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Images From Shoot Review

Lesson 22 from: Powerful Portraits using Body Language and Lighting

Stacy Pearsall

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Lesson Info

22. Images From Shoot Review

Next Lesson: Lighting Overview


Lesson Info

Images From Shoot Review

I was actually wondering if we could take a step back and look at some of the images of both Darcy and Anthony, and kind of go through, and maybe that will prompt some more things or thoughts from people. If I can get somebody to pull that up. Oh, here we go. Ha-ha, ha-ha. ♪ Close this out ♪ Right, so. Click ensure. Let's go. You can see where the color thing popped in. Technicals. Alright, so view. Yes? I have a question about you know, getting the genuine feelings out of people and making people feel comfortable. Do you feel that it's best to kinda work by yourself when you do that, or do you have assistants, or does that all depend on your time frame? Do you find that it's harder to get genuine emotion out of people when there's, you know, two assistants standing nearby or whatever. My assistants most times are very thoughtful about the distance they're keeping. If they know that I am in a very intimate conversation that's touching on something that's sort of very emotionally ...

engaged, they'll keep their distance because I know that it's best that it remains a two-way exchange and not all of a sudden a trio. I do have assistants however, if the mood is light and everything's cool, they will jump right in and be part of that melee 'cause I welcome that emotional exchange. Sometimes it takes the pressure off the subjects too. And if we can add another element, that dynamic changes. And that goes without saying with group photos as well when we're adding another dynamic to that situation. It's all about situational awareness and it depends. And I don't like to call them my assistants 'cause that sounds so subordinate. They're my colleagues. They work equally as hard as me to set the tone for each shoot, so they're an integral part of that process as well. Okay, so I'm just gonna flip through these. (laughing) (mumbling) Okay, so she's looking up and to the left which means she is? (audience chattering) She's recalling information. Now, she's looking to the right which means she's? (audience chattering) No, she's not lying! (audience laughing) She's envisioning her cats is what she's doing so she's manifesting an image in her mind's eye. She's creating that image or thought. Genuine smile? Yes. Good. (audience laughing) She has such an easy smile. Her eyes are closed in pure ecstasy, right? Uh. (laughing) She's averting her eyes. That's not a negative thing. Uh-huh, you have a question. Go ahead. Ask a question as we're going through these. Edwin had asked, there was a moment where you were photographing her and you went silent. And she was a little bit like oh, what am I supposed to do here? "Is this a test?" I think she said. When do you use that tactic? There is a nervous tick that some people have that they feel they need to fill white noise with words. And often times, it doesn't allow space for people to just breathe and relax and fill that white noise with non-verbal words. So we get so fixated on the conversation we're having with our words that we're not allowing our bodies to do the speaking for us. Ta-da. And that for me, for portraits, is almost more important, to allow space for that to happen. Her hands are up. Submissive. (laughing) And this comes that silence. So watch her body change. She doesn't know what to do. See how tight lipped her mouth is. It's tension. She was just waiting to explode to laugh. Okay. What do you guys think of that, that series? And it took what, 10 minutes? Uh-huh? (mumbling) all of us here who know Darcy were looking at that photos and saying, "That's so Darcy." You know, it's just amazing to see you bring that out. Well, when given the opportunity, I think it's pretty natural for us to just stop overthinking it and allow space to let them unwind, right? And I got the light too close and didn't adjust it, so. I had a technical error, y'all. I am who I am, okay? Human error and all. But again, we'll talk more about light and light mood tomorrow. He closes his eyes a lot, and that's okay. I don't mind that. And he's a visualizer. You can tell he's a creative person because he's constantly visualizing in his mind's eye and seeing either these memories or manifesting a sort of apparition of his thought. And then it's great because it seems like to me that he is manifesting that thought, and then almost like trying to throw it at me with his eyes. Like did you see that? (laughing) You know what I mean? And then he closed his eyes as if it was too much. It's interesting. He's a very thoughtful person. While I'm flipping through these, does anybody have any thoughts, questions? Yeah? It's more of a technical question. With the shadow of his glasses, do you work with that or do you kind of just let it happen as you're moving around him? Oh no, I would. Like tomorrow, I will be a lot more thoughtful about how the light is falling, and just what the light is saying, and shadows, and everything. Yeah, for sure. Today, I really just wanted to concentrate more on emoting and bonding so that we could. But yes. But I would like to also say that if the moment outweighs the technical issues, I would say that that's equally important because