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Making your First Million: Mentoring

Lesson 35 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

Making your First Million: Mentoring

Lesson 35 from: Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques

Scott Robert Lim

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Lesson Info

35. Making your First Million: Mentoring


Class Trailer

Day 1


Course Introduction


What Photographers Should Know


Lighting Gear Box


My Camera Gear


Understanding the Magic of Flash


Shoot: Essential Skill #1 - Lighting Positions


Essential Skill #2 - Bright Light Situations


Lesson Info

Making your First Million: Mentoring

The mentoring philosophy here's how I feel it works of how you get someone to that higher level first of all observation you simply just need to be in the presence of greatness that's why I take every year I make it my effort to take my daughter to see a professional basketball game because she loves basketball okay and I you know saved my pennies and I try to get as close as possible to that floor staple son of floors I can't right and some years I can get her down to eleven rose from the floor so she can see the players and sometimes some of the players look at her whatever and she has a connection with them or whatever she hears him custody hears him spare us where see here's the coach yelling at them I want to give her that experience and you know I go up to her one day and here I said you know what? Maybe you'll be playing on this floor one day when you like that be amazing shown the dream and so you have to be around those people at that world class level to feel what it's like t...

o be in that arena and observe how do the act what did they do what's the practice habits what's their philosophy of thinking how did they achieve at that level you have to be you know it's like white on rice man you just have to get through us moses get feel it on what they're doing right that's why our parents are such a huge influence on us every day we get to see how they are what they're doing right and we have those great parents that we can learn from because we observe you need to observe often so you can it can rub off on you and you could understand what it takes to be a tw that world class level okay you know it even goes to how they run their business how they charge what did they say to people right how did they treat people all those things you have to observe then you have to be technically sound right you have to know flash like nothing like the back of your hand up sixteen power this but nobody like it's nothing like you don't struggle with it right just like your camera you guys been shooting for a while you know you know what you're sorry speed is no problem that's what it is flash should be like changing your f stop your service speed should be that intuitive too and so when you but with this technical technical development you still need a trainer to see if you're doing it right it's just like you know cliff right easy teaches martial arts on howto punch some of the basic step now together your stance is all wrong in the shifting your rate come out man let's, get it right. Keep that arm parallel. What? I don't know what I don't know martial act. I don't know what to do, right? And so even in those basics, you've got to learn it the correct way because you don't want to carry those bad habits into what you're doing later on, everything matters, everything matters, okay, do it right. I remember one time playing the guitar and used to, like playing lead guitar, right, which allows you to have dexterity on your fingers. Ok? And so when I first started playing lead, I never took any lessons. Whenever I start playing lead guitar with three fingers it on lee and I didn't use my fourth, and it only got me to a certain level where I couldn't be faster playing scales and forths and so forth. So what did I do? I had to tell myself, you know what? I'm going to have to learn how to play lead with four fingers and use all four. What did it do? It set me back, man, I can't do what I used to do. I'm a little bit start by what happens in the end. Quantum leap, right? That's what it's exactly like if you don't learn the technical skills from somebody who knows what they're doing. It is like playing the lead guitar with three fingers. Yeah, you get to a certain point, but when you want to get to the extremely high levels, you don't have the fourth finger to get into that extra level it's very important. So you have the technical development and it's always going back to the mentor, figuring if you're doing that right it even even for business, this is really important how much you should charge right? How you should treat your customers and all that kind of stuff then you repeated over and over and over and over again to see like how you could do it if you're doing it right and so it's just like second nature and you do it right then you're at the point where you can now experiment on your technical knowledge all right, anybody see that movie karate kid wax on, wax off that's what he had him doing, he wanted to learn how to fight and punch people and beat people up, but he just told him, keep blacks in the car, you actually car right? And then after he can learn those skills blocking and defending himself, then he can go an experiment and be creative and so that's what you need to do after repetition after knowing the lighting like you can change your shutters theater at stop or whatever then you go in and now it could be creative now guess what you could say let's turn that white balance to incandescent but let's use jails to write that was cool that was that experimentation because you knew the basics of that now you can start to bring what your own signature style in to play because you've got all the basics down and you are experimenting that's why even though you are doing jobs that are just simply paying the bills you still have to do your personal projects because that's where your signature style is gonna lie in that I don't care maybe you don't get paid any money for that you still have to do it because if you still simply do the jobs were you getting paid it's going to feel like a regular job and if it's feels like a regular job I could have picked another job making a whole heck of a lot more money than being a photographer so why at that point so hold on to those projects still do him because that's your expander mental time right and that's what I love about taken photographers and bring in amman workshops because now the