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Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 13 of 33

Fill Flash and Q&A

 

Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 13 of 33

Fill Flash and Q&A

 

Lesson Info

Fill Flash and Q&A

What if you don't like that big open sky and you don't like all that scenery and you don't like shooting it at an aperture of F 11 or 16? You don't like that your style is more subdued where I like shooting Maura 2.8 or 5.6. You know what? What do you do there? This thing is no good for me. No, it's multi purposed. We're going to talk now. Feel flash when you're doing a session. I don't want every single image to look like those with that Big Sky and the brightens colors. I don't want every single image look like that because then in an album are everything looks the same. I want that album to go. I wanted to go all over the place because I want to sell variety. That's what my brand is known for is variety, and people know that. So with a feel flash very simple. You have to lower your power settings, and this is how I do when I'm photographing with Deal Flash. Basically, I turned the power as low as it'll go all the way down 1 32nd Turn it all the way down as low as little possibly go ...

and what that allows is. Now I take a meter reading through my camera because let's face it, you guys know, know, by now I'm pretty wide open. If I had a light meter, that thing would be lost somewhere. I get where I'm going. I'm like, All right, let's go here. Where is that light meter? Oh, man. I left it on the back of that garbage truck back there somewhere. Can you run down there and get it? We'll just get it later. That doesn't work for me. Nikon has put a perfectly good meter inside my camera that I can use. So why am I carrying one around? I'm not saying that it's wrong toe have one that they're also but for me personally, in my workflow, I just work off the field. So I turn it all the way down. Faras it'll go. And then I meet her on the face in spot meter for my subject meter for their face. So normally right up underneath. I appointed I set my, uh, my shutter speed Norman to about 250 the second and then I doubt that aperture to where it needs to go. If I want to shoot it at 5.6, then I'll go down. Down, down, down 56 If that doesn't work, it won't allow me to do that. I just my eso accordingly normally go way down so I can get there. Take a test shot. Look at it. It's gonna look perfect. She's in good natural light, but what's going to be lacking is her eyes. Her eyes are gonna be dark up underneath. Her eyes are gonna be dark. You're gonna have to go back in. You're gonna have to fix that. And as the Internet sensation said, Ain't nobody got time for that. I don't have time for that. That could be valuable time. You could be spending with your family. So by doing this, you turn this light on, turn it all the way down here. All right. When it back toward your subject, remember, four feet away, you're four feet away. Bam! It's gonna put just enough just enough wife in those eyes to really, really bringing the life. And it's gonna give you that speculative highlight in a separate you from the rogue photographer. There's Onley using natural light. That's all they're using. Now, if you are in a specific, specifically natural life photographer, I'm not saying anything bad about you at all. Ah, shot natural light forever. And I still love natural life. If you're gonna shoot natural light, shoot it with a little bit of additive light, sometimes to give you that spark in the eyes that you may or may not be missing. So think about that when you go out, don't fall short. Don't get lazy. Don't give up on it. You know, you can take a great image of what we think is great and you can always improve on your images, right? I mean, there's several things I could do to this image that I can improve on that I could even point out to you. Um, you know, And if you would like me to, I can. But you want me to improve it. This is what I do when I look at images that I was shot before. I could immediately look at it. I'm like, Oh, my gosh, Don't show that the people like why didn't I do that? Why didn't I move? Why didn't I drop down just a little bit Mawr to get rid of, Ah, to get rid of that that line of spreading through her arm and I've got her eyes turned a little bit too much in that image. I can always critique my own images, and it doesn't hurt my feelings at all. That's why I love print judges. I'm like, Can you look at this? I could take my best picture of everything you thought that I took put in front of their like tear. This guy knew in here, and I don't get mad about it. I'm like, Thank you so much for opening my eyes to that because I've improved greatly on it. And it's really easy to get sloppy former shooting for clients, and that's it. So I think it's important to enter those print competitions. You know, let your peers look at your work. Other photographers look at your work and given honest critique forums or good, you know, Don't don't be scared to put yourself out there because you're never gonna get better. If someone doesn't give you some critique, you know that I know there's only one person is supposed to judge you, but there. You can make exceptions in certain ways. Now, when I started using this off camera flash as, ah feel flash, which is what I'm talking about now, when I went to these people's homes, Man, look at how Look at how live her eyes are. Her eyes were just there awake and this is 10 in the morning. So this isn't the best lighting situation. You see how the sun has completely burned out everything back there. But I didn't want to try to overpower the sun because then everything in the background would go dark. So it wasn't about the sky at this point. It was about her and her lighting in her eyes. When her