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Fierce Red-Head Mountain Top Shoot (free video!)

Creating the image in your mind is never easy, but today I will show you how to make it possible using flash and just how easy it can really be! This past fall, I ventured out to Colorado to work with a really cool lighting company called Westcott. They hired me to go into some crazy locations and show off the power of their lighting modifiers and what they can do. We shot a whole bunch of videos that I will share with you all for FREE, and one of them was with their fierce red-head on top of a mountain. We headed up to this sweet location where the trees broke open and allowed us to see the landscape of Colorado in the background. The issue was: The natural light was terrible! At that time of day, with our subject placed where we could see the beautiful mountains in the background, the light was basically unusable without some serious diffusion panels and reflectors to help. What I LOVE about using flash, is that I can create incredible images no matter what the ambient light is doing. Then, when we ALSO have great ambient light, I can make an image that is crazy cool. Step 1 First thing I did was simply put a flash in a SIMILAR position as the sun light (in this case to camera left). Step 2 I placed the center of that light (my Elinchrom Ranger AS Speed) with the attached Rapid Box XXL from Westcott on it slightly above the center of her eye line. Placing in at this height is CRITICAL to the catch light...
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Creating the image in your mind is never easy, but today I will show you how to make it possible using flash and just how easy it can really be!

fierce

This past fall, I ventured out to Colorado to work with a really cool lighting company called Westcott. They hired me to go into some crazy locations and show off the power of their lighting modifiers and what they can do.

We shot a whole bunch of videos that I will share with you all for FREE, and one of them was with their fierce red-head on top of a mountain. We headed up to this sweet location where the trees broke open and allowed us to see the landscape of Colorado in the background.

The issue was:

fierce1

The natural light was terrible!

At that time of day, with our subject placed where we could see the beautiful mountains in the background, the light was basically unusable without some serious diffusion panels and reflectors to help.

What I LOVE about using flash, is that I can create incredible images no matter what the ambient light is doing. Then, when we ALSO have great ambient light, I can make an image that is crazy cool.

Step 1

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First thing I did was simply put a flash in a SIMILAR position as the sun light (in this case to camera left).

Step 2

I placed the center of that light (my Elinchrom Ranger AS Speed) with the attached Rapid Box XXL from Westcott on it slightly above the center of her eye line. Placing in at this height is CRITICAL to the catch light in her eyes looking correct!

Step 3

Next I powered that light up so it was 1 stop BRIGHTER than the ambient light so the sun would then act as a fill light, my subject would become brighter than everything else and pop-out of the shot!

Direct sun is ALWAYS f/16 at at ISO 100, 1/100th of a second, so I powered my strobe up to f/16 at at ISO 100 and raised my shutter speed to 1/200th of a second (it is literally that easy) to darken the ambient light by 1 stop.

Step 4

Lastly, I added a second light to the back right of the frame and added the NEW Westcott pop-open strip bank to it.

This light was positioned at a similar height to the main light, but I was sure that it did NOT hit my subjects face in any way (which can create not so pretty hot spots on the face).

That light was powered about 2 stops LOWER than my main light (f/8 at at ISO 100) in order to make it not look too flash heavy. It would then separate my subject on the shadow side of her body from the background for added cool-factor!

Added Bonus:

Because I prefer to shoot portraits of this nature at shallower depth of field, I then added my 4 stop ND filter from Lee Filters to darken the overall image by 4 stops, which then allows me to OPEN UP the aperture by 4 stops to compensate and then shoot at a shallow depth of field.

(NOTE: If you want more information on how to use an ND filter system, check that out HERE)

The final images are shot at f/4, ISO 100, 1/200th of a second.

See ALL the final images from this shoot HERE!

How do I shoot images like this at weddings?

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Jody and I are creating a FULL-LENGTH wedding course that takes you through an entire wedding front to back with us. You can sign up to hear more about it when it comes out soon HERE.

It it, we will teach you how to capture insanely beautiful images in any lighting, at any wedding, indoors, outdoors, in sun, in shade, at the reception and much more!

We hope you enjoyed this weeks video!

Cyber Monday is here! Save 60% on Workshops and Courses!

