Julia Kuzmenko McKim Photography Tutorials

With Julia Kuzmenko McKim and Aleksey Dovgulya
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About Julia Kuzmenko McKim

Julia is a Los Angeles based internationally published Beauty & Fashion photographer, digital artist, retoucher and educator. An International College of Professional Photography (Melbourne, Australia) graduate. Retouching Academy founder and Editor-in-Chief.

Popular Articles from Julia Kuzmenko McKim
The Ultimate Guide To The Frequency Separation Technique

Chances are you have already learned what Frequency Separation (FS) technique is, as it became mainstream in the past few years. However, many FS technique users actually know very little theory behind it, thus have little control over its implementation. I've set out to research and collect all the important and useful information about it, so we can together learn how to become better at it.

Shooting With Color Gels

There are times when I find myself shooting the same stuff or using the same lighting setup over and over again. Repetition helps to improve and fine-tune my skills, but sometimes it just feels boring and degrading, let alone useless for my portfolio.

But as much as I dislike feeling stuck and repeating myself, I now realize how such times in fact help me to become a better artist and shooter. It's usually the desire to entertain myself and experiment that leads me to new personal artistic discoveries. It's when I'm bored and want to "spice it up", I start searching for new lighting ideas, tricks and techniques.

Shooting With Mixed Studio Lighting

When we talk about on-location mixed lighting we usually mean shooting with light sources of different nature, such as natural ambient light and artificial, or shooting with lights of different color temperatures (tungsten, fluorescent, flash, etc.).

There are dozens of cool effects that one can achieve when mixing ambient light with controlled lighting, but today I would like to talk about mixing lights in studio - impulse (i.e. strobe or flash) and continuous. I love this technique and hope my article inspires you to try it out too.

Getting The Best Out Of Your Raw Files

I have been teaching retouching and photography for a couple of years, and I found that even my advanced students often didn't know some basic tools or techniques. Those gaps in knowledge are to be expected among self-taught photographers and retouchers, of course. However, I have just returned from my trip to Italy where the amazing Italian Photoshop guru and Wacom evangelist Marianna Santoni organized a series of educational events, in which I taught Beauty photography and retouching.

The Ultimate Guide to the Dodge & Burn Technique – Part 2: Setting Up For A Good Start

This is the second part of The Ultimate Guide to the Dodge & Burn Technique. Check out Part 1, where I covered the fundamentals of light and shadow rendering in painting here.

So, now that we understand that the shadows and highlights are what makes our 2-dimensional pictures appear to have more volume and dimensions, let's move on to the technical side of the Dodge & Burn implementation in retouching.

The Ultimate Guide to the Dodge & Burn Technique - Part 1: The Fundamentals

Dodge & Burn (D&B) is a technique that came to us from the darkroom days when luminosity values in a photo could be only manipulated by the duration of the exposure of the light sensitive photographic paper. And while there’s so much that have already been published about it, I hope we can still shed some light on the aspects of it that are usually not mentioned in retouching tutorials.

Secrets to Crafting Top-Quality Beauty Portraits

This article is for those of you how enjoy beauty photography: from fashion and advertising beauty, to beauty portraits of non-models and even boudoir photography. And while there are always millions or rules, trends and opinions, I base my article on my own ideas and beliefs as to what's important to be aware of to successfully create attractive beauty images.

Case Study: How & Why Our Best Clients Choose Us

Before my trip to Russia in August I wrote about what we should keep in mind when choosing our clients. While in Moscow, I photographed my own best clients and I thought it would be very interesting to find out how we, photographers, get chosen too.

Needless to say, there are many factors that influence relationships between creative professionals and those who hire them. But I thought that interviewing my own clients could be a great case study and we all could learn something from their answers.

Fun Photography Experiment: Inside a Camera Obscura

We all have cameras and know how to operate them. But how well do you understand the image forming principles? Modern technologies spoil us and we are often not required to possess any knowledge about the process behind the functions of a device. However, such knowledge can lead you to fun experiments like the one I am going to share with you today.

Choose Your Clients Wisely

When this post is published I will be on my way to Moscow, Russia somewhere above the North Atlantic Ocean. I have a couple of shoots booked with my regular clients there, and my relationships with those clients are so great and long-lasting that they inspired me to write this article.

How To "Read" Light In Photography - Part 1

One of the first very important skills I acquired in my Australian Photography course was the ability to breakdown lighting and determine approximate camera settings in images taken by other photographers. If you understand how the direction of light and its degree of diffusion are controlled and how they affect images, it should be easy for you to train yourself to "read" lighting in the images you see in magazines, on billboards and in your favorite photographers’ portfolios.

Preparing Yourself And Your Model For A Beauty Shoot

A few years ago when I was still new to the world of beauty photography and digital photo retouching, I prided myself on the ability to "fix it later in Photoshop." I would welcome retouching challenges as I was still learning, but things changed forever after I started working with professional teams and shooting for commercial clients.

There are a few unarguable reasons for getting it right in camera.