Skip to main content

Posing Masterclass

Lesson 21 of 36

Receptions That Rock

Bambi Cantrell

Posing Masterclass

Bambi Cantrell

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

21. Receptions That Rock

Lesson Info

Receptions That Rock

okay let's talk about receptions that rock and by the way this doesn't have to be wedding receptions this could be how about bar mitzvah and button it's for receptions it could be any kind of party could be a birthday party this is that arena that I was showing you the picture that bride that was standing in that hallway well this is how large the venue was she was in is joy enormous but look at the beautiful collins I mean they really spent a fortune illuminating that place this is an example of my photographing at a fourth of a second um outside after dark obviously not gonna flash fill that that killed the moment I may just be wrong and like you're going to do anything anyway you know so basically you get your basic exposure I exposed for this area in here somewhere in that realm so that I could get a basic exposure because I didn't want it to be too dark on the on the on the ground I wanted at least to show some detail there on dh this is pretty much right out of the camera I'm pho...

tographing towards the light because I want to keep the depth I need your eyes to go into something that's brighter in the background ah generally photographed towards elements that are bright especially if it's an outdoor venue I would not photographs like these people are people on the dance floor I would not photograph into this dead area right here where there is darkness because it'll go dark behind them I want to photograph towards this wool or that wall said that I have a bit more dimensionality in that background um this is an example of bridegroom doing their first dance with using the video light not my video life but the videographer slight and following them around the dance floor I chose to do it this way because I felt that it gave me more of an interesting image so the videographers light is somewhere over in this area right here and so I just followed him around on the dance floor used a higher s o to capture the pictures of them as they danced and I photographed on ly towards the home on the opposite side this direction was the beach and guess what's on the beach after dark nothing but darkness so if I photographed the same couple towards the beach it was going to completely dark behind them so by photographing them towards a healthy house it gives context to their environment it gives context to the to the experience itself and it lightens the background so I have separation between my client's heads and their faces and the background using two lights very very easy to do where is the main light coming from in this image no main light is coming from over here you know I know look where the shadow is on the wall and the other dead giveaway the main light is coming this way because look at the detail look at the shadows by the cake see how the cake is got the little there's a little shadow you can see it as it comes around so when you're doing your cake shots of people dancing on the dance floor the main light especially for the cake cutting don't put the flash in front this way on the subjects he look at her arms see where the highlight is on her arm you can tell the main let's coming from over in this area and this is just filled in over here so I always generally try to have the main light off and bounce it back into the subject um I love tungsten light when people are dancing this is just the natural light I feel that it gives so muchmore mood I use my ladder my stepladder I'm up on a ladder my four foot ladder at the top of my letter when this couple is having their first dance it's important to me to try to get the context of a band I want some band members when they're doing their first dance but I love this warmth in here I metered on her face on dh it's in real time just as they walk around and they dance on the dance floor because I love that warm mood I want that kind of thing of course when people lots of people are dancing I would turn my flash on later on and capture images of people you know running around dancing but the end of the day this to me tells a more interesting story um than it would if I were using if I just flash filled everything my I s o is a bit higher it's probably around three thousand thirty two hundred easy on this kind of an experience because I am using just the natural light remember me telling you about using bulb this is what you get with bulb that's what I get it okay but there's a difference okay this is what happens with the ball but you want to this is when you want to photograph you have and you have a light source that is existing see that they had street lights outside that street light when you have somebody who's standing still like this cute little girl wass it illuminates her and and then it gave me this it gave context to the shape of what they were that's the difference between just having a blurry picture and having won that where you can tell that their shapes and so what I did to capture this picture is I went okay one mississippi two mississippi click and I looked at a little bit too blurry I wasn't blurry enough and then I did three mississippi's and it was just about right so I wanted to create a couple of images that you felt that weren't literal and and through a wedding album and through actually any kind of an album whether it be a portrait or a wedding book my goal is to give them a variety of emotional responses I want to go oh wow wow that's really interesting oh that's so moody what how cool is that so you so that someone who wasn't there maybe their children other grandchildren you know one hundred years from now who could look at their book and they could tell who those children were and they could feel the experience not just have to have somebody tell them the story of it in written word or in speech so I love doing lots of pictures like this this is one of my little hobbies at my wedding's I'll go okay let's just do the little let's see what we can get you know it's it's like you know babies little play five minutes and I'll just say okay let's slow down and use the bold mode because the bulb amusing bald mode allows you to just hold it down as long as you want okay and then there are times when you can capture in this I love this is one of my favorite images a tte this beautiful mansion where this couple got married they had spent a fortune lighting the outside of this amazing castle with purple lights well what's the opposite of purple on the color wheel tungsten light that orangey color tungsten lights the couple were out on their dance floor I made a mental note to myself I saw they had these great doors he's really cool iron doors when they were out of their dance out dancing on the dance so I said to myself ok before they got out there all right here's what I'm gonna do when they start their first dance I'm gonna haul tail it out of the room go through those doors and shoot through the door because I know there's my picture so as soon as they started having their first dance I immediately ran around the outside of the building open the doors left the cracks that I could see the couple focused on them was able to get my picture on because I had been photographing inside earlier I knew what my parameters rested okay if I want to photograph that a sixteenth of a second or maybe even a thirtieth second have some movement I can have a little bit of movement but so I want a little bit of blur but don't want to be so blurry that you can't tell what it is then you know I'm prepared for that so then I ran out did this shot and this to me tells me muchmore than hey bride and groom on the dance floor for their first dance it's more interpretive and on top of that it also is great for the couple dozen they go oh yeah we had these purple lights look at this amazing picture of us dot it out it up so it's a great way to tellem or interpretive moment learn what the different color temperatures of light is and how you can use that to tell a more interesting story and again as I said watching films to me are just a wonderful thing to do and then there are those other moments when you just have to be there I love this little mom do you think she was having a great time at her son's wedding this is just flash on camera however there's a second light I have a second speed light up on top of one of the band the band areas to give me some separation in the background however in a dark room like this many times people have trouble focusing and I don't like that little beam of red light that comes out of the last rule over it on their faces like okay and it's really hard because it's so distracting it's embarrassing to me that that that a beam of light that helps you focus so this is what I do to focus so that when people when things like this are happening I got it in the bag and I'm not worried about that stupid red beam alight okay when you look at this this little this bottle of water do you see the highlight on this bottle of water right here it's got a highlight right there well in a dark reception we'll pretend that this is a candle sitting on a table I will focus on that because that's really easy to get a focus I'll use the loo red beam alight keep it on auto focus maybe this is the distance right here grab my focus on that and then turn off the auto focus on my camera now every single thing that I photograph that's about that same distance at five point six clique click click click click do I need to even look through the camera I did not look through the camera to get that I went click to get it you see then your images will be in focus and you don't even have to worry about it you can just get it in real time so learn to zone focus zone focusing zone focusing works really great f five point six you'll have plenty of depth of field everything between like about five and ten feet will be in focus so you're going tio you'll be fine so just learn to do it because it's such a cool thing is when people are really doing crazy things and you know you can't wait for the moment sometimes that a beam of light or when your cameras trying to get the focus and good yeah I hate that that is so annoying and you kill the moment you lose it you're like you're like pressing down that shutter nothing's happening you know you don't have to worry about that zone focused learn to be good at zone focusing and you are home free

