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Live Shoot: Beauty-Dish

Lesson 20 from: Powerful Portraits using Mirrorless Cameras

Miguel Quiles

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Lesson Info

20. Live Shoot: Beauty-Dish

Next Lesson: Live Shoot: Octabox


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What is a Mirrorless Camera?


Mirrorless Camera Advantages


Mirrorless Compatibility


Live Shoot: Mirrorless vs. DSLR


Live Shoot: A7R II, A6300 & A7ii


Compare Mirrorless & DSLR Images


Posing Techniques Overview


Lesson Info

Live Shoot: Beauty-Dish

So, super simple. So take a little half step forward. And, she didn't hear my posing guideline right? How I pose people. So I'm actually gonna explain that to her really quickly. So you guys can see real time how I would do it. Alright, so. I want you to pretend, like, 'cause I'm gonna try to pose you without actually touching you. Okay. So, I want you to pretend like you're looking in the mirror right now. And you see your tall, big, hairy, bald Latino reflection okay? (girl laughing) So, you're looking in the mirror right now, and if I tell you to mirror me, right? 'Cause you're looking in the mirror, and I go like this, what would you do? Nice. Alright, and go like this. Very good. Go like this. Nice. Like that. Like this. Perfect. So, that's the first way that I'm gonna pose you is by telling you mirror me, right? So if I tell you mirror me again. Go like this. That. Kick this leg out. Very good. Alright, so the second thing that I do, is what I call the palm. So if I put my hand...

