3 days of being an assistant and “behind the scenes” shooter for the panda. I did learn a lot from his lighting setup and the way he shoots in general.
For one, his setups look kinda complicated at first. But I started to see the pattern of where he was placing the lights, especially in the classrooms. And making good use of the fact that we had white classroom ceilings and walls. Bouncing light in all the right places.
Secondly, the way he directs his subject makes me think a lot as well. He has many clear, easy to follow instructions and ideas to make a posed look look really natural. Sometimes the subjects may look too stiff when asked to pose. Solution to the problem?
“Close your eyes, on the count of three, pop them open and give me a wide smile!”
Sounds cheesy but works 80% of the time :)
Thirdly, how he communicates with the people who want the photos. Much poise really.