Last week I was in Northern New Jersey and spoke to the Professional Photographers of New Jersey. It was a great experience for me, in that the only other time I was in NJ, I just drove through and didn't experience the state. Diana and Marty took me to great places from small towns
to traveling down the Shore (image below taken at night), starting at Sandy Hook and ending at Point Pleasant.I also got to play golf at the Forsgate Country Club and then Marty took me to see the University of Princeton. Wow, talk about incredible buildings. No wonder Einstein stayed so long!
Thanks again to Marty and Diana!!!
OK....this section is for members of PPANJ:
I want to thank all of you for having me there to share with you some things that have helped me.
A big plug for Triple Scoop (copyright free music, 10% discount BERG13) H-B Packaging, (great boxes, 10% off all eStore items (unlimited use) Coupon Code: BruceB) Larson Enterprises,(lighting gear 30% discount BERG13) Rice Studio Supply (packaging materials and frame bags), On One (plug in program) Blossom Publishing (cards and printed products, 30% discount thru 7-31,), Silverlake backgrounds (see below. Berg 15% discount) Graphic Authority (design programs and custom layouts, BERG13 for 30% off)) and especially WHCC Some of these merchants will give you a discount if you use my name, but you must act fairly quick as the codes expire...all by 11-30-13 if not sooner.
You can also get free pricing tips by going here: Pricing Tips.
OK, on to the live photo shoot.
This first image is raw and while I like it, there is too much highlight on her left side from the strip light. One could either turn down the power or rotate the face (like I did below it, with a soft and warm filter effect).
I like to have a bit more power in my separation light to punch the hair and skin, but that is somewhat subjective. The lighter the skin/hair color, the less the power and vice-versa.
The image below is using the SilverLake Color Smack background which looks like a solid wall (Its also wrinkle free and comes in its own bag-I highly suggest you buy a few, I love them!) As I mentioned, Megan has a thin face, so she can be broad lit. The separation light adds nice highlights on her hair.
These are from the poses on the floor. This is my favorite, using a gelled background light and the strip light as the main light. By keeping it low to the floor and Megan turning her face so she is more "short" lit, it works well for me. She looks and feels like a model. Hard to believe the background is just wrinkle free fabric.
This is a cute one of Megan, turning her face to the light for a short lighting set up. I would move her hand further behind her head, as its distracting here and also try to relax or reposition her right shoulder.
This is the same image, the first one is over color corrected and will not hold as a print. The second one may not have the color impact of the warm vs. cool scenario, but it is a much better file and image.
Alisha was taken outside, frankly when it was too dark. (OK, I like the fireflies though). If I had normally been in the situation, I would have used a tripod and supplemental lighting equipment to compensate. It was pretty light though.
This first image, the reflector is underneath her to reduce racoon eyes (notice the reflection). Had I backed up, her shoulderless dress still wouldn't have shown and that would leave mom and dad feeling a bit uncomfortable seeing so much skin with no outfit showing, so cropping in a bit made more sense as I did it here. Notice how I laid the hands so they would be unobtrusive and smaller.
Here the reflector is off to my right. In this case, the first image is better in how it is lighting her face and how it thins her. For a 2/3rds view, you still want to see a sliver of skin to the outside eye and make sure you don't get too much "white eye" (i.e. make sure the eyes look straight ahead.)
While the cropping is different below, the expressions are as well. For both portraits, her hand is too high and would be better served going behind on her neck. The bottom one has more punch in her smile though and I like the crossing of her legs. For smiles, I either smile myself and tell the model to smile or tell them to "sparkle", which also does the trick.
If she ordered one of these, we'd eliminate her tan lines and softly retouch her eyes. For the tree series, the bottom one again wins out in the expressions department. Besides smiling, I try for serious captures, usually encouraging them to smile with their eyes, not their lips.
Hope this little info helps. I'll be giving a full day work shop at PPA Imaging January 11th 2014 at Phoenix. Hopefully I'll see you at that wonderful event!
I do have materials for sale as well from $39 on up. If you order by August 3rd, there will no shipping and handling costs. Call 541-726-6119 (west coast time) for more info.