Exercise: Your own workflow 1

12 Aug

The objective with this exercise is to see and predict a good workflow in a portraitsession with limited time. We are asked to write down  our workflow and after that test it in a “real” shoot.

After that of course assessment if the workflow was ok or needed adjustment.

Workflow of a portraitsession

Before you begin:

  • What kind of objective do you have? What is the shot for? Special clothes?
  • Depending on that choice of location if outside, time of the day and season.
  • Makeup-artist necessary?
  • Depending o how much time there is for the actual photo shoot maybe a meeting with the model in order to give instructions.

Before the shoot

  • Check gear: memory cards, batteries, reflector, camera and lenses
  • Have a plan B ready, if e.g. the weather is not right or the location taken. Maybe extra gear, like flashgun,…?
  • Take maybe some sweets, mineralwater in case it is very hot/sweaty. Music?

On the shoot

  • Greet everyone
  • Instructions to the model on where to begin. Talk about ideas that he/she might have to improve the shoot.
  •  Take the shots and while doing so check histogram, background, shutterspeed, focus,….in order to get the technique right
  • Assess the pictures on the LCD display to get feedback and inspiration. Change pose or location of the model to improve it.
  •  Show the pictures to the model for some positive feedback
  • When done say “good bye”…check if you have all the contactinformation and if necessary modelrelease.

After the shoot

  • Uploading of the pictures and cleaning of camera gear. Maybe charging of batteries.
  • While uploading give them tags, have them in folders that have the date on them.
  • Looking at the pictures and getting rid of the technical bad ones.
  • After that looking through the pictures again to divide them up in Lightroom (red=throw away, yellow=maybe, green=keepers)
  • Depending if you have enough “keepers” on with editing of those but if not enough have a second look through the yellow
    labelled pictures to see if there is a usable one amongst them.
  • Retouching the pictures.
  • Exporting them depending on who has to have them as jpg, tiff, pdf or webgallery.
  • Safetycopy


The model that I used this time was my best friend and photo-enthusiast as me. We were experimenting lighting in his garage when I asked him to “play” model for me for the exercise.
As we were concentrating on light that part got the bigger part and not as much the change of expression and pose as proposed in the exercise-description  In the end we could not hold us from playing a little.

Before we started the lighting-session we thought about different ways to use the flashes. Him wanting to start with many flashes as you see in the gallery in the beginning. I thereafter wanted to scale it down to one flash with a reflector or fill-light in order to get more contrast in the face, giving a more “manly” look. As you can see we used a couple of devices that we had to see how the light could be modified.

The pictures that made it through to the end were based on his facial expression and the lighting of course. the whole body shot I liked because it shows a little what we dig and I like the pose he has.




After the shoot it showed that the structure of the photosession was as planned and did not need any adjustments but we were not that tight on time on the other hand. If we had been that we probably would have been forced to have more extensive planning before the actual shooting.



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