Free Studio Class :: Call For Questions

May 11, 2010 | • Resources Events News

We are one month away from our weekend studio class that I will be teaching for CreativeLive. The class will be broadcast out of Seattle June 11th – 13th. If you are unfamiliar with CreativeLive let me give you the bullet points…

• They bring live teaching to you for free. Yes. Free. If you can tune in while the class is going live then you can kick back and watch it for free.

• This is a highly interactive process. People are monitoring the CreativeLive chat room and twitter feed during the class and fielding your questions to the instructor during the class. If you have a question you can ask it. I’ll be scheduling blocks of times during the weekend I’m teaching just to sit down and get through as many questions as I can in addition to the ones that will be fielded during the instruction time. I love the Internets. Don’t you?

• If you are unable to sit through an entire class, series, or the like then you can purchase that class anytime afterwards. The downloads pay for the bandwidth and production to bring it live. It’s a fantastic model for education that really doesn’t have an equal in our industry right now and I’m honored to have been asked to come on board as this thing launches.

• You can “enroll” for a class or just show up on their site the day of the class and watch it. The enroll feature is the best since you’ll get that reminder email before your class goes live.

• For those of you beyond the continental United States who don’t want to wake up at 3am to watch a free class the good folks at CreativeLive have come up with a solution for you. They will replay that day’s class overnight! Are you kidding me? That’s very awesome of them.

Check out some of the videos from Vincent Laforet’s HDDSLR class. Hours upon hours of discussion and teaching over the course of three days and you can download the whole dang thing for $129. I paid $400 to go to one of his workshops here in Atlanta and that was for one day and I can’t play it back. I downloaded this one right away. If you are wondering what the “edited videos coming in X days” means; if you download the video now you are getting the straight RAW feed that was the same as the live course. The edited versions do not cut the content. CreativeLive just goes in and cleans up the video and might make a change in cuts from one camera to another. The edited video has a bit more polish but all of the content as the live feed.


I’m doing a studio class over a weekend in June. It will start with an intro on Friday night and then run through Sunday. The final schedule is still being drafted but what I need right now from all of you is this…

What would you like to see in a studio class?

I’ve got 2.5 days to pack in as much as I can so hit me in the comments of specific or broad topics you want to see happen live. I have a basic outline of things I know I’m going to cover but I want to make sure I’m hitting points you all would like to see.

Lastly, we have six seats to fill with people during the class. We have a little idea for a contest for folks to win a seat to be there. I’ll announce that in a few days. Do remember that this is going down in Seattle. You don’t have to live there but travel will be on your dime. :)


Cheers, Zack


  • Rusty Bryant said on May 11, 2010

    hows about 2.5 days of schooling us how to be successful commercial

    Seriously, how about a one light tutorial…

  • zack said on May 11, 2010

    We will be starting with a single light source and then moving from there.


  • James McClean said on May 11, 2010

    Ahh Rusty Bryant beat me to it!

    I don’t have any fantastic suggestions but I’m really looking forward to it.

    I love your simple teaching style Zack, you make it so easy to learn!

  • Debajit Adhikary said on May 11, 2010

    I’d been waiting for your session on CreativeLive ever since it started 😛

    Things I’d like to see (most desirable first):

    (1) How to go from being an amateur photographer to a professional photographer (How to get assignments, market oneself etc.)

    (2) Creative lighting

    (3) Composition (at least to some extent — I feel this is never discussed enough — I really loved your PhotoCamp Utah examples on this — I would love to see even more coverage here)

  • Ken said on May 11, 2010

    Perfect, i get back from Taiwan that day. I should be able to watch.

    You should also plan some get together for Seattle folks at night. Doesn’t need to be photo related. And since i’ll be home i could come to that too. :)

  • Antoine said on May 11, 2010

    Yeah, I love the idea of building from 1 light up. I’d love to get your thought process in the process in the same way you did in your previous workflow video. And if I don’t have to skip a night’s sleep to watch from France it’s gonna be even better 😉

  • Ken said on May 11, 2010

    Also, hope i can win a seat to come :)

  • Enrique said on May 11, 2010

    speedlights with sun at 2:00 PM and no shadow

    events witouht extra time press conference, weding at church, sports all with speedlights

  • fernando said on May 11, 2010

    hello, where can I sign up to join the class?