We have massive savings in our storefront and we don’t want you to miss this opportunity to get one of our available tools for 60% off that can change your business forever that is 100% guaranteed! Visit the storefront now! The Hottest Selling Items: Buy The Store If you want to have a thriving business that gives you a great income and every tool you need to shoot incredible images, then you need this bundle. It will give you everything you need to know to take your shooting & business to the next level. Includes: The Complete Wedding Course ($500 value) The 6-Figure Business Course ($500 value) IN-CAMERA: Light ($249 value) IN-CAMERA: Natural Light ($249 value) Lighting Fast Post-Production ($249 value) Reception Lighting Made Easy ($249 value) Harvest Business Workshop Studio Lighting Made Easy ($249 value)  Save 70% off the regular price of $2,495 and get all of this for just $849! BONUS! Includes a 90 day FREE trial of ShootFlow, The Proven Workflow Solution! ($87 value) Grab the bundle now! The Complete Wedding Course (NEW!) The Complete Wedding Course is almost here (early spring 2017)! Follow us along on an entire REAL wedding shot LIVE in Nashville, TN! Walk with us in incredible HD footage as we guide you through our entire approach to photographing amazing images no matter what type of wedding day you are dealt. BONUS! Includes a 90 day FREE trial of ShootFlow, The Proven Workflow Solution! This Complete Wedding Course will cover: All aspects of the wedding day (getting ready, portraits, ceremony, reception, lighting, locations, posing, cameras and lenses and more) Interaction with their clients to get the best images possible Controlling the wedding day schedule to...
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We have massive savings in our storefront and we don’t want you to miss this opportunity to get one of our available tools for 60% off that can change your business forever that is 100% guaranteed!

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Visit the storefront now!

The Hottest Selling Items:

Buy The Store

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If you want to have a thriving business that gives you a great income and every tool you need to shoot incredible images, then you need this bundle. It will give you everything you need to know to take your shooting & business to the next level.

Includes:

  1. The Complete Wedding Course ($500 value)
  2. The 6-Figure Business Course ($500 value)
  3. IN-CAMERA: Light ($249 value)
  4. IN-CAMERA: Natural Light ($249 value)
  5. Lighting Fast Post-Production ($249 value)
  6. Reception Lighting Made Easy ($249 value)
  7. Harvest Business Workshop
  8. Studio Lighting Made Easy ($249 value) 

Save 70% off the regular price of $2,495 and get all of this for just $849!

BONUS! Includes a 90 day FREE trial of ShootFlow, The Proven Workflow Solution! ($87 value)

Grab the bundle now!


The Complete Wedding Course (NEW!)

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The Complete Wedding Course is almost here (early spring 2017)!

Follow us along on an entire REAL wedding shot LIVE in Nashville, TN!

Walk with us in incredible HD footage as we guide you through our entire approach to photographing amazing images no matter what type of wedding day you are dealt.

BONUS! Includes a 90 day FREE trial of ShootFlow, The Proven Workflow Solution!

This Complete Wedding Course will cover:

  • All aspects of the wedding day (getting ready, portraits, ceremony, reception, lighting, locations, posing, cameras and lenses and more)
  • Interaction with their clients to get the best images possible
  • Controlling the wedding day schedule to get incredible images without getting in the way of the flow of the day
  • Making great images out of tough locations
  • Tons of footage of the in-between moments
  • Learn the approach to shooting weddings with complete confidence
  • HUGE bonuses (announced soon!)

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Grab the wedding course now Save $200!


Business Course

6 Weeks to a 6-Figure Income

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BONUS! Includes a 90 day FREE trial of ShootFlow, The Proven Workflow Solution! 

This brand new course is unlike anything we have ever done before!

This course takes everything we have ever taught about business, marketing, sales and strategy to build a 6-figure business and turns it into a 6-week milestone course that helps you build a path to success!

Includes 6 Weeks of Content each Containing:

  • Weekly videos by Zach and Jody
  • Course Work
  • Downloads
  • Creating a vision for your business
  • Selling without being “salesy”
  • How to put together a solid brand
  • Getting new clients in the door
  • Pricing yourself for maximum profit
  • INCREASE your income!

The process is proven and thousands photographers have used this system to double their income, get better clients and have more fun with less stress!

Grab the business course now! Save $300!


