Tots to Teens


Lesson Info


okay the equipment I use we use a lot of equipment and it's only not all listed here but we do have been using quantum flashed terrible batteries for fifteen years or more so that is a big part of what I do but I have switched over to the canyon system with the five eighties and now I just got the six hundred e x r t flesh I am so excited about these because high speed sync is something that I have been playing with and trying to figure out I've actually tested several different systems and when I heard that cannon was coming out with a high speed sync option I lift out so I had to get my hands on them in fact on the tour one of the bays is dedicated to high speed sync and flash because I just feel like I'm still in the learning I mean I completely understand flash but this is a new uh new flash with new elements and so I'm really studying hard to be prepared for that but I'm not the only instructor there'll be people who are very skilled teaching like jordan chan he's aces at flash an...

d he's going to be partying with us for the first week or so so so this is something that it's not new working with the cannon flashes air not new but the new system is incredible and I know I have a feeling once I get a real handle on that I will be letting go of everything else in working with those um also of course have to have the portable treat box and tickler wherever you go we have a little lunch a little fabric lunch bag that has all the candy in it and then of course our car is full of those tick alors those feather dusters and that's pretty much all I need to have on location now we do use the tripod and I know I saw on my face book a ton of people saying what's that tripod again and that's the man photo zero five a bee is the body of the tripod and the head is two to two which is the pistol grip is my preference there are three different grips that you can have a panhead and a pistol grip and then they have a side grip is well I'm sorry the joystick had the pistol grip it believes the side one but uh the two to two is the number so go with that and that is the one that allows me to go horizontal and vertical very quickly um but I don't think I have to explain this tripod it's pretty clear it pretty amazing everybody when they asks when they ask things like we had a question you know how do you work with thirteen month old twins by yourself and I probably should have shot that by myself I know I could have done it um but the reality is without a tripod there is no way I could do that there's I don't know how anybody could do that because honestly the timeframe is by the time you pick back up the camera recomposed and refocus um you're out of luck and they're out the door and you saw how fast they're moving it was const your best window in that case it's the shock and awe I's what we call is when I sat them down I started clapping and making noise and tapping on the floor because I have two super focus them and engage them and take them back to the camera and those first five or six shots are going to be the stronger shots have because once they're over my face and who I am then you saw towards the end we're trying to get those last shots I was clapping and jumping and chickens and you name it and they had completely they had put up their own wall back into their little toddler wall and they had blocked me out so tripod is paramount to handling difficult situations for me um the van this is something that not everybody I didn't first of all I didn't always have a truck dedicated to photography for thirteen years working out of my home I had a van a minivan because I was a mom and had three thousand children so it just makes sense tow having many then but uh I had a space in my garage and we had a tiny garage in a tiny triplex with you know neighbors and everything else and I had at that time six children uh four foster and two of my own eyes before my last two were born and I didn't have the space or the money or any of the luxuries that I have and I don't know that I have a whole lot of luxuries by the way comes in my house you see but I reserved a space in my garage and previous that my apartment I reserved a space right next to my front door and all of my I'm gonna call them spring special props that's everything I would take outside on location they were all piled there and every day I would have to haul them down to my car load them in and go out and work and then come back and take him out so I could take the kids to dinner or whatever what's happening there so so understand there was a sacrifice there now obviously eventually getting to the point where the good old minivan that was the family van we finally graduated two older kids so we could get a real vehicle that van having it paid for it made no sense to sell it off we just pulled out the seats and turned it into a work truck and it was cheap I mean it was paid for and it was probably worth eight hundred bucks anyway or maybe a thousand bucks anyway so it didn't make sense to sell it I wouldn't get anything for it and it became a really great truck so that's something that you know you can kind of consider is once you could get to that point either have the space or it was sure nice when the truck was just loaded and I just get in the car and you know zip on out to the place and I didn't have to do the extra work on the side so I'm gonna show you a little video here of the van just to kind of give you an idea it's kind of like tetris with all the props and drunk that I have you have to like we literally had to stack and put it in and it took years to figure it out but when and remember this is this is photographed probably four or five years ago um and our videotape they should say and for ten years before that I've been going to that same park doing the same spring special spring special in our studio is the little white dresses the little overalls the tea set the swing the fishing pole and it was years and you and I did it years before that too s so that's what this van was really set up for when I move when I finally purchased my studio and I had an outdoor park I have the same grassy beautiful area I could just throw it he set out there leave it so I don't have to utilize this man but um it was awesome I mean years and years did I use this so let's take a look okay I want to show you what we have in our car when we travel we keep a car van loaded at all times with all of these props you see just makes our job really easy so we're gonna kind of go through some of things now this is still were kind of transit transitioning into fall and leaving spring were right in this september month so this is part of spring special the little tea sets really great we have a little uh bug catching net some fishing poles some baskets apples those air fake apples uh this is our spring swing so we hang this up during the springtime and this is our fall swing normally we don't have both in the car but again we're transitioning some people have seen this and wanted and some people have seen this and wanted so we have both swings little fence post um or perhaps our little antique stroller for little girls and take bike for little boys we have two wagons they're brown wagon for more of the antique look and then over there we have the little red flyer wagon so that has more of a modern look to it um again this is a transitional prop this is false so this is out here this is weaker by design in addition