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Clay Blackmore: Posing Two People

Lesson 23 from: SkillSet: Best of Lighting

Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, Mike Fulton, Tony Corbell, Clay Blackmore, Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Joey L, Felix Kunze, Joel Grimes

Clay Blackmore: Posing Two People

Lesson 23 from: SkillSet: Best of Lighting

Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, Mike Fulton, Tony Corbell, Clay Blackmore, Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Joey L, Felix Kunze, Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

23. Clay Blackmore: Posing Two People


Class Trailer

Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Maisie


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Katie


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - LaQuan


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Studio Light Portraits - Maisie


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 1


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 2


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 3


Scott Robert Lim: Live Shoot - Natural Light


Lesson Info

Clay Blackmore: Posing Two People

let's look at this picture you know you can see how I'm just shooting through the grass here and I'm down low and what I'm thinking about here is a trick that hansen falling shared with me says the camera sees with one eye but we see with two eyes learn to see with one eye what do you think that means one I see with one eye what it means is our eye sees three dimensionally you know I can see the back wall then I see you and the focus and it all looks very cool but in a camera sees on two dimensions wei don't get the layers so what we do is like in this picture by seeding them in the grass here I've got an element out of focus then I have the couple gonna have an element out of focus behind them so that's a good rule to start looking for elements to create this three dimensional illusion does that make sense to you so guess what this is mary catherine bigness she's getting married this weekend and these are the real simple poses that I do with couples but you wouldn't think that they're...

