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06-11-2015, 05:57 AM   #1
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Portrait as a favor for a client - ideas please!
Lens: DA*16-50 Camera: K-5 

Hi everyone,

I have been shooting this woman's jewelry this past year while in Haiti for her Etsy page. She makes enamel necklaces and earrings - really beautiful work. I have no hesitation saying I am pretty new in the formal portrait field, but she insisted that I take her photo for an upcoming show of her work in Boston for brochures, etc. I have made a few touch ups in lightroom and have come up with this. I would love to hear from those with more experience than me working with portraits as to what I might do to improve the color, cropping, etc.

She insisted on the wooded background - a little busy maybe, but she really wanted some trees - which are hard to come by in Haiti!

Thanks everyone.

---------- Post added 06-11-15 at 08:58 AM ----------

Also, should I be cropping in at 8X10?

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06-11-2015, 07:00 AM   #2
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People want what they want and you can't really convince them otherwise, they know best. While saying that, the branches that intersect her head are not helpful. I would start all over again.

---------- Post added 06-11-15 at 10:05 AM ----------

Of course you could always put in a completely new background. One that is much more pleasing. With her hair color and blue shirt it shouldn't be that difficult.
06-11-2015, 07:21 AM   #3
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you could apply filter for the back ground like Gaussian blur in Photoshop to make it less prominent
applying a filter would be only the case for me if i would not have the chance to take a better picture
06-11-2015, 07:26 AM   #4
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like this, just a part to save time... :-)

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06-11-2015, 08:37 AM   #5
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Here is a quick and dirty background replacement. I'm sure you can do a better job if that's what you decide to do. Good Luck.
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06-12-2015, 10:04 AM   #6
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I would pull up the shadows a bit on the left side of the face.
06-13-2015, 10:28 AM   #7
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I like it with one side of her face shaded a little. It gives character and depth.

Here is a picture with her shaded side brightened just a little.

---------- Post added 06-13-15 at 01:29 PM ----------

Of course this is quick and dirty so don't judge too harshly.

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06-13-2015, 11:20 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Joe_M Quote
I like it with one side of her face shaded a little. It gives character and depth.

Here is a picture with her shaded side brightened just a little.

---------- Post added 06-13-15 at 01:29 PM ----------

Of course this is quick and dirty so don't judge too harshly.
I understand it is just an example but that looks entirely fake though.. wayyy wayy wayyy too much blurr. It looks like someone photoshopped the lady from one image and pasted her into another.

One other method, beyond bokeh or blur, is to just expose more for the highlights and let the background become darker (will have to use a flash). Of course she might be entirely happy with your original photo as it is. Are you happy with it yourself?
06-13-2015, 11:40 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I like the original, but I appreciate that darkening the background might help things out. I just tried to upload what I've got at this point. I'm happy with what I have now.
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06-13-2015, 03:08 PM   #10
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roughly.....

Last edited by wildman; 06-23-2015 at 07:43 PM.
06-14-2015, 07:37 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by max_pyne Quote
you could apply filter for the back ground like Gaussian blur in Photoshop to make it less prominent
applying a filter would be only the case for me if i would not have the chance to take a better picture
I agree with Max. Our eyes are drawn to the brightest parts of a photo and all the bright spots are in the background...which means nobody is looking at her face (which is the point of the pic). Since she insisted on a wooded background (and I think you did pretty well in handling it), I would create a layer where the background is more blurred and subdued, then put her on another layer where you could touch up her face, and cut her out and put her over the darkened background.
06-16-2015, 02:08 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mee Quote
I understand it is just an example but that looks entirely fake though.. wayyy wayy wayyy too much blurr. It looks like someone photoshopped the lady from one image and pasted her into another.

One other method, beyond bokeh or blur, is to just expose more for the highlights and let the background become darker (will have to use a flash). Of course she might be entirely happy with your original photo as it is. Are you happy with it yourself?
Sorry you didn't like it. Could you post the look you would have used? I'm always looking for a better way to do things.
06-16-2015, 03:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbriginshawphotograp Quote
I like the original, but I appreciate that darkening the background might help things out. I just tried to upload what I've got at this point. I'm happy with what I have now.
What you've just posted is something I'd consider good enough and move onward. You can always do another shoot with her in a setting of your choice for your portfolio because you enjoyed with her so much. Then you could have more say in the entire production.

Still, nice work. We all have our own ideas, don't let it bother you.
06-17-2015, 03:59 AM - 1 Like   #14
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I'm not sure the OP is still watching this thread but since it popped up during my new post search, I'll add my 2 cents.



1. 8x10 crop - even tighter than the OP in post #9
2. Added (Cloned) leaves over the 3 brightest spots in the background - one over each shoulder and one on the right just above eye level.
3. Lightened the face and neck and added some darkening to the upper corners using this tutorial: Move the Light - Tutorials
Note: I set the blending mode of the painted layer to overlay instead of soft light and adjusted the opacity of the layer to look good on my laptop. So I might not have gotten the opacity setting on the painted layer set correctly for a brighter screen (her face may be too light on your screen).

Tim

Last edited by atupdate; 06-17-2015 at 08:11 AM.
06-18-2015, 10:04 AM   #15
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@atupdate, is the blurring in the background of your update on purpose? I'm feeling the blurring is too strong and becoming distracting. Just wondering.
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