To re-create the classic Hollywood self-portrait, we will first analyze and reverse-engineer some portraits from that time and style. Next, we’ll choose what kind of lights and modifiers to use. Then, finally, we’ll position those lights and take the shot to see what results we get.
Dialing in color doesn’t have to be as painstaking as it seems. Remember to start with a color profile that looks closest to how you want your images to look. Then the rest will fall in place in terms of controlling brightness, tonal recovery, and white balance.
I really believe that learning to properly use a bounced flash will give you a much greater degree of freedom when you are on a shoot. In venues that allow for it, you will be instantly prepared for any lighting condition and will no longer be shackled to the off-camera flash or sent scrambling for one to mount to the camera.
I find myself thinking in black & white. When creating a monochromatic portrait, I keep in consideration many specific elements such as composition, styling, editing, and lighting. Everything needs to be considered in such a way that it will work out in black & white.
When working with your clients, there are a few things that might seem elementary and like common sense, and yet they are critical to your overall success: being upbeat and friendly, being professional, being on time, being prepared, being well-dressed, having a photographic vision or direction (even when following a creative approach), and knowing your equipment inside and out.
There are rules in photography, and there are rules in lighting as a part of photography. However, when you're photographing conceptual work or fine art, you are largely expected to make your own rules. Only you know what is in your own head, and you have to bend any rules that stand in the way of making that vision a reality.
Unless you are in a different business than I am, most of your bridal photography clients aren't going to be supermodels. They won't have years of experience giving the camera what it wants. However, every single one of them wants to look like the best version of herself on her wedding day and in all those gorgeous photos you are taking of her.
After the shoot is done, after the files are stored and backed up, and the catalog and previews are rendered, it’s finally time to process all those files. Put your headphones on and get ready to cull. Lightroom has made life easier with its intuitive hotkeys, ease of cycling between images, and syncing adjustments.
Photography is so much more than "What camera do you own?" If you understanding lighting, you are well on your way to conquering one of the most difficult aspects of photography. Without light, you are not making an image. We need light. We should crave light, in all its forms.
Whether the story is very apparent visually or more subtle, I want to understand it so I am then able to start designing a lighting plan to represent that story. Should the lighting be soft or natural to reflect the subject’s personality? By starting with their stories, I am inspired to visually tell a story with light.