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Staying Inspired

Lesson 12 from: Lighting for Boudoir and Glamour

Lou Freeman

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Lesson Info

12. Staying Inspired

Lesson Info

Staying Inspired

I've got into shooting on location and taking the entire set outside for a while and doing that strange fund juxtaposition, and it was really wonderful in the summer to get out of the studio and go out to somewhere cool and use the elements that exist outside and whatever it is, if it's dead trees in the woods with no leaves and water running by in a river, or you want to do something colorful and bright, you know, using riel plants and flowers and trees is part of your in element and in this imagery, we use some of the real trees, the sunset, and I kind of took the background and the reality ofthe into mixing it with nature and that's kind of what it's sort of disturbing about this, but interesting at the same time pick to fantasy background put that into it, andi just kind of built to set from there, and I actually had the studio light outside and let everything from there, and I used a backpack with pro photo lights there to actually set that whole shoot up. So is powering up lights...

outside in the woods, and this particular image was on editorial portrait idea about the kept woman. And this started out as something kind of funny to me that most people don't realize how much everyone's taking care of themselves and trying to make themselves the best they can be, and this young man is a wonderful actor, he's also the same gentleman and I used in the in the alice story that you were just looking at previous to this, and he has tons of expression and personality and he's inspiring for me to be around. I can't stop thinking of things to do with him. He's got a funny body, and he moves in an interesting away, and he has been the catalyst of a lot of my idea spawns or my idea making process, because I could take him out of different things and put him another, and he seems to take on a whole other new character. His entire face is painted on the beer, the mustache, the eyebrows, all of that, and he actually assisted me in some of that, and the lighting that I'm doing here is very much like the playboy lighting I showed you yesterday and are provocateurs shot that we did over by the metal railing. So some of the spotlight, some of the light did you see in the background was all done in the exact same way, so once you become comfortable with the light and know what the effects are from each one of your modifiers then you khun dream onto these other things eso get past that fear get past that I can't I'm not sure thing and just go and do it because it will really change change the way you make pictures for the rest of your life I think so light sometimes convey my ups come total incomplete motivation or concept maybe I'm wanting to try a new light or a new style. When I was doing this photoshoot it was all about recreating something I was doing a whole fashion editorial shoot and it was around water and water splashing and hose throwing water in the background and were by a pool the ground was wet all of these things and we ran out of time and I had to recreate water and light after the sun had already passed the location and I created this whole look with speed. It was another sheet of plastic in front of me wet like the plastic we had on the set yesterday much thinner, smaller piece and then let it in much the same way with all of the lights coming from around the side and they used a piece of wrinkled my lar and use my speed light flashing onto it to put inappropriate highlights back up on the body to kind of feel like water reflecting off the water of pool onto your skin, you know, there's all that light that refracts around a swimming pool. So that was how that whole shot began began. When I got there, I didn't have that vision in my head, I had another vision, and the challenge was, how do I make this? We gotta have five shots. Most my editorials are an odd number and what I had planned to be in this couldn't happen because the sun was gone, so out pops this picture, and it was I think this is one of my favorite ones from last year, and then many times the post concept is where they are. It happens. The whole thing is driven around, making art happened is part of the process. Maybe the photo didn't even really exist until I created it in the post and um many times I'll shoot something one way. But what actually gets sent out is something totally different. I think we all go through that process. You were showing me beautiful designed the images last night that you had created on dh I create a lot of my own templates, I buy them, I'm always looking around to see if I can find unusual ways to make the images come across stronger or different, or take them out of the abstract circumstance. Within which I shot it, you know, we've all had to take a picture of somebody, they're in a bad place and you redo it, and once you see that or feel had experience, you're like, oh, well, I always didn't. We could do this so much easier, quicker in this way, and sometimes it is the best solution, and this particular image would have never been it's possible if I hadn't done the post processing that you see there on dh, if you keep your hands in this constantly looking at searching, creating things, then you know what your options aren't? Sometimes you can present a hold idea based on design concept first, when I was in my younger years in this business, I was never a part of that designer existed separately. Now on my work exist as photography is a tool, design is a tool, video is a tool of making all of the image work for me and the bunny float for may. So you're going to want to know is much as you can are at least some ways of achieving this, and I'm not saying in the beginning, if you