Posing Masterclass

 

Posing Masterclass

 

Lesson Info

Light is Light

light is light you know I gave you a few demonstrations earlier today using our beautiful model and using a video light well anything can be your light source and I really love the segment of my program because it really frees you up this to me frees you from from having to go oh I wish I'd done that I wish I'd brought that with me and if one of your flash goes down at your wedding reception you know or you your batteries die and you thought you charged him and you didn't have in charge like you thought you did and there's no place to get him you know you have to think plan b all the time I think a professional photographer always has in the back of their head what am I going to do if what do I do if things don't go the way I wanted to because you don't want to be one of those photographers you're going oh crap uh what am I gonna do what am I going to one time I am this photographer that I know was photographing a wedding and his his flash broke down right as the ceremony started he ha...

d a guest photograph the ceremony so he could run out and go get something because he didn't have all of his what ifs taken care of so what does that mean for us it means that you know what this is your responsibility whether to be a portrait session or a wedding whatever the nature of the beast is and you know what people's time is valuable my time is valuable your time is valuable and so is your client's time and I think it's important to have respect for that and not take advantage of them and just expected and think oh well it's all right if something happens I could just reshoot well no you can't just re shoot you know what a wedding of course that that's you know that you can't always do that but don't even buy into that mentality be prepared because what they're paying you for is for you to put on your big girl panties and your big boy panties and to cover your bases and handle your responsibilities and that's one of our responsibilities is to have enough equipment and if you don't have enough equipment you know it's not that big of a deal goto borrowed lenses dot com I mean those guys have everything you can imagine I'm sure that glaser's friend equipment as well many of the other camera places around the country do but I love places like borrowed lenses because they're awesome if I want to try a new lens and I don't want to invest in it I want to see if I'm gonna love it I'll go borrow a lens and rent one for you for the weekend or something on dh then try it out before I buy it and then I can see if it's something that I'm really good that's going to call me or whether it's going to be something that may be it's just I get it I think I want but I really don't and I had that experience one time when I wanted to buy the two hundred two hundred millimeter cannon fixed one eight that is a beast of a lens I mean the barrel this is in the olden days when it was really heavy it was about this big and about that long and I rented one for the weekend I really want to buy that lens I just love the way it looks right so I get to my went my wedding and you have a suitcase for it to come in because it won't fit in your own case so it's got this big suitcase and I took it out the case and I put it on the camera body and I want oh lord for one hour I took pictures with it and by the end of that hour my back was killing me I didn't even I didn't have a mama pod for it so it made me go note to self bam bow you know I'm so glad I rented it out because it gave me a chance to try it and make sure that it was something that I wanted him which I didn't so if you have to rent your equipment rent your spare stuff so that you have your plan be taken care of but one of my favorite things to do is working with natural light or the light that just exist naturally in an environment natural light does not necessarily mean window light sometimes natural light means overhead light fixtures because it's natural for that a moment or that experience when I took this picture this beautiful bride um it was eleven o'clock at night and I shot this outside this is at the ringling museum in sarasota florida and I love the environment they spent a fortune they probably spent one hundred thousand dollars lighting the columns on this building that anybody who goes to that much trouble to light the columns how important do you think that is to them so I started thinking to myself well what what can I do okay I've got my background light already there right because that's been provided by the client so how am I gonna like the foreground now of course I could bring in mice beautiful strokes if I wanted to but I chose you I only my goal at a wedding reception specifically is to only spend maybe five or ten minutes and I mean five or ten minutes doing any romantic pictures during the wedding reception cause I really want them to enjoy their party I wanted to be with their friends and their family so my goal as soon as I get there I say okay what's my game going toby where's my chosen location and what do I need to do to get the shot done really fast in five or ten minutes and not dragging a bunch of stuff around so I thought well you know what these columns air here and I know that those were important to the client because that's why they spent all that money on that so what I did is I found my chosen location I set my my assistant up in that location so let me take I want to take a light meter reading of your face let's see what the lighting looks like and then and then using a video light all have to do is bring the client over post the bride like I want to and make it very very quick and easy easy it's very very simple so you can literally do this walk over and