Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Technique Tuesday: Cabo Smiles: How To Take Portraits Just About Anywhere

Good Afternoon Everybody,

ColdI couldn't believe it when I checked the weather Channel this morning, 16 degrees with snow on the ground back home in Kentucky. I had to rub-it-in just a bit with my team back home. I asked them about the weather and they gave me the detailed report of snow, wind, and really cold temperatures.

I told them how bad I felt for them for the super cold weather they were having, but I finished our conversation telling them we were going snorkeling this afternoon. I'm glad I was down here where they couldn't throw anything at me ;~)

Hey gang, I've got a super Technique Tuesday for you today. It's a bit long so you may want to watch it in two parts. It's really worth it.  Internet connectivity is a bit "iffy" now and then. Trying to get a 50 meg file up to Vimeo can be quite the challenge. Anyway, Check it out below.

Cabo Smiles - Or How To Take Portraits Just About Anywhere

Today's tutorial is about photography, lighting, and family portraits - family portraits made in the most humbling of locations. Because of the locations we were working, I chose to title today's lesson Cabo Smiles - How To Take Portraits Anywhere. When you watch the video, you will see what I mean.

Help collageDon't get me wrong, we got some great portraits. This tutorial will walk you through the entire process from solving challenging lighting situations, to finding the best backgrounds in less that optimum locations, to getting the best expressions on all the happy faces we photographed even when you don't speak the language.

Here is the backstory on our family portrait adventure. I've mentioned in previous posts about how the four of us, Kent, Sarah, LaDawn, and I participated in the Help-Project this past Saturday. The project is an outreach project to those in the world who would never have access to family photographs.

BarrioKent and Sarah have been active with a mission church in the Cabo area for a few years now. Last week Sarah, contacted Donna, one of the church's missionaries, to propose Help-Portrait initiative and said that we would be happy to provide family and/or individual portraits while visiting in Cabo - could she make it happen on pretty short notice.

Well, ask Donna anything like that and she swings into action. Within a day she had spread the word around the Barrio and had arranged eight families to be photographed on the simplistic church grounds in the Barrio of Cabo San Lucas.  Hit the PLAY button below and see how we pulled off some pretty cool portraits for these families.

I promise, you be surprised by many things when you watch this video. I also hope you will be happy with the lesson because today's lesson is more than just photography and lighting. It's about sharing your time and talent with those in need. Why not check out the Help-Portrait Project right here and maybe next year you can volunteer to be a part of it too. It was a great experience.


Hey gang, that's it for me today. Yes, we are heading out to do some snorkeling and everybody is waiting on me. So, I'm out of here. I'll plan to see you tomorrow for another short episode of the one that got away.

See you then. Adios, David


  1. Is it 100mm macro version II lens? (25:40)
    Thanks for sharing another good stuff.

    How safe is it to travel with photo equipment in Mexico?

  2. A wonderful gesture from a wonderful photographer. I found out about the project too late to participate but did join and will be part of it next year. God bless you and your family, your generosity will be appreciated for years to come by those families.

  3. A wonderful video. Your kindness and sharing should be an inspiration to all photographers. Well done to you and the Team

    George Osborne