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Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Katie

Lesson 2 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

Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Katie

Lesson 2 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

2. Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Katie


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

Sue & Felix: Shoot: Natural Light Portraits - Katie

so do you want to take a shot reference shot of that did I change it enough no I think when when we set it up you can just put the b flat all right so now what I want to do is take it one fear that katie I'm going to swap macy with katie because she's in a dark outfit and I'm going to show you why so if you go that way macy can you bring this around yeah in terms of being a studio photographer I worked in a studio in the early nineteen with polly boards meaning polystyrene boards and love polly boards they were the best invention ever in the movie industry of course they called beed walling polly styrene no but one of the people you'll beat wall bead war and so one of the most interesting things about the flats is I never shot on a leaflet until I came to creative life although a voice she's got a fine full foam core it's called a gate of home in new zealand as a reflector a short one so my little reflector was always fine corps but my big reflectors were palestine because they have th...

e best little beads of reflected light like millions of little spears of of you know light which I think is absolutely beautiful but one thing that really struck me when I came to create a life was I was trying to show you how to shoot on the cheap you know natural light no expensive backgrounds and they opened up the black v flat and I started to shoot natural light on it and there's something about the black foam core when it's photograph that just makes you cry with joy makes me cry with joy so what I'm gonna do is I'm going to get katie coming this way katie and katie is going to come and stand in here and as you can see this is my lighting set up I've got a black b flat side onto the window I've got the same sort of rick tangle coming in now I'll take whatever light I can get if it's a low window I'll take it if it's high window I'll take it I'll just have to bounce differently okay but I need katie's face to look flat and light and it is perfect right now so I'll show you this and then I'll take that visa it away and show you what it really looks like so just ten foot a little bit tight and a little baby smile ok I'm just going to change my exposure um and I'm at now six forty two point I'm going to shoot to stop under because you have to she's on a black background okay now she's got a even like source going right around her face right now oh my god it doesn't get better than that now take this away feel it's take it back ok now dark room on this side katie staining in the same spot little wee baby smile katie good girl now that's how much light that that thief letters giving may oh god all right now it's ok to bring in contrast but not like that on the face and specially not with glamour or beauty images because you end up retouching shadows now I do not remove bags and wrinkles I removed the shadows underneath them right that's what it's exacerbated by light so the whole point is that I have two options here one is if I don't have a reflector come this side felix say out of your life to end this way towards me katie and just kick this hand back so let's go now bring your chin into the light like this and look down okay I can bring her face if I had to shoot in this I'm going to turn her towards the light because I want her face to be in that light like I want the shadow on her face to fall in the right spot but anybody older than katie and that's not going to fly so without a big reflector we bring in a small reflector I can't go straight to me katie and just kicking about that and the sound goes back a little like around a girl in launching towards me so wait whenever I have an assistant too by the way this is something that I always do you know when somebody's holding a reflector and you go like this and I always go drop it like way I'm like chop it and then I go like this and I find it there it is it's right there and then they hold it you gotta work the light right so without the big reflector which is putting lots of light into the image I'll take the shot again okay chin back this way katie back to may note back to me sorry and a little baby smile there good girl our exposure is still perfect and we are now sitting at I'm still too pointy see that baby reflector it's just bounced in so if you look at the shop before can we do that nico sorry the one before that yeah see that shadow I would like to actually show a shoot a reference for that using my magic okay so one day in a seminar I was talking about rembrandt lighting but I said picasso lighting was nervous and I hadn't spoken to a large crowd of people and this guy came up to me afterwards any goes you said picasso lighting and I think you mean rembrandt and I had one of those moments where I was like I could have gone well do you like that oh sorry about that and I kind of look to him and I'm like dude it is a castle that's all like on then I thought after I should just come clean so I'm coming clean but you know we're taught to light the face and put the shadow there and put the shadow there and put the shadow there well you look at a beauty magazine and you will find just about everybody like a beauty dish sauce flat light and all I know is in terms of retouching and selling images to a woman