Skip to main content

Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 9 of 33

One Light Demo and Q&A

 

Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 9 of 33

One Light Demo and Q&A

 

Lesson Info

One Light Demo and Q&A

and we were I think I hit the jackpot for sure. Whenever asked for someone to photograph here Absolutely hit the jackpot. I don't know. They sent out something and said Okay, I want, like the most beautiful girl in all of Seattle and the phone ring, and she's here, so it's absolutely perfect. Um, I'm gonna show you some general functions of lighting here. And matter of fact, if you give me just one second, I'm gonna cut some of these lights off. We'll just use this one light and we'll see what we can come up with, and I'll show you how easy it is. So if you don't mind, let's have our lovely model come over. And what was your name against winning? Kendra. Kendra. Very nice to meet you. See, I don't know Kendra well enough to go in for the whole. Get Bacall fortified lower itself because she's like, Oh, excuse me. Whoa. I started to wear heels today as well, but I knew that would be allowed on this floor. Not those kind of heels, but like boots with heels. It's getting weird already. You...

with me a good deal. The good thing is And this is just how I communicate with my clients to I'm not afraid to be goofy or whatever. I'll communicate with her the same way I would a regular climb, and I will explain her. Everything we're gonna do today really laid back. It's no big deal. I'll show you everything to do. All basically mimic what I want you to do and show you do this. This is is you can't laugh at me. That one of a little like a girl, right? No promises that right? No promises. So I'll show her how to pose. I'll show you what to do. Make it really easy. And you just stand there and look pretty. And you've already you've already got the looking pretty part down. Now you just gotta work on standing there. So why don't we jump in here and I'll talk before we get started? Let's talk about my settings on my camera settings on my camera and studio. I shoot a Nikon D four and with the D four in the studio, I Norma shoot 200 I s so I could shoot at, you know, 100 or 50. But I found that for me. No one wants to see themselves in high definition. Most people don't. So the 200 I eso is perfect for me. I'm normally shoot a shutter speed in the studio some around like to 200. And in studio, I generally try to stay around 5.6 is my after somewhere around in there because I want my subject to be brought forward off of the background. So you know, now that does change depending upon the sets and things like that. But as a rule of thumb, generally 5.6 200 of a second. Now, the way that I set my lights up is very, very uncharacteristic of what a lot of people do. I don't necessarily use a light meter because early on I could not afford a light meter, so therefore, I never bought a light meter. But I had the visual aspect of my camera back, and I've learned through calibrating that what I see on my camera is when I get in person, so I will take an image. Look at it. It is not the way I need it with those camera settings, just very simply adjust the lighting either down or up. I'm gonna bring you right up here, if you will. I'm gonna stand you right back behind. Stand right here and be really pretty for a second. And I'm gonna turn some of these lights off. Everybody hold tight for me. And it's so weird for me working without music because everything I do always have music. This is one of those moments where music would be really, really handy because she and I, we don't know each other. So the music would kind of break up the awkward silence, a little bit type of thing. You know, even she says, Yeah, a little bit. A little bit. All right. So this one light here, I'll show you how to pose. Let's just do let's have her sit down. What do you think, guys? Let's have her sit here, Put the camera down for a second and I want you to do is just sit on this awesome share. This thing definitely has some nostalgic value here. I think that I sat on one of these when I was a kid and my grandparent's house, no doubt, but again, it's improvising this is what we had and we said, You know, we're gonna make it work. I want you to sit here right on the edge and then just take your arms, leaned down a little bit like this and just kind of turn your face this way. It's very, very simple. Always start my client's office something super, super simple, something that's easy for them to do. I don't want to go for the gusto and do something really, really tough to start off with. So with that being said and I look at her and if she doesn't feel comfortable enough for look comfortable enough, I'll go in and relax her even more So with that being said, Put your knees together they go. And now I want you just to put all your weight here and here. Just just let it all go and then turn your face towards this light right here. And let's just see if we can reproduce that type of lighting that we had before. The key to this is pointing her nose mawr towards the light. Obviously, little head Teoh, turn a little bit more right there. She's gonna turn her eyes back towards me, Chin, Dan Diego and this one. I want a serious look. This is supposed to evoke a little, a little bit of emotion here, so let's see what happens. Let's just take a little shot here and