Skip to main content

Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 14 of 33

Adding More Lights

 

Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 14 of 33

Adding More Lights

 

Lesson Info

Adding More Lights

I started using like art. I loved it, but I wanted more out of it. All of a sudden I found myself getting bored with this. And I'm like, As is boring, I want more than that. So what if I throw in a little game changer here and I used to buddies with this guy? I go get two of his friends and put them to work. Okay, now, on those days, if it's not super super bright outside or it's the end of the day where the sun's going down and like in this image here, you see the sun is going with its almost gone. But look at the separation light on her shoulders on her sleeve in her hair. It's really separating her all for that background, and it's really, really bringing it forward because but why does it use a separation lighting? A lot of times there was no defining edge between her jacket and that fence or the jacket and that darkness that's back behind her. And to me, I was like, Man, I really step this up a good bit and make it look a lot better. Is it more work? Yeah, absolutely. It's more wo...

rk when I do this for every session the whole session through. No. Am I gonna try and do this for at least one or two shots, something really out there off course, Because I want to show people I'm capable off more than just one look for the question earlier that you know, the gentleman said, I'm scared. It might change my style a little bit. You know, it's for me. A style change. I don't want to see a change, but incorporate something else. Another element that may add some value to it and you make you may gain new clientele. So it's just food for thought. Love these images. This is part of what was a big game changer for me. This is what people started seeing, and people started really noticing that when I was posting these images on Facebook in my community, you had me posting on Facebook, and then he had, like 700 other photographers posting their images on Facebook. What do you think is going to stand out, you know? Are you capable of doing this? Absolutely. Would you feel good at the end of the day if you pulled out all the stops. Absolutely. So get out there and do it. Stuff like this right here. Look at her arm looking her right arm. That's that's right. Here. Look at the separation on both sides of her arm. If you look at newscasters, do this when you go home. When you're looking at a newscaster, that is own obviously the news and they're out on location and it's late at night. You notice I'm Mark Becker with wbtv five were here this horrific car crash that doesn't always gonna have a separation line or they should a separation, like behind them and a main line in front of them. And what that does is it just adds that certain amount of professionalism and it separates them off the dark background. So if you don't think that's true, you watch the news tonight and there'll be some more on out on the side of the road, you know, doing something or the weatherman that it's raining on him and who knows? But check that out to me. I know I'm not gonna be happy with this image. If I use just one light, I would be But could I be even more happy with it if I use three. Look at her hair looking on this image. Look at the left hand side of her hair right there. It separates it to me. I feel super good. I would want to show that any anybody. But look, this is just some of the work that I do. I'm really proud of it. Thank you. And I want to leave a mark. I want my daughter when she grows up and people say, Who is your dad? I don't want to be like me and all. Yeah, that's a so and so son. Sorry. Um, I wanted to say my dad's Blair and then I all I know your dad. He's a great guy. And man, he does some beautiful work. He's a hard working guy. That's what I want my daughter to say, and that's what I want. People in my community say it's building my brand, spending my brand. So what I'm saying is, is what usedto work? It's not gonna work anymore. I remember when I first started, I bought a canvas backdrop hand painted from Mayhew. This thing was like a bazillion dollars, but I thought if I just get one master background. I'm good. I don't have to buy anything anymore. Well, do you know where that thing is? Now it's rolled up on a cylinder and it's up in the top of my studio. I don't even use it anymore. So it kind of stinks. Because each year, unfortunately with Pinterest and Instagram, like I said yesterday, we're gonna have to reinvent ourselves a little bit. Seven cheer. You see this one up? Look at the tires on both sides of the tires of that separation lighting that. It's just showing that Hey, some well, people would say some moron came and shot this. But for the most part, not just any anybody is gonna come out and do this. So this is gonna elevate you so much. And I can't tell you how much I encourage you to get your bottom out there and do something different. Is it gonna take you more work? Yes. We're not ready to die yet. People are we? That wouldn't think so. If so, let us know and we'll see if we can get you something really quick. Get you some help. I reflect There is such a simple piece of product that most people don't feel like they need it like I don't It's just you don't really have tohave it. Do I see so many amateurs that they're just starting? I was showing what a piece of white poster board can do or a reflector like. Oh, my gosh. I mean, you just hold it right there and show your mom That, too, or your high school seniors parent. But look, I want to show you the difference of what you're paying for here. Look at her. Look at her eyes. She has really pretty eyes. Does not look at this. Oh, uh, and they're like, Oh, my gosh, I never knew that was possible. Look at that. Frank, come here. Look how pretty her eyes are like, Do you think they're that good in person? You wait till you see this image. When I'm done, they're gonna have to have it. They have to have it. So reflector lighting is just call here in the middle. Poor thing. She's never probably gonna be able to get a date, so I've got to be able to make her look good. That's a joke, Obviously a really pretty girl so I could kill the image by not getting those crystal clear blue eyes. Or I could not be lazy and throw reflector in there. I can use a reflector even if I have to. I can hold a reflector with one hand and shoot. I mean, I've done that. If you get in a pension, you don't