IN-CAMERA: Light

The off-camera lighting system

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If you want to take insane images in even the worst lighting conditions, then this is the workshop for you! The Off-Camera Lighting System shows you are SIMPLE approach to taking incredible flash photos with ease!

BONUS! Includes a 90 day FREE trial of ShootFlow, The Proven Workflow Solution! 

Get ready to rock your off-camera imagery!

IN-CAMERA: Light video workshop will:

  • Remove the guesswork from off-camera lighting
  • Boost your confidence in any lighting situation
  • Give a fast and efficient step-by-step process to follow
  • Reduce your editing time significantly
  • Enable you to add unique imagery to your body of work

IN-CAMERA: Light video workshop includes:

  • Four hours of content
  • 25 live shooting demonstrations in difficult and varying lighting situations
  • 6 bonus chapters
  • Classroom explanation and instruction time
  • Gear must-haves

Much, much more!

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Learn off-camera lighting now (Save 60%)!


Low-Light Receptions Made Easy

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This digital workshop is tailored for any photographer (beginner to advanced) who wants to confidently walk into any low-light situations and capture beautifully lit images without any guesswork.

BONUS! Includes a 90 day FREE trial of ShootFlow, The Proven Workflow Solution!

IN-CAMERA: Low-Light Receptions Made Easy will:

  • Equip you to know how to use your speedlite
  • Boost your confidence in any low-lit situation
  • Share the systematic process and steps that Zach & Jody used for over 8 years to capture beautifully lit images in difficult lighting scenarios

IN-CAMERA: Low-Light Receptions Made Easy includes:

  • 2 hours of instruction and live shooting
  • 17 different live shooting demonstrations in varying reception scenarios
  • 6 bonus chapters
  • Classroom explanation and instruction time
  • Gear must-haves
  • Zach & Jody’s step-by-step systematic lighting process

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Get low-lit receptions now!


IN-CAMERA: Shooting 

The Natural Light Photography System

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Learn how to nail your color, exposure and all natural light images with ease with our step-by-step systematic approach! Never miss a great natural lit shot again!

BONUS! Includes a 90 day FREE trial of ShootFlow, The Proven Workflow Solution! 

  • Learn how to shoot in any natural-lighting conditions
  • Get amazing images IN-CAMERA
  • Reduce your editing time significantly
  • Have complete confidence any time you walk out on a shoot
  • Get your life back so you can spend time with family or friends or spend time building your business and shooting more
  • 3 hours of instructional material
  • 19 live shooting demonstrations
  • Clear, step-by-step explanation of the entire systematic natural-lighting process
  • You will walk away with better images that will amaze your clients before you even take them out of your camera

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Nail your natural lit shots now! (Save 60%)!


IN-CAMERA: Post 

The Lighting Fast Post Production System

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Want to edit an entire wedding in just 2.5 hours?

Want to cut your editing time in half or more?

This is the workshop for you as you can easily learn our tips and tricks for cutting your editing workflow down significantly!

BONUS! Includes a 90 day FREE trial of ShootFlow, The Proven Workflow Solution!

IN-CAMERA: Post will:

  • Share the systematic editing process and steps that Zach uses in his 2.5 hour wedding workflow (yes, you read that right – 2.5 hours)
  • Reduce your editing time
  • Help you organize all of your images and shoots
  • Help you reclaim your life
  • Get ready to reclaim your life!

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Reduce your editing time now (Save 60%)!


Harvest: 

The 3 Steps to Growing a Thriving Photo Business

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Learn how to build a 6-figure photography business with our proven step-by-step system to enhance your marketing, sales and referrals to build the brand of your dreams!

BONUS! Includes a 90 day FREE trial of ShootFlow, The Proven Workflow Solution! 

Run Time: 4 hrs 41 minutes

Includes:

  • Creating a Lasting Business – Setting yourself up for success
  • Creating Purpose – Having your life count for something
  • Having a Mission – Saying yes to less by gaining a focus for what you do
  • Standing Out – Differentiating yourself from everyone else
  • Organically Marketing Your Business So Others Sell You
  • Marketing Myths – What lies have we accepted that could be hurting our businesses?
  • Client Marketing – How to find clients and get them to LOVE you
  • Qualifying Clients – Attracting and bring in your perfect clientele
  • Pricing | Packages vs. A la Carte – Finding the best way to increase your booking amount
  • Pricing Strategies – Sales tips to increase your bottom line
  • Business Finances – Wisely manage your growing income
  • Dreaming Big Dreams – Growing your business by vision casting
  • Executing Goals – A plan to actually implement the steps to a thriving business

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Grow your photo business now! (Save 60%)!


