Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras


Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras


Lesson Info

Live Shoot: A7R II, A6300 & A7ii

We've got the shots and what I'm gonna do now, is I'm actually going to take some different shots using some other cameras as well, so you guys can see what those images look like. So we'll compare now, we have some shots with a Canon lens with an adapter. I'm actually gonna switch camera bodies and use native lenses so that we have some stuff to reference here momentarily. So let's do that. Let's go A7R II with I don't know surprise me, 85? 85 sounds good. I wanna make sure that everybody kind of walks away with really understanding the whys and the ifs and the how's and all that good stuff. So let's see, let's get this one dialed in, same exact settings we're going to f9, one, one sixtieth of a second and ISO 100 and so, got everything dialed in here. And we'll turn off, this is another thing as well, if you're shooting with Sony cameras, it's another very common question that I get. When you're using off-camera flash they'll say well, whenever I'm focusing the viewfinder blacks out.

So you wanna make sure you go in the menu and change your live view setting and turn it off. Because this is one of the things that I always try to explain to people and now that you guys understand why this is what I want without triggers, this hopefully will make sense. But when you put your settings at f9, one, one sixtieth, ISO 100 in this scenario, when I look through my EVF that's what I see. I see nothing, like it just blacks out. And it's good. It's actually a very good thing because that means that the exposure is correct, for me to put my light in there and that'd be the only thing that's impacting the image. So you wanna turn that effect off. Because I already know that's the correct setting to black it out, I actually want to be able to see what I'm framing up, so definitely wanna keep that in mind. Now I'm actually gonna try something here which the A7R II has a very advanced focusing feature that's called Eye Auto Focus. So this is another mirrorless advantage that you don't get in a DSLR, where you can actually do back button auto-focus, but with this back button auto-focus it actually tracks the subjects eye. So it will find the eyeball in the frame and it will always make sure the eyeball is tech sharp and you could take your portraits. So once again, kinda cheating a little bit to take good images but you know, you've got the tech use it (laughs). So here we go, great hold that, (camera clicks) excellent. One more. And John is my tether working good? (murmuring) Nothing's coming in yet? Now this is a 42 megapixel camera so, files do take a second or two, yeah. Takes a second if you're shooting tethered for the shots to come through. So there we go, very nice. (camera clicks) Excellent. And again I'm using the Eye Auto Focus to be able to (camera clicks) take these different shots. And Imma switch it up to (camera clicks), so I got a couple with Eye Auto Focus. I'm gonna switch this to single-shot autofocus and I'm gonna use a flexible spot autofocus on this camera. So anytime you're shooting portraits, whether you're on a DSLR, cause I do wanna make this class valuable for people, you don't have to have a mirrorless camera to do all the stuff I'm showing you, just makes it a little easier. So if you're shooting with a DSLR, you can use spot autofocus, and basically every time the person moves, you wanna put the focus box on the closest eyeball. So whatever if they're turned this way for example, you want the focus to be on this eye. They turn this way, focus is on that eye. So I'm actually gonna do that now, pretend like I'm shooting with a DSLR. So we'll move that there, very nice. Hold that (camera clicks), excellent. Perfect, very nice. Hold that (camera clicks), very good. And the cool thing is that (camera clicks), when I was talking about pre-chimping, every single time the photo goes off, or the trigger goes off and a picture is taken, it actually shows me a preview of the photo that I just took in my eyepiece. So I don't need to chimp. It actually shows it to me for like two seconds, or until I press the shutter down it'll just go away. So it's kinda helpful (camera clicks). Because this whole time for example, I'm sitting here talking to you guys teaching, I'm focusing and taking these shots. If I want to engage with the subject, I can (camera clicks) talk to her and I don't have to do what typically people do with the DSLR where they'll, take a shot and they're looking down and then the model's just kinda like, are you done yet? You know, when could we keep taking photos? I can actually still sit here and talk to her and say, "Wow that's really great, (camera clicks) "I love that, excellent." And if I need to make changes to the shots, I can go ahead and just change that up. (camera click) So we got a few shots here with the A7R