to the perhaps that you see uh several important but bins this one is overalls we keep a bit of overalls in all sizes so we have everything from a newborn all the way up to a parent size so if I had to throw mom and I could do that if I needed so I got the overall bin um this bin is teddy bears books and the tea set we keep in here so it has little fake strawberries and things like that it also has our spring linens for um putting out a tea set we also have mom's dresses so if I have to put mom and dad in the picture again I have something to do that with so this is again a scream box and then here we have our flower box so I keep a blocks of long stone flowers now in the springtime this is how we get all of those field of flowers you'll see we just kind of tossed him into the grass so these would be spring we're transitioning into fall again so we've got both out here pretty soon within two weeks all the white stuff you see is gonna be gone and we're gonna get all the fall only in the car so we've got this way also carry a ladder this is what I used to hang the swings um and to finish it up we've got a couple of the camp chairs with your nice just when I have to take a break and relax and then we always carry a totally the gates were hauling a lot of this stuff where some are most of the time we actually dressed the kids right at the car and then we take them out to the field will get here in the morning we'll bring three or four props down to where we're shooting and stay there all day long and last but not least is the all important um emergency kit this kid is paul of everything you could possibly need hairbrushes ties uh bug repellent scuff nail polish remover bubbles clamps safety pins anything and everything that could go wrong duct tape you name it we've got it in here that way if we have an emergency and we need something we've got we've got it right at hand so this is the whole truck um the only thing that's not shown here is our camera tripods and stands and then we have a whole line of clothing but as soon as I get all this in the truck I'll go ahead and show you that so we have everything in the car now um just wanted to show you what the back would look like we have all the clothing boys closed girlsclothes these air still spring special they'll switch out for fall are lighting equipment our camera bags are tripods are stands our cue flashes uh tick alors our camp chairs you could see everything fits in here nicely and then I'll show you how all those perhaps man managed to make it in it took about fifteen years to figure this puzzle out but as long as we put it everything sort of on its side and in nicely were able to get all that stuff in the car and it makes a perfect wherever we go we're ready to go all right let's do it all right so that didn't happen overnight that's many years of buying and building and creating and that was actually two seasons worth of stuff so it's usually not that pack but I kind of just to give you an idea something you could consider I mean if somebody's getting rid of an old vehicle or you know an old van or something like that you could actually consider doing something like that I attend I mean those props honestly that wagon that old antique wagon made so much money I could even begin a tea sets just tens of thousands of dollars have been made on those now they're definitely not my style anywhere I never think about tea sets and yet for years it was tea party time you know fishing pole time so that was my bread and butter for many many years and I think it's nice to be organized it's nice to be prepared it just made it really easy and I think is one of those things as usual the more room you have the more room you'll use so if you have a half a car you'll use it if you have a whole car you he said and you just keep adding to the mix I want to talk about the emergency kid I mentioned it when I uh just in the in the van but you could see it is chock full of everything you could possibly need in an emergency you'd be surprised how many times little boys show up her photo shoots and all of a sudden we realize their toes have been painted pink by their sisters you know and dad's having a heart attack we're not doing this he's got pink toenail polish on and so everything toenail polish emergency just a water bottle in case you're stuck out in the sun you could see there's just a plethora of stuff and I'm very happy to tell you that this list is actually in the catalog that you could download for free so every single item on it is in that catalogue you could just go to you can do all mention at the end of the show but you know you can do to get that but uh this was years this actually came out of my wedding work for years when I was shooting weddings everything that could go wrong I was always the hero you know what that the way is the bride would be freaking out about something a safety pin or nail polish or something and I'd say wait I'll be right back and I bring in this little toolbox that I had kind of got it out and I had everything I mean to say there was never an emergency that we couldn't solve solve like duct tape and clamps and we were on crazy glue and just crazy things like that so it's a great thing to do whether and even now that I work in the studio both studios have that same red toolbox each one of them have a toolbox because it's just easier because I just know everything in there to go find the supplies that I need so emergency kit is definitely a good idea all right so when you get outside we want to talk about lighting and choices and how we actually determine where we're gonna shoot and why we shoot so let's talk a little bit about making decisions on the lighting conditions before we show you the types of lights we used first thing I'm going to do the way I teach photography is that when I get outside I call it evaluating the universe the universe to me is everything you see and I want to make decisions based on the universe what's going on out there I'm looking for light and like quality so my goal is to find a location that creates balance in the universe so we're looking for the same exposure range we don't want a super bright sun and a super dark shady area the sun is you know a billion degrees behind you and you're putting kids in shade we know what's gonna happen that's going to totally blow out so one of the first things I teach photographers is shoot into the dark now this is just really revolutionary and I know especially in industry now everybody's all about the sun flares and that whole seventies kind of retro looking thing and that's cool I think that's great um but I think if you were to really look at people's work there's more mrs than hits when you're doing that so I'm always safety first my opinion is find something if you're shooting into something darker than the exposure of your subject you do not have to deal with retouching and fixing and and dealing with problems in the back so when I walk outside I'm looking for a nice grove of dark trees back there I'm looking for something darker than the skin tones of my subject because what I know is by darkening the background and on the same pitch black I want texture and tone ality but if it's slightly darker than my subject my subject is going to be brought forward correct so they're going to be more prominent and have ah little more depth and detail now once I get those perfectly sellable shots out of the gate then I'm going to take him