  • zack said on May 11, 2010

    Fernando – Check out the web site :: My class is not up there yet but will be soon.

    Enrique – This is going to be a studio course so there won’t be a lot of location kind of applications to teach for this one. And for that sports one, I wouldn’t do it with speedlights! That’s one of those times you need some bigger lights for a reason! :)

  • Matthias said on May 11, 2010

    I would like to learn about the Joe McNally mode of the new Nikon Sb-900’s 😉 And a dedicated JoeyL polaroid crash course!

    Ok seriously, an in-depth of a broad variety of light shaping tools would be nice, definitely some of the OneLight stuff and I would loooove to see you explain and teach your cyclorama techniques and setups! That would really stand out!

    And I would love to join u in class! Maybe we can share a ride from Atlanta?! Ok kidding again…

  • Adam said on May 11, 2010

    I’d love to see you go through some of your post production, I haven’t seen you do too much of it on your blog but I always love the end result of your shots and would really like to have even a sliver of insight as to how you get them to the final product. If not that’s cool, just seeing you teach is cool enough, always excited when you put anything out.

  • Nas said on May 11, 2010

    Hey Zack,

    Please would you cover composition in your studio shoot. What to do instead of putting your subject smack bang in the middle of the frame or off to one side and leave negative space?


  • Jay said on May 11, 2010

    Any chance you’ll cover marketing at all or will it be just stuff behind the camera?

    If it’s the latter, then I am definitely looking forward to some tips on rim lighting.

    Thanks Zack!

  • Daf said on May 11, 2010

    More of a masterclass than the standard stuff – we all know what a softbox is!

    Some thoughts:
    -Single light
    -Multi lights other than the norm
    -Light rations
    -Groups (this one is tricky for me)

    One problem I’m having at the moment is that I don’t have much space (just D-lite’s in my flat) and assume others at my level (serious amateur / semi pro – whatever you want to label it) may have the same issue so working to confined spaces.

  • Daf said on May 11, 2010

    Or just pick some of your personal favourites (+diverse) photos explaining both the tech and creative thoughts/methods behind them.
    Learning by example is usually a lot easier.

  • Aubry Canales said on May 11, 2010

    I would love to hear your input on using reflectors in studio….. Size of them, the different effects you can get with them, etc.

    Also….. I would love to see one model, one light, and you use a bunch of different modifiers to illustrate how light placement and different modifiers create different feeling shots. Is that dumb?! I’ve seen it done before, but would love your creative take on it!

    Thanks for doing this! I’ve been stalking creative live’s site waiting for your course to open!

  • Rod said on May 11, 2010

    Hi Zack! I’m really looking forward to your session. I’m gonna be looking forward to any post processing. I love your tutorial on shooting on white seamless. I have been struggling with shooting on pure black. PURE BLACK. I seem to get a little bit of spill around the feet and into my background.

    Thanks ZACK!


  • Mike Wilson said on May 11, 2010

    I can’t wait for it!

    I’ll add my voice to the cries of lighting, business-side stuff, and composition!

    Let’s dooo eeet!!!

  • Tim said on May 11, 2010

    Some posing tips with your model would be great. Maybe some tips on interacting with your subject to help them feel comfortable and trust you.

  • maura kate said on May 11, 2010

    this makes me giddy.

    i have nothing to add but that :)

  • Calvin said on May 11, 2010

    How many lights are to many lights?

  • Abraxas said on May 11, 2010

    1. directing your model(s)
    2. choosing backgrounds, surrondings etc.
    3. photographing more than one person at a time
    4. maybe some of the extra stuff that us not yet sucksessful (low budget) photographers have to do ourselves. for example makeup.

    i am really looking forward to the class!

  • said on May 11, 2010

    I still want to hear you talk about posing the models.
    And lighting.

    Can’t wait for this!

  • mike said on May 11, 2010


    I’d love to see a quick white BG/cyc wall demo – I know you have covered it exhaustively on your blog, but seeing it would be great.

    I’d also like to suggest spending less time on stupid expensive equipment (I watched all 3 days of Laforet’s seminar) and more time talking about technique and, you know, useful things.

