Steven Brokaw Photography

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Model Photography Post Processing - General Thoughts

Post processing is a critical step in photography, especially involving beauty or fashion.  If you look at the entire workflow from concept to final images, post processing can take the longest time of any step.

You may hear people tell you to "fix it in post".  Sure, most imperfections, lighting issues, etc. can be fixed in post, but you really should save time & get it right from the start.  Easy, right?  Common sense, right?  Really, it is that easy.  Most of my photography involves photographing models.  I've photographed hundreds of new & experienced models over the last several years.  Know what I've learned?  That's right, they play a critical role in "getting it right in camera", and as a result speeding up post processing.

Most of the issues I find are again - common sense - but I thought I would share some tips / suggestions I would give a new model or new photographer working with a model to speed the post processing.  Most are little things, but important.  They are:

  • Keep your teeth clean.  Yellow or stained teeth need to be adjusted in post.  Anytime a photographer adjusts teeth across several images they we run the risk of not making the adjustment consistent.  
  • Keep your eyes clear.  Those obvious red capillaries need to be cloned out.  Get plenty of sleep, don't go into smokey places the day before a shoot, and don't smoke.
  • Everyone gets pimples.  They are easy to eliminate in post processing, but not if you pick at them.  Keep your skin clean & healthy to minimize pimples, but when you get them, DON'T pick them.
  • Don't chew your nails if left natural.
  • Don't pick at your lips, and if they are dry use lip balm.
  • Unless it's communicated in advance or a beach / swimsuit shoot, minimize tanning and please try to avoid obvious tan lines.  And tanning beds.  Orange is not an attractive skin color.
  • If you are doing a fashion shoot, DON'T wear a bra the day of the shoot. Let the girls go commando when you head to the studio.  It's a real pain to remove bra strap lines on your skin in post processing.  But Steve, I'm not shooting topless....I know that, but I'm talking about your back, cleavage and shoulders.
  • Speaking of bras, if you are asked to bring several then bring several in different colors & strap types.  Also, OK, I'm not a bra expert, but bring at least one that doesn't show under a t-shirt or tight top.  
  • Wear loose fitting clothing the morning of and while heading to the shoot.  Same thing as the bra comment.  Wear sweats or something loose.
  • Keep your eyebrows maintained.  The makeup artist will clean things up with cosmetics, but make their job easy.  
  • Keep yourself fit & eat healthy.  This is as important for curvy models as well.  Maintain your weight and fitness to the standard model measurements for the class you are representing.
  • Get plenty of sleep the nights before a shoot.  Dark circles under your eyes are obvious.  Again, the makeup artist can help, but they shouldn't have too.
  • Keep your hair healthy.  AND, pay attention to the hair stylist's needs on the call sheet.  
  • Shave your legs and make sure you use or bring lotion to the shoot.
  • Let the photographer know if you have piercings or tattoos BEFORE the shoot.  Often time they are cool, but sometimes they don't fit the vibe of the shoot and need to be removed in post.  Not fun.

See, that was easy.  Everything in every model's control.  Do these few things and my job post processing will be SO much easier.  

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