Ep 271: Headshots, lighting, faster editing hacks, listener questions and photo critiques

How to get better at headshots, portraits, shooting wildlife and much more. This week, we answer common listener questions so that you can improve your photography and workflow.

Gina and Valerie hope you enjoy the podcast.

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Show Notes

Useful links

Awesome TED Talk:
This is what happens when you reply to spam email | James Veitch

Nathan John Clark
I almost forgot to go pick my kids up because I was having so much fun with this. This is Marida. She’s a star and is more interesting than my styrofoam head.
Nikon D610
First 3 images: Sunny, 3pm. Nikon fixed 50mm, f3.5, 1/160
the rest: overcast/rain, sigma 70-200mm, f 2.8,

Image by Nathan John Clark
Image by Nathan John Clark
Image by Nathan John Clark
Image by Nathan John Clark

Stephanie Lynn Kishbaugh
I like to do photography as a hobby… It brings me peace outside of my hectic workdays as a nurse. I did a Christmas shot yesterday. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Image by Stephanie Lynn Kishbaugh
Image by Stephanie Lynn Kishbaugh
Image by Stephanie Lynn Kishbaugh

Gina’s comments

  • Look for open shade or create your own shade
  • Simplify styling (think about the simplicity of stage playsets)
  • Get down low
  • Get closer
  • Depth of field

Andrea Jones
These are the first two photos that I have ever taken with ether the final photo in mind or the fact that they would need to be in black and white. I increased the contrast a lot with the gator to give it some punch. I may have gone a little far. I would truly appreciate any advice to improve either of these photos. They are taken from the car on a local wildlife drive in Florida. I would love to have used an ND filter to smooth the water on both photos but the wildlife is way to close for comfort.

Image by Andrea Jones

Lisa Robertson
Another try at a portrait of my son. CC is welcome.

Image by Lisa Robertson

Fraser Young
RE: First attempt at portraits/using off camera lights.
Would love some feedback as I’m new to attempting portrait work.

Hi All! First time posting and only discovered the podcast about a month and a half ago, but it’s been playing in my car almost every day since. Really loving it, I just love the way Gina is able to simplify things and make them sound less intimidating. I’m currently in the process of trying to start up as a photographer – part time at first – but at the moment I’m still just trying to build a portfolio… as up until now I’ve just been a hobbyist. So I have last month upgraded to a full frame body etc. Anyway, attached are my first ‘proper’ attempts at some portraits/headshots. They’re just pictures of my dad and my partner as that’s who I’ve got available (Hopefully its obvious who’s who). I am really happy with how they came out, although I do feel a bit like I’m just putting my own spin on photos I’ve seen elsewhere, so am still looking to find my own style/voice. But would be really keen to hear any pointers from anyone about where I could try to work on moving forward. These are also the first photos I’ve ever edited using Photoshop (I only discovered adobe a few months ago when a friend asked me to shoot her wedding and I realised it probably wasn’t moral to edit wedding photos in the free windows software and I have been using light rooms since then.), but I must admit my method for editing these was largely based on a handful of YouTube videos I watched and followed along with.

Really loving the podcast, it’s great to keep learning! Have to admit I’m a little nervous posting my photos into a forum for the first time! But please feel free to critique harshly as currently I’ve just been showing them to family who like them, but aren’t really camera people. Thankyou from Bonnie Scotland! (Can Bonnie be my Scottish slang word of the week?)

Details on the photos:
Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: 70-200 2.8(Girlfreind)
50mm 1.8 which arrived in the post this morning(Dad)
Lights: Pair of Godox Ad200’s in various setups with a fold up beauty dish with/without grid.

Image by Fraser Young
Image by Fraser Young
Image by Fraser Young

Gina’s comments:

  • Start with an umbrella then softbox and lastly a beauty dish
  • White balance
  • Practice on a head on a stick
  • Learn lighting styles
  • Shoot the things you love to develop a unique style
  • Shoot more
  • Keep posting

Amber Lynn
How do any of you speed things along in your workflow when you have to retouch many photos in a gallery? i.e. senior sessions and acne? I’m set up to where I can batch edit my family sessions (which is awesome), but what are some things you’ve all done to streamline your editing of senior galleries? Thank you.

Image by Amber Lynn

Gina’s comments:
I do my basic edits in LR ( WB, exposure etc) as a batch in LR then I use actions I’ve created in photoshop for skin retouching. The actions speed up my workflow because they create layer masks and blending modes in one click. All I need to do is remove the blemishes which typically takes 5-15 mins per image depending on the image.
Lighting images well and good hair and MU save a ton of time too.
The good news is the more you edit, the faster you will become
I share these actions and editing techniques in detail in the Gold Community 🙂

Aussie Slang word of the week

Budgie smugglers: Small or tight male beachwear featuring the Speedo logo.

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