again, it's about the subject, right? You have a question. Regarding the 10 minutes that you said usually that's the time that you have. With the veteran's project, they probably have stories that are very long. So if you are limited in time, what do you do when there's an ongoing story being told? Sure, that's a great question. I don't cut people off. If they're in the middle of bleeding their heart out to me, I'm not gonna be like sorry, your time's up. Get out of my seat. That's just not in my nature. And I think others who may have appointments right after them 'cause it's like back, back, to back, are very aware of how important that process is and so they're willing to wait as long as it takes. And quite frankly, they're usually within ear shot just as, and just as enthralled to hear these stories as I am. You know, it's a rare opportunity to be able to have somebody reveal such intimate stories. Yeah. When you're shooting editorial, you're trying to bring the personality of the person, the subject out, which is very interesting. But when I'm shooting head shots, I would like to bring out the personality of the person. But then when I send them the photos, they usually pick the photos that don't show themselves as they truly are, but they pick the photos that what they see on the websites of other big companies. I would like to make something more interesting than just the general generic headshot, but I don't know how to convince them to use a portrait that's really them and that's interesting instead of just the cookie cutter headshot. My suggestion to you and you can take this with a grain of salt, don't even provide them the pictures you don't think are interesting. Establish yourself as somebody who does head shots differently, that you're offering to do corporate portrait personalities that are genuine individuals to showcase who they are and their personality, not just some, but somebody who's more like, yeah, I'm the CEO of Facebook. You know what I mean? Somebody who's approachable, somebody who leads from the front. And how do you say that? This doesn't say it. So what you need to do is eliminate that from your portfolio in the first place so that you're drawing the right people who are open to that idea. And then when you're passing on these portraits to them, what you key in on and what you think is interesting is what you should be sharing with them. Question from Edmund. He's talking about after we've seen these images, and you're going through, and you are selecting the ones that you might provide for the project, for the client, how do you determine what is powerful as alluding to the topic of the class? I believe that upon meeting somebody and getting to know them, you're gonna know that portrait that best epitomizes who they are. It's just gonna jump off the page. I mean, when we were scrolling through those pictures, was there one image of Darcy that stood out from you, that really said oh, that's Darcy, that's the Darcy I saw that was in front of me for those 10 minutes. The same for Anthony, right? There's that one image. For me, that's how I know. They're literally jumping out like pick me, I'm it! Like that's me. That's how I know. Remember that we need to be self aware. The energy that we are exuding to other people may be off-putting or it may be welcoming. We have the ability to change that dynamic. We have the ability to change our approach to others to be more welcoming, more inviting, more inclusive. And also that if we just start out every shoot clearing our mind and saying, "It's not about me, it's about them," we'll be starting off on the right foot. That is one of the biggest keys to being a portrait photographer, that the subjects are the ones who make the picture. We're just there to capture those moments.

Class Materials

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Gear List

Bonus Materials with Purchase

The Foundations of Light (PDF)
The Accents of Light (PDF)

Ratings and Reviews

Julie V

I had the chance to sit in the audience and absolutely loved this class! First of all, Stacy is very funny and is really good at explaining and showing examples of the body language. I loved learning about how to read people faces and body to know more about them. And recommended the class to my husband who is a therapist for this reason. The other part of the class was so awakening, I never really thought about how having the wrong lighting for someone's personality would bring something off on the picture. Once again, Stacy was amazing at explaining why this lighting would work with one person and not another by showing us examples. If you want to bring your subject personality into life on photos, I highly recommend this class!

a Creativelive Student

This class is amazing! Stacy is an awesome person and listening to her teach and review the class concepts was so easy and fun and entertaining! It is jam packed with information on how to connect with talent and clients. Plus you get to see Stacy in action with subjects in the Demo and Shoot videos. I highly recommend this class! I learned so much and feel so much more comfortable and confident working with a variety of people now.

Jovi Jhash

wow, what an amazing class to learn from. you covered all from body language to storytelling and to reveal almost the true souls of the subjects through portraits. Amazing work and thank you so much, Stacy and creative live team. Stay blessed

Student Work