Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A deck and photoshoot in two days......

My mantra always is "I think I can , I think I can, I know I can, or at least I can exhaust myself trying"....try I did!

My plans for last weekend were to DIY a deck and two photoshoots with 7 teen girls. Not an easy task, either project. The Deck is done, thanks to my neighbour who helped me out and taught me a lot , next year I am going solo and expanding the deck.

The photoshoot...I had somewhat planned in my head. I knew what I wanted, all I needed was good weather and get the girls to pose on cue so we would not be out there to long. This was no easy task. One would be blinking, another looking somewhere in la la land and of course a couple fixing there hair. It was fun, but a challenge. I have never shot a large group before, the thought of shooting a group before was overwhelming. So much to consider. How do you position them so that it looks great and not carboard cut out? The lighting!
Originally I just wanted to use three girls because I had done up a plan (on paper) for three girls, but at the last minute I asked my daughters friends if they would help me out. They love to pose in front of the camera. All they needed to do was to get their parents permission and have them sign a model release form. We went to my favorite spot, one of the back alleys in town full of detail. I had a wooden and metal staircase, some blocked up windows, barrels and little corridors all in one spot. I thought we would be yelled at because we were there for so long, surprisingly people were very nice to us and did not seem to mind. We were there for nearly two hours and went back the next day for some different poses. Photographing seven girls takes a long time. Would I do it again? ...hmmm...maybe, I would probally aim for a smaller group. The girls were great sports, some were daring and hung off the side of the staircase. Many of these shots are straight from the camera, the Canon 50D EOS is amazing (still learning). I did do a few touch ups. I worked on blemishes, brighting the eyes and some of the girls look washed out so I added just a bit of lip color and blush. I wanted to keep them as natural as possible.

For this image I brighten the eyes, cleaned
up the blemishes and added a bit of color to her lips. I also soften the skin just a bit using a filter in Photoshop (for those who do not have Nik filters)
Here's what I did
Filter/blur/surface blur
use it gently and apply the amount in your layers pallette. I then used layer/layermask/hide all and brought back the blur with a brush.


For Blemishes
I worked with the healing brush in Photoshop.
My settings are :
hardness, 13%
spacing 15-20%
I also used pen pressure.
For brighting the eyes
a)Make a duplicate in layers pallette
b)Grab your rectangular marquee and select around the eyes.
c)Select Image, then brightness/contrast and make the adjustments. Don't make it too bright, you want to make it look as natural as possible.
d)Deselect your selection and go to layer/ layer mask hide all.
e)Grab your brush tool and adjust your brush size. I leave my opacity and flow at 100% and control it in the layers pallette. Usually at 25-30%
Adding Lipstick
a)Make a duplicate in Layers pallette
b)Grab your lasso tool and select around area around lips.
c) Go to Image/adjusment/Hue&Saturation and pump up the saturation just a bit.
d)you can use a layer mask if you want or hopefully your selection will be exact and the work is done. Once again you control the amount in your layers pallette.
A couple of the images(for model portfolio) I ran through nik filter and just played with all the settings until I found something that fitted the look I was going for.
Image above I ran through Nik filters and used the Darken/ lighten center
Image above I used Contrast Only, Glamour Glow and Gradutaed Neutral Density filter in Nik filters.


  1. Love the group shot that is horizontal of all of them it is AWESOME! I bet they ALL love it! excellent work

  2. Thanks Molly!! The girls love going on a photoshoot...this one is their fav :)