pressure's off in regards to experience experimentation they don't have to practice on a paying gig or whatever they can just go and just do stuff and have fun and learn from the whole bunch of different people and that experimentation process is great and we all learn from that ok and so experiment tasted do that together man do that in your community that you've got going do you guys have a community that's the first step do you have some really go to people that you can go and say at any point time hey let's go and shoot like after amazing sushi right andrew and saying we're like the young guys hey we're going to go out and suit right now and the older people we all looked at each other we're tired mad but now what? They went out there and they start practicing and shooting experimenting see that that's what they did and you can start to find your your signature style you have tohave that experimentation that is key to it then you have the experimentation and you start to develop your signature style you still go back to your mentor they go thiss how does this style work right? And then maybe you're doing a certain style and maybe you're doing wedding photography and you're showing your stuff the mentor whatever in the mental goes you know what? That stuff that new stuff that you're doing is really cool but it's not really wedding photography maybe you should go into fine art photography with that uh okay so that mentor helps you fit whatever signature style you got going and how to maximize it and work it into your career because he has that oversight to see that thing. And since where you've been developing word, you could go because they know the industry. They see what's possible in it. Okay, that's always there. That self evaluation what's my style. Were my going right back and forth. And then you continually learn you have to condemn. You know what? I remember being in wedding photography. And I remember getting to certain point in my career where I was I was making money with it and whatever that's like ah, good priest it that's great. Guess what, man, if you're an artist, things change every couple years, the game changes. And so if you're going to be in this career just like, oh, ok, you go to your favorite place that you like to shop and buy clothes, do they have the same place? Do they have the same clothes in there? Like, two years later? No, anything that deals with art and style is always changing, always all the time. So never think that I get to do creative lives just asked me to speak, man who mall that right? No. You got to say, hey, I got even work even harder now, and I've got a grill this and I got a cheap continually to learn and build on it because the game changes every couple of years that's what I felt every two years, you got to come up with some new style, some new, whatever and keep moving forward, ok? And so then, you know, maybe you get to the point after you're doing all that, and then you become the teacher by and the cycle circles, and then you pass down their knowledge to somebody else and we have to continue the circle if we want this industry to grow, we have to develop that circle, we have to continue it, we have two people be wanting to do this full circle and then pass it on and move it forward and that's how I feel like what it takes really to get at that high level. This is a formula that works it's worked in other disciplines, and so I know that this this process works ok, if you want to do the impossible learned from those who've done the impossible. So when you're looking for somebody to learn from, you know, you've got to ask yourself, well, what's the highest level that they have achieved, right? So if they've only achieved to a certain point where they've only made thirty thousand dollars with their business, or maybe they're not even a full time photographer, well, then how much really? How far can they take you? They might take you so far but are they going to really take you where you want to go? You can get to that super high level ok, success builder number one okay you gotta learn how to bring something to your industry you have to ask not what your industry can do for you but what you can do for your industry. Okay, you've got to be a leader in it, ok? You can't just say, hey, I'm going to copy, copy, copy you have to come and say, guess what? I don't know what it is, but I know with my unique then you know, artistic qualities I'm going to bring something to this I can add something to it and you have to feel like you can do that so focus more on growth growth, skill acquisition, right versus personal success versus oh yeah, I won this the order that I got published here, you know what? All that stuff is going to come naturally, so don't go chasing after a lot and don't bill get hung up if you didn't get chosen to speak here, there, whatever don't worry about it, just keep doing your thing and keep growing keep learning and it's all going to be there don't get jealous of the other photographer whose whose way not as good as you making twice as much money as you don't worry about it, keep learning, keep plugging because in the end guess who's going to be smiling, it's going to be you, because in the end, you're going to be on top because that's, the important thing is that you want to grow and continually grow don't think about where you could be next year. Think about where you can be in five years. Think about where you can be in ten years, okay? It's a little bit. And other stuff that happens in their whatever's is kind of petty, right? Just you keep plugging and know that. Hey, ten years from now, I want to be here. Okay? So produce excellent developed world class skills. You've got to be at that high level. Extremely high level extreme. Like I told you. Sixty six photographers per square mile where I live ten miles away, six hundred and sixty, right one hundred miles away. Six thousand six hundred photographers and competing against now, paul wanting all we're fighting after all the same jobs. Do you need to be in a world class level if you want this? Okay, well, hey, if you want, this is a part time job and self fulfillment or whatever that's fine. But I really have a heart for developing world class photographers who really want to make it with photography and have it as part of their life and that's who I'm four and so that's basically who I'm talk auntie right here okay and some encouraging you to develop those world class skills be passionate about what you do if you're not loving it something's wrong you figure it out because if you're not