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Studio Lighting

Lesson 15 of 18

Multiple Shoots Continuing

Zack Arias

Studio Lighting

Zack Arias

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Lesson Info

15. Multiple Shoots Continuing

Lesson Info

Multiple Shoots Continuing

so I'm shooting anthony dan I need a pocket wizard since I've given mine up on I'm on channel two on I've got my tether so I'm doing the same kind of thing over on my side of the set rachel's messing up the lights so nick can jump in and have to figure it out on his own I'm sticking with half power four point five that was what it was last time but I've changed out to a red background and we have anthony onboard on we've got to just give it up for all of our subjects are models are bands this weekend because they have been so amazingly painfully patient with all of us so I'm gonna have you kind of just rotate and you're gonna be looking this way right there perfect I'm just gonna do a test shot all right nick I want to hear you in the back of my head I want to hear what you're saying yeah I want you to start I'm gonna have you step up just a second I won't move this stool cool right there just pulling him away from the background a little more I want that background to go a little more...

out of focus same kind of thing you're coming around this way perfect I'm gonna go down a quarter power one two three so I'm just kind of talking I'm talking to the people watching online so we'll talk when I'm looking at you we'll be talking when I'm over here I'm talking to you like to the internet all them people in the internet so where you from originally tacoma been here all your life northwestern guy yeah gorgeous up here I'd move up here in a heartbeat I love you saying um good you're going to be kind of looking off this way again perfect perfect um what we'll go up to my light room feed you guys can check to my light room feed every now and then is I'm shooting I'll be pulling up these pictures that I'm shooting against the red twenty eight inch soft box hot shoe flash staying there a little bit about dark corner on that background so I couldn't move my light feather back towards that's where great there anthony that's awesome great love it now I want you just just kind of look right over here at me um right you know I looked I locked up my car a couple times went to the room flock all the locks good he's telling a story that's good luck finding your life how you feeling nick finally you're great yeah actually kicked down both of the back like I'm gonna deal with this one first okay and I'm exposed to there and then I'll bring those up from okay sounds good so that's the way to do it so I'm gonna come in and I'm gonna do full body on really there just to hang out you kind of look teo up with me well actually there's gonna be broadcast on the internet that's just right there no worries nice just okay that looks great yeah all right perfect just cut your eyes to me excellent that's cool I like the attitude on that so what do you do outside of modelling is kind of a little bit in the pot you know that cat tilson from around here uh tilson he's a hip hop artist here in seattle I just met him yesterday um yeah he was in yesterday for a shoot part of this gold class thing that we're doing a lot of hip hop from atlanta so so we know a little something about you know what we can do about my light closer into anthony think closing down two thirds of a stop for that uh and what I want to do is just get a little bit of light on that red background back there how you doing over there nick bill good find your exposure fantastic your questions face around this way to the light just a bit what is ah what's your favorite after I write to me eleven teen I love f eleven teen eleven pain cut to the light room real quick twenty eight inch box really nice and close beautiful beautiful beautiful all right eric I want a really cool portrait right here you are on channel to give me some kind of dramatic then give me something a little more straightforward I want I want to see a shot where it's really bright red and I want to see a shot where it's kind of darker and a little more muted alright excellent okay all right I want a movement shot of her quickly I want I need a shot of her all right I'm art director get this thing done I'm tired of waiting on you your lights didn't fire what are you doing why are you thinking this way blah blah blah blah blah right pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure pressure how you doing good why are you not firing my cameras off no but the pocket was it should be firing ah pocket was it came unplugged but shouldn't these be firing also but they're probably on um they are on slaves back there which l online all right so I'm under pressure I got a band I've got the fences in house everybody we've got to get their promo shot done I've gotta work quickly we've built a set for them um you firing find it as soon as I want a great flowy shot from lou okay then I need you to switch it up and I need mats and more in there want teo getsem he's on channel one year on channel to dance my dan I need yes and when you when you come around you look at me and is your body continues to try to make maintained eye contact with me excuse me I'm gonna go down teo so one hundred white balance flash okay when you're ready go ahead ballerina's gonna go right here ring okay all right let's do one more can I get you can I get you off the ground a little bit expose your real quick let's looking exposure overexposed and your background light I'm not sure that background lights your over exposed here I want pure white background all right how she's just too bright and that that backgrounds not going solid white and her reflections being lost okay all right so um make sure that background all both background lights air firing it looks like your ratio is off so what nick's trying to work out right now is his subject is over exposed the background is kind of light grey he's got to get his ratio down hot stuff doing good and I don't want you to look at I'm getting set up for the fences uh we need a pocket