Need serious help with a portrait...never done this before :)

Discussion in 'People Photography' started by flygning, May 12, 2008.

  1. flygning

    flygning TPF Noob!

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    Okay, so I want to do a really nice portrait of my Mom. We went and got glamor shots done for Mothers Day, which was a blast, but I think she would be more appreciative of a shot I took and edited. So, I had my camera in her face all day, and she *reallyreallyreally* does not like cameras, and it was really hot out, and we were drinking pretty much all day, so I didn't get much. Here is the best I could get under the circumstances:

    [​IMG]

    And here is a super quick edit I did, just so I could throw it on my website to freak her out:

    [​IMG]

    Now, I want to make her feel beautiful. Who doesn't want that for their Mom? I know there are ways to even up the skin tone, and bring out her eyes, and cover up some wrinkles and whatnot, but I don't really know any of those tricks. Any advice?
     
  2. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    Nice idea! Do you have photoshop, or what program are you using?
     
  3. flygning

    flygning TPF Noob!

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    I have photoshop cs3. I know basic features, but each time I post a picture I learn something new :)
     
  4. DRoberts

    DRoberts TPF Noob!

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    Here are some hints that might help...

    Preperation: Chose your location. If outdoors consider lighting early morning or late evening is best, in my opinion. If indoors a solid color background is best. Which ever, coordinate with your subject before the shot about color schemes. Have then wear a solid color of clothes that will compliment their tones as well as contrast with the background. (single colored clothes also works as a "slenderizer".)

    Indoor Lighting: Soft lighting from above and off center to face. Creates a softer look. (a slightly turned face with this lighting can help hide blemishes and double chins easier)

    Angles: When shooting live subjects, people or animals, center the focus on their eyes, and try to shoot from their eye level. However don't limit yourself to that with portraits. One popular technique is to shoot at an elevated level above the subject.

    Settings: Of course slow ISO, 200 is good. Narrow ap setting if using back drop or background is esential for the type of shot it is. Wide ap setting to blur the background and put emphisis on your subject. You will need to adjust your shutter speed to the best effect with your lighting...will take a few test shots.

    Files: RAW RAW RAW!!

    PP - experiment with your lighting effects, unsharp mask and color curves.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Ajay

    Ajay TPF Noob!

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    You need a better shot of her to work with. This one is not flattering to her in the least little bit. You aren't likely to get the kind of shot you're looking for this candidly. Best to try and convince her to let you take a couple posed shots of her outdoors somewhere that doesn't require the use of a flash. Pick a spot where you can go ahead and get your camera set up so that the whole thing can be over in a few minutes.
     
  6. flygning

    flygning TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice. Since she lives 3 hours away, I won't be able to get another shot of her, and believe me, of all the shots I have *ever* taken of her, this is really the most flattering. I'm not going for professional quality here, I'm just going for cleaned up skin and whatnot. It is mostly the photoshopping I need advice on, since I don't really know much there. Like I said, I just want to make her feel beautiful, and I know photoshop can do anything :)
     
  7. Ajay

    Ajay TPF Noob!

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  8. platano

    platano TPF Noob!

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    awesome tutorial.. learned a few things from it.. here is the picture after the touch up following the tutorial.. sorry it was a quick one.. but im sure if you put some time on it it will be way better.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I had the hardest time to get my mother to look into the camera, much less to look natural. Well, it too about 20 minutes of shooting and then I told her a fart joke. This was the result.
    [​IMG]

    Can't say enough about the virtues of toilet humor. :lol:

    BTW, she is 72 years old. Not too bad in my eyes....... only because she was a young mother! Laugh if you get that.

    I didn't want to take out the laugh lines. FFS, she's 72 years old.
     
  10. flygning

    flygning TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the link, ajay. I got partway through it and already the patch tool has made a world of difference. I'll finish up as soon as my computer gets out of the "repair shop" (my boyfriend tore it apart to figure out why the fan isn't working...eek) and I'll post the results.

    Platano- good work. I managed to take more of the shine out, but I couldn't really get her forehead to look that good. Did you just use the patch tool there, or something else? Biggest problem with that tutorial, is the model she's working with looks like she has perfect skin already. I wish I were so lucky!

    Your mother is cute, kundalini! One of these days (perhaps after I show her the final results of this little experiment) my mom might let me sit down and do a "true" portrait, but for now I'll have to make do with what I've got. I'll keep the fart joke trick in mind when I do :)
     
  11. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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    You may want to consider making it black and white. I find that the the problem that reoccurs in all these pics is mostly the redness in her face. Just a thought :D

    There was a thread not too long ago that had some great tutorials on editing skin... I'll try and dig the link up...
     
  12. K8-90

    K8-90 TPF Noob!

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