II. Pretty happy with that. And so we're gonna go ahead and we're gonna switch it up here, and let's go to a more affordable set up. We're gonna go to (mumbling), yeah 55 sounds good. We're gonna go to the Sony A6300. So we just shot with two full-frame camera bodies. We're actually going to switch it up here and use a crop sensor camera. This one was actually kind of a surprise for me, because you know even though I'm telling you guys like it's a very professional camera, you can get professional results, realistically for the majority of my work I shoot full-frame. So one day I was shooting a tutorial for Sony. And we were shooting with the A7R II and they basically, we were getting great shots using different lenses very similar to what I'm doing right now, and they came to me and they said, well actually if you could put this on there while I explain that. So, basically they said, "You know this is great, "you're using an R II and you use all these lenses, "that's cool but for the sake of the tutorial to kinda show "a little more versatility in your game, "do you think you can get really good shots "similar to what you've been doing, "with a smaller camera? "Like could you do it within a 6,000 or an A6300?" And so I was like, "I don't know. "I don't know that I've ever really tried "to do like my studio stuff within an A6300, but let's do it." And I was like, "Let's actually double down on that. "Let's put the A6300, and let's take a 200-dollar lens. "Let's take the 50 millimeter 1.8" Which is usually the the lens that most people, whether you're shooting DSLR or whatever you get a nifty 50 cause they're very sharp and they're very inexpensive. So I got Sony's full-frame version of the nifty and basically started to go and start taking images. And what I started to realize was that when I got back to start editing my photos and I looked at the A7R II images and I looked at the A6300 images, I actually had to look at the metadata to look because when you zoom into the images, which we're gonna do here in a little bit, it's very surprising the fact that the quality looks really awesome. Like you get you can't tell. It's not like an obvious thing that you went from a $3000 camera to a $1000 camera, if you know what you're doing with your lighting, if you know what you're doing with posing, if you have sound technique, which I'm hoping to teach you guys here for this class, you can actually go and shoot this stuff and get really awesome results. So this is the A and so I'm gonna change one thing here. So we're in mass storage mode, so we're actually gonna change this so we can tether. And USB connection, we're gonna go to PC remote. And we should be tethered properly. We're gonna talk about the tethering here in a little bit, but basically I'm tethering using capture one. And for people who are looking to shoot and kind of accelerate their learning, when it comes to shooting off-camera flash, I would recommend every single time that you are shooting, to shoot tethered. It's very simple, it's not like a complicated setup. This is actually as complicated as you'll ever see it, where I'm basically going from one camera to another and having to disconnect and reconnect stuff. But get used to shooting tethered because what it's gonna allow you to do is instead of looking at this little screen or the EVF to look at your images, you can actually see them on your laptop screen. And you could zoom in, you can pixel peep to your heart's content, make sure everything is sharp and in focus, make sure the lights look the way you want them to look. This gives you a much truer representation of what the image looks like as opposed to looking at it really teeny tiny on the screen. Now this is a crop sensor body, so it has a 1.5 times magnification. Which basically means that if you put a lens on it in this case I have the 55, 1.8 from Sony, which this thing is ridiculously, ridiculously sharp. So it's not actually a 55 mil lens on this camera body, it's 55 times 1.5 how much is that? Who could do the math? How much? 70 something? 80 something? (murmuring) Yeah, 78? So fantastic length for shooting portraits. Remember I said I hated math? Yeah. So putting the 55 on this particular camera body it's not a 55 mil lens anymore so people say, "Well, Miguel why are you shooting portraits with a 55? "You can't shoot portraits with a 55." Yes you can. Because if you have it on a crop sensor, it's not a 55 anymore, it's a 70 something. 82.5. 82.5, there it is! Thank goodness for the calculator and for John. So that is more of a typical portrait length. We've been shooting these with 85 mil lenses, which I forgot. Did I mention the lens that I just used before that? Mention it again. 