Wrapping up the Shoot
What we'll do is roll one more video where I wrap up the shoot on location, and then we'll talk about it. So, let's roll that next one and check out this one here. All right, so we just wrapped the shoot and it was a difficult one. I think it was difficult one, because of the weather. I mean typically I would've rescheduled but we needed to shoot this right, you wouldn't typically go out in the rain and overcast, coldy day. But it was fun to work within those challenges. Also, was tough because I didn't really know the family. And looking back on it, I think I woulda spent more time in the front end of it, just talking with them and getting to know them. But hopefully what you saw, is as it progressed, things got a little bit better and became a little bit more cohesive as we went along. And so as you start to think about photographing families, one of the things you can keep in mind is when you have kids who are running, or you have this kinda erratic energy, like we had there, someti...
mes you just gotta let it go. You gotta let it spin itself out and that worked. Other times, maybe it's divide and conquer. Like one kid and one parent, and that can help as well. Well, either way it was really fun to be out here at the ocean and get a chance to connect with the family in such a beautiful place as this. All right, so that's a wrap. Pretty interesting, was it fun to see that a little bit? I have a few reflections on it. But before I go to me, either at home or you guys here, do you have any questions or reflections on things that you saw or things you would like clarity with?
[Woman With Scarf] Are you using autofocus when you're shooting with the family?
Yes, I am. Autofocus for sure, that's saving me all those times. There are times when, this one was pretty chaotic and tough for me. It's hard to really see that it was raining and how cold it was. Everyone did a really good job at sort of acting it wasn't. But if it's really nice weather and calmer, then I'm gonna shoot a little more slowly. I may manual focus, but a lotta times I'm using autofocus just because of the movement. Yeah.
[Woman With Scarf] That's my old beach.
[Woman With Scarf] Yeah. I lived right up the street from that.
[Woman With Scarf] And the weather is always like that there.
Except for maybe two days in September.
Two days, right.
But it's gorgeous.
Oh, thank you.
[Woman In Blue Shirt] So I shoot at that beach a lot, and it's overcast a lot, and so, I noticed that you were just shooting dead on em
And like I always get the shadows here no matter what.
Yeah and part of that was a wind decision. We had a wind that was cutting straight towards the bridge, if that makes sense. So for the mom, I always needed her this way. It's not in the footage but anytime she would turn this way, her hair would just wrap in front of her face. And so I was limited with the wind and
[Woman In Blue Shirt] So do you fix that in Lightroom? When there are shadows under here?
Yeah there are times where I do that, in particular, they'll be sort of, it's not like the whole eye is dark, but there'll be like a dark wrinkle right here. I don't know how to explain it. So, yes and I'll show that in the Lightroom section for sure. But with those decisions, broadening it out, besides this, or above and beyond this, is every time your shooting there are trade offs. Whether it's the light or the composition, or the affections, so part of it is, as a photographer, your job is to have vision and style and then try to make those choices that sometimes, like for that for me, for good or ill that's what I chose, in that case, yeah. Do you have a question?
[Woman With Dark Hair] I do have a question. So, in between the shooting, do you pause to take a look at, where your at, and then to readjust, - [Chris] Yeah. maybe too bright, too dark.
Yeah, this particular shoot I didn't probably to a fault. I was actually really kind of anxious because of the weather, and I kept thinking, oh my gosh, it's gonna start pouring and we're gonna...so I was a little bit, okay, I gotta get through this somehow and then also the family. They had driven 45 minutes and they kinda had this, like usually, families, if you ask them to sit on a log, will actually sit there for a minute. I feel like they didn't even give me, like, a half a second, and so I was just overshooting, I had to kind of overshoot. So, thinking back, I wish I would've checked the back of my camera to just make sure I was on the right track but at the same time I just had to go for it. (Chris laughs) And I know my settings decent enough to get close. Yeah?
[Woman With Glasses] Do you have like a shot list or anything that's in the back of your head when you're saying that wasn't the moment yet?
So there's this standard kinda shot, you want everybody kinda looking or together, this cohesive... - [Chris] Yeah. But what else is it that your looking for at the end your like okay I'm done, I got what I wanted.
Yeah, one, like you said is the whole family. Something where they're, everyone's involved and the trick with, for this one too, the dad, I got to know him as the shoot went along, but I wish I would've a little bit more. He's an engineer. If you kinda looked at his facial expression when he showed up, he wasn't into it. Like he was dragged into this. I didn't know that. I wish I had known that. I kinda thought, you know, if someone comes in a shoot, like yeah, we'll do this, it'll be fun. That's very different than oh my gosh, I'm here. I'll tolerate this, but this isn't my thing. So, I knew that was really important factor. The mom and the two older boys, so when I'm thinking of cohesiveness, I'm thinking mom and two older boys they're fine cause they're kinda with me. Little Quinn's pingponging around every which way. You guys didn't even see that, but there was one time when Jim had to chase him down cause he was almost gonna go in the ocean. (audience laughs) (Chris laughs) I was watching him out of the corner of my eye, like, I don't know. And then I wanted to connect with the dad. So I needed that shot. And then with the kids, like siblings, you know if you have some kind of sibling, and then if you can do one parent one kid, that's fun as well. I didn't get my parent shot, that just wasn't in the cards. But those are basically my building blocks, if that makes sense. And then, like with the young girl running across the beach at sunset. If I can capture her personality individually that's the other thing too, because there's a sibling shot which is kinda like team of siblings. But then you wanna get the individual personalities. So, I got a couple of those, like with one kid jumping or different things. So, does that make sense as far as my shot list goes?