mom sees his images Are this image I can't say, Well, yeah, I had her in the shade in her eyes. Her mom, her mom's like what? Her eyes aren't black. She has beautiful blue eyes. Like what? What What happened here? And I can make some lame excuse and say, Yeah, you know, shooting back in here, you know, is really the only place I could go. So I just did the best I could. Do you think that whenever I roll out on a session with this guy here with my lighting and everything loaded on it. My clients were like, man, goodness, Did you are you got it going on? You got all this, all this equipment and I'm like, why you pay for the best. That's that's what you're gonna get. So again building my brand. I'm building my price, justifying my prices. And I'm building that sale as I'm going, they understand what they're getting themselves into. Another one Here. I put this girl in this dark piece of pipe here, her eyes, they're gonna have no life at all. Nothing but here. See that little tiny speculum highlight. It is perfect. That's that's an idea of under lighting of bringing the light from underneath. They teach you that The speculum highlight is supposed to be on the upper part of the eye. However, in here I'm not shooting for a print judge. I'm not gonna put a girl in a pipe. And she her print judge, I'm shooting. I'm shooting for Britney. This young girl's name is Brittney. I'm shooting for her. I'm shooting to build her an album with several different looks, several different loves now for what I was talking about. If you go out in the afternoon or in the evening and you've got that cityscape, it's beautiful. But looks like absolute poo on your camera because you can't expose both of them properly without lighting. There's no way to do it. This is what I do now. I have to use my teeth for this dentist. Hope he's not watching, but only way to get this out of my teeth. All right, so I take that loose and I drop it down. This right here. It's funny story. I was heading to a wedding one day and I broke my little modeling lamp that goes in here. I broke it and I said, Well, obviously, I can't get one by the time I get to my wedding. So I stopped in Lowe's home improvement and about 100 watt sylvania tungsten light bulb. So this has gotta work is probably the same thing. Three bucks. So I screwed this guy in, and then when I got in the wedding late that night, I said, I want to use this as a continuous light, so I dropped the diffuser diffusion panel down just like that right there. And I turned on the modern lamp, turn it all the way up. And it's like having a beautiful tungsten light, right? Their own. Um it was perfect. So when you want to use it, is that these images here? Shall I got a fair, you know, And if you're Chinese of flash, just gonna be impossible to get all those lights in the background as well. So I shoot 1600 I s O and I'm normal Shoot at 1/ of a second from a shutter speed. Generally, it's a 2.8. And again I shoot that Kelvin White balance and I dial the white balance toe, whatever color temperature that I wanted to be, whatever I wanted to be. And by just that little bit of light. Right there. It matches the equipped. Most of these bulbs are probably 50 75 100 wants. It's gonna match the intensity, and I can dial it down or dial it up to match whatever. So someone's like having a It's almost like having a flashlight, a diffused flashlight on your subject, because that light matches the light that's behind him. So the two are gonna marry. So you're basically shooting as natural light That makes sense. And then when you need to switch to something else, instead of taking the town to put all this back I've learned I could just flip this thing over this way and the diffusion panel falls right back down. So in a hurry. And Blair Phillips, hurry mode. Flip it. And you're good to go with wedding parties. People say so. You shoot all of your weddings with one light? Yeah. I couldn't imagine shooting one of my weddings without any lighting. Well, how do you like such a large wedding party? I send your website. You have all these large wedding parties. How do you do that? Well, I just turn it from here toe here, and it just widens out my spread. And I like 20 people with this thing. people with one life. Someone like Mama, one light man. Let's roll the scout back over here. So again, Calvin White balance and I'm able to pull in the lightness in the background. I can go into hotel lobbies, and I'm able to match the intensity of the light that's coming from behind and put it on her as it's essentially like having it's like having a light bulb from a lamp. Think about at home if you want. If it's dark in your living room you want take a picture of your child instead of turning the flash on and it looking like, you know, looking terrible. Take the lamp shade off of your lamp and put it next to her just outside the camera frame and you're gonna have a nice soft light coming right in there, right into his or her face. So this is essentially exactly what I'm doing there and that those weddings that I'm shooting, I can take them outside, put him in front of cars and these bank buildings that I never would shoot in because I was like, There's no way I'm gonna be ableto No way I'm going to make that work Not gonna happen. I think now would be a great time to open up because I'm sure our online audience has a chance. And here creativelive. We always want to make sure that we take good care of our online viewers and give them an opportunity toe, ask a few questions and then we'll roll on. We still have a little bit more to go on this program to him and open it up for some more. What we have there are way we're talking about gear. Give us more tips. We love it. We love it. All right, So let's just start with the l. R. 02 And how do you use it with a group of people? And that question is from