don't know how you need to find somebody can't lease, help you achieve that goal, um, in this particular elements, some of the lighting that I've been showing you are the past a couple of days, a simple or approach to two three lighting setups I would do here finishing off the image. This is one simple background that I had that I've used for years and nobody ever recognizes it because it's classic muted the green background that was hanging behind the bed yesterday would probably be another great background own that will always look good in any kind of portrait that you use. You're gonna wanna have that handy and stuff just a scene, a piece of paper and all of this this was actually done for a very high end boot and leather manufacturer. They make arm pieces, glove necklaces and things like that, and these were two out takes from that we created his whole look. He had long, shaggy hair when he got there, and we completely braided his hair down to his head and put on a skull mask and did the makeup to cover it up and conceal it. And then his hair is in a mohawk, coming out the top with a boa feathers to help it stand up straight on dh. Then we recreated these images based on that. This is probably what you get is the high production of this type of shot. Those things take me a little longer. This was like six hours for four, five shots on leone, one background and sometimes the whole theme of the shoot is based around something the girl wants or feeling of a portrait session that was asked of me to do on this was a whole depression era photo siri's that I created and I showed these images to several people in the next. And what was shooting a volume of these kinds of shots and finishing him off in the same way, same thing with this one that I showed you guys aboutthe stylization of yesterday. And so these are similar to what I did for you yesterday with the snow scene. This is my ice princess story that I show you how to fully do on my dvd or my new video modern light and these were all shot with speed lights in the studio we're looking at probably about three, four hours for me to do five, six shots like that. I would have two hours from the makeup setting up the set was pretty need. I'm going to show you how I did the whole thing now and this is the finished total. I'm done, I walked away, put down the computer no more retouching time to stop. I say beautiful painting or a work of art has never done you have to just stop. Andi, I think you guys can relate. The first thing I do when I work on these images is I get the skin looking great clothes looking great, and I have to stop for a minute. So how can I use these photos? Who's gonna want these photos, the model me, the hair, the makeup people, the clothing designer. Maybe the background company might like to see them all the different ways you can sell them. Who wants to? Where can I show them? Where could I possibly sell them in his magazine? Editorial. And then the whole concept of however, finish the edges on the images or completely go into the r word is a reflection of who's going to see them in the end. So there, then I have my own limitations. I set up because you never know. So in the same way that we did the shoot yesterday is very similar to how I went about thes shooting through fabrics. We made the hair we made everything you see here are a lot of it was not bought, was borrowed, are brought in from something we had already. And each one of the shots here on the sides were also done just on a clean, white seamless and the one in the center she's actually lying in the snow. If you go to do something like that, I urge you to be very careful because the snow can get in the eyes and it constructs. So you want to be really careful when you ask people to do edgy things like this, that you're not going to get anybody hurt, and I thought you might find it fun to see what it actually looks in the background of what the set looks like and the way we go about this is we make decisions to make up team and about what we want the skin to look like. What color is it? You know what it is? I was going to be all white or did it make it be contrast, he tan and warm, so we went the opposite of what might be expected and put a warmer skin tone on all of the girls, and they blended it all the way in for may esso that it doesn't stop here or stop here, and I'm laboring over the retouching of just that part. Then they began to construct the makeup, and we actually made the jewelry that you see on this out of kitchen items like, uh, sprinkles and cake icing and all of that kind of thing. And here's what my set looks like my assistant standing there and everyone's well I stop and sit down at the computer and make him move enkhsaikhan tto handle everything cause I can't wait to see the old stuff after I shoot it as part of the fun is creating it and then going back and looking at it and the knee thing when you created in the camera is its spectacular look at as soon as you take it and you know that the next steps will be make the rest of the magic happen so in each one of these scenarios you can see here I'm using the ice lights and I created a beauty box with that by using two light stands and rubber bands I balanced amount and I shoot straight through it sometimes I'll set it up and shoot above it ah but for the most part I shoot right through the middle and here's the background that I used on that when I went I went back to get that one for us to bring it and I ended up making the decision to bring the one we had yesterday so if I had shot another evening dress I could add to the story and I believe they're going to have all of these backgrounds listed that I brought I gave the skewed numbers if anybody sees anything they want they will be available to order and here's what the set looked like I try to be as efficient as possible. I put both sets on a forty five degree angle like