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Post Process Q&A

Lesson 20 from: The Portrait Lighting Challenge: Natural vs Studio

Sue Bryce, Felix Kunze

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Lesson Info

20. Post Process Q&A

Lesson Info

Post Process Q&A

you mentioned briefly thatyou would sometimes open it up in three different windows and two different versions and all that eh so there was a little bit of a discussion after mentioned presets some people saying like well I don't know what it looks like until I get there I don't know what it looks I don't know what it looks like until I'm done so the question is how much do you guys pre visualize your final product either while you're shooting or in the editing process you're saying it as it's happening so like this image here I I knew it would look beautiful in black and white I suspected it would stay beautiful in color but when I sort of and the color I just went through my favorites you know I just started to click through and I just like he said my heart just jumps when I see this color and I'm like oh that's it and I just choose one that I love and I always found with the awards or anything like that I don't I don't choose images to try and please you I choose images I love becau...

se if you don't like it I still love it and if you hate it I still love it if you don't buy it as a client I still have it in my folio and I love it so I still look at my favorite images everything on my website I love I still love to this day whether it got sold or not I love it and that's all that matters the fact that people resonate with it is great but I love it but you've also spent twenty five years building up knowing what you like and your clients they don't have all that experience so it's actually if you just love it ninety nine percent sure they're gonna love it you spent all those years thinking about that if you on a commercial job I just want to put that angle in there usually you'll have kind of a color scheme and you know look and feel kind of predetermined depending on how good the briefest on dh you have to work within that and that really helps because then you don't have to sit there and wonder but if you know these processes and you know what you can do afterwards you can pitch to clients various ideas and you khun take you know commercial it's always how much control can I get back from the client and how much do they retain and I'm trying to get this much of it for me on that commercial jobs and but I formed that based on what I've done with my portraiture work and where I could go with the colors and they would also hire me based on what on my website so these things they all revolve back around your style and where you've gone with the images so as you get experience it's easier to go right I'm goingto go to that place because that's what I'm known for thank you that was awesome questions aliens can questions problems anything you're worried about this is the man you need to ask have anything here in the room miss your opportunity can we address the day that we're telling everyone to buy clean skin yeah actually let's talk about it because I have every image since I downloaded and bought any and scan it in june two years ago I have used every image and alien skin every single one I just have never found such a comprehensive easy priests it and I know other people sell filters and and it editing systems I've never bought a single one other than this yeah no one question that I loved me you love using alien skins and that gets you views photo shopped in the past correct so what is it that is that the ease of using alien skins or versus photo shop away I mean what is it that drew you to because there's going to be some people are living there they go out and buy just because you use it well I want to know I mean what is it that you know because I'm not the biggest photoshopped type person you know out there but I want to I want to be able to make my oh just and get going so you saw me editing last night you know I don't I don't eat it skin or anything like that in an in skin I do all of my all of my photo shop work before it goes into alien skin so really I sit the I sit the basic image in terms ofthe skin tone a light and everything and raw and then I do the cloning and I bounced the eyes up and then that is really a finished image the alien skin for me is about using filters to make it look better or different I always have this theory that your eye recognizes all skin tones our eyes are made to recognise skin tone so we knew tone skin away from its natural time like if you make it colder your eye gets confused by that and it stands out that's why I make all of my glamour stuff slightly more science takes the red out of the skin and it makes images look better and I didn't like the rid that was coming in on the temperature on the strobes and he said he takes the redoubt right when you load your images so sucking the redoubt of your images stops it from looking like normal skin because no matter hell doc your skin is it still weighs a rid tone assuming she sucked the read out of it and it goes colder everything changes it's like you had to be subtle with it yes you do you can't be blue well science because they kind of looks like you have a deathly illness cake as opposed my title icing on the cake I can just do basic photo shop and then alien skin filter finished and by the time I'm in alien skin I've already laid the foundation of my image now it's the hardest part is picking a filter out of this all appreciates that I love because ideas alien skin as well and I find that say you have this one outfit on the same backdrop and nothing's changing the styling and you're shooting to sell five of those poses um I'll find a preset and so you only have to find it that once for that one outfit and then I'll just hit filter and repeat it for the next five images do you find the same thing where you're not every single one you're not searching for something no as soon as you apply anything if you look at my screen now at the top where filter is you can see exposure five is sitting there if I apply there it will give me the last filter I applied so you don't have to keep reopening from photo shop but the standalone vision means that you can just go into your filter and open it straight into alien skin I'm so you don't actually have to open it through photo shop at all oh you have a more of a big picture question from curious sir who wants to know when you both discovered that you had a style and how did you notice surely surely we all worked hard their own style but most of us don't know what it is or what it's going to be I knew I had a style when the boss that I was shooting for told me nobody was gonna buy it and then it was crap and sometimes the work that you feel most passionate about gets rejected because it's different and it's what's different about you that makes you unique it's also when you go back to what people didn't like often it was ahead of its time or it was you know I was told in the nineties that my wig would never sell because nobody is smiling but I bought fashion magazines and there was nobody smiling and I was like don't you understand I'm a girl and I don't want to smile I want to look like a fashion model and they would look at me and they go it's no portraiture and then when I think back because I was so defeated I was young and stupid and looking for validation I used to sit back and think I'm just you know but I loved it and so I had to kind of fight through that's when I knew I had something when I