up like this, I may have the camera up to my face and I'll go like this. If I do this I'm not being mean. I'm actually palming your face like a basketball. So I'll tilt the head this way. Or this way. Very nice. Super simple. That way I can get you to tilt one way or the other. The third thing that I do is what I call the old Bill Clinton, right? So if I ever, Right. go like this, I'm actually holding your chin, to rotate it Oh. like it's on a swivel. (girl laughing) So I'll rotate the chin that way. That way. Down. Up. The hard one I do is when I pull forward. You did it perfectly. Bringin' it out (girl laughing) just like that, so I'll come out, and down. And then I'll tilt this way. So, that's three. (girl laughing) The fourth one is what I call, if I have my hands up this way, I have my hands on your shoulders. So, Okay. pushing the shoulder back. Pushing the shoulder back that way. Nice. So you're just rotating from the waist. As I'm doing that. Okay. If I tap, yes just like that. Or if I tap this way. See I don't even need to explain it. Like she just knows. (audience laughing) If I'm tapping like that just dip the shoulders. Perfect. Just like that. So that's how I'm gonna get you to pose, without actually, having to, keep stopping to move you, (girl laughing) so. Make sense? Mmmhmm. Good. Alright, you see it in real time? Pretty simple. You see that, we didn't practice this. I wanted to make sure that it was totally organic. That she did things the right way. We haven't talked that much 'cause you just got here and I, like literally was like hi we need to go shoot. But you see that she's laughing. She's breaking down a little bit, right? She's a pro so she gets along I'm sure with every photographer. But, if I am photographing somebody and they're not a pro, and they're just regular people off the street, you're gonna get them to laugh. Like make the story you're own. Obviously if you're not Latino and bald like me you don't want to say that you are looking at a bald Latino reflection 'cause that's gonna be kind of awkward. Make it something that is uniquely yours and you will get great results. So, one of the other things with shooting beauty. So let's talk about settings here really quickly. Trick question here. Shutter speed and ISO. (audience laughing) What was the question? Right? Stays the same. Stays the same. What is it? As always, one 160th of a second. ISO 100, it never changes. I don't care if I'm shooting beauty, whatever the case might be. If I'm in this studio scenario with an off camera flash, those two are always the same. When it comes to picking my aperture, in this case I want to get a lot of detail. I want to get a lot of depth of field. This is not a scenario where you want to shoot wide open at like a two eight or five six or whatever. You want maximum detail. So you need a decent aperture. Usually F11. Usually does the job. So in this case, we'll go to F11. 160 ISO 100. And, I'm just taking a test frame so you don't need to look too amazing just yet. (camera beeps) (camera shooting) Very good. Alright, so. We take our first shot. We're evaluating. So, from here, I have to make some decisions right? I'm doing this in real time for you guys so you can see what my thought process is when I'm photographing beauty because you might take your first shot and it's like oh dear. These setting are not correct. Right? So you can look at the histogram and tell this is very dark. Again. If you want to kinda simulate what the lights would do if you wanted to brighten them up, you bring up that exposure slider. And it does brighten the image a tiny bit. I don't want to do that. So I actually want to either, lower my aperture, to make it brighter. So I can go from F11 to F8. Which gives me a little less depth of field. Which is kinda not what I want to go for with a beauty shot. So in this case, the other half of the equation is that I'm basically gonna take my power of my light, which is at an F, or it's actually at 1/8th power. And I'll go one, two, three, four. (beeping) And now we're at half power. We're gonna try this out. Now, at half power you want to keep something in mind, which I kinda mentioned. Which was that, at half power it takes a little longer, for the light to recycle. So, you can't go all Gang Buster shooting like 50 frames per second. 'Cause your flash is not gonna keep up with you, you need to shoot kinda controlled and slow. So, again F11. All I did was just raise this up. And, (camera beeping) I'm gonna take one shot. (camera shooting) Very good. I'm willing to bet this is gonna be my, let's find out. Okay, so it is kinda bright. So, that's going to half power. And, when I'm saying it's kinda bright, I'm looking at the brightest areas of the image. So, that's how, I want to try to train you guys to see the way that I see an image. So you might be looking at the overall image and maybe your brain kinda fizzles out like I don't know where to look (laughs). Anytime I take these types of shots I'm looking at the highlights and the shadows in the image. And I'm trying to figure out, how do the highlights look? How do the shadows look? In this case, the shadows look perfectly fine to me but the highlights are a little bit on the bright side. So again, I can go and lower the power. Which in this case might actually be a good idea 'cause I tend to not want to shoot at half power. Because of the fact that it takes more time for the light to recycle. So somewhere in between, quarter power and (beeping) the settings that we just had should hopefully land us where we want to be. So we're gonna keep everything the same, F11 160. Pop another shot off here (beeping) very good. (camera shooting) Excellent. So now again, kind of evaluating the highlights to take a look and see how they look. We're much, much better with the highlights. Take a look at detail. We're nice and sharp, so we're good. So, you could definitely shoot these types of images without the reflector below. These types of beauty looks, if we were, once we start to pose and do this, these types of shots where you have kind of like the shadow and you have the shadows below, they look really good as black and whites. I want to try to shoot some color stuff. And so I want to fill in some of these shadows. So, if you have a second light, and you want to be fancy, you can have a second light with whatever light source, whatever light shaper that you would like to basically fill in the shadows from below. That's your clam shell set up. However, we have again the inexpensive, Phottics Tri Reflector with the silver side. And this essentially does the same thing that a light would do, except it's a little more affordable. So, we will bring this up to like, to chest level, like right there's perfect. That's awesome. (camera beeping) Don't need to give me the amazing looks just yet (girl laughing) 'cause I just want to compare. So again settings, everything was the same. We just add a silver reflector. And, from here, so we're getting a little, (sighs) we're getting a little bit of, stuff that I don't want to do, alright? So, when you look at this particular shot, you're gonna notice the catch lights. You're getting the nice little, reflection from the reflector from below which is really nice. It's kinda the thing that I try to look at. Again, not going by the expression because, the expression we're gonna tweak and we're gonna work on. The lighting for me from below, it's almost starting to do this like monster lighting, where