    I’d also like to see your thought process when working with a model and moving from set up to set up, howe you keep them entertained and engaged while you/assistants are fiddling with equipment.

    Finally, I’d like to ask that you spend a bit more time with user-generated questions. I know you want to have a nice schedule, but only getting 5 minutes for questions from 1600 people (a la vincent’s seminar) just wasn’t enough time.

    Thanks Zack I look forward to watching!

  • zack said on May 11, 2010

    Mike – We are going to be blocking out time just for online questions. Like one hour blocks of time.

  • Valerie said on May 11, 2010

    Zach, how different from your ONE LIGHT DVD this class will be?

  • zack said on May 11, 2010

    Valerie – Quite a bit. I will go over some fundamental exposure / camera info but we will jump out of that pretty quickly into shooting.

    Also, we will be using multiple lights.

  • Brian H said on May 11, 2010

    As mentioned by many, really looking forward to this.

    Topics of interest include,

    1) Working and interacting with talent whether they are a professional model or someone who is camera shy.

    2) Lighting and posing for different body types and facial structures. Recognizing and recalling good lighting technique for various differences.

    3) With the plethora of resources available today for basic camera and lighting knowledge, it would be nice for someone to take an opportunity like you have and spend a good bit of time exploring and teaching advanced lighting concepts.

  • Kevin said on May 11, 2010

    One light headshot. Two light headshot. Three light head shot. Solid white BG- to Gray BG exposures. “My ideal $1,000, $1,500, $2,000, $3,000, etc- camera/light kit would be…”
    Finding your niche. A typical day or week in your life (commercial photog). Marketing your wares in today’s environment.

  • Ned said on May 11, 2010

    One thing I struggled with is “what lights?” to purchase…had 2 speedlights but felt they were inadequate…went with ranger Quadra and glad I did…FLEXIBILITY. The whole lighting equipment thing is a confusing clusterfark if you ask me…and you could probably explain it well

  • zack said on May 11, 2010

    Ned – That’s one I had not thought of. Good idea.

  • zack said on May 11, 2010

    Anyone interested in any sort of product photography?

  • Alan Matthews said on May 11, 2010

    Saw your tweet about business – that’s my desire is to wonder what a non-established photographer without a swanky $1/2 million studio could possibly offer marking companies and advertising agencies.

  • fernando said on May 11, 2010

    how to use dynamic lighting on location… finding the right location… should one story board before a location? or just wing it?

  • zack said on May 11, 2010

    Fernando – Won’t be doing any location work for this one since it is a studio class.

  • Galina said on May 11, 2010

    do you have a “story” before a shoot, a picture in your head of What exactly you want to get? how many of those?
    if it’s a shoot with regular people (not professional models) – do you talk through What to expect, what images you want to get (both of you)…
    I might come back with more questions!
    I love creative Life classes :)

  • Matthias said on May 11, 2010

    Hi Zack,
    I would be interested in lighting setups for beauty (emphasize face, makeup) compare to hair (emphasize hair color/ style).

  • Matt Palmer said on May 11, 2010

    Maybe something on the new Pocket Wizard Flex’s. I’d like to know if you’ve tried and intend to use them.

  • zack said on May 11, 2010

    Matt – Those new PW’s are really for TTL and we aren’t even going to touch anything automated in this class. Everything will be manual so the new PW’s will be of little use to us.


  • Frank said on May 11, 2010

    Looking forward to it, just one silly question:

    Why can’t I find your courses in the calender of the CreativeLife Website?

    Can you tell me what time the course will be CET?

    Thank you!

  • zack said on May 11, 2010

    Frank – We just finalized the date with the folks over at CreativeLive so they still need to update the site and all of that. The classes will be starting around 10am PDT on Saturday and Sunday and some sort of evening’ish time for that Friday evening before we get kicked off in earnest.


  • Dave said on May 11, 2010

    I second Aubrey’s request about modifiers. A demo of what kind of light different modifiers create and the reasoning behind why you would pick one for a certain type of look.

    Beauty Dish vs Soft Box
    Beauty Dish vs Octobox
    Parabolic vs Soft Box

    Looking forward to seeing this class. I watched 90% of Vincent Laforet’s class and it was a wealth of knowledge and even with my TV background, it was a great refresher course on the fundamentals of good visual story telling.

