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Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 12 of 33

Outdoor Lighting

 

Senior Photography: Break the Mold

Lesson 12 of 33

Outdoor Lighting

 

Lesson Info

Outdoor Lighting

I'm gonna start off with a century lighting outdoors. We're gonna break down all the barriers to show you exactly how to get it going right from the start by yourself. And then I'm gonna touch on do it yourself set ideas. If you do have a studio, that's gonna be awesome. And if you don't have a studio, we're gonna follow that up with how I gain access to all, um, outdoor locations and all my outdoor says So it's really multicultural, if you will, and we're going to touch everything. And then I'm gonna wrap it up today with some very, very unconventional marketing that works in a very small market. So if it works on a very small market, obviously would it would just go like wildfire in a large market. So if you guys were ready, we're gonna go and jump right on in there. Lighting is one of those things. That's what makes an image. And I see a lot of people really, really struggle with outdoor lighting. We want to get out there and we want to go. But what ends up happening is we say OK, t...

oday is the day I'm gonna take this flash unit outside and we're gonna make a difference. And you walk out and you put everything together and you take that first couple of shots and you look at your camera back and you say this just doesn't look like what it should. And I get so frustrated and I'm just gonna put the flash back in the bag and I'm just gonna do it like I always have done. It doesn't mention yesterday. Your fears will keep you from getting there. So I'm gonna show you how to break down those fears. And I can promise you this is gonna be probably the easiest demonstration on outdoor lighting that you've ever seen. We're gonna break, break it down and away. We might even break it down dancing, who knows? But outdoor lighting This is some of the things that we're gonna cover. I'm gonna show how to get it done with one light How I go out in the middle of the day when it's 12 o'clock The sun is just screaming bright and show you how I can just manhandle that song showing what the deal is and not even really have to think about it anymore. Because if you can break it down in a way that you don't have to think about it anymore. And you just walk outside and you say this is gonna be 200. I s O F 8/60 of a second and 3/4 power. I've got it. And bam! You take that shot and you look at it on a psych. Wow, I can really do this. So we're gonna cover the one light gonna move to the three lights set up outdoors. Now, this does take a little bit of effort, but this is what I was talking about yesterday about putting your best marketing images forward. You know, go out with three lights one day. Just stretch your boundaries and get yourself out there. Does it take more work? Of course it does. But hey, the best fruit is on the end of the limb, so sometimes you gotta get out there on the limb to get that. Get the best fruit. Another good quote there. I'm loving these quotes. We're gonna talk a little bit more about reflectors and just how important they are and why a lot of people don't carry them and I'll show you where to carry them, how to carry them so that you don't have to worry about it anymore. And you're not gonna be lazy anymore. We're gonna talk about some continuous lighting for outdoors. This is mainly for night time or when it's dusk. Or, you know, are when I was getting really, really dark, right before the sun goes down and then own into when the sun goes down Have you ever been out on location And you've got a cityscape behind you and it looks really, really awesome. And you say, Yeah, I'd love to photograph this senior right here and get that whole skyline and the parents like, Oh, that's gonna look so beautiful. And you're like, Yeah, not, not so much. So I'm gonna show you how to do that as well. One thing that I struggled with big time. When I first had the idea, I said, Why can't I take one of these studio lights outdoors? You can. You can do that. And I did. And it didn't didn't fare out so well, so I needed to figure out a way to get the studio light. My camera, my bag my battery, my inverter, everything that I needed a place to put my cell phone, my keys, everything to me. It looked very unprofessional. Toe, ask a parent. Hey, Mom, do you mind carrying this £26 battery for me? I know you're paying me a lot of money to do this, but demon carrying that for me and then Dad, if you don't mind, would you be so kind as to carry my camera bag? I would really appreciate it. That's not a good look either. You know that You don't want them to do that. It's not a good look. So I came up with the El Oro to explain what that isn't. In a minute, my goals were something that would allow me to work with no assistant because an assistant for me I'm too wild. I'm all over the place. I'm crazy on assistant would slow me down. I would say, Hey, give me Just move. Let me do it. I'll get it. That's just my nature. That's I think that's how you stay so skinny as well. But if I hang around here much longer, I'm not be skinny. This place is awesome. The heat getting. I wanted to be able to shoot in any conditions because, like I told you yesterday, my schedule is very important. I want to take my last appointment at three. Used to clients would call. And