out into the sun and spin and dance and bright sun and high speed sing can get all those really cool you know funky fun shots that it's okay if I miss a few but right at the gate my goal is clean lighting and especially with family photography this is one where you know when you get the hatchet the lighting and all those difficult things that you're dealing with you know you could just control all of that by shooting into the dark find a shady location and shoot into something dark and it could be a building honestly I've shot with garbage cans behind but if you blow him out of focus and they're darker that subject really seems to jump off so the very first thing I'm gonna do is evaluate the universe the next thing I'm going to do because we're talking about working with multiple subjects is I'm going to determine my aperture now aperture determines the depth and the depth of field in the image how much is going to be in focus now this rule and this is honestly the truth this is the only thing I can say I've given this industry that came out of my brain because frankly it's so elementary and dumb that it probably had to be mine but I used to struggle teaching aperture because most of us know that the whole stopped down open up it's backwards to us it doesn't make sense making a smaller to get bigger and bigger to get smaller and people really struggle with that and I used to try and try and try to teach it and I studied very hard so I completely understand it but too teaching is hard and so when I started teaching it I would get up on stage and I would just see you know blank stares I'd get to this part and I said you guys understand they're like and I knew I was there was a disconnect there and so with my own photographers I had a long time ago because these guys they'd come in and we'd be doing events like you know problems and things like that and this was something that came out of an emergency because one of my shooters I thought they were more skilled they were new and I thought there were more skilled when they ask me a really dumb question was like are you kidding me I said just do me a favor make sure that your aperture is either the same as or greater than the amount of people in the picture now think about that that is so elementary but for a lot of people it's a huge libel when you actually think about it because if you have four people what should the minimum aperture b you go lower than that or open up more than that for exactly four if you have six people what's the minimum aperture correct five people five point six years you got it so so and an aide is better obviously but I'm saying what if you're in a low light situation what the sun's going down and you're running out of light well you've got to get at least have the same or greater than aperture than that amount of people and that works if you have twenty people on a photo shoot what's your minimum appert appetite what are you shooting for twenty two right you're gonna try to get that twenty two now can't always get it um it's a lighting issue you know the real benefit that a lot of newer shooters to understand his back when we were filming you couldn't go past I s o four hundred it was you and it would fall apart so it's just not an option so we were stuck we had to bring in we had to come in with lighting because we knew that we were gonna have a problem where nowadays you know to push a camera two five hundred six hundred twelve hundred even it's not totally impossible so the thing is now you have more options than we had but it is I still like we we've struggled with up keeping images and focus over the years and we've kind of come to the complete conclusion that fate does it you know I mean even with the little ones especially with busy little ones we shoot it up because you know what I figure yeah we're sacrificing a little bit of that ok in the studio not so much on location we still could pull it off but the security of knowing that ear tio here we're gonna have strong sharp eyes with beautiful eyelashes you know I will sacrifice a little creativity for that tax sharpe because I want to sell this I don't want to sell this and I want to make sure that we have that so so aperture is the second thing typically I'm thinking about when I go outside first the universe then the aperture how many people do I have and that's where I'm going to set it and then of course you know the third thing I'm gonna d'oh is I'm gonna be there for the ratio so we're gonna actually look at the shutter speed um and of course the ratios would be that foreground mid ground background as I said before if you it's a terribly bright day and you put children in the shade and there's a tree that has a small patch maybe the size of this rug and the kids right there and they're perfectly in shade but the grass directly in front of their feet is just brighter brighter sun burned out and the grass behind them and all the trees behind them are burned out you could expose for their face and if they're five six on the face we know that the sunlight back behind them is f twenty to the uh difference in apertures is so great that everything in front of them is burned out everything in back of them has burned out you're losing all texture all detail and all depth in the image when you blow out an image you lose detail and when you lose detail it cannot be brought back now jack davis I was on tour last fall with jack davis he blew my mind with what he could do with light from the new liar amiss so powerful it's unbelievable but um even still there is a limit if all the tail is gone if you blown something out and there is no detail you cannot get it back no matter what you do so that's something to consider is not just where the subject is but what's happening in front of them and what is happening uh behind them as well and I should finish up the third thing it should say shutter speed up there and I'm not sure why ditch that but the shutter speed obviously is what stops motion so after I've selected my aperture then I'm going to have to determine uh what shutter speed I need no typically we shoot outside we start at one twenty fifth depending on the life and what we're dealing with we may have to change that but one twenty fifth is kind of our starting point so let's say we have a very busy child we're using natural light we push it toe one sixtieth there two fifty then of course we're gonna have to go back to the beginning and adjust our s o to make up the difference we're not going to change your aperture because remember we need to keep the sharpness that we've determined we need so we toggle between shutter speed and I esso and we try to not play with the aperture too much now that is for mechanical shooting that's for the I want to get this right shooting I also have the creative shooting where I'm like oh two point eight let's just have some fun and we want it all fancy and out of focus and and that's a different style but again I will always do the safety shots first sellable images first and then I will do whatever I want because the kids crash or I don't get it there's no loss there whatsoever okay so when it comes to lighting on location there are lots of tools that you can use for many many years all I had was that piece of cardboard in aluminum foil and it worked just fine film a handle dwight very different I shot film for thirteen years I was medium format shooter r z sixty seven the big old started with an r r b