    I know you’ll provide a great course with information that I haven’t even considered. Looking forward to it.

  • Howard Haby said on May 11, 2010

    This has been suggested, but speed lights/ flash during the day, with a strong sun etc. would be nice.
    Mostly, I just wanted to leave a comment to say how excited I am! Also, really glad you’ve been able to update your blog more regularly lately. I check it all the time, and you’ve been crazy busy, so the last week or so have been great for me.

  • Jay Rodriguez said on May 11, 2010

    Hey Zack,
    I would like to see more speed lighting techniques. Working with speedlights on a job that will require big strobes. CYC BG tips and sure, why not more inspirational tips on getting the word out. Promoting for your/our business. Even if its local.. you know, in our hood!

  • Doug King said on May 11, 2010


    Interested in hearing you describe how you work – from concept/vision to the finished image. How much is improvisation and how much is execution of preconceived vision.

    I am trying to do more executing the concept but still notice some of my favs come from inspiration during the shoot.

  • Marcus said on May 11, 2010


    I love you man. I have your DVD’s. I’ve been to your workshops. I sing your praises every chance I get. You are an inspiration; not because of the photographer you are but because of the man you are.

    I’m a little sad to see you get involved with this Chase project. Sure, watching it free is a windfall for anyone who is able to catch it. I readily acknowledge that there is overhead and costs that need to be recovered. I just don’t like the scheme here.

    Let’s compare to what’s out there already: First thing that comes to mind is Kelby Training. For a little more than the price of a couple of CreativeLive classes I could get a year of Kelby Training which would be good because there are what, around 180 classes? It would take me a year to get through them while keeping up with new content added all the time.

    You draw a comparison to the Vincent LaForet class you took. Yes it cost 3 times more but you also got hands on training. Cognitive learning outpaces listening to a recording or watching a video 5:1. You had the master of the subject right in front of you to answer questions, calm your anxiety and add some personality to the experience, all of which enhance the learning capabilities of the student – money well spent.

    I’m not boo-hooing this endeavor. Truly I am not. It just smacks of cheesy pricing schemes and bait-and-switch maneuvering. I checked the site just now and noticed the ‘slashed prices’. You see the same strategies at used car lots.

    The professionals involved in presenting the content are top-notch; no argument there. It’s the way that this is being handled that I don’t understand.

    I will look for you out on the road because, speaking from experience, you are worth the travel, the wait and most certainly the money. As for the broadcast and subsequent downloads ~ no thank you, I’ll pass.



  • zack said on May 12, 2010

    Marcus – I had reservations too but I just have to say the heart behind all of this is in the right place. Remember that these are tech dudes doing marketing. They could hire an ad agency and PR firm to clean up their verbage and branding but you’d be paying twice the price for their services at that point! This is a new venture for them so everyone is learning and they are pouring everything they have into these classes and all of the behind the scenes work. It’s a very expensive venture they are undertaking so they have to do something to at least cover that.

    I know it won’t be for everyone but I know it’s going to have value to a lot of folks who can’t afford or travel to other training options out there.


  • POINT357 said on May 12, 2010

    I’d like to see some product photography. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a tutorial anywhere on the internets. But you can’t flirt with a can of deodorant or lust after a steam iron can you? Yeah I’m a cynic. Something pretty complex if you can, lots of contours, about 15 lights, a few reflectors…

    For the people shots, it would be interesting to hear your thought process on shooting groups.

  • Jack said on May 12, 2010

    Does working with gels make any sense in a studio ?

  • Paulo Raimundo said on May 12, 2010

    Hi Zack. Would like to see these things:

    Differences in light modifiers.

    Notion on contrast, contrast relation(shadows), what is is, how to master it, why it is important.

    The small but big important things, the little details. Like the softness of the shadows, shadows edges, etc.

    Organization, managing the equipment, on “your” studio.

    Sure it will be great.


  • Allan Kendcal said on May 12, 2010

    Hi Zack.