Yeah, I can do your session at six o'clock because that's when the best lighting is here. Yeah, and that means that I won't go to see my family until nine. That's gonna be great. Great. No, I want to shoot throughout the day. I don't want to chase the sun and shoot early in the morning and late at night. I want to shoot any time of day and be able to create a great look that would fit my brand. And that's how I'm able to do it is through the use of lighting outdoors, no more broken lights. The first time I took my studio light outside had this idea, and I told my wife I said, You know what? I'm not coming home today until I figure this out. I knew what it was capable of, and I knew I could figure it out. I said, If other people could do it, why can't I do it? And I tried, you know, I watched a few people do it, and the way they explained it, just overwhelming. And I said, Well, you got He's a guide number that is half the equivalent off a theory that when two trains leave Boston, one's going to Chicago. When I'm like, man, just wait a minute. You are messing me up right here. So I went outside and I really thought about it, and I said, There's a theory here of how this works and I'm gonna figure it out. And then once I get it figured out, I want to be able to help others and enlighten others that when you're after today's program, you're gonna say, Are you serious? Like I can totally do that now. But it didn't come without a price. First subject. Put the light stand up. I was so excited. I thought I had it figured out. We're ready to start shooting and I hear the parent go take a deep breath and I was like What? And then I heard Well, the light fell over. Busted. I didn't have a backup plan. We had driven, like 30 minutes to this location. I look like an idiot. So I was like, Okay, no problem. We're gonna go. This lighting out here is beautiful. And I'm like, Yeah, 12 noon. The lighting is awesome. It's like enough to set your hair on fire. So and there's no shade anywhere. Didn't pan out very well, so I'll give you a rendition. I went back to the studio that day, and I'm like, I'm a guy over Guy said. You say if I had to move that couch, I would get it on my truck without every being touching it without picking it up. I like to make things as easy as I can and simplify it, cause I'm used to doing all of my shooting by myself because it's just my style. It's what I'm used to. I didn't grow up with a lot of help everywhere. So this next video is me. Is a young man saying You know what? I'm not gonna take no for an answer. I know what I want, but I gotta figure out how to get there. So watch this next video and you'll get a sense of my motivation and exactly what you're gonna be capable of after today. Thus the birth of my new best friend went back to the drawing board and I said, I've got to be able to carry all the stuff on myself and I've gotta figure out a way to do it or I'm never gonna be happy with my work. There's just no way because I'd already got a taste of what it looked like with that lighting and all the different characteristics I could use from it. So it's not gonna take no for an answer. When a drawing board, I designed a few different things. They've been fabricated a few different things, and I got almost there and I said No. And Blair Phillips fashion That's good enough isn't gonna be good enough. We're gonna make this thing right. So it went through about four prototypes, finally got to do where I wanted it. And about 3.5 years later, I'm still using the same one that I had every every every since then. And I think as a year today that it's somewhere around 350 of these things that we've sold the other photographers that have just has changed their life. So that was the birth of the El Oro two. That's my White Rover. My light card, I guess you would say. And I'm gonna demo it here and just a little bit and show you exactly how I use it. We're gonna talk about different aspects of it. Different, excessive lighting, depending on the time of day when I show you all kinds of things with it. So here it is, actually in use. This is basically what allowed me toe walk out of my studio and say, You know what? I'm unleashing this whole another animal that I didn't even know existed in me. And it opened up so many doors for me, and it gave me such confidence, saying, You know what? I can totally do this. My style can I can be this guy that I thought that I wanted to be, but I didn't know it was capable of now I could do that, and that's exactly how it happened. So that's me. I'm a one man band using one light outside. But now I have a tool that I can carry everything on or push it around and everything is good. So that is how we do it this is Ah, probably two in the afternoon and I'm able to get straight from camera a really nice looking image. Now I'm not having to go back in photo shop and do a lot of damage repair just to get back to where I wanted to start from. So now I'm starting with a good image. Now. I could just take 45 seconds and Photoshopped running action on it and you're done is completely finished. The eyes air cleaned up. There's no reason to go in and retouch every little piece and every little piece. Have soft lighting that's gonna take care a lot of that. Let's look at some of these images. Like I said yesterday, I'm a J peg shooter. I know a lot of you are saying all boo on you. The reason let me tell you the reason I started shooting JPEG