Sunny Cam. Yes, any kind of Ah, we kind of touched on that just a second ago. But with a group of people, if I'm photographing them this way, I'm photographing, basically would just turn it sideways like this, and I still keep it off to the off to the side, but it's not as drastically off to the side, but I don't want to shoot right beside it because I don't want even lighting. So I will push this off, maybe 4 to 5 feet and just pointed back towards the center of my people and that way, and I'm still going to get a nice little fall off. But if you put it too far over than that person on the far end is going to start to get a little bit dark. So you want off camera, but not too far off. So you have a lot of fall off coming this way. Okay, Great question. And Anoop in Dubai, who is a regular viewer here It creative life is asking if the alien be supports high speed. Think they are. I think that they do with that new cyber commander. Some of them do. It's weird. Some of them do. Some of them don't. And that's a true story. I've talked to Alien be about that. You can get one out of the box and it will support it. You can get another out of the box and it won't support it. So, to my knowledge, that is a question. I'm not 100% sure, and I know they were working on it, and I think with the with the new 16 hundreds, I think they will support the high speed sink. But that would be more a question related towards them. But I think they do OK. And then let's talk about the battery pack of the vagabond to mean you said, is older version right? But there is a new one coming out. There's a new one that's already out on do. You could use that one in place of this one, but again, I need the weight. I rely on the weight of that battery to keep the cart counterbalanced so you can get the new one. On day. You would have no problems with it. You might just want to go Teoh sporting Goods place and get, like, maybe a 10 or £15 weight and just slide right down inside the battery box and you'd be good to go like a MacGyver. You work very cool. All right, so you have this battery pack and let CJ's photos winning with multiple sessions per day. How do you keep the battery pack charge and then a follow up from Team In and Florida? Do you always use the light bulb from lows as your continuous light source? And does that drain your battery? Yeah, don't use it. A Sfar as the light bulb. There's no reason to use that light bulb during the day. Onley time I use the modeling lamp is late at night, almost it when it's dark outside. If I was going to do something, then that's the only time that I would use it. So throughout the day, the only thing that is running is basically just a little cooling fan that's built into the light. And it's it's pulling very, very little power. I will shoot, I can shoot a whole wedding and I can shoot probably two sessions after that on one charge of the battery. That's what's so great about thes. And this system that I use is I can shoot all day. I'm not worried about changing out batteries. It's basically a sealed lead acid battery in there, and it's virtually the size of a lawn mower battery, so that thing is gonna crank out some serious power all day long. But in Blair Phillips photography fashion, I do have a backup should one break down. I got another one with me, so we're gonna keep on rolling. Good question there. Fantastic. Let's do another question. Lighting and Karen is wondering if you ever use polarizing filters or high density filters. Yeah, I don't use those. You most certainly can. You know that would darken your sky, even Mawr if you wanted to. But for me, I've always kind of worked without the without the polarizing filters. Just because sometimes that could affect my skin tone as well. So I normally don't. I just have a regular UV filter, and that's what I roll with. And that seems to work really well for me. I'm not tried any other ways. Just because what I'm what I am doing is really compelled to it and really like it. Okay. Cool. And then you were talking about You shoot very, very tight and you get it straight in the camera, you shoot it correctly. And Karen and cat squib are both wondering. How do you set your white balance on your camera? That's a great question, master that. Well, this is a California. I'm shooting. I'm shooting with a flash. And in my camera, there are several different white balance modes, so I'm shooting with a flash. So I set my camera to flash. That's really quite that simple. If you are setting yours to flash and you don't really like the color that you're getting, you can go into your custom menu, go to your white balance menu, select, okay, and I'll give you a grid system with all these little dots of color, and you can go in and manually adjust the color to suit what you like. So strapped the box years could be shooting a little cold or a little warm. You can manually go into your camera and adjust your white balance from own flash. You can adjust it to either warmer whatever you want. Warmer, cooler, so you may have to tweak it just a little bit. But I use the preset flash white balance. That's what I use. Thank you. Another question coming up is from K Richmond Photography asking. What is your lighting on rainy and cloudy days? Yeah, my lighting on rainy and cloudy days would be It depends on, you know, if it's really, really rainy, then obviously, you know, if it's a senior session, I'm gonna have to probably stick inside. But with the third segment we have today, you're gonna be in store. I'll show you what I used during my third segment. That will be a follow up to that question. I want to give away quite yet, But I recently did a wedding. I think it was three Saturdays ago. It was drizzling outside. It was a little drizzle going on. My bride knew that. Hey, if you're photographing with me, we're gonna go out in some