    I would like to see…

    Inside your head…. what I mean is when you take a shot what is your thought process? I get that experience = visualization and you can get a good idea of what your shot will look like before you click the shutter but what is the process you go though when you assess your shot. maybe practically you can set up a simple shot, take a frame then show us the options…. to allow us to decide what direction to go in next, eg. more light/less light, different pose.

    also in my minimal experience I find it hard to know if I have nailed a shot, I don’t feel happy unless I have a few to choose from, do you click the shutter and just know that was the money shot? and you can go home?

    also everything everyone else said!! :)

    sorry for the length


  • John said on May 12, 2010

    This may result in kind of a vague answer, but what goes into the decision making process on how to light and style particular people? How do you know what it is that your going to do with someone once you have them on set?

  • Kelly Heck said on May 12, 2010

    What tools do you get the most from whether they are professional or from Home Dept. (like the great softboxes you use by Westcott and the tile board you buy at Home Dept, for example). One tool I’ve been curious about investing in is a ring flash – do you ever use one and what are your thoughts on it?

    Past experiences, good and bad.

    This may be too personal, but with your location being a smaller town, do you feel shoot and usage pricing should be handled differently? Since you work with a lot of bands and beginning musicians, I am curious how you handle use of your images for CD art/advertisement etc. What do you give your models at the end of a shoot (both paid and volunteer)?

    Otherwise, just as your OneLight video did for me, have fun and your audience will be inspired!

  • Brian Davis said on May 12, 2010

    I would like to see segments on the following things:

    1. Creative lighting
    2. Lens selection
    3. Talking to the model/making them at ease.
    4. Some insight into the business of owning a studio and marketing
    5. Selecting modifiers
    6. Going from a single to multiple light setup
    7. How to be sucksessful

    Just some ideas, no matter what, I’m sure it’ll be awesome. I’m definitely tuning in.

  • Angela W said on May 12, 2010

    Yes! Product photography! And I’ll second the others for working with people (especially groups), and light set-up during hard midday sun.

  • Rob said on May 12, 2010

    I’m interested in lighting beyond what was shown on the One Light DVD. I’m also interested in marketing and initial promotion of a photography business.

  • Andy Cuadra said on May 12, 2010

    Zack- definitely going to be tuning in.

    Two things that come to mind:
    1. High Key lighting techniques
    2. Product photography

  • Ken said on May 12, 2010

    I would be very interested in seeing your take on apparel photography. T-shirts on ghosted mannequins, athletic shorts, or anything else that is hard to style and shoot.

  • paul sherar said on May 12, 2010

    awesome, i’m in for sure.

    any possibility of a bit on lighting scenes for compositing different elements into afterwords? prob not… just something i’ve been thinking about lately

  • KKL said on May 12, 2010

    hopefully i can stay up to site in to this… but consider i am in china… the hour is gonna be crazy…

    we’ve heard a lot about lighting, natural light, studio light (com’on.. u are not the first one did a video about lighting. even tho yours is probably the only one focus on one light)… but.. none of the video seems to talk alot about how to pose the subject (model, band, whatever/whoever you are shooting) so.. would be nice if u can cover some of the posing/directing method.

    also.. it seems from your one light video that you seems always to have very good rapport with your client/subject. can you share some of the tips on how to build that in short period. (i mean heck.. the birthday girls in parking lot? wow! that was super quick rapport building!)

  • Mike said on May 12, 2010

    Kids: Can you do show some creative lighting choices for children that move beyond sears portrait gallery.

  • Jeff Dietz said on May 12, 2010

    I have a few questions. First a quick suggestion if you could pass it along. It is really hard for us wedding photographer to be able to get to see anything live if they are on weekends. We will always miss at least one of the days.
    1. Since your a current or past AlienBee user, have you gotten your hands on the Einstein’s and if so your thoughts on them.
    2. Tips on using reflectors. I have seen you use them in shoots in the past with great results, and I can’t seem to get anything good out of them. Would love tips.
    3. Business side. How to price for local commercial clients, how does pricing work with usage rights, digital files, etc. How to find out information on what the price range is in your local market. (since most of us don’t have a shot at the national campaigns).

    4. How to know when or if to step up to something like a profoto rig. Is it worth the price tag.

    5. Shooting into your light source. Tips for proper exposure as well as getting a good exposure on the main subject and not a blurred blown out mess (your main pic in the post is a great example).

