Skip to main content


Lesson 6 from: Unique Posing for Weddings

Doug Gordon

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

6. Exposure

Next Lesson: Exposure Q&A

Lesson Info


exposure oh my goodness how do we expose why do people struggle with exposure well it's very simple this three different types of meat a ring and most cameras you may or may not know that if I had to bet most of you were using the default setting do you know what that is it's referred to his matrix metering what exactly this matrix metering do you know how you have all those good of square boxes in the camera when you go to focus and everything very simple concept those air not just focus points what else are they the media ring points the meter and points so let me ask you if those of the meter in points if we were taking an image of this beautiful young lady right now what things read so accurately when the camera looks at heart and says a person of color she's pretty doc then it seized a brown dress pretty dark but then it sees the white molding the light of four it seized a bright light coming from here then it sees the red walls if your matrix metering house he image going to come...

out I don't know either do you you're telling the camera I don't know what's going on you figure it out because it has too many points to meet her off right that's matrix metering if you used to secondary meeting which is called evaluative sent awaited meeting senta waited what is that that's basically the same thing as matrix but it's taking and putting more emphasis on the center it gives you about twenty percent so it's doing the same exact thing but putting more emphasis on the center do you think that'll work one hundred percent of the time so what matters most to us what's the most important thing in any image we take subject okay with that being said who should we be meeting for subject so there's a third meeting which I use it's called spot metering spot me tearing and what it does is you take a single spot in your frame and you pick where you wanted to meet her and then you could exposure lock it if you're a napa trip priority program uh shut a priority or if you're emmanuelle you find out spot and work with it now what is the spot that I'm looking for that's kind of the king where do you think it is you got it spot is right here under the eye why is that important because we already know that light is mostly fallen from up above isn't it so if light is coming from above where the shadows again three eyes nose shin so if it's coming from up above and those areas of shadowed wouldn't we want to expose for those areas maybe maybe we're gonna want to expose for them if there isn't a big inconsistency between them so here come the rules this is what you got to realize number one what exposing I'm working and spot metering that's number one rule number two I want to make sure there is no more than a quarter stop difference between the shadow and highlighted areas of the subject so take a look is there a difference right now between the shadows and highlights so if I expose for at the top of her head what would happen to the rest of the image if I were to expose for her eyes what would happen up here it's going over exposure you look at that image that last image that we had when I had all the light on it can we go back to that image if you right there why did she go dark because you're supposed for the eye I exposed for the highlight highlight so everything else the highlight looks good doesn't but the rest of her doesn't because of exposed for the brightness do I want to expose for the brightness of the shadow what do I want I want expose more for the shadow because I want to open things up but I want to keep it consistent I don't want more than a difference a quarter stop difference between the shadow in the highlighted area so how do you exposure lock do you know how to do that exposure lock is very very simple on the back of your camera most cases cannon and icon you're looking at a little button it could be an f but and it could be in a yellow button it could be an asterix button when do you lock your exposure you lock your exposure if you're working and one of the three modes programme mode aperture priority mode or shut a priority mode if I'm in manual do I have to worry about locking my exposure what's the purpose of locking exposure you're blocking exposure because give you an example let's take a look right here you're looking at me beautiful good just like that again we're not looking to create art here I'm going to go in right on her face here but what's gonna happen is I'm reading right now thirtieth of a second two point eight when I swing over to the wall on changing it a little bit take a look it's slowed down look at the exposure it's going to be different based on the wall than it is on the face so saying that war give you a prime example just gonna grab this light real quick sorry didn't mean to walk off set let's bring this because we put her in bright daylight so let me show you prime example saying you're shooting inside a doorway or in front of a window right and I miss my spot so let's take a look I'm gonna focus on our face and I'm not going to lock it let's take a look how do you think this image is gonna look dark why did that happen because I missed my spot so if I meet her on her face what you technically happened behind her over over the backgrounds gonna go now this isn't great because the beauty dish but let's take a look so I'm going to go here excellent smiling beautiful I don't have a lot of light but watch what happens look the difference because I'm exposing for the face now that's quite a difference isn't it what would happen if I changed my meeting and I hit her brown dress or a black dress or a tuxedo a dark clothing would it under or over exposed they would watch over exposed if the bride is wearing white and I meet her off address what's gonna happen under exposed so where do I need to hit here now is there a difference depending on the skin color if you photographed people of color