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Shoot: Athletic Portrait

Lesson 21 from: Commercial Photography: From Start to Finish

Joel Grimes

Shoot: Athletic Portrait

Lesson 21 from: Commercial Photography: From Start to Finish

Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

21. Shoot: Athletic Portrait

Next Lesson: HDR Backgrounds


Class Trailer

Day 1


Ten Things That Spell Disaster for a Photographer Part 1


Ten Things That Spell Disaster for a Photographer Part 2


Ten Things You Need to Know about Branding


Shoot: One Side Light Beauty Shot Part 1


Shoot: One Side Light Beauty Shot Part 2


Shoot: One Overhead Light Headshot


Shoot: Edgy Three Light Setup Part 1


Lesson Info

Shoot: Athletic Portrait

Let's do I'm gonna take a longer lens now okay and I'm gonna go and do just a really tight portrait of him let's do that I want beads of sweat on his forehead so forget his body's I'm just going great you ready and okay and you know what I normally do? I usually lay down a towel on the ground so that when the stuff falls it doesn't it doesn't uh in the honesty before and glittering is actually could be a skin treatment yeah so it's not bad for your skin just don't get in your eyes if you're getting isaac it's a little burned so let me know joe a little f y I if you're in vegas looking for glycerin I can't find it I can't find it you know I looked all over for I've done it it's funny how yes, sometimes I just cannot find it to save my life okay, so let's do this I was gonna sorry I meant that I wanted I wanted to do was leave that on there and I wasn't paying attention so let's let's put the the this lens off this lens on and we're gonna do a really tight portrait and come forward and s...

