Tips & Tricks for Photoshoots
Some of the gear I wanna show you guys, why we use this stuff. The coolest thing about these soft boxes is this. (humming) The whole thing folds up so fast, done. They come with little bags and we were talking about that double wide golf case that I use to carry all of my gear, I can fit two of these, all the light stands, everything we need, it all just fits in that. So the other soft boxes that we'll use in our studio, we'll use Larson soft boxes and they're great, they're awesome quality, the build's amazing, the light's great, but they are not made to travel. The Paul C. Buff ones that collapse and open like that, it's so convenient for us. That's our big push on why we use these. And the new lights have the LED bulbs for the modeling lights. So that's why these are just super bright and they were able to cut down on the space. So, lens flare. Alright, cool. So at that point, I would have shot all of the individuals, the teams, the individuals, the posters. Everything gets put in o...
ne of those job folders with what sport it is. If there's individual teams, they're rubber banded by like JV, Varsity, 10th Grade. So we keep those separate but they all go in one job folder with a memory card. One of the other things that we do that I think you're crazy not to do is nowadays, the new cameras, everything that we can't do with like our 20 D's because they're so old. But my 5 DS, I have a 512 gigabyte SD card in it that's a running backup of everything I shoot. And then we would shoot eight or 16 gig CF card for each job, pop that out. It's just fool proof, with how cheap it is right now. You can get a terabyte, they make terabyte SD cards. You know how long it would take to fill up a terabyte SD card? Pop that sucker in your camera, shoot for years, you could literally shoot on it for over a year and have a backup of everything that you've ever done. So it's stuff like that that I think is just kind of backing up your systems, making sure that you have multiple copies if there ever is an issue, you know exactly where you can go for a backup card. And we rarely use it, and some of the times that I use it it's kind of embarrassing but I'll be like, "I can't remember if I shot that one family "or if they canceled or if we rescheduled on them," because we do so many sessions. And I can just hop on the camera, roll that date, didn't shoot a four o'clock on the third. Or yep, totally shot them, it's a family, went to the arboretum, yep, (babbling) clicks. So, backing up with that other card is a big deal.
I just wanted to kind of ask a couple more things about the green screen. So, Timothy Deheart said, "Do the grids help with "green fringe on the subjects?" And then another question was about how do you avoid green fringe on the subject?
Okay so, we use Ben Shirk's green screen action, which I'll walk you guys through that, but it's a really simple action. And at the end of the action, it creates a layered mask that takes out green so if there is any green haze, that's easily taken care of. Otherwise, if you're dealing with issues like that, typically the problem is you're just not getting enough separation from your subject to the green screen. So if you're having issues with that, now you won't. Just move it up, okay? That green screen, shooting a green screen, the trick to doing it perfectly, which this is not perfect, cinema green screen lighting. This is just, we're at a school, we're shooting banners, this is what we do. But you just need, that can be any color, it just needs to be consistent. And so, lighting it, if you're getting into lighting the green screen, it's gotta be the same F stop all the way across. It's gotta be exactly flat, consistent lighting. That's hard to do for this type of stuff so, lost my train of thought on that. What you really just wanna do, pull 'em away, get them away from the background, you'll lose that green kickback, yeah.
So if a school color is green, do you bring a blue screen?
Yep, yeah, it's blue on the back. And if it's, and we've gotten it where, we shot a basketball program this year and I just wasn't like, I didn't think about it because I just assumed that they all had the same colored jerseys because that's how the soccer program went. And we had kids that had green jerseys and in those situations, when they ordered it, we just manually go in and select them. It's a pain but if it's a school and you know that going into it, yeah just use green. It can be any color, it can be green, it can be blue, it can be anything. So, yeah.
Do you fix, you know like if someone had like a big ol' chunk of hair that they should have like combed their finger through or their shirt was all bunched up under their arms, do you make corrections?
I try to tell them to. It's the same thing, we don't touch kids. We don't touch kids. One guy, like the flexing guy, he had like his shorts rolled up and you could see that little white tab, we generally would say like, "Unroll your shorts," stuff like that. That would be kinda the little tweaks we would make. Meg had a hair tie on, I let that go. There's stuff like that that we would be more focused on if it was the real client shoot. I hate hair ties so much. And I go home at the end of a sports day and I'll have like eight hair ties on my wrist because I'm always like, "I'll give it back to you," and I always forget. And my wife always thinks it's funny because I have like a whole mess of hair ties. Like, "You want them?" "No, that's gross."