have a way to do it. Make it work. Struggle. You know, I don't care if you have to put bungee straps around and tied to your chest. You know, I don't know. Just find a way to make it work and don't make excuses. What? I wanna hear that don't want to hear it. Middle of the day. I've got her in the shade and I don't want to use the overpowering the sun method. I want to shoot this at at 2.8. I want to see that green canopy back there. I wanted to turn into a background. I wanted it. I don't want it to be at F 11 where everything is very defined and you can say, Oh, yeah, that's a cedar tree or that's a birch tree. I just want you to know that That's a tree back there. I'm able to do that able to do it. And again, I showed you guys this yesterday. I wanted to reiterate just because it is such an important piece of equipment for me is my reflector Stand this thing. I do images up in my front lobby all the time because I've got a bank of windows and the lighting is so pretty up there. So pretty up there when I have a senior mom up there as she is, Really? If she's got herself all fixed up for the day as well, I'll throw her in. There comes the right on this couch. Oh, no, no, no, no, no. I don't want to have my picture. Maybe deep down she does. I thought that reflector in there and get rid of all those wrinkles around your eyes and I'll throw her picture in there. Who knows? What it's gonna do is if you're at that point where you like, you know what? I may not be ready for all of this, but I am ready for what you're talking about. Where you can light up the I am ready for that. It's gonna take you from mine early to major league just just like that. So that's what's gonna allow me to shoot every image that I want to at those apertures of 28256 Because again, this method, we're gonna be shooting apertures in the middle of the day at some time. You know f eight F 11 F 16. I don't want to shoot every image that way. I don't want to do it. And he is that inch reflector for some of you might like that five and one that gives you five different reflectors and one for me. That's kind of aggravating. So my method is just either a silver or white, and you can use a gold one for early in the morning or late in the evening if you want to. But I just I just don't, um here's another example here, just lighting up the face. And when Mom sees that Mom is concerned about her eyes, that's it. Mom, Mom could care less about the background. Now the client, she does. She what? She's all about the background. She doesn't care what her eyes looked like. She could care less what she should be caring about her eyes. But she doesn't same thing there. Just that little kiss of life even with my guys. Little kiss of light there. Let's talk about this. How many times have you ever been in a situation where let's let's use wedding shooters here? Or let's say if I'm shooting a prom, high school prom, going back to seniors, what if I want to go shoot a high school prom and really get my name out there and show my brand in the school? And I showed to shoot the prom and there is 35 foot tall brown ceilings and I thought, Well, I'm just gonna balance my flash off the ceiling That's gonna look great and you re roll up and you open up the doors. You're like, Oh, this is gonna suck really bad. Alright, Woo, this wedding is gonna suck. You can't go to your wedding. Clients say, I'm sorry your wedding images really suck because I was hoping that you had white ceilings that I could bounce my flash off, and even when I bounced my flash off, it gives you a raccoon eyes, but it is what it is. No, it is what it isn't. Make it into something else. So look what I do for receptions or event lighting. I light up everything light up, everybody. Everybody look at this place right here. Can I accomplish that with one flash on my camera? Probably not if I was photographing a reception or a pram in here. Well, Lord, help me if I was, but I'm kidding. I would put four lights in here. All right, we're gonna use this rug is an example. I would put a light right here. I put a light hair here and here in opposite corners of the room. I put him on a light stand. They would go up 13 feet in the air and they would all point back towards the center of the room, all four of them towards the center. And I would put a 42 inch white shoot through umbrella over all of them, and I wouldn't even turn the modeling lamps home. And then from there, when I would do is I would create a ratio I would set this guy at Just say 3/4 power would set this guy at 1/4 power and then I would do the opposite. I go quarter 3/4. So no matter where they are in the room, if they turn this way, they've got a main light. And I feel like I feel like main light. So anywhere they turn in that room, they're gonna have a separation lighting on him, no matter where they are. And I just have to train myself while I'm shooting that event. Okay, if they're it here, but they here, they might be at, you know, unless they f 11 if there here we go. The FAA, if they and it just it goes back and forth. And you and your assistant or you and whoever is with you. But a pocket was your on your camera, and you can all share the lights and you don't have to make excuses off. Yeah, well, man, it just doesn't look good, because that place you got you had, the problem was terrible. But, man, I could go set up lights and just roll out to a prom and do it as a freelance thing and give the images to the school for the yearbook. But then I can also give those images to all the kids, and I'm building report with them. And they're not just little snapshots there. Well lit portrait quality, like so that's that's what I'm loving. And with outdoor lighting, there shouldn't be any more excuses. Really? And do like I did. You know, if you can't buy all this stuff at one time Hey, Christmas is coming. Birthday is coming, you know, stash something aside. What I wanted to do is I'm gonna give one of you guys. I've got something that I think will greatly help you. And it is a senior shoot 101 DVD. What this is is nearly two hours, nearly two hours of every type of lighting that I use, Especially the outdoor lighting. This is me working with an actual client working with her during her senior session, me talking through the philosophies of everything. This is every This is like a bible right here for outdoor lighting, an indoor lighting studio lighting. All the lighting I do is covered here, and I'm gonna hook one of you guys up with it. I don't know who we should give to. Do You think? I