are the reason I shoot J. Peg Now. When I first started in photography, I was a J peg shooter because and I'm not embarrassed to tell you this was because when I pulled my camera out of the box, it was defaulted to J peg. So that is it. What a shot. And as you know, again, I trained myself to get it is as good as I can. And I realize that the parameters air not as broad as they are with the raw image, but again, my processing time is is ridiculous. A shoot a session, Bam! It's edited that quick and we're going home. We're not spending hours upon hours. And Photoshopped. This is one of the first images that I shot with this at the junk yard. I took these girls to the junkyard. I said, Please let me photograph you there and they're like, Oh, yeah, cool, whatever. That. Never seen any of these images, obviously because I didn't use the lighting yet. But that's a J peg straight from camera. I mean, I can I could work with that all day straight from camera. I'm now excited to show my clients the camera back. I get inspired by my camera back and I say, Hey, look, Look at this. This is what we're doing and I do it really quickly. I don't let him have a long time to study it. I'm like, Look at that! And they're like, Oh, no, no, no. I want to see what sales I know. See him later? I'm building that excitement by showing a little sneak peek of the camera back whereas used to you might shoot an image and they say, Well, I want to see No, no, no, no, no, no. I have to Let me let me work on him a little bit. I got to get into where their presentable, if you know what I mean. Now you don't have to do that. So little bit of levels, Kurt. Skin softening, maybe 10 seconds and Photoshopped and you're done. Now you have to understand going from ah, solely natural light shooter. When I was outside because I was so intimidated by off camera lighting, obviously, I wanted to get to this point, but I thought it was never possible. I figured you had to be some famous photographer somewhere that's worked for years to go to figure it out. Well, when I went out and I saw like, Okay, I'm out here in this area and it's getting dark outside, but I'm able to create something. Get something recorded that I really like something I would never be capable of doing this time of day. There's no way I got so excited and it opened up a whole another door for me. Now you may ask, What is this light cart thing you're talking about here? I'm gonna pull it right over to you here. And basically it is a cart that we fabricate. I have a fabricator that fabricates them for me and on the bottom. I have a battery and an inverter to create good clean power. And then there's a shelf here that I keep my camera bag on and I strap it to these little islands right here. And I have my my studio, studio Strobe. I have my collapsible soft box, and I don't have my transmitter hooked right here. And when I get in my job, I basically just pulled this little pin out right here. When I get to my job, pull the pin out, raise it up, and I just simply put this guy right back through there and I'm ready to start shooting. I'm ready. This is a one man band. It's weighted down at the bottom by the weight of that battery. So if you're out and it's the wind is blowing it's not gonna blow over. Not there's gale force winds. Of course, you're probably eating is shooting outside. But this is my lifeline. I cannot imagine doing it without it. So let's talk a little bit about what's on this thing. What do I use? What is my gear bag Per se when I'm using this and it's very, very simple. Move this over just a little bit more so I can see everybody here. I shoot with the alien be 800. So I use the A B 100. Now, why would I use such a light? Number one? It's not that expensive. Number two, it takes probably, I'm gonna guess around four flash units. So four sp a hundreds or four can and flashes to equal the power I could get out of one of these lights. And this is a small fraction of the price. Very small fraction of price, things like to 79 or something. So I used the alien be the A B 800 I use this folded, foldable medium soft box. When I love about this south box is you just pull this look and it folds down and goes right into your car so you don't have to worry about undoing a bunch of stuff. All the aggravation of putting it together Super, super streamlined there, um, again, the That's the photo. Affordable medium soft box. I use pocket wizards. You have to have something that will transmit a signal to make this light flash when you push your trigger. So I use the pocket wizards, and the bag that I use that goes on here is the thing is the 56 13 56 13. And that's where I keep on my lenses, my IPhone, my keys, my clients keys. I know may end up keeping a bunch of their crap in here. I've got everything that I need and for a battery, I used the old school vagabond to from alien bees. It's not necessarily they don't say that it's available, but if you call them and say I want the old vagabond to, then they will. They do have something. They replaced it with a newer one, but it's really, really lightweight. And the plastic housing I'm not a real big fan of. Plus, I like the way to this. That's what gives me my counterbalance and a 42 inch reflector. I folded up and I stick it right down behind my camera bag. And it just I love love, love having that. When I've got a client out, I can just fold it out and I'll put it where needed profit ride up against