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Shoot: Flat Natural Light

Lesson 18 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

Shoot: Flat Natural Light

Lesson 18 from: Incredible Engagement Photography

Pye Jirsa

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Lesson Info

18. Shoot: Flat Natural Light

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

In this lesson, the instructor demonstrates how to shoot engagement photos in flat natural light. He explains the settings and techniques used to achieve the desired look and provides tips for posing the couple. He also addresses the importance of making the male partner comfortable and ensuring that he has a good time during the shoot.


Q: What is the instructor's preferred aperture setting? A: The instructor prefers to shoot at an aperture of 1.4.

Q: What does the instructor advise to ensure both faces are in focus? A: The instructor advises the couple to position themselves so that neither person is in front or behind the other.

Q: What does the instructor suggest doing with any fly-aways in the hair? A: The instructor suggests that the couple help each other by removing any fly-aways in the hair.

Q: What settings does the instructor use for the shoot? A: The instructor uses a shutter speed of 1/200 of a second, an aperture of 1.4, and an ISO of 400.

Q: Why does the instructor focus on making the male partner have a good time during the shoot? A: The instructor believes that if the male partner is enjoying himself, it will help relax the female partner and lead to better photos.

Q: How does the instructor ensure both partners are comfortable during the shoot? A: The instructor takes solo shots of the male partner and includes him in the process, making sure he feels involved and has a good time.


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Posing Guidance for Him


Posing Guidance for Her


Foundational Posing


Posing Touch Points


Couples Body Language


Posing Three Point Check


Posing Tips with Demo


Lesson Info

Shoot: Flat Natural Light

Let's bring you guys to this side and just get a couple basic shots of going this way. So now we're going flat light. What we're gonna do is, I'm gonna keep my setting at 1.4. I love the background, but I wanna keep it very blurred out and so I'm gonna have them take a couple steps forward, guys. And let's do this. This is a perfect shot where both of you guys have great lighting. I want you guys to go into a V-Up on this one. So go into the V-Up. And do you guys wanna flip sides or do you wanna stay on your sides? Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Now what we're gonna do is, guys this is how I tell my couples. If I'm gonna shoot 1.4... I hate holding my camera when I'm talking to my couples. If you're gonna shoot 1.4, you just tell 'em, like, what it means. Okay? So, hey we're gonna shoot on the camera with a wide aperture. What that means is if you're in front or behind you're gonna be blurry. So what we're looking for is that both of your faces, nobody's in front or behind each other. You ...