the stronger light source is actually coming from below. So, I actually could do one of two things here. We could actually lower the reflector from chest level and kinda lower it a bit so it's not as intense. Or, these reflectors are actually like five in one. So, if you want to show that, you have a silver side and a black side. On the inside you have white, and you have gold. So depending on the skin tone that you're photographing you can really quickly take that reflector and flip it around, and now you have a totally different modifier. The inside of that is a diffusion panel. So if you're ever shooting outdoors, and I would tell you if you're a photographer, whether you're studio, outdoor photographer if you're photographing people, you need to get one of these types of reflectors because that diffusion panel, if you're shooting at like 12 o'clock mid-day with crazy sun light, that's gonna come in handy. And if you haven't watched the... It was a Creative Live class, that was done a few years ago talking about shooting in really bad light. And it's all about having, shade and creating shade. And these reflectors allow you to be able to do that. So, pretty easily, pretty quickly you can change this from being a sliver side to a white side. The white side will reflect a nice soft light as opposed to that really specular light. So we'll take a look at that and you can see how that looks. Very good. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) Excellent. So, again nothing changed. We just went from a silver side to a white side on the reflector. And now all of a sudden, we went from this, to this. So here, we're getting a nice light. The catch light from below isn't super intense. This is something that if I wanted to get the brighter catch light from below, I can modify that in exposure or in Photoshop. So, basically that's kind of where I want to go, with this particular look. So, we're gonna roll with this. So let's take some shots. I'm gonna let you kind of go and I showed her a mood board, and this is why it's really important that you kind of find examples of the types of shots you want to shoot. So that you can show them. I usually have my cell phone on the set and I'll show them pictures so they get an idea of the types of looks and the poses that I want. And it makes it much easier for them to recreate. I kinda showed her that ahead of time so for the sake of time, I'm gonna let her kind of do her thing, and as I start to see and I do this in every photo shoot, I let them kind of do their own poses, and then anytime I see something where I'm like, I need to do like a micro adjustment like we talked about earlier. That's when I'll start giving my instruction. But, if they're doing a great job sometimes I really don't have to say anything. Other than to tell them they're doing a good job. (girl laughing) So that's important. Alright, so here we go. (camera beeping) We'll, (camera shooting) take a quick little test shot here. That looks awesome. And, mirror me for a second. So kind of go off just like that. That's perfect. Tilt the head that way. There you go. Very nice. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) Excellent. Just like that. And I'm actually going to, do this here. Perfect. Very nice. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) Excellent, love that. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) And so, these are all with the 85 1.4. (camera beeping) Part of the reason, ( camera shooting) that I use this particular lens, is that, (camera beeping) it doesn't make (camera shooting) the persons head wide. Which, (camera beeping) you don't want to do like (camera beeping) balloon head images for beauty stuff. You really want the perspective (camera shooting) to look a nice natural way. (camera beeping) I like that, that's great. (camera shooting) And the 85 actually allows you to be able to do that. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) Excellent. (camera beeping) Reset the hands so kind of like wiggle it and then bring it back in. Very nice, and the eyes. I want you to close it down. Okay. Yeah, that looks awesome. (camera beeping) So there's two things (camera shooting) with shooting beauty images that I like to, kind of talk through with the model. And I say this all the time and I shot this one because I want to show you this. So, when it comes to hands. Hands were about the hardest thing, for me to try to figure out when I was shooting this genre of photography. Because, there's only so many shots you can do where it's just their face. Like, you want to have something with the hands in the frame. And shooting with hands sometimes can be very challenging because what'll happen is, and I sort of talked about this earlier, but for the cameras perspective if you show the back of the hand, the back of the hand looks really big in comparison to the size of the face. So, as a rule of thumb. And again I've see this rule broken many times and the images still looked good. So don't take what I'm saying as like a end all be all, like it has to be like this. Rules are meant to be broken, but generally speaking, you don't want to see the front or the back side of the hand in an image. So in a shot like this where you can see the inside of the hand, I don't care how young, how beautiful a person is. The inside of the hand, is wrinkled. And so when you have beautiful texture of skin and a wrinkly hand, it detracts from what we're trying to go for with a beauty look. So, what I always tell the models, is when your hand is in the frame, karate chop. Right? (audience chuckling) So, if you are karate chopping. So if they're like this, I'm like karate chop. And they'll open it up like this. Or if they're this way. Karate chop. And they'll open it up this way. It's a really simple, thing. A really simple technique. And, it basically is kind of like a soft way of telling them to adjust their hands. You don't want to get into the habit of basically like, telling them they're not doing it right. Like fix your hand. It's a psychological thing. You want to make it like kind of a funny thing to where they're like oh yeah. But if you say their hand isn't right, fix your hand. Like it basically just makes it where, you're not gonna get the good expression. So I always tell them karate chop is the one thing. And, (clicking tongue) can't remember the other thing. I'll come back to it. We'll keep shooting. Awesome. Alright so we're gonna keep doing that same. Oh! The other thing I just remembered now 'cause (all laughing) she just did it. Oh! (laughs). And it just totally reminded me. So, the eyes. Is another thing. So, sometimes, you're photographing someone, and they have big beautiful eyes, right? She has big beautiful eyes. And, so in a beauty shot, or even in a portrait, they want to show you those big beautiful eyes right? So they'll be like, they'll open their eyes like how she did in this particular shot right? Everyone does this. Like don't feel bad. (girl laughing) Everyone does this. They have beautiful eyes so they want to show you those eyeballs. And it can sometimes be a little bit creepy when people (all laughing) open their eyes like super wide. So, the way that I overcome this again, in a very positive way, is to tell them, I want you to pretend like, you know when you get an eye exam they have that little eye chart? Right? So I want you to pretend like you're looking at that eye chart, right now. You're looking wherever that is on the eye chart. I want you to look like two rows down on that eye chart. And naturally what do you do? Right? You'll close your eyes down just a tiny bit. That is how I get them to basically close their eyes just a tiny bit. Sometimes I'll tell them, 'cause if I just say can you kind of close your eyes down just a tiny bit more? They'll do one of these numbers and then it looks really bad. And so rather than going back and forth like no open it more, no close it down more. Basically just tell them like, go up a line, go down a line, perfect. And then you keep dong that. You want them to feel confident and comfortable that they're doing a good job. 