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​.​


a Creativelive Student

I almost didn't bought this course due to low rating and what other reviewers were saying about her, but because it was on sale at incredibly low price that i decided to bite the bullet. And I am so glad I did. First of, for those reviewer that find her offensive, because she talks loud or make some jokes to her models or her audience, i don't think that it is offensive at all and neither did her audience or everyone in the studio. As a matter of fact, they were enjoying it. And I did too, was laughing while watching them laugh and having a good time. There was nothing wrong with the audio. I heard her just fine. I found her class to be the best class ever because she only not answers questions by theory, she demonstrate them live with the participation of her audience and the creative live crew and that's what made her class very interesting and not boring. She also uses real people and not models with perfect sizes or figures and it really helped me a lot because i have a challenge when it comes to posing plus sized people. I love her sense of bluntness, humor and at the same time, all the wonderful nuggets of wisdom she shared to her audience. I had purchased tons of creative class about photography and to tell you honestly, i haven even watched the full content on some of these classes because i get sleepy and bored but with Bambi's class, i watched her class in just 2 days without even feeling bored. I don't write reviews and in fact this is my first time to write a review here on creative live because i just feel the need to say that it's very unfair for her to be criticized liked that. I love you Bambi, I love your personality, I love your style and the information you taught were very invaluable. Thank you.

Melissa Baker Griffin

Loved the invaluable lessons! I can't wait to go through them all again. They are jam packed with valuable and tactical information that creatives on every level can take from. Her energy and personal style creates a great experience! I can only imagine how cool it would be to take a class from her in person! She is such a treat and so inspiring! I LOVE how enthusiastic Bambi is about the questions she receives and encourages phototgraphers to continue to grow, learn, and think out of the box. Thank you creative live! I feel like there should've been something like fire works at the end because she did outstanding!

Anne Dougherty

I’ll be honest. Ms Cantrell moves very fast, but her experience, humor and confidence are infectious. I thought I would check out a lesson or two and ended up watching and listening to her entire program. She is clear about her process and why it works so well. Her portraits are beautiful, whether individual or group situations. I thoroughly enjoyed the presentations, and I am a landscape and pet photographer. But I feel like I learned a lot about seeing, and was reminded of approaches to running your own creative business that are valuable for anyone. I have been very impressed by the professional instructors in every one of the CreativeLive courses I’ve watched or bought. It’s not every professional who can teach! I know. I am one who could not handle classroom situations. So happy I was able to join in on these classes. Thank you, Bambi, for all of your energy, and for sharing your knowledge with all of us. This was quite a ride!