My local photography club, Linn Area Photography Club, is lucky enough to participate in the Canon Explorer of Light seminars. For the last four years a Canon Explorer of Light has come and given a great talk. I’ve only been to two having just joined the club last year. That was a wonderful presentation by George Lepp.
This year’s presentation was last Saturday and the presenter was Clay Blackmore.
I walked out of the auditorium awed, stunned, thrilled and mostly inspired.
The seminar was both a lecture and watching him work. He talked about the different poses he uses, and then would demonstrate those poses with models on stage. There is something about watching a professional work that gives so much more meaning rather than just reading about it in a book or online. Mr.Blackmore showed us how he does individuals, small groups and even then large groups. He challenged himself to take a picture of the whole audience. He got us all up on stage and took our picture. That was over 200 people, and he had us all set in less than 15 minutes.
What made the learning so fun was his stories and attitude. He always had a fun story which drove his point home, made it not just about technique, but about experiences.
His advice for taking portraits was amazing. I can’t even begin to put it all down, but here are few points that stuck with me.
- Women go closer to the light
- 1 lighting setup, 2 different poses, 3 different camera positions
- Pose, light, refine
- Have a pattern in how you shoot.
- You need to speak with confidence when posing the model
There were two sayings of his that stuck with me.
- #1-There are three things that you need to have to truly succeed. 1) Love for yourself 2) Love for your profession 3) Love for the people you work with
- #2-R&D, rip off & duplicate. Look at others work, analyze it and try to duplicate what you like about it.
He taught a master class on Sunday that I wasn’t able to participate in, but I can’t wait to see the images of those that did.
I hope to get to go to another class taught by him in the future. It would be worth it.
The below picture was taken of Mr. Blackmore as he was talking to someone on stage.