anatomy the facial anatomy of someone and pay attention to where that light is you can get beautiful, beautiful emotional pictures with this mom this was the bride's mother and the bride gave her a beautiful gift before the wedding notice what's happening and where my camera position is I heard the bride's hey, I want to give my I'm gonna give my mom a little gift and she was telling her bridesmaids so I knew it's where did I need to be number one I want to be a higher camera angle why because she's, a mom like me and if I photograph straight into that mother, guess what? We're going to see too much of this. This photograph right here is from underneath her, I faded it in the album. This is the actual page from the album, but I did it because I wanted to show that it had the word mom written on the card or on the envelope, but in the pictures that are clear, notice my camera angle, it is high, the camera is tilted so that those vertical lines are soft and softened, and I'm photographing in the natural direction where there is a highlight in the background, and that way we get highlights on the face, shadows on the hair highlights in the background, so we get a bit of three dimensionality with the subject. This is the difference between really effective photojournalism and just taking happy snapshots of stuff happening. So even when you're not trying to compose the picture, you're not making it happen. Learn to pay attention where the lights coming from, michael so the background let you're at the mercy of that on where the source is, right? Because, that's, your key line is the most important things that's right from there what you're doing is you're just kind of getting an angle to see where the background that's right or this or this is what I'll do a soon as I walk into a room, I've made it a habit to turn lights on I just like to turn the lights on and that way a cow to start stacking the deck or I open the windows, open the curtains I don't ask I just walk in and I start opening the curtain so I just want to do that so I can start stacking the deck a little bit in my behalf and that way and in my mind I'm role playing well, where do I need to be to get the pit best picture? Where do I need to be for this or that when I captured this picture, this isn't a bad photograph but it's not by any stretch the best picture I've ever taken but this is in here for a reason and the reason this photograph is in here is where is the magic taking place? This little flower girl was having a meltdown and so the bride literally just took her veil over her head and just started whispering to her her little niece I did not stage this picture I was literally across the room and saw this click the shutter and I had the eighty five millimeter one point two lens on the camera so it's not a zoom lens I literally in my heart was going police. Please, please don't move. And I literally flew across the room and captured this one. Which photograph do you feel? No comparison, huh? Do you see that's? How powerful! And I've crop this photograph, but just a tiny bit of edge. I cracked a little bit of the edge off the edge of the bride so I could make it a square picture. What is the moral of the story? You see, the magic is lost in that photograph. Why? Because we see too much information. It's. Not bad, but it loses the magic. Now I could come in and crop it. But you know what? You never get a second chance to make a first impression. So man let's make that first impression one that they can see. So that's why I literally flew across that room. I knew that this was the opera singer. So I'm metered on the bride's face and captured this picture next and in relation to the light source is I mean it's very much backlit scenario I wasn't going to say, oh, can I move you holy cow that would have killed the moment. It would've been so wrong on so many levels, so I chose to meet her on the bright part of this bride's cheek let everything else fall off and capture the picture just as it naturally unfolded. So that's how powerful it is that you want to think about? Well, where is the magic at an m? I tell him the right story of my too far away would I have to explain it? You don't want to have to explain it, folks, that is not what you want to do during the sacred ceremonial I'm we're getting down to the wire, but I really want to finish up this segment, so I hope I won't go over too much and I hope that's. Okay, um, but notice what's going on in this picture the magic of a beautiful prayer during a ceremony when the bride and groom are when the ceremony takes place, regardless, whether it is in a church or whether it's in a hotel I keep a low profile, I don't want to draw attention to myself because I don't want that little wedding nazi coming up to me and telling me I can't take pictures, so what I generally do is I have my assistant bring all the stuff in all of our camera gear and stuff, and they carry the big cameras I'm just carrying one camera over my shoulder, and I keep a low profile so that I don't draw any attention to myself. First thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna walk up to that second row the end seat right on the aisle and I'm gonna walk up and say hey the bridegroom of requested that I sit in this seat would you do me a huge favor and save it for me and then what if I said I basically told them to move their butts over I'm sitting there I didn't ask them if I could sit there I told him the bridegroom said I had to write the moral of the story is I'm not asking for permission to do my job the