that flies one hundred percent better a case as I bring in the contract I'm going to show you we're it's applicable but right now it's not right now I just want this beauty life now I'm going to bring back are you want to take a break you have a beautiful you have a quick question yes so there's some basic questions coming in about window light general a little west side wanted to know how important how important is that where the windows are placed and cooper photography wanted to know this window particularly which direction it's facing and people are just kind of asking you know doesn't matter okay it's like it's like the ottoman christian how big is your ottoman do you know how many people emailed me that how because it's big enough for a woman to lie on I don't know ottomans didn't come in a standard size I buy one in every city I go to you know what direction were you standing in I don't know I can't wait a minute I have this um living since the direction I'm going to say we are northeast north south like east itself north self okay so we northeast it's a wonder from the east but it's seattle whatever is shining through the window and I don't know when what I do do is I measure the light in the studio when I get a studio a measure when it had its best that's my shooting time okay so if felix is going to eliminate that because he'd be like well now you can shoot any time any whether any day but the truth is I have to take what I get I never look at direction of life I don't and people ask me questions like is the light different in new zealand north facing as it is and I'm like I don't no I shoot all around the world it shines through the window I grab a white board and I reflect it back son everyone wear so okay kate join me up here and what they're blank and you can see on their just what that reflectors doing is just pushing some of that light back on nice and soft ok so we take that out we put katie back in now I want to put the white deflect back there because I want to show you something now I'm going to use the black beauty soft light and I'm gonna hit the backdrop is well so I'm going to open the white v flip and make a white shell so I called them shells because it's like shell I create like a half shell and this time all the way around all the way around that's it stop now what I'm doing is I'm not only reflecting like back to katie I'm reflecting light to the b flat and this is really beautiful so I think creating images that with this lot soft light on the back that I think is so gorgeous so katie turn this way and just actually hold your elbows let's go and just drop back into shoulders and long chin towards me can you just scooch this way a little bit so you're in the middle that's ago and now just open your shoulders at me just a little bit more okay so here I've got light hitting her face I've got light coming in from here I've got you know a good meter and one point two wide of light I've got this black poly board I want a long chin towards me good girl and what I'm going to dio I should really I'm just gonna meet it to her I same sitting what's happening in my shadow speed is slowing down okay so two point eight six forty I'm staying here in a little baby smile katie good girl and I'm slowly going to pick up their background when I pick up the background I can increase the light when I eat it okay so I can put that light into there and see how it's picking up and it's almost like a navy blue and it is so pretty from now I want you to open your shoulders up today that's ago knows that hold your hands here to open your shoulders up and just push your chin towards may the girl stay there okay so now I'm just going to bump it up one more dutch on your exposure still under I'm still under on my internal mater and I just want to pick up that background color because to me it's what so beautiful so young one hundredth of a second to one eightieth of a second okay all right so I've got this beautiful soft light and now I know howto work that now let's put more contrast into this image so all they have to do is put a black shell and bring the half reflected back sick of me I don't want a full black I just want that okay so that's enough teo draw light away look at katie's face now look how much light hitting her face it's doubt let's take a shot and now I want the half for victor and it's right there the case and now I'm putting mork contrast in so I'm going to shoot this nice and low and then she's gonna have more more dark on her face but not enough for it to be like the first image now that's helmet shadow should be on her face okay for a beauty image for glamour image for portrait image for any image of women that's what should be there and that's just enough to give her a beautiful shape to her face and it just looks perfect right now what I do is I pretty much grab a third v flynn ok so all I'm doing is just eliminating in eliminating in eliminating light right here my third beef lettuce right here and now I've just made that window smaller in this afternoon I'm going to make it maybe twelve inches wide and shoot a slit off light okay just a sliver and now if I look at katie now and I take a photo of katie now drop that downtown with no reflector that sorry I didn't think that's where she is right there so if you have a look there it is so I bring the reflector bet not a lot is changing but for my final image it's going to be quite significant because now there's no light on the backdrop and it's going to be really really obvious what I've done and there's no light on the backdrop just because you've cut out some of it yes I know because I didn't put the reflector on the backdrop right because