before this leads to big problems have you ever noticed when looking at photographs of people of color that they tend to be overexposed you ever notice that excellent good snow there over exposed tell me why because the camera compensates for the skin color and it turns in on skin color the camera doesn't read skin color does it what does the camera read it's dog it misreads the situation so are the same rules in effect for a person of color as they offer a caucasian person what do you think ah caucasian person the person is neutral to the camera isn't it they're basically a twenty four percent great card aren't they then neutral you could read your exposure off them and not have any issues but what happens with a purse person of color it's looking at her and saying oh my goodness this is a really dark situation so now it's over exposing him right so how do we fix this and adjust it cos we have to use what's called exposure compensation on your camera on the top there's a little button it's a plus minus button if you haven't seen it so let me ask you do you think we should tell the camera for a person color too underexposed overexposed or under no how do we know how much is there a rule there is a general rule of thumb that I created if we have photographing a light skin person of color my example would be someone like halle berry okay we're going to go with we're going to tell the camera toe under expose wood exposure compensation minus point three if we have photographing ah mid tone person of color are beautiful young lady here example someone like president obama mid told we're going to tell the camera toe minus the exposure point seven minus two thirds of a stop if we have photographic and extremely dark skinned person wesley snipes what are we going to tell the camera toe under expose one full stop understand now what about if we're photographing an interracial couple we'll group this becomes tricky so let's bring miss mckenzie can you come over for a second beautiful this becomes tricky so you're going to come right here gorgeous okay let's take a look and again we're not getting into posing yet we're going to do it not awhile if we have the two of them who should I expose off it's actually a simple question who do you think why she's more eighteen percent she's neutral so I'm going to do what I'm gonna work off of hard because I don't need to make getting adjustments do y have you ever noticed when photographing your group images especially of a group of people of color that the people on the ends tend to go doctor do you know why that's happening it's happening because of the natural been yet ing on your lenses did you know that your lenses have a natural been yet ing on the end you're keeping them too close to the end you just don't notice it as much with a caucasian person the idea here is to keep everything the same but you're going to meet her off the caucasian person do you need to adjust for a person of color you bet you want to always try to shoot in my case I want to try to shoot from dark to light I keep the background wide open with the last surviving coming in so what we're going to do I'm going to show you how we work this real quick so I'm gonna bring this light in and I'm gonna bring it up high as a kicker like okay so the main light in this room right now is what let's apply everything we've learned so far it's daylight isn't it can you to switch for a second so we're going to make me kenzi our beautiful bride going to come in here going to turn your body sideways a little bit and you're going to come forward a little bit gorgeous turn your body towards her and you two are going to give a hug okay looking right here you see how they're hugging now watch this you're going to learn when we get into posing very shortly put your foreign arms hug watch where the hands go ok in this case they got it right why is this right because what's happening is we're turning we're covering the arms with dating out their arms now let's take a look here cheeks together come forward a little bit beautiful now turn your head a little bit away a little bit more let's take a look the main lights right here right am I getting good light on them right now not really so remember I told you in almost every situation like comes about watch the difference that's a pretty big difference isn't it it opens them up right there can I borrow you one second we're looking for the catch light in the eyes so what we're doing now is what tangling up towards the light turn your bodies to may and now leaning forward now the key here is I need toe watch you seethe shine right in here is not a good thing so that may require me to do this depending on where I'm getting the shine but you know what I know where's my shine coming from my kicker like ok so what we're gonna do this she's gonna come back and watch how we change it adjusted I want them to be hoops I'm gonna come right in here just like that thank you now do I want a big spillover of light no right so I'm looking right there so the key here is do I worry as much about its spelling over I mackenzie now turn your head a little bit away beautiful now watch if I don't get enough light from here am I getting enough light from the reflector do you see the catch light watch how we get more can you bring this right here and again is that too bright I'm going to turn it down to its lowest setting because all I'm looking for is that dot right there so what's important about this am I lighting through her body I'm alighting threw her body into the face and my matching this light tow what's existing in the room so when I wipe balance for daylight what am I gonna get I'm gonna get perfect color so let's take a look we're going to tilt your head a little bit you're gonna roll you shoulder out lena forward now without any exposure compensation adjustments I want you to see what that kick alike does leaning forward to me a little bit we're going to talk about camera heightened everything in a little while okay when we get to our next segment but watch what we do here so I made four