I thought it would be fun to post some quick tips regarding photography and threw out the question on my Facebook page. If you have other questions that you would like me to consider for other Quick Tip posts, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below =) Here are a couple that were asked:
1.) What is your favorite post processing/editing tip?
First thing is first, get it right in camera to minimize post processing/editing later. The biggest thing that I have pushed myself to know/learn is shooting manual. It completely intimidated me when I first started shooting. I am not a mathematical person by any means and it felt way too technical for me. But it’s the opposite. When I finally made the switch to shoot manually it dramatically changed how I shoot and gave me 100% control on the outcome of my images and how much time it takes for post processing, which now, is very little.
When I first started shooting I purchased all sorts of pre-made actions, which my favorite came from Totally Rad Actions. These helped me really learn what I did and DIDN’T want my images to look like. Yes, there are thousands of fun actions to play with out there that everyone uses (key word: everyone). At first I actioned the crud out of my images because I thought it looked cool. Now, hardly use them at all. If the image doesn’t look straight out of the camera to me, I don’t use the action. And please note, this is purely my style. There are hundreds of thousands of photographic styles out there and this is merely the direction I have chosen to head with mine.
When it comes to the actual editing of the images in Photoshop I do some very slight adjustments in camera RAW with the fill light tool and contrast. Then if there are any touch ups that need to be done to skin I use the healing brush if needed. One of the tools I use all of the time is the Levels Adjustment in Photoshop.
2.) From Facebook: “Couples posing tips! I am mainly a baby photog, but have a session with a couple this weekend and would love some help in the posing area!”
I will try and keep this somewhat short, but honestly, I could write a book on posing!
When it comes to posing couples it is really important to take a few minutes to get the couple relaxed. Most everyone is somewhat nervous and feel awkward getting their picture taken. Typically people are not sure what to do with their hands, face, body. So as a photographer, it my job to make sure it looks right BEFORE taking any images.
When I first meet up with a couple I watch their body language and ask myself some questions:
- Is the couple lovey-dovey?
- Did they walk up holding hands?
- Do they seem comfortable with each other? (This is an important one that I will come back to)
These questions help me determine how we are going to start the session.
Typically when starting an engagement session I will get in a few “safe” shots first to get them relaxed behind the camera and to allow me to do any light metering adjustments. I will typically start joking with the couple to get them to laugh and relax. This helps all of us to loosen up a bit.
Once I begin actually posing them I go back to the questions I asked myself when first meeting up with the client, specifically, how comfortable are they with eachother. This really helps me determine how lovey-dovey to get their poses. It is also important to keep in mind body styles ~ not all poses are comfortable or work for everyone.
Here are some quick tips when posing couples that I use:
- STUDY poses: look at magazines, other shoots etc – Ask your question WHY you’re drawn to that particular image.
- Posing should be very strategic, yet look and feel effortless. I personally love the images where couples are interacting and engaging eachother rather than uber posed images looking straight at the camera.
- Every limb should have a purpose. Watch everything from the top of the head to the very last pinky toe.
- Most importantly – HAVE FUN!!! If you’re not having fun, your client won’t have fun!
Here are some of my favorite shots spanning back a few years: