Photograph Authentic Engagement Photos | Trevor Christensen | Skillshare

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Photograph Authentic Engagement Photos

teacher avatar Trevor Christensen

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (52m)
    • 1. Photographing Engagements Preview

    • 2. The Things I Do At The Beginning

    • 3. Lets Talk Gear

    • 4. Location

    • 5. Working With Movement

    • 6. Composition

    • 7. Posing

    • 8. Talking to Subjects

    • 9. Experimenting

    • 10. Editing In Lightroom

    • 11. Wrap Up & Class Assignment

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About This Class

Level up your engagement photography skills with Trevor Christensen!

In this fun and informal class, Trevor Christensen shares his thinking and expertise in engagement photography! In every lesson you’ll go behind the scenes with Trevor as he photographs an engagement shoot.

Topics include:

  • Natural posing
  • Working in locations
  • Helping your subjects feel relaxed
  • Pushing your boundaries by experimenting
  • Practical, every day tips that will make you a better photographer now

Whether you’re a student, pro or enthusiast, there’s something for you to learn in this class.

Meet Your Teacher

Hi! I'm Trevor Christensen, a photographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles, California. I specialize in portrait and documentary work. I love teaching photography-because learning a new skill is always empowering.

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1. Photographing Engagements Preview: Hi, I'm Trevor Christensen. I'm a photographer based in L. A. And I'm doing a class on engagement. So this is a class for anyone who wants to get better at engagement Photography in the class. I'm gonna talk about gear. I'm gonna talk about posing. I'm gonna talk about movement. I'm gonna talk about how to talk to your client, and I'm, of course, gonna talk about editing. This is for anyone who wants to get a little better and engagement. So I'm really excited about this class because I asked my friend Kenneth to follow me around as I shot a real engagement session, which means that this class has tons of behind the scenes footage of me working. It's the closest way you can actually see someone like me work without actually being so. It's not just me talking in front of a desk the whole time we actually get out and shoot real photos. I hope you'll join me in this skill sharp class. It's a lot of fun, really excited about the material, and I know you're gonna get a lot from it. 2. The Things I Do At The Beginning: So one of the first thing that's on my mind when I'm taking someone's picture is how can I help you feel more comfortable? The first thing I do is I just let them know that I'm in control and I do that. I do that by being confident by telling them that the shoot is going well and that I'm excited about the photos were taking. Um, I do that because clients just need to know that you're going to make them look good and you do that by helping them feel good. The other thing I do is I try to give them a lot of feedback verbally, just to let them know it's going well. I'm excited about these images. The last thing I do is I try to keep them moving as much as possible. Just because when you have these jitters, it can be kind of stressful and really what you need is just someone toe have you move here and have you moved there and it also works for me because I can always say I didn't like that shoot that much. I didn't like that photo that much and just move on to the next thing. So, um, when you're taking their picture, what you really want to do is just make sure that you're thinking about how they're feeling and what you can do to make them feel better. So the first thing I do on a shoot engagements is I like to actually separate them and do head shots first. And there's two reasons why the first reason is because most people in 2019 just need a head shot. So it's a nice thing to do for your client, even if they don't think they need it. There eventually. Just going to use that photo for their instagram profile are linked in or something. So it's just a hookup for them. And the second reason is because photography can be so stressful for your client that it sometimes nice toe, make them appreciate being with each other. And so I'll separate them so that when they are together again, they can be happening there, at least having their picture taken with their partner instead of alone. So it's a nice little like getting to appreciate the other person. So come on over. Come stand right there, then Megan, If you'll actually come stand right behind me. Yeah. Yeah, that looks good. Okay, stand on here cause you're a little taller than today. Nice. Okay, um, turn your head a little bit, Turn your feet a little bit this way and then your head towards me. Yeah, that's good. Yeah, I like that. Okay. Megan, um, I need you to make Colin laugh. Good. Okay. Okay. So one thing that's really helpful is, um it's easy to take someone's photo, like, seriously, because most people are pretty good at having like, a sober face. But I usually want to get, like, a serious photo on the smiling photo. And so it's nice to basically offload that work to their partner, because if you say, like, uh, make him laugh like usually they'll do something. And I don't actually know if she did what she did, but obviously it works. And this works like almost all the time. And it's nice because I don't really know what to say to make, like every person laugh in the world, but usually their partner will. And so it's like a nice little trick. So let me get having guys switch real quick. Turn your feet a little bit more. Yeah. Yeah. And then actually calling Make Megan left. Look at me. That's good. Yeah, I get good. Good. Colin, Start making Megan laugh. Yeah, they look here first, so Yeah, There you go. And I usually, like blast for those photos. So you're gonna hear me. Have taken a lot of photos to get the right one, but it's Ah, it's a nice trick. So that's how I start out my sessions. I start out engagement sessions or couples Portrait's by actually dividing them and separating them. And then I should some headshots. Now you're going to see that I don't have them ever faced the camera straight on. I'll have them start with there feet diagonal from me and then have them rotate their body towards me. As as