First business portrait session--C & C's?
/forum/topic/1172196/0



skydiveaddict
Registered: Mar 29, 2006
Total Posts: 26
Country: United States

Canon 60D
70-200mm L
Yongnuo 565ex and sb80dx STU ACR
sb80dx behind subject w/modifier

This was a session primarily for Realtor's and associate members. Not all are affiliated with the same Broker.

Some images were 'Enhanced' through Portraiture 2.



friscoron
Registered: Oct 07, 2009
Total Posts: 5398
Country: United States


You did a really nice job here. They should be very happy with this.

As for nits, the woman in the bottom right and the guy in the third row/middle with the red tie -- these two have naturally shiny faces. When you're hit with that, it's better to feather the light. That will cut back the shiny reflections on their faces, not completely cut it out, but cut it back.



skydiveaddict
Registered: Mar 29, 2006
Total Posts: 26
Country: United States

How would I feather the light? How would I fix this in Post? I am using LR4 and PSE 10



Jim Rickards
Registered: Dec 02, 2003
Total Posts: 10376
Country: Germany

Nice job.

I see in a few shots you have a "facing left & facing right" version. That's a good thing. When your photos are used in a newsletter or other print media, they will want the person facing into the media.

For example, in a newsletter with the picture top right, they will want the person facing to viewer's left. It would look silly if the picture showed the person looking right, right off the page! This should lead you to take two versions of each person.



skydiveaddict
Registered: Mar 29, 2006
Total Posts: 26
Country: United States

I was attempting to capture each person in their best light...These are the pic of the person they chose.



friscoron
Registered: Oct 07, 2009
Total Posts: 5398
Country: United States


When you get that glare on a person's face, it's really only part of the face that reflects the light back to the camera. The girl on the bottom right, for example, the light on her forehead moves when she changes her pose. In the first pic on the left, the light is square on with her forehead, and then only on her left cheek (our right). When she tilts her head in the next pic, the light on her forehead moves, and now you've got the glare on both cheeks. Compare that to the woman next to her, virtually no glare there. It's all about the reflective quality of her facial skin.

People use different methods to clean that up. I'm not familiar with PSE, but what I would do is create a second layer. I would clone the skin from other parts of the forehead onto the second layer, and then when I was done and happy with my cloning, I would reduce the opacity until I felt it looks natural. I rarely reduce it less than 80% on a job like this.

As for feathering, instead of pointing the main light directly at the subject, you'd point it slightly in front of her so she's get a feathered version of the light instead of the full intense light. You may need to adjust the light settings or your camera settings, but this will reduce some of the reflection.



skydiveaddict
Registered: Mar 29, 2006
Total Posts: 26
Country: United States

Jim, thank you. I also thought it would give them more flexibility in how they use their pic in print media too.

friscoron, I have read about the reflective nature of skin tones and read that it was a great idea to have some facial wipes to cut the oil on skin...?

Thanks for the feathering, I will do that next time i see this on another persons face.

I completed all these shots in about 8 hrs. Included the time it took for them to choose their image.
I tried to give each one individual attention and attempted to modify the placement of lights but maintain a timely shoot schedule.

Not having done anything like this, let alone a schedule of 27+ people in a day, put me behind schedule a bit at the end of the day. (It took 2 more hrs than expected)

Any tips for doing this set-up again?
Thanks for your comments!



jefferies1
Registered: Jul 03, 2008
Total Posts: 2632
Country: United States

Too many to give specific comments on. Many appear off color. A lot of the eyes are dark and this really detracts from the photo. Sorry without ID numbers I can't point out exact images. Quite a few have this issue. The best color, exposure and light in the eyes would be the second row from bottom, Couple together, guy with blue tie. Another with bright eyes is the girl in red next to them for comparison. That is what I would try to get in all images for business use.
A few have way too much of a halo glow going on while it is Ok for others. Something to watch.

When I do shoots like that I usually end up picking the photo top save time. Doing 85 next week and no way would I wait to have them pick. I usually know what looks better anyway.



skydiveaddict
Registered: Mar 29, 2006
Total Posts: 26
Country: United States

Thanks jeffries1-- I thought some of the colors were too cool, so i warmed them up a bit. I am not working on a calibrated monitor and also still not sure once I calibrate it, if it will be the same across non-calibrated monitors which most people are viewing on.
I would love to hear about how you do 85 people. Do you even custom tailor the lighting at all? I adjusted the rim light on some as well as the main light.
I found that I had to switch lenses and lights for the couples, which was a pain as my schedule was 10-15 minutes for each person.
I'll try to re-post with id numbers and adjust the color back to the custom white balance from the camera. I would greatly appreciate feedback from those with calibrated monitors.



