Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sunday afternoon portrait shoot

This past Sunday Lily stopped by to get a few headshots to use in her portfolio while pursuing her acting career.

I used a pretty simple setup. On camera right (about 45 degree angle) I had my alien bee B800 with a large octabox and on camera left (about 80-90 degree angle high) I had my Nikon SB800 with diffuser and roughly 1 stop brighter than the main light.

Now I got around to finishing up a few of the photos and I guess eventually I will get some of them incorporated in a portrait section on my web site (

After capture my workflow is to import the photos to lightroom using the camera raw plugin which does a very nice job at ensuring colors and light is right. (read more in this post).

After import I had Lily pick the top 30 photos to continue work on these.
Retouching portraits like this got soo much simpler and faster. I am pretty sure Emma could actually do it... it's that easy.
To process photos I take a few simple steps in lightroom:
1. Adjust overall brightness, color and contrast.
2. "fix" complexion with portrait professional (right click and select edit-in)
3. Crop to print size and if multiple sizes are needed create virtual copies for these.
4. Select all and make virtual copies
5. Select virtual copies and change to black and white with the develop setting.

Now all that is left to do is export and/or create a web gallery (using lightroom of course).

If you noticed it in the steps above you are absolutely right. I did not use photoshop at all in any of these steps...
The key to quick processing is the portrait professional package. You can read more about it here.