Just about a month ago, I had a gig to do some portraits and location shoot for a client in St. Louis area. During my initial conversation with the client, as they mentioned doing portraits my mind started fancying the idea of doing headshots. Then about a week before the shoot, I started doing my homework on taking decent headshots. Read a lot on doing headshots using a single/simple light setup and eventually settled on clamshell lighting which involves 2 lights setup – you set up the lights such that they look like a clamshell and you shoot in between the gap.
Then came the time to practice the setup and pose. Now, I am not the kind who likes to be photographed and did I mention I like hiding behind my camera. But for this trial shoot I was a willing model besides my lovely wife.
We used a muslin backdrop that I had dyed using Rit fabric dye about 2 years ago – I had a hunch that this gig was coming before then (right ?). Since I knew beforehand that my clients will be wearing black tops, I want to experiment with a black polo shirt for this trial headshots shoot. So, that’s how I ended up with a headshot with a wine red backdrop which I wasn’t a big fan of…
Fast forward, I am a long time user of Lightroom and it has been the post processing software – I religiously post process the pics before the whole world could see my pictures. Started with Photoshop (about 5+ years ago) but switched to Lightroom and never went back to Photoshop. Although I use Nik collection, and a couple of Topaz plugins – my workflow has always been around Lightroom. Now, I am not the one who spend hours on post processing or do composite images. I would spend about 30 minutes max (on extreme cases) on an image.
But lately, I do want to spend a bit more time on post processing – call it the effect of spending time on 500px and Pixoto. Further, if that’s what the client wants, it’s just about time to start learning new skill sets. So I’m on a quest to master layer/composite techniques. Here is where OnOne Perfect Photo Suite comes into picture – I have been reading quite a bit lately on Perfect Suite and started playing with this quite a bit. Masking is one area, where Perfect Photo Suite really shines.
As a part of learning and experimenting with Perfect mask, I picked my headshot with burgundy backdrop and played with it for a while and voila, I’ve a headshot picture that I really like. Still a lot more to learn but I’m heading on the right track!
Now, if you asked how did my headshot shoot for the client go – that never happened. Client was okay with just the portraits. Needless to say, I wasn’t disappointed 😉