get your shot and you're out of the way but by it's all done now there's a couple of factors in this that you don't know about and this this was before I actually bought my own video light so this is what I did I walked into the videographer during the reception and said hey we're going to go to pictures of the bride and groom and do some romantics that then you want to come I said I only have one request I need your your light occasionally to help me focus and I need you to stand right here so basically the videographer standing right over here the side I'd go hey honey could you turn your light on for me a second I want to get a good focus and I get a good focus stuff guess what I get my picture I don't even have to use my own lights or anything I'm chipping off of him and I get great stuff now meet a ring this is where and you'd be surprised by the way how much light is produced by a video like they produce quite a bit of light but you're so is going to be higher because it's eleven o'clock at night and you're and you want to be ableto photographed by the way also at a slower shutter speed because the slower the shutter speed the brighter the background is and I wanted that background to show up so in my case I'm using that the seventy two two hundred millimeter lens because I want to compress those columns and I want to amplify that background a bit and then I slowed down my shutter speed to a fourth of a second a fourth of a second no I don't use a tripod I am very good at hand holding very few people can have stated they have a steady hand as much as I do I really know how to hold it now in manufacturers handbooks and stuff they generally tell you that if you're a two hundred millimeters on the lens that you're not supposed to go below a two hundredth of a second for most people that's probably the best rule for me that doesn't apply because I know I just em good at hand holding really still so I just I brace my arms across my chest let the air out of my lungs and at a fourth of a second I just go click very gently and press the shutter the reason I don't use a tripod is that slows me down I told you I really want to get these images done really fast I want that client back at their party where people don't even know they were gone and that to me is a sign that's also the sign of a professional you know somebody who really knows how to do their job they can get it they can get it done the person who takes forever to do a job you know that someone was a little closer to amateur ville because you know it's taken a long time to get it right so learned to get it right quickly and this is how you do it by the way you take one concept you don't mean all this whole week and we've covered so many different things and photographing you name it all kinds of stuff it could be very overwhelming but this is how you learn to make changes and to grow you take one concept you're writing a long palm your hands and maybe that doesn't mean literally write it down on the palm of your hands take this is the one thing I'm going to learn this week and then at an appropriate moment during a regular photo shoot you maybe you're doing of wedding you give yourself five minutes to practice your concept so maybe during the wedding reception when people were having their dinner and their meal and stuff and you got that five minutes can you find your chosen location where you've got really cool environmental lighting going on and you say ok I'm going to practice this for five minutes you take your little couple out there and you give yourself permission you do a couple of cool things and if you don't get it right you do one thing that is the way you've always done it so you got your bases covered but then the next shot that you do is your personal shot for you that is like your experiment to see how you're doing so you try it and if you don't get it right the next week you give yourself permission to have that five minutes again and do it again until it becomes good for you to do it until you get it down pat and until it becomes something that's part of your natural routine and then you move on to the next wish list at every event I have every kind of wedding every kind of portrait session whatever you name it I always have a little personal assignment in my head on where I want to go well what if I do this you know this is my personal this is the way I keep photography still exciting for me and especially wedding photography after you know almost thirty years of shooting so I really want to keep it going and so I give myself a little assignment but it's really critical to only give yourself five minutes you need that quick time for two reasons number one the first reason you give yourself only five minutes is because you don't want to spend a lot of time trying to work it out on your client's time that's the most important reason but the second reason is that teaches you to be quick it teaches you to think quick on your feet and to be ableto itemize in your mind okay where do I want to go what am I going to do and to kind of planet out in your head and to get it right so if I were doing this kind of a photograph I'd find a location on maybe while my assistant is photographing the wedding reception I'd be wandering around it's okay here's my spot well what's my game plan what do I want to do what's my f stop and shutter speeds I'm gonna lay my foundation so that I can think about when the client comes the posing aspect without all that that mechanical stuff to think about so I'd go ahead and get my focus I'd get not my focus I get my my f stop in my shutter speed and and I would take a picture of that environment well does it look good how do I like that okay good I've got that down now all I have to concentrate