sixty seven and then went to the r z sixty seven but these cameras were big dogs you know teo to three quarters film film negative this big and that's how I started photography now cameras like that it had ah lot of limitations something that digital shooters will never understand we were very much in we had parameters that we had to work with now film saw light very differently and many occasions a lighter lighter was enough reflector who is enough and that's primarily what I used to do all of my sessions I also think back then as much as I would say that that was enough I also don't think I had the eye that I have now for light detail I think what I thought was good enough was probably not good enough for the most part of the shadows and things like that I don't know that I had those masters like I can see them now and so at that time I was it's all I could afford it was primarily reflector eventually I started with the q flashes I started with metz is then cue flashes um and now I'm definitely switching over to the canon system all the way but I'm in the transitional period right now five days were awesome but now what the new flashes could do uh the high speed sync option alone is just the most thrilling thing because high speed sync you see all these amazing wedding shots with those blue skies and those awesome vibrant colors or his high school seniors there like edgy standing on the middle the street in the middle of an intersection in the middle of new twelve o'clock noon and it's dark and it's edgy and their exposure and the blue sky is balanced you know for us baby shooters that's not an option we're not going kids stick a kid in the hot sun and blast them with the reflector so having that high speed sync option is definitely going to be a good thing now like I said the reflectors were my original choice is and I still use them like helen and I when we're shooting for the most part of it we have a child like sasha yesterday I mean if the reflector because flash is something that as the light goes in and out you're paying attention to the child and all the sudden it's over and it's under and there's a just a change a global change in the work and we do have a lot of clouds we have to deal with a lot and you guys have probably very very similar cloud patterns here and so you just have that constant shift in the color and the tone of the image so a reflector gives you a softer more neutral phil and it has less of that stark you know that stark feel to it and it's easier to see honestly so so most of the time if it's an easy session we'll just grab a reflector put it on a stand like this we do have sandbags and waits teo hold them down and that works really really well for us so that's that would be our first choice but when you get two three four busy children a family something where you want a little more control than switching over to the flash is definitely a good idea as I said I used q flashes for a lot of years and I'm gonna show you a video to kind of show you how to set up the queue flash because a lot of photographers um struggle with where does it go how do you place it how high is it etcetera so I want you to pay attention to the details here because there are some rules as faras placement old school photography rules let's see if any of you guys know uh old school photography books when they tell you where does your where does your light go if you're using a studio stroll where would you place it does anybody know where the sun would normally beer kind of but if I'm staying here if I was standing right here where would my lightning place what's the old school rule come on forty forty five degrees you got it so so you're light would be forty five degrees off camera that's just old school that really goes back to when we used big umbrellas and things like that I just gave a very flat safe neutral light so forty five degrees off camera and your kicker or feel life would be drew fill light would be directly behind the camera slightly behind you closer to the main light side so you were creating directional light this the main light was creating the bulk of the light fill light was filling in the shadows but we weren't doing this you know flat blast it from both sides and so that is kind of how I was trained teo use lighting but when it came to strobes and taking them out on location it was a matter of you know how do we how do how do I do it is a forty five where does it go so I started really studying and I learned from a lot of great wedding shooters and the nice thing about wedding photographers is there like running and gun and they have to learn quickly and if they make mistakes it's a big problem so so I was trained by wedding shooters that it is about forty five degrees off the flash itself is slightly higher than the subject and slightly angled down now there's a reason for that what it does is it directs the shadows if I put it to the side and shoot a flash across somebody's body you've everybody's don't you have those big ugly shadows on the neighbors shirt you know what I mean where it's like this blue shadow that shifts over and you can see it on their faces and on everybody and you could get pretty bad well when you raise the light and shoot it down what happens is the shadow still exist but they're pushed into the natural crevices of the body so instead of going across the body and being obvious they look like they're just natural areas in the body so it lessons that that power so let's go in and look at the video because it explains a lot of what I'm saying today we're going to talk about the q flash now the queue flashed a tool that we use to get more light cue flashed us several things number one it gives us more control now when I went digital I found right away that I was having problems with color casts in the shadow early morning light with blue we were having a lot of blue in the shadows and late afternoon we were having a lot of that amber gold color in the shadows so I found that I needed some sort of alternative light source to control that so I went to the q flash now the q flash creates appear white light it creates a clean and consistent light gives me more light to work with therefore creating better exposures now the queue flash that I'm using is the t five d now the t five d I have connected to a quantum battery this is a turbo battery the turbo battery and the q flash are attached to this easy brackett this is from just right brackets we're also using the pocket wizards the pocket wizards allow the queue flash and the camera to talk to to each other so there are no wires in between now let's talk a little bit about using the queue flash first of all to get started I prefer to shoot in an aperture of about five six when working with children outside at a sixty eighth of a second so I'm gonna work in the manual mode today now there are all kinds of modes on the cue flash a lot of fun things can be done but when I'm working outside I need to control all the variables now in the manual mode we can work within one third stop increments so as I'm changing I'm going to hit the set button and then I'm going to change them one third increments to decide my exposure so once I get my cue flash set I'm then going to meet her the light I'm going to meet her if my ambient light is around let's say five six then I'm going to set my cue flash at four o and if I want to bump that up let's say my ambient light was it a fate I'm going to set