85 millimeter 1.4 G Master, was what I was using on the Sony A7R II. The thing is a monster. It is an absolute monster of a lens. So now we switched up to the and we're going to try to take very similar shots to the ones we've been taking. So I'm gonna go ahead and dial in exact same settings, cause if it ain't broke don't fix it. All right. Go to one sixtieth of a second. And we'll take our ISO to 100, and so if everything is working right, take my trigger, it's working. Beautiful all right. So here we go very nice (camera shutters). Whoops! Let's not spray and pray here. Here we, go single shot auto focus like we did last time. We will use our spot focus. That's another thing too. you just saw that like continuous burst going out. Like don't shoot like that. I don't know I watched a show one time and it was a photographer that, you know it's for TV so like they're photographing a person and you see these like 50 gajillion pops of the flash. And it's like you don't wanna shoot like that. You're gonna get, first off you're gonna kill your hard drive. Cause you're going to have like a gillion photos by the time the photo shoot is done and all the photos are gonna look the same. It's gonna be like this, like this, like this, like this. Like it's not gonna be enough of a difference or contrast, so you want to shoot very, very slow, very controlled. It makes the model a lot more comfortable, makes the subject more comfortable, cause you may not always be photographing a model that's actually comfortable with having their photo taken. So you can imagine if like this thing is popping off like (snapping) rapid fire, they're going to be like, "Oh my gosh, what do I do? "I can't keep up!" You know? So you wanna be able to shoot very slowly, even for four models that are more experienced and more professional that know how to pose, you might shoot a little faster, but get used to shooting very slow, very controlled. Study your images, make sure that everything is coming out exactly the way, want them to come out. And then just kinda keep going with that. So get off my little stool here and start shooting. Very nice (camera clicks), excellent. Hold that right there, very good. (camera clicks) Excellent. And now I could have had my 50, 1. and get similar shots to this but, you know if you have the good lenses, (camera clicks) why not use them? Very good, (camera clicks) excellent (camera clicks). Very nice, (camera clicks) excellent. (camera clicks) very good. This is another thing too and we'll kinda talk about this in a few segments from now but it's really important for you to have like a constant dialogue with the person that you're photographing. Even if you're not, let me take that back. It doesn't have to be a constant dialogue like a back-and-forth thing, but you need to be talking to the person that you're photographing. You need to kind of inject them with encouragement and letting them know that they're doing a good job. And I've been asked before what if you know, they're posing and they're just looking terrible, you know do you still keep telling them they're doing a good job? The answer is yes. You always tell them they're doing a good job, because eventually what's going to end up happening is the more that you encourage the person that you're photographing, you're letting them know that looks awesome, that looks great, you know, tweak this a little bit, turn your face this way, keep your shoulders down like this. And you're giving them those instructions, they get a lot more comfortable, they get a lot more calm. Eventually, you're gonna get a great shot. So that's why back in the day, there were photographers and I've always seen this thing where they have mini sessions and it never made any sense to me. Cause you do like a 10 or 15 minute mini session, and I'm sitting there thinking to myself either you must be photographing people that really are comfortable in front of a camera that just automatically give you great expressions, you could just take the photo and walk away. Or B, you're some kind of virtuoso that literally you just have these people's skills that within seconds you can get a great photo. When I do my portrait shoots, there are no time limits. There's no set time. There could be a time when I'm shooting for three hours and I literally need that long because they're just like really reserved and really closed off and it just takes time to kind of break them down a little tiny bit and get them to be comfortable with the portrait process. And there's other times where they come in and I do my thing, and all of a sudden they're just like okay we got the shot, you know? And I've had shots from the slides when I showed you some of the images in the presentation up to this point, there were some shots where we literally took like five frames and that was one of the five. And it was just like thank you, come again. You know, it worked out great. So that's something that you wanna keep in mind and we'll talk about it here in a little bit, but you're always gonna hear me talking to the model because I want them to make sure that they're feeling good about the process. So let's keep shooting some more. And I wanna make sure we have