passionate it's not gonna happen for you why why is pass unnecessary? Let me ask you a question why do you have to be passionate about what you do? Anybody? Yes, maria drives him it drives you yeah, it does drive you right but I want something a little bit more than that. Yes, the head during the times when you were feeling battle when you're feeling down passion is what gets you through yeah that's it right there passion keeps the drive alive when the rewards are not great passion keeps you drive alive when the wards not great that's gonna happen all the time I'm sorry it's just not you know better roses everywhere you go it's going to get tough man it's going to be hard it's going to be some months you're going to look at your bank account go whole man, how we're going to make it this month that's what's going to be like, right? Um and then uncle sam comes along and takes a lot of money out of that. Then you're really pissed but keeps you drive a life when the rewards are not great that's why you have to be passionate but also give up you'll simply give up it's going to test you your dream is going to test you, man it's going to take you to that point and it's going toe make you want to quit it's going to say, hey, take this had no do that here, let me take this away from you, right it's going to play a game with you and play mind tricks with you and it's going to do anything that the life is going to do anything to take it away from you, but you can say no, I want it! This is the one thing I want! I can't let this go! Anybody see that movie officer and a gentleman, right? That scene where uh, I guess he did something wrong or whatever, and they're trying to kick him out, but they're not going toe they want to kick him out, but they can't physically, they can't just say, hey, you're out of here, they have to make him say he wants out so that whole weekend or whatever the sergeant is rights is but tries to duke make him, you know, I don't know do stuff like clean the bathrooms with the toothbrush, I don't know all this crazy stuff, right? And richard gere, he just will not quit, he just won't do it. And then finally, he actually breaks lou gossett jr the the sauce of this sergeant go and the sergeant goes to meagles did wow to just give it up, man, and then richard gere goes, I can't I can't give it up. Why this's the on ly thing that I have that's how you have to feel about photography number no matter what this's thie on ly thing that you have, so when times get rough, you gotta push through it and you're gonna hang on still businesses hit I'm gonna make this work no matter what passion create innovation without passion you are not going to find that little chink in the armor that little crack that needs to be filled because you won't know it inside out, people who are passionate about things they know, ok? You know those people who play those video games like they play it for, like, you know, forty eight hours straight, whatever who are passionate about. Right let's say they're playing the same game that you want to and then hey give me some tips on how to get through that level seven or whatever what do you got to do there they're going to tell you every little thing about it right? Why? Because he has passion he lives it eats and drinks that game so he knows every in and out of it if you're not like that you won't know the industry and when you know the industry then you can see it you could say hey this is this is a this is a gap here let me try to end this I think I can do that my skill set allows me I think I could fit that gap in there and then you go for it but but you have to be passionate about it in order for you to get the innovation there's no way there's no way you're going to be able to innovate without being passionate ok so how do you in these myths of all these people? How do you rise up from the top and get selected? How do you go from there being nobody to somebody and say hey you know what? Shane is the one you know what? I was looking at her portfolio patch it she's the chosen one I'm going to choose her out of all the thousands of photographers how does that happen well, first we just said you gotta have excellence world class kills you got innovate you've got to be a leader in your industry and that creates separation lead your industry, bring something to it and say hey, this is were it khun go this is the potential of our industry bring it up be a leader don't just be following okay what's what's the coolest thing next okay on the phone do that don't do that try to innovate right in that creates separation and that creates rave braves gets people talking about to everybody wants to leave everybody wants to follow right and they're looking for leaders there's people crave to be directed by a really good leader right they love don't you love being you know when you have that great boss it's a joy to go to work right what happened? The other crappy boss oh my gosh by his no people skills he's clueless he comes in late leaves early all the time how much respect he had for them but don't be that person be the other one the best only want the best I repeat the best on lee want the best every company wants to be represented by on lee the best ok, only a few reach world class level so when you reach this world class level the best companies in the world uh look around and do you think they're going to higher average people know they're going to look around say ok who's the best here I'm taking the best because why that company's reputation as at stake so that's why they only hunt for the best so if you want to be in the presence of the best and be selected by the best, then you have to be the best there's no other way around it because the best only one of you think the best they're going to go around oh yeah I guess what? I'm choosing that person because that person's completely average you got another thing coming, man welcome to the real world. You're not going to get anything right? And then all the best of the best they look for each other, right? And then they start referring you to their other people, their other friends, right man, this is the guy I found that dynamic is trust there there's a trust between the best of the best they passed information. I happen to kind of run into that a little bit all the time, right? Ah, it's. Because certain organizations hire me to teach, right? I go do it. Oh, man, scott he's pretty funny you want to get him right and then and then there, then let's say, you know, the, uh iowa people are talking to the texas people away and would you get come