Last weekend, I ran into a long-time acquaintance of mine during one of my regular nightlife assignments. I’ve known him for a for about 5 years now, but we’ve never really worked together. He mentioned that he needed some head-shots for a talent agency up in LA.
*Side note – January has been FILLED with a concentration on quality regarding my work – a lot of shoots with individuals I plan to collaborate with in the upcoming wedding season. I’ve been busy trying out new lenses, poses, locations, and talking over business ideas with a few people I strongly believe have the same kind of ambition & potential as I do. A few months ago, I bought a beauty dish reflector for my strobes, but I had still yet to use it. Rather than just practice on my roommate, why not get paid for it?
While Justin isn’t involved in the industry, I offered a discount if he could do the shoot the very next day at the time I requested. I mentioned to him I’d be trying this new set-up, and while I promised to get him the shots he needed – I wanted to try out several arrangements, poses, and lighting positions. I also mentioned I’d be writing this blog post about it, and he agreed.
Here’s an example of what kind of difference a grid will have on the beauty dish: (grid on right)
Tried arranging the light in different ways & working with the shadows in relation to his stance towards the dish
Some seated poses
Played around with composition a bit
Some clean black & white shirts work great to accent facial features and bone structure
Found my favorite light arrangement on these next two
Here’s an example of my before & after editing. As you can see, took out a few bumps, lines on forehead, razor burn on the neck – standard guy stuff. To help touch these up, I just use a combination of the clone tool at a low opacity (below 30) and low flow rate (below 25) to make them consistent with the rest of the skin tones. I’ll also use the paintbrush with a color-sampled brush, at a low opacity & flow rate if there’s not enough area to create a good clone to work from. I love KPD magic sharp for web stuff, but I wouldn’t recommend their pro-retouch. It never works the way I want it to, and I feel it ends up creating a plastic-looking appearance on the skin.
Hope this helps some of you guys! If it did, let me know below! And if you have any quesions, I’ll answer them in the comments as well.