CW100
Registered: Apr 03, 2009
Total Posts: 4628
Country: United States

I agree with the differing colors (easy to adjust) but overall looks like a good set





jefferies1
Registered: Jul 03, 2008
Total Posts: 2632
Country: United States

skydiveaddict wrote:
Thanks jeffries1-- I thought some of the colors were too cool, so i warmed them up a bit. I am not working on a calibrated monitor and also still not sure once I calibrate it, if it will be the same across non-calibrated monitors which most people are viewing on.
I would love to hear about how you do 85 people. Do you even custom tailor the lighting at all? I adjusted the rim light on some as well as the main light.
I found that I had to switch lenses and lights for the couples, which was a pain as my schedule was 10-15 minutes for each person.
I'll try to re-post with id numbers and adjust the color back to the custom white balance from the camera. I would greatly appreciate feedback from those with calibrated monitors.


You must have a monitor you can trust for color. If not then trust your CWB in camera and don't change it assuming the exposure is correct. Your exposure appear a bit under on some but due to the color may have been bettter before modifications. Custom WB requires correct exposure to be set correct.


I have a system I use to get a really good, relaxed looking shot fast.It works for my normal one at a time client and big corporate shoots also.My one on one sessions will take about 5-7 minutes plus post processing which is extensive.

For the large groups I will spend between 1.5 to 2.5 minutes per client. No more and sometimes even less. I will not mix in 2 people in the middle of single person shoots. Takes way too long to modify things and 2 people will take much longer to shoot than 1. They can wait till the end.Time is money for this kind of shoot!

I use fixed lighting for all the shoot and adjust the person to fit the light I have set. What this means is I look at the client, decide which is the open and closed side of their face and turn them as required for the light to work with them. That decision takes 2-3 seconds. I have done so many people it is second nature. I also adjust the lower body 2-3 different ways to help the head shot.Again it depends on the body type as to how I adjust. Again very little time is required.

My focus is always on the eyes. Bright open and lots of eye contact. No dark eyes are acceptable as that ruins the portrait. I have a look that my portraits all share and that is my goal for the shoot.That 'look' is what gets me hired and my clients expect. I will adjust exposure due to skin tone as I go but again that is a second or two.I usually know by looking which way to go and one test shot will verify it.

I always custom WB for the shoot and try not to have to adjust color later. I usually shoot in a bright room. (Dark rooms and flash gives me a headache.) I will re-do my custom WB as required due to changing room conditions.
No matter what happens I will be done with my 85 people within 4-5 hours and they will match any other headshot seen on my portfolio site. Post processing done after the shoot.

The key is I control the situation 100%. I have an assistant who keeps people moving and away from me, in a nice way. Everyone whats to talk to the photographer or ask about equipment. Not during a shoot, not what I am paid for. I focus on the person in front of the camera. When they start talking about how bad they look or how they can't take a good photo I don't listen. I really don't care.I heard this 1000 times this year already and it is never true.This negativce thoughts will ruin my photo 100% of the time and I don't get paid for bad photos. I quickly take them out of that negative state and have my shots before they catch on to what just happened. I don't give my clients time to think is the bottom line.
Works for me but maybe not others as individuals are all different and need to develop a syatem that fits them.



gheller
Registered: Apr 30, 2002
Total Posts: 5908
Country: United States

your grey backgrounds vary quite a bit, so this will be an issue if they are posted in groups.

otherwise, looks good

greg



Bruce Sawle
Registered: Sep 26, 2006
Total Posts: 4172
Country: United States

These are great. One thing you may want to consider is cleaning up the flyaway hair on a number of the women.



skydiveaddict
Registered: Mar 29, 2006
Total Posts: 26
Country: United States

jeffries1- Thanks...I have so much to learn, that's why I am on here and posting, asking for c&c's. I have read quite a few books, and looked at a lot of photos for posing, facial analysis and would still like other suggestions for ways to learn!! I am learning how to direct and take charge, I want to establish a bond with them, although doing a large number of people doesn't afford you that opportunity.

I heard that a lot too....'I don't take a good photo' etc...I try to lighten them up, make them laugh, tell them they have just never had a good photographer, which is true

gheller- These are photos for individual agents, so they won't be posted in groups.

Bruce- I had considered that...it's one thing i'm learning, is to price accordingly to include post-processing...some of the women did pay me for 'enhanced photos' that I ran through Portraiture, but we didn't go into detail as what they wanted...They are asking me to remove bags under eyes, more wrinkles, and to swap the color of the lipstick that they put on-in a latter photo to the one they wanted enhanced...

what to do....?



ESC in KC
Registered: Dec 26, 2005
Total Posts: 2724
Country: United States

I didn't read all of the posts above - so please pardon if this is repetitive advice.

Some of their eyes do not appear to be very well lit (top row, second and third from left as example).

Also, I think a gridded spot onto the background would help separate the subjects from the backdrop and add more depth to images.

Ed



skydiveaddict
Registered: Mar 29, 2006
Total Posts: 26
Country: United States

thank you all for your comments...I reset the color to what my custom white balance was set too. I also did realize a few were under-exposed a bit. I think I have them in the proper exposure now.



Steve Wylie
Registered: Feb 13, 2007
Total Posts: 1226
Country: United States

These are pretty good, especially with speedlites. One thing I would do if I were you is tone down the rim light. Accent lights are good; I use them frequently. But in many of these, the brightness is a bit overpowered.