and speak at your dealy walled winter thing? Oh yeah, you know, I had scott want to try him right that's how it works it's going to be good if if I've performed and I and I you know, went to that iowa thing that they had and I was completely average do you think they're going to refer me to the texas people no it's not gonna happen the best only want to be with the best so you have to be the best, okay? And then once that you're that that's extraordinary life that I've talked about, the opportunities start to come because when you reach that level okay and you're at the top, you're going to look around and say, you know what? There's not a lot of people up here where I am because a lot of people gave up, right? But you didn't you hung in there and then more and more opportunity start coming to you because you're simply the best and there's very few that could do it at that level, okay? And really that's what I feel that being rich is to me being rich is having the opportunity to do different things that's where freedom comes along, where do we feel like we're not being free? We're going to that job that we don't like right but because we need the money we have to go to it that feels like this every morning handcuffed uh why I got no opportunities now what happens you had several opportunities that I could work for this company I work for that company I could go over here oh, that person wants to me over there that's freedom you can you can choose what you want to do that's where we want to be we want to have a plate of ups don't we love it when we got to clients fighting over the same date oh yes right you playing him off each other? Well, you know I'm just calling to see whether or not you still wanted to book that day because I have another client interested in that day also right opportunity we can choose we can dictate the situation and that's where we want to be in real life okay? Bridging expanding your influence so how do you how do you get mohr influence and expand and have, you know, get bigger and bigger and bigger and more and more influence right? Specific world class skills lead to broader skills and careers. Ok, so what's you reach very, very, very high level it's going to lead you into opportunities that are sometimes outside your industry let me explain right? Anybody know who jennifer lopez is? She started out as what laker girl yeah just go before they're now five that's right? She started out laker girl then with that then that's probably open some doors for her and then she became a singer and then now what does she do? She is a actress entertainer right? And then now what she's an entertainer now but it started from a laker girl she did you know how hard it is to be a laker girl home and they have actually oh no, that was jealous that was paula abdul upa abdul yeah, right. So whatever it is right you have to do something at a high level first and then it leads to other things okay opens the other door because they figure people who are successful they know this when you reach that world class oh, this person reads the world class level there they kind of get it I think you know what I think they can handle this two and so you get more opportunities to do that but it first starts with being good at one thing first please don't try to jump any steps just get good at your photography you know, like some of you maybe you want to get into teaching right, get your photography man deal with that, get that good first and then get into the teaching arena after that but you got to really be good and know your thing with one first and so look at myself I started my career dropping out of college and doing sales okay I used to sell audio video equipment all right I used to be one of those circuit city guys you don't even know if you guys know what circuit city is but it was like a chain of electronics stores but ever since computer came so they'll have that stuff anymore amazon it's gone right sites hey I learned sales right and actually I realized that I was pretty good at it right I like talking to people I could educate them and I could be a very good salesman I guess if my photography career ended whatever I think I could go into sales somewhere I think I could do a very good job at it ok then I started my own business because I had some sales experience I wanted to venture out and had a graphic design business and then from that I will became a wedding photographer right uh but graphic design helped me doing that very well help me to become a wedding photographer and then and then this is what happened this is the key thing that happened while doing wedding photography that was it that was the one where I had worldwide exposure from that particular skill there then when I developed that world class skill pull all these things I could do now right I could be a career coach photography? I could do workshops. I could be a speaker. I could design product. I could be an author. Could I do that back here? No, because I didn't have that world class skill. That boom opened up everything for me. And so once you become very good like j lo, she comes very good at one thing. Then boom opens up to now isn't sees some the judge on that american idol now or something like that or what? The voice yeses on on the voice or whatever, right? And that's, what happens? But you've got to get good first, right? And then I don't know what's going to happen after this, right? I want to go further. I would like to be more of a speaker just talking about life skills to maybe just write a book on that. And maybe if I do that very well, then it's going to open up another huge thing for me, but I got to keep pushing forward to I can't stop. I got to keep moving forward. Okay, so increasing opportunities, the better that you get and that is the extraordinary life that I've experienced and I m m porn you I'm encouraging you to go for because photography is your ticket man photography is one of the most coveted things in the world I always say this, right. Your house is burning down. You, you go out first, you save your pets. Then you save a couple of your children, and then you save your albums. Your photos, your hard drive, it's, the third most important thing, man. And if you can do be the world class level, you could be in a world class level at photography. It can take few places because people covet that man. They want it, okay.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Crazy Stupid Light Review
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Keynote 3
Gear Guide
Final Exam
Going Big on a Tiny Budget - HD

