As you progress with portrait lighting, you will need to consider how you approach each subject and plan to light them. Faces come in all shapes and sizes, from very slender and thin faces to full and round, and your approach for lighting needs to show them best. Generally with a thin or slender face you want to use a flatter more frontal light, such as the key light at 5:00 or 7:00 o’clock, depending on which side of the camera the key light is placed.



These three images show this technique as used on Chelsea. A very nice soft light quality with minimal shadows.

In these three examples below you can see some subtle differences. In the image on the left of Elise, the Octa Dome is the lights source with the silver reflector.



Next, I use the Opacity slider for the shadow layer and reduce it to 50% and the shadow appears more faint and pleasing.



Assignment: Director of computer records center for a state to be shot for a magazine.

What’s the challenge? Another boring computer room…….

Here I wanted to use a fun blur action type technique. This technique is usually more common for on-camera flash uses, but can work with more formal setups using strobes in the right environment.


Industrial Nightmare

From here forward, whenever on assignment, assume that if something can go wrong it will and you need to be the hero and brainstorm your plan for the shoot when it does go wrong. And as long as you understand these Photoshop masking techniques, you can cover your tail.



The client and I discussed the angle that we would capture the machine. The client decided a high angle was preferable and high enough to see in the ‘trough’ as they call the top of the machine. They did also want to see enough of the sides and its details. The tripod I normally use goes to a height of a little over 6’ and works fine in 99.999% of the assignments I shoot. But not in the case of this assignment. Fortunately I have a Gitzo tripod that goes to a height of around 10’ and is what I use for shoots like this when height matters.

The client has a high-lift and offered to take me up in it to shoot down on the product, but consider why the high-lift wont work for this shot?  It is because we are Shooting for Photoshop and this means………………….



This image is a screen capture of the layered PSD files. The background copy was used for dodging and I dodged the rear wall (red arrow) because it had gone to dark. I dodged the highlights on the black furniture (yellow arrow) and………..



The final image shows the proper cabinet exposure, foreground, and pantry and is corrected using the lens correction tool.



Making the Star of the Shot Anonymous

This corporate assignment required to actually hide the star of the shot or the process. There were reasons for this: they did not want the public to see the part, the test process, or the custom die used to test the components. The facilities manager also wanted to see the shot before I left for approval.

The solution was to use minimum depth of field. I put on my 250mm lens, set the fstop to f4, and,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,



It would be roughly 9 o’clock (almost touching the wall) and I positioned it so that the light would gradate across his face from highlight and shadow.

The way that I work in setting up a shot like this has been mentioned in other lessons throughout this course. I start with one light source and I nail down the exposure and the adjustments until I like what I see when balancing with the other light source.






The following charts provide the base price guidelines and are simple to calculate the base price. From there you consider all other factors.  What you will not see in these charts are pricing for calendars, note cards, and similar other types of products. Most all these companies have set prices they are willing to pay and there is no negotiation.




I have sent many promos over the years and have tried many variations. Above are a sample of a promotional campaign I sent out. Each image shows the frontside and the backside of each postcard. I had these professionally designed and mailed in clear envelopes.