    6. How to get that Avedon/Plato style portrait lighting. I am really interested in learning more about strong portraits and compelling headshots

    7. gelling a white backdrop to produce strong color. I saw you do this on one tutorial on the blog but have not gotten good results.

    Thanks man! If I don’t get to catch it live, which I won’t as I have a wedding, I know it will be worth the price investment to purchase it.

  • Danté said on May 12, 2010

    Hi Zach, I really, really think your strong point is with ‘composition’ for lack of a better word. I would love to hear your thought process of composing your shots. Like, when you first see the set/models/products, what goes into your mind about how to get your vision composed. I know that’s pretty cosmic, but I think you’ve really covered a ton of technical stuff really well, and I think the audience could really benefit from your experiences with composition. Ciao, Danté

  • Paulo said on May 12, 2010

    Hey Zack,
    I’m a huge fan of yours from Brazil (waiting anxiously for the day you’ll finally come over here with your workshop) and I’m really exited about being able to watch another one of your classes!

    I’d really like to know about how you interact with your subjects, since being in a studio gives you total control of everything and renders the background simple, focusing much more of the attention on the person. Some specific questions:
    How do you usually direct your subjects? How much freedom do you give them to just ‘be themselves’, how much do you influence on posing, attitude etc.?
    Do you let them interfere in the process of the picture, or do you usually have a specific goal in your mind which you aim for?
    How do you deal with people who are not used to being photographed in order to make them feel comfortable and get a good, natural looking picture?

    Cheers from the southern hemisphere,

  • Ashley Davis said on May 12, 2010

    I’ve heard many times that photography business is 80% business and 20% photography. Any tips to help us grow on the business side of things as we practice and master our lighting?

    I would love to win a seat to the filming. TOTALLY Bummed that the Wahington DC One Light Tour sold out so fast!

  • JeffScottShaw said on May 12, 2010

    I’d love to hear a more of your thoughts on:

    -how you put together and create your personal projects. The thought process behind being a “creative” and how that process has shaped or shapes your paid assignments

    You seem like the kind of guy who likes to go out with the client and shoot run and gun stlye, and I’d just love to hear more details and the thought process behind the shoot when someone is needing something specific (whether it’s a band promo piece, editorial spread, or something else) and the shoot isn’t a run and gun but maybe has some clear objectives that you then try to wrap your process around. Does that make sense? I think the technique part of this all is fascinating and I need to improve on that, but I don’t want my technique to drive my creativity all the time.

    I can’t wait to catch this class and I’d love to know how I could be there live because if I’m not sitting in on the workshop I’ll be about 5 miles away in my apartment. Thanks for all the work you do…


  • Geoff said on May 12, 2010

    I have no idea what time this will be in Australia, but I’ll be there with bells on.

    What to cover? Hmmm..
    The inverse square law and how to master it.
    Your favourite lighting schemes(Rembrandt, beauty, butterfly etc)for portraits
    Working in confined studio spaces.
    Aww, I don’t know – whatever you come up with it will be good.

  • Amy Holst said on May 12, 2010

    well, everything kelly heck and brian davis said, for sure! tho seriously, zack, i’d pretty much just sit and watch you teach us how to tie our shoes in fun and unique ways cuz you make everything so rad! i just have so much to learn that i’d benefit from anything. i love the comments regarding models and helping them feel at ease. multiple lights. lenses. just everything, dangit! :-)

  • Amy Holst said on May 12, 2010

    oh yeah, and i basically understand nada about gels, so that’d definitely be helpful.

    and i did a class through CT a few months ago and those peeps are GREAT, love ’em!

  • moritz said on May 13, 2010

    I was calling for run-n-gun techniques earlier, but I see that’s off topic in a studio class, so:

    – how to deal with non-professional models (=normal people people), both individually and in groups.

  • Vern said on May 13, 2010

    Only on top of what’s been suggested . . . possibly some “fine art” or rim lighting techniques would be interesting.

  • Chuck Griffin said on May 13, 2010

    I’d like to see some discussion on balancing ambient light with flash. And how to create those dynamic night shots where the model illuminated but the background is properly exposed.

  • Rafa said on May 13, 2010

    Looking forward to your class. I think there are way too many white, grey and black background workshops out there, or one light workshops. I’d be interested in a more advanced creative class, how to create simple sets with say translucent materials, plastic, white foamboard, … etc
    or creative use of shadows.