my cue flash two five six therefore it's going to be a stop less than what my ambient light it's going to create a nice little natural phil my camera's set to single centre auto focus this is going to ensure that a single point within the lenses in focus I want to make sure that that's always set on the eyes now once I have the equipment set up we're going to go ahead and get a white belts now the white balance is probably the single most important part of this we want to make sure that our color is right now they're a couple ways that I do this sometimes I do a custom white balance this is really the best way to get a proper exposure but in certain situations I may work with the kelvin temperature and that I may set anywhere between fifty one hundred and fifty five hundred depending on the situation but today we're going to go ahead and do a custom great balance okay let's pretend like we're setting up a shot now our subject is going to be in this nice little comfy chair now it's getting darker out here so I'm first going to test my ambient light right now we're at a sixteenth of a second and four oh that's a good starting point considering that we're in the late afternoon so sixties of a second it for oh I'm gonna go ahead and switch with mice iconic meter I able to fire the lights remotely so it's also a sixteenth of a second it for oh so I know that I need to turn down my light so I'm going to hit the set button and then go down and that should work remember it's going down in one third stop increment perfect so I went three clicks down and we're right about where we need to be so now you can see the set up from the camera angle now I may move back and forth but my flashes about forty five degrees off of my subject now typically when I'm working with the flash I'm going to put my flash about forty five degrees off and it's going to be just slightly above my subject so right about there and then sometimes I will tilt the flash down so that the shadow as the light comes in any shadow area is going to be pushed down a lot of times I see in a lot of work even in my own work when I don't have my flash set right and let's say a subjects here and I have a big flash over in this area I want to eliminate that so I'm gonna go slightly higher angle the flash down and that's gonna push all of those shadows down to the bottom so I think we're pretty much good to go we've got the lights set up we've metered everything everything's good to go the last thing I want to do is do a custom white balance because that ensures that the color is going to be perfect let's go and get started okay so you kind of get the idea there of how to use the flash and that applies to any type of flash that you have those rules apply to all of them and as I said I'm switching to the canon flashes but I would you shoot at the same way the biggest thing I want you to think about his off camera flash as portrait artist we never have the flash on the camera now I know there's some amazing shooters out there I could name five right now that shoot on camera flash but what they've done is they've trained themselves to create the perfect little phil flash so they're just basically they're exposing one to two stops under with the flash was just a pop of phil but no matter what they do with on camera flash the where they'll be way the catch light's going to go where that point in the cash light is going to go uh if you're shooting straight off the camera it's going to be dead center it's gonna be targeted right in front of the eyes and catch lights are really important important in creating death good catch light should land at the ten o'clock or two o'clock position catch light would be here or here um and so in order to do that that forty five degree angle off of either side is going to give you that now that doesn't always work in fact one of my very favorite lighting styles and I wish I would have put it in here we call it six o'clock lighting and we take reflectors and go especially with high school seniors it's a glamour type lighting we go with a big old reflector right up under their chin and of course it's a very glamorous very flat bright bright eyes but the catch lights are actually long and skinny at the bottom of the eye that is actually technically wrong ous forest portrait style but it's beautiful and it's it's a hot seller so of course the rules are made to be broken and you just need to know the rules and then you need to figure out why they exist before you decide to do something else but you're never gonna want that flashing the idea in the headlights you know big old pupils with big white dots in the middle of them another thing that you can't control our catch let's where they land technically portrait quality you should have one catch light so a lot of times you'll have to reflective surfaces and you'll get to in our portrait work we do remove the second catch light it's something that itjust defines the eyes more depending on the situation if we feel like it adds to it we leave it if I were one of those things if I were entering print competition I know I should eliminate it if I wasn't then it might look beautiful might add color in depth to the eye so now let's talk about high speed see because high speed sync um this is something that right when it really got popular there were a couple companies that came out they were producing high speed sync tools receivers and transmitters and first I didn't even touch it because it was all wedding photographers doing this amazing stuff and am jealous of all wedding photographers because they do amazing stuff and be I know what it takes to make that happen currently my version at that point I wasn't high speed sync is if I wanted that really edgy look that fashion look that that sports illustrated look it was a super big reflector and right at the middle of the sun and just blasted at that subject and blind him literally it would be okay close your eyes one two three you know they hope it up then they blink down and you know you had to shoot fifteen shots to get one where they weren't looking like they were you know like politely stuck in the face but that's how those you know that's how those magazine shots were created and obviously time of day is important if I could shoot everything at seven p m colorado time in the summer oh my gosh I'd have neutral beautiful amber skin tones and absolutely glowy bodies and gorgeous sunsets but I shoot at eight nine ten eleven twelve one too so when I'm outside three for five so when I'm outside at one o'clock in the afternoon it's the single worst time to be outside in colorado I don't have a choice if I want that glamour look I've gotta park somebody in the middle of a field with a giant reflector and blind him so it's it's I learned to work around that and honestly I learned for the most part especially with little kid works kids work just to avoid it altogether it just wasn't gonna be an option so when I was testing these different options this is pre cannon I finally saw some things I thought this maybe would work for kids one of the things I've always wanted was that super vibrant blue sky with that bright sunny field with like a six month older or one year old running through green grass blue sky I mean I have visions of what I want to do with it but you know blasting a lightning childs I just didn't seem appropriate so kind of avoided it so when I saw these things I thought I'm gonna go test it now