my light car here and there you go. It will stay the night if it's windy, of course, you know may have to put my foot on the reflector to keep it from going anywhere, but I'm still over here doing it. And what I'm excited about is showing all the different ways that we can use this and how we how we manipulate this on how we do our. They had a quick question. So the height of it does it raise up higher, and then a comment to I'm assuming it looks like it's nice because it's short, so you're able to fit it when it's collapsed right into the probably even a car seat of a car, or you're able to transport it really easily. But I was wondering about like the height as far as if it's that height, that's a great question. Actually, the reason that it is the height that it is now is because when I fold it down and I put it in a fit in a suitcase the way it is now. So for my destination weddings that I do, I can fold it up, put it in all of it in a suitcase. Now, that is a great question, because this right here there is a male end on the top here, and there's a company called Lowell. You go, you go adirama and around adirama dot com and I make what's called 1/ poll and it goes up another four feet. So you just put it on, screw it on and you're you're good to go and its adjustable from there. So I haven't this height just because I feel like if you get it, really, Rawhi becomes more susceptible to the wind. Andi, this seems to work really, really well for me. Another thing I want to point out guys, is what I do with Myself Box and the reason that I photographed with my soft box. This way you'll notice I've taken one of the layers, the outer layer of diffusion off of myself bucks because I personally like that little bit more of a harsh look when I'm outdoors, so I remove the outer baffle. It also gives me a little bit more power as well. So that's kind of my frame of thought behind that. So take a look at some of these when I can go out again. 12 noon. I found myself searching for shade. I would walk out and I would say, Okay, um, if you can maybe get up underneath this table here where there's some shade and this is gonna look great, its all had. So I found myself really struggling. But now I can go out. This is like road construction out in front of my studio. It makes no sense whatsoever, but just whatever is there, I can photograph with it. And middle of the day, that's virtually best straight from camera. I'm able to retain all the clouds able to retain all the detail, and it's nice, vibrant colors. I'm gonna show you also how to use it as just a simple feel flash all in the same unit, and then those evening shots that we want to do just say to pull in the ambient light This in the background. If we were photographing here and there were lamps back in the background from street lights or something like that, if we fire a flash, there's no way I can dial it down low enough that we're still gonna be able to retain all that information in the background. So I'm gonna show you how to use it as some continuous lighting to be able to pull in the ambient lighting in the background. Now, this next one, we're finally going to get Teoh. Okay, Well, then show me how you do this and how you make it so easy. Because I don't really quite understand. You keep saying it's easy, but you haven't shown me anything yet. Now I'm gonna show you. Take just a second to set everything up here, and I'm thinking we're probably going to be demo back this way. I think that works for everybody. Now, this is the time we're gonna get our awesome model to come up and help us out today because she's a lot prettier to look at than I am, That's for sure. Thank you for helping us out again today. Just stand right on the other side of this light here. So I get to my job now. I'm not stressed about lighting because I've got it figured out. Easiest way to do it for this past met for this image. Right here. Here, scoot over this way. Just for this image right here. We got to overpower the sun. There's no other way to do it. So what we have to do is we have toe under expose the background, bring all bring it down. But then, by doing that, it's gonna make her dark. So we have toe add lighting back to her, so show you how to do it. Meter for the sky. You have to set your camera to spot meter. Okay, That means that when you point your camera to something, it's on Lee taking a reading of what it's pointed out in the very very center. If you dio one, that's all of us valid of metering. It's gonna take a reading of the whole entire area and you don't want that cause you got dark and light. So here I'm gonna point must put my camera to the sky and I'm gonna find the darkest part of the sky I can, which is usually on the opposite side of the horizon where the sun is. So the sun's coming up over here. The sun's gonna be darker over here, so I'll point it over. Look up towards the sky. You know, Normal set my shutter speed at 200 Just say 200 of a second and then I down my aperture either up or down so that when I'm looking through my camera and the little meter that's inside the camera on the bottom when you're looking through, I wanted to be at zero. So doll my aperture, either down or up, so that it as at zero, and then under expose it a little bit. So I take it just slightly into the negative slightly end of the negative. So you want under expose it and then just simply take a test shot turned back around of where your subject