sitting on two posing stools would you well guess what I've got imposed right out in front of the studio and there was on ly that one little red tree you see it right there that little bitty thing and that's what I'm using is a background so when I do it aside what's the first thing I do what do you think tell me yes look for your background look for my background I exactly want to go out and say there's the background and then I make the picture happened in front of that background there's also times where you have this great lighting on a port portrait you say look at the lighting on the portrait for this person and that works as well but I'm always conscious of the background always always so notice how she's leaning up against robbie she's got her back to him but here she's got she's facing him so there's two ways to bring two people together they can either face one another or they could be back to front like this you see that really easy isn't it the key is when they go towards each other their chairs are far apart so that their bodies can hit stay out of the way of their heads when we do it right now so if their chairs are far apart their heads touch before their bodies get in the way but when I do this pose the chairs were almost right on top of each other one another so here's a portrait I mean this is a fall day last year and this true story I did a baby in the morning a family of six at about eleven then I did another portrait it to something else at three and we're finishing about four o'clock and sure enough and the other family was five was a saturday I just booked them all in and I thought she never confirmed I I was so tired from the day I said maybe maybe they won't come you ever felt that way maybe they just won't show up I kind of feel like I just don't I really need to do anything else today and of course she drives up the car and she's got nine outfits and I'm thinking ok I wanna finish saturday strong but the key to that story is I'm doing things without thinking about him I'm just trying to hold on I'd just photograph ten kids three families and I'm just saying okay I'm just going to do what works and I wasn't even thinking and the pictures came out beautiful but what am I looking at here I'm looking at the sky and I'm saying I love the sky let me expose for it what's that exposure probably about you know one twenty five eleven so I put the camera one twenty five eleven and how much flash did I put on you can see katherine holding the flash there the flash is eleven so now we're married those two elements together that's called key shifting I could make the sky white or I could make it darker blue and that was going for the darker blue look how low I am right here why am I down so low like that I'm trying to isolate them up against the sky there were construction and houses everywhere and there's that I wanted to shoot through the weeds like that then the piggyback I mean everyone loves the piggyback looks good in it and I'll do a piggy back today and I'll show you what a lot of people miss on that I see a lot of people piggyback in and they're too far away when you piggyback get in right in on the faces that's the key I hate to see the legs you know what I mean like the girl's legs all hanging out like that so this is a profile with his face behind her this is something like we could do in the studio in the way we did this is we took cover I'm in the shadows you see me under the carport so I'm in the carport shooting from the dark out to the light look where the reflectors place this is a den ical that's what we just did isn't it I mean seriously look where the light source is to the left of paul where those green trees are and they're coming in he's open in the light of day so the cool thing is once you start practice is learning this put it in your camera bag it's in your wheelhouse you can do it in any time there's the piggy back having some fun like that here is the same pose same position but now we've got him laying on the floor down in the grass there in the in the leaves and I love this picture what pose is she in feminine what poses basic now we're going to start putting those two poses together we're going to put the basic and the feminine together this is where it gets fun look at look at night she posed here she's actually looking at me and katherine my second photographer clip this picture off from the side and she loved it she said something about this picture you know they're both looking in different directions is he looking no they're both looking at me but it just feels less posed when they're not looking into the camera so what's a great rule sometimes barton I'll go out to an event we get it all set up I had a second camera bart I get busy with my formal studies my faces the ones I know they're going to sell but off to the side we're clicking away all the time bart loves the infrared you know like we did the other day two days ago where we do black and white infrared it's a different look it's an artistic look but going back to this look how she's got one knee in front of the other two slim the figure I'm going to show you how easy that is to do today bodies they're forty five and if you just zoom into the top of that in your mind's eye you'll see the portrait of the two heads together that same portrait of the faces she's an effeminate he's in a basic now they're just walking towards me and we do this all the time I remember in italy on that trip we put the couple in the vineyard and I had him get about twenty steps down they didn't even know each other one of the students and one of these models from milan and he thanked me profusely after I do these pictures they they held hands and they walk to the camera and listen what monty told man I never forget this and it works he says tell himto walk like they're walking on a tight wire because it keeps their knees together do you know what I mean see how their needs air kind of tucked so when you're doing full length and they're walking towards you just have him walk like you're in a tight where now they're walking teo you start barking orders to them like look at each other head to head foreheads cut you know and they come just walking up the hill there and having a good time and I'm looking for the frame inbetween frames you know my clients are craving those unp owes looks okay so what am I telling you why do you need to learn all this well you need to start formal and in fun always look for the frame inbetween frames that builds out the variety more variety means what thank you I'm in it for the sales I have to tell you I'm a passionate photographer but I love making pretty photographs but I love making pretty sales I really did I mean that's you know we're in business to be commercial artist it makes you feel good so let's keep going I'm jumping up and jumping down I'm ready to shoot we'll start with this picture today too and that's just two people brought together heads facing one another but what's the hear their chairs are so far apart maybe four feet so their bodies are not interfering with the picture so many people try to put two people together but they've got their bodies too close together now if they're heavy if you got heavy subjects the chairs get even further apart and that's what we do full faith two thirds profile I was really going to give catherine a call today she was so complimentary friday she ordered a dozen photographs my weddings this weekend I want to put him around the house the rehearsal dinner I want to give them out as gifts to my parents at the rehearsal dinner and she ordered this portrait she said I just love it she ordered this picture and she said to me on the phone she pledges its so beautiful classic and it looks old world to me and my parents were just going to love it it's so beautiful but it also feels so natural so what is natural mean I mean everybody says I want to look natural I want to look natural so this is the perfect time to tell you posing is not the picture posing is merely a place to rest the face most people hate posing because they've seen so many awkward poses they've seen poses that looks so bad poses that would just make people look silly so that's not what we're all about we're creating a platform to rest these beautiful faces and what is the platform it's nondescript it's minimal it's something that goes away it receives its all about the expression and I just made