you have that as a white shell so I had a white shell which was reflecting like the reason I have the ve open on the side is to reflect like beckett the backdrop all right so now what I'm gonna do is I'm going to just get her face more into the light theater's hold your elbows again that's it and just hand underneath the swap over it's a girl on your stomach would be good just on your head that long chin towards me katie that's the one and I'm still shooting one stop under I've got a nice contrast image black background beautiful now I feel like there's still a lot of light on here and that there is actually brighter than my camera so it does look like there's a lot of light so I'm going to just cut it down a little bit more back a little bit okay and I just dropped my exposure to two stops and there to just hold back the light that I'm capturing on her face you did that by just changing speed so the weird thing is it is everybody always is about my wig it looks really painted lee and the idea is I dont painted lee do anything other than alien skin that what I capture is to point a because I love that drop awakes I think it does look really magical and I feel like it's if you keep that if stop and just going slower and slower with a higher higher so this more grain it looks more filmic and that's just the style that I learned and that's my thing actually we have a question from a g he was wondering if there's a reason why you're not why you're shooting it one two fifty it at six forty so instead of one twenty fifth and three hundred s o doesn't that bring noise and brain into it that's what I want I want my digital look like film I think my digital looks like film I shot for twelve years on a hassle bled medium format camera with film everything I created through that period of my career is my favorite work I do in that camera still and it's you know it's a hassle to shoot film and I'm very pro digital I believe in the evolution of all photography I like hyo so I like grain I like noise in my image and I like my digital look more like film sharpness is not my priority it never has bean I'm not interested in it and what I'm interested in is gutsy filmic looking portrait ce and so I definitely push up in the chute on six forty two point eight and then I adjust if I'm in very bright light and I can't shoot wide open I have a little bit of a secret I shoot on a nine stop density filter I take the density down in order to stay wide open it bumps on my highlights down gives me that flat look which gives me this beautiful form of flight which I love I'm very really in that situation where I want to shoot it two point eight and I can't because there's too much light but it does happen that often yeah and also felix when he set up the lights he put my neutral density filter on because he couldn't get below five point six because the lights were so bright that's going to be one of the challenge is getting down to two point eight but we want to keep that that soft background that you get you know from your shot out of the field so that's something that natural light photographers can't do is get their lights was down when you're shooting with a little bit lower amount of life unusual would you shoot any differently if the model had darker hair then he doesn't I don't actually because the reflector picks up enough in the dark here I do team tio not cap down the lights so much if they have black here because it does but then I I love shooting dark skin on dark backgrounds because it's so beautiful but yeah I don't really make a lot of allowances for doc here at all right now what I want today with a reference for this yeah we changed it let me just grab the can we just keep it close yeah it's uh it's right there just thank you been more elegant than holding it on and I don't block the light either understand can we just keep it like check that ready to go instead of having to wind it up everything if you just no and then katie join me over here thank you these are just for me to cheat basically okay good alright thankyou so now now what I'm going to dio is I'm going to I really want their bass door so I need that bastar so caitlin you might need to come in and just hold the scream and I need an apple box because I just want to show you how to open up some light I get it yeah so there's two more looks that I want to achieve right now one of them is more of a like fashion background style look that I try to give all of my clients because I want them to experience what it's like to look like they're in a magazine so try and make it look as fashion as I can and I lend that the lighting in fashion lighting is pretty variable it's you know everybody's got a different style but what I learned was it was really about the posing and how they were posed and where I shot so fashion models that tall and lean and they're often shot quite low we need to shoot down on fashion models that's a normal human being gets shot down on a fashion model get shot up too and because they've got lean bodies and they look fabulous and you can shoot on any angle so when I would try and do then is just create more of a flat beauty dish light and imposed them more fashion so I'm not going to change the light source here all I'm going to do is open this up a little bit maybe lean in just a little bit more like she's got a really good black shell it would be easier if you came forward katie that's it and as you can see now let's just take a foot of katie's face in the light okay I haven't put a reflector and they're so she's just right on the edge of that light so she she is sitting from the side if you can see on this camera she's sitting almost out of the