this next session that I'm going to show you it's really funny because uh this is one of my first test with different product lines and I was so excited I had I was gonna have played enough with it that I knew it would work and I planned the models it was a set of twins they were I think three maybe three or four and they were just adorable and I had this I was going to do uh the two of them together like a simple chair pose and then I was going to do her in this little fluffy skirt no umbrella and then I had this vision of him in this um you know this little airplane and uh you know it's just gonna be amazing well of course to do this I wanted to show my students cause all of these videos we producer are for my spu students and so I wanted to show the worst case scenario so I called mom and I said I said you know I know your kids came in recently I'd love to use them as models and she said great I said she said what time and I said one o'clock she's like oh that's right in the middle of nap time and I said perfect that's worst case scenario let's do it and so you know she agrees to do this she brings the kids out and it is this is one of those days that I would cancel a day like this it was over one hundred degrees outside and I would never ever shoot in that I would never put somebody through that unfortunately it just exhausts everybody the photographer the kids they're melting it just wasn't a thing but this was the only day I could do it because the people I was testing equipment had flown in to do this and so of course I tell mom we're gonna bring water we're gonna have popsicles you know in a cooler and we're just going to get this thing done and so we show up it's one o'clock and we got out of our cars and it was instant just dry horrible heat and I'm thinking this is not so we haul everything up and we're sweating bullets and uh we start with the two kids and what I said as I said keep it is in the air conditioned car you're gonna haul a bale we're gonna catch him and they're gonna take him back down to the car cool mom and they were gonna haul them back up the hill and so we got the first two kids or the to kids we got him up we did the chair shot awesome I mean they did pretty well and then we took him back down and then I brought the little girl up and we did her little session and she did pretty well well now we're way into a weapon enough wept time enough time and so by the time our little guy comes up he is literally I could see them you kind of see in the video mom's got him and he's coming up the hill and when he came up you could see in his eyes he had those really heavy kind of like you guys have your own bori now and that really heavy eyes and he was he kept laying down he just want he was like asleep basically he was in la la land and he's walking uphill and honestly it just dawned on me is he's walking up the hill I'm standing there holding a bomber jacket thinking oh this is gonna work I'm gonna ask this kid to put a coat on you know it's one hundred and like three degrees outside so as he's walking up the hill I could just I'm just imagining this is gonna be a disaster and it gets up there and I was like you know sweetie I was like you know when you put you put this coat on and he looks at me and he goes but why and I'm like because I'm the biggest jerk ever I'm so me and I just felt horrible I just didn't even want to do it to him so it's funny cause when you see this what looks like a cute shot he is so angry at me here he wouldn't even look he was literally sk sweat pouring down he's got this hat on and this you know this jacket on and I tried to be as quick as I can but you'll see it in the video he is not happy with me but this was the vision I had I mean I wanted to show this is and we're gonna talk you through it on the video so I'll let the video plan I'll explain the final outcome so we are outside now and we have picked the absolute worst time in the world to shoot we are outside with no coverage whatsoever it's one o'clock it is blazing hot out here but that's the whole point of this exercise we want to show you how uh really how difficult you are how you can handle difficult lighting situations and master them so today we've actually said everything up already we're using two flashes because we've got so much light and if you want explain a little bit about why we're doing that that would probably good but we're going to shooting around for a while today and uh when you have this much light outside and you're trying to overcome the sun with flash you're gonna be hard on your batteries so we got two flashes going at the same time on one little uh mountain just to make a little bit easier on her battery so we could get get a little bit longer should uh shoot good all right so I'm gonna talk a little bit about the settings real quick or it s so one hundred because we've got a ton of light out here we're shooting at to thousands of a second so this is where high speed sync becomes very very magical and right now our aperture is at four point oh I'm going to go ahead and start the session and then say I'm in the middle of a session I hope to remember to actually change the shutter speed down we're going to change the aperture up we're going to stop down the aperture and so that we can show you the difference between having everything in focus and having everything out of focus sound good let's get our models in here I too to look right here and just say hi and can you hold hands just hold hands up front it looks like a joker ready like right here and say you're crazy I'm not crazy good job and daniel jordan scoot back a little bit and there you go hold onto the chair both of you hold onto the chair can you hold on to the back of the chair with two hands just like that there you go look right here and I want you to say are you guys are scary now can you look over it nick over there and say hi nick good one word where's nick is he going to get you got it that's awesome he is so mad I'm like yeah put this on too all right so you're right that is like ralphie in the bunny suit he looks the same thing but to go from ah horrible hot miserable lighting condition do you know if I if there were no flash involved there uh he would be a cz dark is dark in order to get those that blue sky blue he would be a silhouette at this point so that flashes coming in from the side they're actually to heads and you did see a flash on my camera I want to make sure you know that at the time that was the transmitter that's what was transmitting but it was not there was no flash coming out of it the two that were at besides it took two flashes actually create enough power to balance out that sky and so what I hope you caught with high speed sinking and the difference for a lot of you that don't know what high speed sync is is the ability flashes originally to sink a flash meaning it fired the same time your shutter curtain opened and closed we had arranged the best out there was up to two hundred fifty but most flashes old school flashes you could go between sixtieth and one twenty fifth of a second so if it was super bright you could not push enough light through to do that so high speed sync gave you the ability to sink the curtain on the back of the camera so that you could shoot at two thousands of a second and the flash would hit it at that right point so you can see there's a strong flash on the mask of his face you can see where that light's coming in from