their body goes up. Turn your feet a little bit more. Yeah. Yeah. And then I do this because I think it looks a little bit more flattering. It's a little bit more dynamic. It looks kind of strange and a little aggressive. Sometimes, if someone's you know, head and shoulders and hips are directly pointing to the camera like I am now for a head shot. It tends to make sense. You'll see. You know, here's an example of a head shot. I shot great reporter that shot where she's starting diagonally and then she ends up facing me. It creates a result like this, which I think is really pleasing now. Another thing that's really important to me when I'm shooting a head shot is that the background is really neutral. I really like complex composition, especially in my portrait. But, um, you never know what's gonna happen to those headshot images. If someone is maybe speaking at a conference and it's gonna be on a poster, the designer might end up circle, cropping it. And so all your composition is going out the window. And if you have any specific lines, are elements that are important to you that's gone. No one's going to see it. And so, with headshots, you really want to make sure you're shooting something that can stand up to a lot of, you know, color changes that a designer might apply or cropping decisions that you're not in control of. So in some ways it needs to be like, pretty dynamic and pretty flat. Now I chose the location I'd shows partially for that Nice, neutral background leaves look nice to me, but also because there was a wall on the subjects right side, which was reflecting a lot of nice light onto them. There was no direct sunlight, so I didn't have to worry about those hard shadows. But the light I was still pretty strong. And so there's a nice level of directionality and dimensionality to those photos were gonna edit those photos in a later session. So hang on if you want to see how I edited them and you know all the decisions I made in that section. 3. Lets Talk Gear: So the thing about gear is, if you get on the Internet and you ask someone for recommendation, you're going to get pretty much every combination, every opinion under the sun, and it sounds like a lie. It sounds like, um, something that only the person is the nicest, Gear says. But the truth is that gear really doesn't matter that much. Obviously, if you have a different kind of lens in a different kind of camera body, that's going to allow you to do something that you might not normally be able to dio. But in truth, you can take a good photo with any camera. So I'm gonna talk about gear in this next section, But it's really important to remember that you could make a good photo with your phone. You could make a good photo with the point shoot camera. You know, a good photo comes from you, not the camera. So I'm not precious about gear professionally have used everything from Sony to Canon to Nikon gear. I don't really like getting in gear fights, but I do like talking about why Gear works from me. Um, for this shoot, I used a Nikon D 7 50 I think it's a great camera, has fast, really good auto focus and really good low light sensitivity. And those are things that are important to me in my work. I should a lot of, you know, events where I am in poorly lit ballrooms, and I need to know that the camera can track my subject well. And when I take a photo, it's gonna look good. Um, I was like this camera because they're actually pretty light, and I don't like lugging around heavy gear all the time. I used to lenses for the shoot. I used a 50 millimeter and a 35 millimeter. They're both the 1.8 versions, not the 1.4 versions, because 1.8 lens tends to focus twice as fast as a 1.4 lens. And so for me, because I'm a photojournalist and I shoot lots of documentary work, I really want a system that I can count on achieving focus as quickly as possible. So that put a premium on that versus, you know, having a lens that lets in a little bit more light and has a little bit more depth of field that's not as important to me. I just want a quick, quick focus. That's my thing. I tend to use my 50 for more vertical photos. I like how it shapes the environment. It doesn't have a ton of distortion that starts to look weird when you rotate a 35 millimeter lens vertically and I use my 35 millimeter lens from or Environmental Portrait's . That's how I use things. You know. Gear is like a friend. I'm not gonna argue that my friends are better than your friends. I tend to not really put a premium on the gear that I'm using. Uh, and I think people tend to focus too much on their gear and not on the craft. And so don't get too caught up in gear. Wars and lenses and bodies just tryto make the best photos with the equipment you have 4. Location: So the reason we're shooting in this neighborhood is because this is where Colin and Megan actually live, and I really like to shoot in places that have meaning that are significant to my couple. And when I take pictures I think about, you know, when I deliver them, what will they do for the client? But I also think about what will they do for them in the future? And so I think shooting in your client's neighborhood is really cool, because in 10 years or 15 years, they might not live here, and these pictures will be really meaningful to them because they don't live here anymore. And that sort of documenting of history is really exciting and important. I am always thinking about location, and I'm always looking for a good location. So sometimes when I'm driving, I'll just jump out really quickly and take a photo on my phone. That's something that's really exciting to me. Something that's nice about shooting those photos on your phone is the maps app. You can turn on location tracking, and you don't even have to remember where it is because you can always just go into that app and look up the photo in the map app, and it will show you where it is, so you could be pretty lazy about it. I love talking about location. I think location is such an interesting an under discussed subject when it comes to photography. Um And so one of the first questions I ask clients when I'm interviewing them about taking their picture is where do you want to shoot? And I don't expect them to provide me locations. I just want to know what vibe they're looking for in their shoe now. I tend to gravitate towards locations that have lots of texture. I like locations where they're man