drizzle because we're not gonna shoot every single image right here in this house where you're getting married. It's not gonna happen. So with that being said, I would use it as a fill flash because it's really dark outside. It's a gloomy. So I would use this light as just a fill flash. Just shoot natural light. But with just enough light toe punch in there to really bright in their skin, tones make him look warmer. So it's not as cool looking on. DWhite I have done in the past is take a big Ziploc bag like a big freezer bag and cut a hole in the back on the bottom of it. Shove it over the light, tighten it up and then pluck McCord through it. So the light our water doesn't get down in here. Accumulation of water probably isn't good. Electron ICS on bond. That's what I would do. That's that's the best answer that I could give for that. Fantastic. Are another gear question going back to that specific light? You. Could you please reiterate what light average light bulb you got from lows for the continuous light. Very simple. It's just a 100 watt household lightbulb, but make sure it's a tungsten color. It's not one of those, you know, the cool versions or the you know they got all sorts of different light bulbs. Just get a regular old school 100 watt light bulb and it works absolutely perfect That way, if you're ever out and you break yours, you don't have to order one and wait for it to come in. You can just you can pop another one out of your car. You go grab one out of your clients lamp if you have to. That will really be impressed with that. Like, man, this guy could just make anything work. But then tell him you know, don't be trying. Don't Don't try this at home Now, don't you try and do it because it's not gonna work this thing, which and period really could. But we don't want them to know that, right? Yeah. Alright, Doubtful. Ashley is winning if you go back and describe the different light. She didn't catch the difference in the bulbs in relation to the power. Yeah, exactly the different types of lighting. Basically, we can overpower the song where we're using this thing at pretty much full powers all the time. We're gonna have to really crank some high powers, the overpower, that son, and then we're gonna be able to pull the power way down and will use it as just a glorified feel flash. But that flash isn't gonna be mounted on your kid on your camera and just kill all your images. It's gonna be off camera, and then we're gonna be able to use it as a continuous light where we turn the flash completely. All we turn the modeling lamp own and that's gonna act is like, just basic, like a flashlight that you can hold defused in front of your subject. So we're using it in those three ways and then also amusing in conjunction with the next segment that we get into here in just a minute after we take maybe a couple more questions and I'll show you how amusing in conjunction with other lights as well. Ok, cool. I'll really like this next question from M l photo and says I typically shoot early morning or evening, I would love to be able to shoot all day long. Do you feel like using the light outdoors is going to make that style or my style look completely different? I would hate for that my clients to be like, Oh, this looks so different. And how do you get around that change? You know, getting your clients used to that different look. Yeah, you know, it is gonna have a different look. I mean, your your style can still be the same. Your look can be similar, but if I take images early in the morning versus middle today and obviously you know there's gonna be quite a difference there, but you have to say to yourself, is my style, you know, is it worth me changing a little bit, giving a little bit of a different look throughout the middle of the day. But I think if you keep your photo shop work the same, I really think you can tie it all in the same. So for may I think Tom of my family is really, really important. So if it may, I could only shoot during the morning or only shoot in the evening. I think maybe a slight change of style are not a change of style, but incorporating a new style. You know, you could still keep your posing and your photo shop the same, so I don't think it would be a drastic difference, really, you know, And there again, one thing to do would be to jump out there one Saturday and give it a shot and bring him back and process in the same way that you normally do and just see what happens. A lot of times I've said it so many times that fear of wanting to rock the apple cart keeps us from trying something new that we may actually like more than what we're doing already. So get out there and try and see what happens. And then one last question before moving on some good from this one is from Megan Lee. Who says hello? Does Blair ever use his lighting to capture and freeze motion? And if so, how do you do that? Yeah, well, with what I shoot my my camera 252. The second is the fastest sync speed that I can get. Unless I wanted to use, you know, some sort of a high, high speed sink which personally Ah, high speed sink. I'm not. I just don't really use it. I don't have a need to capture motion like that. A tely sta at this point in my photography, I don't There are systems out there that allow you to do that. But for me, I like being in complete control. And a lot of those systems that out that I found they rely on t t l. And I don't like my camera being in charge of what f stop I use and what shutter speed I used. I like to be in control, so I think just that shooting seniors and weddings and Children, you know, normally 250 of a second is it's plenty sufficient, but it can be done. And if that's something that you're interested in, I would definitely encourage you to research it and get out there and try it

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!