What are the considerations in terms of do you have to think about, are the poses gonna go together? Are they, like if an elbow is kind of off the screen, or the cropping, does any of that matter when you're shooting it?
No, the only time, I'll try to do stuff if I have like a big team, I'll go into it, if somebody comes up to me and says, "I need a pose," I will pose the first person facing this way and the next person facing the other way and I know that they're gonna be my bookends. That's pretty common. But as far as if like an elbow's missing, no, I'm gonna be able to just, I'll hide it, I'll fix it. A lot of people also have problems making sure that people are the same height, that they're correct size, like that it's true to life. If you're doing that, we aren't gonna be able to show you on this team, the best thing I can tell you is look for logos on shirts, match the logos. 'Cause those sizes won't vary so as long as that's all the same size, you're gonna be able to hit the correct size for each child. And yeah.
Great. And so, also, same thing, in terms of, is part of the reason why you have the foot to make sure that the lighting is okay on each side? Because this is kind of a dramatic look where you've got the shadows in the middle of the face, is that so that they'll all be consistent?
Yeah, it's so that rim light doesn't get all ridiculous on them, so it's not hitting them, or it is hitting some kids and not the other kids, or it's hitting them in different places. It's for the consistent look. And then for gear on that, too, one of the things that we like to do, just to keep it simple, is we shoot that light is radio slaved with a pocked wizard, just that one. We shoot the other ones all on slave. And so it's just an optic slave so we don't even bring four pocket wizards to this job just because it's another thing to worry about with batteries or replacing or missing a sync cord. Shooting on an optic slave just works. And we also have a backup so it's never been a problem.
So a question that had come in from Ted Spaulding in, I believe in North Carolina, "What aspect ratio will these be printed in," and so again, what is the end goal?
Four by six.
Four by six.
Four foot by six foot is probably, that's like all that we're ordering now. We used to do some that were really, really panoramic stretch looks but the four by six foot is just a big, nice size. I like the look that we get out of it and one thing that we haven't done yet, I'm excited to do it next year, is from a marketing purpose, we put these up at the schools. One of the schools that we do work with, it's all the Seniors, they all of on the banner. The school's really, really big on everyone being, all the sports have to be treated exactly the same. So if football gets a banner, tennis gets a banner. If soccer gets this, everyone has to be treated the same. They're hyper-focused on that, which is cool. So what they didn't want to do is they didn't want to allow banners with every kid on the team on it because sports like track have 160 kids. So we shoot only Seniors at that school. So in that hallway, I can show you guys a picture of it, but we have a banner hallway with 20 to 25 sport, every sport for that season, four by six, exactly the same background, all the Seniors. Now what we're doing at the end of next year, because that will be the first full year that we're doing it, is I'm taking all of those kids from all of those sports, from everything, and I'm making a Senior banner that's gonna be 50 feet long and we're hanging that out on the football field. So it's gonna be every sport will be represented, every kid, every sport. So, which is a cool, it's just kind of like, with sports you always get asked to donate and they always just want money. And I'm like, I'd rather just spend my money buying you some monster, huge, ridiculous banner than that, than just writing you a check. And that's one of our givebacks that we do.
Where do you get your banners printed?
So, we use Miller's. There's a lot of other companies out there. Print Traders is a good source, those guys do really good work, they're fast. They have a wholesale account though so it's not necessarily a great option if you aren't doing a ton. Their pricing gets way better the more you order. Otherwise, Miller's is just a flat rate and it's always super fast turnaround time with those guys.
What happens if somebody wants to lay on the ground or sit on the ground, is that an acceptable pose?
Well, no, for a variety of reasons. I'll pose for this one so I don't make you look ridiculous. So, you could take my picture, Dave. If I were going to come up and I said, it's not gonna have both lights on, that's fine. So if everybody's doing that waist up stuff and I go and I sit down like this for the picture, wait I gotta do my game face. Okay, or I've even had it where like people will try to like do like a pushup pose. So if you're like down like this. (laughing) I'm not holding it all day. Okay, that won't composite in. How am I gonna put a picture of a kid like this with everyone else standing up? It doesn't work, it doesn't work. So there has to be, there has to be some consistency in that. There has to be some rules because otherwise it looks weird and it won't work.