wizard on channel three and you have another state court for that head dan nice looking good great take us back a little bit further fanned its last one last ones and make up awesome alright eric how are you doing over here doing great he's doing great yeah he's a natural I'm going to say I'm doing right now check this out you see that uh let's get a camera on the back here you see that line coming through his head I don't like that all right feather a little bit of gotta line in his head right here lines through his head you got a kind of a cleaner spot right here compose it here in this cleaner part of the fold all right now this is nice and bright red uh once you get a nice clean composition here your exposure looks great everything's looking working great I want this to go darker and when I come back to you I want to see that bright red and I want to see that darker almost black with a little bit of detail all right what do you think's gonna do that for you I'm gonna have to adjust the light to my subject hair back and forth inverse square law little feathering yet well math you're good how we looking thanks man now you're getting there alright take a break come on up here come on up grab a camera pass off pocket laser go mess up all the light ratios my brain is in overdrive at the moment what's that no yeah yeah sure keep that pocket channel for uh let's go up in power on this let's go full power because I need is much depth of field as I can get we're throwing the octa on the band way have a set that we have built just for this promo shot meghan has been working on this set since last night on we're doing good I've got you roughed in to where I need you to be and then I'm going to start fine tuning you I gotta do a few lighting changes things like that um let me have you just kind of like hands in pockets just a bit and just a smidgen over this way keep going just a bit all right so like tests channel four pocket wizard we're firing oh I so one hundred men one twenty fifth of a second I'm five six I'm not using a meter so I'm just going to see where stand and what my life looks like you're standing here this is good perfect chemo I'm gonna have you coming up here and leading now there's a fake wall okay it's not gonna fall on you but it's got a little gift so you khun put your weight into it don't jump into it you can put your weight into it it's just gonna rock a little bit um there I want to have you sit on this and what's gonna happen is you're going to come in here and you're just going to kind of be hanging out ok on this app box hanging out like that I don't know rotate your legs that way just bit awesome chris you're looking good man we'll get you to squeeze this were just about a half a step there you go perfect gonna throw these lights in the background should be right that's what they always do and I want you to rotate around the other way yeah you're gonna be looking at me and your head's going to kind of kick over like that perfect good now then when I'm kind of bringing us the light from the side of the band so the main thing I have to worry about is have one single light source hitting them I have to make sure that one guy shadow doesn't fall onto the other's I'm shooting it about f ate I should have plenty of depth of field for this shot right let me have you lean against that back wall back they're just kind of lean right back up against that perfect you just kind of like cross your feet yeah very just kind of kicking up picking up a toe kind of like you're coming around like this see my foot here I'm cool good all right chris you're looking right at me I give give me like you're running you're running a marathon you're unaware alright yeah that's good that's good feels kinda goofy is okay so you gonna run the marathon you're going anywhere stop give me a box of stats okay well give me give me mean face at least there you go all right good hands up a little yeah awesome that camera at school everyone just kind of find it spot off camera john you're going to kind of look let's have you looking that way perfect chris you're right on me good holden they're perfect excellent right there that's good chris looking off camera right there now gonna bring you a little bit closer here to bring you on in come on in and chemo you're gonna come in right behind his shoulder here perfect testing my light good right there chin down just a little bit and you're looking off camera this would turn your face just a little more that way good right there perfect chemo turned in that just rotate your body just a bit you're still looking right at me perfect chemo now you're looking off that way chris you're staying right on me good perfect good eyes were getting a little dark hold this a couple of changes here harry go zack from the internet right is about if that's not modifying the glasses what do you know what you're doing to make sure you don't get to reflections I'm just not seeing it well you got to do is have your subject move just little incremental if you start seeing the reflection what if you start seeing the reflections in the high glasses just this move to this could be gone from here to here it could be gone if this is the light source I don't want them looking right into it I want them dangling away from it and so far with the glasses I really haven't had any issue my light's been up high enough I might get a little reflection now if he were to look completely off in that direction go ahead and take a look in that direction right there but I am not expecting there are no reflections uh do you have the anti glare stuff on your lens is do you know I don't know you don't know you probably do because I don't see a lot of reflections coming off of it so it may have been one of those like they they just include that a lot so start something different you wanna sit in a chair for you it's just a little bit over this way right there perfect alright on dh that's fine just thumbs and pockets just a little wider stance with your feet almost kind of right there chemo looking right at me everyone looking right on a rough mag the set looks great I want you to rotating your needs that way