o this isn't a compact it and way don't need wide angle for this one, okay? And so we're gonna leave the cities the way they are I'm not worried. Okay, so now just just for simplicity just put your hands like this where I could see him and this drop your forehead a little bit your chin and this is just tight compacted tight shot ok focus on the eyeball really critical and maybe that you're, uh come forward okay right there again still little dark just a little bit so let's take a phil card under there, john and then I'm gonna get my apple box and just give me a little bit more light not much well, let's try to fill card first that might be enough to do it. Yes, we're compacting it one, two, three a little bit so drop that chin down just kind of stare me down, okay, maybe even squint your eyes a little bit like you're all yeah, there you go, ej lights seem a little bit hot, so let's, knock him down. Uh, okay, so let's go down a half stop. Okay, so the question is how many image do I give a client? I don't want to give him too many and here's why? If you ever gone through a thousand images or four thousand images it takes a long time and it's a total boring thing and I did a job not too long ago I shot four thousand pictures of one model and it was a nightmare shoot I won't mention the client but I mean it just seemed like it would never end it right and so now luckily was my job to go through because they they said we're going through him but it's like how long does it take go through four thousand is just a lot so I want to make sure I get it and make it easy on everyone but if it takes four thousand to get the right shot I guess we have to do it but no I don't like tons and tons when I shot four by five I would do a portrait sometimes use four sheets of film that's it that's a lot of pressure to make sure you get it right four sheets but no you don't want to take I don't like to take a lot of pictures so all right so again here we go this is this is our look right there stare me down so we knocked up background edge lights down still seem a little hot so let's go another half stop so I want to make sure I get my mood here so go down teo forty watts ready focus again okay, so let's just I'm gonna bump this up just a little bit my overhead seems a little dark so we're gonna go up have stopped one, two, three, four five okay way go again make sure focus bam right there a little better still doesn't seem like the lights are a little too far I usually I just said I think because he's pretty narrow here and so those lights are really coming around hitting so let's just do this less feather them let's just point him toward each other a little bit just a little bit can I see what happens I don't normally do this but we're going to practice an experiment just a little bit here see what that does focus see what happens okay I think it's a little better now I might want to punch this up just a fraction more half stop hopefully with what I'm looking for is just intensity yeah sweat you know all that that's looking pretty good there that's a pretty for photoshopping and what I need let me let me come back a little bit and give a little bit more him in there yeah the detail um try one more really close watch this one let me to close but that's kind of cool kind of fun so also if since we got the lights set up let's see what happens if I we did the wide angle look right but let's put your hands on your hips let's just see what if I get what this will look like right here? Okay focus this is for john because uses leads all the time not bad, huh? Long longer compacted field again that may fit your vision a lot better than that wide angle stretch look do that with a little more chin down just a fraction more down stare me down and a whole army focus and give me that look come on you are meaner you're not mean enough there you go look at that that's the look right would you mess with that? Not even for a second that's telling you don't mess with me so now let's do one where you turn your chest that way toward john not too much right about there and then stare me down I want to see what that will look like to be a little bit like cutting across his chest that's pretty good action like that so that look that come in a little bit more so so I'm a little more portrait but right there that's not a bad look yeah thanks so he could be one hundred million dollar athlete and this could be who knows what it's for but you know some kind of product I think it's safe to save to say that this would be acceptable now let's go back and I would probably go a little darker in the background drop that down I went really really wide here just try it right here I want to get his gloves in there hold on no no no I mean there's wraps and also my light is just touching the top of his head well he's got the look down now except I missed his elbow I got his elbow uh trimmed we don't want that that's a disaster okay someone zoom back a little bit refocus here we go one two three yes so now I've got his hand wraps in there and let's do one last thing where you put the gloves hanging um they were kind of tied together weren't they um and then so it says I'm a boxer okay same way I know to see that we just but but put them put him on that hand you were just on your hip yeah so we could say it says boxing ready one two three okay still pretty pretty uh edgy but like I said hopefully it tells me what now he's a boxer so let's do one like this with the gloves on your hip like that right there straight and I'm going back up enough to where towe where I get you completely in there I tried finds a little cricket here don't like to get too wobbly focus I drop that yeah I don't think that car's doing a whole lot of this point let's see what this looks like? Yeah see I love this now do this a little more a little more stance can you maybe not quite that wide but you're just like go that's good that is good it's a little dark under here but photo shop I can pull it out just enough that don't lose I want that intensity the nose is lit right um just give me a little more six packs you like this six pack just killed uh that stomach tighten up one two three there we go okay and drop your chin drop it drop right there right there can you focus one two three yes yes is pretty dark and moody but I think the only thing I would say who I like that look do that look again I'm gonna go horizontal now bring the phil card and just a little bit just about his belly button okay I could use this I could use this shot