Outdoor Lifestyle Photography By Erik Valind

1 hr 24 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

With outdoor lifestyle photography your job is to sell the experience to the viewer. You need to be able to work in all kinds of lighting situations and with a range of gear–from strobes to diffusion panels–to get the kind of killer shots that makes the viewer wish they were there. Erik takes you through a series of locations and situations demonstrating lighting, posing, and composition tips and techniques all along the way.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Join Erik for a quick overview of the class.
Part of the process of telling the story of a location is including landmarks in your shots with your subjects. Erik demonstrates a few ways to deal with shooting people alongside of a large landmark.
When shooting outdoors you can take advantage of natural shade to even out the exposure on your subjects. The trick from there is to move around to find the best composition that works for that location.
Shooting subjects against a bright sun is a popular look these days. Erik demonstrates a number of ways to deal with all that light.
Continuing with the Kayak shoot, Erik talks about adjusting camera settings to get the right mix of hilight and shadow.
Shooting from a unique perspective can really make for dynamic and interesting shots of even the most mundane situations.
Shooting out on the beach in the middle of sunny day is usually the worst time of the day to shoot outdoors, but Erik has a few tips and techniques on how create fantastic shots even in these harsh conditions.
The sun never stops moving, so it is a great idea to change perspectives to get even more shots out of the same location.
Another way to get a unique perspective is to shoot from over the person's shoulder and really bring the viewer right into subject's experience.
Erik shares some great tips for using a 7 foot Octabank in an outdoor scene, which gives the subjects a lot of room to move.
Your life will be a lot simpler when you can work with the ambient light instead of working against it. In this lesson Erik brings in an 7 foot parabolic umbrella to act as a second sun to even out the light on the subjects.
You can incorporate strobes into the mix with natural daylight by placing gels over your strobes to make their color temperature more closely match the light from the sun.
When shooting against the setting sun you can underexpose for the sky with a slower shutter speed, then bring in artificial light to fill in your subjects.
The edge of the sea is not a great location for setting up a lot of gear, so Erik demonstrates how to take advantage of the high speed sync mode of your camera to use a speedlight to add a little fill light on your subjects.
Profile photo of Erik Valind

Meet your instructor

Erik Valind


Erik Valind is a Top Pro Photographer who specializes in the creation of compelling commercial work and energetic lifestyle imagery. People are the center of his photography and also serve as his inspiration. Having grown up on the brilliant beaches of the sunshine state, Erik developed an early appreciation for the transformative ene...

Erik's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of Eric Eric

    We want more from Erik!!! Please give us more!!!

  2. Profile photo of halldavid halldavid

    By far… the best teacher and best instruction I’ve seen on Kelbyone. Awesome Awesome Job. Yes, please post my feedback!!

  3. Profile photo of info@markcrespo.com info@markcrespo.com

    Great class and great instructor! Erik is very informative and explains things very clearly. – Yes, please post my feedback.

  4. Profile photo of huntercjackson@yahoo.com huntercjackson@yahoo.com

    How are you getting them in focus at 2.8? I sometimes shoot even at f8 and have trouble getting them focused at 1/125th. Is the shutter speed the issue? also, how do you do your focus metering? Thanks!

    1. Profile photo of huntercjackson@yahoo.com huntercjackson@yahoo.com

      nevermind…haha you answered that

  5. Profile photo of Jacques-Coal Jacques-Coal

    Thank you for this excellent, informative and fun presentation. I have learnt so much. Erik is a very good teacher ! I especially enjoyed the music added to this presentation, even though it is currently winter down here in South Africa, watching this video made me feel like I was part of the experience in sunny Florida. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of EEWdad EEWdad

    Nicely done – enjoyed the approached used throughout this series: combined both technical and creative aspects of lighting/camera settings in a variety of situations. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of halilynn halilynn

    This course has so many terrific tips that I will take with me in many shooting situations. I really love Erik’s energy and how articulate he is. Great presentation! Thanks for another outstanding course! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of JCam1964 JCam1964

    Great course, will definitely be viewing this class again … —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of davestarrett davestarrett

    This was an excellent course. I’d love to see more work from him as it was well explained and applicable to my needs. It moved at a reasonable pace and had a good mix of technical and creative aspects of the shot process.

