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Clay Blackmore: Refining and Lighting the Pose

Lesson 22 from: SkillSet: Best of Lighting

Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, Mike Fulton, Tony Corbell, Clay Blackmore, Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Joey L, Felix Kunze, Joel Grimes

Clay Blackmore: Refining and Lighting the Pose

Lesson 22 from: SkillSet: Best of Lighting

Sue Bryce, Scott Robert Lim, Mike Fulton, Tony Corbell, Clay Blackmore, Mark Wallace, Zack Arias, Joey L, Felix Kunze, Joel Grimes

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Lesson Info

22. Clay Blackmore: Refining and Lighting the Pose


Class Trailer

Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Maisie


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Katie


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - LaQuan


Sue & Felix: Shoot: Studio Light Portraits - Maisie


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 1


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 2


Tony Corbell: The Power of Light Part 3


Scott Robert Lim: Live Shoot - Natural Light


Lesson Info

Clay Blackmore: Refining and Lighting the Pose

and I'd like to review with you a little bit what we've been doing so the profile again we're just going to be turning around a little bit more so let's go live live view on the camera hey I'm gonna lower the camera for the profile anybody want to know uh anybody know why one I guess lower in the camera for the profile I'll tell you what for my audience if anyone can tell me why we just lowered the tripod you're gonna win a prize okay think about it tell me she can't below that level well there's a real reason not that now I could just use one light for the profile there's one already back here I'm just going to use this light right here okay so there is my lighting turn your shoulders to forty five uh and your elbow out just hear a little bit and then turned your face just like this so I oppose it one time one thing that's kind of interesting did you see how I got in there imposed amanda with you know pretty pretty firm you know with her because watch this amanda tip the top of your h...

