Fashion Photography Part 2 (selection + grading)

Hello,

this is long overdue but i had to make sure that i understood and confirmed clearance with clients on publishing. Anyway here are few of shots from the shoot.

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*note to self: Work hard on your lighting skills, they can make or break your shots, just saying…*

The first thing i want  to share with you is the frustration that comes with selecting your shots after the shoot. I’m not going to lie, that’s something that nobody thinks about (at least I didn’t) when you’re on the field being trigger happy. At the end of the shoot i had about 467 shots (i know, i know, crazy!) when you look at it on the Camera’s LCD you’re like omg this is so cool! (not) Then you get home and you’re like “Sh*t! Now what”.

Well… Now you have to curate those pictures. From looking around the blogosphere and talking to some friends in the business, i came to the conclusion that you want to have a solid 10 shots (if you’re generous) from the same collection, but most are happy with 6. And when you reach superstardom my guess is that 3 shots is more than enough (kinda like in advertising a good campaign has 3 execution…same concept)

After talking with the models, and some friends i narrowed it down to 20. Far from the 10 recommended, but i took in consideration that there were two models involved, and each would probably liked to have her own set (of 10…makes sense right?) After curating the pictures came the most important (read frustrating) part of the whole deal: Grading.

Color grading is in my opinion the most tedious, extensive, time consuming, frustrating, boring, yet exciting, gratifying, and cool part of the process. (that was long, nothing in comparison to the 3 hrs spent on each picture) I have a new found (read confirmed) respect for graders across all media platform (kudos to you all). Now remember that I got on this side of photography to better understand composition, and grading techniques that i will then transfer back to my one true love: Video.

grading was painful, but needed on this shoot. Everything was just too flat when we started:

(This is the before picture from the headline shot above)

Flat image from the headline

The lights where too sharp, the colors where nice, but (to me) there was no magic here. The pose was good, the expressions too. But to me, it needed a little kick. (that’s what grading is for, to add that little hmmph *not good at typing sound effects*)

I had a hard time deciding which style to go for, remember in the previous post i was hesitating between a couple of them. Then a friend (thanks love) said something during post production: “this is a climax shot” (thinking about trademarking it) She was absolutely right. Climax shots needed a different treatment than the rest of the shots. So i did, i’m happy, they’re happy… now cue in jingle bell! Now go back up and try and figure out which ones are climax shots. (maybe i should have posted all the pictures…nah)

Overall it was good times, great models, good camera, ( i know the 7D would have, could have done a better job, but hey the power is in the photographer, not the camera). In the next post i will give grading tips and tutorial, a friends asked me last night how i did my grading. We briefly talked about it, but i feel like i can do more than just talk about, and be about it! (lol, it’s a line from a movie…don’t ask) Anyway so yeah, maybe next week i will have a tutorial up (maybe a video tutorial) to help fellow newbies on color grading.

My last word of advice for people interested in this side of photography (fashion): hang out with painters, sculptors, graphic designers, and advertising geeks. You’ll be surprise on how much you can learn about poses, colors, and most importantly storytelling.

Peace!

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