this portrait love that over congressional country club their wedding was the following weekend and just a amazing couple and again I got up high on a golf cart and I'm upon the roof of the golf cart and I am like just so quick guy to do this like in three four minutes so what did that do that put that field of sunflowers right behind them I'm always looking for the background first piggy back having fun if you get a chance to goto video v I am eo video dot com and you just go to my site clay blackmore had two hundred films at least one hundred fifty many of these air engagement engagement films now I took this picture in the couple they were looking at me and I thought you know the lighting is just not good there is it it's like split lighting so I just simply turned their faces to the light and I created a little bit of a rembrandt on her you see the little triangle of light I love the rembrandt light but you know usually what I'm teaching is that one lighting pattern but rembrandt you know the only problem with rembrandt is he never took a class from monty because monty would have set him straight my duty to keep that one lining pattern but we have to know that all these lighting patterns are viable because during this class we're going to do some crazy light we're going to do clamshell lighting glamour lining split lighting we're going to mix it up and we're going to do a lot of things that are a little more editorial more fun that's what people want to see these days this picture is upside down I'm shooting in the water the reflection and I flipped it one eighty can you visualize that I'm just standing by the lake there standing over here and I said look at the reflection click right into the reflection and here is their silhouette here's the infrared which is one of my favorite favorite things to do is I r and this is the scene that's very pretty much signature very signature scene for the caves valley golf club and her husband her father and the husband they're all involved in the country club it's a very very exclusive place and to get the barn and the couple and the kind of walk down is really really beautiful and the same time I'm making these pictures guess what I've got a young guy next to me named justin french and french is filming and he's filming and let's get the camera nearby me just the videocamera just want to show you how easy it would be to do actually the one man army is amon upon with a fluid head on top but let's take a look at this right now something this simple right here has changed my entire life and that's dslr cinema and I just love it I'm so intoxicated by making films now the first five the mark to that ever came out came to me in a white box and they made me sign nothing that said if I tell anybody what's in the white box you know I'm in trouble there were two cameras I can't believe I got one guess who got the other one a young man named vincent law ferree vincent law ferree begged him for three hours to give him the second camera they kept saying no no we've already spoken for we can't no no and he begged them I didn't really get it you know I thought big deal it's a videocamera got I've got video cameras I've got a little you know it's a video camera also vincent went up in a helicopter and made a little movie called reverie and you know what vinnie's now in hollywood he's a big producer he's you know and I took my dslr five team are two to the beach and fill my son running on the beach with no stability no sound no light so I have all this shaky video of my son on the beach and vinny's in hollywood and there you know he's famous nobody knows who the heck I am so I laughed and vincent and I talk about that all the time I really respect what he's doing and toe watch his really it's just like man he just takes these six hundred millimeter lenses and runs him across these nature scenes and he's making movies and video and now we are too we're doing corporate films and if I can show you a little bit of our work our little video work I'm talking to you as a bride and groom and I'm saying I would love to be your wedding I love let me just maybe show you a little save the date film they see this and I think this is driving maur business to my photography so I'm kind of like the double package where I could do your photography and I could do your video uh there's so many tricks to it and again but here's the key role quit you need stability you need sound you need lighting and you need a story and my problem is I'm kind of this ready fire aim guy when it comes to video let's just get it look how beautiful oh I love this shot and all the video guys around me they can't stand it cause I'm always no no over here and they're all zeroed in on a shot I'm saying no it's done this much better but you know what my my portrait techniques have paid off big time in the video world because it's the same thing I want nondestructive nondescript backgrounds and get this I had a wedding where the couple or live in new york city one of the biggest weddings of my year last year we made this save the date fillmore is actually film we were going to show at the friday night dinner my guy went home and added it I watched it we're going to show it on friday and we have this picture of the bride and groom getting into a a horse drawn carriage down the plaza by the park and he clipped in the shot of her where she looks so heavy and I'm like oh man how could he do that and sure enough when I showed it to her on line she was you know what we'll skip that video tonight we'll just show the little montage she didn't want to show it I knew why because people have feelings we have to we have to think like photographers with our video camera hide the body show the faces go for expressions so some of the pictures like this this is a save the date as well we're at the cherry blossoms that turned into a sign in book which I love and these air signed at the party and what I do is put the pages around let the people sign them and then I fold them into the book for many reasons I've had books get grease on them wine on them fall and break so now I just get the signatures at the wedding and fold him into the book and this is the picture I really love infrared underneath an off camera cue flash which we're going to do tomorrow and let's go into the little short film I think it's about right here in here my portrait section being captured over my shoulder on three people have just loved him I can see the attraction that we're getting I'm in new york actually doing this one all by myself on my pictures were terrible because I was so into the video here's kiki and chris having a good time and the shoes were just perfect here's an engagement ring we just set it up on the street and you know we walked around seattle yesterday we saw some kids making a movie three kids with a d s r cinnamon and microphone and this is really where it's heading I think in a big way our industry but wei need to have the complete package I think we need to offer video I found my people on craigslist and they came in and they formed up this little group in I had this little five business too in video they went off and made their own studio I started another eye germinated another film business now I'm on my third company and they're I'm sure they're going to fly the nest maybe I can't pay them enough they think that you know we get this one deal and we're going to go off and get it leave clay behind and you know what this is a shot I did through the week I'm just running all over the set oh look at this black and white you know what I did here I put the camera in black and white the guy said no no shooting color we can always go to black and white in post I said no this footage will never be seen in color and sure enough it's one of our favorite save the day it's all black and white because for some reason they never flip it back to color I mean from color to black and white here's the cherry blossoms here but do you see the feeling of this you see that they just finished golfing they're walking back to the club a little champagne they just have a good time and a little move in so how do you learn to do all this you need to get people to help you you can't do it by yourself but it's a great offering tea put into your couples repertoire this is a couple in the in new york their film never got shown because in the end it wasn't tight enough there's the date