was told that it was crapping it was never gonna fly I had the same experience exactly what you said I wanted this soft light everything I did was underexposed and I spoke to agents I spoke to editors and they all said the same thing you need to do more this in the studio I need to do more this I was like well I like this work and it was the same thing I was thought maybe I just need to wait for things to catch up to my style maybe I'm seeing something but I I had always just worked on what I liked you know the image you can see on the wall if we do a wide shot of the studio is I completely under exposed it's you know you could pick it apart one hundred million times but I like it and suddenly people like my work and that happened after a couple of years and it just means that my audience got big enough to find more people that like it that's all that happened in the beginning it's the same thing like I was just a knucklehead on dh I did my own thing no one was buying it I was making no money but I just told myself deep in my heart somewhere that there's a place that that must be the right decision because of anything else would be a sell out there it is and you know what you emulate people you admire you I don't have a problem with people emulating my business model I teach it it's a good business model I'm more excited for the women off the world they get to look beautiful because more photographers is shooting my style of portraiture I don't get offended by people shooting like me I look at them and they go oh she's doing good every day on facebook you know that in bed with soup age has been up since twenty eight days came out so that was what just a urine for eighteen months it blows me away getting on that page every day because it used to be sorry and people used to write on my page every day how do you deal with all the crap that people post and take you in on and I'm like well I wouldn't be a good teacher if I got upset about it I wouldn't teach my style if I didn't want you to lind something from it but what you're doing is you're learned something that I teach that felix teachers and you'll make it yours and even if it looks similar it won't matter because we wouldn't teach it if we didn't want you to know yeah it's like if I said to felix right now uh and I picked one of the best photographers in the world who he set up the lights for and said I want you to show me that lighting setup right now he'd look at me and go no because he's going to protect the one thing that he gets and that's the opportunity to work for them again and if he gave them away stupidly he'd never get that opportunity again and I'd be like come on just tell me and the three people watching at home on also wouldn't serve soup because it you should you know everyone has to find their own path there is no other way if you just you have to use that basic knowledge and then run with it run with that to make your own path and that's that's the truth of it you could copy everything and you would never still never be yourself go ahead so along the same lines you spoke about uh you know sticking to what you love to do and your work and then yesterday earlier today you talk about how you stop saying no to things and just I started doing all kinds of things how did that help shape you and your guest your trajectory or your styling as well I that negotiation what what happens is when you get an opportunity you have to make that opportunity your own and I think if I had one strength because I really I was talking to sue about this I have I produced nothing off value for years nothing honestly nothing one image is that juliette lewis image I talked about yesterday is the only image that's still my portfolio from early work nothing from haiti's on my web site anymore because it was all cac sorry to come around to your question can you translate that into american right um it was all bad bigger um sorry tell me your question again oh yeah sorry no gone third time's a charm right so okay so we're just you're just talking about how you stuck too what you love to shoot how you love to shoot and then earlier you spo and opportunities about opportunities so how did those kind of fit together so yeah right and this is good what happens in commercial here's your client's idea here's your idea and the closer you go to here depends upon how you deal with other human beings so you have fifteen years of knowledge or whatever the client wants a specific thing your skill is in translating that to get closer to what you want so an opportunity for me that let's say you want to do a shoot for charity then they go with this is the idea we have and if I'm doing it for free I can say well look I'm going to take more creative control here and make it but even on a paid job if you have a brief on the client your your interpersonal skill and this eye to eye to eye spent years I'm an awkward nerd really I growing you're actually a hot niche this's a new thing your heart just go without me I mean I hope so growing up in england I'm not british and if you know anything about british culture and this kind of I'm being in england with a german accent is not how you fit in somewhere and that was at school getting bullied you know I was at school in england when germany beat england in the euros and football that was not a good time to be a little german boy in the school and almost hockey right I was I was never mind thirteen year old me you do not want to see that it was you know it was that kind of I felt like an outside of the whole time I had a job where traveled a lot I never ever fit in anywhere I until recently I never really saw set up that deep circle of friends and I think all these things that now I can meet su it what you talked about yesterday in terms of I wanted to help lars because I really really respect lower and so that's why it could be good assistance for them but I had to learn that what that thing I had inside of me which is I really wanted to help her could be translated in a way that wasn't awkward so I could be I could look like I wasn't some sort of weird stalker on actually help her but these are skills I consciously learned getting along better with people is something I spent time learning about reading books about so don't if you if you feel like you interpersonal communication with somebody else's bad or you are awkward or your bad about dealing with money money I couldn't ask about money to save my life it was awkward I talked I'm the first step is realizing that you're bad talking about money and then I went right how do I fix this and I tried different things and each thing that I saw myself lacking in I've tried to be better at so and public speaking I took public speaking jobs because I was a terrible public speaker I'm still not perfect but I thought the only way I'm going to learn and like do you want to do it talk absolutely not I have to stand up in front of a hundred people oh my god that's terrifying but that fear is actually I started telling myself you gotta go for that fear because that's the only way you'll grow so all of this stuff like now it looks like oh you know I'm personable I make jokes blah blah blah that's all confidence that's come from you know last year I was in a really dark place as a post I put on facebook about this I worked so hard in the last year too if I moved to new york you know it's amazing what accomplishing your dreams does for your personal well being I moved out of england a place that is wonderful but I just didn't really fit in I'm far too outgoing I'm like a moth that american american vibe