  10. Profile photo of bklynphotochic bklynphotochic

    I enjoyed learning about how to work with ambient light and to use the equipment I all ready have—like scrims, reflectors, and diffusers. I really enjoyed the last section on high speed sync. I’m a flash user so that topic interested me the most. Thanks! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of Donald Donald

    Outstanding! Thank you. Extremely informative. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  12. Profile photo of pnmd23 pnmd23

    One of the best courses I’ve seen on here. Valind really knows lifestyle. Great communication and posing instruction with models. It’s obvious he’s very experienced with lifestyle, he handled every difficult lighting situation with aplomb. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  13. Profile photo of mbelgal mbelgal

    Incredible class. Covers so many lighting options. Being a photojournalist, I can take many of these lighting techniques and apply them to my job. I know a lot of work went into preparing and executing this class. It really shows. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  14. Profile photo of MRenae61 MRenae61

    Awesome course, great information and he explained it so well even a novice can understand it.
    Thanks so much. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  15. Profile photo of nxhai86 nxhai86

    Great course I haven’t seen before, thank you. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  16. Profile photo of scozz scozz

    For sure one of the best. Thank You for sharing. Cheers —- Yes, please post my feedback

  17. Profile photo of aboss3 aboss3

    Great class. This was my first one and I love your courses. Lots and lots of interesting material. Thanks again! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  18. Profile photo of emilnekem emilnekem

    High quality content and great fun to watch and learn. Great presenter. Thank you! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  19. Profile photo of rienzphotoz rienzphotoz

    Very informative and lots of hand tips. Eric (the instructor) makes the course breezy with lots of example photos. There are no “boring moments” with over explaining ….just the way, I like it, aha aha! Kelby Training Rocks! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  20. Profile photo of ilovejethro ilovejethro

    This course is fantastic. Initially I just wanted to watch it for the videos about shooting into the sun. This is an issue I frequently have. Otherwise, being a doctor, the closest I get to outdoor lifestyle is walking back and forth to my car. The thing that is so amazing about this course is that after I viewed the video about shooting into the sun, I couldn’t stop watching the rest of the course. It was so informational and being a beginner photographer, I felt like the things he taught were not too far over my head which would have made them unrealistic. I ended up watching the entire course in one setting. Great job. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  21. Profile photo of jeremycohen jeremycohen

    Great job Erik. One of my favorite tips was to simply just attach a tilter bracket to a speedring to hold a heavy octobank.

    Look forward to the next video on here!

    -Jeremy —- Yes, please post my feedback

  22. Profile photo of trusharp trusharp

    this course is so good I almost wish it wasn’t online. This man talks a lot of sense when it comes to lighting up models, the best part of it is he does it with minimal equipment that doesn’t cost a bunch. Pay very close attention to what he says and I promise you they wont be able to teach you much else anywhere. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  23. Profile photo of RBirchell RBirchell

    Excellent course. We travel often and have missed plenty of opportunities to do what was covered in this series (minus the professional models of course). Simple techniques and impressive results. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  24. Profile photo of seljen seljen

    This is a really great course, professional and very well presented course. Erik is an accomplished, dynamic and fluent presenter. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  25. Profile photo of ramonica ramonica

    What a great video! Eric has great energy and I love the on screen display for camera settings. Please share more classes by Eric. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  26. Profile photo of wayne rivett wayne rivett

    I thoroughly enjoyed Erik’s classes. I liked the pace in which he went through the various setups and the results proves he knows what he’s talking about —- Yes, please post my feedback

  27. Profile photo of ForDria ForDria

    Awesome course! The instructor was engaging and informative. Really enjoyed it. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  28. Profile photo of Doug Dillon Doug Dillon