'Cause if they feel that way, you're gonna get really fantastic images. So, glad I remembered that. (laughing) Took me a minute. Alright. Very nice. Hold that. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) Excellent. Here we go. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) And so for one of these shots I want you to mirror again. So you can kind of go this way. And tilt the head this way. And I want you to do how you were doing with the hand like that. Just like that and I want Okay. kind of like an intense like, you're really thinking about what beauty product is gonna make my face look amazing? You're really Ah yes. thinking about it. Okay (laughing). So I make up a lot of really silly stories when I'm photographing people. Because, (camera beeping) that's beautiful hold that. (camera shooting) You'll end up getting great (camera beeping) expressions. (camera shooting) The goofier the story the better. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) Very nice. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) Excellent. Now I want you to once again, you're gonna mirror me. So you're like that. You're gonna tilt the head this way. And you're like this. Oh with my hand? Yeah but with the other hand sorry. Mirroring like this. (girl laughing) So, bend the hand. Yeah, just like that. So it's almost like this. And you're like this. And you're looking Okay. at the camera. (girl laughing) You're upset, Okay. because you just can't figure out what product to get. Bring the hand up (girl laughing) on the forehead a tiny bit. There you go just like that. Perfect. And you're looking down you nose line. Meaning, wherever your nose is pointing, you're looking in that same direction. Okay. And I'll give you guys a quick reason why we do that. Chin, rotate it towards me a touch. There you go. And then eyes looking down the eye line, or the nose line. Open the eyes a bit. Up a line, up a line. Bring the eyes to where you're looking here. There you go. And we're intense. There we go. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) Excellent. There we go. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) Very nice. Now, you can freestyle with the hand. Same angle, Okay. But... What do I want here. Yeah there we go. Karate chop that. There you go. Very nice. (camera shooting) Excellent. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) Very nice. And now you can take the hand down for a few of these. Okay. There we go. Beautiful hold that. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) Excellent. (camera beeping) (camera shooting) Very good. I want you to mirror me one more time, go this way. Play off the shoulder. Just like that. Yeah, don't, you don't have to bring it up completely. Okay. Just literally like just bring the shoulder in real close like that. Nice and then, tilt the head just a tiny bit. There you go. So you can see, real time (camera shooting) this is how I'm posing, and moving the subject (camera beeping) around. (camera shooting) And you can tell if I had to like, physically more her in between, this photo shoot would take forever and we would never get any of the shots. I want to see a couple of these. Just to check them out. So I feel like once we get the beauty dish shot, we'll go 'head and we'll, good. Alright, so I feel like I got the beauty dish shot. We're gonna change it up here to the Octa. Any questions at this point on settings, lighting, working with people? Anything? Yes? Alright well while you're doing that, somebody had asked about two catch lights in the eyes. Yes. And the person says, sometimes in competitions the judges will say oh that's a no no to have two because it's not natural. Yeah. What is your take on that? So that's a good question. When it comes to competitions, competitions are weird. They have their own set of rules and you want to play by those guidelines if you're trying to win competitions. I could tell you that in day to day life if you look at an image that was shot outdoors, like a outdoor portrait. If they are outdoors on cement or anything like that, you're gonna see all kinds of cath lights. You're gonna see catch lights from the side, from the top, from the bottom. From every which angle. Real life, you can't really control the catch lights so much. Like they come from where they come from. Catch lights are one of those things where if you look in advertisements, especially in beauty ads, you're gonna see all different types of catch lights. One of the ones that I'm gonna show you here in a second, I do all the time. And people are always like, but I can see you in the catch light. And it's like, yeah guess what if you see a beauty advertisement for a six figure, makeup campaign, you will find images where you can see the photographer in the catch light. So competition is one thing. Commercial work is a totally different thing. There are no rules whatsoever. So, that's probably part of the reason why I don't do competitions so much. 'Cause I feel like, it limits your creativity as a photographer sometimes to go into a competition where they tell you, you can do this or you can't do this, or this is acceptable or this is not acceptable. When creatively anything is acceptable. Whatever you look at as an artist. Maybe you want, 20 catch lights in an eye. It'd be really hard to do but, if you want to have a bunch of different catch lights in the eye and that's your style like go with that. The heck with what the competition guidelines say. If you want to play for awards for that play within those rules. And I'll actually show you with this particular set up here you're just gonna get the one catch light. You won't have the two. So, good question. Any other, Right. questions on, any of this? We did have a question from T. Burling who asked if you ever use a flash meter? Wondering, Yeah. we haven't seen you use a meter yet so. Yeah I know. So I haven't used a meter and I do own one. However, it sits in my bag most of the time. Why? Because, I kinda gave you guys my lighting recipe. So, I don't really need the meter. Most of the time I walk into the studio and I can get the lights to look, the way that I want them to look without having to have a meter tell me, what the proper exposure is. It's like an eyeball thing. So, after awhile you get really good and really quick and you don't have to, you don't need the meter to tell you whether or not the exposure is correct or not. So, I have one. I have used them on sets. If I have very complicated light set ups where I have multiple lights, that might be a scenario where it'd be good to meter. Because you want to make sure everything is proper. The more lights you add, the more you kind of want to use a meter. Most of what I do is one light. So, why meter. You can just change you're settings using my recipe and you're good to go.