ead to me a little bit the top of your head to the right and then turn your nose right there she doesn't want me to touch her again so she's doing exactly what I'm telling you from back here I established this kind of like a report like this guy really knows what he's doing posed like lift refine I'm sitting her up but now this main light here has to come out here to give me a loop shot on that turn your nose to the right so what am I looking at right here what am I looking at I'm looking at picture one does that make sense and I'm looking at full phase two thirds is right there and I'm doing the profile and guess what tomorrow by window light I'm going to do the same portrait and instead of moving the light I'm going to move the camera why is that because the window is cemented into the wall I can't move it by now I moved the camera that's why I'm called camera position turn your nose to the right a dash there's a little hair behind your right chin you're right neck hide all that that's it right there and here's the profile turn your nose to the right a little more tip the top your head to the right I'm going to give a shout out right now to fda westcott lyta pollux za to thirteen if you go on the website they're having a profile contest and the winners are gonna win big prizes up to fifteen thousand dollars to do this portrait lie to pollute the two thousand thirteen your eyes I'm going to show her where to look right here all this lighting is just so easy to use that's it right there hint of a smile the lights see the light on the inside bridge of the nose see that shadow watch this I'm going to get better you see that monty would always say never settle get it right don't say good enough that's just good enough right there and hint of a smile that's pretty how about I want to see that smile all the way and the answer is your right elbow up a little bit really big smiles teeth teeth teeth eyes a little lower and wherever you're looking look to the left just a dash just your eyes right there good good good this is very statue ask very pretty posed like lift refined now I'm going to go down the other way of tipping the camera to my right and I'm gonna ask you to bring your chin down a dash yeah and tipped atop your head to the right just a little bit now turn your nose to the right just a little bit little more right there that's good tip the top your head to me a little bit beautiful that's the shot little soft focus would be great on this breathe lands there here we go and no smile lips together and beautiful I love that portrait and profiled that something like this you could easily add the man in the background like that so I'm going to review some of this why don't we just do a quick basic portrait of her we've done full face two thirds and profile all and feminine let me do the basic pose actually turned around this way to me a little bit yes I am I'm going to show you another quick close part if you just throw that kicker light in place actually it's in place just go in there and pull it back a little bit anymore questions on the feminine how about this just fold your arms just like you're sitting here yeah behind that turn your body to the right pose lean forward a little bit what I'm doing now turn your nose to the left tip your head to the right I'm just showing her what to do so it's kind of like she's going to mirror me a little bit but I'm really good with the communication I know what I wanted to do I'm telling you it's in my mind it's a template but by showing her it makes everyone's like he's here some people get a little nervous when they're being photographed so sometimes I need to kind of tell him and show him I studied with jerry jonas in japan we went there together for deputy p I japan and I loved were watching jerry I took his class and he would just say to the model you do what I do and then he would go like this she would do that you go like this chin down shen you know he could basically control her by you know like this like this like this and that's a good way to work and I do some of that so I'm kind of mixing a little bit of that in with this style right here but I want you all to say one thing with me the four of you pose light lift refined let's say it together pose light lift refined so what that means is I cannot like this picture until it's pose right cause I gotta pose it to put the light on so I get it all posed then I like it after I light it then when I do I lift sit up how many times do I see portrait where the people are slouching and that's bad because that then nobody likes it and then the refinement is what what you're looking at right now is me refining a picture where's my eye it's on the ground glass the eyes right on the ground glass so you're wasting her time and your time if you're over here refining the picture I have classes all the time and I have contests all the time about who can create these portrait the contest was if you could do any one of those pictures in two minutes I would give you a thousand dollars worth of my product dvds whatever it started with one hundred but after twenty cities and nobody could get it and it was usually the refinement sitting up it was usually those little little tiny things at the end turn your nose to the right a little bit chin up just a dash all right we're there I love it how about a smile this is your business portrait you new profile picture her elbows look a little let me just talk about it she feels like this kind of crowded let's bring your hands out are just yeah just keep unfolded and just try to concentrate on bringing your elbows out a little now tip your head to the right a little bit good now she's in a basic pose look at me turned a full face that's full phase but see we talked about how a man is going to like her face a little bit more when it's slimmed down exactly so she's turning her face a little to two thirds with her eyes cut back to me this is not easy to do with men or older people but for young slim women this is great chin oppa dash smiling teeth this is great right there I love it well your eyebrows went up a little bit tip your head to the right see those little things like the eyebrows I see that but a lot of people wouldn't see it at home your chin up just a little bit chin up a little more getting a good good smile like that we're going to be putting together couples pretty sin where I put two girls together our guy and a girl and it works really well I think we're getting close can I go back to power point and review a few of these things I mean I could just keep shooting until it's lunchtime but portrait one two three hears the things that are going on in my mind I'm thinking about my going to basic or feminine you know those are the two things we did in both here I'm thinking about to have that finished picture in my mind before I start so I'm going to rough all the lights in before I sit her down and then I'm gonna decide which side the light's going to go on and what's going to determine that it's going to be the hairstyle a bump on the nose or the eyes lighting from the proper side is very very important I'm going to work with the limbs just above eye level that's going to minimize the body and it's going to draw your attention to the face I've sold enough business portrait's to know this is the way to do it and you know what I didn't make all this up I'm sharing it with you it was given to me joe's eltman the master gave it to monty monty gave it to me on the trifecta I'm giving it to you I'm I'm carrying the mantle and you know what I'm the only guy out there that really is really doing this anymore I mean there I'm sure there's somebody out there I can't wait to hear some of the comments this is really going to help you on your location shoots when you're by the window when you're outside these little principles work over and over and over and over how about this keep the eyes centered remember hae was having her look at the tree and I could center her eyes that's very important for a finished picture never photographed the subject with shoulders level go look right now in your portfolios go look at your website tell me how many