we'll adjust from there. So we take shot and we're gonna just from there in just a second takes just a second for these two. Come up on our monitors here, so and we'll keep working on that in just one second. That's the thing. Obviously we're doing live. You know, it's kind of tough sometimes with making sure that all this equipment where it's just right. But these guys having awesome staff here, that's Ah keeps things going. One thing that's really, really important. If you're looking at your subject, you want to make sure that when you turn their head that their eyes there's a little bit of the white still left in their eyes. Over here, you don't want to see nothing but color, so always maintain a little bit of white around all of the eyes here if you can. If you can try. If you can try eso again, we can kind of talk through some of these functions again as well. So the biggest thing is, if I'm photographing from there, I want to turn her head towards the light because the more I turn it this way, the more dark this side's gonna be. Obviously. So I turn it towards the light, and you could physically kind of see that over years, obviously going to go dark. So turn your face towards the light a little bit and then have her turned her eyes back towards May. And then we get the shot right here. If it's not, if it's not bright enough, don't change your camera settings because you got your camera where you want it. What would you do if it's not bright enough? You just go over, adjust your lighting just a little bit. Turn it up, give it a little bit more power. Let's see if we're getting a little bit closer here. Let's try it again. Here. Let's see what happens to face a little bit. Chin down just to shave their darling there. You got beautiful just like that right there. 123 Let's see what we've got here. Everybody hold tight. Nobody's going anywhere. We're still working on it just a little bit and you'll get a nice Burgundy swab that's gonna come right down the middle here. And that's something that you know. That's her fault. That's not mine. That's the model's ball. That is not on me, man. Other. That's our deal. Um, but again. Okay. There you go. Put your head a little bit. This way. There you go, darling. Perfect. And Porter right in there. And it should work this time. The suspense is killing me, right? It's all good. Like I said, this is exactly sometimes what we can go through as a photographer even were in an event. Like, right now I'm teaching a loud event and this is happening and this isn't cool. But when you're dealing with so much technology, that's why you need to have a backup plan. So if my camera wasn't working and I was on the location, I would simply go get my all the one out of my bag, and I wouldn't freak out about it. So bear with us. Here is we work on this. A few things you need to think about. If she doesn't have her face, turn your faces way If she has her face turned way over this way, then obviously there's no light going to get to this side of the face. So that's why I was saying was really important. Pretend like there's an arrow sticking out of her forehead and you never want that arrow looking straight into your camera. You always want that little arrow pointed away from your camera, one way or another. But in this case, we want that arrow pointed more towards the light. Let's take us a little test shot here. Old time. I should probably focus on your face. Let's try this again. Have a seat. I think we got it up and working now. Face a bit more, right in their eyes, air here, perfect getting the hands and everything involved there and should pop up and it's going crazy again. I bet all the cannon shooters they're saying, Yeah, well, if you had a can and that wouldn't be happening, But way see, even you guys were like, Yeah, you're right, you're exactly right. A stuff happens, though, and I like the fact I like the fact that this is real world, and that's what's so good about creativelive is You have to just roll with it, you know? And this is an instructor. We've got a production crew in here, an audience. All you guys like, man, you really have to deal with that type of stuff is well and absolutely, you know, way all have to deal with Israel lives. Real life situations work on one more time here, cause this is absolutely imperative that this work But I would like for it to test shot here. See what happens. Wait for it. Kind of weird with that camera being right in my face. This is that moment where music. Like I said, we really, really good. Alright. Hey, Blair. What? We're waiting for that Teoh sync up and we get that trouble shooted. How about a couple quick questions? All right. Cool. People are wondering if you normally shoot tethered in your studio. And how soon can your clients either For this reason, here I never shoot tether. I don't shoot tethered. It's just something that for me in my studio with my volume that I do I just don't find it to be very relative. I don't find it. The add any value so I shoot everything to the card and then we add it, and our order appointments are generally about a week. After that. We shoot the images because I feel like if if the clients see the images right away, then I feel like it kind of leaves them. Not a lot to look forward to, and it's almost like bubble gum. They chew it and off they go. And, you know, it's kind of old news at that point. This one is from Marianne