made elements interacting with nature. And I like locations that are varied that if I turn left or right, I'm gonna get a dramatically different look. I tend to not like, you know, white natural light studios that are all sort of the same that don't have a lot of dynamic nest of them. I'm from Utah. A lot of people like to shoot in the salt flats in Utah, but I really don't like the salt flats because it's kind of the same wherever you turn your head And so you only get one look for pretty much that, you know, a two hour drive out into middle of nowhere. I'm a lot more excited about shooting in a neighborhood or a park or or somewhere that seems local to my client or has some significance to my client s. So it looks like a white wall. But, uh, basically, I like how they're being framed by these blocks, and so was taking this photo before. And I like how the telephone pole is kind of sticking out from the background. And I like how things like thes wall layers, air framing them. And I just think it's like more interesting than just having a big wall that takes the entire expanse of the image so compositionally It was a little bit more interesting to me, and they're so comfortable just hanging out that I think it's no easy to get some natural photos of them. Once judged a city a photography contest, and I was really surprised to see that people tended to reuse the same locations over and over again. There was an old library downtown on orchard that had, you know, trees all lined up really neatly and, um kind of Ah ah nee Cherie mountain area. And it was really interesting to realize like, Oh, people have an idea of where photographers shoot photos, and so I should go to that same location and shoot my photos there. It's pretty easy to get caught up in that mindset, and that happens to me all the time. And so I'm always looking for inspiration of new places to shoot whatever not shot in recently. What are things that I've seen someone else to that I want to repeat in my space? I even did a thing with a friend once where we open up Google maps and we closed our eyes and pick random places on the map and then went and took photos there just as a way to challenge us, to try to take a photo in a place that neither of us would ever choose, because one was like near a apartment complex and the other was near a grocery store. And neither of those were locations that either of us were really inspired by inherently. But being forced into that, you know, narrow location, help this see outside ourselves, and I think that's a really great exercise in helping yourself find new locations and get out of your old habits 5. Working With Movement: and movement is such an important part of my photography, especially when I'm shooting Portrait's and engagements. There's a couple of reasons why I really put a premium on making sure that my shoots air flowing and moving as much as possible. The first reason is that photography is such an iterative medium that it helps to just always be trying things. And one way to be trying things is to be moving either myself, for my subjects through the world. I could go back up or get closer, have them run down the street or, you know, just shift a little bit. T get out of that little place they were. I think it's really important to be always shifting and changing. I don't really like to settle in and take the same photo too many times with Theo. Second reason I think movement is so important is that subjects tend to get really antsy. It's really easy to, um, get situated in your body in an uncomfortable way. You start to sink into places, you get a little bit dead, and it's important to loosen up and just keep limber and moving and keep your clients going when you're having your picture taken. It could be so stressful to be in front of that camera. And, you know, one thing I do when I am stressed out is I just go take a walk. So it's a good way to just kind of help your clients and body themselves feel a little bit more calm. Uh, you know, loosen it out. So I have my clients, you know, sit on those steps or stand right here and I won't spend more than a couple of minutes in that location. I really like to keep things going. It helps me experiment and explore, and it also helps them feel more comfortable and embodied and and not get too stressed about the camera. I also really like movement because it creates serendipity. That's maybe one of the things I like the most about photography is I get up in the morning and I set out to make good photos, and I kind of have an idea of what I'm gonna do. But I don't exactly know I'm going to do, and often my favorite photos or photos that I never could have planned their just photos that happened because you know the right person was in the right place and I made this decision earlier on, and this combination of events came that made things work out, and I really seem movement as an important part of trying to factor in as much serendipity as I can. 6. Composition: What is that? Uh Que? Okay, let's go right here. Yeah. Ces busting and streets, These guys blocking my shot a little bit. But that's okay. Let me have you guys just stand like Yeah, cute. Okay, uh, care. Okay? Yeah. I like how, like, I like how simple this feels like, I think what's fun is like they're framed a little bit by these plants on the from their heads on either side. And it's like a really simple background like I like all this foliage. I think it'll look good in color and in black and white because their faces are going to stick out a lot in the black and white and in the color like it's a pretty simple color scheme. And so it really allows you to focus on them a lot. And you can do a lot of composition stuff to like I center composed them for a lot of it. I could really easily, like, take a photo from the side, and then, you know, if you wanted to put text on it or something like that, it would be pretty easy toe, do some design work with it, and I just think It's like a fun a simple photo. Have you guys stand over here and you're going to just, like, sit on the steps? Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Um, the tops or the two steps right here? Yes. Yeah, I'm gonna have. Let's see. Let me have you guys switch sides. And Megan, you're gonna sit up a step above him. Yeah. Let me see how that looks. Yeah, and like, get closer, get okay. Okay. Look at me, kids. All right? Didn't even thinking. I think composition is such an interesting thing to think about. And essentially, that's one of the biggest skills you can have is a photographer's. You know how well can you compose an image? Um, we're gonna take a minute to talk about some compositional choices I make. And why make them? I like a complex image, but I always want to make sure that the head is as clean as possible. So I don't like any lines, you know, cutting off my face at all or cutting through their head. This is an image it took of a friend who was in labor. She was about to give birth. This is her husband putting pressure on her back, and I really wanted to show their space their house. I'd like to this flag. They had hung up, and I wanted to show that they were a home. Um, but I also wanted to make sure that you could see their faces really clearly. So you can see that even though it's a complex image, his face, you know, they're know lying's. There's not the window sill behind him, the window frame cutting his face off. It's a clean line and the same with her. You know, she's like she's going through labor, but you could see her face. There's nothing really in front of. There's nothing crossing through it. I'm not something I do. A lot of my images are really try to make sure that they're no really heavy contrast. Two lines cutting off my subject. This is from a series I did called teenagers and their first cars. It was a portrait series I did of teenagers with their first cars, was working with cars a lot, and cars have all these lines and frames them naturally. So I have the first frame, which is the lines around the image, and then I have another frame, which is this right here, this kind of border around his head and then the last one, which is the window framing his head, and I really like to frame within frame. I think it's really fun. That sort of layer of the car in front of him in the car behind him, I think, is really interesting. Um, and it really helps, I think, bring you into the image. It really tells you where to. Another example of frames within frames is this. This is a photo for a CrossFit facility, and I've got all this gym equipment on the side, which is really important. And of course, you know the ropes leading up to the frame, which is obviously like a big part of the image. But as far as the subject goes, he's, you know, completely clear of anything interrupting his face or any important things. It's really all about these frames. I really love framing people. Love does these birds flying overhead. They would be fun to get, but they're, like, so unpredictable. So we'll see if yeah, maybe they got bored about. Let me have you both be like, just looking up. But like? Like you're gonna be looking up like your eyes would be crossing. So do kind of what you were doing before pointing in. Yes, yes. Yeah, It's very much a band photo. Let's see if we have. Yeah, the birds might be That's okay. I was like, I'm moon in the background. I can take a photo booth. Um, yes. And I will. Yes, and I will. Okay. All right. Well, it's not birds, but it's fun. Um, let's go on. So another thing I try to do a lot is just make sure that my photos have a lot of interesting layers to them. Um, in this photo, I wanted to make sure that there was some fun stuff in the foreground. I think that just helps make the photo feel a little bit more dynamic and interesting. Um, so I made sure Thio Thio put some bushes in front of their legs and then you have them. They're the subject of the photo. And, you know, there's also layers in the background, too. And I really like that sense of depth that gives I think that's a always a fun thing to play with. I did that on another photo of them to where I tried to use these leaves in the foreground . I wanted them to frame that mop a little bit, you know, kind of tell your eye where the lead and it's a little bit more of a simple photo, but I think it makes sense. So I shot these photos of Colin and Megan on a film studio here in L. A. And I was really excited to shoot on this lot because it has a New York set, and something I really wanted to do was show that we were not in New York but show that we were on a set of New York in L. A. I thought that was really uninterested. Way to play with things so you can see that you know, they're dancing, they're having fun. And I made sure to back up enough that you can see that there is a door where you could go inside the set, and there's a building that is not in New York, and I wanted to make it feel like a little absurd Abstraction. Another photo of column and Megan on that set shows more frames within frames. You can see that is the four corners around the image. And then there are this frame that is, you know, telling you where to be. And then there's another frame behind them that really is emphasizing, you know, their heads and their upper torsos. I really like making frames within frames. The background is also so dark that it's really easy to let the viewer know where they should be looking. And so it's an environmental portrait. But you don't really make a mistake about where you should be looking. You know you should be looking right at them, and that's because of the contrast they have with their environment. They're closing choices, their faces, they really stand out in this photo. 7. Posing: so natural poses a really important to me, which is why I take the posting cues from my clients. Something I'll do is I'll take these little breaks where I'm just chatting with them or letting them hang out on their own while I'm reviewing images or something. And then I'll look up and I'll see Oh, there in this cute pose that they're doing something that feels really natural and authentic to them. And I'll say, Hold that, Don't move it all And then I'll take their picture on something That's really important is that, uh you say, Hold that right there, because people tend to get kind of weird. And Posey as soon as you move your camera up to your eye. And so if you can pause them in this natural place and just let them know the thing you're doing is really good. I love it. Don't move it all. Then you're insuring them that this is what you want. And you're kind of like teaching them your posture what you want from they right now they're just talking to each other and their arms were folded and they really like that is I'm actually gonna take that. So I think early on, one of the hardest things to