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A Complete Guide to Retouching Portraits in Photoshop for Free

There is an innumerable amount of articles and tutorials teaching parts and pieces of retouching portraits. However, finding the ones with quality techniques and information can take days. Furthermore, there is no singular tutorial that teaches a complete set of methods to retouch portraits free of charge. Finding the right tutorials for each aspect of editing can become very time consuming. This article contains 5 years of research for achieving the greatest methods to retouch a portrait.

The Ultimate Guide To The Frequency Separation Technique

Chances are you have already learned what Frequency Separation (FS) technique is, as it became mainstream in the past few years. However, many FS technique users actually know very little theory behind it, thus have little control over its implementation. I've set out to research and collect all the important and useful information about it, so we can together learn how to become better at it.

How to Choose Flattering Light for Your Client

When a client hands a portrait photographer their hard-earned money, they want to see a photograph of themselves they feel great about. Light is a key aspect in producing such a photo, but how is a photographer supposed to choose which lighting style works for their client?

Checklist: What You Must Ask a Client Before Giving a Price

It's a huge risk to not ask the right questions before giving a prospective client a price. Not only does it make you look like an amateur, but you could end up agreeing to a job which really isn't worth the time or money. Here's what you should be asking when someone wants to know how much it will cost to hire you.

How to (Digitally) Paint Your Own Gorgeous Backdrops

I'm no painter. In fact, if we ever play Pictionary together, do your best to get on the other team. So, when I wanted to make my own custom backdrops, I knew I was way out of my depth. Like many photographers, I've drooled over Sarah Oliphant's hand painted backdrops for years. When I saw Jeremy Cowart draw his own backdrop on an iPad Pro, I thought I may have something within reach. While I continued trying to decide exactly what Oliphant backdrop I want to start with, I thought maybe I could experiment with some digital painting of my own.

How to Make $60,000 in One Year Selling Fine Art Photographs

The world of fine art photography exists in the lofty shadows of the photography industry, it’s secrets hidden behind an air of elite mystery. While endless tutorials on how to make a living as a portrait photographer can be found with a quick google search, how to make a living as a fine art photographer remains a more nebulous subject. Last year, award-winning Fine Art Photographer Jason Matias made $60,000 selling fine art prints, and he’s taking away some of the mystery by sharing part of his journey — and solid advice — for budding fine art photographers who want to do the same thing.

Simple Lighting Setups Using Little or No Equipment

I’m a big believer that you don’t need expensive equipment and a complicated lighting set up to create beautiful images. Some of my favorite images were captured with a really simple lighting setup and with little or no lighting equipment at all. Sometimes too much emphasis is often put on equipment and we can easily get caught up in complicated lighting and expensive gear.

How Color Theory Improves Your Photography and Retouching

The wrong elements of color can disrupt the harmony of photographs and distract the viewer from the story you’re trying to tell. When we’re deliberate though, we can use color theory while planning the components of our photos and use color grading to allow us to create compelling images that add emotion to help us create a story. Dynamic images are created through complementary colors that develop harmony in wardrobe and location, lighting, and mood. Fortunately, there are numerous resources to understanding and implementing color.

7 Tone Curve Tips That Will Make Your Editing Better

The tone curve in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) is a powerful tool. Subtle changes to the tone curve can make a big difference in the look and feel of your image. Here are a few tips and tricks that will make your tone curve adjustments easier and more precise.

Six Investments To Level-Up Your Commercial Photography Business

Throughout the course of my creative career, I’ve overdrawn my bank account a lot, shed tears over stress, and stared in the mirror for hours in dejection. I’ve made my share of professional and personal mistakes and certainly learned the hard way from all of those choices. I’ve lost, I’ve won, I’ve sacrificed, and I’m blessed to have earned.

Don’t Ever Do This Editing Mistake

Raise shadows and decrease highlights. This is how many photographers start their post processing workflow. Sadly, this often leads to an unintentional mistake.

Model Posing Cliches: Stale or Useful? Improve Your Model Photography With Tried and True Poses

Some model poses seem to pop up everywhere repeating across different mediums and across decades. Many photographers deride these posing cliches, but these cliches can be useful on fashion and other model shoots, especially when working with new models still learning how to move. They can help create serviceable images when you are stuck for ideas or when you need shoot a series of good looks in a short period of time.

Shooting With Color Gels

There are times when I find myself shooting the same stuff or using the same lighting setup over and over again. Repetition helps to improve and fine-tune my skills, but sometimes it just feels boring and degrading, let alone useless for my portfolio.

But as much as I dislike feeling stuck and repeating myself, I now realize how such times in fact help me to become a better artist and shooter. It's usually the desire to entertain myself and experiment that leads me to new personal artistic discoveries. It's when I'm bored and want to "spice it up", I start searching for new lighting ideas, tricks and techniques.

The Ultimate Guide to the Dodge & Burn Technique - Part 1: The Fundamentals

Dodge & Burn (D&B) is a technique that came to us from the darkroom days when luminosity values in a photo could be only manipulated by the duration of the exposure of the light sensitive photographic paper. And while there’s so much that have already been published about it, I hope we can still shed some light on the aspects of it that are usually not mentioned in retouching tutorials.

How to Build a Business Plan as a Photographer: Part One

Today begins a three part series on building a successful business plan as a photographer. The topic deserves its own full book, but hopefully these essays will give those of you just starting out a primer on things you need to consider when turning your hobby into a profession.

