50mm, angle, aperture, background, black, black/white, brick, canon, clouds, composition, desaturated, dSLR, manual, masking, natural light, photography, portrait, posing, practice, processing, skin, sky, XSi
Up until about a month ago, the portraits I had taken, I thought, were pretty good. Better than snapshots, but still, nothing particularly artful or professional-looking. Much of that had to do with my inability to post process the way I realize most professional photographers do.
I always thought they got that “perfect skin look” straight out of camera.
I scour tons of photo blogs, read forums, and have read/listened to hundreds of tutorials and all of them pretty much say the same thing: they process their photos in one way or another, and it usually includes processing/fixing the skin in one form or another.
Good to know.
So my co-worker, Jenni, and I finally had opportunity to go out and take some shots over lunch. Again, heat of the summer day, bright overhead sun, spotty cloud cover. I found a location that I knew would have some decent shade and snapped off about 180 pictures in 30 minutes. Despite the fact that we were working quickly, I still had half a mind to try different poses, check my backgrounds, fix wispy hairs, etc. I felt like it was a real “shoot”.
They looked pretty good in-camera, but what happened after I got them downloaded was the really cool part.
Even though the images were pretty good, they still needed to be tweaked. The difference this time, however, was that I knew what I wanted them to look like, and I knew (more or less) how to do it! Believe me, folks, that makes a world of difference. It seems I’ve learned enough in the past almost year to have developed my own creative juices!
Yes! It’s true! Creative juices can be developed!!
Each image was different, and I had a different vision for each one. I’m developing a definite style, but not all images are suited for that style, so I tried to mix it up between black & white, full color, desaturated, sepia, tight crop, wide angle, etc. But, the fact that I could envision how I wanted each image to end up made processing the good images much more fun and that much faster.
Not to mention the fact that I had to do very little trial/error in figuring out how to get the software to accomplish what I wanted.
I actually enjoyed processing them, and in the end I was so proud of how they turned out. They looked professional to me.
Not perfect. But definitely professional. Something someone would pay for.
At that moment, I knew that I could do this and have happy customers. I can make a business of doing something that I love and people will pay me for it and be pleased with what they get.
Thanks for looking. Please take a moment to comment if you like what you saw.