a lot of different options to look through. (camera clicks) very nice. And again keeping the lights the same. I don't know if anyone had asked about the (camera clicks) lighting set up here but I'll answer that just in case, cause I know if I was watching at home, trying to be this student and the instructor at the same time, which is kind of fun (camera clicks). I'm actually using the Phottix Indra 500. And part of the reason that I like this light actually there's many reasons that I like it, but one of the big things is that you have high speed sync and TTL metering. Which are two things that you usually get in your speed lights. So if you have you know, like a fancy speed light for your DSLR they have TTL and high-speed sync, which allows you to basically shoot wide open, overpower the Sun if you need to. Studio strobes typically don't have that feature. And if they do, it's usually like very expensive to get inside of a studio head. This particular one they have the 360 and the 500, so they're 360 watts and 500 watts. They have high-speed sync and they have TTL. And they also work off of a battery pack. So the battery pack, I try to have like a very mobile setup. And the battery pack actually has a little strap. So you can have your if you have an assistant with you or if you have a light stand, you can have your light on the stand, you can have the battery pack hanging off. An this case I have it plugged into the wall, because we're gonna be shooting for a while today. But, that's one of the really nice things about this. I'm using an Octa. And this is actually the Phottix Luna Octa. And part of the reason why I use this particular modifier is that it makes pretty much everyone look great. So if you're photographing somebody that has great skin, they're gonna continue to have great skin. If you photograph somebody that has less than perfect skin, you're gonna notice that it's less contrasty. And again we're going to talk about this more in depth when we get to the modifier segment, but it basically makes their skin look almost as if you've post-processed it. And a lot of times people look at my work and they're like, "What kind of skin work did you do?" And I'm like, "I did some skin work." But I really captured it in camera because I used the modifier that was big and soft and beautiful, and it made my job in post-production very, very simple. So I have the Luna Octa with the Indra and have it relatively close to her, which is the other kinda secret to getting really good portraits. It's to make sure that you have big light sources, put them relatively close to your subject, and then you'll get some pretty good shots. So we'll take a few more with this and then I'm gonna change my setup one more time. (camera clicks) Actually I really love shooting with the because it's pretty quick. It has a little bit of a different electronic viewfinder. So you'll notice that if you ever shoot with one of these cameras, the blackout on the screen whenever you take your shot, it's less, like it's not as dark as long against something like an A7 II or an A7R II. So when I take that frame, it's darker for just like a fraction of a second longer, but this one is so fast that it's literally like it takes the picture it shows it to you and you can go right back to continuing to shoot. So it's one of the advantages on top of the fact that it's like ridiculously small. You know, it's one of the other advantages to shooting with this setup. Take a couple more here and then I'm gonna change my lens. (camera clicks) Very good. I feel pretty good about these. I wanna check, lemme check my shots that are coming in here. I do this quite often and again this is part of the reason why I always tell people shoot tethered because you know I'll usually take some shots and then I'll pixel peep these just to make sure that everything is like you know, very sharp and still in focus. And you don't wanna see this. I'm at 200% right now, no one ever wants to see themselves at 200%. (mild laughter) But we can see that my focus is coming through good. We got some nice sharp images. And this A6300 also has that Eye Autofocus feature that the really fancy expensive A7R II has, and it's set up the exact same way. You can go into the menus and basically turn on Eye Autofocus so that anytime I hold this back button, and I'll actually shoot in a little bit of a different way to demo this. Because if you really want to like troll people and look like a like a really pro photographer, you could actually shoot like this. (mild laughter) (laughs) And it's pretty funny because I literally, there'll be times where I'll shoot exactly like this. And it actually, if I'm photographing kids for example, this would be a good scenario where you can actually use Eye Autofocus. Cause what I'll do is, I'll be talking to them because obviously kids, for anybody that photographs kids, like you know it's a little more challenging, you can't really tell them