and says, I am truly captivated by this workshop. Much of what you're sharing its were photographers with staff in studio. I'm a home based studio and I am solo. I do the shoots, the editing in the marketing, in your opinion. What, you know. Should I focus on just one area? Currently, I should shoot football, dance, seniors, Children knew where that like the whole thing. We're solo solo artist just getting started and how you know, do you narrow that focus down? Yeah, it's like she's the preacher on the choir. We're talking to one another. I'm in your boat. I get it. Like I said earlier, Just keep shooting. You know, when I first started, and even now, I didn't choose one particular area to go into, because think about it this way. This is a great analogy. What if photography waas just say senior retired? What if senior photography was like the construction industry back in 2007? And I put all my eggs in the construction basket and then construction completely went away because our economy tanked? No one was building anymore. So a lot of these large corporations that were builders, they all dried up and they had to go work elsewhere. So I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea to diversify yourself on photograph a little bit of everything. I mean, force yourself to do things that you're not really comfortable with and getting yourself in there. You'll say this was not for me or anything. I could work that out. So diversified. Put your eggs in different baskets, and that way you don't end up with a bunch of no good eggs, I guess. All right, we're gonna toss it up on the law there. Did the audience pushes on the reflector? I've noticed their silver gold or whatever. Yes, warm tone, Whatever. What do you do. What do you prefer? Fourth, what I prefer in the studio. He asked for my reflector. Um, I really, really rely on a nice hot silver. If I'm photographing, like in here, I can get. I can get enough light all myself with just this one silver reflector to create a pretty decent image. There's enough wide in here to do that, but if it's really bright and we're outside, you take this thing and put it up to somebody's eyes and it'll burn the retinas out of their eyes. So I like this one. I like the silver because when it's really dim outside, this gives me a nice kick of light. And on those days when it's really, really bright outside, I use the white, and that gives me just a nice little bit of illumination of the eye. So I do have a gold one. But to be quite honest with you, Randi, I never, ever use it. I just I never use it, so you know, there's good to have, but I never use it. So you have a question. Yeah, very. Um, I know that he used the lighting to create a mood, but I think the hardest thing for me to get the emotions, especially when you're a heck up like this, how you gonna get the model to kind of get Yeah, that's a great question, Teoh. I mentioned earlier. You have to get people into a psychology, you know, You have to give them a If I just tell her, I want you to stand here and look to the side and just be serious. I may look to the side and you like this right here. But if I tell her, I want you to look over there and I want you to pretend like you see a girl that just stole your boyfriend and you see her for the first time. That's what I want you to do. And she'll immediately go from you have to give your clients of psychology to get into and given them. Ah, persona is definitely way to go. So you know, if I tell a girl toe, I want you look at me and give me serious and she goes and I say, No, no, no. I want you look over there and say, I will cut you and she'll go. So she can get into that train of thought there, and we'll see what happens. So wear ready for you. Start saving another shot. Here, See what happened. Thank you for being patient with a sweeping. All right, good deal and rule of thumb. My main light is normally four feet away, four feet or so away from my subject, because the farther I back it up, the weaker gets and the more harsh it gets, which sounds crazy. But all right, I'm picking this up really, really gently here now for your face bag tours. Like she's like, OK, I got it by now. Goodness. Tilt your head a little bit. Turn it right. There s a here. Lips together. 123 Let's see what happens here. Lost your look. It looks like it's gonna work. All right, Now she's got she's a little dark up underneath her nose. Look, let's fix this. Turn your face a little bit till Thio chin up a little right there. I'm gonna go from here. Same thing here. 123 Just like that, I would do a close up. 123 Let's look at this one. Now I want you to turn your face all the way and just looked like right down to here. Nice and serious. Here, chin down. Turn your face towards me just a little bit. They look back down there towards the ground, and this is what I was talking about. One light. We're trying to create that emotion. Take just a second for the pop up here and I'll do a little dance in the meantime, and it's going to happen right now in just a minute or two. I'm definitely not a good singer. So you guys are gonna be in trouble if I have to sing. But you gotta roll with the punches so that right now, definitely people are wondering if you can go through your gear set up there wondering what lens your camera, all your settings from the get go I can and I've got another. It'll be redundant cause I've got another