right here yeah what do you think looks good, huh? I think it's good not just do that same thing drop it changes a little bit more and give me that look right there there you gotta man you're nailing at one two three yes this is it this is my shot right here that's it well I chopped the thieving elbow that's a bad bad move on my part ready hold on let me get everything in one two three a little more just get really let it go okay all right let's take some questions because I think now I gotta take that in the photo shop and do my thing to it but I think that's you know, um how I do it with athletes? You see the progression? Yes, I don't really know what I want and everybody just starts to come together and like I said, I kind of know when I get it though all the little bells go off oh, yes, you're doing good job and I'm glad you said that again because we did have people asking once again about whether you had pre visualized everything before we started shooting or if you just it grows, the project grows and then you figure out the background as you go along the way so we shot a couple scenarios here we get a little action um, who knows? But usually, like I said, if it was for a client, it might be pretty well scripted they may say we want this look and then I gotta work keep working that look right? I still am drawn to the portrait, you know, that I'm still drawn to the, you know, the tight portrait way haven't really we didn't mention this at the beginning. I think of the first shoot that we did, but troy had asked, where do you point the center of his the edge lights and I don't know if we talked about feathering the light was seven no center of the edge lies typically goes right to the shoulders the center of the edge lights yeah they go right to the shoulder okay cool alright let's ask some more questions here so anouk dubai who's a regular here incredible I've said that you mentioned about getting light at zone three did you say that and wanted to clarify it does that mean two stops under exposed than the correct exposure let's not use the word zone okay how about the area so we have area one area to area three ok so icon's called zone one zone too but it moves if you're have any experience in the zone system that can throw you off no it's not zone like value changes just this part this part and zone or area one and two are usually equal or we could say if we were doing that where we take and run one twice a cz much as the other to give that kind of look like the sun's here they are building over here reflecting back so really it's the area one two in three thank you for the clarification web two five four zero said what's significant adjustments differ between lighter and darker skin subjects with regards to the spectral highlights and things like that all right so let's go back let's go back to this concept that when we have say a light skin person or a dark skinned person coming from my camera how do we treat that in terms ofthe lighting position of the lights exposures and all that well if in fact I had let's say going off of ratios then I would have to say ok a light person is going to be a different exposure than a dark person things like that in my head I have to make all those calculations and so you can work that way I don't know that people d'oh but if there is I think there's a better way that is you get the person in front of the camera and you just start adjusting the value of the light until it looks like what you want as an artist so you're not controlling the light based on a formula of light skin versus dark skinned person you're just saying I'm gonna hear is a dark skinned person and I'm gonna move my life's until it looks like what I want is an artist that cuts out everything but see what here is the problem here is the single biggest problem that we have as artists or human beings we don't know where we wanna end up we're in secure about it we second guess ourselves right? Anybody ever second guesses theirself yeah that's the scary part about being an artist so what happens is to get over that you got to shoot a lot of pictures and you go that works this doesn't work I like this I don't like that you look at a lot of pictures too get influenced by others but you experience grows to where your confidence grows with it and then you go I want that's what I want nailed it no no questions asked you know you ended up where you want to end up no lining ratio no formula no flash meter no whatever helps you what helps you is your intuition as an artist so therefore we can end up at a different spot having the same elements but in a bit of difference spot and be completely comfortable with that and confident that you do what you need to do I did what I needed to do to get where I wanted to go and if I come to you and say your edge lights are too hot or not hot enough or too low to high to whatever and you go no that's what I want is an artist you have to stand by that now if you do a really bad job let's say you just did a sucky picture and you said that's what I wanted to do is an artist but that could be a line right but really in reality you're just a bad picture but if you really have your vision there's people that don't like what I do I mean and so I have to say is that okay and my comfortable with that someone comes along say you sockets a photographer I said, well, you know what that's your opinion I'm an artist and you're an artist too you don't happen to like what I like and I could move on with that and I can still do what I love and be comfortable with it and not give in to the pressure of conforming to what other people think about what and where I want to end up. So does that make sense if we if we're on this gauging that there's some perfect formula that fits everyone we're in big trouble and we'll all be spinning our heads and nobody's gonna be happy and and here's the thing will you know when you're in trouble when you've worked your little butt off and you get a picture you really like and one person comes along goes e and they kind of give you a little down you know uh to check on it and you completely come undone you know you're in trouble you're not confident in what you're doing and that's ok to be there but don't spend the rest your life there build enough images to where you say this is what I want to do, I'm comfortable doing it and I'll take the criticism that comes with it because every praise to achieve to accept appraise you have to be able to accept the criticism and I always say that you can have