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Lighting Workshop Q+A

Lighting is an important element in telling your clients’ story. From soft and diffused to edgy and hard, each conveys a variety of aesthetics and tones. On Saturday, September 14th, we’ve teamed up with award-winning cinematographer and gaffer, Nate Riedel, for a workshop focused on lighting and the impact it can make on your content. We’re excited to show you incredible sets, techniques and tools for tabletop photography using continuous lighting.

Whether you’re a blogger shooting content or a photographer shooting for brands, it’s important to be able to light in any situation. Still wondering if you should sign up? Or already have, and want to get pumped? Nate and I have answered a few questions below to shed some ... light ... on what’s in store. Sign up for the workshop here.

Why are you are offering this workshop?

KIRK: So many reasons. First of all, I never knew how important lighting was until I met Nate and saw what images looked like with proper lighting. The difference is way more significant than camera equipment. And we’re all spending money on cameras and lenses but not many are investing in lighting. It’s harder to understand and more intimidated. But once you get the hang of it there is literally no limit to what feelings you can create in your images. NATE: Lighting is what separates a good looking shot from a great looking shot. I love lighting and I’m stoked to share my passion with others.

What is continuous lighting?

NATE: Continuous lighting is when you turn on a light and it stays on. These lights are most commonly used to light for video. As opposed to strobes, which are flashes of light traditionally used in photography. Since many photo shoots often have have a video element, continuous lighting allows you to light for both photo and video in the same setup. And since brands and people are in need of more content than ever, being able to shoot both without changing setups makes you pretty awesome.

What is the first piece of lighting equipment you would recommend purchasing, to a new photographer/videographer?

NATE: A 5 in 1 reflector. It’s cheap and with that one piece of equipment you can shape the available light around you.

KIRK: Love Nate’s pragmatic answer. I was over here thinking about a $3,000 Kino light and he mentioned a reflector, which is so true. And like $50.

What was one of the hardest shoots you’ve had the light and how did you navigate it?

NATE: There was music video I was shooting for someone on the “The Voice.” I had to light an entire house and backyard pool area. It called for a lot of color, where my lighting taste doesn’t often take me. I also had to make sure I wouldn’t cast shadows as I tracked the talent and dancers throughout the house. It was a big idea with a modest budget. I was able to make it work through pre-production planning. I sat down with my gaffer and drew up schematics for lighting, where we could hide lights, the colors we would use, etc. We prelit the entire house the day before the shoot, so on the shoot day we could focus on performance and only had to make small changes as we went from room to room.

KIRK: What Nate said.

What lighting style or technique do you find to be the most on trend right now? What style do clients prefer the most?

KIRK: Right now it’s hard light with shadows. At first it was being used for simple product images on plane/white backdrops. The shadows acted as another “prop” or element to add dimension. Now it’s being used for everything, including portraits (which Nate would scoff at) and even product videos. That being said, we’re in mellow San Diego and most of our clients are still very much in love with the timelessness of soft, window lighting.

Will the techniques from this workshop translate easily to a photographer/videographer’s workflow?

KIRK: If you’re shooting product or food - or anything on a tabletop - this is a gamechanger. We are going to be using single light setups so it’s not as if you’d have to reinvent your entire process, you’d just be making it better. Shoots happen in so many different environments and if you’re not working with great, natural light then your images are going to look budget - even with the best cameras. You’re going to walk away with the knowledge and experience to light 3 different styles and we’ll be providing a gear list so you can chip away at the things you related to.

Signups have concluded for the Lighting Workshop.

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