figure out is how do you pose clients? Cameras tend to be a machine that make people feel very uncomfortable very quickly. And so we all walk around the city and feel fine on our bodies when we're not thinking about well, where should my hands be? But it seems like a soon as you start to raise a camera to someone's face, they forget how to act normally. So a big part of being a photographer is just helping your clients pose naturally. Now I really like poses that come from my clients. You might call that authentic or natural. But to me, the important thing is that it be something that my client would be doing if I wasn't there . Now I always you know, I'm still willing to give tips or, you know, move things in little ways of possible. But I really like toe. Let my clients set those precedents, and I really like to take my cues from my clients. So one way I do that is I'll put my camera down and I'll just start talking to a client, and I'll ask, You know something that gets them telling me a story. How did you meet? What was your first date? Like, what was it like to decide to get married? I'll ask them something that really gets them thinking about themselves and their feelings in each other. And once they do that, they stop thinking about me. And more importantly, they stop thinking about the camera. And that's what I really want from them, because the cameras, what's stressing the mountain, the cameras, What's making them forget how to act naturally, Impose naturally. So what happens is they'll talk about you know what it was like to decide to get married or what their first date was like what being nervous around their partner was like and will suddenly be embodied. And it might start touching each other or just, you know, be more natural. And as soon as I start to see that, say OK, hold that right there and I won't raise my camera. I'll specifically tell them Stop, don't move! And then I'll raise my camera up. And this is nice because it lets them know, Oh, me and my natural state is what Trevor wants to take a picture off. If I do that a couple of times, they'll suddenly get used to it and figure out this is what he's looking for. Okay, Uh, stand right there. Yeah, Yeah, that's good. Yeah, Yeah, yeah, yeah, I like that. Get I like that. That's good. Okay, hold that. Cute. And relax your face. Colin. Seriousness. Yeah, but not too serious. You know, the little. Yeah. Hold that. No, no, no, That was good. I like that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's cute. Yeah, hold that real quick. So that's a really important trick I use when I'm taking my client's photos. Just stop them when I see them doing something I like and say, Hold that right there and take their picture that way. Something I also find myself saying a lot is Relax your face. People tend to have these camera face is that they don't even realize they're making, But they'll be stiffer, kind of tight or something, and I'll just let them know so you can relax your face. I just need to relax. Face photo and relax your face, Colin. Seriousness. Often, people don't even know that they're holding their face in a certain way until you call attention to it. It's kind of like a scary movie when you're holding your breath and you don't realize you're doing it. Suddenly you realize, Oh, I haven't taken a breath and 30 seconds I need to breathe It wasn't a decision I made its just something I did due to, you know, outside stimulation. So people tend to have these tight faces, and it's okay just to say, Relax your face and you know, little face massage. I don't tend tohave, really big dramatic poses. There's a lot of posing guides out there. I think they're really great. That's not really my style. I really like to take my posing cues from my client on, and often they're very environmentally focused, too. So will sit on some steps were leaning up against a bench or something. It doesn't have to be this huge dramatic thing. It can just be something as simple is sitting next to each other in holding hands. Their you know, you sit on this lower step and have her sit on the higher step. They don't need to be no big This does and skies. That's not really a kind of portrait. I'm interested in making 8. Talking to Subjects: communication is such an important part of engagement photography to me. Um, often, I think it seems like my shoots air really chill there, just off the cuff. We're having fun, and I want my clients to think that. But the truth is, I'm working really hard, and almost everything I'm doing is really, really calculated. And what we talk about is definitely a really big part of that calculation. I want my clients talking about each other, and I want them thinking about each other. I don't talk about myself that much. During shoots, I asked them tons of questions. I want to know where they met, what it was like, what their first date was like, what those second date was like, what meeting each other's parents is like, Why are you with this person? What are your plans for the future? I just want to know everything. And a big part of that is because I want them thinking about them that's gonna make them feel so lovey dovey, you know, so so close to each other. So cute. And it helps me do my job because an engagement, you know, one of my engagements at its core is a portrait of love. Um, and when you look at photography, engagement, photography through that apparatus, it means it could be a really wide array of things. But the main thing is, I really need my clients to feel good about me and themselves and each other. And so I really try to focus all the talk on my clients and their relationship. Another thing is that it's just gonna distract. I said this earlier, but it's so foreign to distract clients. Um, they're like babies, you know? They don't know what to do. They don't know where to put their hands. They need to be told every single little thing on That's okay. That's not a disk. I understand it. I have had my picture taken. I turned into the same kind of helpless baby who needs to know what to do. But I'm so calculated with those things because of that. So I've had assistants come by and just think we're having a good old time and start talking. And I've had to, you know, take them aside and be like, Hey, you're doing such a good job. Just so you know, uh, I really need everyone to be quiet on set because I want my clients talking about each other and thinking