ninety post a picture on flicker or on facebook and you get ninety nine praises and one critique and the one critical put you in the grave and you'll remember it. And, you know, I always say we always go to the person that critiques us, we go to their work and look at their work, they suck right? Because, you know, they don't they don't have a leg to stand on, right? But we don't usually don't go to people that praises thank you, thank you. Move on, right, but someone critics you oh my gosh, you come undone, but that's our humanity and it's okay to be human, nothing wrong with that, nothing wrong to be in a position where you come undone, but don't camp out there unless your life get to the point where you're confident with what you're doing and someone comes along and says something and you just say okay and that's the problem with a lot of artists in our world musicians, teo, whatever is that they haven't learned to accept the criticism, and they and they usually end up with the bottle right in the gutter somewhere because they couldn't handle it. So joe flynn work says, I love that in spite of your vast technical knowledge, you keep bringing us back to our artistic intuition that's what it's all about if I couldn't so let's say I didn't have the emphasis on the creative then I have to hand you all sorts of formulas notebook think that think of all the little things you know technical things right? I have to teach you all that but would that get you any closer to your vision as an artist? Probably not that's what I want is you to achieve the vision you have in your head as an artist question from lee's jr madox and brooklyn all asking about catch lights exposure in the eyes do you add that in photo shop? Are you worried that there aren't catch lights in this photo? What your thoughts on that? Remember I said that some must look at certain things are drawn to certain things and summer's not I pay attention to allow light strikes a face I do not pay attention how the catch light strikes the eyes that's just me you can adam later and I have done this you can and I have done this and some retouch is have a whole library of little catch lights that they premade they drop into eyes well here's the thing I've done this where someone's like turned and they have a nice catch light here and no catch light there so you little clone put it over there drop the past a little bit it looks perfect so I have added catch lights before but typically I do not worry about the catch lights and the I question from w p s do you just tell the client the final product or do you include them in choosing the image to use for the composite if you do include them howmany do let them well okay, before the compositing you know what I've been doing the last six years, seven years when even before, like, like sailing, we shot slides, right? A lot of times what I would do is I would go through and pull out my top twenty or so put him in a page and then I give every them all the others and it's a little note joel selects just so they go wow, cool that's an n a go through most of time they'd pick something from my selects. So when did you came along? I kind of did the same thing and then here's what I started doing, I would take let's say I had a composite in mind and so you take a picture like this pretty look there's there, I like that, but it doesn't have the background that want right? So what I would do is if it was a big shoot, I might pick one of my backgrounds I think they would like and actually do a little composite maybe not spend a four hour retouching on it but do a pretty good job to say a rough composite of kind of what my vision wass and send that over and most of time to go that's killer but maybe we should do this or change that or whatever so I liked it I liked the client to get excited because I'm excited and that first impression is usually the most important so I like to include a rough composite cliff did you have a question uh have you noticed artistically any difference in the height of your the height off the ground or the height above the subject below the subject in terms of the the edge lights any any artistic difference there at all? I played with a little bit but I've never really seen a whole lot of you're talking about a haif yeah yeah yeah no she's keeping pretty static you know what? There there some jaw lines and I've just id him so like things weren't quite working I raise a little bit and it solved the problem as a general rule though I keep him pretty much you know, like the middle of the light is about the head that makes sense but four inches five inches could make that change and so I would say this as you do a lot of the these kind of shots you may find that yes, maybe raising him up a little bit higher fits your vision and maybe someone else a little bit lower I would say maybe going higher would probably better than going lower. You don't actually want the low light coming up. As a general. We know that light comes from the top down, so I would say maybe going up a little bit down would be better than you know.

Ratings and Reviews


Joel Grimes reflects the true meaning of a passionate modern artist. Seamlessly blending his old school film techniques in todays ever-changing digital world with such amazing realistic results. Not only in his own body of work, but achieving the same outcome while teaching LIVE, even when things don’t always run smoothly, much like the real world. Thank you Joel for sharing your hard work and talents, your struggles, most importantly, your honest open teaching style with such detail in every segment. Much appreciate CREATIVE LIVE for keeping it real with good talent, on and off screen showcasing common humanity in us all. Indeed, a revolutionary company. Manny DaCunha.

a Creativelive Student

As an editorial and photographic professional it's refreshing to find new cerebral information that goes beyond simple instruction. It was motivating to see Joel, a highly respected professional who is successful in "real-life", display his thought process, points to be successful, and insights into his art. When you have been in the industry, working full time, you need those moments to relax, visualize and re-energize so you can look at projects with a renewed vision and passion. Joel and his Commercial Photography course did that and more for me. If my schedule allowed, I would certainly join Joel at one of his workshops. Only thing better than this CreativeLive would be attending live. Thank you Joel.

Student Work