Raw

Master Studio Lighting

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Learn studio lighting with this album cover shoot! Zach teaches how to create dynamic lighting in the studio and how to use multiple lights and different modifiers with ease! Get creative in the RAW digital workshop!

BONUS! Includes a 90 day FREE trial of ShootFlow, The Proven Workflow Solution! 

Includes:

  • 5 Full Lighting Set Ups
  • Multiple Light Techniques
  • Creative Lighting
  • Creative Shooting Technique
  • Multiple Modifiers
  • Ground Glass Shooting
  • Light Feathering Technique for ultra soft light
  • FULL editing of each of the 5 set ups
  • Photoshop Techniques
  • Run time of 2 Hours

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Learn studio lighting now (Save 60%)!

We’re excited to make this content available for you at a ridiculously low price! Don’t miss out :)


PS. This sale ends Monday at 11:59pm, but there are only 100 of each product and we WILL sell out, so do not wait!

PPS. Want to see the trailers for each of the videos? Check them out here!

1 easy idea to get your current clients to refer you more often

  (Image from the Complete Wedding Course by Zach & Jody) Let’s get one thing straight… Brides KNOW other brides, and many times they are standing right next to her on the wedding day. You need your current client referring you to ALL of her friends that are potential clients. But how in the world do you get her to do that? The answer is extremely simple. “Give your clients a reason to talk about you, then give them the tool they need to share you in an effective way.”  – Jody Gray (tweet this out!)    My wife is one smart cookie. She realized very early on in our business that we only needed to figure out how to get our first few clients when we started our business. After that, we needed the top clients, the best ones, to send us ALL of their friends. If we could get them to do that, we would quickly have a business full of amazing clients that we wanted to work with. Sound easy? It is!  Sort of.   A Reason To Talk It all starts with giving your client an exceptional experience that they can’t help but talk about! Seth Godin said in his amazing book The Purple Cow, “Are you making really good stuff in your business? If so, how fast can you stop!” What he meant was that it is not nearly good enough offer really good service or really good products in today’s business. You need to instead offer something great, and great is usually something unique or different. It is unique, in the photography industry,  to offer...
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(Image from the Complete Wedding Course by Zach & Jody)

Let’s get one thing straight… Brides KNOW other brides, and many times they are standing right next to her on the wedding day. You need your current client referring you to ALL of her friends that are potential clients. But how in the world do you get her to do that? The answer is extremely simple.

(more…)

Adding impact and drama to your images by layering shots

Today’s post is about something that is actually very simple to do, and adds lots of depth to our compositions and is also fun to experiment with! Layering compositions. Any time that you can take an image from having 2 layers (which is common in most images) and add another layer, the composition becomes much more 3 dimensional and adds impact. Many images are simply a subject and a background like this shot. But if we can find a way to add another layer to the composition, then we can add impact and drama to the shot and many times further pull ourselves out of the shot and make it more about the client.   The next image below is a nice moment of the groom smiling after seeing the bride for the first time. Simple shot with the couple in the foreground and a simple background.   But this below images is sooo much more dramatic! When Jody captured this, she saw these tree branches and quickly jumped behind them and framed the couple in-between a clearing. The images seems much more emotional and it appears as though we are peering in on the moment. This last example is an image we shot WAY back in 2008 after shooting for just about a year. We were shooting the groomsmen with some cool blue skies doing our off-camera lighting. We lined them up, stuck them in the frame and shot it. But it seemed to not have the impact I was going for, so we re-framed the image to what you see below… In the final shot, we simply...
read more

Today’s post is about something that is actually very simple to do, and adds lots of depth to our compositions and is also fun to experiment with! Layering compositions.