on when I bring the client over is getting a pose right does that make sense okay um questions so yes the temperature of the lights and then a wedding something like this you're constantly changing you know you're using tungsten lights and then your using video lightened all these everything grazing and great card all the time you must do me not at all I never used a card I don't like a great card it's just one more thing for me to have to pack in my case and I don't want to deal with it there are two things that I do first of all I love tungsten light this to me I wouldn't want to neutralize I think it would kill the picture it makes it too antiseptic you see there's like it's like there is just because something is correct doesn't mean it's the right way to go it's like perfection is good but sometimes imperfection looks better or what we can think of as imperfection because if we lose the mood so we don't want antiseptic white it's like you know like in your home you know you can have white but then you can also have like you could have like a butterfly kisses pink you know which is like almost white but it's got that little whisper of pink in it and it's because white isn't always perfect so I like teo whatever the media is if I'm out in that natural environment out here I know I wanted to be tongue stan I like that warmth I think that's part of the mood that that picture is going to display other than that I will use auto white balance if I you know if there's an area that you know where I am going to get some crossover and then my then peter b d color labs will color correct for that me and if they need to I just don't worry myself about too much about getting a little anal annie stuff about like that I'd rather give that job to somebody that that that's her job to do is to color correct do you have any questions yeah just a quick question from mallee photo when you were talking about hand holding at a quarter of a second yeah does that mean that it's okay if the photo is not tax sharp and you could get attack shirt but for that we'll know tell him to get out they need to put their big boy panties honor the big girl panties on and learn to get it right and if you can't if you if you just are shaky because there's some people who are real shaking that just don't I have the ability to photograph at a fourth of a second then there's what are our choices what could else what could we do besides photographing that slow the shutter speed hey we could increase our s o so that's a really easy fix and you don't have to shoot it at a fourth of a second I like doing that it makes me feel manly it just it makes me feel like it's like yeah baby how could low can you go you know I'm working on a half a second and I want you to know there's times when I could get it but sometimes it's a little bit creatively blurry and yes when you're on quiet mode so that the mirror doesn't pop back up until you release the button your shooting one picture every time that's right what why are you on quiet mode though I like quiet mode I find that the noisy mode or the regular mode is is just it makes me it's a distraction to me I just prefer I like quiet in here it just in my own soul I want just like through the lens and I have one of my cameras this set on quiet and the other one is set just on normal and I find that the one I used one that's on quiet almost all the time well first off I'm in a church I find it less distracting but mostly I find for me personally it's just that clicking noise mixed it makes me crazy I don't like it the other thing I'm glad you brought up is I'm on one shot I don't ever use motor drive I don't like it I find that annoying I find an enemy when I teach workshops if I hear one of my students going and going but I will nail them I don't like that because it does not take skill it takes a moron could do that anybody could do that a monkey could take and get a picture by accident and I want us to learn to know what that decisive moment looks like and then get it because you really nailed it because you saw it coming and I cannot tell you how gratifying it is when you capture a picture because you sought building and building and building and then you click at the right moment and you just nailed it that is just so completely satisfying because it takes skill to do that it takes a great deal of skill to do that photo is wondering if you are bumping your s o up really high how do you deal with the noise afterwards um well if I'm bumping up my eyes really how you are gonna have noise and that's the tradeoff but I don't mind that I think noise can be actually beautiful and when I do have noise one of the things I've learned that works really well is to add your grain add a bit more grain and it looks even better so you know you just have to prepared if you're gonna have that I think the trade off is sometimes it just feels warmer and fuzzier it's but you know for me say I'm from the film days and I used to shoot kodak recording film and that was a very very grainy film it was just very very grainy it was thirty two hundred speed film so I'm really comfortable with grain I know that that's what you're going to get sometimes on dh that doesn't bother me so you know I try to photograph with the lowest eyes so that I can but there are times when it actually makes a prettier photograph to photograph naturally with the natural light that you see around you you know in that warm tungsten glow of an evening than to pop your flash on lower your eyes so and make it all antiseptic and all physically sharp and chris because that doesn't always equal beauty it doesn't work it's like it's like seeing this beautiful couple on the dance floor embraced it in this amazing passion and then going blowing