Ratings and Reviews

Dan Frumkin

I read several reviews on this site which gave me hesitation to buy this course. Nonetheless, I pressed on. Now I have a suggestion for those considering parting with their cash. Before you buy, go to any of Scott’s galleries online. If you can shoot at Scott’s level move on. If you cannot see the artistry in Scott’s work, move on. If you cannot conceive of the technical proficiency Scott has with flash, move on. But if you are mortal photographer that desires to improve your work, compare your personal portfolio to Scott’s. He wins awards for good reasons. Invest the time and money. You will be amply rewarded. Real World Lighting: Advanced Techniques is worth every penny. So is Crazy, Stupid, Light. I purchased both and now use Scott’s advice and techniques daily. Plus, he provides a good dose of inspiration and humor. Scott is an awesome professional, fantastic photographer and a wonderful teacher.


I already own Lim's class, "Crazy, Stupid Light" as well as two of his Strobie 230 flashes with transmitter (in addition to my Canon speedlight). I appreciate being able to get into lighting with flashes and equipment that costs much less than Profoto lights etc. that I couldn't afford yet. Lim has a very organized and energetic teaching style. He is a great speaker in that he is excited about what he is doing and seems to love to help others learn how to be successful with their lighting. He is very animated and funny and has the right blend of being confident yet self-effacing and admits his mess-ups during class. I find him very engaging and interesting. If you have less than $500 or $600 to spend on lights, but want to start adding lighting to your photo shoots, he is a great place to start.

a Creativelive Student

This class was fantastic! I've always opted for the easy way out when it came to lighting my subjects, usually resorting to using just natural light and a reflector even though I always have my lighting kit with me. I learned in this class how creating my own light can be the easiest way to get the results I want. It's much easier than trying to make the natural light do what I want it to do. Scott's passion for photography and teaching are evident, and his commitment to the success of his students is amazing. I definitely recommend this course for photographers at any level. I came away with many ideas on how to build upon the lighting tips presented here to make it my own. Thanks Scott Robert Lim!

Student Work