good chris looking off camera again like that right there coming forward just a little bit chemo is getting lost in the shadow of chris everyone looking right at me wait here we go right on camera here we go perfect great all right so you guys take a break we're going to change our lighting up I'm going to do individuals of each of you in this set what I have going on on my set right now with the fences thes air the individual shots I got my grid spot twenty degree grid on the face with a soft chaser I picked this up from girls sports photographers do this alive for your portfolio you take a grid and you fly out in front of a softer light source can we get a camera over here we got one on me camera three I want a camera on me me me me me me camera on me okay uh we want to pull over here just a bit I've got a grid hang out we're gonna move cameras real quick yep ready set way okay what I've got set up here twenty degree grid spot flying out in front of the octo bank thie grid spot is about two stops brighter or two maybe three stops brighter than the oc so we bring in that grid spot look kind of ah snappy sharpe contrast hard light but it's chased with a big soft phil the phyllis coming from the same axis as the hard light and that is what we're going with on this shot way might get a little bit of his shadow on the ground or that's fine but it's going to be filled in so chemo I almost had my lights set up and I'm expecting this to be more of a vertical shot good dan now I'll do it with fire not that you can't just alright cool doesn't know exactly what I need todo this grid is creating his shadow on the wall I want to get rid of his shadow over my camera position on look think it through this is one of those situations for those of you listening to me this's one of those situations toe where I'm like working too fast and I'm getting sloppy and I need to slow down and think it through but the problem is I don't have time to slow down all right take a look down close so I'm using my modeling light to get this grid right on the key most face where the name chemo come from yeah it is everyone just assumed like it's some sort of like it's chemotherapy kind of thing or like yeah now is that like driver's license name chemo it's really common island okay that changes it right yeah very cool it's a cool name fixit school like you wanted to shoot some photos didn't work for me but a face like mine you don't get much like driver's license name I want hop up there I want thea I want the ocd about one stop more you know keep it at that level just take it up a little higher right there once this is dialed in like we're rolling all right zach the internet wants to know if your considerations air for his bald head it all what's that again you're lighting considerations air for the ball chinese hat are my lighting considerations for the bald shiny head no like if he was a ceo of a company on dh it was like the main shot for the ceo of the company and he was all bald I wouldn't hit him with a hard light I wouldn't hit him with a hard light sub camera to um uh be soft light um and there's these little blue sayings meant what are those little blue things called to take oil off oil absorbing sheet it's keep some of those around and you just say I need you to do a little bit of this on your head and take the sheen off they'll take the shine off but no chemo is has no hair on his head like a like that right I'm shooting pretty wide alright chemo we are rolling here we go way back awesome let me have you looking right at me right there perfect hold right there good face around this way just a bit come on chin down just a little and eyes to camera good hanging out right there it's good I won't change my angle it's gonna change my look looking right at me chin down a little bit perfect right there looking good internet would like to know the inspiration for the back drop for the band was that the band's inspiration or the uh creative director creative director and the creative director is my wife megan and of course no megan is the idea she gets the ideas then I have to come in with the logistics and figure out how to do it uh the bad what do you play play play the drums that's great about this pull his body around the lake there we go perfect and drop his face just a little bit more and right under his chin and pull that yeah that's good right there chin down just a little bit good looking off camera awesome looking right in the camera perfect head tilt over this way just a bit chin down smooth alright changed matt up somehow put your toes out just a little bit way looking off camera this way with beauty of going back to internet question beauty of my my life is my wife is a part of my life on I could be like okay here's some parts and pieces but I need something cool to happen and she makes it happen um all right next we're good much chemo um yeah again I'm perfect we're gonna work with you guys some more a lot back up to seattle and perfect right there looking off camera and just taking matt and changing him up to something doing something on while I have him changing things up on looking for a picture while it's happening bring his body closer into yours way perfect way great right they're excellent that's fantastic doing good chin down just a bit head tilt over just a little bit this way right there and just looking down at the ground good good great great great all right next we have one more and then I know you guys gotta roll so thank you so much for being part of this um well you've got a resource in atlanta if you ever need yeah all right thank you nice meeting you all right yeah uh all right I'm just getting some perfect all right you're on you're ready to go oh that's great do that again right there pull him a little closer to you and let his head drop down a little all right there there it is now I want your face coming up yeah you're just like that lay his face dropped down and then your face comes up this way perfect right there and you're looking up that way perfect and just your eyes come back to camera excellent right there so when I was shooting chemo over here he was the first band member