so much what to do or you can tell them and they just don't really listen, they do what they wanna do. But it's a lot easier for me to have that dialogue back and forth with them. If I can sit here, and frame up my shot and be like, "Okay that looks really cool, yeah, that's awesome!" And kind of like having that dialogue with them, I can talk to them and I can still see. And I don't have to worry about these shots being in focus, because the camera basically is finding the eye each and every time. And I don't know if the camera can see this, but if it can, you'll see that when I hold down the button, it actually spots the eye in the frame (camera clicks), and then we just take the shot. So it's pretty awesome and any time, and you could actually move your head around a little bit. You'll see like, kind of go like this real slow. you'll see that it tracks her, the whole time she's moving around that green box is gonna keep following her around and it's gonna keep moving. And any time it's not tracking her, like if it doesn't catch the eyeball for whatever reason, it's gonna resort to what's called face recognition. So you'll see the Box get a little bit bigger on their face, so if it's not tracking the eyeball, it tracks their face as like a last resort. So you're gonna end up getting shots that are you know, great they're gonna be in focus. And it's like easy, I don't know. Like I almost feel like again, like I'm cheating. Cause the camera is doing quite a bit when it comes to the things that photographers really stress about, like getting shots in focus. These cameras have so much technology built into them, that a lot of that technical side of things that we sit and worry about, they're not a problem anymore. The problem becomes your interaction with the subjects. And being able to get great expressions. So if you take a photograph that is technically great, lighting is great, you know and I've done those shots. Like when I was coming up, and I would take that technically perfect shot, I remember I used to pat myself on the back. I'm like, "Yes, the lighting looks great, "and the settings were perfect." And it's like you know, technically great image. But I realized that I was missing something and it was always that the expression was like, meh. You know, I'd post the image online or post it in a group or I'd show my circle of friends that are the people that you know I trust to give me correct feedback on my images, and they'll look at the shots and they'll be like, "You know, yeah it's technically good. "Like your lighting was good and everything was cool, "but that expression though, "you know like, it's a little bit off." So that's part of it where when I started shooting with these mirrorless cameras, it actually allowed me to really focus more on that interaction with the person. And trying to make sure that they loosen up so that I can get great expressions. As you can see the technical side of things for me, I don't even think about it. I literally, we didn't test this set up ahead of time. We did a different set up yesterday and then I said this morning like I wanna do a different one. And so I didn't know what the lights were gonna be, I didn't know how this was gonna turn out, but I didn't have to think about the technical side so much it basically is like super quick and automatic to be able to do it and it allows me to be able to talk to her, and get her to feel comfortable and shoot some stuff. So I'm going to switch this if you have any questions, we'll do another change up here. So I'm gonna-- Yeah, I am wondering from Mick Trev who says, "Does the A6000 also have the Eye Autofocus?" Do you know? Good question I don't believe so. I wanna say no. Okay. Although you might wanna check, if you go to the Sony website, you could definitely double check it. But if I was on a game show right now, and you ask me that question I would say, no, I don't believe so. A6300, A7R II, the new A6500 has a eye Autofocus, the 6000 does not. However, let's say if I had the A6000 in my hand right now as opposed to the 6300, these images are probably gonna look identical. Like they're not gonna look any different, you're just not gonna have the Eye Autofocus. You know so, image quality wise, they're gonna to look very, very similar. I changed it up I have the 24-70 G Master lens from Sony. This is their like premium 24-70. So you know in every pros toolkit, you gotta have a good 24-70, you have to have a good 70-200. I'm actually gonna continue to shoot with the 6300 cause I really enjoy it. And I'm using the 24-70 G Master which again is actually whatever focal length is times 1.5, cause we are on a crop sensor. So this will give me some availability to shoot something a little bit different. So put that there, on the Eye Autofocus, great. Very good, and let's make sure my tether's still working. We're good, awesome. All right, very nice (camera clicks) excellent. We'll shoot one a little closer. And