    Great course!!! Enjoyed it very much! I learned so much from Erik. He is very good at explaining what he’s doing and why he’s doing it. Good description of equipment and reasoning for using it. I thought it was great how he used a lift to get that overhead shot. Great idea! I remember Joe McNally used that same type of equipment in a shot he did one time. Good choice of subject and Erik did a fantastic job of showing us how. Thanks! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  29. Profile photo of GregSamborski GregSamborski

    Does this man never make a verbal blunder? I don’t think I heard an ummm or ahhhh the entire time. That aside, extremely useful course. I really liked the black scrim idea. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  30. Profile photo of 782376 782376

    This was a very informative course and Erik is a really great instructor. His explinations of how to do something are very informative and concise. I can’t wait to get out there and shoot some lifestyle photography! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  31. Profile photo of willythezen willythezen

    great course —- Yes, please post my feedback

  32. Profile photo of docali docali

    Wow, such a great course.
    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  33. Profile photo of Jonathan Jonathan

    Another great class for Kelby Training, Erik does a brilliant job of simplifying what at 1st glance could be a complicated setup. I took a lot of great tips from this & it’s nice to see more wide angle lenses used to great effect without too much unwanted distortion.
    All’s I need now is the Kelby class of how to get the sun to come out in the UK & I’m sorted.
    Thanks again to Erik & all the team who put this together, look forward to seeing more from you.
    Rainy beach shot here we come…..

    JT —- Yes, please post my feedback

  34. Profile photo of 1144105 1144105

    Loved it. Erik is a great instructor! I got some really good take aways that I can use. Hope to see another course from him in the future.Thanks!!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  35. Profile photo of Jonathan Diener Jonathan Diener

    Just finished Erik Valind’s Outdoor Lifestyle Photography course and walked away with a great deal of techniques I can put to use in my work going forward. Erik did a nice job of blending technical info and practical approaches to achieve natural looking lifestyle shots. I appreciated the details he included about the lighting and modifiers as he was building his scenes. Looking forward to more great courses from Erik! Thanks! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  36. Profile photo of eandersonphotography eandersonphotography

    Love this course. I feel like I am just absorbing info the entire time. It is positive to hear the same concepts throughout the different scenes.
    Thank you! —- No, I’d keep it between us

  37. Profile photo of Francisco DelValle Francisco DelValle

    Thanks for the great course. Thoroughly enjoyed the explanations and style of teaching. Glad I found this as we’re heading on a beach vacation shortly and lots of this will come in handy. Looking forward to seeing other classes from you. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  38. Profile photo of rob bosley rob bosley

    Fantastic. Quick, understandable . Easy to watch. Fun music; creates a nice learning atmosphere.
    Probably the only course I’ll watch several times. Not because the others are not worthy, it’s just that he shows us situations that I face all the time. To the point, quick set ups. Thanks!

    Rob Bosley http://www.reluctantphoto.com —- Yes, please post my feedback

  39. Profile photo of daniwoodward100 daniwoodward100

    I really enjoyed this class. Erik is excellent, clear and useful information and some good tips. I hope to see more from this instructor soon. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  40. Profile photo of cornwell03 cornwell03

    Excellent class. The folks in the background were a crack up but I guess that’s what happens when shooting on location. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  41. Profile photo of Robert Conchy Robert Conchy

    great course, very dynamic and informative, thanks —- Yes, please post my feedback

  42. Profile photo of suezeeq12 suezeeq12

    GREAT CLASS! Possibly the best one I’ve seen on Kelby training! Practical advice but not the same ‘ole same ‘ole.

    Very easy to understand for a beginner but not so much that an experienced user would be bored with the content. Eric is a great teacher – hope to see more classes from him.

    Thanks for this one!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  43. Profile photo of Shawn Shawn

    Great Class Eric. Thanks a mil. —- Yes, please post my feedback

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