is, take a test shot of her with no lighting. All right. No lighting his own at that point. Now what will happen is is your sky will be nice and dark, and your subject will be very dark because you've under exposed the whole scene because you want to get you will retain information that's and your background and your sky. Right? So hopefully you're following me on this. Now she's gonna be really dark, and I got my light right here and let me talk about light placement as well. I normally keep it a good wing span away. So just by doing so, I'm gonna put handing face. I know that I'm about a wingspan away, so just separate your arms. It's gonna be about four feet or so. Maybe 4 4.5 feet. That is the placement of my life. Now, from there you've taken your test shot. She's gonna be really dark. So what do you do from there? You turn your light on, set it 1/2 power. And that's the cool thing about these types of lights. You find something is easy, less, more, less, more, less, more. It's really, really complicated, guys. Now I've got the light on her. I'll set it at half power that way. When I take a shot of her with the lighting, I know which way to go. Don't adjust your camera at all. Don't adjust your camera. You've got your background, your sky the way you want it. Now turn your light on. Add light. So you're gonna have to do you take another shot with the lighting? If she's too bright, what would you guess you would do? Oh, my gosh, you're getting it. This is making sense. You just go right here. And you just you just move it over a little bit less light and she's too bright. What do you do? Thinking you did. You just go a little bit more. So depending upon the time of day, you may need less or more like so, so, so simple. So let's talk about placement here again. Light placement isn't only about four feet away. I generally use mine off camera, either left or right. I never want to shoot right here with it, because then that's like having directional own camera lighting. So it's off there and just stand right in there. And what will have you do is just just do something like this right here with just your hands in your pockets. Just make it really, really easy for you. They go perfectly your films in your pocket, A little fist there you go now. Just like yesterday. I'm gonna turn her face back towards the light. All right? I don't have a tilt The gist of it right in there. So I'm taking the image from here, and the light is coming from over there, which is going to create a little bit of fall off over on this side toe a shadow side, which is what I want. Now, If I had the light coming Schrade into her face, it's just not gonna look nearly as good. I want ah highlight side falling off to a darker side. So that is where the light placement is going to be. And I'm generally it's like a little triangle, like a little triangle right here. And I'm probably 3 to 4 feet away from my life. She's three. She's probably four feet away from my light. And that is really quite a simple as it is that you guys have a question about how you would set that up. Like how you would go out at 12 o'clock and overpower the song. Do you think Do you truly understand it, or do you mean a recap just a little bit? Did you have a question. I have a question, Aziz. Usually I would like you gonna use one light and then use a re factor. Do you carry a stand with the reflector and how you do it? All right, Now that's a good question. I don't for this method and I'll tell you why I use the sun as basically my reflector. So right, like right here. The sun is back behind my subject. So I always position my subject with their back, or at least their back shoulder towards the sun, which is going to give me a separation light from the background. So for this method, I'm not really using a reflector very much. And some of the other ones that wheel and I'll show you how I'm doing that. But for overpowering the sun, I don't ever use a reflector. Never the way I get around. Not having is having the had a reflector is turning her face back towards the sun towards the light. There you go. Perfect. Now that light is going to come straight into her face just like that right there. And not really You don't really need anything on this side of the face. Yeah. Quick question. So the height is about where you have it now? Typically, it's not real high. I personally use mine just like this all the time. You know, if you wanted it higher, obviously. You know, it's very easy. I think that poll is like 19 books or something. Just put it on there and then you're I s So you're going out, like, tentatively, bright out 200. 