can kind of glance out of the corner of your eye, just to make sure he's not in front or behind and then it'll be perfect. Cool? And then what I want you guys to do is look at each other and just help me. Get the fly-aways out of each other's faces. So if there's any fly-aways, kind of, look at the fly-aways in the hair and just do a little monkey grooming for a little bit. Nice. I love it. Okay. Okay, let's cheat. Let's bring up Live View. I'm gonna dial in 6000 Kelvin. We're gonna look at our histogram. Our histogram is perfect, actually, where we're at. We're at 1/200 of a second, f1.4, and ISO 400. Okay, that's fantastic. Now, what I want you guys to do is, let's do this, I want you, my dear, to bring your hip a little bit more behind him. There you go, perfect. And I want to see that leg so you tip the toe down and bend the knee across the front a little bit. Perfect, just like that. Keep the hand right there on his chest. That's fantastic. Great. (shutter clicking) Perfect. Okay, we're gonna take a glance at it. Make sure they're both sharp. They're both good. Okay, I'm gonna go, that looks fantastic guys, give me a smile. I love it. (shutter clicking) Smile like you mean it, Travis. (shutter clicking) Smile like you're happy 'cause you got a beard and I can't have a beard and I'm a little bit angry (shutter clicking) about that. (shutter clicking) So look down towards Danielle (shutter clicking) and smile towards her. (shutter clicking) Perfect. (shutter clicking) Go for a kiss on her forehead one more time. Perfect. (shutter clicking) Look toward each other, guys. That's great. And Danielle I want, actually Travis, I want you to think of something that's gonna make her laugh. Like something that's gonna make her, like, belly laugh. And then Danielle I want you to turn the chin to my side and then Travis, go ahead and whisper that into her ear now. (shutter clicking) Perfect. (shutter clicking) I love that. I love that close, tight hug. Look toward each other just for one sec. That's fantastic, guys. Perfect. Chin down a little bit Danielle. That's great, right there. That's cute. (shutter clicking) I love it, and then Danielle look down a little bit (shutter clicking) while he's still looking towards you. Perfect. Perfect. Okay, so we'll work a pose like that just to get the couple, before we switch it up. And I might say, now guys go, like, into an open pose. So go to open pose, face me directly. Perfect. Alright. And then, Jay do you mind grabbing this tripod and just moving it off a little bit? And then since we're, I'm shooting a little bit wider now come forward a little bit. Right there. Perfect, guys. Fantastic. And I'm gonna have you guys edge to this side. Got a little bit of our camera man in the back, but we can try and get it. Let's see. Always look behind you when backing up. You guys have seen enough YouTube videos to know this by know. Alright, we're just gonna crop in tight on the final. So here we go. (shutter clicking) Perfect. (shutter clicking) Look toward each other, guys. I love that. (shutter clicking) And I love that wink. (shutter clicking) Give her a wink, buddy. (shutter clicking) Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. (shutter clicking) (all laughing) Okay, now pull into him. I want you to pull in and hug under his arm. And Travis let your arm hang and yeah let the hand go to the pocket while she's hugging onto you. There you go. That's a tight hug. He's like, I can't move my hand. She's got me. (shutter clicking) That's perfect guys. Look at each other from right there. Fantastic. (shutter clicking) I love that. Let's get a shot about Travis right now. So, Danielle I'm gonna have you look towards Travis. I need to get a shot for him for his Facebook profile. You know what I'm saying? (all laughing) That's what I'm talkin' 'bout. (shutter clicking) And do one like, kind of, like GQ dude. So what I want you to do is, kind of, bring the chin off to the side there. How did you know what I was talking about right there? (all laughing) (shutter clicking) What the heck? You just like did it. Alright then (laughing), I love that smile dude. That's a fantastic smile. (shutter clicking) Okay. (shutter clicking) Okay, right there. Perfect. Danielle, smile at him. Right there. Oh, my tether's catching up. Hold on one sec. Aw, that's so adorable. It's a-door-bell. Should be good now. (laughing) Okay, one more time. (shutter clicking) And then soft smile with just the lips, dude. So Travis, I want you to just do, like a... I'm doing a weird photographer stance again. (laughing) Alright, just soft smile at the lips. Right there. Perfect. Just, kind of, like a gentle smirk. Gentle. (shutter clicking) And then I want you looking down to the right. Think about your gentle bearded smirk. Look down to the right and laugh a little bit. There you go. (shutter clicking) Perfect. Alright guys. Any questions on what we've done? Look at how, like, I love flat light. Is it not, like, gorgeous? Like it looks beautiful. Yeah. Shot wide open and... There's our shots for him. So, some of you guys might ask, and I'll just conclude with this. Some of you might ask why do I focus on the guy a lot during a shoot? It's because I generally know that girls like shooting. Like, girls like to be out shooting. They're having fun and one of their biggest worries and concerns is whether he's having a good time. If I can make him have a good time, if I can make him smile, if I can make him come to me after the shoot and be like, oh my gosh that was so easy, I had no idea it was gonna be like that, as soon as he feels that way during a shoot you can see the tension just come off her face. And from that point you're just having a good time and shooting and so that's why, as a guy, I like to make sure my guys are having a good time. I get shots for them. You know, I'll feature them. I'll do solo shots. I'll do everything to make sure that they feel like it's not, like, oh we're going on doing photos, type thing. Cool?

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Pre-Shoot Videos
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Presets Installation Guide
Gear Guide
Favorite Software
Lightroom Presets

Ratings and Reviews

CPR Photography

I think Pye Jirsa is one of the best, if not the best, instructor for photography on Creative Live. He is very personable, smart and approachable. He has a perfect blend of personality (comments, laughs, tangents..) to the amount of instruction. He asks the questions for you, because he knows you are thinking those questions right then. He's very good about identifying settings, gear, etc.. and not leaving us in the dark about how he "got the shot". He goes into great detail. His instructions flow, but are linear, which is helpful. He's very organized, and you can tell that he really put a lot of work into his presentations (slides, video, test shoots, live teaching, graphics, etc..) I have been listening to him for like 10 hours straight, and still haven't gotten tired of him. He keeps things moving, He's very funny too. Nice job, I've learned so much. :)

a Creativelive Student

This course was AMAZING. I'd say int he past year or two I've fallen into a slump. Uninspired by my surroundings and uninspired by my clients. As a result, it showed through my work. My posing suffered as well and more than a handful of times some of my shoots became more than awkward. Then I bought this course and watched most of it in the course of a day. I walked away inspired, blown away, and renewed. The next day I walked into an engagement session confident. I gave my couples a quick overview on posing and then we just had fun in front of the camera. Immediately afterwards they texted me about how amazing their shoot was and how relaxed I made them feel about posing. The photos turned out fantastic to say the least. I've since shot several more engagement sessions and each one of them has been amazing. If anything, this course should inspire photographers to think outside the box and provide you with the necessary skills to take incredible engagement photos. Thank you Pye and Creative Live! I cannot speak more highly of this course. I should also state I purchased Pye's Natural Light course on SLR Lounge: this course is a wonderful addition to that. If you already own the natural light course and are hesitant about purchasing this one, don't. Buy it and reap the benefits!


This is by far one of the best courses I have taken. Pye makes learning fun and easy to understand. I feel like I have learned so much throughout the course, that I have truly advanced my photography skills. I am so excited to get out there and try so many of the techniques that he showed. I would love to take another course of his. The pricing for the course doesn't even compare to how wonderful the education truly is, I really got more than my money's worth on this one.

Student Work