The Importance of Styling

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Hi and welcome back.

I took last week off during the lazy days of Summer.  I’ll be posting only a few times a week until September and the kids are off to school.

For today, let’s take a look at the importance of styling.

If you are a going to a photoshoot, no matter who you are or what your need, styling is very important for a few reasons:

  1. You look great after pro pampers your face and hair
  2. It makes the photographer’s or retoucher’s job so much easier when post processing
  3. If you are a model, male or female, and you can do your own styling, you will sometimes get hired over other models who can’t do this.  So as budgets shrink, learning to do it yourself is beneficial.

Now on to hair, makeup, and nails.

For hair, if you are doing a concept shoot or beauty shoot that requires you to have crazy hair, then keep it simple and clean but add body so if a fan is added you have the volume to move around.

For makeup, stick to neutral tones that enhance your eyes and overall tone.  Again, unless you are doing something specific, keep it simple and elegant.

Nails are a pet peeve of mine.  Keep them clean, manicured, and use a neutral or light tone color on them so they disappear in the image.  Don’t arrive to your shoot or job with broken nails or chipped neon purple nails.  If your hands wind up in the image, you’ll be happy you had your nails done and ready for the shoot.

Here is a proof of a shot I did a while back.

Notice how the tones of her lips, face, and around the eyes are even and neutral.  Her hair has had a blowout at a salon so that there is volume to it, even though you can’t see too much of it.  But most importantly look at her nails.  They are in great shape and the color on them blends with her skin tone, so they disappear in the image and don’t detract from her face:

_DSC8161

Because her skin is evenly toned, her hair is controlled with product, and her nails blend perfectly, retouching is easy.

Here is a final retouch done by my retoucher:

_DSC816111_rt

If you are learning to style yourself, here is a guide I got from InStyle Magazine that will help you choose colors for your skin tone:

Headshot Makeup Copy

That’s it for today.  Till next time, happy stylin’.

Attaching a California Sunbounce Tube Frame to a Lightstand

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Hi and welcome back.

Since the price drop of the California Sunbounce Micro Mini, I’ve had several emails about the system, especially about attaching it to a lightstand.

Here is a blog re-post from a while back explaining how I do it and how you can do it cheaply.

If you have any questions about the system, email me: bob@robertharringtonstudios.com

Attaching a California Sunbounce Reflector to a Lightstand

I get this question often.  The California Sunbounce reflector system is, I think, the best on the market.  However, you do pay for that quality!

California Sunbounce

The CS Micro Mini was the first piece of professional gear I purchased after my camera and lenses, and it has been with me for 8 years!

I currently own 2 Micro Minis, 1 4×6, and one of the 36″ Sunswatters.

The great thing about the CS system, is that it is based on an aluminum tube frame so that it is sturdy, the fabric stays taut, and you can attach it to a light stand so you can work alone.

_RVH2774

 

_RVH2740 web

However, attaching it to a light stand can be tricky since CS discontinued their Grip Head Pro a few years back in favor of the new Enterprise bracket, which is cumbersome at best.  But there is a workaround!

The original Grip Head Pro was a traditional 2.5 inch grip head with a hole just the right size for the CS tube, which is a metric size:

A_RVH8646

B_RVH8643

This wonderful and small bracket, and if you are reading Amy, my CS contact, you need to bring that back into production, was replaced by a bracket called the Enterprise.

The Enterprise allows you to attach either of the CS tube sizes: the small for reflectors and the large for the Sun Swatter or other products.  This unit is big, bulky, and does not fit into your bag well:

C_RVH8647

D_RVH8644

But here’s the workaround: Purchase a Matthews 2.5″ Grip head, use Matthews as the head is made of brushed aluminum and then simply bring it to a machine shop with a tube section from your CS reflector.  For the about $40.00, a 12 pack of beer, or a Box of Joe and some donuts, you can have the original grip head for less money.  And it works!!

E_RVH8648

F_RVH8649

G_RVH8645

It is important to bring a tube sample from the reflector so the machinist can match the tube size.