How They Got the Shot: Boudoir Shower Scenes

Many times clients have asked to have the shower scene added to their boudoir sessions. For many photographers this may seem impossible to accomplish if they lack a shower, or the space is too small to accommodate. So I asked a few fellow photographers to give some examples of their shower scenes and techniques to show how this can be accomplished regardless of space or an actual running shower.

Back-Button Focus: What It Is and Why You Should Be Using It

If you spend any time surfing photography forums and Facebook groups, you will undoubtedly see a constant flow of questions asking for the best way to nail focus. Maybe you are one of those people that find themselves struggling. The trick is that most cameras have a setting that will help you focus like a pro. That trick is called back-button focus, and once you use it, you’ll never want to go back.

How to Export Sharp Photos for Instagram

Instagram has become the primary avenue for photographers to share their work, but if not appropriately handled, Instagram can ruin the look of your images. Here is the best way to export your photos from Lightroom if you want your pictures to stay as sharp as possible.

Seven Reasons Why Flash Portraits Are Better Than Natural Light

If you're serious about improving your Portraits, then pull your seat in a little closer. Because in this article you’re about to discover 7 compelling reasons why, using flash is much better for your Portraits than just regular natural light. But first, can I ask you a question?

Learn Everything There Is to Know About Frequency Separation

Frequency separation has been all the rage in the retouching industry in the past couple of years. Hated, loved, criticized, acclaimed, it has seen it all. But do you really know how it works, what it can do, and more?

How to Write a Killer 'About Me' Page

Your “About Me” page is one of the single most powerful ways to define your brand, stand out from your competition, and make potential clients feel they can’t NOT hire you. So why, then, are you neglecting it? Here’s how to write a killer “About Me” page to capture more clients.

So You Want to Be a Professional Photographer

There’s much more to being a professional photographer than meets the eye. Making photos for your clients is about 5 percent of the job. Making a living from photography is difficult to say the least. If you want to be a professional photographer, there are many aspects you should consider before diving in.

Playing with Shadows Using Natural Light in Boudoir Photography

Playing with shadows is not a new concept however in the boudoir community is has become a beautiful new trend. A recent group competition brought many boudoir photographers into the sight of this staff writer. One photographer in particular stopped the show with some moody light that won us over.

10 Editing Techniques That Changed My Photography

In the digital age you as a photographer are expected to be familiar and knowledgeable with Photoshop. It can be argued back and forth if this is right or wrong and whether Photoshop is ruining photography. But I see Photoshop as a tool, just as the darkroom was a tool to manipulate images. I have put together this list of 10 techniques that helps me get the most out of my images.

The Studio Essential - How To Construct High-Quality V-Flats And Why

Ever since I started diving into studio photography the term “V-Flat” has been a big mystery to me. Google and YouTube have been the quintessential resource for photography knowledge and for whatever reason there isn't much detailed information on how to construct a V-Flat or what purpose they actually serve. It took time to sift through the noise of nonsensical DIY fabrication and even more time to unfold the enigma of this studio essential.

The Guide To Pricing Commercial Photography Part 4: License Fees

In the last segment of our commercial pricing guide we will tackle the least talked about and most misunderstood portion of your invoice; the licensing fees. I will go over what they are, why you should be using them, and my preferred method for calculating them no matter who my client is!

How to Color Grade Using Luminosity Masks

Zoë Noble's work has been featured in Vogue Arabia, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia and ELLE Japan, and she has shot commercial campaigns for L'Oréal Paris, Vichy, and Etsy. Check out her awesome technique for color grading in this video.

Instagram Image Sizes for 2018: Download These Free Templates

Thanks to Instagram's incessant commitment to regularly changing various features on the photo-sharing app, it's more than understandable that you may not know the current image specifications for the platform. After a quick Google search brought up a host of conflicting answers, I decided to do some tests of my own and create several free Photoshop templates to make all our lives much easier.

How to Pose Hands for a Better Boudoir Session

The art in hands placement has been a tough subject for many photographers. Letting the client rest a hand rarely ends in an image filled with emotion or story. Knowing the simple techniques behind how to guide your client in where to place the hand, how to move them during the session, and how to convey emotion through the soft touch of the hand will take your session to a new level.

Lighting Like Leibovitz – The One Light Challenge

I’m a huge fan of Annie Leibovitz and the imagery she has captured over the past few decades. Being a self-taught photographer, I looked to her work time and time again for inspiration and motivation. Over the course of a year, I scoured the internet for information on her lighting setups, equipment and methodology. But, the more I dove in, the less concerned I became about equipment and the more I felt the need to simplify my style.

How to Remove People From Complicated Images Automatically Using Photoshop

Beautiful places are of course something many of us want to photograph, but the problem is often that there are constantly people in the shot at such locations. This helpful tutorial will show you how to remove people from complicated images automatically using Photoshop.

How to Quadruple Your Portrait Profits

Scottsdale, Arizona-based headshot photographer Tony Taafe went from selling $60,000 in his first year of business to $250,000 in his third, and he wants to help other photographers do the same thing.

13 Tips for an Improved Lightroom Experience

Lightroom is probably the most used photo database program available, with an integrated raw file editor, and many options for post processing. These thirteen tips can improve your Lightroom experience.