about each other. And so that means minimal distractions. Yeah, hold that. That's sick. Yeah, that's cute. OK, let's go back here real quick to see what that Yeah, like, very, very like l a take a take a small step back this way. More like a little bit of sun on your face is yeah. No, you can, uh I think, yeah. Yeah, that's OK. That's OK. Yeah, that's cute. And why don't we actually have you guys switch sides so and be behind Colin to Megan? So it's like, Yeah, yeah, yeah, I like that. That's fun, you know? Hug. Yeah. Yeah, you get it. The only other really important part of taking someone's picture is that you give them good feedback. You let them know that they look good, that they're doing a good job that you think they're gonna like There. Photos is such a vulnerable thing. Have your picture taken. And honestly, the only thing anyone cares about is getting their picture taken. Is do I look good? And so if you could tell them Ah, you look so hot. You look so cute. Look great. You're crushing it. That's gonna, you know, calm them down a little bit and just let him know that they're in good hands. And the more they trust you, you know, the easier your job is gonna be. So I just, you know, shower them with the feedback with positive feedback. Yeah, that's good. Yeah. I like that. Death. Yeah. Nice. They're so cute. Cute. You get you get like that. 9. Experimenting: good. Yeah. Okay. So what I want is I want to do, like, a weird, blurry shot of you guys coming towards me. So I'm just gonna, like, run backwards and you'll just, like, follow me and I'll be, like, closer. Closer. Maybe not. I don't know. OK, so on both you kind of, you know, you have your own thing and be holding hands, okay? Terrifying. Okay. And try to stay, like in the same plane, if that makes sense. So it's not a race, but it is a race. It is a race. Yeah. All right. All right. You ready? Okay, go. After I've taken some photos that I feel I'm comfortable with and we're kind of my safe shots. My easy photos. I think it's really important to try to experiment as much as possible. And so that means, you know, shooting at a slow shutter speed or taking a photo where they're intentionally out of focus or, you know, doing something weird with the composition. That's fun, because I like to give clients photos that they wouldn't expect. And I also like to take photos that kind of push my boundaries and push what I'm used to do so to me. It's really important to make sure that once I have my safe shots, I'm just trying to expand my skills and my shooting boundaries. So I used to be a photojournalist at a small town paper. And so much of photojournalism is making sure you have your safe shots first because you might think you have 1/2 hour portrait session with the subject of the story. But it turns out five minutes and you get a call and your editors like you got to go cover this breaking news thing. Whatever photos you got just now, we're gonna have to run. And so you really learn to take your safe shots that you know, we're gonna be good. That will work at the beginning. And then you start to experiment more and more the more time you have. So that's how I approach experimenting. When it comes to photography, I'll take a really safe shot, a shot. I know we'll work something like this. It's cute. It's pretty. They look happy. They could totally send this out and it could be great. Once I have that safe shot, I'm gonna experiment and I'm gonna take a photo like this. I don't even know if this photo is good when I'm taking it. It's weird. They're out of focus. It's about birds. This isn't like a really sexy part of L. A. It's like a kind of pedestrian part. Uh, it's not a traditional engagement, but it might qualify as a portrait of love. And so I'm excited that way. But if I show up on this is the first photo I take and then something happens, uh, I might be out of luck. I'm Effy in trouble, so I try to do as much experimenting as possible during my shoots. But I kind of stacked the safe shots first. And then I start toe branch out into photos like this. I think experimenting is so important. Every time you get hired to do a shoot, you know, you need to make sure you deliver everything you promised you would. But you also want a surprise clients with stuff that they couldn't have come up with. And you also want to, you know, take the chance to grow yourself. And part of growth is just experimenting. You're never gonna get hired to take this photo by clients. They just I need to be excited by it. I think it's a really a funny photo. I shot it in New York actual New York. Um, this is when the clients were, You know, I think there are four months away from their wedding date, and they're so cute and so in love. And I just think it's so funny. There's another couple that's like, you know, having a normal day again. There's a guy messing with his nose, and it's just kind of, Ah, again a pedestrian background. I like that contrast. I like those layers. I think that's a really fun experiment. It's so important to experiment. When you're shooting and any shoot you get, there's always room to do a little bit. Add that little thing or try that little thing. You know it's It's up to you to make sure that you're always getting the chance to do that . Put your client up really close in the frame, or take out of focus photo of them or, you know, make your shutter 1/10 of a second and dragon and have them run towards you. Just try stuff, you know, tilt your camera and weird ways. Just do whatever you can to be thinking outside the box. You're probably shooting digitally, which means that cost you almost nothing to take a picture. And honestly, if a photo doesn't work out, that's fine. Client doesn't have to see it like there's so much safety and experimenting nowadays. You should always be trying to push yourself totally out of your boundaries. Kind of the that. We do that first shot, but this It's gonna have a surprise. We'll see if it's any good. Okay, so you should always be looking to experiment. There's really no cost in it, and it's fun. You might get something that you couldn't have gotten normally, and that's really one of the most exciting things about photography. 