this, andi, I set up the snow on a tarp so it wouldn't get all over the place. Of course my dog went running right through it as I'm setting it up and there's, you know, he's got this coat and snow's going everywhere, but I set up the lights and I try to make it easy on myself. I set up my shot so I can do all the hard work in the beginning and then back out of it, we pack things down as I'm finishing eso it is efficient as I possibly could be and all of that's going on why the makeup in here is going on that type of makeup in here you just saw here we're looking at two hours, you know, two people switching and takes two hours so that's plenty of time for me to set up my normal shots take me about thirty minutes to set the lights just pop them into place if I'm going to build a set. I give myself an hour if I'm going teo be using challenging the light that I've never used before if it's at all possible, I do it the night before and then when the subjects come in, I'm entertaining them the whole time we're there and I'm not fumbling around with all of the lights in the set that way, you know, for sure you're not going to make a mistake on the set or the light's not going to tweak everything could be safely and securely set up. If that's not the case, at least try to come earlier to this at for example, if it's somewhere I'm have to pay for, I'll have the subject coming ten I'll get there at eight, give himself two hours getting in's gets it up and I don't let anything distract me or get in my way just keep rolling and here's some of the other things that I d'oh when I make my own template, sometimes I'll create things like you can see this picture frame here has a piece of plexiglass laying in it. I laid a piece of scram fabric over the top and put out the crystals that were being used in all of the shots, and I photograph them and varied exposures in and out of focus. And then I saved those frames, and these are some of the graphic authority temple it's from the new time was to segment that I actually paired with the other shots on dh layered them together on top. And while we're at this point I just wanted to give a special thanks to yokes atze and I've not who supplied some of the clothes for me if you guys want to look at their jewelry the bracelets that were on the set in the snow scene came from yokes asa and the clothes were yesterday's indian and we have another awesome set for today that's very similar in quality to that last shot of the day you should take a look at what they're doing they're very talented people and thanks to my all of the sponsors who helped me get all the gear here and helped us bring all of this to you so I mean I'm almost at the end unless we have some wonderful questions fantastic we definitely have some questions here I know I would love to hear if we have any in the audience as well really quick I know that there were a lot of people who saw in the videos you're holding the camera up on a pole and shooting with an ipad just wanted let you guys know that we very well might be doing that later on today so you'll be able to see that in action so we're not gonna ask questions about it right now because we're going to do it later so that's really made it easier for me working with that camera injure it has allowed me stand on the ground and then I can take that concept and go to somebody's house or go out to the beach or go anywhere I want and easily get to it a new above situation only thing is you have to have somebody that can help you that doesn't mind holding that pole and I'll let you direct them a little bit because you have to position someone else to hold your camera for you but you consent your settings, your eyes so and everything from the back you can move your focusing points by touching the screen is really amazing it's a mock a wifi set up that attaches to your camera and you download the app and then you coordinate from there so it's pretty cool tobe and I have a question also in of course in the video was seeing the pole were also I'm sure everyone is asking is we're wondering here in the video we saw you had a flash attached to a lens that looked like it was shooting through yes that's called the light blaster you have to look that up google that the light blaster and basically that is a device that holds cookies or slides or you could make your own slides and put in there on dh you put your speed light on the back of it and you can attach jails all kinds of cool things and you put a camera lens on the front and then you pointed to whatever you want, if you want to cover someone's body with imagery or you want to project images on a wall in one of the shots, we had butterflies on the wall behind the subject, but it's really a cool toy and you just have to order it online straight from the company that manufactures it is called the light blaster. One of my students tell me about it, and I bought it and I didn't put it down for like two weeks used it every single day, but it's super cool I had I think in that image I saw in the video was a seventy, two hundred, but I've put a fifty on there and, you know, you could knock this thing out of focus. So my next thing, teo nude bodies with thie imagery all across it with butterflies and things like that. So it's really cool. I just picked one up and they have some really amazing creative kids in their creep. The wings, I think, just like I would really like e t o think it's also be fun to make your wrong. Oh, definitely drop him in it's got a little slide holder, a little template holder and you you can either use their products or make your own you are if you used to shoot slides way back in the day you bring some of those that way you can make what you do now is just printed on a nasa tate sheet cut it fit you know, a couple of questions from the chat rooms you're coming in right now and this one is from light vision and quite a few