Class Materials

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Miguel's Exposure X2 Alien Skin Presets

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Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I want to commend you for hosting Miguel Quiles. He is beyond competent and knowledgeable. Light is Light, but It is encouraging to see incredible minority photographers on your platform and to see diversity in the presenters. It is inspirational for minorities to see themselves on the center stage. I sincerely thank you for that. I am buying this course although I am not a mirrorless shooter because of my support of Miguel and the quality of his instruction of which benefits all photographers. He is a great addition to the Creative Live Family of Presenters that I have supported as well. Kudos Creative Live!

Danae Khan Jones

Wow! As a Newb and someone looking to get into portrait/studio photography, this course was perfect and comprehensive. SO MUCH GOOD CONTENT. Miguel is so approachable about questions, positive, and thorough in his explanations. This course broke down the gear and technical side very well. I recommend going to a class live. It was a great experience with food and beautiful facilities. The facility has a positive vibe and really encouraged me to be creative. Thank you for the experience and knowledge!


WOW!!! I LOVED THIS CLASS!!! I learned so much. He made lighting soooo simple, I finally understood. I liked the way he explained the why of his camera settings and how to overcome ambient light. he explained and made everything simple!!! I liked the way he talked about connecting with your clients. I am so happy I purchased this class. I finally understood lighting What a great teacher!! Thank you!!

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