cool thing is is that second seat your sacred here it's okay you can take pictures all day long on that second row because you're a relative and they're not going to tell you that you can't take pictures they're not going to do that they would tell a photographer and bust you back to them to the back of the church now I'm not trying to be disrespectful I really have great respect for the ceremony of a couple so I'm going to keep a low profile if I can move about discreetly I will I'm only five foot one and in these shoes probably five for so I can hide behind people if I need to capture images if I do want to move about I do it very very discreetly but these are the kinds of things that you're able to capture. When you are when you are using a longer lens, I use the seventy two, two hundred millimeter lens almost exclusively during a ceremony myself, my assistant will cover the back angle in the church, but look at the beauty that you capture from people when you are using a longer lens the and again it's always done in should the lights or so this is the videographers light on that groom I just saw him the videographers like that's ok he's right there, then guess what? I'm going to be right here this way so I can have that light cross my subjects face in a very, very quiet way I never, ever use flash during a ceremony absolutely ever let's talk now about formal pictures and we're going to do this afternoon actually a little bit more formal pictures that I'm going to show you exactly how I work. I'm not going to explain it, I'm just going to assemble a group so you could see how fast I actually can be with each of these brides maid's, I'm all I'm doing is repeating that same pose. Now you'll notice that this post is actually a little bit more relaxed I'm not a like this second girl right here has her arms crossed and that's not something we generally do, why can I get away with it with her because she's a tiny girl that's exactly right michael I'm just curious how long did it take to get the set up? Oh my big crowd three minutes not long it's not long as long as you have people standing ready to go I go hey stand over here I want you here but with a girl and because I've worked with the girls a lot during the day I mean immediately all I have to do is go you know and they know what I'm looking for so basically each one of these girls is doing the same pose that I've taught her to do earlier in the day pushing that hip one way or the other but it's in a loose way now why is it fairly loose? Why is it fairly loose in the posing in other words, why I'm not getting why is it not so perfect? No it's not about the so many people part it's not about that it's about look what they're wearing they're wearing street dresses they're wearing short dresses so it's kind of kicky and cute and fun the whole theme of this wedding was fun so you don't post every subject every group the very same way sometimes the posting will be a bit more formal a bit more elegant but when you have a group that's like this where there's like this these girls were ok raid aretz oakland raiders cheerleaders it's absolutely they're going to be kicking and kind of fun I always do a shot where they all come in close and just get all huggy kissy with one another the on ly and I'm so sorry if he's look terrible on the screen these air not overexposed images on any of these pictures that you've seen this skirt this monitors just not calibrated the way we would for that you should really see them I mean did write on their faces and the on ly a light source that's been used as a single reflector a sixty inch reflector my assistant is standing just off camera with a sixty inch reflector bouncing the light back towards the group notice how each of these girls they're not turned towards the middle they're not turned towards each other they're turned in groups towards one another because it just looks more fun and more interesting you know some of them have their legs crossed, some of them have their hips just pushing their legs separated their feet separated but keep creates a more casual, more fun, playful kind of look with mom's this is exactly what I do with the moms I want a place you're slightly behind the bride I'm almost always if I'm photographing the moms I will be up on a chair or up on a ladder I want a higher camera angle on them by bringing that mom's chin forward and dropping it down on her daughter's shoulder I can minimize any of this these things issues that you get with your neck this means let less retouching later on it means less work for me later on with these gals notice how they're leaned towards each other they were sorority girls the pot's has to fit the subject not all people are going to be huggy kissy sometimes I'm a bit more formal but again it's in keeping with who the subject wass notice how the tones the background tones and the forward tones are in harmony there there's not like this really dark background and then really light toned client it's it's got all is in harmony with one another and then with this mom their mother has talked a little bit behind her girls if you have a mom that slightly larger than her daughters this is a great way to make moms look absolutely beautiful without and not drawing attention to any any areas of imperfection and also it's also a great way to show off that massive joy enormous rain that she had on her finger so as well so and if you can tell us like a twelve carat diamonds ok, now we're almost down to the wire you have any questions before we move on it's just going to ask