on dh but I worked really hard you know even what I eat for lunch I eat the salad that I made that I show all of my friends and it's like my healthy I lost fifteen pounds since I was last here all of these things a little minute improvements that I've made because by the time I get to forty five for whatever I do want it I have a chief certain things and if I work on myself then so those opportunities are uh opportunities for growth well there you go I get really excited you really did I like that whole innocent question is I find su sits next to me for two minutes and I go deep thought this theory that if you look back through your lifetime or in your career or your adult working life too when you made the most amount of money and it might just be well I made a wage at this job and it was good money or oh this is the work that I solved that did big money and this is the work that I sold that I did big money what were you doing and I don't mean necessarily so if you go always shooting babies but I hated it um I don't listen to baby's I listen to I was shooting portrait it's okay I just hear portrait's thatyou don't need teo you know it's what you were doing so I asked this question to my friends or my friends and one of them is an ex model who is now a makeup artist and photographer and she has around glamour studio and her own makeup business and I said to her when did you make the most amount of money in your adult life and she went I guess and all the times I've made the most amount of money someone else has bean selling me so I've either had an agent or a sales person to sell and book my work so as a model she had an agent the book to work so she had a photo and the agent sold her and now she has a salesgirl in a marketing girl that sells her portraiture now when that person is not between her in the client she doesn't make money now she's got two choices if she removes that girl she must cross that bridge on her own and that bridge is I cannot to sell myself on any level now if she puts that girl there and says this girl cells may and sells my work is she focuses on what she wants to do she never has to cross that bridge what's your choice can you put somebody between you to do your weakness or can you face your weakness your weakness can be overcome but you have to walk that bridge and trust me the bridge will kill you because that walk it's so incredibly intense like what he said I can't talk about money he could have got somebody in between him that could talk about money and paid him a percentage but then he would have lost the percentage but instead he chose to walk that bridge when in your adult life did you make the most amount of money can anybody here answer that what were you doing what were you doing and when you think about it what is your lightbulb around there oh my god yeah okay so my light bulb wass I make a lot of money when I create content whatever it is whether to talk whether it's a workshop whether it's designing cards whether it's designing a shoot it's when I designed the content because that's where I met my full blow and passion and I'm designing and I'm like yeah yeah yeah and then I make the most amount of money when somebody else produces the event that then leads to my result meaning when I go in somebody has set up my studio booked my client booked here in book the makeup at us because all those logistics make me so anxious that I fail but if I have a studio manager and I create the content my client's turning up I look at my studio manager and I say who was that client tomorrow and marie is she bringing five outfits she's got seven she turned up yesterday she's in this hotel she'll be here a teen if I don't have to deal with any of that I just bring this passion and life that's when I make the most amount of money find out what your lightbulb is what your black bob is and find out what it is and then either work through that weakness or put somebody in that position but these two paths and two may they will both liberate in change your entire career and how you make money as a creative because I feel like it's so important what do you know I mean I I answered that question very quickly but some people might need to go and think about it but can anybody tell me I'll be honest I'm not I don't know what set up that is I mean I'm really still at that point when figuring all of this okay so when you think back to when you've made the most amount of money what are you doing I was shooting a lot you know us I had this energy too and I always sold my shoots on if someone said oh that's too much money I would just tell them on the concept again okay so then you know that your sales is the most important part of your future innings I should which is what you just talked about you just said I didn't talk about money so ironically you're back on the selling and when you were selling you're making more money so that's the light bulb it's to me it's really obvious and then I said if anybody else wants me to work through the years I'll do it but think about it when did you make the most amount of money what will you do doing because it was what you were doing that was working and either somebody else was doing it for you or you were actually actively doing it I went into a studio wants and she was making no money and I had to turn the studio around or her husband was shutting her down she had three weeks so I walked in and the first thing I asked her was when did you make the most amount of money she said a year ago I said what were you doing a year ago she said high school seniors I see why did you stop doing that because our I don't remember okay think back to when you were in that moment last year when you are making this much money which is more than most studios make how did you feel that she goes I was beside myself with excitement joy I was shooting what I loved that's like so he stopped doing that and now you're struggling you're not making any money and not once have you reconnected to the time when you made the most amount of money so let's say you've just gone into photography but you've left a corporate job it still applies to the metaphor of what were you doing in your corporate job in your corporate job you might have been selling and making lots of money so you need to sell yourself and your work more you know it really is so significant I want to see this I'm gonna somebody in the audience just went I'm going to get that I'm gonna have to download and watch it over and over because I'm just what you just said about get to go back to where you stole the concept not them the price I like couldn't soup rice is solving my life right here sitting next to me actually saw the ha look on your face I'm going to take you through basically the videos that I recorded because I'm very consistent the faces the size of a fist I'm gonna work from my highlights down who knows I'm gonna work from here under her eye highlight up into that bag line and that shadow under there I'm going to take off that little smile line I'm going to step up into here I'm using my clone till at one hundred casino pay city and twenty percent flowing normally worker thirty because I find it easier I'm going to fix up a change of flow at the numbers but you pressed something goes before know that I pressed yes his clone in thirty three three gives you thirty um I always fix eyelashes because it's boys I learned moves quite a lot I will show you this one interesting technique that I use katie here's a little bit of a lazy eyelid on the side computer here other I and if I'm going to pick it up I'm only going to