Really quick over here from the internet. We got some great questions.
I know we're hitting our mark, but I really wanna get, the folks been asking questions. I really wanna get these out. Some are technical, some not. Do you use back button focus?
Next. You don't use an assistant.
You don't use a flash.
You don't use reflectors.
Tell us how you achieve these amaze, just in a nutshell, what are some key elements, your choices for not using those things
Yeah. And the key things that you do to get the light right?
Yes, and then, light as you know for me, is also the light that's exterior but within. So, in this case, we had a crew of five people including myself, so six of us, and five of them. We outnumbered them, so I never wanna do that. So, if I'm there by myself, it's really, I'm more of an introvert and I connect with people better one on one. So, that's part of it, that has to do with light, even though it's not light, if it's about light within. So I make the connection there. And so that's why I would never have an assistant cause assistants can help but they can also look, they're just like bored. And then that actually decreases connection cause they feel sorry for them, they feel like they need to help them, or they're like what's this person doing. So, that's one of the reasons. And then with light, I just tend to think about, I got side light, I have soft light, I have back light. I wish we had back light so I could show you how that works. And hopefully some of the demos showed that. You know, side light was okay, then I put back light, and it's like, warm and beautiful and amazing. So that's really, it's utilizing that type of natural light and thinking about the surrounding light wherever I am, and there's, I mean, I'm not showing all my photographs obviously. I'll photograph in someone's home and so I'm thinking there's a window by a white wall, the white wall's bouncing light back. So I'm really, really tuned in to that, and it's that awareness of seeing light, but also feeling it. And remembering that it's not just, you see the soft window light, but what does soft light feel like, and asking yourself that. And is that right for this person? Is it the tough dad, who's like, soft light is not good for that guy, but maybe if I did, with his daughter, and he's melting cause he's holding her, then soft light feels right. So, it's that equation, if that makes sense. Yes, snap.
[Woman With Brown Scarf] Children are wonderful but as we get older, the ego grows too.
So how can you help ease somebody's insecurities, adults, teenagers,
[Woman With Brown Scarf] Make them feel comfortable.
Because I don't know what age it is but, you know, people, 10, 11, 12, or where self-consciousness starts to surface. Before that, kids actually have no idea of that. So, that's a really important thing and I think part of that is finding the common ground. And we'll see this hopefully in the shoot later today. Let's go back to the family that brought the rugby ball. A rugby ball in a photograph, family photograph, in my opinion, just would never work, but if the teenage boy loves rugby, I talked about rugby, I talked about his play. If it's a young girl, like we saw some of the young girls with their dad, the dad who was running. I talked to her about what college she's going to, what applications, how many AP classes she's taking, who is her teacher, what was that paper she just wrote. Like, I really get into their life a little bit. And whenever we talk about our life, we stop thinking about how we look, how we appear. We get a little more passionate and so that is essential. And you have to work with that. Like the mom, like basically, in this shoot, where I went wrong is I didn't connect enough with, interpersonally with the family. The mom, if you noticed, she showed up like this. I was thinking about the camera, what am I gonna, you know. If I woulda been by myself, I woulda notice, okay, the mom's guarded, folded arms. If you notice in a lot of photographs, folded arms. And it was just more, you can't blame her. I mean, I'm probably like that too, if I show up to a shoot. But having that sensitivity to be aware of that and then talk to the mom, like, and eventually I did. I was like, so what do you do? What'd you do before that? And when do you have your first, whatever. So, communication. It's a long answer, but did that make sense to you guys, how that works? And being acutely aware of the subtleties of that, which is what your question is so good with. That some people can be and not have a care in the world. Other people can just think this is horrible. I'm with my family? And I have a big zit on my cheek? And why am I here? And the thing I tend to say is, right, why are you here? Like, they shoulda let you stay home and then they're kinda like, oh cool, this guy's kinda cool. Sure I'll take a picture. Versus, get over it kid, this is what we do. Come to their turf. Any other questions.
Chris, I think we're kinda good to roll.
I'm really excited. One of the things you taught me and we talked about it earlier, is the fact that, is that finding the comfort level to photograph your own family.
I've done, it's great, especially if you're getting started. They're the people that are gonna be most responsive to actually being photographed, especially probably for free. And you'll drive them crazy after a while.
Yes. But they are really happy to do it. And so, we're actually gonna be doing a little bit of that, photographing in the next segment. We're gonna do a few different set ups, so we're really excited for that. And we're actually gonna be starting with your mom.
So, have you photographed her before? Like, really in a portrait setting?
Yeah, no. (Chris laughs) (audience laughs) Why have I done this to myself? The thinking behind this, real quick, just so you have a sense on what's coming, is when I watch other Creative Live courses, which I do and I love, I think the one's that are really good is where there's actual risk and challenge. And where it means something to the person. So, if they're designing a logo, it's not like, I'm designing a logo for a fake ping pong company. That's like they're showing something that's real and that they really wanna do and resonates and so, I thought the hardest person for me to photograph. I could do a family in my sleep. Like, bring in your family and kids and it would be amazing, minus if there's weather and wind and cold. So, there was one challenge. But then, I thought the hardest one, I think, would be my mom. I could photograph your mom, no problem. My mom, not because anything of her, but just cause we have mother-son connection. Also, because it's a significant time where she's gone through a number of different health things in her life and is going through some stuff now. And so with things like that, with people who are really important to you, my mom's really important to me. The time is now. And so I thought this is a great excuse to do this. It's meaningful to me, it'll be challenging. It'll either work or flop and we'll all witness it. And I think either we'll learn something and have some fun. So, that's the context of what's ahead.