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Boudoir Photography Workflow
With portrait photography sessions there’s more post processing latitude in playing with the tonality, color and mood then there is in wedding photography. When editing a wedding, I want the entire body of images, from the beginning through the end of the day, to be a uniform and consistent look. With a boudoir portrait session we are able to vary as the wardrobe and set changes. The goal is to get as much variety as possible on one session. We can do that with lighting, wardrobe, set changes – but also with post processing.
I use Photo Mechanic to download and backup the original files. From Photo Mechanic, I flag the best images starting from the and going towards the beginning. I flag in reverse because I change lenses or angles or sets or wardrobe when I’ve nailed the image that I’m looking for. So is far more efficient to move from the end towards the beginning when I’m doing the initial flag of images from a portrait session.
Flagged images are brought from Photo Mechanic into a Lightroom catalog that is created specifically for that client. I shoot Canon, so I have a Lightroom preset to Camera Calibration Profile to Camera Neutral and Lens Correction on import.
In Lightroom I make any necessary color corrections or exposure compensations and if necessary tweak cropping to keep vertical lines vertical. Of course, I try to make my compositions and exposures right straight out of camera (SOOC).
After exporting from Lightroom, I open my favorite images (a folder called Studio Favorites) in Exposure’s Alien Skin. I’ve been using it standalone as an editing program, but it also with its recent launch of Exposure X2 you can probably skip the Lightroom part as Exposure now handles all the workflow.
A creative photo editor, Alien skin gives you one click presets and film emulations. There are hundreds of presets, and an entire panel that you can further customize those presets. Which means you have thousands, if not unlimited, options on how to finish an image. Of course, when I first installed it I had a lot of fun playing and comparing but I’ve settled into a series of reliable favorites that I continue to use shoot after shoot.
Having been a film shooter, I really miss certain film stocks – the look of them hard to replicate with digital. I was so excited to see that some of my favorites: the Kodak Portra, and Fuji Reala among them.
Creating Your Own Presets
I love that you can create your own presents so easily and give them descriptions. And you can give them names!
The Special Sauce
Here are some examples from straight out of camera to like them export to polished in alien skin that give you an example from what I’m seeing in camera to how I can create the image that I see in my mind there’s not much of a difference but it settle and beautiful enough that I consider this one of my go to editing applications
Can you see the subtle differences?