shell and then what I'm going to do is tune here this way and I'm going to get a put your right foot up on there that's it not a lift okay you're just going to let you live foot hang right up onto your toe katie and then I want you to lean forward with this elbow lets a girl and then put this one here all right so I'm going to try and create more of a fashion style pose just so I can show you this light then what I'm going to do is like most people katie is not a professional model she's sitting really good posture so I'm going to get you to push back here so you've got more model posture like that more okay now in this shot I've got exactly how I had a standing I just brought it forward a little bit more I've opened up my light source john can come in and give me a reflected light beautiful katie looks amazing and I just want to dio this shot like this okay and maybe give may this hand's too obvious for me let's put it down to go and work your shoulder that's a push your chin towards me katie okay I'm gonna go with and slight tip this way all right now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take change that toe white just pop in a little bit of a backdrop pull over push right back john yeah that's it that's enough nice big open shell I've got a white light which means the background is now picking up light okay so first thing that's gonna happen is I'm going teo I need you john just on her face I'm gonna shoot that bear and it's changed it it'll change it quite seen it blues coming in the background when I put my raw images when I process my raw images I'm going to bring that light forward so I've gone from a black dark yes always and also what I want to do is see the triangles that I've created under her arm in the pose so if you go back to the main camera off katie at the moment that on the screen looks like she's just white skin floating on a black background but these triangles in her body and we've created triangles here push back through there katie we've created get here with created gaps that make posing look really good so I want to try and create that so that flat light for me it's pretty much everything if I can work in this area and what I love about being in the natural like studio is if you're being photographed with friends they're often they're getting their hair makeup done she's very secure in her shell I found when I started to put polystyrene board and deflect around my models or clients they instantly feel safe you enclose them into the walls there are a few hassles with the reflex one of them is sometimes moving them on your own you look like an idiot because you swing one their way swings that way you juggle with it hits you in the head they do fall so sometimes you know somebody what and I've had the flex fall towards a client and they scream they don't just put their hand out you know it's like going home he is going to hit me it's just such a interesting way to work but my ultimate studio would have one window one reflector one black beef let that goes toe white a bastard or in an apple box that's one of the big secrets on big fashion sets as well we always block it block it off so because you have this huge studio and no one wants to sit with the entire crew watching them so you just kind of we always creating these boxes that we put the subject interesting because you know what I feel like even I've been shooting for twenty five years and I shoot in front of you guys and these people watching and it's kind of weird but when I'm shooting a proper shoot I don't want people watching me like you know when you're in that zone and you just like trying to make it work you're trying to connect with your client you take the photo it's not working you wondering what you're doing wrong you're trying to remember your default poses and if you still have to think about everyone else watching that just yeah you just want to say for a moment yeah and all I want is for everyone to look away just look away right now and it's so subtle I went to a wedding a friend's wedding and I photographed it and I watched the here stylist spend an hour and a half on the bride here and it was starting to get to that uncomfortable point where you're holding up everybody the ceremony the photographer and I looked at the hairdresser and she was doing a remarkable job but she was taking too long and I looked at it and I just saw this internal panic and she wasn't showing anything but I know that feeling so well off being shooting with people watching and it's not working and oh my god and I could see it and I just did to all of the bridesmaids and the mother can I speak to everybody in the bedroom we're going to take some bridesmaid shots and they pulled them out and I say we all just hid in the bedroom for twenty minutes and let me finish because the pressure that was on here was unbelievable I feel like that that tower and I couldn't identify them here because I know what it feels like I've seen people do it when they're shooting put a shell around you put one around you they're so people can't see you they don't have to watch you and I am not afraid of if you want to watch I'll say can you sit down for a bit I'll call you when I'm really I'm just doing some teeth because I'm really just finding my group sometimes I'm shooting on the subject suddenly gets uncomfortable like what happened and I look around and there's a hundred people watching everyone clear the set off you go thank you and then we can work back with a relaxed subject

Class Materials

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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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