200? Yeah. Shoot it. 200 all the time. So again, recapping that meter for the sky get your meter to where it zero and an under exposed it just a tad Take a test shot. You got your sky the way you want it and then just add light And that's really I mean, guys, it's really that simple. I mean, we could go outside right now, and I would bet you $100 or creative lives money that very first shot just doing it for so long. You do this for two weeks, you can walk outside and say, this is gonna be F 11. It's gonna be 3/4 power 200. The second eso is 200 I can guarantee you be spot on lamb, Then you move to somewhere else. Lighting's not really gonna change a whole lot. So you're just paying bad bad, And then it makes it so much easier, so much easier. And then another thing that I like to do is if you sit her down, you know, I can lower this light all the way down, or I could just tilt it towards her. I use it a lot of times, too, As if I sat her down there. I lean this thing down and use it. Use it like this. Use it as up lighting, you know, let me tightness back up from where I just moved it up, lighting your subject. Now I got light coming from above and from below and above. I mean, I can create some pretty wicked looking stuff here, so I'm just not afraid Toe break outside that boundary and say, you know what? I'm gonna make this stuff happen, and it's just like having your studio having your studio outdoors, just just like it. So, again, that's great. You just showed that Blair because Lisa had that exact question. How do you show shoot from, like, way below s you're spot on. And the good thing about it, too, is the way I got the handles. Designers like, if it if it should fall, like completely over, it's not gonna crash your light either. I got it. Got it. So that that handles gonna protect your light from hitting the ground should a rare occasion common. It falls over. So I kind of had to think about a little bit of everything, because trust me, I've wrecked quite a good bit of equipment and trying to figure out the easiest way to do it. So thank you. So you have a seat over there for me, So again? Yeah. You ever interested in that? We've got plenty of them at the studio. That ship right out right to your doorstep. So moving forward here, kids. I wanted to take kids. When you have kids, that air. Not really cool with sitting in the studio because they're like, it's dark and I'm freaked out and I don't like it. But now I can take these little rugrats outside and they're all of a sudden they get outside. They're like, Oh, this is much better. This is really cool. This is all right. Natural light. They're not natural light, but using this lighting outdoors opened up a whole nother realm for me. Now I can take these kids that instead of wanting to choke him out in the studio, I don't mean that literally. But when they give you a fit, I can now take him outside straight from camera because look, you can see my sensor dust back. When I used the D three, I didn't have the automatic cleaning system. I was really negligent on that, and my wife wanted to kill me because of it. We'll go from there to there, and that's a That's a quick not even having to think about it, see the right side of his face. The right side is a little bit darker than the left side. That's what I was talking about. You want that little bit of light fall off, so that doesn't look so evenly lit. That's what you're going for. So the answer that question. If I went back with with a reflector there, it may kind of put too much light in the face for this particular image. So now here's a guy that just started because I have lighting now. I started posing with, like, the most random stuff in the world like I'm just Yeah, I'm good with whatever. Let's just go down here, guys. And, well, there's a hairless issues this truck right here. This makes no sense at all. And now I could start focusing on my posing and being more creative because I knew now the lighting was gonna be there. So this is we can look at the light here. I can see where her shadow is. This is too. It's probably two in the afternoon and a super bright sun. Now I'm starting using a wide angle lens more used to never use the wide angle because if I was using natural light, everything in the background just gets blown out, you know? And I say, Oh, no, no, no. I shoot everything at 2.8 because I really wanted to be on you. No, it's because my background sucked really bad. It was Everything was white, like I struck by lightning. I mean, seriously. So there was very little retention in my background when I'm in the bright sun, just like this image here, there's hardly any way for me to properly expose that song and her without using some additive lighting? It's just not gonna happen. So for me, that big, bright sky is what makes this image right here and again Great illumination on her eyes and there's good elimination on her hair. We've got light fall off, loving it a little bit of Photoshopped. You gotta finish image. Bam! You're done. Now I'm going out into the city. I could just walk out on the end of the city here. This was in Minneapolis and just walk out of the city and just like, Come on, let's go. We'll find somewhere. Well, Blair, don't you want to scout your locations first? And I'm like scouts like I was a scout when I was like eight. Dude, I'm not a Boy Scout anymore. Like I will. I will make it work. And that's part of being a successful photographer is not always having the best opportunities, not always having everything laid out perfectly. You're never gonna have that, or at least I never have that. That's why I wanted to be so real with you guys and show you what I have to deal with and show you ways to overcome it. Walk out in the city. I can create this image straight from camera with one light. And that's straight from camera. I'm pretty happy about that now, Is that gonna win me a Kodak or Fuji Award? Probably not, but I don't get me paid and get me home with the end of the day at a decent hour. Absolutely. A little bit of Photoshopped and you're done. Do you really need to do any photo shopped to it? Not really. But that's the great thing about it is now you can put your style on it and do whatever you see fit. Same thing here, these air