Things to take note of be­fore, dur­ing and af­ter the shoot

HWM (Singapore) - - LEARN -

Be­fore the shoot Make the set a com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment

Hav­ing a set that is con­ducive and com­fort­able is al­ways a good thing. Your sub­ject may not al­ways be a pro­fes­sional model, so set­ting the right en­vi­ron­ment and mood will help put them at ease. Mu­sic is a great way to set the mood very quickly. Pre­pare a playlist that best re­flects the mood of the pic­tures you want to cre­ate.

The tem­per­a­ture of the stu­dio or lo­ca­tion is also a very im­por­tant as­pect of putting peo­ple at ease, as body tem­per­a­ture greatly af­fects your sub­ject’s mood and abil­ity to re­lax. Take proper care of them so they feel re­laxed and present in the mo­ment. You’ll have a bet­ter of chance of get­ting pic­tures that will look ef­fort­less.

Be­fore a shoot, al­ways sit where your sub­jects are go­ing to be seated to get a sense of what they may be ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dur­ing the shoot. Put your­self in their shoes - is the air-con blow­ing into their face? Is the light too hot where they stand? Is there some­thing in their line-of-sight to the cam­era that may dis­tract them? Feel what they feel and your mod­els will love you for the ef­fort. And it will show in the pic­tures too.

Dur­ing the shoot Es­tab­lish good com­mu­ni­ca­tion from the start

Clear, clean com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween you and the model is cru­cial. Make sure he/she can un­der­stand and hear you clearly, as a con­fused model will of­ten ac­ti­vate all the wrong mus­cle groups on his/her face, re­sult­ing in un­re­laxed fa­cial ex­pres­sions or an awk­ward im­age. Di­rect your sub­jects in their di­rec­tion, not yours. For ex­am­ple, get­ting them to look left should be to­wards their left and not yours. Al­ways project your voice. Re­mem­ber that you are be­hind a cam­era and your voice may sound muf­fled, so it’s a good idea to keep your­self clear from other ob­jects and di­rect the mod­els with clear, au­di­ble in­struc­tions.

Al­ways keep the sub­ject in­formed of your moves. If you are sim­ply ad­just­ing fo­cus, let them know; don’t keep them guess­ing whether a pic­ture is go­ing to be taken or not.

Af­ter the shoot Re­touch­ing

When edit­ing my pic­tures in Adobe Pho­to­shop CC, I al­ways start with color grad­ing to get the mood and feel go­ing, and to es­tab­lish the right tone for the im­age. I gen­er­ally use the curves tool, and the hue and sat­u­ra­tion for this.

I also work in a non­de­struc­tive man­ner and al­ways have my main im­age as the back­ground layer, re­touch­ing on a layer above it.

Un­for­tu­nately, there is just no easy way around re­touch­ing skin. So zoom in real close, work on it at the pore level and zoom out of­ten to check the blend. I like to use the heal­ing brush at a size that’s just a lit­tle bit big­ger than the aw, and then use the stamp tool at a low opac­ity of 10% to smooth out the edges.

My key is to al­ways strive for per­fec­tion but af­ter­wards bring­ing back skin tex­ture and grain to give the pic­ture a more nat­u­ral look, and end off with an over­all layer of grain to achieve that lm-like nish. My setup is a dou­ble screen with all the tools on my right screen as I am right-handed and the im­age it­self on my left screen. I also work on a large Wa­com tablet for pre­ci­sion.

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