section where we'll go through all that stuff as well. But I use a 17 to 24 for my wide angle, and that is a Nikon 2.8. I use a 24 to 70 as a primary lens. That's 2.8 as well just 72 200 and I have an 85 1.4 that I use for details and head shots. Things like that. I do use a Nikon D for I'm a Nikon God just because the first camera that I had was a Fuji and it's a Nikon Mount. So therefore, on my lenses fit. And that's when I stuck with, um, I do have to say that I was probably a bigger fan of Nikon D three than the D four. I don't know why, but that was just straight out of the box. I love the color that I got. It had to tweak this one just a little bit to get where I wanted, But now it's a phenomenal camera. Tamarack. I used Tamarack bags to get everything to and from never, never, ever, ever let me down. And Westcott, I'm a huge proponent of Westcott Lighting. Westcott is a locally owned company, and they're staying here in the States and at every workshop that I've ever been to, every they're always there. They have a presence and their support, our industry and I can't really say that about a lot of a lot of other people. Um, again, as far as outdoor lighting, we're gonna get in that tomorrow. That's probably gonna be that will probably be one of the biggest segments here is outdoor lighting. Just how easy it is. And the visual backups and 1/2 everybody, you're gonna love the outdoor lighting. We're getting into gear for that in a little while, but I'm a Nikon guy, so if you're a cannon person, we don't hate on you guys like you hate on us. Nikon people way like everybody. So if you shoot Canon, you do great work. If you shooting icon is greatest greatest also, we'll also let you know Blair that our producer Ryan, said that you could put together a gear list for our audience. So we're going to include a gear list of all of Blair's gear in a pdf format. For those of you who purchased this course, so if you didn't write down all the information fast enough, it will be a resource with the purchase of the way. You know, we're giving you extra homework tonight. That's no problem. No problem. OK, very, very cool to people. And a couple more coming in right now, they're wondering about positioning the reflectors that you work with. How do you know how to actually position The reflector is a great question. And I'll tell you what. We can use this as a visual here. Perfect. Um, or actually, let's let's use the cameras. A visual. Let's just aim do something different. Here. Hold that. Don't you push any buttons. All right? Seriously, we don't need any more things going on in here. I'm just getting all right. How do you know when you when this is position in the right place? Whenever you position this, if I'm working with a client like right here, you can see it in camera. You see where it gets bright? Are you seeing that? You see where it gets bribing the lens? All right, well, if I'm working with a client, my client is standing right here. I will position it so the light is on them and let me tighten it up a little bit. This is the easiest way I found a no one. Your reflectors in the right spot, your position. And what do you think? That's right. Your subject. Just standing here. You tell your subject to stand to the side is still, but they moved to here. You stand right here. If you can see the reflection of your light source in there, then you know obviously it is gonna hit their face. So stand where your subject is moving around a little bit back and forth. Look into the reflector. If you can't see a reflection moving around a little bit until you do, and when you do, you know that it's in the right spot. So hopefully that helps a little bit. That's perfectly expelling. Thank you for the show in telling demonstration. But we're such visual people and it's so nice to see it actually like visually explained toe. Yeah, that's one of those times in life I can say, Hey, cut me a little slack here, Give me a little slack here. Lester Holt. Thank you. She's holding this for me. Turn your face towards the light A little bit more. Let's see. What happens here is gathered geniuses around here. And how they keep up with everything that they do is just beyond me. So I think we're working. So let's go back to this one really quick. Well, then we'll move on. Move on. Will finally make this work. OK, looking all look down towards the camera or down towards the that would be called the floor, actually down towards the floor. She's looking kind of at the base of the light here and nice and seriously lives touch together. This is something to people. Don't know what to do with their mouth and you want them to have natural looking lips. I'll tell her, Take a deep breath, let it all out And then later lips touch together. Bam! You've got it just like that right there and hold it. See what we are here. That's going to give us our more emotional time. Look where light is coming in from the far side coming into her. Let's do one more with your chin down. Even more should not even more just like that Do a little close up action here and we'll see. Hold it just like that and see where that iss So that's what All right, that is actually that looks like a Pano in a book, like a design that we've done. So things happen. But you get the gist of that. You can do something. You can do amazing things with that one light

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!