Sketch Ideas | Planning a Photoshoot

We don’t always need to have a concrete idea of what we’re planning for our model and set when going into a photoshoot, especially a casual one, but having at least a good idea is great for getting the creative ball rolling!

There should ideally be room to play when photographing a subject, especially since our original ideas don’t always work out!

 

This is where sketching comes in!

Even a simple stick figure with notes gets the creative juices flowing, and the more ideas we put to paper, the more we’ll have to play with in the photography studio and the more fleshed out these ideas will be!

We’ll also get a clue as to whether our ideas will actually work!

Wish sketching, we can visualize different lighting, costumes, hair design, backgrounds, set, posing, and crop!

 

Planning ahead isn’t something I usually do myself, but it’s definitely something I’m trying to get better at!

The more we plan, the easier it is to infuse meaning into our work, and have a variety of options for a more successful shoot!

 

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

If you have any questions or suggestions for Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday, please leave a comment or contact me!
See you next week!

DIY Basic Portrait Backdrop

Backdrops made for photography, whether paper or muslin, can get really pricey!

It’s easy to get caught up in brands and gear and think we need to spend major money on professional backgrounds, but we really don’t!

 

Backdrops can be as simple as a painted or white wall, thrifted wallpaper, wrapping paper, and even thrifted curtains, sheets, and blankets!

Most of the time, my go-to backdrop is a spare black blanket.  It’s easily tacked to the wall and looks great.

When sourcing fabrics, thicker, polyester blends tend to look best, as they won’t be translucent and don’t wrinkle as easily as cotton!

We can even make DIY, custom photography backdrops by painting on the fabric.

 

By using thrifted blankets and curtains, wallpaper, and wrapping paper, we can get detailed, versatile backdrops for our portraits for just a couple of dollars!

Let’s remember that we don’t always need the ‘pro’ gear.  DIY is often not only cheaper, but better!

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

 

If you have any questions or suggestions for Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday, please leave a comment or contact me!

Dark fantasy portrait

gothic fashion self portrait photography

Editing: Build on Layers

When it comes to editing photography, it’s common sense to work on multiple layers, but don’t be afraid to use even more layers when editing specific elements.

If you’re using curve adjustment layers to manipulate brightness and contrast, you don’t have to ‘get it right’ in one layer.  Keep building, make several passes!

You can do the same to build on colors.

If we’re stuck on one layer trying to ‘perfect’ an adjustment, let’s just leave it where it is, and create a new layer on top to build on it!

Add on layer masks, and we can get more control to fine-tune our work!

Keep layers named and organized into groups, or you can save your work in stages, flatten all layers, and keep building from there

 

Let’s not shy away from adding ‘too many’ layers, and taking the time to get it right!

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

 

Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday, let’s start off with some basics to get started with photography!
If you have any questions or suggestions for Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday, please leave a comment or contact me!

See you next week!

Essentials for Self Portraits | Getting Started

Self-portraits are a great way to learn about your camera, lighting equipment, posing, costuming, and yourself!

It can be difficult to be both model and photographer, so here are some essentials to get started in self portrait photography!

 

  • A Tripod
    For regular or beauty portraits, it’s often best to have the camera at eye-level

For fashion portraits, consider having the camera a bit lower, maybe waist level.  It’ll make you look taller!

 

  • A Focal Point
    Depending on how you trigger the camera, just a point on a wall can work, but I personally use an extra light stand with a foam head on it.  This way you can better see what will fit in the frame and how the light will fall!

When you get before the camera to model, you’ll take the place of what you used to focus.

 

  • A Trigger
    The camera’s self timer can work, but I highly recommend a remote shutter release!

There are wireless, time-lapse timers, and corded options, so consider what kind of portraits to want to take.

Corded and wireless are great when you’re relatively close to the camera, and a time-lapse remote is wonderful when you’re going to be far from the camera (like an environmental portrait).

 

  • Patience
    Patience is necessary for self portraits, as it can take dozens if not hundreds of photos to get one we like!

 

  • Extra batteries
    If you’re using a remote that uses batteries, be sure to have extras on hand.  You don’t want to be all dolled-up and have the remote suddenly stop working!

 

Self portraits are a huge opportunity to learn and grow, so I highly recommend giving them a shot!

We’ll delve into self-portrait photography more in the future, but now you have the essentials to get started!

 

If you have any questions or suggestions for Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday, please leave a comment or contact me!

See you next week!

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

Push Out of Our Comfort Zone for Better Photography

Our photography will never improve if we aren’t willing to stretch ourselves out of our comfort zones, try new things, and strengthen our weaknesses.

In the process, we never know what we’ll discover!

 

Flash photography used to be not only mysterious, but something I wasn’t good at and wasn’t too keen on improving.  Then a class had me work with strobes A LOT, and now they’re my favorite tool in the studio!

 

Let’s identify where our comfort zone is, what tools an techniques we don’t understand and that make us nervous, and what our weaknesses with our photography are.

Then, let’s push ourselves out there.  Let’s get out of our comfort zones, learn and understand our tools and techniques, and work on improving our weak areas!

Let’s push ourselves out of our comfort zones, and watch our photography improve!

 

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

If you have any questions or suggestions for Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday, please leave a comment or contact me!
See you next week!

Add a Vignette for Drama and Focus

This Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday focuses on a very simple, but pretty powerful trick.

Add a vignette!

This can help draw and keep viewers’ eyes within the frame, and can also add to the photograph’s mood and drama!

Photography of a snowy ridge in the mountains of Colorado.

It can be subtle, to give a touch of focus to the center of the frame…

A vivid green forest

…or dark, moody, and dramatic!

 

Vignettes are simple to add in Photoshop and other editing programs:

  • Create the vignette on a separate layer, either a ‘regular’ layer or a levels/curves adjustment layer with a mask.
  • Use a soft brush at low opacity (10% or so) and build up around the frame on the separate layer.  You don’t have to paint only around the edges, but you can paint around the center of the image to push back details.

Avoid using a gradient tool, as this can result in banding!

  • There are several layer styles you can use.  I often go with Overlay, Color Burn, Soft Light, or Multiply.

Watch how different layer styles affect the image! Sometimes Overlay and Color Burn will blow out highlights and warp colors!

  • Consider using several layers of gradients for better control.

 

And there you have it!

It’s a simple trick, but it’s one that can truly make an impact on your photography, whether you prefer subtle or dramatic!

 

If you have any questions or suggestions for Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday, please leave a comment or contact me!

See you next week!

Photography before and after

Before and after editing of a fine art landscape photograph of a woodland path.

Magenta Flower | Before and After Editing

Another Before and After for this week’s Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday!

Although this photoshoot used a bit more editing, it’s great example of how shots often look out-of-camera!

Yes, studio lights and umbrellas are often in the shot, as well as parts of the wall that the blanket backdrop can’t cover.

Just goes to show that images aren’t taken, they’re made.

Let’s not waste time worrying about how ‘professional’ our setup is.  Our studio space is our own, and whether or not we have a huge warehouse or a small space, it’s our challenge to create within it!

 

Much Peace and Keep Roamin’

If you have any questions or suggestions for Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials Tuesday, please leave a comment or contact me!

See you next week!

Photography before and after

Before and after editing of a fine art landscape photograph of a woodland path.