think what I'm gonna do is, you know, I'm gonna give it to you. Only reason being is because yesterday and it's no offense to anyone else and I made. Now I'm probably gonna have to give each one of you want. But you had a great comment yesterday that you really inspired me and you said, You know, I not only learned about photography, but from you I learned a lot about life yesterday. Things were important. So I appreciate that comment from you, Um, but I'll see what I can do. We've got a lot of goodies for you guys coming up to the end of the end of this thing, So don't you worry. Let's go back to the Internet in just a minute and see what kind of questions are coming about and see if we can get a couple of last minute questions answered. There have been questions nonstop during this. Migrant lighting is one of those things that is so you know, there's so many options on their so many variations that we have to shoot in. And so, like lighting. You can never learn enough. But let's start with Nikki Ounce, who asked, Let's see, I'm still in my PJ's and I can't tear myself away from the screen. Do you need three l R. O twos and vagabonds for the three light set up? You don't have to have those. When I do mine, I use them. My two lights, that would be in the back. I use them basically just little parabolic reflector. So there's not a lot of wind that catches. I don't have a soft box on those other two because it is intended for more of a harsh light. Now, if you if you would like to buy a three of them, you feel free to I don't see the need and doing that. I know many issues a light stand and just the parabolic reflector that comes with the light when you for when you first buy it. So not necessary. But, you know, by all means, you could, But you can run three lights off one of these batteries. Okay, Cool. And then Jennifer is asking about setting up light lights in a church for a wedding. Are you lighting up the ceremony? In addition to that? And, uh, Charlie has a follow up question. Some churches will allow you to bring in lighting and how do you get around? That's a great question, because in the South I've been doing it nine years now. And it's so funny because every church that I show up there is this little like, little Nazi lady that will come up to me and give me all the rules that I can't do with this church. And she's like, Are you the photographer? I've got all my gear with me. I'm like, No, man, I'm actually here. Toe do the cake. Yeah, I'm a photographer. So she says, Why? I just want to let you know. First of all, I'm like, let me guess there's no light during the ceremony. She's like, Yes, you can't use any sort of lighting in our area during the ceremony. It's just forbidden, and I get it. I understand if you get into that situation, though, you definitely want to go to your bride beforehand. If it's a really dark church and you want to tell her, you know Hey, listen, You know, they told they don't allow lighting during the during the ceremony, so I will let you know that I'm gonna push my camera to its absolute end, and I have to raise my I s O, which means those images could be kind of grainy. But, you know, it is that particular situation. I can't do any more than what they will allow me to do. So Cover your rear end because she will expect beautiful images during her ceremony. But you can't produce him because you are restricted, so make sure you communicate with your subject when things are out of your control. But I do bring them in the church immediately after the ceremony. And that's when I raise him up and I light up from my altar pictures. They're gonna have good lighting, great advice. Okay, let's see. Photo Dude and art by Anna are both wondering about the four room lights set up. And how do you want Is art by Anna's wondering how to keep your life and people safe with the four lights during event. If you can kind of, like, the next year life to make sure people aren't tripping over them. And also photo dude is wondering how you set your lights. Two different channels so they don't go off. At the same time. They're actually all firing at the same time, they are all firing at the same time. And the way I keep him safe is number one. You know, you have to use a lot of common sense, and I normally if you push it all the way over in the corner of a room, no one is gonna be congregating in that little 2.5 circle around the corner. And, you know, if you're gonna put don't put your lights on a high traffic area where people are gonna be walking by them because when you get a 13 feet in the air, it is kind of susceptible to moving a little bit. But if you reach a point where you're not really comfortable for you, some sandbags over and I'll give you a cheap system to some sandbags here, all right, Now, don't judge, but I'm a make it work type of guy. Okay, I went to the thrift store. This was probably three weeks ago. I had to go shoot a sporting event, and it's really, really windy. I didn't own sandbags. I thought I was crazy. I'm gonna pay for a bag full of sand. That's crazy. So what I did. I went through the third store and about four old book bags, like duffel bags, book bags that I could put it on my shoulder and I went in my construction site. I've got a bunch of bricks left over, and I feel them all help with bricks. And then I got in my job and I just basically put that over each one of the lights. So you know it's cheating. But again, I couldn't go and get sandbags that day, so I had to come up with something. And that way, whenever I want to kill him, I just pick him up, put him on my back and off you go. And it's a good workout. How I maintain my girlish figure. No excuses. Make it work. Work. I like it. All right, Cool. How about one more question before we head to break? All right. And this is answering questions for three different people. So it's a three for one, and this is foreign Nelson pro photographer and s a t one. Do you ever use umbrellas instead of the soft box? I don't use umbrellas, and I like I like the interior of this box because it is silver and I feel like with that it gives me a lot more strength. It gives me more power because everything that's going from here is almost radiated out of here, and it gives me a little more power. So an umbrella, I'm just not a real big fan off. I always, always, always use this because of the silver interior. That's just my personal preference on again. I like taking that outer layer of diffusion all to get that little bit more power that I might need on the very sunny days.