other people are wondering working with models where do you find your models and do you pay them or are you doing trade for prince when I shoot for my book usually the concepts big enough that the models if they hear about it they come to me who wouldn't want you know if you think about it really great pictures of themselves doing that type of thing I am very on one side critical I'm choosy about who I put in my shots a show in my book and on the on my website very particular about it I want to show the very best things because I want people to go well look at that image on what people say who is she my models that I've shot over the years some of what's on my website is commercial work and thinks that I'm approved to use but a lot of the images that around their project special projects I create for myself that I used to get more work with and when I have those are usually the vision, it leads me in the direction of a kind of model, you know, I might be looking for, um, what would be a good example when we were looking for the alice in wonderland, I was kind of looking for an anonymous, slightly disturbing character that was really edgy and fashion, but yet kind of had this unfamiliar look to you, so I'm always looking for something special like that, and to me, beauty is in so many different forms the next, you know, project, I'm working on, I'm going to work with darker subjects, so I'm rolling usually with that, and I like all different shapes and sizes of people I love the tall, straight body when I'm doing fashion, I love the curve, your girl sometimes when I'm shooting more glamour boudoir, and when I'm shooting beauty, I won a very big, broad face with big eyes and pretty far apart eyes on, I usually look at the modeling agency's I'll ask the modeling agencies that they have anybody that wants to work with me, and they'll usually submit me with a few people, and I usually will give them, you know, digital copies of what I have, and if they really want prince, I'll help him get to that level. But when I'm have commercial jobs, they're paid of course, but on these types of things they were willing to trade for it. Do you have them signed model releases were in working for you and a commercial shoot as well? Yeah, I do it in the beginning when the whole thing starts and then I tell them verbally at that point that I'm going to supply them with a copy of everything and the minute that I make the retouched finals, I give them a set of that so that they can enjoy them that's the least you could do for time in exchange for that and it seems to do well for me, the crews of people that have to shop and do the hair and makeup and stuff I have to pay those people because that's a different work, they also want the images as well, but what I usually do is try to work off today, right? Isa posed an hourly thing with him and you know, the shooting, the concepts change when I'm working on my corporate head shots and I want to make up cool samples to show people which I do. I hire people to help me there and then they can leave I don't need them to be there for the whole day for something like that, which is another subject we didn't really talk about it should you make promotional materials for headshot and corporate head shots in? The answer is yes, you know, find a couple of really great looking people that would let you work with them and shooting all the different environments that you think you would like to get photography like jobs. Like we talked about annual reports last night, it's a great way to make a contact for future business, and you really want to show them their next best idea as well. Look at who the laptop. You know. Fortune five hundred companies are going to their websites. Look up with their websites, look like who's, making the biggest impact who looks like they're spending the money. That's, what you want to do you want to make, be making what you want to be and the imagery. If you shock them that you can do this, then you usually will win and then others follow right behind. Oh, you shot for, you know such and such, we have to be working with you. Then you go straight home. Put that stuff on your website. In your market when I was preparing for this class as I said on the day of head shots every time I shoot in the beginning of the year I go to every single ad agency modelling agency and all this and ask all the questions about what do you think is in what do you want to see? How do you want your people to be perceived? Should you send me anybody I never say hi, can you hire me to shoot for you? I want to do all your head shots I don't take that gimme gimme gimme attitude it's not attractive you want to come across is if you don't desperate is never pretty that's all I'm going to say don't be desperate be desire ing of working with them just put great things in front of him only show him a few great things your newest stuff coolest up if you're fortunate enough to find or have celebrities around you that you could take beautiful pictures up that our modern and great perspectives on people put them in environment that you want to be shooting in that's when you show people stop sam remember I was trying to get someone to shoot with mae and I sent them a bunch of images and I just like talking about all the different and they're like and they actually stopped me there like russ, I saw your pictures that's enough, don't worry like I want to shoot with you like we try and sell sometimes because we're uncomfortable with ourselves. We're not confident our work and it just makes, but you put good work in front of people that they will want to work with when I was I've lived in new york several times two times for a lengthy amount of time, and my agents there used to say these things to me, and this leads into the conversation I'm gonna have with you this afternoon and then in the end of the day, but you should only