hundred yearsof now again I'm going to keep it very very simple looking at me girls good tilt your head a little bit more just like that turn your head a little bit to the right gorgeous and now your eyes are too may you're looking all right here you are doing terrific smiling girls nice and happy perfect take a look at how clean the light us now you're going to notice how we make our changes too that's pretty great light isn't it now am I concerned about the shine on the head a little bit but I can't really do anything because it's coming from up here right now but that's pretty great light isn't it ok and I've got consistent exposure between both of them I have a beautiful lighting pattern on both of them look right here if you take a look you see that wrap around like right there so let's watch what happens when we get rid of it so again face to the light a little bit you lean forward a little bit gorgeous just like that notice again soft touch look in here you are doing so good looking here girls eyes up here smiling now I know that I missed my meeting I heard it I guarantee you it's over exposed on a reason it's over exposed is because I didn't hit the exposure lock button it's over exposed isn't it okay so we keep it simple looking at me again eyes here girls I could not x for better just like that nice and happy and now we got it and take a look at the difference so good clean light I'm gonna talk about the camera tilt and all of that how's it look that's just from a little light right there isn't it it keeps it very very simple but if I were to expose for a person of color what would happen to the image if I left it what would happen to our caucasian person they'd overexpose keeping it very simple no tickle look at how great this khun bay watch how we change her you're going to turn your body towards me you're gonna go behind her you can relax right there once you come right back here beautiful now what I want you to do is come here we're going to say their two sisters okay or a bride and a maid of honor watch how simple this is bring it on sir on her chest would just good and you're gonna bring your hands up here now here's the thing that some people say well I really don't wanna pose like that that's too intimate for two sisters but you know what I learned the mohr I became a parent as I became a parent I was I don't care if he's on my kids I want them to look close I want them to look intimate I want them to look like they love each other I love my kids so much I want to eat them it's a matter of feeling and it's creating that emotion come here look down a little bit beautiful now you tilt your head a little bit to the right both of you look down now watch what we do you're going to come right over here julia and we're gonna bring the light I want you to look let's see what you've learned so far should we bring the light from here why run lightning supported like should we bring it from here where should we bring it from where you are right here then no no we're gonna bring it from behind we're gonna bring in forty five behind you're gonna come right back here because this is going to create what type of light again a profile light looking down you tilt your head a little bit beautiful a bride and her sister bride and her maid of honor a bride and a best friend anybody I would just look two sisters for a regular portrait you're doing terrific ladies stay all right they're looking down with your eyes and look at how great the light is a little small light source and watch the same lighting pattern isn't it it's exactly the same now watch this watch how we get her morn both turn your head a little bit this way beautiful you're going to be in profile to can you turn your back shoulder in dark good you're gonna bring your armor in the back over the top of her appear on turn your body away just a little bit lean forward here now both of you eyes up here looking straight out so we're putting it here we want to show the resemblance the two of them relax way go you're doing terrific good on what I want you good perfect how do I pronounce your name again how is it joe joe hart sahara sorry eyes appear beautiful looking straight out dzhokhar you're doing terrific looking out beautiful jahar lean a little bit to the light don't let the light take you jafar just leave teo it excellent good stay there and you look now again sometimes remember I told you it's about creating the emotion within it it's what happens in the pose that creates the naturalness of the moment that'll be their favorite image not bad right now but you look is that not a great image of the two of them but what's more important is look at the light look at how stunning her skin looks now I'm sure she didn't expect she's gonna be what you're talking about him like this but it's fun it's playful but look at the simple lighting pattern but what's more important is does my background look lighter or darker than it really is in person it looks fighter because I'm exposing for the subject I know your bells are ringing over their self a lot of people have asked how do you use the light when you're shooting alone that's from keanu grove and listen it's very very simple I put it on a stand I have it on a little rolling photogenic stand the reason I use it it's on wheels it's like a hospital I v pole but it's a castor based stand so nobody could not get over the stand weighs twenty pounds the light weighs one so I'm able to just roll it around exactly where I want it when I'm in a park and I'm on grass I'll use a regular flash point very very cheap an expensive stand but I like doing it but you could tell the lights not really moving I don't move the light what do I move made subject to its or keep it really simple okay anything else so well folks folks always like to know about what year are instructors are using so one question was do you always use a tripod are always always always why don't I use a tripod you guys haven't seen me do posing yet and I know that's what you all came to see aunt here's the thing the reason I use a tripod is very