times you have portrait with the bride square to the camera looking like a football player she's got these big old shoulder pads on and she's looking right at the camera let's get those shoulders of forty five and let's drop one shoulder and let's do it by tipping the camera and I usually tip the camera to the high shoulder to drop the back shoulder concentrate on specific angles of the face I just gave it to your full face two thirds profile there it is right there I mean the equipment you've got it bring it you know and again I've said this I usually in my program with this trying to take the easy way out is the hardest way to go into a shoot with one camera and say I'm going to get this thing forget it you know you need helpers you need a tripod you need lights stools tables you need all this if you're going to really be serious about your work in fact I know a lot of people who say that to me clay I just want to I want to go all the way I want to do it I want to be but they're not taking the effort you know they say they want to do it but they're just not doing it ask yourself if that were me in that portrait would I buy it and this was the best thing I used to shoot film and monty said clay that's a dollar a shot a dollar a shot I want you to slow down because I was so sure and he said look from now on before you push the button you say if that were me what would I make the purchase and when I started thinking that way boy man my rolls of film came way down and my sales went way up expression is everything so we gotta pot's light lift refined and the final thing is go into the expression like that lower the camera for the profile why that iran said separation between the chin and the shoulder I want that audrey hepburn neck and if I've got the camera up above eye level it all squishes together and as soon as I drop the camera I've got this great neck like that now are there times keep your eye on the ground glass this is so important I had a class where you know I said you have three minutes three minutes if you do any of those portrait I'll give you a grand I'll give you thousand dollars worth of product and you know what they spent two and a half minutes over here do you know what I mean and then they ran back here for the last thirty seconds thinking they were going to make it happen here is the whole crux of this morning watch this amanda you stay there turn this way cross your right knee over your left lean this way tip your head there that was eight seconds and I opposed it I'm done eight seconds they spent two and a half minutes over there now get opposed all I have to do is look for that loop shadow there it is now I've got the lighting done now I've got an entire two and a half minutes to come behind the camera and refine it with my eye right here and if I need a cheat sheet I'll take it I'll take a cheat sheet and take the composing card and just match incidentally identically identical e does that make sense that's still didn't say it right so is there any more tips here I think the refinements are everything if the picture looks good take it and you know what it's so funny I looked over at you when I came over to mess you all composer like that and she was just sitting there like this did you see that that that was a gorgeous picture and she was being herself she was relaxed so we're always looking for that frame inbetween frames were always looking for the love and the photograph when I'm doing couples this is a great thing with these new light well they're not even knew anymore they're five six seven years old but in the old days with stroh it was like she boom she boom now I could put my camera on ten frames a second and I can have these lights going t does that makes it and I couldn't get these really magic moments in between without distractions and I think that's it on the power point so all right clegg we would love to dio a little tiny rapid fire round of questions for you because the internet has so many questions coming in what we're doing fantastic okay this is from tough toodle a regular how do you analyze the face what do you look for this is when you were saying two thirds for you full for you okay in life around face is gonna look better in the two third view my wife when I first photographed or she's ukrainian and she's beautiful and I'll show you a picture later but when I did her portrait full face she was just learning english at the time she says she's not watching you're the worst photographer what I ever saw and I was like oh no I was so crushed monty had put her in two thirds I put her in the two third view and the picture was colossal so I'm looking at the shape of the face but facial analysis is really about hairstyle first you know like if I look at kendra right now I would definitely want to put the light on the left turn your nose to the right a little bit I would photograph you definitely with my light on the left because your hairstyle is framing you beautifully so this this this was kind of a different situation I kind of let the full side stay forward the second thing I look at is the nose if there's a bump on the nose light it it goes away a lot of people have a little crooked bends in there knows I know I do and there's the eye issue so we sometimes you know what if you're not sure just do both sides of the face that's my answer all right next question up is from marie bonne who says I keep studying light cannot grab seem to grasp when the light sources closer it's softer and less contrast e I seem to have the opposite experience what might be doing wrong you know I bet she needs to feather the light it sounds like she's got that light aimed right at the subject and I'd like to see her pull the light out a little bit and feather the light but keep it in clothes I mean I can show if she's at home watching pajama she must be do we have a feed on this right here because watch this if my hand is right by that light look how soft it is if I come out here the transfer edge goes faster and it gets contrast it so the closer it is it should be softer just fed aerate and practice and keep it going over to the reflector another question on that for the for the hair light in the strip light do you ever use grids and if so when would you use them that was from I think a grid is a good idea on that hairline and maybe the kicker light just to keep those lights out of your limbs the cool thing is with my camera I have this gigantic lin shade and if I pick up some flair which is funny I did a port portrait there at the very end had a little flair I can fix it on the fly so grids are awesome I don't personally use them all the time but if if I had them I would use him sometimes on my pro photo lights I'll be gritting those yes all right another question from pro photographer can you please talk about reflector colors when do you use silver when do you use white and window used gold I love that question because I'm a silver black guy all the way the silver reflectors going to reflect back to color that hits it the gold is going to give you a kind of a gold tent maybe money up your skin tones the black side of this reflector is a wonderful gobo so there'll be times where I'll have two or three of these out on a set using them as a go bows and reflectors but the silver has always worked the best from a fantastic and maybe one more quick question what is it go bo for people who aren't familiar gobo is short for go between and sometimes when the light's coming from behind and I want to keep it out of my lens I'll use this to shade my life hopefully tomorrow we'll be doing pro photo lights and if I do high key all white I'll be wanting to hide the flare they called blow by where the light hits the paper and it kills right into your lens and your pictures are all flaring so what I want to do is bring in the you know sometimes behind scenes on hollywood extra stuff a tv at night you'll see them photographing celebrities in hollywood they put up these big black flats and it's just like this and they put the lens right here and they shoot through that little to go boz keeping all the light over on the other side and out of their lands