their socks off you know and with this big flash wo you know and you could blow their eyeballs out of their sockets you know and then you can see every pore on their skin because your f eleven or something like that you know it's just like it doesn't make sense it doesn't make sense and you know a lot of what I've learned in photography I've learned from watching movies and watching television and it's about interpreting moments interpreting what is this about how can I tell a better story not just an accurate story see and that's where logic runs into quite often to artistry and where they collide is that sometimes we have trouble when we're trying to be too much of a logical crisp f ate kind of person you know f stop like that and then we run into that artistic wall and that's what we have to push through that threshold and so I think that when it comes to being an artist we need to know and have that is our foundation but doesn't mean that we allow the logic to dictate every aspect because sometimes you have to learn to back off and let it go and let it go and say you know what this isn't a perfect the universe didn't didn't fall into place perfectly but man alive it's just there it's still the magic is the magic and if you had tried to manipulate any other way would have killed the moment and it be gone forever so it's better to get what you can get them to try to monkey with it and make something and then lose everything lose lose all of your lose everything that you have to get okay so here we go so sometimes you can capture one of the things I love doing is using the warm tungsten light you can create lots of beautiful mood with this couple when they we're walking down this hallway I noticed this as the bride was walking first of all I want to love the way when they passed these two sconces look at the beautiful soft highlight that it created on her shoulder and who would that be fun you know and so I made a note to myself that when they walked out of their honeymoon suite that I was going to use the fish I wanted to use a a law experiment a wide angle lens and photograph from a low camera position and get that train I wanted that trained it really emphasize the length of that train as they walked down the hallway and then of course I could illuminate them and notice the separation we get that beautiful separation between them and the background so we have our highlights in our shadow in another highlight his face is illuminated separates him from the background so it was a really actually quite a lovely lovely environment so one of the things I encourage you to do is wherever you're at if you're in the bathroom look at the way the light falls across your face when you're looking in the mirror when you're given your children a bath in the tub or your or your sitting across the table from your loved ones your your husband or your wife look at the way the light falls upon them and learn and train yourself to move yourself around your subject and not always move move the subject when I took this photograph of this beautiful bride she got married when she had gotten dressed she she got dressed in a room that was very very very dark but downstairs it was that loft and that downstairs they have the lights turned on so as the hairdresser is pinning the veil on her head I thought you know what let me try to see if I can capture this picture's so I used the fifty millimeter one point to lens I focused right on the eye you need to focus on the eye at one point two this is at one point too which is why everything else is out of focus and the only thing that is sharp is her eye but it's a great way to tell on interpretive moment and this is again where tungsten it would've killed the moment teo to remove the tongues tonight I'm actually tried shot doing this image and showing it in black and white and it didn't feel good it didn't feel warm to me kind of made it feel a little bit colder so I felt that this was a better way to tell the story um spotlights and the ceiling are absolutely one of my very favorite types of light sources because they're everywhere they're easy they're accessible and you can create amazing moody picture I shot this here in seattle one of the hotels and as I was photographing this couple by the way that's a gown designed by the famous designer here liu liang who is an amazing fashion designer and so any rate as I was walking down the hallway I noticed that the very end of this hallway that they had this little archway with a single spotlight so I thought well you know what I want to get my couple down the end of that hallway this this beautiful couple heard her amazing red dress but the key to doing this kind of image properly is I need to have her back up and lean back into that groom because she needs to have her face turned up towards the light this is not a time for hi mom pictures we're not goingto my mom looking in the camera you don't look in the camera for these kinds of photographs there there need they need to be moody and dark and mysterious so it's more about her than him so this knee being bent is critical you see I want that knee bent because by that heaven that knee bent look at that beautiful shadow it gives me shape then by having her lean back I get the highlight on the top of the bus and the shadow under the bus right here and here which gives her bus line shape and gives her a beautiful sexy appearance my light meter reading was right in between the highlights right there right on her face turning her face back towards the groom I could capture an image in real time in literally a minute and a half and be able to move right on and my goal is to take a variety of pictures in a very short period of time I want do some and then move on do a few