  • Alex Anufriev said on May 13, 2010

    I think, you have already said enough about single light shooting in your previous tutorials on DVD.
    What is interesting for me is how to create an interesting character for an image, how to discover the potential of a model for a shoot.

  • Dawn Camp said on May 13, 2010

    Doggone it! They’re taking you to Seattle. I would love to do this in Atlanta. :-)

  • Paul Hodgson said on May 14, 2010

    I’d like to hear a brief history of how you finally arrived at this point. What challenged you to create what appears now to be your successful photography business.

    How often you shoot just for you
    What do you find inspiring and then plan how to shoot it.

    From their your step by step approach to lighting something…

    1. how you find the light
    2. how you use your exposure meter meaning do you ettr or expose for the tone you’re after and let everything else fall into place
    3. as previously posted, building from one, two to three all the way to McNally light! lol
    4. your use of creative apertures
    5. how do you cope with photographers block (like writers block)
    6. work/life balance?
    7. deciding your price
    8. planning a shoot and how many people you’ll need to get the job done.

    That’ll do for now I think…sorry Zack!lol again

  • Nattawut Guname said on May 14, 2010

    Zack – Appreciate you reaching out to ask us for our input!

    1. I really dig your Paul Sanchez photo in the B&W section of your portfolio. Maybe some tips on how to shoot smoke?

    2. The key(s) to getting your white seamless to be white (less Photoshop time) if there’s more to it than getting enough power from the lights to make it white.

    3. Capturing motion in the studio, like Avedon in his fashion work. How to get some motion but still get a relatively crisp image.

    4. Quick rundown of basic/essential gear to start with for our studio. I know a lot will depend on what we plan to shoot and style.

    5. Related to #4 – like in your OneLight workshop, there are a lot of options just for one light, is there something similar for studio, not necessarily using one light, but a technique that’s efficient in both cost and output?

    Thanks, Zack!

  • Rob said on May 14, 2010

    “What would you like to see in a studio class?”

    Humm… You mean apart from me sitting in Seattle right? :-) Just bought the downloads, so looking forward to it (was glued to the screen for 3 days from Vince and will be for yours).

    * Explore the depth of light but with more about how you can use that (posing groups further away as the fall off area is larger e.t.c.).
    * Something about the thinking process of what types of light to use on what subjects – You know, broad light on fat round face might be less flattering then lighting from the other side (short lighting right?).
    * How to make the step from 1 to multi lights and what to watch for… Seems like some things just get complex (spill and double shadows e.t.c.).
    * How to get the clean skin tones that I see in your port – I have trouble been consistent. I know it’s an exposure thing but it just looks muddy a lot for me.
    * How you do so well dropping the light to black… avoiding spill & reflections that leave something apart from black black (Opposite of your popular white discussions).
    * Some discussion around different modifiers and more critically their impact on the subject and mood (ya know… old ladies with hard raking light = wrinkles e.t.c.).

    Anyway – Probably a repeat of others but maybe something useful for you… and us.

  • Randall Douglas said on May 14, 2010

    I’d like to see advanced tips with lighting, such as some really cool setups with a model, and I’d like to hear more about the marketing aspects of running your studio.

  • Aaron Pelly said on May 14, 2010

    Two ideas that stick out to me:

    1. Using window light with reflectors – like natural light headshots or something, if you have a window available.

    2. Working with the subject – posing, getting the expression you want, making them feel comfortable, etc.

    Thanks for doing this!!!!

  • derek said on May 14, 2010

    metering a 3 light set-up
    do you use in-camera light reading or handheld light meter.


  • Kevin said on May 14, 2010

    I’d love it of you did three days of “Shooting Music”.
    1. Day one could be promotional artwork. Ranging from the single diva to the ego clashing band to the middle aged crooner. Album covers, magazine covers, etc.
    2. Day two could be how to shoot the concert.
    3. Day three would be how to shoot the music video.

