I had a couple of questions on this beautiful girl’s senior mini-session. So I’ll do my best to answer them in this post.
A mini-session is shorter and doesn’t include outfits changes. We spent 45 minutes at an outdoor location and that was it. Oh, except it was horribly windy. Super windy. Extremely windy. Windy-windy. Blow Dorothy and Toto away kind of windy. This lovely senior was a trooper with dealing with the wind and I tried my best to find spots that weren’t too windy and tried to time my shots. Not super easy when the wind is swirling in every direction. But that’s springtime for ya!
Camera details: I used my Nikon D3100 with the 35mm lens. My ISO was 100 because it was a sunny late morning. My aperture was F2.2. My shutter speed varied depending on the areas I moved her to. It ranged from 1/640 to 1/1250. Remember…your settings depend on the exposure you have and your exposure triangle. I shot in manual mode and RAW. I used spot metering and single-point focusing, since I didn’t have a subject moving on me (other than her hair). I used all natural light. I brought my reflector with me, but ended up not using it due to the fact that it was about flying away in the wind. I used my Expodisc to set a custom white balance each time I moved her to a different location.
For editing: I’m not going to show you screen shots for these edits, because I don’t have any. You can look at how I edited these senior’s photos if you want screen shots. It’s similar. His photos were taken the same week.
I used Dsisk Photography’s Make Me Wonderful Action set for Elements to help me edit these photos. I use Photoshop Elements 11.
Here are my steps:
1) Opened my RAW file up and adjusted anything I needed to in Adobe RAW. I mostly played with the highlights and shadows until they were pleasing to my eye. That’s how I get the photos to be the lighter and brighter look that I prefer if I don’t totally get it in camera.
2) I started with zooming in on the face and editing there. I edited the eyes with the Eye Enhancer action using a soft white brush at 30%. I then used the Sharpen the Details with a soft white brush at 30% to sharpen the eyes and lashes.
3) I made a copy of the background to touch up any non-permanent skin & hair issues and background issues using the clone tool and spot healing brush. I didn’t spend a long time trying to deal with the wind-blown look. Sometimes it’s just best to leave it.
4) I used the Mouth Makeover to add some polish with a soft white brush set at 60%.
5) I used the Perfect Complexion Action with a soft white brush set at 30% and ran it over her skin. I used the reduce reds layer and set it at 25% opacity and also the flawless glow layer at an opacity of 15%.
6) I used the Enrichen action and painted it on the background with a soft white brush set at 30%.
7) I ran the A Little Punch action and set the opacity of it to 15%.
8) I then color matched an area on her cheek, put in a solid color layer in the soft light blending mode and put the opacity to 15%.
9) I cropped and was done.
That was it. I did play with a few photos. I added some sun flare to some and another I totally changed the background. But those were some extra ones I threw in there because I wanted to play with them! You can see the difference in the Before and After photo below.
There’s the quick version of how I edited those photos. If you don’t understand all of it, I apologize. It takes practice with Photoshop and I probably speak my own Photoshop language. I’m all self-taught. Are you a Photoshop lover too?