more and move on so that we have a bit more variety in any album wedding book or portrait book as well so it's really an easy easy thing and they're in every single environment and again when you're sitting in the restaurant tomorrow night or this tonight when you sit and have dinner with your buddies I want you to look at the way the light falls upon their faces and say to yourself well where would I need to go where in this building could I take a beautiful portrait right now where is it where do I go and then you could easily find places like that look for spotlights first thing I do when I walk in a room is look up I want to see where the lights out and remember that you need to play towards that light source so if the spotlight is coming straight down on the subject you don't have the subject looking straight ahead because you're going to get really bad raccoon eyes it's not attractive but if you want to do a portrait under that kind of lighting what do you do let's say I wanted to do ah hi mom and my main line is appear what do I do get up on something high and then do what shoot down there looking up have them look up at you that's exactly right so it's a terrific tool by the way this kind of light pattern is phenomenal on the bigger girl on somebody who's curvy or plus size it is fabulous because guess what if you have a big light up here and you don't have a lot underneath here you sculpt in cheekbones and so it's a really easy easy way to sculpted cheekbones trump to your subject and really make him look fabulous um with this young woman this is actually is a combination of tungsten light and also window like so you can see where they kind of crossover but it doesn't bother me that the light buyer fetus a little bit colder it's ok the reason it works is because there's so much red in the picture there's so much red in the couch I shot this when I was in italy earlier this year I stood actually outside of the door and used this part of the door are the door jam to kind of pull you into the scene it's a great way to take something as simple as a little dumb table lamp and use it as a light source it's justice so so easy in really very dramatic it's a really fun thing to do and then by dropping this front leg down see how it's dropped down over the other leg we create this shadow right here and it gives her curse here on her waist and also down across her bottom so we get that that and then down on the legs that's a really nice wayto you stretch out that top leg stretch it down over and basically what you have to do is you have to pull the pelvis forward this way and then scoot the butt back because you want the biggest part of the body behind behind the subject um this is just using a simple video light recently I was photographing in vegas that debbie pp I and I had an opportunity to photograph this beautiful young woman and her her fiance but it was just just with a simple video light I needed I had a very short window of time to be able to do them so by replacing my video light a bit higher here I can create a very simple simple portrait without a lot of fuss in a very very it's a dramatic image it's not perfect it's not perfect three two one lighting ratios I mean there's not like a real perfect hair light on her but sometimes it's the better thing to do because if you have all that nonsense or not nonsense I don't mean to say that but if you have all that stuff and then it intimidates the client so much that they don't feel comfortable then did you do the right thing so I try to be balanced in that and the groom especially he had all these amazing tattoos on so that kind of told me pull back a little bit baby from all the techie stuff and make it a bit cool and a bit more edgy and edgier images that tend to be a bit more editorial you can you can air on on in the side of imperfection and still get a great great picture preplanning is can really give you some amazing amazing things when I shot this young lady's wedding I saw this amazing staircase and I knew I found out from the folks that that worked there that she had to go up that staircase to actually go to the ceremony site so I pre planned in my mind what I wanted to do now I could have flashed filled this picture but it would have absolutely killed the moment really killed it this is about three thousand or thirty two hundred easy eso maybe even five thousand very very dark dungeon esque kind of environment the crosley mansion and so when I what I did is I had my assistant before she got to this point before she came down came out from getting made up I had my assistant go stand there so don't you go stand there so I can get in the ballpark I want to get my light meter in the ballpark so that I know where on that so that when she walks up that staircase do I need to stop her do I need to say a word to her no we're ready to rock and roll I knew that if I want to stop the movement that I need to be about about a sixteenth of a second right so if I want to be about a sixteenth of a second so I said okay I took my light meter reading off off his face and I said okay turn your face this way gustavo so I can get a little bit of your skin tone so I kind of see where it's at so I knew that that skin tone would be a little lighter which kind of would go into her veil kind of thing and so I got it so that when she came over and started walking up that staircase I could just say you know I don't have to say a word to her in rial good pj mentality photo journalistic mentality I could I knew what my f stop was going to be I knew what my shutter speed was going to be and I could have her walk up the staircase that staircase and not have to manipulate the scene over and so could you do that one more time how could you do that again