  • James D. said on May 14, 2010

    1. How about talking about your Lens selections and reasons why/why not to use a particular lens.

    2. Talk about light modifiers and why/why not you would use a particular one.

  • Richerd said on May 16, 2010

    This is great! I can’t wait for this event.
    Three things that I would be interested in seeing:
    1. As much as it makes my teeth itch (probably because it’s where I’m weakest right now), product photography would be an interesting topic. Especially going from one extreme to another (ie. small objects to, let’s say, a car)

    2. Working with what you got. Making professional and marketable images when you can’t afford tens of thousands of dollars in gear and studio.

    3. When to use a reflector and when to just light it.


  • Raymond said on May 17, 2010

    Creative choices, getting inspiration, how to brainstorm ideas and then take them to posing, lighting, post.

    Working with non-models; less than perfect figures and skin and no idea how to pose.

    Please not too much time (maybe zero) on the basic exposure stuff. Say you presume the audience has watched/understood the OneLight DVD or equivalent.


  • Juan Carlos Lopez said on May 17, 2010

    Hola Zack,
    I’m from Venezuela. Since we are literaly trapped inside the country, We have to thanks people like you for teaching online.
    So, since we are sending all the money to corrupt politicians around the world, we have to think in low budget projects, so, will be nice to hear in the webinar some items about using hand flashes and low budget affairs.
    Again, muchas gracias, I”ll be attending your webinar from the tropics.


  • Dominik said on May 19, 2010

    Hi Zack,

    Many technical requests have already been covered in the comments above, my biggest hassle is DIRECTING THE MODEL.

    I try to constantly interact with the person posing, giving a bit of direction, being funny to break the ice, but I feel I’m missing a consistent approach.


  • Debbi said on May 19, 2010

    As soon as I read about this workshop on Creative Live I prepaid to buy the class!! I bet many others have done this also.
    I’d like to see some product photography using a pure white background and foreground. I have a devil of a time getting nice clean white foreground.
    Love to see your technique!
    Can’t wait for the class

  • Matt Fowler said on May 19, 2010

    I’ve only recently discovered your blog and must say: I love it. And this post is what led me to CreativeLIVE for the first time this afternoon. Pretty fond of that, too. I really hope to see your appearance on there, but I don’t know what my schedule will be like. Nonetheless, what I’d like to see:

    • As many have mentioned: building model rapport. It is essential for a successful photoshoot.
    • Ringlights. When they’re awesome; when they’re not.
    • Simulating natural light.
    • Creative use of catchlights.
    • Creative use of colored gels.
    • How different lenses interact with light (not just perspective.)
    • Cookies (the light-shapers, rather than the delicious things.)
    • DIY rigs.
    • What would be your ideal studio and why? If you had no restraints from money or space or anything, what would you call HQ?

  • Bojan said on May 20, 2010

    hello Zack, im your fan from Serbia, you are very popular here, and i learned a lot from you ! anything you’ll be teaching on CreativeLive would be great! im waiting for the class 😉

  • Rab Cummings said on May 23, 2010

    I look forward to the workshop. Lots of great suggestions above so I won’t repeat. One request though:
    – A quick tutorial on shooting straight into your strobes (as in the image above on the blog post)- ex. how to predict a look, achieve different effects, etc. within the confines of a studio space.

    Many thanks, see you on June 11th.

  • Caleb Benton said on May 26, 2010

    I want to know how you do the shot like the one above (the 30 minute portrait in dubai). Looked like you had speedlights behind the subject. I have been experimenting with it, using 1/200 to make the background dark, but trying to light the subject with one speedlight and a reflector from the front side is tough. I think I may need a big light for this?

  • Caleb Benton said on May 26, 2010

    How about when to use TTL vs Manual. I have 3 SB800’s. In the studio, I have been shooting manual a bunch exposure and flash power. Outdoors, sort of depends.

  • Dean Barnett said on May 29, 2010

    Its great its free to watch live.. however some ppl are not gifted with the same timezone. REcon you could put it free for download for the first 12 hrs ? Or replay it 12 hrs later?

  • zack said on May 30, 2010

    Dean – They are going to be replaying it over night that weekend.


  • Diego said on May 30, 2010


    I would like to learn not just about where to put the lights inconsideration of the subject but also, how far should you be when taking a picture of the subject.

    like, what distance should your subject be from the cyc and from the camera..


  • Ameer said on June 4, 2010

    Hey Zack,

    Could you tell me what time the repeat will air?


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