Long standing friends wanted some images to mark the occasion of their 10th Wedding Anniversary.
I booked the studio at the college for a Wednesday afternoon for 2 hours. In preparation for the shoot I gave the subjects some guidance on clothing to wear – considering the background, they had wanted high key portraits, so said to avoid white clothing that would be lost in the background and of course to complement each other. I had also suggested they look at magazines or bring samples of the sort of images / poses they liked so we could aim to replicate them in the studio.
Lastly it was suggested to bring some formal and a more informal change of clothes to have a range of images to select from.
The shoot itself. It felt slightly odd to be giving direction to friends but it is clearly necessary that someone directs proceedings in order to ensure a positive outcome and ensure that we covered all bases in terms of poses.
The goal was to produce 6 to 10 quality images they could choose from for final printing. This meant putting into practice experience from previous shoots – careful positioning of subjects in relation to background and lights in relation to subjects. To ensure even lighting with no distracting shadows on faces or blown highlights. Some test shots were taken and images reviewed to provide quality check as shoot was underway. I feel it would be useful to have be able to review images on a larger screen more quickly and will investigate how this might be possible either by shooting “tethered” or with a wireless solution.
In many respects I felt this was the most successful studio shoot to date, comfortable in using the studio lights and by implementing the lessons learnt form previous shoots better quality images straight out of the camera were obtained. This minimised the amount of post processing required, in addition the subjects were keen to have natural portraits that didn’t look overly processed. Accordingly retouching was limited to cleaning up background where necessary, cropping and minor retouching of minor skin blemishes and modest whitening of eyes and teeth.
Sample finished image. (Click to enlarge)
1) It is essential to take charge of proceedings to get through the agenda.
2) This requires being a professional rather than a friend although of course maintaining a friendly atmosphere.
3) Planning pays off in terms of clothing, poses and a check list of what is to be covered.
4) Effort in obtaining best possible quality straight out of camera pays off in post-processing time saved.