the side that is the light that's balancing out and teo to be able to be out not that I'd put a kid in a coat again in the middle of one hundred degree weather but to be able to have the idea and the concept of capturing something like this in a bright sunny day previous to this that would've been a big old reflector blasting in his face that it just would not have had the same impact this by the way if you saw the bailey's baby show that is this same hill I marched my kids up and tried to get this is the shot I wanted of my kids um and this is the second time in my life I've been up there the first time I tried I had you could see I drive this is my house is directly below this hill this is what I see every night of my life coming home and it is just breathtaking that's the rocky mountains back there but the first time I did it with my own children killed it for me I didn't go back for what five or six years because I had therapy before then but I've always wanted this shot I've always wanted to use that um and even though it's not my own children it's just something that I'm very proud of it because now it's kind of opened up a new door so I could be out shooting all the time so high speed sync is definitely something that if you're shooting in tough times is great for weddings now open the door for children's work and I on tour I'm on the bus with these guys I'm a good shooter don't understand lighting I cannot wait to pick their brains and learn exactly how to use this because I know the cannon system will be what they used exclusively for this okay when using a flash any type of flash a couple things you should note on your lens choices your lens should not be in a day adjustable aperture it should be the rain should be fixed what that is is a lot of old school lenses and even newer ones when you have a zoom lens if you have a lens that when it's when you've zoomed all the way back it's four point oh and then when you zoom out your aperture changes too five point five because your barrels extending its a loss of light issues so your aperture is changing with less you can't do that because obviously if it if you've tested your flash at four point o and then all the sudden you zoom in and your five point six six you've lost to stop there so keep that in mind if you have a flash that is variable this happens a lot toe wedding shooters they'll bring me their work and they'll say I don't know what's wrong I didn't even move and the lights won't work and I see that a lot on the forum and old school for him and my first question was go look at your lands and nobody catches that when they would say oh I had no idea that it opens up and stops down by itself so just check your lens is because that khun wreck your flash especially if you're working in manual mode you've metered that was their biggest thing I'm metered I checked I I did everything you said to do and one is bright and one is dark and I don't get it and it could be up to two stops difference and that's a big deal when you're in a dark weddings scenario already and you just lost two stops the what you're really asking for it so just check your lenses and make sure that you have the appropriate one ous faras lens choices obviously there are a million out there I tend to shoot with a telephoto lens that's why that variable distance air the variable aperture is um important but obviously they're wide lenses and standard linds I tend to keep on me a standard in a telephoto at all times of fifty and the seventy two hundred two point eight at all times that way I have that really true to life of fifty is closest to what your eye sees perfectly um and then of course the telephoto is what we want to see ah white angles I don't use them a lot important you're just some fun silly stuff that we do every once in a while all right focusing on your camera you have to learn your focal points and how they work I am not gonna lie I probably shot ten years probably not maybe six years digital capture and I didn't know that the little red button in the middle move so I was always like focus and recompose focus so I put it on the eyes and the recompose which if you're taking your lens barrel and moving it that way you're throwing it out of focus so super frustrating and it was kind of funny because I have this other shooter that worked for me and one day I was in a panic attack as my little red dot was gone and he turned to me this is another one of those I'm really good at playing like I know what I'm doing I'm great at faking it till you make it so he had moved the focal point I literally did not know that that was an opera are an option and so and I'm gonna shoot her for not we're not talking days we're talking years and years but again I was old school film previous to this so the first few years of digital I didn't know that I never use single lens you know a digital camera and so he had moved the focal point I'm in a panic saying I cannot get the thing to focus something is wrong and he's like well just move the focal point back and he looks and he goes you knew that you could move that right and I'm like yeah uh I I literally walked away going oh my gosh I feel so stupid I mean I just didn't know and ah lot of what I know is those really stupid moments and I you will never see me sweat well today you might have but when it comes to bad situations we play that off so well I just fake it I'm like absolutely that's awesome yeah I got that I just you know what I forgot or whatever so so fake it till you make it if you have a problem you know find the solution and when you hear something be grateful for it because it's one of those things that once I heard it instead of feeling dumb and feeling bad I was like wow that's really awesome because it's one less thing that you know that changes now every cameras different I told you I'm raving about the mark threes right now because of that I mean I just you know I'm not saying go out and buy one I'm saying go rent one in and you'll flip out because it's just it's even today just using the mark two which is just one generation back I cannot believe how much harder it is for me now you get lazy quick in this industry I've decided to give you a tool and you never go back so definitely look at that as well this was a question that I said we would address today so I want to make sure that whoever was out there asking about camera heights and where do you know I said I would answer it and we will but your question absolutely the whole time in fact every time helling up behind the camera she doesn't differently me and didn't you hear me go it's just funny like nobody knows it but I would go back because I don't move it as much and cheese is a lot of the points that I avoid and it's just a personal style things so I'd get there and go to focus and push the trigger and like it's out of focus and I'd have to switch it back then I know she was going to the same thing because she'd get behind the camera and it would be where I like it and so it's really funny and again with the new system it's just amazing because the idea is to always have it land on the eye right now that does not work people always ask where does it go and I say um I say the eyes knowing darn well you can't do that if you've got a single child standing out in the field you can't get it to lana you might get it to land here or here but you can't get it in the eyes and so what it is his plane of focus you also have to remember