Shooting Senior Portraits Outdoors With A Single Light

In another great behind the scenes video from Michael Sasser, Denver Photographer Ryan Tortorelli is shown working with three students at several different locations to capture there senior portraits. Using what seems like a single light setup in conjunction with the sun, the resulting captured images show the quality of this setup. It's also great to see how Ryan is working with his talent, suggesting poses and giving directions.

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63 Comments

what are they getting photos for. what the fuck america.

Martin Bendix's picture

Woooow, waaaaay too much skin smoothing. Such a shame...

José Tomás Tocino's picture

I was to comment the same. That gaussian-blurred face look is awful. How come this got to this blog?

Mike Wilkinson's picture

Whether or not I agree with the post-production methods used in the final images, I found the video itself to be insightful in showing the direction the photographer was giving to the talent, and also how it demonstrated the use of a single light in multiple outdoor settings to get quality captures.

Michael Wessel's picture

 Yeah, I found the post-process not exactly to my liking but the video itself was really good. Helpful for someone like me trying to think out senior shoots, angles, locations, and lighting. Thanks for posting it!

too bad for awful post processing

Gur Mike Lev's picture

I was thinking the same thing... but didn't want to say it. Good captures, bad processing. 

very insightful on how he works with the clients.

side note, anyone know what kind of batman utility belt he's using in that video. looks very useful.

Adam's picture

I'm not sure about 'batman.' And not sure about this one. But ThinkTank has a great belt system with all kinds of great accessories. To hold the camera on there, these two companies have their own solutions...

http://www.peakdesignltd.com/
http://www.spiderholster.com/

 It is the spider holster. I use the think tank belt system though. It holds lots of different lenses and an extra body if you want. check it out.

Martin Beebee's picture

Another nice commercial, and nice to see him giving direction to the model by acting out the poses himself. But no real BTS info.

omg. i can't stop looking at how dirty that girl's feet are in the default image.  hahahahha

I hear you.  That was my total focus too.  

These are great BTS videos, keep them coming. I always learn something. On this one I don't personally like the way he made the skin a little to plastic on the close ups, but I think it works really well when it is a full shot like the one where she puts her feet up in the car.

Michael thanks for sharing your work online, looks like you really work well with your clients.

Another photographer makes a commercial, and again fstoppers features it.  How is this of any use to anyone interested in photography? I'm sure it looks cool to his clients, but what use is it to us?  There's no actual information in it, and it's nothing that a lot of us don't do every day.

Patrick Hall's picture

send us your bts videos and we will feature them too

That's my point though. This isn't a bts, this guy paid to make a commercial and you guys feature it because it was shot with shallow depth of field and has trendy music.

To clarify, these last two videos were made for the purpose of booking High School Seniors. Not to show other photographers how to shoot. They are designed to show the senior what it is like to have us for a shoot, and what it is like to work with us. Hopefully photographers get something out of it as well.

Keep doing what you're doing. I enjoy these vids.

I got something out of both of the last 2 videos.  I learned something on how to direct the model (I liked the "walk" on the last video) and I paid close attention to how you placed your single light on this one. I noticed that on almost all shots the light was very indirect and feathered and then you showed the finished shot and I observed how the light fell on the model's face and the type of catch lights it created. Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing.

nerdybails's picture

Yeah I think the term BTS is getting pretty vague, maybe this is in a literal sense. But usually BTS shoots are expected to be informational. Or maybe I'm making an assumption about the term BTS, who knows :)

Frederic Dupoux's picture

  what are these things you have glued on your Speed lights and SU800 ? 

Frederic Dupoux I have Radio poppers on my SU800 and on my flashes. I love the Raddio poppers system the freedom to be iTTL with out line of sight is so awesome!

Thanks to the fstoppers for featuring Michael Sasser and Persona Studios Video.

I was not very complicated from what I saw in the video, but I would have liked it if he explained his lighting set ups since this video was supposed to be about one light senior portraits.  I did however like how he demonstrated the poses himself for the models understand exactly what he was looking for. also, too much skin softening.

Jeremy Cupp's picture

I enjoyed this video and his last one. I thought they were well put together. I agree with the others though. Drop that smoothing down to 50% opacity and you have some winners, but if that is the look him and his clients like then cool.

Keep them coming. Alot of us photographers enjoy watching stuff like this. The rest of you need to lighten up and just enjoy the videos. It's cool to see how the photographer interacts with his subject. Enjoy it for what it is and stop acting like there is a monopod stuck up your......*bleep*. Please....feel free to submit your own BTS vids if you think you're that much better.

Cool photography, post production made me want to replace my eye sockets with lighter fluid.

Another vote for keep em coming.  I always like to get a feel for how other photographers work and pick up a few tricks now and then.

Hey thanks all! Im the Photographer thats in the Video and while some of you don't like the retouching thats cool to each their own. I make a great living with doing only about 30-40 High school seniors a year and my clients LOVE what and How I do what I do. With my work I have also almost earned my Masters in Photography through the PPA. So if its not too much skin smoothing with the PPA Judges its good enough for my clients.

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