pick it out right on the island that the little bit where it slopes down so what I do is I create a layer I do free transform right click war and I actually lift up leads like this and that came from the old school way of photoshopping when you had to open blinks in film that you had to you know because we couldn't swap heads till maybe the late eighties hits what's were huge we had to cat photograph hid out print to images the same size cut the hit out paste it on top of the photograph re photograph it and then retouch out the edge godless shop and I'm liking it stupidly never bought shares and it because it was never going to take on so fascinating that you came from that place where you re touched in film my mother's every touch that's why I started because she was the manager of that remy she gave me a job creative parents I love my parents dearly but would have been good to have a background in one of these things I've had to go from scratch hi felix his mom hi felix's mom and what you're using here uh a clown always climb okay plane plane plane I'm a big tony right so now I've done my image in member at better two minute retouching we don't need to go overboard there's just absolutely no point we're spending way too much time funny shopping at images I gotta my dodge toll I make sure I'm at ten percent I judge around the iris always around not to the corners because the eyes round I dodge into the eye just to lift it up nice and fast bang bang bang and then when I'm set I'm happy I saved my image and I thin go into my alien skin so this is my process I take an image like there I like it and before I do I'm just going to shift something I'm going to lift the contrast of this image of us actually want it to look a letter and it is and I bring this highlight down so in my curve tilt I went to the fire rages and went from it and that is a very common thing for me to do try it because it just takes it punch out and I don't like a lot of punch of my images into the flat flat flat when I open into alien skin for me now I met the most exciting time so I'm kind of sit and I think right my image is beautiful but now I want to make it beautiful in mind like I want to use any skin to make it special and this is where I you know look at these images I have a couple of go to one of them is fade all leave strong reds now not so much on this image because her lips are red but when they just glassed lightly it picks up the red of the lips and it just looks incredible it also picks up a highlight of red in the skin without making the skin raid and it fades everything else in pops the skin really beautifully so that is one of my go to I wouldn't choose it for this image particularly because of the lips in color I also love noon day sun now noon day sun has a slight de saturation mohr of a contrast pop which is why I took the contrast out of the image before I put it into alien skin because I want the flattest mattis image is a base so I can use aliens gin to go up uh that's how I do it otherwise I feel like it's too strong and you're constantly dialing back whereas I if I start with a base image that's really fled and really normal then I can build up onto it these also a beautiful there's saturated called tone which is great and it's there but I still haven't got that moment where I go along and I'm like oh my god I love this then I go into color fading my go to in color fading other second and third and fifth lines I absolutely adore the code of color old fashioned flare but it looks better outside looks better in the back light it doesn't look so much on this background I love color photo I love this one with the aging removed so that is you're only scratches yeah come further scratches um and I just go through and until I get that feeling and that feeling for mei and not very often do I go through and not get that feeling like to me I'm like it's only a matter of time before I go to my favorite I definitely want to move towards um the polaroids because the polaroids just thrilled me and I do love all of these they just make me so excited I love yellowed this beautiful but these d set traded tones are going to do it for me and there it is assumed as I find it to me it's like it's where it's meant to be it doesn't look like an image with a layer on it's subtle it's what I want it's pretty and now I have to work out what I'm gonna do with it while I pop it out more and doesn't look good in black and white because you know a lot of images look at him black and white but a lot don't so I do like the option and that's pretty much where I am with this if that's a natural or artificial light that stripe the stroke stribling behind oh yeah okay when we were over that it's amazing I would go with always towards a more contrast to look and you're going to that flat look and it looks so beautiful I like flat cleansers james was letting you have clients say clean not flat they don't wanna hear flat what I always try to do I'm definitely attracted to cools but what I'm always trying to do is make it look more like a painting and list like a photograph and people always comment on my images it looks really painted lee and it's usually the tones that I'm picking a soon as I drop this into and it doesn't look as good up on the contrast e screen but I've dropped the contrast so far out of this image um that basically her skin is going alabaster it's slightly de separated it's called the background is cold and it doesn't look normal it's starting to look different and I love that you think it's so beautiful um so just a quick question do you ever give your client a black and white and color of the same image or do you get asked for that I usually asked them before so this is the sacred when the climate standing there before the hair and makeup is done how do you want to be photographed is the most important question you could ask and when they say I don't know just do whatever you think that's not an answer the correct answer is look did you look at my website yes what images did you like the most what do you feel the most drawn to oh I like that black and white well where that girl's no with that fabric and I oil really like the white one so you like backlight on black wife and when you ask them what they're attracted to if they can't remember I would show an album awful the images on my website and they show me what they like and then I pretty much replicated because to them there showing me the style that they're attracted to so if I can put them in that style then I know it's not just about me you're not a rock star for a day that they're paid to hang out with you're producing a product that they're going to buy off you if you're smart you will find out what it is and I really had no straight away by how the images that they pick out so when they pick out the artsy black and whites I'm going to create a multi black white and I don't just assume that everything should be in color and everything should be in black and white that's my choice based on how the image each looks when I eat it if it looks better in black white I do put it into black white I sell three percent black and white in ninety seven percent color in the three percent black white is I've usually shot for black and white portrait and glamour is mostly color would you give them two versions of the same image no no offer selling a cd at sidi off the folio box then I would yeah they ask because I'd rather me do it the name trying to it but yeah but no I wouldn't just give to for the sake of it only if I wanted to control what the black and white was going to look like