your f stop you said yesterday five six for oh, so no, no, no, no. Good. I'm glad you brought that up, terry. Okay, great question. What f stop if everyone is on the same plane. In other words, if their faces were on the same plane to eight, see why what I need any more than two point eight f stop for this group because see, their eyes are all they're all the same. Their eyes are all in the same line of there was there's, not nobody behind each other. If there's a group of people like the group of people that you saw earlier, those would be shot in about a five point six because I need I've got there's people behind other people. Great question. Ok, any other questions or move on? No, this was shot with a seventy two hundred millimeter lens. Almost all of my close up pictures are done with the seventy two, two hundred about because look what it does to the background. See how soft that background goes. It really just isolates a subject in a very, very pleasant way. Okay, we're going to move on to receptions that rock. Remember that picture of the bride that you saw standing under those red are archways, this is the reception site, see how join arms it is it's, huge it's absolutely huge so for wedding receptions I definitely want to photograph the flavor of the of the room I want to show off all the beautiful details all of the details that they spent thousands of dollars on what lots of pictures of these kinds of things but they're not going to be an entire album of pictures this is a one to one page spread I'm not going to get crazy about lots of these because I've never seen a client in my entire life cry over place cards sitting on a stupid table they just are going to do that so I want tohave imagery that is mostly about the people but we do show the details so I want a page of details like this and notice how they're all the that the page layout that they're all in harmony with one another there's not one picture that's real bright and light and tone and the rest of the world dark tone as well for people that are dancing this is a good example these air this is a page spread from this prize is wedding album this is the video videographers light only just I'm using just the videographers light I'm standing out by the pool you'll notice I'm photographing towards the home towards the house where they had their this reception are yeah this reception and then on the other side was the beach and it was dark I would not photographed towards the beach why because my background is going to go completely dark unless I find a way to illuminate separate my subjects so it's a much more interesting picture if I photographed them towards house so I chose to use the videographers light and he's just out videotaping and doing his job and photographing these images and real time using a higher eso on dh to capture the pictures to get a beautiful more interesting picture than just your typical the same is true with this photograph in this series of images of my friend's skipping his daughter jamie notice how that there and this is actually the way it was he had this really cool balcony and from the floor capturing those images of them out on the balcony just in real time no flash just the natural light from the videographers light or the existing light to capture those pictures and then there is one of the kind of light source that we use that's really, really fun in these siri's of photographs the main light is on the camera. In other words, the flashes on the camera just a little five eighty e x splash it is not turned toward the subject it's not torn toward its not turn towards the subject if princess terry, if you are my couple that was out on the dance floor and you have light colored walls like we have in this room except for the brick. This white wall right here, my flash is not going to be turned up to the ceiling because what's going to happen if the main lights coming from up above dark shadows under the eyes really ugly, very unattractive and not really looking. My flash is going to be turned this direction away from me, in other words, slightly over my shoulder here. Because then guess what? That little tiny five. Eight t e x flash from cannon which has the head this big now becomes a new enormous light source that will illuminate your subject's face. You can do that even in a large bowl room is you see right here, look at the light on that dad's face right there in the middle picture, bouncing it off, the pillars were bouncing right off those pillars. You do need to use a higher I s o to be able to get those. But you can do some beautiful, beautiful things by doing it. And it's. So cute. I'm not getting every single time I do that where I turned the flash away from the camera, I turn it like over my shoulder. Somebody that wedding reception comes up to me and whispers, and just you're a fascist around rome. And they laugh. They think we caught the photographer making a movie, right? And it's just it's funny, it just cracks and yet, but I want you to try that it doesn't work on dark colored walls, it won't work on it would walls. It works on light colored walls, but trust me it's beautiful on white wells, it's absolute gorgeous there are times hang on just say there are times, though, when you might want to turn the focus off on your camera and actually moved to blur. Another is blur that subject a little bit because you can create images that arm or interpretive. When I captured this picture of the bride and groom dancing out on the dance floor as I watched them dance, I thought, you know, just