very simple because my posing is so precise and my movements are so precise do I want my camera almost always be in the same spot you would ask about what do you do with the moving light but I'm not moving the subject I'm moving the light according so by being on tripod I create what consistency I create speed I keep it very very simple so I'm always own tripod because I want good balance and I want to keep it easier I don't want to be moving around because remember every time I'm moving the camera up and down doesn't slow me down am I getting inconsistent I saw my father in a couple of the people that I know start to get tennis elbow we get tendonitis in their shoulders I don't want to do that I need to maintain this body the ladies like it and you too jessica so I definitely always work on a tripod and my using inexpensive tripod I'm using a non name brand try but I'm using it again another I'm a flashpoint tripod that is fought carbon fibre is very inexpensive with cheap ed because I know I can beat them up all right I don't need to buy a five inch tripod I want to keep things in expensive what about this's pretty cool this is a jiffy grip and all I do is spin it and just move around and keep it really really simple on ben and the other key essential thing to it is obviously the rotating platform okay so it makes it a lot easier okay thank you any other questions are matching the lion or exposure or things like that there are questions raja in kolkata who is from calcutta india says meeting off just beneath the eye in the darker area whether any exposure compensation is there any exposure compensation for that well I don't have to exposure compensate unless I'm working with a person of color or I'm not just me tearing off the I or if there's too much shadow if you have a to stop difference between the shadow of the eye on dh the highlight is not going to be a problem because if I meet a for the shadow what's gonna happen to the highlight it's what it's gonna blow out it's never gonna work consistently is it so I want to make sure that I'm able to control that so long as I don't have more than that quarter stop difference I'm fine meeting off of it and as long as I'm only getting the eye because you saw I could be meeting on our eye but if I'm taking a full length image and that full length image isn't just getting her eye it's getting the light behind her will create a problem yes how do you know when you have a quarter of stop or a full stop the difference but you're gonna have to learn to visualize it like right now let me ask you is there more than a quarter stop difference between mackenzie's right and her left I don't know we'll look at her and see is one side brighter than the other yes this by wisdom yes it is so if I expose for this side it's gonna happen if there's a noticeable brightness difference you're more than a quarter stop difference okay it doesn't have to be technical you don't need to walk around with twenty meters you just need to recognise light here what does that tell you tells me right now huh faces going this way because the main light is here because she's closer to it not that one anymore yes you're making it all about you aren't you very youth a meter do I use a meter no I used the meter inside camera I have a psychotic meter but occasionally I play with it but not too much if I'm using flash and stuff I'm a meter it out but most times I'm just going to use what's inside the camera because I'm using the availability of it and available light so it's a lot better in terms of what's now because I want to take my reading if I go it's like people all the time they make their refinements looking above the camera I can't see what the camera say I need to see inside the camera if I'm meeting outside camera might get in with the camera see most times no we do have a question from just me who is in chicago who says would you always put the caucasian person in front what this sometimes cast shadows on the darker person won't that create a bad image to have them all even darker on that does it I'm not basing it on their skin color who I put in a fright and who I put in the back in this case I did it because she happened to be sitting on the other thing is I would have to meet her maker get really down on love I'm going to do with based on different reasons I could give you an example technically she should not be in the front because she's taller she's gonna look border because of her size I'm going to make her look overly dominant and she's not gonna like it the way it should be done and look at the difference and we're going to get into the same except for one second hurry right down mckenzie come behind her this is more of the way it's doing it we're going to talk about how to do this should have to take off her heels again but she's going to come around come down lower take a look here sorry that's okay turn your head and this is the way it would be done because I want to make mackenzie look what last dominant that's the case we're going to talk about that composing shortly but it has nothing to do with skin color I don't base it it would be like having a person of color is a bride with a guy I am I ever going to put the guy in the front because he's click asian no or if it was reversed you know what I mean okay good to go all right now so which starting to figure out where our exposure should bay so let's go through it and recap it again our exposure is based on number one finding out to make sure there's not too much brightness or too much darkness on one side shadow the highlight ratio here's the thing that people have lost along the way lighting is not about being spot we don't want flat lighting on the subject we want lighting that's consistent okay we want to light in a direction it's the same exact thing no matter what's happening so we want to make sure number one that we understand what the type of light iss correct we want to know this is a day like this is tungsten this is fluorescent we want to know number two light where it's coming from and what the direction