Kevin Gilmour's picture

Chloe - My First Studio Shot

Nikon D810, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8, 1/160, iso100, f/5.6

I have never done studio photography before... I am a landscaper first who has dabbled in pretty much everything else that photography has to offer but never portraiture or fashion.

I got the opportunity to shoot this model on Monday night and was wondering about how the community thinks I did and how it could be improved. So critique away folks, I am here to learn.

Thanks for looking.

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Joseph Anthony's picture

Looks great, though a little catch light in her eyes can always help IMHO. The French manicured nail does not do the pic any favors as it kind of looks like she has something in her mouth...well at least it catches my eye too quickly. Too much palm in a picture like this can be a bit odd too as it is always a different color than the models face. So, those are just a few of the things that pop out at me that might distract.
Nice job.

James Lee's picture

Nice job on the lighting. However, I'm not sure if it's the lighting, choice of light source, editing, or a mixture of the three, but her skin looks a little more rough than you'd like for a portrait of this nature.

I don't think anyone on this forum wants the cheesy glamour shot fake-skin, but more diffused light and less "clarity" or "details" in your photo editor are things to watch out for when working with [feminine] skin tones.

Kevin Gilmour's picture

Thanks for the positive feedback gents.

I agree with everything you have said, I only had two minutes to shoot her so I didn't really have the time to pose her correctly as I was trying to get as many different poses and expressions in as possible within such a limited timeframe.

I was wondering if her hand looked too 'monkey-like' here, and if it would have been more successful if it were on the other side of her face so that it was less 'palm' and more 'back of the hand', just so it actually looked abit more like a hand.

The model is a teenager and had alot of small spots and blackheads which I did spend abit of time removing. But I didn't want to go down the whole professional retouching route just yet, not until I have nailed the basics of posing and lighting.

Again, many thanks for the constructive feedback, I will bear it in mind next time.

Kevin Gilmour's picture

Opinions on my edit?

- I smoothed out her skin and softened her pores using frequency separation.
- Brightened her eyes and the catchlight.
- Dodged the ball of her hand closest to her chest so that it appears more pleasing to the viewer.
- Dodged the finger that is pressed against her eye.
- Changed the skin color of her face to better match that of her hand.

I am no master retoucher, but I do think it's an improvement.

Jesse Soloway's picture

New here, and would barely consider myself an amateur, but I really like your post. The difference is night and day, and I can't imagine the client not being happy with the corrected image.

Kevin Gilmour's picture

Thanks Jesse. I wish it was for a client but this was purely all about practice and learning.