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Archive for the ‘Photo Tips’ Category

Building Light for a Beauty Headshot

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In the studio, it’s easy to control and manipulate the light. In this blog post, I’m going to show how I build up the light for a beauty shot, step by step. I have two Barbie dolls I use for  lighting tests – a brunette and a blonde, pictured here.  (Still hoping for good names for them – any ideas?)

Click on any of the images in this post to see them in LARGER size.

In the first shot above, I used one beauty dish, above the camera, aimed down at the model. This provides a very soft and flattering light for women. (This is normally not a lighting setup I would use for men.)

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Here you can see the beauty dish above the camera, with a silk “sock” on it to further soften the light, and a black foamcore background behind the Barbie.

I liked the lighting in the first shot, but perhaps the shadows underneath the chin were too dark. So –

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For this second image, I put a white foamcore board right under the frame, to bounce a bit of light back into her face. Notice how much softer the look is. Still using just one light.

Next step – the background looked too dark, so I put a small light hidden behind the Barbie, aimed back at the black background. Pretty subtle, but you can see the difference –

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The background light helps to separate the figure from the background.

Then, to further soften the light even more, I put two vertical foamcoare boards on either side, just outside the visible frame. This give a very glowing look to the skin, but some detail and contrast are lost.

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There were no Photoshop adjustments made to any of the images – they’re right out of the camera.

Whether I’m shooting a beauty portrait or a business headshot, the process is the same. I start with one light, gradually add lights and reflectors such as the foamcore, until I get just the right look.

Are you ready for your portrait? We can light it to get just the right look for you!

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

 

Mentoring a Young Photographer

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(Click on any picture to see a LARGER size.)

This afternoon, I spent some time with my friend, Ashley, giving her some tips on photography.

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Ashley has really gotten the photography bug. At age 13, she is off to a great start. She has a good eye and is already taking some very engaging pictures.

I’ve had quite a few photographer friends that have mentored me along the way, so I’m always happy to help others.

Ashley’s family has been dear friends of ours for many years and she is a delight to hang out with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below, in the shade by the swimming pool, we discussed the finer points of auto-ISO, depth of field, composition and shutter speed, among other esoteric subjects.

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I quoted Cartier-Bresson, one of my favorite photographers, who said, “My first 10,000 pictures were my worst.” He was saying, of course, shoot, shoot and shoot more. This is just what Ashley is doing.  She even goes under the tree where the bugs are to get the shot!

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In the picture below, Ashley is dreaming of her next new lens. (Sorry, Mom and Dad!) And yes, I told her that the rule is to have the eyes in focus, not whatever the person is holding. But we both liked this rule-breaking image.  Look forward to shooting with you again, dear one!

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.
“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

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Different Backgrounds and Wardrobe

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(Click on any image to see in a LARGER size.)

When I’m shooting headshots, I always suggest to the client that we try several wardrobe looks. This is for a couple of reasons.

First, we don’t really know how an outfit is going to look in a picture until we take it. So we’ll try two or three outfits to see what works best. And I try different backgrounds as well. Secondly, the client may need different looks for different purposes.

Connor, a college student, needed a fairly formal look as he begins to explore career opportunities after graduation. He’ll likely use the tie and coat image above for this purpose.

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Notice how different the second image looks without the tie and with a white background. His smile and expression are fairly close in the two pictures but the second photograph has a very different feel.

Finally, we shot the informal picture, below. Connor is a very personable and engaging young man. I know he’ll do well out in the job market – and I’m hoping these images will play a helpful role!

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

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