or or you know I didn't get that you know this is a great way so pretty plan in your mind if you see little vignettes if you see vignettes that your location what you want to shoot get it planned out in your mind already figure out where you want to go and say okay this is what we're gonna do this and I already planned it out so that when they're there for home free questions okay any questions okay um the other thing that I want you to learn to enjoy our using hot lights or the modeling lamp in your strobes hot lights are phenomenal these by the way are hot lights love love love hot lights are so much fun I used sameera hot lights in my studio as well and I have the large octa bank that I use on them and they are just that they're hot so you don't go touching them because they will burn your fingers in a minute the benefit of using hot lights by the way in my opinion is awesome when you're work doing boudoir work because it really warms up the studio really easily and in my studio I have an eighteen hundred square foot studio space in a two hundred year old building and we don't have any heat we have no heat at all in our building so when I'm doing a boudoir a session I can promise you I got these like bad boys turned up and within like twenty minutes we are all warm and toasty in there so they're really nice to use and I like it because you can actually see where the light is going to fall on the face it makes for a very creative experience look at how large the light sources in her eyes and where it's located right up there and get that beautiful iridescence in the eyes because of the because of where the light source is what she has on her I love random props I love him and tomorrow you guys are going to see some crazy crazy stuff we're gonna work with tinfoil and we're going to work with comic books and we're going to work with newspapers and we're going to create some really crazy crazy things that you just have to be here to appreciate because it's going to be out of this world it's going to be shut the front door crazy okay just so you know so this is basically she has on her head a tu tu ahh ballet tutu and I went to the the ballet store and I saw this too too and the way that to two was it just you know it just is very pretty and it just came out like this well I thought you know what that's so traditional so really I mean like what everybody would do so I just thought it would be fun kind of fun so I just said the first time I ever had anybody where and I said hey could I just get you to put that on your head and it was awesome because with this young lady it really made her eyes pop off the page that's all you see and so it was a great way to create a really interesting story I have a sixty inch printed this hanging in my studio but notice the might I took a light meter reading of her face but we still get the detail we want a bit of highlight in that we want because we want to see the texture of this beautiful too too so where my light is skimming it skims across her and across the two two to really create a very very cool cool experience and one that is ah lot of fun and really draws your subject into the into the picture one of my very favorite things to do I want to create surprises for people I think that's so critical for all of us is to just continue to be surprising you know when people look through your portfolio what you want it what I want to see when I look to report folio are the things in your portfolio that I can never see anywhere else that when I look like holy cow how did you think that up well I never would have thought that up what I don't want to see in a portfolio and on the website I don't want to see bride standing on the altar with herb okay in her hand now if it's in an album that's fine of course you know but I'm sorry I've seen that shot a million times and the problem is is that if on your website you have the same pictures the same poses that everybody else does and guess what the only way they're going to hire us exactly how much you charge okay well sound so does the same poses that he does well I think I'll just hired them they're a lot cheaper so I try to find a little surprising nuances and continue to grow myself I want to push myself for all kinds of wackiness especially to keep myself relevant I mean I'm fifty five sort of kind of years in the mid from in the mid range there and and so I need to stay relevant and that's real important for me to continue to be relevant with a young audience and many many of most of my client they are much younger than I am so I have to keep that fresh approach and keep growing and keep pushing the envelope and keep being willing to just put myself out there the benefit that I have is that I'm not afraid to make a fool out of myself the thing that many young people are is they're still because they're still trying to find their place in the world that's your downfall is that you're so afraid many people are so afraid when they're younger too to make a mistake that they just try really hard to be just like everybody else and so people like me we're really grateful for that because it takes us a long time to really think of creative stuffs in our own brain

Class Description

Do you have problems diverse groups of clients? Are you unsure if your lighting and posing are on point? Join award-winning and Nikon Ambassador Bambi Cantrell in this comprehensive class covering all aspects of posing, lighting and developing a successful portrait studio.

In this class, Bambi will:

  • Show you the best lighting for different scenarios
  • Camera angles that flatter
  • How to add creativity to your portrait shoots

You will learn ​Bambi​'s​ secrets of how she continues to innovate in her photography and business​.​