Lighting for Men Overview
Let's go through the men's lighting because the men's lighting really, for me, is the fun stuff. It's because I modeled for years. Yeah, we can turn that off. And that way, we can change this setup so we don't have to take time. Actually, it only takes two seconds for me to setup the men's light. So when I do a corporate shoot, I actually ask the client to set, let's say I'm shooting 20 people in a day, I'll say, okay, this is what I want you to do. You need to do this for me if you can pull it off. I want you to set up and put the shortest woman first up to the tallest woman and I'll set up my women's lighting and shoot all the women so I don't have to keep moving my background and my lights and height, right? It saves me time. And then, I'm hoping that the tallest woman is not that far from the shortest man and I get the man in there and I set up my man's lighting and then I build up to the tallest guy. So I'm doing like this twice. And I ask the clients that. There's a little nugget...
of information. Another one. We're throwing them out left, right, and center. Do that. Okay, let's talk about this men's lighting setup that I do and how it came to be. This is how my decision to mix it up, okay? It was really based on what I'd gone through. Fortunately, I've been able to work with some of the world's best photographers and Bruce Weber was my big source of inspiration. If you guys don't know who he is and that name does not ring a bell with you, will you please go online and look him up? Alright. He is, I would consider, my mentor in this. He's the one who encouraged me to pick up a camera and I gain a source of inspiration every single time I look at his work. He's a genius and he's a master and he's just the best. He's just phenomenal. And the fact that he came into my life and I have a camera in my hands is because of that dude. And the woman who got me to him so this woman who helped me get my first modeling job which was for Polo. This was on the set. This was my first modeling job. Remember when I said this woman saw me sailing? Her name's Caggie Simonelli. And she said, hey, I think you should get some sponsorship. And she worked for DKNY at that time so Donna sponsored me for the Olympics and she sent me to Ralph Lauren and I got this job. And this guy name Bruce Weber's the photographer on the shoot. I had no idea. So I'm sailing away from Bruce. And this came out in the summer of 96. So these are old, okay? But this was my experience. And the thing that the modeling gave me, it didn't really give me a hands on photographic but it gave me an awareness of what it's like to be on a set. And awareness of what the photographer's are doing. I've been in front of photographers. I know when a photographer knows what they're doing. I know when a photographer doesn't know what they're doing because I was working here and there and I did okay. I didn't do great, but I did okay. Once I picked up a camera, I became the most annoying model you'd ever wanna work with. I was like, what are you doing? How's that? Where'd you put that? What's setting is that? Where's the light? Why's the light going over there? What do you want me to do? What- they were like, you're just here to model. Will you just stop with the, no, but I need to know. I really need to know. I'm shooting. I'm trying to learn blah, blah, blah. Call my agent. We never wanna hire that guy again. This became annoying. So this one in the top was for Abercrombie and Fitch. Bruce shot it. And I just put it on there because I'm ripped. (laughter) I was ripped. And this one was for Haagen Dazs. Brigitte Lacombe shot it. And it was an awesome experience working with these photographers. Bruce is amazing with every lighting set up that he ever used, but he only ever shot me in natural light. He's amazing with natural light. He's just unbelievable and I really learned a lot about pulling how he kinda works and the aesthetic that he pulls. Watching him and work and seeing him in action is amazing. But I only worked with him in natural light. With Brigitte, I worked with her. I was eating this ice cream for Haagen Dazs. This was like a really great job. I loved it. And they were like, the model keeps eating all the ice cream and I was like, yeah, I'm gonna eat the ice cream. I was like, it's fine, I'll go work out later. But I'm on a terrace on fifth avenue overlooking Central Park. And what I learned from this was really interesting. If you look at that picture, does that look like natural light? To me, it looks like natural light, right? Well, Brigitte had a big bank on that terrace with me that she was jammed behind and like, to make sure you get that little highlight on the Haagen Dazs sign. I know it's hard to see online. And I was like, I did not understand because I had just picked up a camera at that point. What she was doing or how she was doing it and getting and why it was jammed on this little terrace, and now I understand. Because attention to details is what it's about. And she wanted that subtle fill. And I want you guys to understand this. The difference that makes that image is that. And nobody have ever shown that to knew it was lit. It's really huge. So I was known as what's considered a commercial model more than a fashion model. I got a fashion agency, they sent me to Barcelona, they came back and they're like, you're too commercial, we can't work with you anymore. And they kicked me out. And I was like, what does that mean? Commercial? I had no idea. I didn't know what a commercial model was. I didn't know what, and then I realized fashion models are the dudes that when I did it, they were shaded, and