Class Materials

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Studio Set Up - Learn to Light

Ratings and Reviews

Vincent Duke

I am pretty new to Creative Live and this is my first purchase so for me I am loving this! So many good gems of information and having some of the repeated content from different speakers with different perspectives really helps drill in these concepts. I say for anyone who's looking for an great all around drill it into your head lighting bootcamp this is a winner. But if you're like the others here and have purchased videos from these authors before then you will probably want to look elsewhere as this is a bundle of highlights from previous sessions on lighting.


If you’re just starting out with photographic lighting (especially studio lighting), this set is a steal. I already had the set by Sue Bryce and Felix Kunze, and I’ve bought all of Joel Grimes’ tutorials. Since I’ve watched them recently, I didn’t watch their videos again. If you’re into commercial photography OR darker moods and low-key lighting, anything by Joel Grimes is well worth buying and watching. If you’re into glamour portraiture, everything by Sue Bryce is worth buying and watching (although I haven’t been able to acquire all of her tutorials yet). However, the videos by Sue and Felix are not where I would begin. The two videos by Joel Grimes in this set cover aspects of lighting that aren’t often discussed. However, most of his knowledge of lighting (from his other sets) isn’t covered in this set. If you’re thinking about going into commercial photography, Zack Arias’ discussion of how to gear up to open a commercial studio is a must-see (as are Joel Grimes’ two sets on commercial photography, neither of which is represented in this bundle). I agree with virtually everything Zack said. Although there are a couple of areas where I might have gone a bit deeper than he did in this video, it’s a much-needed reality check – with great advice before you start spending money on equipment to start a photography business – and he gives a LOT of great advice. While his lighting style and mine are very different, his thoughts on equipment for a startup photography studio (or just beginning to learn studio lighting) are right on target. (Zack’s and Joel’s videos on the business of commercial photography cover different areas, and there is very little overlap between them.) One of the reasons why I bought this set was the lighting wisdom of Tony Corbell. Tony is the closest thing to the late Dean Collins at this time (I have all of Dean’s videos on VHS tapes AND DVDs), and Tony holds nothing back. Great stuff! Joey L covers material that I’ve seen covered in many other tutorials (on CreativeLive and elsewhere), BUT he gives a MUCH clearer explanation of why he does certain things than I’ve seen elsewhere. For example, he gives more information about feathering light than I’ve ever seen in a video, and few people besides Joey and Joel Grimes (but not in Joel’s videos in this set) give as good an explanation of WHY they’re changing the position of a light by two inches. Clay Blackmore was a protégé of the late Monte Zucker, and he’s as close as we can get to learning from Monte (aka the master) these days. I have Monte’s VHS tapes, but they’re worn out, and there’s nothing to play them on. While they apparently were also issued as DVDs, the sites I’ve found that are supposed to have them all lead to 404 (page not found) errors. Clay covers both posing and lighting – and how to fit the lighting to the pose – in great detail. I haven’t watched any of the videos on speedlights. I still have about a dozen Vivitar 283’s, 285 HV’s and 4600’s that I used in combination during my photojournalism years (back in the film days), but you’re much more likely to see me lugging 1,000-watt second strobes outdoors to overpower the sun than using speedlights in studio (or on location) these days. I’ve seen some of Roberto Valenzuela’s work and tutorials, and I’d say he is the Joe McNally or David Hobby of wedding photography at this point in time. He knows his stuff. One or two of the videos are slightly dated in terms of the equipment being used, but that doesn’t make the information about lighting less valuable. Equipment may change, but the principles of lighting, the things that determine the quality of light, and the elements of “good lighting” have changed very little if at all since the days of the Dutch Old Masters painters. There’s a lot of great lighting information in this bundle for the price.

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