is so we know how to place the subject according to that light number three we want to know how to expose for it we want to make sure that there's no more than a quarter stop difference between the shadow to the highlight on dh more importantly than anything we want to make sure that we try to keep shooting from a dog to a light area because we shoot into a dock area and we have brightness on the front what's going to happen in our exposure again the backgrounds gonna go doc most importantly we're working in spot metering so I'm using spot metering and I'm using exposure lock so the next question uncommonly yesterday is what what do you exposure locking on what is it eyes right underneath the eyes and more importantly what point in the camera my using I keep it very simple I used the centerpoint in my camera as both the exposure on the focus point and I lock on it and refrain so again give you an example we could change it can you guys switch one second before you do you're going to stand back you're going to sit right here now you're going to stand there let's take a look if I would expose for hire what's gonna happen to mackenzie so watch what I feel I may focus on dakara may not even be in the image she may not even be important in it but what I do is I go in there just like that case someone they're so I locked my exposure on heart but then I'm gonna focus here let's take a look at that it's john wright did it because I didn't make any adjustments so let's take a look at what happened she overexposed didn't she why because there is exposing for the darkness okay so what happened wass I bought my exposure and I locked it under a car and then I moved it over to mackenzie and I overexposed yes do you lock in every picture that you take I lock in every picture from shooting and program and after priority mode because I want to make sure that I have to expose your correct so if we go in just like turn difference mackenzie turned her head looked out watch this if I go up here and I set watch the difference that can have been here we're keeping it very simple so if I expose him once if I expose for her face you'll say exposure's gonna be good okay well good clean exposure watch when I make a mistake I'm not gonna expose for a face I'm gonna expose for her hair head down beautiful and now you hear the difference got slower now watch images over exposed why that's just me missing my point if I don't lock so when you lock you should see a little a l button little a l like come on exposure lock is essential now here's what people say to me all the time why not just work in manual mode right watch way look right here so I'm gonna go into manual mode at this point okay so regarding my mode here good so right now I'm going to set myself here good now watch this is why I don't work with manual mode hold on one second up my eyes so a little bit good just like that stay there so take a look here now if I'm in manual mode the exposure of this second is going to look okay right but not really because if I turn her face turn your head to your left a little bit okay now take a look if I move over here my exposure will change a little bit depending on where I move if I don't keep re meeting noticed is different hot spots when I moved her exposure is going to change depending aware amount isn't it so if I come over here now is it going to change a lot it's not about changing a lot but it's about changing enough where I need to make adjustments leader on turn your head that way okay turn your head to the left more more good now look straight out to it's like chin up a little bit turn you head back to me a little bit perfect uh back to your left a little bit smiling beautiful take a look the lighting again is going to change is a big inconsistency the answer's no but it is inconsistent isn't it have I had three exposures is that our exactly alike but I was in manual and did the lights move the lights didn't move at all but my exposure's changed because of my relation to the subject and her direction off the face I should be able to bring your car in and have a perfect image right now shouldn't I but I'm not going to come right over here for a second again watch right here and you're going to turn your back to return your body towards her a little bit mackenzie wrap your arms on the top here two sisters take a look turn your heads girls both of you turn your heads to the light now take a look this is a case of not good light is it is a good light you have a light right here but it's getting them the right way dzhokhar lean forward a little bit beautiful a little bit more turn your head to your right accent look at my hands here turn your head to your right a little bit mackenzie take a look smiling this is me not playing to alight this is may just posing it makes a huge difference on where you do things and since I'm not meeting the lighting should be consistent but it's not is it have I had any consistency in light and some of you may say while it looks pretty good to me but I know this issues within it I'm looking at different shadows looking at her nose burn up looking at this shine here on the top of her head I'm looking at the cheyenne here I'm looking the shadows underneath the nose I'm looking at the hands burning up it's because I'm not paying attention to the little details on I'm not changing my exposure based on the angle it may be only a quarter stop difference between huff face here tio here but a quarter stop difference means all the difference in the world in terms of light everything is about creating perfection he is what I tell bay photo when I send to my images don't touch them just print them because I want them to wear shot okay I want consistent exposure so if I have to work in manual mode and keep constantly changing I might as well work in aperture priority because I know I want to be a two point eight and let the shutter speed moving and I lock based on what I'm seeing on what I'm looking for manual just creates two dials I have to play what sometimes so I don't want to go to all that trouble okay