girls that I'm just now I'm having so much fun with my Warburg. I used to really not love photography, to be quite honest with you because I knew I wanted Mawr out of my word. But I just didn't have the motivation to do it. I had a motivation, but I was scared that I would never be able to figure it out. So what I did and when I encourage you to do is take a lighting system outdoors, whether it's mine yours or if you have to steal one from somebody. I'm kidding. Don't steal one. That's a joke when you get home. If you have a Saturday that's free, find someone to watch the kids find someone to watch your husband for you. Um, take that lighting with you outdoors and make that vow to yourself and say, You know what? I'm tired of struggling on these sessions. I'm tired of struggling at these weddings. Why am I struggling? Take a day to learn it seriously, when I should struggle with lighting at churches. I took a day off and I went to a church that the interior of the church is horrible. I set up multiple lighting situations. I figured out how to make it work, and I wrote it down and wrote my settings down there at the time of day down and wrote my F stops down the wrote everything down and stuck it in my bag. Next wedding I went when I was like All right, I can get close so I set everything up. Bam! It was almost perfect. Had to make a couple quick adjustments. Um, I struggling anymore, so I get so aggravated when people just make the same excuses. Do you know who wants to here Excuses? The person giving them. That's it. That's the only person that wants to hear an excuse. I don't want to hear your excuses. I don't mean that in a bad way. But I'm just saying, Think about it. Next time you make an excuse and say your client Well, yeah, I would love to shoot here, but honestly, this probably isn't the best time of day to do that. You're making excuses, and you can't lay your head on your pillow at night and have a clean conscience knowing that you did all you could if you really did it. So here, straight from camera, photo shop, I don't even tell the difference, to be honest with you. And what did this light car do? What it outdoor lighting do for me? It opened up a whole another animal. Ho, Yeah, started taking my bride's outside. And that's when instead of getting the brides that wanted this, I started getting the bronze. It's said, Hey, dude, I'm loving what you do. I just want you. I want you to do your thing. That's what I want. So my weddings took a big change. Now when I showed up in the churches and let me tell you opportunities they're not always around in my area, we have, like, the V f w building, or, like, the bingo hole. And we're supposed to do a high end wedding in there. There's nowhere to shoot outside. So what I say? Oh, I'm sorry. Your pictures. They kind of suck because you know where you got married. You picked a really hard place. No. Now I get in my wedding party. Look, what we're gonna do is we're all gonna just take off walking, just like my life. Whenever it started, I said, Hey, that crossroad I said already know what's here. I don't know what's here, but it's got to be a whole heck of a lot better than what's back here. Right? So we just take off walking, and now I'm starting. I'm just using the city. You're using wherever and just random locations, and I've got it straight from camera. Three o'clock in the afternoon, I'm creating awesome Brodell porches I feel so confident with. And this is setting the tone for the wedding day that she's not going to take my cash player. I don't want to get my dress dirty by putting it on the ground. Maybe they're just They're just like, Let's go. I don't care. I'm never gonna wear this thing again anyways. Course being from the south, they probably Well, you know, you get married multiple times there. Um, but it's it's nothing against you guys. Now, how random is this? Okay, a chain link fence. Really? This is how crazy it is. I've got people that are paying me to just do whatever I want to do. And I'm making art out of a chain link Fences behind my studio. I'm like, Hey, um, you know, let's try something ever stand. Stand right in here. And now that I got this lighting, I can make this look like a portrait. This would be kind of cool. So I get my safe images, and then I kind of step out of out of my comfort zone a little bit. Girls bring their cars, okay? And they were like old there. Can you take images of me in my new car? I just got it from my senior graduation, and I would love to do him out in this parking lot, that is, Ah, it's got really light colored pavement. And it's so bright out there that is just gonna be ridiculously crazy to take a picture. But, you know, I've heard you could do it because you use all this fancy lighting and stuff. Yeah, go out middle of the day. I can create these images straight from my camera because I have lighting but a shop. You're good to go. Get rid of my sensor dust back in the day. And I'm good to go. Who's not gonna be proud to shoot images like that now, Like I said, Are these like the best images in the world? Absolutely not. But are these sellable images that I make good money from? Yes. Do I enjoy my job now? Absolutely. Don't you have to think about my job? I just Now I have good banter with my clients and I build my brand throughout my session because we just have a good time. We just kick it and have a good time

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!