This is a great solution to fix the problem and get that reflector on a light stand so you can work alone.

Matthews 2.5″ Grip Head

Thanks and till next time, keep reflecting!

 

The California Sunbounce Micro Mini Price Drop

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hi and welcome back.

I’m posting this as I just saw this on the BH Photo website while shopping for another California Sunbounce item.

If you know me or have taken any of my workshops or been to any of my presentations, you know I am a huge supporter of the California Sunbounce system.  It is lightweight, super easy to setup, and rolls into itself for storage and transport, making it one of the most versatile reflectors on the market.

However, the problem with the system is its cost: it is expensive!  Even though I’ve owned my Micro Mini for almost 10 years, it is hard to justify the expense.

Normally the unit costs $189.00, but I just saw a huge price drop on the BH Photo website to $107.00 for the 20 x 30 silver/white:

BH Photo

I love this reflector, and it is the first item in my bag when heading out to a shoot.

It is compact, versatile, light, and attaches to a nightstand so you can work alone.

Here are some BTS shots of it being used on location and in the studio:

_DSC9044

_DSC9033

_DSC8815

_DSC8812

_DSC8829

_DSC8852

Check out this system on BH Photo’s website.  If you want an amazing reflector at a very reasonable price, remember this is photography, then go for it!

That’s it for now.  Till next time, happy reflecting!

 

Location Lighting with the New Interfit S1 Monolight

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Hi and welcome back.

I met Brendan on location to do his Actor headshot this past Saturday.  He knocked it out of the park within the first few minutes of the shoot.  So after we had the typical actor headshot “in the can”, I wanted to try something different.

I wanted to try something dramatic.  I don’t shoot a lot of men, so adding cool photos to my portfolio was also an ulterior motive for moving to another, more dramatic look.

I posed him in front of a brick wall.  He comes from an hour away from me, so we met at a location I use that is about exactly half way from the both of us.  Working on location poses a unique set of difficulties.

But I used the new Interfit Photographic S1 Battery Powered Moonlight to shoot the job perfectly.

If you’ve not seen the new S1’s, check them out!  At 1/2 the price of a Profoto B1 and with the ability to shoot with battery power or plug into a wall socket for mains power, it smokes the B1 in terms of usability.

Here is a post I did explaining the system: Interfit S1 Review

Now to the images.

Here is an unretouched proof of the final look.  It is dark and edgy and hard.  This is a look I rarely do but am totally enthralled by it and love it:

_DSC9230

Here is how I shot it.

I removed my usual 24 x 30 softbox and added a 7″ reflector and 20º grid to isolate Brendan and light just his face and upper body.

Gear: Interfit S1 Moonlight with reflector and grid

Matthews C-Stand

Pocket Wizards

Impact 15 pound sand bag_DSC9232 _DSC9233

Here are two more proofs:

_DSC9226 1

This was a really cool look we both liked.  While it is a departure from the traditional actor shot, I think taking the time and risk really paid off for both of us.

That’s it for now.  Till next time, get risky with your light!

Photoshop Friday: Adding a Border

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hi and welcome back.

This is a simple technique that I use all the time.  The Actor headshot requires you to add borders to images and names to the bottom of your headshot so the casting director knows right away who you are.

Adding borders is simple.  Here is how I do it:

Here is my image ready to be cropped.  As I need to make an 8×10 final image, I crop my image to a specific size first: Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 7.58.27 AM

Here I chose the Crop tool and set my parameters to Width 7.5 and Height 9 inches.  I chose this size at it allows me to add my border perfectly for an 8×10:Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 7.58.32 AM

I set my crop and then hit ok: Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 7.59.00 AM

Here is my image cropped and ready for my white border: Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 7.59.06 AM

To add the border, go to Image>Canvas Size and click to get the size box up:

Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 7.59.18 AM

Here I choose my width to be 8 inches and height to be 9.5 inches.  The height gives me a continuous border that is the same size on all four sides.

