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Andi, July 2010 Workshop

During the last workshop I mentioned to the guys when there was down time to take Andi around the studio and shoot her quick and easy with window light.  My studio is so overwhelming their minds go crazy with possibilities and they soon get off track.  There are so many backgrounds in the studio you can shoot wide open with a 1,000 possibilities.  I change around the studio weekly so the shots will always be different.  This is where buying a lens like 85 1.2 really comes in handy (well worth the money).

After seeing them move stuff around and get side tracked I stepped in to clarify my thoughts.   I had Andi pop up through this plant (literally) at the window, shot aperture priority, grab shot, done deal.

It’s so refreshing to be able to keep a models skin that I could shoot Andi’s face all day.  Andi’s starting to feel comfortable changing her hair and smiling a bit more.  The look on her face here is what I call “my minimum look”, as in “don’t go under” this look.  Girls normally have a favorite hair style and are hesitant to change it…so baby steps.

I feel her hair looks great pulled back and really lets light into her right eye area which is smaller.  Most people have asymmetrical faces, some more than others.  I don’t have a hard and fast rule about which eye I like closer to the camera, I usually try both. Sometimes it’s just the eyes, but a lot of times I find it’s half the face that’s different.

Even though this is a window light image I retouched it using my “flashlight” technique where I make the center area of the face brighter.  To do this I simply use a masked curves layer set to screen mode.  I’m not going to post the original because you would say I’ve gone too far with the technique, but on it’s own it works.

Agencies are hungry for real skin, so if you’re a portrait photographer wanting to submit to agencies you might want to forgo the heavy looking actions, over exposure tricks and batch processing.  Better to under process when you can…not hard when you have Andi as a model no doubt.

If you have a client that wants to submit to agencies, you are shooting for the agency, not your client, even though the client is paying you…you’re the art director, learn when and how to say no.

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