to be shot that was I was moving all over the set uh let's let's like drape him over your lap I want to see more fur than the underside right there and then perfect kind of bring his head back to me great that's it if you could take his arm tom can you come take yeah and just flip it to where I see for excellent yeah and you're just kind of like petting just keep that handed motion right there looking down looking down this way turn in your face more that way keep turning your face more right there looking down perfect just keeping that hand in motion there are way it looks natural and it just glance over here at me perfect good good good all right let's change them up for a few um see if they come like over your shoulder this those bodies cut in the back and he's just like right there there we go I want you kind of looking that way perfect right there that's it that's shot chin down just a little bit chin down just a little more I'm bringing his chin down do have reflections in the glass is from my grid spot right now shin comes down a little bit and reflections are gone and job is done all right questions it's the internet has seen a lot of the images you shot with the band and they'd just been wondering kind of what that looks like alright do something like that see the triangle I'm building heads um I look for that kind of thing they're lit with one light it's lit with the octo bank it's pulled back probably six to eight feet from them uh so that um sixty feet away so that large of a light source inverse square law technically actually the math changes and with a really large diffuse light source so from one side of the band of the other side of the band we are not losing we're losing less than a stop alight from one side of the band of the other when you're shooting uh people with one light you want to make sure that one person shadow isn't cast onto the face of someone else all right so you could see that everybody's face received light from one light source take chemo he's on the far right side of the frame if he would have taken a step back he would have been in the shadow of chris so at once point he did get in chris's shadow and I had to have him step forward and so he was out of it so everyone got light I also when I'm building a group I think of everyone's head is a point of a triangle and I'm trying to just create a simple triangle of shape so we have top of chris's head coming down here across his arms and back up it's not a perfect triangle but I typically don't want all the heads straight across usually not everyone is the same height um so triangular starting at the top and building heads down and back around another question you got some question all right hit me practice here last night and I noticed the same thing happened to me today where I ended up kind of losing color information or it seemed like the images weren't quite a contrast use they should be so that the light was really flat when everything was sort of it seemed like it was exposed correct please so what the color was like well that kind of gone out a couple of situations I should should clarify I've had situations where the colors just seems completely off but everything seems to be exposed correctly and then at the same time there are other images that have been kind of flat and you really have to bump the contrast in post so make it are we talking white seamless yes ok if it's flat it's gonna be one or two things happening here if it's flat you have tobe bump contrast or shadow sliders were talking white seamless blowing that background a white and things are kind of flat either your background is too bright your subject may be too close to the background for your particular linz is flaring no I should say on the white seamless I never used my fifty one eight I'm not sure if I've mentioned that at some point you know well now now you tell me right no now I tell you some lenses don't do very well with a bright light source coming back into it the fifty one eight you're contrast just goes what linds were you shooting the eighty five one eight eighty five one now my eighty five one eight works pretty well um cleanest I've ever shot is a thirty five f too but I get three stops a light over and my thirty five f too will hold contrast I don't it's just it's the optics my twenty forty seventy works pretty good my eighty two two hundred works pretty good um my eighty five one eight works until it's like two stops over and then it's like we're done like it's it starts to fall apart so if you're losing contrast that is an issue if it's color you're losing the color the saturation of color it may be some of the flair and it may just be that you aren't exposed if you are exposed properly you should have good color rendition yes um there's quite a bit a bit of talk on the chat rooms about model releases and what you're doing in this sort of situation as faras model release discover okay in this sort of situation since this is being released commercially right this's a commercial release wei have model releases we have everyone that comes on set agrees to the fact that hey we are taping this this is going on the internet and it is being um packaged up insult later now if I'm working just with a client if models come in and they sit down and we take pictures and um and then off they go um I don't need a model release the only time I need a model releases if I'm going to take that picture and put it into a commercial application alright I am it's like I'm selling it to a toothpaste company to sell toothpaste then I need a model release now if I'm selling it to the newspaper or an editorial communiqu I could sell it to the cover of a major magazine and it is illustrating a story it's editorial storytelling it's narrative it's journalism I can sell that picture without a model release I may get a letter from a lawyer but you know you take a picture of ah eighteen year old model and then you send it in and the illustrates you know uh runaway children who have heroin problems and their mom sees it my daughter is not a runaway she doesn't have a heroin problem you know blah blah blah um I'm calling my lawyer legally I