Class Materials

bonus material

Day 1 Slides
Flow Posing Guide
Bonus Video: Workflow: Doug Gordon Photoshop A
Bonus Video: Workflow: Doug Gordon Photoshop B
Bonus Video: Workflow: Doug Gordon Photoshop C
Bonus Video: Workflow: Doug Gordon Photoshop D

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I loved every minute of it! I watched and re-watched the Live show 3 times and now have the video version to burn into my mind. I don't get sick of watching it, I learn something new with each viewing. I have notes upon notes, inspirational quotes and I was truly inspired. I saw you live at your workshop and I wish we would of covered the business section a bit more in depthly because after watching you here on creativeLive I was floored! I can't wait to attend another one of your workshops because you are a wealth of knowledge, energetic and you inspire me to be better! I'm so glad I wasn't afraid to try even though I was terrified at first. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being such an amazing mentor!

a Creativelive Student

Doug is AMAZING! The way he teaches makes it fun and easy to understand. The way he poses his couples are so fast and easy to learn, I have taken my photography from mediocre, to world-class. I would love to meet him and thank him personally one day. Thank you Creativelive for introducing me to Doug, and thank you, Doug, for introducing me to CreativeLive! The best community for learning!!!

Adrian Farr

Doug has so much enthusiasm, it is beyond measurable. He is truly a fantastic motivator. He helps you understand the best ways to work with the light you have and shows you some very simple yet effective posing techniques. I highly recommend watching and buying this course if you want some great advice on improving your photography.

Student Work