they were tall and skinny and they walked on runways. They never had me do that. I was like the all American boy next door dude. I did the ads for Coke and American Express and I did Coke, American Express, I did Budweiser. What else did I do? I did Hanes, I did like Wrangler. I didn't do Gucci. You know I couldn't catch a guy like me. I didn't do Gucci, Prada, that kind of stuff. I wasn't that guy. So I never got shot with like shadows or I was always natural light. They always lit it real bright. Like I was always just this normal looking dude. And I was like, but I wanted to look like those cool guys that walk down the runway with the shadows and they're really cool looking. They get to wear all the cool clothes. And I couldn't even walk. Let alone walk down a runway so it was never gonna happen. But I did use some pictures that I thought were cooler that weren't natural light that I got to do as a testing photographer with these photographers that were friends. Maurizio Montani's amazing photographer. You can look him up. He's in Italy. And chunk ishi, is another one who's just an amazing friend and was another source of inspiration for me to pick up the camera. So Maurizio shot the top left bottom right. And Chunk Ishi, I think he's a editor at GQ or Conde Nast. He's a big Conde Nast guy. And Maurizio still shoots amazing. He's amazing. These guys are unbelievable photographers that I got to work with that inspired me. This was right at the time where I just decided to pick up a camera. So I'm looking and I'm like, there's some shadowing. I feel like I look more like those guys that walk down that runway. I thought it was cool. I'm like, I gotta figure out how to do some shadowing stuff. And I was like, look, I'm shining, I'm all sweaty. I thought that was cool. So I was like, why don't I just like guys like this? I was like, that's what I'm gonna do. So watch this. This is my story. And it's a little bit about me working with a friend of mine who is a big wig in the personal development department. His name is Bob Proctor and he came and wanted to do a testimonial with me because I met him when I had just become a model. I had just trained for the Olympics. I met him through another model. And he started talking about goal setting and all this stuff and I was like, that's what our sport and visualization and our sport psychologist with the Olympic team was doing that. And I was like, wait a minute. And I didn't know I was doing it already. I was like, I'm doing this stuff already. You might have seen him from the secret it's at law of attraction type stuff. Well, I really believe in it. And it's helped me this far in my life. It's helped me with my sailing and it's helped me with my photography so he asked me to do a little video and here it is.
I was kinda at this point in my life where I'm spinning my wheels trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I bartendered until like 4 a.m. I lived in fifth floor walk up with my brother. I went to one of Bob's workshops and he had gotten to know me because I kinda was hanging around a little bit. And he knew I had trained for the Olympics and he goes, do you wanna portion on decision making and he said to me, where is that sailor guy? And I was like. And he's like, stand up, and he said, why aren't you going for the Olympics? And this was like beginning in 99. The Olympics were in 2000. I hadn't thought about going to the Olympics. I was like, I had been done. I missed the team. I was like, I'm not going to the Olympics. Well, Bob was doing a two day workshop and this portion was on decision making and he said, look, I want you to go go home, sleep, I'm gonna come back in the morning and tells us if you're gonna go for the gold medal. I didn't sleep that night. I started thinking about, what am I doing? I'm bartending till 4 a.m. I'm trying to make ends meet as a model, actor dude. It's not working. I was like, I have this gift of sailing. I should go sail. I go back to the workshop in the next day and Bob says, where's Peter? And I stand up. Bob had this guy who won the Decathlon in name Mill Campbell next to him on stage. And Mill stood up and he said, I'm gonna coach you. I packed up my apartment in New York. I got on a plane. I rented a car out there. I ship my boat. I got up the van, threw my boat on top and I started sailing And in 2000, I became a member of the United States' sailing team. Something I wouldn't have done if I hadn't made that decision. I finished the Olympics. I made the U.S team which was great. But when the sailing was over, I was like, what am I gonna do? Am I gonna go back to New York and be the model actor bartender dude? And I was like, I can't do it. Can't do it. And I decided to pick up a camera. It led into something huge. And it's been great. I'm now considered the premiere headshot photographer in the world. And I just wrote a book called The Headshot. And I'd been shooting headshot since about 2002. I coach over 9,000 photographers on headshot photography worldwide. And I have photographers that are my associates in all areas of the globe. So it's been amazing. My purpose is to pull a human expression out of everybody that I shoot. That's authentic, reactive, and based on trust. And that's what I try to do every day. I may be shooting their head but I'm aiming for their heart. And if I can teach people how to behave in front of a camera be better in capturing image that they're really proud of, that's a huge deal. And that's what I do every day right here. I hope you guys enjoyed that. It means a lot to me for them to come in and produce that video. I was shocked when the team came and did it.