lighting workshop

Images from Lighting & Creativity Workshop in Texas (Part 2 Texas School 2021 Follow Up)

If you’re a photographer, it’s time again to book your seat at Texas School. What is Texas School? It’s a big once-a-year event where you spend a week with an instructor of your choice. It’s where you have the ability to do a deep-dive into lighting, social dynamics and expression, and your business. The event is in April, but registration opens tonight. It’s good to book your seat early.

This awesome video was created by my wrangler, Robert Ray. I think it really shows the feel of the event. I posted some images from the event already of the red-headed model. It’s worth checking those images out here.

We practice on individual models because we’re working on specific skills and drills. But throughout the week we build out into posing and working with groups. It means understanding how to first nail the individual portrait, then incorporate that into couples, then families, and then very large extended family groups.

I set up multiple studios for photographers to try various things. Each studio is set up differently, and there are various challenges so that photographers are individually pushed into new areas. We do a mix of indoor studio, outdoor, and even mixed lighting indoors like what we might encounter at a wedding reception or corporate portrait shoot. The challenge is to quickly nail the lighting on multiple levels (color balance, exposure, and perfect angles for the models skin, eyes, face, waist, etc.). The image should look retouched before we do any retouching.

With different models with different personalities, one challenge is to continually create new images with new poses that work with and tell a story about the subject’s personality. A viewer should feel who the model is, by just looking at a portrait. And of course lighting must continually be nailed, without excuse – inside, outside, mixed lighting, matching with difficult backgrounds.

The photographers in my class do most of the shooting, trying out certain drills or challenges. But I need to demo certain techniques here and there, so here’s some of the images I created. Keep in mind, these were all shot in short 2-5 minute segments per model. The rest of the time is for the photographers in the class to shoot. This model I photographed with only natural light and then with a pop-up flash. It was a lesson on how to create under pressure, with a lack of equipment.

Next, this cute young girl was a dancer. I wanted to show first how to get her to relax and get real expressions, and secondly how to light her so well that she doesn’t need any retouching. The glow of her skin and light in her eyes is all done with lighting. 

With lots of different models, looks, and personalities, it’s a lot of fun creating new portraits.

If you’re a photographer and would like to attend, find all the details here on my training website.

And if you’re a client and ready for some new headshots or portraits, give me a call at 801-728-3317.

Images from Lighting & Creativity Workshop in Texas (Part 1 Texas School 2021 Follow Up)

I just got back from teaching at my big one-week hands on lighting event, Texas School. It’s where photographers can sign up to spend an entire week with one instructor and learn hands on with equipment and models. It’s a mix of both classroom instruction and actual shooting.

I demo various techniques in order to give challenges for photographers to each try. I like starting in a studio, then adding lights and complexity, then moving out on location with lighting gear to tackle common lighting problems.

One of my wranglers, Bob Ray, shot video and behind the scenes footage of me and created this cool video.

One of the key things I like to emphasize is doing as much in camera and with lighting as possible. That way the images look as if they’re already retouched before editing them. Knowing how to light a woman really well saves time in post production. That time can better be spent doing detailed and fine retouching on the key portraits, or even painting over the image as this image shows below.

During this event, I only shoot each model for a few moments in order to demo ideas and get some good sample images for the models. The rest of the time is for the photographers in attendance to shoot. But here’s some of my favorites that I created in these short moments.

If you’d like some fun and beautiful new portraits in studio or out on location, give me a call at 801-728-3317. Spring is here and it’s perfect outside to create something magical of you.

And if you’re a photographer and would like more training, check out my live events as well as online courses at BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com.

And until next time, America.

Salt Flats Photo Shoots – Teaching Lighting to Photographers (part 1)

This last weekend I taught a 2-day lighting class to on the Utah Salt Flats to photographers from Idaho. It was my Adaptive Lighting class and it’s the perfect place because the area is so unpredictable. And this time was no different because when we got there the entire area was covered in smoke from the California wildfires.

Instead of wishing we didn’t have smoke, my challenge to everyone was to adapt, problem solve, and create smokey images so amazing, that everyone from now on will want photographs in the smoke. And as you can see from my first example, the smoke could be very beautiful. With some adaptive lighting and gear, my first demo was deepen the sky for a warm, surreal, and golden landscape.

We had an awesome turn out, as you can see in this video, and photographers and models alike were all having a great time. Definitely watch this short video. It’s in 4K, so try full screen if you have the internet bandwidth. It’ll be worth it.

No matter where you are, lighting always needs to be controlled for portraits – and that’s particularly true on the flats because there’s never shade. Many photographers rely on shade to make their portraits work, but learning to nail everything in the harsh environments of the Utah Salt Flats with studio lights and technical know-how means being able to create beautiful portrait anywhere. Out on the Salt Flats, the sunlight changes constantly from morning, to noon, afternoon, sunset, twilight, and even after dark. Being able to rock studio lights at this location is essential.

I am excited by the images I created there, and will post them soon. But first I wanted to share some behind the scenes from the event.

Here’s our entire group in the afternoon on Saturday. I captured this image with my drone, fired with my lower hand. And a special thanks to my friend Cory Waite for coming along as my friend and assistant, and for getting lots of great behind-the-scenes footage.

It was fun seeing all the lighting setups along the flats, and all the photographers and models having a great time.

Here are a few early favorites that I created during various demos.

Here’s a great image of Phil White working. He’s the photographer who put the event on and asked me to come speak for the Professional Photographers of Idaho. If you’re a photographer in Idaho, you should belong to this group.

On Saturday afternoon, we got special permission for our group to photograph at the historic Enola Gay Hangar, nearby in Wendover, Utah. I’m grateful to those who made that happen, and I’m excited to see what everyone creates in this unique spot. With all of our pretty models, lighting gear, and access to this great location, there were lots of ways to solve creative problems and create beautiful images. Here’s some of my early favorites from that location

At one point, photographer Katrina Hoffman was changing her camera settings while photographing a model who was Salsa dancing. I took advantage of the moment to cross through her shot – but Salsa danced through the space. Katrina was quick enough to get this photo of me carrying my lights, and Salsa dancing past her Salsa dancing model. HAHA!

Stay tuned for more great images from this event. And if you’re a photographer looking for training, check out my training website with online courses and schedule for upcoming events. It’s all at BryCoxWORKSHOPS.com.

And if you’re a client and would like to create some amazing portraits, now’s a great time to book a fun new shoot. Give me a call at 801-728-3317.

And until next time, America.