that if a child standing out in a field far away there is a plane of depth here that we're working with and anything within this range especially if you're using a more uh stop down aperture you're gonna have the ability to get that focus where if they're super close at two point eight you're in big trouble there so so that's just something that you learn over time and you have to work at all right let's talk about like placement of camera as well as where do we put it because that was a great question yesterday that I hated to skirt but I knew it was coming up camera height uh full length if it's a full length portrait you shoot primarily straight on and the camera is actually lower towards the belly button so I know that sounds really weird but I want you to start like take notes here because I want you to test this this is one of those get an adult model and play with these so that you can feel what this is this by the way is old old old old school photography rules so I will always teach old school photography rules because I have trained some amazing shooters this way and I have taken some students and made them really strong shooters because my theory is once you know the rules you could break the rules but if you don't know them you have no idea why something is or is not working so three quarter pose is typically when you're doing a three uh quarter pose the camera is straight from the chest so in other words my camera haif would be right about here on the subject a head shot the camera is actually aimed closer to the neck so it's right straight out there and then a close up camera goes above the eye because we've kind of showed you that today when I was shooting the older siblings were straight on looks very flat um actually not so much flat more three dimensional but awkward body so when I went up and you saw them look up what it did is it compressed their faces and they became a flat plane so instead of being three different dimensional bodies they became one unit which was really nice so close up we typically go up above so like a business head shot especially with women we don't like this extra stuff that we got going here so just a slight above their head is going to give him that angular you know shape and it's gonna take weight off the neck it's gonna take quite off the shoulders as well so this is old school role you should know it and then you can break it all you want but you definitely should know it camera position this was the question yesterday um this is what you get with those results when you shoot straight onto a subject subject is going to appear trudeau life so those poses that I gave you are really more the first two are really more to life if you're above the subject the subject is going to appear smaller innocent in my own work at studio with my clients tend to shoot above the kids more than anything because I love that big wide eyed little child in big environment field on that of course low angle it you go below the subject and you shoot up the subject will appear stronger and dominant this is very common for high school senior boys standing by a car you know that really tough guy standing on a train track kind of a thing we do a lot of that keep in mind you're shooting up their nose so you've got to find that proper height but um it gives a very stark and we do this with a little boy's too you know little guy next to a harley or something we're gonna give him that tough guy look but for the most part I would say I should above the subject more than anything because I like that look now there are two types of focus in this industry there is technically and focus and there is emotionally and focus that's my excuse and we use this a lot in the sales room but there's a problem here and I know helen and I believe struggled we battle this one out for years because you know you're shooting these adorable kids and you get this one shot that is so cute but they're slightly out of focus but it is the best shot well guess what if you show that they're eunice the panama but that are going to see it to it's going to be their best shot and they're gonna want that so now they turn to you and say ok like a thirty by forty you've kind of host yourself there you can't pull a thirty by forty out of there without doing some major sharpening and some retouching in some ironwork and no matter what you do with it out of focus picture it's out of focus it's not crisp it's not clear it's and it's not a soft gazi look it's out of focus and you lose something there so you have to remember if you're going to show it if it's your best shot and it's out of focus that's the best shot they're gonna want it so don't show it honestly now there are occasions the reason I cracked that joke about emotionally in focus is there are times where siblings air wrestling or they're tickling each other and there's a hand that went out of focus and there's something that slightly off isar chris but the arm is gone or something like that and we will select those images and we will show those images but we also are very clear with our clients that um you know when they come in we'll say before we finish when we finish a sideshow we'll tell them um you know couple images we want to note here we say way the three types of images technically and focus and emotionally there few images in here that we call emotionally and focus the kids we're having so much fun and they were laughing and joking and I'm gonna point them out to you because they might be slightly soft maybe a hand movement or something like that they're still great images but they would work best for folio or an album or a component of an art piece but I would not recommend them for a wall portrait and I'll show you the ones that worked really well for a wall portrait we always say that before we always say that before we show them anything because we want to make sure that um they don't immediately connect to that amazing shot and then we have to explain sorry that one's out of focus we had a situation the other day where a client this was just it was a six thousand five hundred dollar order it was day before I left and tiffany the sales associate came in and she was literally praying that this shot was in focus because this was the biggest shot of the image and thank heavens because they were looking at j pegs and pro selected look soft but it wass but honestly when you're sitting on a six thousand five hundred dollar order and we're literally all standing around screening it's it's rendering what felt like a hundred years to pop up when I come on come on come on we're all okay so in that case it was just the j just that was in j peg but in reality if it was soft I mean tow walk into a client and say we can't make that as a fifty inch portrait is just horrible because it's it's a discredit to what we do all the sudden it's like you guys you know you you blew it you lost out so that's important

Class Description

Sandy Puc' returns to creativeLIVE for her Tots to Teens workshop! Sandy covers all aspects of creating a successful photography plan that spans from the young toddler years to the early teens. She shares her creative marketing ideas and practical business sense to attract and keep happy clients, and you'll learn how to create repeat customers—and stable income—by continually bringing clients back to update their child's portraits as they grow.


JUdy CUrran

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