Capturing Awesome Portrait Photography
Probably the most popular photography genre, and for good reason? Portraits. I love shooting portrait sessions and having the opportunity to capture people, their stories, and their personalities all in a little photo. At Sky Mountain Lodge in Victor, Idaho, I had the opportunity to shoot some portrait photography and work on a genre that typically isn’t in my wheelhouse.
Probably my favorite part of my photo excursion in Victor, Idaho was taking headshots. One of my all-time photography heroes Peter Hurley is the headshot king. Check out his work here. I probably had only a few minutes total to capture all of these shots, but I loved how they turned out. For my editing, I used the technique of frequency separation to edit the models skin. By doing this I could separate skin texture and skin tone/color and edit them individually without destroying the other. Shoutout to Michael and Kade for modeling for me!
At my next stop I had three different pictures taken, with the last becoming my epic portrait. For this specific portrait I used no auxillary lighting. Notice how the sky is blown, but the model Chantel is lit nicely.
In the same pose I changed my camera settings so it would be exposed for the sky. The sky looks nice, but the rest of the photo is underexposed.
With camera settings AND auxillary lighting I get this awesome portrait shot. With my settings similar to the second photo and adding in a speelight with rogue flashbender, I was able to get a well exposed model as well as keeping the sky balanced. Hope you enjoy!
And to round off my portraits post, here are some themed portraits I also took on the same excursion in Victor, Idaho. In this first environmental portrait Kory dressed as a cowboy in front of this barn near sunrise. I typically like to edit with vibrant colors and try to match the hue/saturation to how I saw it originally, but I loved the idea of using this portrait as an old-style western photo. In my editing I used two different blending modes to get the amount of color/exposure in the sky and foreground and then I used a pre-installed LUT in Adobe Photoshop. Much like Lightroom, through a color lookup layer adjustment, you can use these presets to get the type of photo you are wanting to get.
For this second photo we had Allison modeling with some awesome furs. An einstein strobe was used as auxillary lighting with natural light as a type of hair/back light. This station was awesome because we were able to use some smoke bombs to create this epic and dramatic portrait. In post I sharpened the fur, adjusted the hue/saturation of the whole image, and did some frequency separation edits on the models skin.
Lastly, I used some gelled speedlights to get this split lighting effect on Zhiyang. It took a couple tries to get it just right, but I’m glad I was able to get this split light on his face to make it dramatic and awesome.