could sell that without a moderately so I typically I don't have model releases if for some reason we had a situation come up someone found a picture on my flicker feed they contacted us they said we'd love to use this in a point of cell uh display that we're doing we'd like to use this picture I had to call that client and I said hey uh this company is called us they want to use your picture in a point of sale it was a a promotional shoot for a musician they love this picture uh are you okay with signing a model release they asked what is that product what is the product of um I am not at liberty to say what the product was but it wasn't anything like you know weird that might be a moral issue for my subject right so she said sure I will sign her model released for that so I would get a model lease from her and then now I can sell that picture commercially alright just a couple of questions props a couple of people are asking how do you store the fabric you talked about seamless the other day so how do you start a fabric and what do you do if you're on a budget like what kind of resource is do you realize if you're on really a tight budget or you're really tight budget thrift stores secondhand shops some of the props that we had today for the shoot we rented them um and for like thirty bucks we got off like a half a van full of stuff and we just return it later today um and we could rent it for thirty bucks um so you want to put a shoot together you can rent props at times go to fabric stores find little remnants I would rather have this little tiny piece of demand then one of those models blue nasty box store drapey wrinkly crappy muslin background things I hate those o so you know how they're all wrinkly right the best way to take care of that if I told you that how to do it the best way you got one of those muslim background it's all like models blue or pink or it's tied id or something what you do take it outside you'd lightly lightly spray it with gasoline you throw a match on it and it takes care of it takes care of that background next question yes when in those cases when you were just telling that story about like claim that you had a model release because like it was on flicker and anyone buy it does the model ask for compensation typically with that model early sir sometimes um if it was one of those things like let's say big massive credit card company came to me and said we want this picture and I negotiated fifty thousand dollars in usage thought I'd go back to my client and I'd go look move big massive credit card companies coming to us they've got a pretty good budget for this um I probably wouldn't tell them how much that would be um but I if someone was coming to be insane fifty thousand bucks for this usage of this one image there an old client of mine guess what your photo shoot that you paid me two hundred fifty bucks for you just made up for that ten times you'll sign this model release I wanted I want to send you a check for twenty five hundred bucks you know ice that I share um a little business business segway we're going do this business segway we're gonna take a break all right business segway I was building my business barely keeping my lights on and certain key friends and people around me were struggling as well and I realized one day I'm like if I'm barely taking care of my own I can't help anybody else right and I got all my buddies friends family members people people around me struggling to and I'm struggling and if I'm always struggling I'll never be in a position that I can help anybody I need to grow this business up and so what I do is my business grows and we take on a project I'd say we got a project going on and say okay we need help doing this project who do we know who could do this well this company can do it they're buddies of ours this friend of ours could do it they can do it this feat the folks we know in this network they could do it how are they all standing in their life right now well these two are busy there jobs are going well things are going this person over here they're struggling they've been out of work for three months but they'd be great for this boom they get the job right so is my business grows it is to be a blessing to other people my studio is to be a blessing to the community my business is to help me bless other people around me too and if I'm barely making it I can't do that right so fifty thousand dollars you know checks come in my way I call my client up you know what here's twenty five hundred bucks five thousand dollars let's say fifty grand uh five thousand of that is what ten percent you know would you you know I'll call you now I could work it out hey will you sign this um selling it baba baba block I'll give you a hundred bucks no I'll give you five when I go out I always tip twenty percent and it's it's not for me it's not a karma thing or anything like that but it it is a you're working hard and you're waiting tables and you've got a bad attitude I'd probably have a bad attitude if I had your job too you know what you'd like right now I'm pretty decent tip even though you're being a jerk twenty percent help I want to help I want two I want to take what I do and spread it out to other people and I want to take care of me and mine but once that's done who else can come in all right so sneak one in is a quick hopefully uh a couple of people have asked what could you substitute if you don't have the nice strip lights to kind of create that same effect what could you substitute the strip lights with to get that same kind of look I have taken black fabric and laid it over the front of big momma here to kind of make a strip gets a little close to that doesn't quite work with an umbrella I've tried it um nothing quite like it I've used grid spots to give the rim light or zoomed in flash heads take a hot shoe flash soon at the eighty five millimeter one hundred millimeter whatever it'll zoom too and that's the kind of the poor man's grid spot put some gaff tape toe like make barn door's people asked what about barn doors what about him they take light you khun you know shape your light a little bit with barn doors

