Headshot session for CC (pic heavy)

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coolmama72's picture
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Headshot session for CC (pic heavy)

Okay, sharing my favorites from Tuesday's session with the 10 year old. He wants to be a model, so his mom wanted me to take the headshots for the modeling agency. She's taking some outdoors herself (as she also enjoys photography).

And I'm struggling with PP ... because as I look at these, I am wondering why there are differences. I edited at different times of the day (with four kids, I gotta take the time when I can, right?) and I'm wondering if that's an issue. Just with the light that comes into the window by me, perhaps it's affecting how I see the colors on my screen? Skin colors, in terms of the numbers, seem to be fine though across the board when I'm checking.

First, I want to share a couple of Natalie that I took about 2 hours before the session. Was testing my placement of the backdrop in relation to my light.

1. I didn't do a thing to her eyes, just love how they turned out with the light.

Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 160

Natalie headshots

2. Just a cute share - does she seem overly yellow to you?

Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 160

Natalie headshots

3. I cropped at an angle ... I like how it looks, but am not sure how that works with a true headshot vs. a portrait. Thoughts?

Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 160

Apr272010_0020

4. I'm not sure how I feel about his expression here

Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 160

Apr272010_0050

5. I had no choice but to center on this one ... and he seems overly warm to me now, where this afternoon he seemed just right. This is killing me!

Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 160

Apr272010_0070

6. I like the pose here, but I wish I had him move his head a little differently so that his chin was down a little more.

Exposure: 0.01 sec (1/100)
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 160

Apr272010_0063

7. I cloned out some of the wrinkles on the floor but not all. I don't think the mom will use this one at all, as she really didn't want any full body shots.

Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 160

Apr272010_0085

8. My favorite (I think this is the one that will go in my portfolio)

Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 160

Apr272010_0088

9. And this one seems so off in color to me now ... ack!!! It was actually the first one I edited (when I was editing the second time around after correcting temps in ACR after my earlier thread).

Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/2.5
Focal Length: 30 mm
ISO Speed: 160

Apr272010_0117

Thanks for looking!

La123's picture
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Gwen, I think all of these look great! Awesome focus and clarity. My favorites of the boy are #3 and #9. CC - In #6 I like his expression, but I think the pose makes his head looks as if it were pasted on or something? His mom must love these!

coolmama72's picture
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I'm looking at them on my netbook, and they seem so much cooler than on my calibrated laptop. *sigh*

La123's picture
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"coolmama72" wrote:

I'm looking at them on my netbook, and they seem so much cooler than on my calibrated laptop. *sigh*

They don't look too cool on my macbook, which is calibrated with that free mac software...

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they actually look just about right to me. Smile they might look cool to those who aren't calibrated but that doesn't matter. some I think have a wee bit too much yellow but it's not too noticable. and i agree about #6 his head looks a bit weird. but these are great! and I also like #3! that one is nice. and your daughter is so cute Biggrin

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I like 6, 7 & 8

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Ofcourse Natalie is adorable Smile

My fav of the boy is #3. I think it has the best look. #9 is my second favorite. I'm not a fan of the others because the look in his eyes just seems a bit off. I can't really put my finger on it.

Great job and I'm sure his mom is going to love these! I hope he gets some good work too.

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Gwen - first of all, I have seen so much improvement in your shooting and pp'ing. You really work hard. You are almost there. You got the basics, now you just need a bit more finetuning.

I took my favorite shot and boosted the midtones, added some contrast and ran it through noiseware to polish it up. (private on flickr)
and it makes a great b&w as well.
Not sure what this looked like in camera (did you crop this?) I would bring his eyes up just a bit more in the frame. I love how he's tilted a bit.
4563757025_8d702e43a2_o_edit
4563757025_8d702e43a2_o_edit bw

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oh, Stacey, you're the best!!!!!

I didn't run these through Noiseware since I shot with a low ISO. But maybe I should have?

I really love what you did, and the conversion looks awesome!!! as far as the crop, it's actually from a similar pose as #7, so I totally cropped it. Will try a new crop with the eyes higher up.

and thanks for what you said about my improvement, that means so much to me.

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okay, new edits. played with several conversions before I settled on this one. I wasn't sure how to best boost the midtones so I played with a couple of different things for that. let me know what ya'll think. Smile thanks!