Class Description

Are you ready to add a new, lucrative dimension to your photography business? Join award-winning photographer Blair Phillips for an introduction to everything you need to know about taking portraits for high school seniors.

In this three-day course, you’ll learn about how to market yourself to the high school audience, no matter where you live or who you know. Blair will discuss his signature techniques for effortless, versatile posing. You’ll also learn everything you need to know about both off-camera and natural lighting, including how to create foolproof lighting setups, even if you’re working without an assistant. Blair will also cover strategies for creating a productive workflow and working confidently in a wide variety of settings.

By the end of this course, you’ll have be equipped with the core marketing techniques and one-of-a-kind photography skills needed to connect with high school seniors, give them results they’ll love, and grow your business.

Reviews

David - Muse 10
 

As an experienced photographer myself, this class was both helpful and inspirational…we're never too experienced to learn from someone. Blair is really a lot of fun to watch and listen to. He has a way of making things fun with his high energy and dry sense of humor. To be completely honest in my review of this class, the lighting and posing sections, while VERY good, have been done over and over again by lots of photographers and didn't offer much in the way of new ideas. The real value was in the customer service and marketing techniques presented here. Blair's use of video as a marketing and communication tool with his clients is very unique and sparked TONS of ideas I would like to implement in my studio. His simple pricing structure and the way he presents it to his clients is also unique and has helped me rethink some of my own methods. "That being said" (Blair should appreciate that phrase) this class is totally worth the price and will continue to be a good reference for me. Some photographers are excellent at their craft but are dry teachers; others are great teachers but their "real-life" work doesn't live up to their classroom presentations. Blair is the real deal and makes this class very exciting.

a Creativelive Student
 

Blair is great. This class is packed full of great info and is a genuine good hearted person.. Really like his approach with high school seniors. I recommend it.

a Creativelive Student
 

This has been my favorite class on Creative Live. I loved how Blair explained exactly how he landed dance and sports contracts. This class was packed full of ideas for marketing and selling products. There was just so much great information. Thanks, Blair!