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Lighting Challenge Workshop Guide Part 1
Lighting Challenge Workshop Guide Part 2
Sue Bryce & Felix Kunze - Gear Guide
The Lighting Challenge Syllabus

Ratings and Reviews

Aliah Husain

I loved this course! I purchased it as a beginner photographer, unsure of whether to shoot natural or studio light and how to get the best results. After watching the course, I am fully confident in my ability to use both natural and studio lighting in my photography. And most importantly, I feel I have the knowledge base to be able to experiment with lighting in any situation. I am both grateful and inspired by these two amazing teachers sharing their technical knowledge and a personal piece of themselves. It is clear that they genuinely care about making their students better photographers. Thank you, Sue and Felix!!!


This is the best lighting class I've done, including several in-person ones. Covers so much, and the contrast between and dialogue about the two styles (natural vs studio) was so helpful. I didn't think there was anything at all negative about how Sue spoke with Felix, which a few reviewers said. Clearly she has great respect for him, which she sincerely says at one point, and explains why. Wonderful to see specifically how they both shape light. So many topics are covered. Loved Felix's clear and specific explanations about studio lighting. This class is worth every penny.

Wasabi Ben Kenobi

This was a fantastic introduction to studio lighting, and one of the best courses I've watched on Creative Live. I've only ever done natural light photos, but I want to learn more about studio lights because I'm creating a basement studio. I'm already a big fan of Sue's approach to portraiture. Now I'm a fan of Felix's soft lighting approach, too. In this course, he demonstrates how to replicate natural light portraits with a simple lighting setup. With a big scrim, a strobe or constant lamp, and v-flats, you can do so much! I'll be watching this course again.

Student Work