for fun I'm going to turn off the auto focus and I just want to move it to blur so there's, I still wanna be able to see who it is, so it can't be so bored that I can't tell, but I'm gonna just move it a little bit off, off to a little bit more blurry to create a single image that has the whom factor I want just something that looks a little bit different, and again, this is all about creating images that have that surprise to them. This was one of the bride's favorite pictures because she understood the interpretive nature michael when you're bouncing off like this wall with your cannon flash because I know you use tl are you just like automatically since it's the details metering for what you're put what's in the picture in the lens you're bouncing here on the wall are you automatically expose their exposure of flash compensation down a stop like that you mentioned earlier no no you don't have to I just am on tt t ell simple on my f stop is generally around two point eight two maybe three point five I am whatever is there is going to give me exactly what I need and the cool thing about having that light source here instead of here this way is that we get that beautiful nice soft shadow and because it's such a large light source now instead of a small light source flashing right into the subject we get absolutely gorgeous skin tones it is so pretty ok okay man, we're almost done yeah question ok, when do you use a fish eye during a reception? Do you put it on very much as well as you can tell with um this image back here that was done with fish I I definitely want to use a fish eye during the wedding reception especially if they have spent a fortune on decorating like that they I had all that modeling on the ceiling that they spent money lighting the ceiling like that so yes, I'm going to use a fish eye for creating things like that I won't use I don't use it all the time the lens that I use the most during a wedding reception is usually the twenty four to seventy, but with the exception of the seventy two, two hundred when I'm doing first dance, I love for me personally I love the seventy two, two hundred millimeter lens when first dance is happening because I can give the client a moment of privacy I don't have to be like right on top of them to get my pictures I can literally be, you know, across the room I could be at least this far to give them breathing room and still get what I need to get when I'm doing those images in this photograph right here looking dude that's the mom of the groom in the background that's out of focus I would not want her in focus because if she's unfocused guess what it's competing competing and as it is they're just supporting we see that beautiful warm face again this is just that beautiful soft bounce light off the wall there are times when I might use of multiple lights in a room depending on the scenario but sam this doesn't look good see how it looks too sharp this is with two different light sources were using a light on a stick that's just spraying the room with light and then using a flash on camera not mike favorite it just is too intimate it's too it takes the intimacy away it's too sharp and then there are times when we do this um and this will be the last thing we're going to talk about today and that is in this case this is just two five eighty e x splashes there's one on top of the band stand on top of one of the what the the one of those things called the those things that produce sound thank you, speaker yeah and it's just aimed on this way and this is again this is sharp. This has just flash on camera see how sharp it is it's a little bit too sharp in my opinion but the one thing else I wanted to mention about photographing receptions this is the one time when occasionally I do take my camera off auto focus and this is what I do it if there's a technique that's called zone focusing zone focusing is when you find a shiny spot on an object that's easy to focus on and you could see with this this bottle of water there's highlights on this bottle of water and those highlights on that bottle of water they easy to focus on so if I focused on this bottle of water from about this distance and then turned off the auto focus do I need to refocus to click here to click here to click there to capture images if they're about the same distance as I was with that bubble of water that I will tell you is one of the most powerful techniques you could ever learn to do and especially if you're a ah higher f stop like about five point six is the f stop that I use for capturing these kind of zone focused images why because at five point six everything from five to ten feet will be in focus so I don't have to be exact I don't have to be too perfect as long as I'm like here here we go here to capture it it means that when this mother of the groom is literally you know having the time of her life I didn't even have to necessarily looked at the camera can actually look over my shoulder the holy cow click and get the picture without having to worry about it this is the one of the most coolest of things that you can learn how to do because you get so much phenomenal imagery of people dancing that are really meaningful pictures of people dancing yes let's so I get a I think that you just kind of answered this but so the purpose of that is too to be able to focus quickly when you don't have good light? Well, well, it's, it's just to get the focus period because the problem is, is that, you know, like if you're in a dark room and you have the auto focus on it has that little red