show about twenty to twenty five perfectly planned and executed images when you show a portfolio, not sixty or seventy, you don't want to have them all dumped into one big been that you show that with no concept of clarity on where the dividing line is in the genres. I know what everybody says don't diversify, but if you don't have all your income streams working for you and making money, you're not going to make a living in this industry anymore. You have to have all of your gear and shooting portfolios perfectly tuned and perfectly. And brandon and executed and you send those out as they are? I would rather see a very small ten to fifteen killer shots one of each, then to see sixty or seventy things, they're really diluted, it ends up looking like gray dots is pepper on a plate to me, whatever. I want to see amazing pictures, even simple, amazing pictures, but you have to know what you're looking at is just like your brand and be constant with that, and if you're changing, don't send two or three pictures back to that person you just saw. Wait, do you have a body of work with the impact that you can rebrand and represent and show them in a new way with that integrity behind it? So that being said, I'm also going to say that I was never allowed to show the same portfolio to the same client twice, even if it was two weeks later on the interview. So back in the print portfolio days, that was really hard for me to afford, but you guys don't have to worry about that so much. Now you can find another way to show those new images so you don't wantto you don't want to be constantly selling, selling, selling yourself people don't want to talk to you. I mean I know when the emails come to me high I wanna work with you because you work into working do you? I'm like there's something people calling one of my friends call it noise it's no ways at that point I would rather have some way of physical presentation beat the person have a chance to see that work then you have to be respectful of time sometimes if you go to an art director in a magazine or listen you're going tio a company or corporate environment to do syriza headshots already even that annual report you want to be patient you want to find a way to make them you know social marketing is one thing and everybody's doing it but the real action's not going to come into you meet that person so what you want to try to do is get is involved with meeting those people as you possibly can and then you always want to have something ready you know guns loaded here I am my headshots here's my here's my short commercials my videos here's my this here's that wannabe ready, polished and that's what your focus is when you're not taking the pictures and nobody's calling you I'm not working and being a victim doesn't work what does work is proceeding to make great things happen for yourself go back to that idea sheet you made pull out that idea go do it then go show it so you got to keep it like a well oiled machine on dh it will all come to you the concept making for other people, then you get to be able to do it for yourself, which is amazing, I think I personally believe that if you can inspire yourself and shock yourself with your own creativity, then you're going to lead others to follow, so stay motivated don't let anybody get on rain on your parade don't let anybody tell you you can't do anything sometimes you're just not parking the car in the right space, you've got to keep going. When I was in my twenties and early thirties, I would go see these certain people that I wanted to work with and then I started to just go see everybody when I started, when I agreed, okay, I'm just going to shut up and stop talking, but my book down on and see what they say things started happening more for may and there I knew I could always make money doing these headshots and staying busy with these other avenues, but I wanted the creative things those were the things that really wanted and I just kept plugging it I never let anything get in my way people told me I could not do all of this diversity diversification, and I just never told to him I was doing it. I just did it anyway, so stay focused, stay motivated and always be making new creative things. They're inspiring to you. You want to be creating things like you see in the magazines, you want your photographs that you're showing to look like what you're seeing around you. Is that anything to do if you're if you look at your image and go, you know, I've seen that picture too many times, if you think it, guess what else everybody says, you know, if you can't leave a picture on your website for ten years unless it's a picture of jamie foxx or something like that, you know.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Canon 600EX RT Flash Set Up.pdf
Lighting for Boudoir and Glamour Slides.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Lou is one of the most inspiring photographers Ive seen on Creative live. When I watch her, its like watching a great guitar player... in that, she hears the music before she ever plays it. Lighting and posing flows out of her with incredible ease. She inspires me so much! No fluff here, just pure maximum quality info and inspiration. Id love to meet her some day just to thank her for what she has given.

Francie Fillatti

Lou is one of my favorites. Although I shoot primarily woman, I don't do Boudoir. I love her calm, methodical style, and attention to detail. I respect that she always makes her women look elegant and empowered instead of objectifying them. Her images are sensitive and beautiful and I can't wait to watch her again today! I learned so much from her..

Bridget Murphy

I am amazed at how much information Lou gives away here. Her knowledge of the craft is extremely apparent and the end product is always stunning. I could watch this over and over for its ideas and inspiration.

Student Work