How do I make my photos look like these?

Joanstone

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Thanks for the input!
 
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tirediron

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I'm afraid your question is rather too general with too many variables to really provide a definite answer; if you were to ask, "What could I do to make this picture of mine more like this one his/hers?" we could provide better help. I will say though that what all of those photographers have in common is a good grasp of lighting and exposure. They know how to light a subject in a given situation and they understand what the best exposure choice is. I didn't see anything that looked like "post-processing trickery" ('though I only looked at a couple of images from each), rather the skill and experience to get it right in-camera.
 

amolitor

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Curves adjustment. Grab the curve in the middle or slightly right of the middle, and lift straight up to taste. That'll get you part way there.

Start with a good exposure, especially with the highlights correctly placed.
 
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Joanstone

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I think it's the clarity and "pop" yet the softness at the same time that I would assume was done in post processing? It definitely mostly is their lighting- but I always wonder how wedding photographers get their lighting so perfect since they can't really control the situation.
 
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Joanstone

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Thanks!
 
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tirediron

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:addpics:


Post examples.... photographers are visual people!!! It's MUCH easier for us to help you if we can see the problem, but in answer to your question about the wedding photographers, yes, some is going to be enhanced in post, but being able to produce quality work under changing conditions is why a good wedding shooter can command $5-10K+ per wedding.
 
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Joanstone

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.
 
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tirediron

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Here is my website. I'm in the process of updating now so those are some of my older examples- but you will get the general idea. Hannah Mahaffey Photography
This line from the bio page of your website explains it all:
I am a natural light photographer
. All light is natural light and behaves the same way, irrespective of the source. A photon is a photon is a photon and light from a studio strobe behaves no differently than sunlight, the difference is, you can control your studio strobes.

Using this image as an example the subject is slightly underexposed and the background is slightly too bright. Had you used even a single speedlight, off-camera, image left, you would have reduced the background brightness and made her pop right out of the image. So many photographers bill themselves as "natural light" photographers because they don't know how to manage strobed light. It's easy; you can learn 90% of what you need to know in a weekend (You will spend the rest of your life trying to learn the remaining 10% and never achieve it, but, that's just the way things go..). A $500 investment in gear (one speedlight, one set of triggers, one light stand, one small-medium softbox) and a reflector will increase the quality of your work by many orders of magnitude and no longer will you have to worry about time of day, sky, clouds... you can just go out and shoot!
 
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Joanstone

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I have a Canon speedlite- I believe the 430 ii? I don't use it much but that's because I just haven't learned enough about it. When ever I use it in daylight I really don't see much of a difference when I'm pointing it to the side and obviously pointing towards the subject will turn out poorly. Do I have the settings on my flash wrong maybe? Or should I really invest in a light stand and softbox? What softbox would you suggest? I have done a little research but don't really know how to tell a good one from a bad one.
 
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Joanstone

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Oh and I also just bought a 5 in 1 reflector/diffusor set. Would that have helped to reflect some light back on her in the example you used?
 

tirediron

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It's simply a matter of not fully understanding how strobed light works. Head over to the Strobist and start with Lighting 101. Pretty much everyone's first attempts at using strobed light are awful; I'm still in therapy over mind, but it really doesn't take long. I reach a 1 day workshop which routinely takes natural light photographers and turns them into 1 & 2 light off-camera flash shooters in six hours!
 
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Joanstone

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Sorry!
 
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tirediron

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It'll be a lot easier if you post 2-3 images that YOU feel most need improvement. As with anything, standing back and critiquing is easy, and anyone can find areas for improvement in even the best images.
 

KmH

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Note that it is a very common style of photograph being made today by lots and lots of retail photographers. Moo!
 

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