Where it says Anchor, keep all the arrows pointing out from the center, which is my image.

On the bottom of the box where is says Canvas Extension Color, I chose white but you can choose black or gray as well:Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 7.59.34 AM

Here is the image with the continuous border:Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 7.59.48 AM

Now I go back to Image>Canvas Size, click again, and then change Height to 10 and Anchor to showing all the bottom and right and left sides.  This allows me to change my height on the bottom only: Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 8.00.18 AM

Here is my image in the 8×10 format with a 1″ border on the bottom and 1/2″ on three sides: Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 8.00.25 AM

Now I go to the Text box and set my font, set my text size, and then color to add the name on the lower right corner of the image:Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 8.00.36 AM

Here is the final ready to be saved as and delivered to the client:Screen Shot 2016-07-22 at 8.01.25 AM

Here are the before and after’s:

_DSC8708_web

_DSC8708_8x10_web

You can add a border to any image and set the bottom a bit thicker so that you can add a name or title or anything else you need.

I supply my actors with both images so they can use them for castings and in their book if needed.

That’s it for today.  Till next time, happy bordering!

Change Your Lighting Look By Turning Lights On or Off

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hi and welcome back.

One of the simplest ways to change the look of an image is to just turn lights on or off.

The High Key style actor headshot went out of fashion a few years ago in my marketplace; however, I still do shoot it if the client wants it.  I prefer darker backgrounds, so the best way to quickly and efficiently do two looks with your client is to just turn the backlights off.

In this BTS shot, we can see the High Key headshot look all setup and shoot ready.

Key: SB910, Photoflex Shoot Through Umbrella

Fill: California Sunbounce Micro Mini, silver side

Back: 2 SB800’s with Large Rogue Flashbenders acting as flags

_DSC8829

So with my setup ready to go, I shot the High Key look:

_DSC8852 _DSC8865

Then, I went to a completely different look, more out of the actor high key to the model mid key look: just by turning my back lights off.

_DSC8874

Looking for a quick and efficient way to add looks for your client?  Just turn some lights off; it’s as simple as that!

That’s it for now.  Till next time, happy lighting!

Getting Creative without Breaking the Bank

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hi and welcome back.

Last Saturday I ran a workshop at Theia Studios in North Andover, MA, just outside Boston.

It went great!  I taught the Headshot with speed lights only.

One of the looks we did really showcases how you can get creative on a slim budget, of course, that is only after spending your inheritance to get to this point with cameras, lenses, lights, soft boxes, reflectors, etc, etc, etc…  As this IS photography after all!

But once you reach that point, you can get creative easily and without spending a lot of cash.

For this shot, I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods and purchased a roll of purple sports underwrap:

Dicks Sporting Goods

I simply wrapped the model like a Mummy and shot the look.  For about $6.00 and $20.00 for Sephora Lipstick, which the model already owned, we got a super creative look and had a bunch of fun.

Here is a straight-out-of-camera raw to jpeg proof:

_DSC9033

Here’s how I shot it.

Key: SB910, Bowens 60 x 90 softbox with Interfit S-Mount Ring for speedlights

Reflector: California Sunbounce Micro Mini, silver side up

Back: 2 SB800’s with Large Rogue Flashbenders as flags

_DSC9044

Then, after we set the lights and exposure and shot the look we wanted, I had Amanda, our model, have fun with her facial expressions!  She just rocked it and knocked it out of the park!

_DSC9070 _DSC9072

I wanted to take the traditional beauty shot on white to another level, and for only a few bucks, we shot an awesome and fun look.

Well that’s it for now.  Till next time, stay creative!!

 

 

Natural Light; Natural Beauty; No Photoshop

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Hi and welcome back.

I’m heading to Boston this weekend to teach The Headshot using all small flashes, but recently I’ve become addicted to natural light, natural beauty, and NO Photoshop.

Here is a pic I pulled from the archive that totally exemplifies that look.