Class Description

If you’re new to studio photography, or even if you’ve been doing indoor shoots for a while, studio lighting can be a real challenge. The sheer amount of gear required and the inherent complexity of the equipment mean that there are always lots of variables—and lots of ways to make mistakes!

This weekend-long course taught by renowned music, editorial and advertising photographer Zach Arias breaks down the technicalities of studio lighting into manageable chunks so you can get a handle on what you need to do in almost any studio situation.

Zach will cover a wide variety of topics, from how to build a studio to shutter and aperture settings to posing groups. By the end of this in-depth course, you’ll have the skills to tackle any type of indoor shoot, whether it’s in a huge warehouse or your spare bedroom.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Build your studio and buy the right gear for the right price.
  • Create and shoot on a white seamless backdrop.
  • Set your ISO, shutter speed and aperture.
  • Understand depth of field and shooting groups.
  • Do head shots with a beauty dish.
  • Use all sorts of flashes, including strobes and hot shoe flashes, as well as modifiers.
  • Handle multiple shoots at once.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Gear List

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Martin B.

Zack - you're the man inside all of the studio classes !!! I've seen a lot of teachers, which are doing studio classes, but you do this on a very lively manner. I've never seen sudio classes like you do ;-) At fist I like your kind of "Cheap Shots" ... you take great images with a kind of inexpensive gear - especially the one light stories. Most of the other photographers are teaching classes by using a lot of light - you can fix the same shots with only one light *thumbs up*. By my selfe i'm teaching "low budget" stuff, but many people are going the other way ... don't know why. Even the available light is the most powerfull light you can work with. Also my theory fits with your "one light" kind of take this shot. Many people should think about your style of photography and related back to the beginning of photography (Adams, Feininger, ...) ;-) Keep on teaching/living your kind of photography - it's worth it - this class is worth all the money ... and much more !!! Martin (

a Creativelive Student

I'm an alum of both the OneLight DVD and Zack's OneLight in-person class. I pre-purchased this course because I knew it would be amazing. I was a bit worried that there would be overlap from his other course offerings but was pleasantly surprised. I tell every photographer that I meet about Zack, his classes and the wealth of knowledge up for grabs on his blog. If you have never shot in a studio or if you are seasoned pro, I guarantee you'll get more than your money's worth out of this course. Zack's work pays his bills, not the equipment companies. Therefore, he can be up front about his likes and dislikes. Zack also doesn't screw around with people, he's the real deal and tells it like it is. Mark my word, buy this class and get the best ROI of anything else you'll buy this year. Zack has the natural gift of teaching. You'll quickly realize that it's not about the latest and greatest gear, it's about your client's needs and knowing how to find solutions with what you've got. Enjoy.


Excellent class and worth every single penny! I have always been a big fan of Zack both in regards to his quality of work and skill set and who he is as a person. You can watch all the Youtube video tutorials in the world and you will gain some good knowledge, however many are holding back some information they do not want you to know about. This class has taught me so much about lighting where I feel much more confident with the technical side and can focus more on the creative side. Well worth your investment!