Shooting Beauty

May 29, 2016  •  1 Comment

Drea Nicole BeautyDrea Nicole Beauty About six months ago I made the decision to get in one "Beauty" look at the end of each photoshoot. I wanted to commit to improving my "beauty" editing skills and techniques. Perhaps the amazing edits we see on covers of Cosmopolitan, Vogue and other publications intrigued me enough to want to get a small taste of how to edit beauty. 

So, for those who do follow my work, you have seen a portrait vibe beauty shot from almost all of my shoots. Fashion art, fine art, mood and artistic nude is where I live and where my heart is, but this "beauty" work has grown on me. Trust me when I say while I will never reach the level of the graphic artists that edit for the major magazines, it has been a blast to practice and learn what I now consider 'decent quality' basic beauty editing skill. 

I am learning that there is a fine line in female portraiture where the image is highly glamorous but yet natural and exceedingly over photoshopped. In my edits, I try to leave some natural skin features such as lines, moles, etc etc. For me, it's important to never blur the image as a skin retouching technique. 

First off, to get a good beauty shot you MUST have an amazingly talented professional makeup artist (in the case of this photo Dania Blanco). If you don't start with good makeup you will probably not have a great outcome. In this image of model Drea Nicole, much of what I am talking about is visible. Obviously the makeup is good. Secondly, Drea has uncanny perfect skin so the editing process is half done before I even start. If you look at Drea's arms, stomach and chest you will see alot of natural skin featuring. 

On the face, there a few things in the photo worth mentioning. The specular highlights in Drea's eyes are the result of the tri-flector kit that I use for all of my beauty shots. I turn off all the studio lights and while looking into the models eyes move the reflectors until I get the effect I want. For the skin I clone at a very high opacity over imperfections, being careful to not blur any pixels. Dodge and burn are beauty editors best friends. By burning under the cheek bones, around the eyes and jawline you can mold the face and accentuate the makeup. Its the D&B that creates depth in the face and makes features and highlights pop. 

Beauty editing is just a matter of practice. Anyone can do it. Its a skill a photographer can sell. You can't easily sell art...unless you are really good, and I am just not that good. But you CAN sell portrait work. My plan is to hopefully sell female portraiture in order to fund my other artistic dreams. 

You can view Drea's entire photo gallery here



Annette Sturgeon(non-registered)
Your modesty is impressive. Love your work. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
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