Stacey worked for me a while back at a workshop and we shot in late afternoon sun.  This time of day, also known as the Golden Hour, is best shot right before, during, and right after sunset.

This shot was taken just as the sun dipped below the houses to camera left.  The light bouncing off of the sand, as we were on the beach, coupled with the cool background, produced a simple shot without any external modifiers.

When I shoot this kind of look, I choose these settings:

Aperture Priority between f/4 and f/5.6

ISO boosted to give me a good working shutter speed.  I have no issues going to ISO 1200 or more to get a shutter of at least 1/125 so everything is sharp.

Also, I’m into natural beauty.  This image had a contrast adjustment in Capture One and that is it.  NO PHOTOSHOP at all.

_DSC7853

While speed lights and strobes are awesome, why pay for and lug all that gear when natural light does the job every time!

That’s it for today.  If you are coming to Boston, I can’t wait to meet you!

Till next time, keep it natural!

This Saturday’s Boston Workshop at Theia Studios is a Shooting Workshop

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hi and welcome back.

If you are attending the Headshot Workshop at Theia Studios this Saturday, it is a shooting workshop.

Bring your camera, batteries, clean cards, lenses, and everything you need to shoot.  I supply the lights, modifiers, and radio triggers.  After I set the look, you get to shoot frames and learn how to do the look.

I live by this little mantra:

Tell me and I forget

Teach me and I remember

Involve me and I learn

Our model is Amanda:

I’ll teach and you’ll shoot with speed lights these looks:

Corporate

Beauty

Actor

Model

Creative

Gels

Glamour

40’s Hollywood Glamour

This is a fun and interactive event where you get to shoot and learn.  Don’t forget your camera kit and shoot, shoot, shoot this Saturday.

I hope to see you there with your cameras!

The Upcoming Boston Workshop and Photoshop Friday

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hi and welcome back.

I want to touch on and upcoming workshop on July 16 at Theia Studios, Boston, MA.

I’m heading to Theia Studios with my popular Headshot Workshop.  I’ll be teaching and you’ll be shooting multiple headshot looks with just speed lights and a few simple modifiers.

This is an awesome workshop that helps you to learn how to shoot the headshot in a studio or on location with just speedlghts and simple, readily available gear.

Here is a link and description, I hope to see you there!!

Theia Studios registration link: Theia Studios Headshot Workshop

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 8.33.38 AM

I have to repost my Photoshop Friday article as I’m running out of time!

For today, I want to show you how to add a copyright to your images.  And then once you get that, you can create an action to run in the Scripts Manager or just add it per image.  I do it per image on delivered and retouched images as it is fast and simple.

First, pull a web-sized image into PS.  This shot has gone through the scripts manager as a batch conversion and is ready for the internet.

On the left of the PS palette, is the T.  You can choose it here or just type the letter T to place your text:

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 9.18.30 AM

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 9.18.53 AM

Once you have that chosen, the box along the top will come up and show your choices.

First: choose your script, I like Zapfino

Second: choose your type style, I choose regular but there are other choices

Third: choose type size, this will differ depending on your Font, just test on your image

Fourth: select your justification, although you’ll change this location to taste

Fifth: choose color.  For dark images choose white, for bright images choose blackScreen Shot 2016-05-23 at 9.19.10 AM

Below my text box is on the image and active: Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 9.19.28 AM

For MAC users, use the Alt/Option key and the letter G to get the Copyright symbol up in the text box.  For you PC users, you’re on your own!  Sorry.  Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 9.19.49 AM

Then type in your text.  I like the cursive style, so Zapfino works well for me: Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 9.22.35 AM

Once done, click the text box on the layers palette and your are all set.  Once you’ve gone through the motions, set yourself up with an action and let PS do the work for you.

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 9.20.12 AM

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 9.20.25 AM

That’s it for now.  Go back a few posts on the page and you’ll find tutorials on how to create an action and batch edit your images to make your photographic life easier.

That’s it for today.  Till next time, happy Photoshopping!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,645 other followers