Class Materials

Free Downloads

Studio Set Up - Learn to Light

Ratings and Reviews

Vincent Duke

I am pretty new to Creative Live and this is my first purchase so for me I am loving this! So many good gems of information and having some of the repeated content from different speakers with different perspectives really helps drill in these concepts. I say for anyone who's looking for an great all around drill it into your head lighting bootcamp this is a winner. But if you're like the others here and have purchased videos from these authors before then you will probably want to look elsewhere as this is a bundle of highlights from previous sessions on lighting.


If you’re just starting out with photographic lighting (especially studio lighting), this set is a steal. I already had the set by Sue Bryce and Felix Kunze, and I’ve bought all of Joel Grimes’ tutorials. Since I’ve watched them recently, I didn’t watch their videos again. If you’re into commercial photography OR darker moods and low-key lighting, anything by Joel Grimes is well worth buying and watching. If you’re into glamour portraiture, everything by Sue Bryce is worth buying and watching (although I haven’t been able to acquire all of her tutorials yet). However, the videos by Sue and Felix are not where I would begin. The two videos by Joel Grimes in this set cover aspects of lighting that aren’t often discussed. However, most of his knowledge of lighting (from his other sets) isn’t covered in this set. If you’re thinking about going into commercial photography, Zack Arias’ discussion of how to gear up to open a commercial studio is a must-see (as are Joel Grimes’ two sets on commercial photography, neither of which is represented in this bundle). I agree with virtually everything Zack said. Although there are a couple of areas where I might have gone a bit deeper than he did in this video, it’s a much-needed reality check – with great advice before you start spending money on equipment to start a photography business – and he gives a LOT of great advice. While his lighting style and mine are very different, his thoughts on equipment for a startup photography studio (or just beginning to learn studio lighting) are right on target. (Zack’s and Joel’s videos on the business of commercial photography cover different areas, and there is very little overlap between them.) One of the reasons why I bought this set was the lighting wisdom of Tony Corbell. Tony is the closest thing to the late Dean Collins at this time (I have all of Dean’s videos on VHS tapes AND DVDs), and Tony holds nothing back. Great stuff! Joey L covers material that I’ve seen covered in many other tutorials (on CreativeLive and elsewhere), BUT he gives a MUCH clearer explanation of why he does certain things than I’ve seen elsewhere. For example, he gives more information about feathering light than I’ve ever seen in a video, and few people besides Joey and Joel Grimes (but not in Joel’s videos in this set) give as good an explanation of WHY they’re changing the position of a light by two inches. Clay Blackmore was a protégé of the late Monte Zucker, and he’s as close as we can get to learning from Monte (aka the master) these days. I have Monte’s VHS tapes, but they’re worn out, and there’s nothing to play them on. While they apparently were also issued as DVDs, the sites I’ve found that are supposed to have them all lead to 404 (page not found) errors. Clay covers both posing and lighting – and how to fit the lighting to the pose – in great detail. I haven’t watched any of the videos on speedlights. I still have about a dozen Vivitar 283’s, 285 HV’s and 4600’s that I used in combination during my photojournalism years (back in the film days), but you’re much more likely to see me lugging 1,000-watt second strobes outdoors to overpower the sun than using speedlights in studio (or on location) these days. I’ve seen some of Roberto Valenzuela’s work and tutorials, and I’d say he is the Joe McNally or David Hobby of wedding photography at this point in time. He knows his stuff. One or two of the videos are slightly dated in terms of the equipment being used, but that doesn’t make the information about lighting less valuable. Equipment may change, but the principles of lighting, the things that determine the quality of light, and the elements of “good lighting” have changed very little if at all since the days of the Dutch Old Masters painters. There’s a lot of great lighting information in this bundle for the price.

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