beam alike like this and that, you know, and it drives me crazy, and it takes five minutes to capture folks you don't need to, you know, go click, click click it's going to be in focus. You are absolutely going to be on the money. Remember five point six everything between five and ten people being focused, baby, do you know anyone? Um, and if your other photographer, photographer friends that, like, use a spot small, tiny little flashlight to get focus, so I had on always at the mercy of finding something cause maybe sometimes you don't find anything. You just quick. There is always something there's, always something. I mean, they've got candles on that table. I can't tell the votive candles, they've got something in that room that's going to be about that same distance, and if they don't, then I would tell my assistant I say, come with me, come to the bright spot so you don't have to it doesn't have to be in that same environment I could walk over to go out the door and say, hey, just stand right here so I can focus on you I know that distance is about five feet and then do I need to look go back in the room and change anything hey click click, click, click so it makes it very, very simple to get what I need to get. Um yes, when, since there are no happy accidents when you're filming the first or when your foot of photographing the first stance and take in order to capture the emotion since you're in nice and tight and everything, um without actually, you know, just holding the button down in spring or you just clicking away so that you because I know they say that with without live you your if you see it, you missed it really I don't find that that through if I see it, I get it, okay, I get it. I really pride myself on that of knowing when the decisive moment is happening and the way that you learn to do that is to pre visualize what's gonna happen that's really the key to be able to be successful at nailing the decisive moment at the decisive moment I don't use the lives you think I find that a distraction so to me, I'm just going to go I'm in my mind I'm thinking, ok, what is potentially going to happen? And I do not spray are the room I don't do that I use you will not find me doing that. I just literally tried to get that right at the decisive moment, and I'm successful at it because I've learned to kind of in my mind I'm always pre visualizing what's going to happen next so that my fingers on that trigger when it happens on prepared for it, I can't tell you that I don't ever make mistakes and not get it, but most, like most of time, I do okay really related to that? Um do you sometimes how often, if ever, do you get that expression that moment because you're standing, you don't you don't have time to get, uh, the crop in camera and further away, but you know you want to get that expression that moment and then and then you go and you crop it later because yes, that's all that that is exactly what I would do because at the end of the day I'd rather get it than not get it and, you know, I tried to crop it as much as I can in the camera and I try to be where the action is happening so that I don't miss those and I'm I'm kind of in the zone where I know I'm going to need to be to get that shot. There have been many times when I do cross the picture, I'm not saying don't ever do that, but I try to avoid it if I can, if I can try toe, eliminate one extra step for me, that means one less thing for me to have to do. I've got one more thing I want to go over with, you know, they're trying, they're telling me that we're about out of time on dh, that is just about where your light needs to be when you're photographing something like a wedding cake. So our wedding cake where's the main light coming in this picture it's coming from the left hand side, so it's not I'm not the flash is not aimed at the subject. Is it it's aimed at that while bouncing back towards the subject? And that when we have that light wrapping around that cake around that beautiful cake, to create that beautiful, beautiful, the main, I have to come from there so that we have those shadow areas on that cake, which I would give that cake it's dimensionality of the flashes aimed right at the cake? Guess what? It'll blow out the detail on that case, and last but not least ah bouncing on the wall and aim it right back at you exactly so that's forty five degrees right from that the last thing is is that you know take your camera off all of the auto settings occasionally put your camera on the b for bulb mode this is a really fun way to capture some beautiful movement and to capture some things that you may not necessarily be able to get and it really is a very cool kind of thing to do for creating images that are less than literal so when I captured this picture these people were out on the dance floor dancing and I just took the camera I put it on b for bold mode and as long as you keep your finger on the trigger the lens the shutter will stay open and so I just want one mississippi two mississippi three mississippi click looked at it ah that's a few too many mississippi's and it was a little too soupy too blurry so I couldn't tell what the bodies were you want to be able to see that their people dancing and so the next image I went one mississippi two mississippi and I looked at it oh yeah ok that's it I got it. I got the shot and it's great because that warm tungsten light in the room again creates a very beautiful warm image and it's an image that becomes a bit less literal

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.