Any time that you can take an image from having 2 layers (which is common in most images) and add another layer, the composition becomes much more 3 dimensional and adds impact. Many images are simply a subject and a background like this shot.
(more…)

How to use an incentive to book more shoots

When we were shooting weddings, we had a 95% close rate when someone sat down to meet with us about their wedding day. This wasn’t luck and wasn’t because we are the best wedding photographers. It was because we know why people buy, and made sure to give people what they wanted. Today we want to teach you one of the tools we used so you can start to get the same results. The Why of Buy  People show up when there is a sale, people buy cars when the dealer throws in a set of tires, and when what you want might be gone tomorrow, people buy because of scarcity because no one wants to miss out. We know that people buy when they see value, when there is scarcity, when they feel safe, and when they are incentivize.  So how can we use these facts to help give our clients what they want and help us close more deals? Simple, INCENTIVIZE! (Click here to Tweet this out!)   When a client comes in and sits down with you to decide whether or not they are going to book you, there sometimes comes a moment right after you “close” (ask them if they are ready to book you), that they hesitate. This hesitation is what I call “riding the fence.” They didn’t say no to you, and they didn’t say yes. They are right on the fence and just need a little, soft push from you to fall on your side. In these situations, we always have an Ace in our pocket (an incentive). We would use an...
read more

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When we were shooting weddings, we had a 95% close rate when someone sat down to meet with us about their wedding day. This wasn’t luck and wasn’t because we are the best wedding photographers. It was because we know why people buy, and made sure to give people what they wanted. Today we want to teach you one of the tools we used so you can start to get the same results.

(more…)

3 ways to shoot at sunset | Part 3

(This is a 3 part series, and you can access part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE for further images, diagrams and info!)  In part 1, we talked through shooting backlit as the sun is still a little high in the sky and how to get that “glow” on your images that all portrait shooters love. In part 2, we talked about adding contrast to your images by using the just-setting sun directly to get a completely different look. Now, here in part 3, we are going to cover shooting with highly reduced contrast as the sun finally goes down. The image above was shot AFTER the sun had completely set. This is a great time to shoot because the sun itself is not a source of light that we have to deal with, but rather the sky (that the set sun is still lighting up). The sky is now one HUGE soft-box that creates really soft light that has reduced contrast due to its large size in comparison to our subjects. As you can see in the final images, the shots are soft, slightly flat, and have a very low contrast ratio from highlight to dark. This time of day looks best with clear to partly cloudy skies so that the sun can bounce off the sky and send light our way. If we have an overcast day, then this timeframe for shooting can look really dreary and dark without some sort of additional lighting or lighting modifiers. The great thing about shooting in this light, is there is not much instruction needed for HOW to do it,...
read more

(This is a 3 part series, and you can access part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE for further images, diagrams and info!) 

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In part 1, we talked through shooting backlit as the sun is still a little high in the sky and how to get that “glow” on your images that all portrait shooters love. In part 2, we talked about adding contrast to your images by using the just-setting sun directly to get a completely different look. Now, here in part 3, we are going to cover shooting with highly reduced contrast as the sun finally goes down.

The image above was shot AFTER the sun had completely set. This is a great time to shoot because the sun itself is not a source of light that we have to deal with, but rather the sky (that the set sun is still lighting up). The sky is now one HUGE soft-box that creates really soft light that has reduced contrast due to its large size in comparison to our subjects.

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As you can see in the final images, the shots are soft, slightly flat, and have a very low contrast ratio from highlight to dark.

This time of day looks best with clear to partly cloudy skies so that the sun can bounce off the sky and send light our way. If we have an overcast day, then this timeframe for shooting can look really dreary and dark without some sort of additional lighting or lighting modifiers.

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The great thing about shooting in this light, is there is not much instruction needed for HOW to do it, because we just have one gigantic light that is really easy to deal with. We can have our subjects posed in ways that flatter them, and then just expect to see everything since the light is hitting it all. You do have to be careful at this time of day because you can’t use light (or the lack thereof) to hide any parts of your client that you may not want to see. You have to use posing and correct lens choices to get flattering images. But, as you can see, the images will all have very soft skin tones that is flattering in that respect.

With these three options for shooting at sunset, you should be able to get a great wide variety of images in a very short amount of time that your clients will love! Now get out there and shoot!

 

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