people always ask me if (camera clicks) they should get like a prime lens for shooting portraits or get a zoom lens. This might be kind of silly, but I always say get both, because they both kind of serve a different purpose. There will be days where I come into the studio and I'm feeling super creative. And I don't want to have to keep switching lenses. You know this whole thing of like get closer or get farther if you wanna zoom in, it has a different perspective, it has a different compression. The person's face doesn't look the same. Like it doesn't, even though you can get in closer and you can frame the shot a certain way, the way that the person's face looks when you're using a different focal length and you're kind of walking closer and farther away, the perspective is different. So that's why often times you wanna use the actual like 85 mil you know, or 70-200 that gives you that flexibility to get in closer, cause it makes the person's face look really awesome. They don't have these like big wide faces, like some lenses will capture. So having the 24-70 for me, it kinda gives me a little bit more creativity, to be able to stay in one spot and zoom in and take a close-up shot. Or I can kind of zoom out a little bit and I want you to (sighs), do one of those numbers, just like that. Very nice. So you can do something like this (camera clicks) and again still using the Eye Autofocus cause why not. And (camera clicks) very nice, excellent. (camera clicks) Perfect. Now we'll zoom in close (camera clicks), perfect. (camera clicks) Very nice. (camera clicks) And there we go. So within a few seconds I can basically get one where I'm shooting waist up, I can get a tighter or closer headshot if I needed to. And all of that without having to switch a bunch of lenses like what I've been doing. If I wanted to shoot really, really close-up stuff, which in a little while we're actually gonna do a beauty shoot. And so if you've seen my work, you know you'll notice that I shoot a lot of my portrait work very close up. And I do that for a particular reason and we'll kinda talk about that later, but it's a lot more engaging for the viewer when basically all they look at when they see the image, is the person's face, and their eyes, and their expression. And so using a 24-70 I could still do that. Cause again it's on a crop. I can do one of these numbers for example, and (camera clicks) get that very close-up shot. (camera clicks) And again I'm not doing a lot with the poses right now, cause we're gonna talk about that in a little bit. She's doing a good job anyway, cause she kind of knows what she's doing. She makes my job easy. (camera clicks) Very good. (camera clicks) Excellent. And so I'm able to go ahead and take those like really close-up shots with a 24-70, but then I could also back away and do a really nice (camera clicks) wide shot. (camera clicks) Our fact finders have in fact told us that the A6000 does have auto-eye tracker. Score! And that it's actually Yes! not configured to that when you buy the camera at a box, Aah! You have to go in and switch it up. So people Nice. A lot of people in here have that A6000 and they love that feature. The A6000 is amazing. I owned one and actually one of my friends was getting started in photography, and they wanted a camera to kind of learn photography and so I actually gave them my A and so I haven't used it in a few months or else it would have been like, "Yeah, I know if it's got Eye Autofocus." But it's been a little bit cause I gave it to my friend to basically learn photography with, so good thing. Thanks fact-checkers. (laughing) That's what the internet is for, right? Yes, yes. (female laughing)

Class Description

"Miguel's class was exactly what I needed! He lets you in on his practical and streamlined approach to creating dramatic portraits that deliver every time, and I can't wait to use his 'Jedi' posing techniques." - April, CreativeLive Student

Allowing your subjects to feel relaxed and natural when taking their portrait can be a challenge, especially when you’re worried about the technical side of your camera while interacting with clients. Join Sony Artisan Miguel Quiles as he discusses the pros of choosing mirrorless cameras to focus on the creative side of your images. Most mirrorless cameras are built around the same size sensors and have similar lens options as DSLRs. Become more portable while staying professional with your lightweight camera.

Miguel will share:
  • How to use the correct lighting when shooting with a mirrorless camera   
  • Tethering techniques using Capture One   
  • Why it’s important to develop the connection with your subject for a stronger image 
  • Techniques to help you focus more on the creative parts of an image and less on the technical aspects   
By the end of this class, you will feel more confident connecting with your portrait subjects, and less concerned with how you use your camera to take the image.