11 Jul 2015

Amanda Beauty Shoot

adventscape, Amanda Rahme, Australia, beauty, iori, Isy Ryder-Healey, Make Up Artist, MUA, New South Wales, NSW, Philip Avellana, Vaucluse Creative Make Up
Amanda Rahme


I haven't been shooting Beauty photography for years now.  The last time I shot Beauty was a disaster.  I don't know anything about portraiture and I don't know about lighting.  I don't know how to make my portraits pop out or stand out.  I don't know anything about modifiers and position them to get that soft beautiful light.

As time passes by, I decided to put time into studying portraiture and lighting.  This happened less than a year ago.  Interesting, I managed to grasp some basic concepts, not only of lighting, but also confidence, direction and posing.  There's more to it than just taking a person's portrait and lighting it.



Beauty Shoot

If you ask me, 'Beauty' in terms of photography is taking a photo from shoulder up.  The subject will always be the face, parts of the face and the make up.  The face is commercially rich, meaning many companies are into this industry to make money.  To name a few are Revlon, Avon, Clinique - any company can takes care of your skin, eyes, nose, lips, teeth, ears will belong to this category.  

Even men has their own brand to vouch for :)


adventscape, Amanda Rahme, Australia, beauty, iori, Isy Ryder-Healey, Make Up Artist, MUA, New South Wales, NSW, Philip Avellana, Vaucluse Creative Make Up
Amanda Rahme Model


Beauty Shoot with Amanda

This photo shoot was organised by Isy, my trusted Make Up Artist.  She would like to add more photos to her portfolio so we did this collaboration along with Amanda.  

Isy decided on the overall look.  Amanda helped her to create our own look for this photo shoot.  I shared very little in this brainstorming activity as I don't know much about make ups.  But I challenged myself to learn more on this area - at least those that will affect the photos in general.

Both Isy and Amanda decided on green eye lashes, I'd prefer the blue/violet ones.  But it's alright as we'll going to use those eye lashes on the next shoots.  Isy decided to make Amanda's face white.  But we didn't push through with this creative as it's taking a lot of time and we need to make sure that the air brush fills white on Amanda's face evenly.  Isy also made the hair. I think it's beautiful as it's very simple yet elegant.  


adventscape, Amanda Rahme, Australia, beauty, iori, Isy Ryder-Healey, Make Up Artist, MUA, New South Wales, NSW, Philip Avellana, Vaucluse Creative Make Up
Amanda Straight Shoot



Lighting Gears and Equipment

I used very minimal equipment. It's just enough to illuminate Amanda evenly.  My main objective is to clearly define Isy's makeup with good even lighting.  I used the following:

  • Nikon D800E
  • Tamron 90mm F/2.8 Macro
  • Nikon SB-900 Speedlight
  • Yongnuo YN-510EX TTL Speedlite
  • Elinchrom Lightstands
  • Generic 153 cm Octabox
  • Generic 102 cm Shoot Through Umbrella
  • Godox 110 cm 2 in 1 reflector

The macro lens is vital.  Without the Tamron 90mm F/2.8 macro, I won't be able to go so close to Amanda.  This enabled me to shoot closely to fill my frame.  The photos you see here are mostly edited, but not cropped.


adventscape, Amanda Rahme, Australia, beauty, iori, Isy Ryder-Healey, Make Up Artist, MUA, New South Wales, NSW, Philip Avellana, Vaucluse Creative Make Up
Creative Make Up (Isy Ryder-Healey MUA)




Lighting Setup

The lighting setup is very straightforward and simple.  There are 2 light sources in front of Amanda.  The SB-900 is mounted on camera left with the Octabox.  The Yongnuo YN-510EX is mounted on camera right with the shoot through umbrella.  Both the Nikon SB-900 and Yongnuo YN-510EX are powered the same (or closely the same).  This gives both sides of the face, an evenly exposed lighting.  







The elliptical shaped object beneath the subject is in fact a medium sized reflector.  It's purpose is to bounce enough light beneath the subject to open up the shadows under the chin area.  The lights are about 24 inches higher than the subject. 

Since I used a macro lens, I can close in to the subject easily and pass through the 2 lighting modifiers on both sides.  If I had stepped back a little, the modifiers will be in the frame.  I didn't used a 70-200 as I don't have enough room to move around.

We used a plain wall, lightly-coloured, as the background.  We still have a pair of light stands that can hold a curtain backdrop.  But since the curtain needs ironing, the creases can be seen in the photo.  Also, since the light is shooting at a 45 degree angle from the curtain, the creases creates small shadows that makes it more prominent in the photo.  So we decided to drop the curtain and just used the wall.



Shooting Setup

Nikon D800E + Tamron 90mm F/2.8 macro and that's it.

Isy told me that she didn't need too much posing.  She just needs a straight shot, without poses, without smiles, without fancy and that's it.

She told me that she wanted to see the makeup clearly.  The best way to do this is to just shoot the model straight on.  If she smiles, the lipstick might break and it would be seen in the photo.  Lighting is is flat as well.  High key is recommended.  She just wants an even lighting to have the makeup see through.

It's very easy on my part to be honest.


adventscape, Amanda Rahme, Australia, beauty, iori, Isy Ryder-Healey, Make Up Artist, MUA, New South Wales, NSW, Philip Avellana, Vaucluse Creative Make Up
Top View Close Eyes


Editing


All my photos are managed in Lightroom (with basic editing) and then sent to Photoshop for more advance editing.  Only my hand picked files goes to Photoshop.  I always do much in Lightroom before going to Photoshop.  Since Lightroom is non-destructive, it's best that you do most of your editing here (so if you messed up, you can recover from the start).  If you already know/memorises what you're doing, then going to Photoshop instantly is good.  

The steps below started in Lightroom then to Photoshop:

Lightroom:
  1. Exposure correction
  2. White Balance correction
  3. Noise Reduction
  4. Sharpening
Photoshop
  1. Frequency Separation 
  2. Changing Eye Color
  3. Noise Reduction (if needed)
  4. Selective Sharpening
I did all the global modifications in Lightroom and the selective editing in Photoshop.  'Frequency Separation' is a technique to remove imperfections on the face (pimples, scars, moles etc) but maintaining skin texture.  'Frequency Separation' also tries to even out the lighting exposure and uneven make up on the face.  This is a powerful technique. 

I then changed Amanda's eye colour.  I did a tutorial about changing eye colour.  Please have a look and hopefully it can also help you.  

I also did selective noise reduction and selective sharpening.  A good example of selective sharpening is when you're sharpening the eyes only.  So you do sharpening and mask out the whole face except the eyes.  This can be done easily in Photoshop than in Lightroom.



Conclusion

As a photographer, I always organise the shoot.  But this time, my Make Up Artist (MUA) needs to update her porfolio so I she organised this photo shoot.  In a collaboration, it's not always the photographer that does the organisation.  If a model, MUA or clothing designer wants a shoot, just collaborate with your team.  No need to wait for the photographer to organise one.

I did a simple shoot this time as it's the only one required by my MUA.  Simple lighting to light the model evenly.  MUA doesn't want the model to pose or smile.  I can also do what I wanted in the end but at the moment, I'm comfortable at what my MUA requires.


adventscape, Amanda Rahme, Australia, beauty, iori, Isy Ryder-Healey, Make Up Artist, MUA, New South Wales, NSW, Philip Avellana, Vaucluse Creative Make Up
Amanda Rahme Model, Isy Ryder-Healey MUA

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