Apr272010_0088 new_filtered

Apr272010_0088 new_filtered bw

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Better! The fastest way to boost midtones is make a levels layer and chose Brighten Midtones from the drop down menu. Easy peasy!

Noiseware isn't just for reducing noise from high ISO, per say. I use it on almost every image I send to the client because it just polishes it. You don't have to run it at 100%. In fact, your image I ran at 50%. It smoothes out the background a tad, smoothes the hair and makes the skin creamy. I think it looks higher quality in print than an image without noiseware. IMHO

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I like #3 and #8 best and of the two I prefer #3.

For the ones where you have not shot him from above, his eye sockets have a shadow that I don't love. Looks like you may need a reflector or some creative retouching. Having him look up is a good solution, but In #7 and #8 I feel like he's looking up too much. #3 is the perfect angle. You could probably been even a little lower and still gotten the light right.

This is tough for me because I do all of my headshots outside, so these just lack that special factor. They are good, technically pretty okay, but I just don't get any sense of the little boy at all. Headshots are hard....its really not enough to capture what your subject looks like, you've got to figure out a way to capture your subject's "self". I don't love the backdrop you're using...it screams "school photos" to me.

3 and 8 are also the best because the frame is almost completely filled with your subject, which is really good. Headshots look great when your subject is filling the edges of the frame. I'm going to post a few examples so you can see what I mean.

In this one she's touching every edge of the frame. You can see how she is looking up at me, but very slightly. This takes care of the undereye shadow and she doesn't look odd because she's not looking up too much.
5 IMG_7613 PROOF

Another one touching every edge of the frame. The background is virtually unimportant...though you can tell she's outside and it gives the tiniest bit of mood and context. She's looking up higher in this one because I was negotiating eyeglass glare. UGH!
7 IMG_9907-Edit WEB

This is a good example of how to fill the frame with your subject. Notice how she's just barely touching the left hand side of the frame at the bottom. I've filled the space with her.
5 IMG_9891-Edit WEB

Now of course you can't ALWAYS completely fill the frame with your subject, sometimes you want to pull back and do a 3/4 shot or something, but for close ones, it's a really nice technique....especially if you're background isn't anything extra special.

BTW, chops...totally 100% acceptable in headshots IMHO.

Hope that all makes sense.

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I love the last edits, Gwen. Really cleans up the look!

I'm sure mom will really love these and I think they'll make a good start to his portfolio.

Best,
GiGi

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Gwen, Nat is a doll! Just had to say that. Her eyes look great! I agree!

The boy shots are great too. I love his eyes as well, and I am sure mom will be thrilled! The only one I am not fond of is the whole body shot, but LOVE the rest!

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thanks Amber! I really wanted to do them outside, but the mom wanted to take the outdoor shots herself. Makes me not want to work with amateur photographers in the future, kwim? We all started somewhere, but when she asked me what SOOC meant I got the feeling she was more amateur than I was led to believe. So I would have pushed the outdoor session if I had realized that. Does that make sense? Anyhow, she really wanted indoor shots with the boring backdrop. I wanted change up the backdrops some, but she wasn't interested. Not sure if you saw my sister's headshots, she also wanted a backdrop but since she's my sister, I pushed and got her to let me shoot her in the yard. And the best pictures came from doing that. So you're totally right about the outdoors and headshots. Next time I'm going with my gut on that.

And I really appreciate you sharing your examples. I'm doing more headshots next week, and am taking your words to heart for that. Luckily, it's already set up for outdoors, so I think I'm good to go there.

I really need to learn how to best use a reflector ....

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"coolmama72" wrote:

I really need to learn how to best use a reflector ....

I never use one...I just deal with eye problems in post. :shrug:

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Great eyes!!! I'm wondering how you had your background set up in relation to the light source? #1 and 2, the light looks a little flat (light straight on to her with no shadow depth. #3 you can see how the little bit of shadowing on his nose gives some nice depth! I really like #9!

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I think the backdrop was more angled towards the window when the boy was here. It might have been more full on with Natalie. I don't leave it set up all of the time, so it's been moved around. I'm trying to find the best solution in terms of angling my set up. I took some pull back shots during yesterday's session so I can get feedback on that.