10. Editing In Lightroom: All right, now we're gonna talk about editing. We're gonna switch Teoh Light Room and we're gonna go through the photos I made. And I'm gonna talk about the decisions I made when I was taking photos. And we're gonna edit a couple of them. So these are the five photos that have chosen to edit. And I'm going to talk about decisions I made in terms of color, correction and framing and things like that as I'm editing these photos. So this 1st 1 of Megan, What I want to point out that I think is really interesting is if you go to this is the after after I've edited everything and this is the before and you can see that there's not that much changing. One thing I really want to highlight is the fact that is this really nice glow on her face . And that's from that wall that was reflecting on to her. There was no direct light on her. In fact, she is actually backlit. You can actually sit. There's some rim light going around her hair and her shoulder. But most of the light that is actually on her is coming from that house that we were next to. So if I undo all my editing, you're going to see that there's not a really big difference in what I did. Basically, I had a little bit of light added some contrast to I didn't want to much glow, but I wanted a little bit of clothes, and I also wanted toe fill in the shadows a little bit. And if I was going to crop this, I'd probably crop it five by seven. Something I always do is I always hit L twice when I'm cropping, and what that's going to do is that's going to darken out the rest of the screen. And I find that to be a really nice tool when I am cropping, because seeing the parts of the image that aren't included is pretty distracting for me. And so this helps me actually understand how my image is going to be once it's been cropped . The nice thing about taking photos of the right camera settings and really dialing in everything you want to die, Elin is you don't actually have to edit that much. You only have to do a couple things here and there is air sort of the standard. It's I do. I always look at my curves, make sure that everything's there that I like. You know? I asked some sharpening and posts as well, just a little bit. Not too much. Then I also do profile correcting. And that just changes any sort of, you know, bits of distortion that your lens might have. It's not really the kind of thing that you have to do. It's not gonna make a huge difference, but you can see it should slightly change it a little. There we go and yeah, that's pretty much it. You can see that there, you know, are some changes that I made, but nothing huge. You're gonna be looking up like your eyes would be crossing. So do kind of what you were doing before pointing in. Yes, yes, yeah, it's very much a band photo. Let's see if you have Yeah, the birds might be. So this next photo you can see I did a lot more editing than I did on the previous photo. Is it before? And here's an after so going to reset everything, turn it black and white first, and then crop it and One thing I'm doing is I'm not trying to exactly recreate the edits I did because my sensibilities the same. So, you know, I'm gonna get it close enough to where you can, you know, understand what I'm going for, what I'm trying to do. I like this crop. I think it's interesting to not have their faces be fully in the frame. The photos, really, it's about them. But it's also about these birds and and kind of the feeling of being in a relationship. You know, it's kind of weird. It's a little bit more surreal, so it doesn't need to have them perfectly centered and focused. Things like that. Photos kind about the birds kind of about them. So first of all, I'm going to edit this image in two parts. The first part is Theburbs in the city, and then later I'm going to edit Makinen Collins face. I'm not really thinking about how these adjustments affect them right now, so I don't want this guy to be two blown out right now. I want contrast, and I wanted to grab your attention, but I don't want it to be too bright. Some just really editing for You know those things. So I'm gonna add an adjustment brush. There's gonna be two of is gonna be one just for calling Megan and then one for the sky and the birds. And if you press oh, you can see where the adjustment brush is going to be in the image turns it all red and you hit again and it turns that off. So with this layer, I've just I mean, this guy a little bit darker. You can see this before and after. So right now I'm just trying to kind of decrease the amount of contrast, even out their faces according to the tones in the image. So this is a photo that I think makes a lot more sense to me in black and white than a doesn't to color. I like how black and white photography really simplifies an image. There's kind of too much color going on for me, and I think the color is distracting in terms of what I want to say. This photos again. You know, it's really about the birds by Khan and Megan. There's so many elements that they can get lost if I'm not really careful with how it crop it. How a color. Correct it. You know how it's toned. So it's more exciting to me in black and white than it is in color. So this is the photo exported in the video, and this is the photo I just edited. Now you can see what it'd later has a little bit more contrast in the image. It's craft a little bit tighter. So I think I'm actually gonna go ahead and crop it like I did earlier, because I think I like that. Now that I compare the two, you know, this crop is really trying toe put emphasis on the strangeness of column and Megan, you know, being located in the frame where they are and kind of the beauty. Think what I think is so pretty about this image Is the birds this kind of l a contrast the situation. Let me have you guys switch sides. And Megan, you're gonna sit up a step above him. Yeah. Let me see how that looks. Yeah, and like, get closer, get okay. Okay. Look at me. So this photo never made it into the actual video. I'm gonna do quick before and after the edits. This is how I got the image right from a camera. And then here's the edited version. I like other really inside the frame. Parts of them are covered by things in the foreground to me, really like those layers. I think that's really nice. It makes you feel like the image has more depth, so I often crop. My image is first. I tend to like four by five ratio for verticals instead of the two by three ratio. Sometimes to buy three just feels like too tall, and I tend to shoot in ways that make more sense for a four by five crops. So that's what I'm gonna use here. And the photo really doesn't need these houses. It's really about the sort of emotional line of stairs going up. Andrea Lee. It's about Colin and Megan in the middle of this sweet embrace. This this quiet moment, something up, this exposure by about a stop. At some contrast, I tend to under expose my images rather than overexposed my images. And that's because digital files tend to be much easier to make look pleasing if you under expose them. If you make the mistake of under exposing them versus overexposing them. If there's something that's bright in the image and it's blown out, you're probably not gonna build recover it in your post processing. And so I generally under exposed by about a stop. So I'm fine tuning the points of contrast. So what I'm really worried about is brightening thes mid tones, which is this section right here. That section is what controls these highlights on their cheeks in their faces. So you can see this, you know, if I undo it. Just ah, adjustment I made makes it a little bit brighter. It's not, ah, huge difference, but it's a sort of fine tuning that I start to Dio, and I tend to like my brightest parts of the image to be not too exposed. And so I'll, um, pull down those highlights a tiny bit just to ah, kind of edge off that and and give it a creamy or tone. Often I looked to the middle of my history Graham toe ad, my contrast. And so oh, get that contrast from middle section in this case, I'm using the shadows for contrast to because I don't like how it looks. If I brighten them up, I want their black clothes to look black. So I'm gonna just the white bounds to make a little bit warmer. Nice. I think that looks good. Okay, one more time. Yeah, These are fun. OK, so this photo, I think it's valuable to see just because you got to see how it starts. And I decided to make it black and white because it just felt like the color was kind of to all over the place and it was chaotic. And and, you know, another reason why sometimes turned foot was black and white is because they honestly saved the photo. This is theory Genel image. This is the UN cropped origin. It's kind of messy. It's kind of everywhere is the kind of image that I don't think I would have thought was birth saving earlier in my photography career. But now kind of messing around. I know what I'm into, and I know what's worth trying to salvage. You can see it brightened it a lot. I added some contrast to I also flat because I didn't want any blown out highlights. This crop is also really important to at that crop and something I look for when I'm doing a black and white conversion is I'm thinking about the contrast in their cheeks specifically. So I want a certain level of brightness in their cheeks, and I want a certain little full of darkness as the light falls off their did. Their is really important to me. That's generally what I'm editing for the most. This is also this sort of image that I'm gonna put a lot of work into the dodging and burning off. You can see that I'm already doing a lot of editing, and it's really it's costing my computer to be cranky as I'm doing a screen recording. This is really where you start to see how good your camera files can can withstand. No, I've really asked these files to be exposed a lot brighter than than it was originally shot . But I did that. I wanted to make sure there's a some information in the sky would go back and check to see looked originally. Yeah, that's pretty close to things, tilting it to add to the chaos. I think it makes it feel a little bit more chaotic if you tilt your frame makes kind of weird. Yeah, I like that. It was virtually the same quinces shot when, you know, the sun was really, really starting to glow. Well, so I was really happy about this. This is Ah, classic Golden Hour. Photo s so much of cropping is just What do you want in the frame? What's important to the photo? What do you care about and what can you get rid of? If you can get rid of all the bad stuff, then you only have good stuff, which sounds like kind of almost meaningless advice, but is what it is. I really love the contrast on Megan's face. You know, this glow on her cheeks, the darkness of this side, the brightness of that. I That's really, really nice for me. And that's kind of what I'm exposing for has, like, making it a little bit warmer, you know, not too much, but warming up a little bit, I'm gonna dark in the background. Your eye tends to jump to the brightest part of the frame. So I'm not gonna completely, you know, totally go in and make everything behind your dark. But I don't really want anything back here to be bright white either because I really want the focus to be right here. One thing is, I like their faces. I like the amount of shadow on their faces, but I don't really like the amount of shadow on their clothes. I want you to build to see what they're wearing a little bit more. So I'm just gonna go in and at a little little little bit of brightness on. So it's not too much. It's just a really subtle tradition. And I think I'm actually going to decrease the intensity of tiny tiny. But I'm only just fine too. Yeah, that's about Okay, kid. There you go. 11. Wrap Up & Class Assignment: So that's the class. I really appreciate you watching it. It was super fun to make. I hope it was fun to watch. Um, I need you to make sure that you participate in the class assignment. Theus assignment is you're gonna go out and you're gonna shoot a couple. It could be an engagement or could just be, You know, two people and you're gonna post five photos that are all really different from each other . And you're gonna tell me a little bit about what you were thinking with each photo Why you made the decisions you made. Your just gonna talk to me about the images and I'm gonna come out, and I'm gonna give you a ton of feedback on it. You know, ask me questions. I'm there in the comments are really love to interact and participate with people. Uh, you know, it's a big reason why I teach, um and then, you know, don't forget to follow me on Instagram. Don't forget to follow me on skill share. Let me know what you like. I've got a lot of stuff gone, but I'll see you in the next one. Oh, and the last things all right. If you learn something from this class, I'd love a review. Reviews Air really helpful for me is a teacher on skill share. Really kind of make or break you here. So let me know what you liked in the reviews. It does. It does a lot for me.