Two photos, two recipes

Written by Bernardita

Although I’m just starting out in the kitchen, when I follow a recipe that is well explained, simple and with few ingredients (if it’s more than 10, it’s just not for me), I manage to make some pretty tasty and tasty things…. let’s see if it works with the photos?

IF YOU LIKE GUIDES TO FOLLOW ORDERLY STEPS, THIS IS YOUR POST!

We already talked about how to prepare to start a photography business (if you missed it, you can check that post here), now it’s time to prepare THAT photo you have in mind.

Just like cooking, photography is an art, and it will be a good exercise to try to make an analogy with a recipe:

  • The ingredients, includes all the things that are needed before starting, in the photographic theme it is the planning.

  • Preparation of the recipe would be everything that is done during the session.

  • Baking would be editing

  • Bringing to the table would be Printing

Creating photographs that make other people happy is a challenge, not easy at all, but not impossible either.

I will tell you how I prepared and edited some of my favorite photos with simple and concrete steps. Always remember that nothing goes right on the first try and that practice makes perfect.

Planning, preparing and enjoying the shoot is one of the things that will make you grow as a photographer, then editing is what will make you have a style that sets you apart from the rest.

I want to see your photos and your progress, I am here to accompany you in your artistic journey.

Let’s get started!

RECIPE #1

Happy childhood

What do you feel when you see these girls in the photo?

I feel joy, I enjoy their innocence, their playfulness and their friendship.

But, the most incredible thing is that they did NOT know each other that day, the Japanese girl did not speak or understand any language other than Japanese, and I, who barely speak any English, had no choice but to use the language of «mimicry», and with this fantastic result.

Let’s go for that recipe!

dos fotos dos recetas-bernardita aguirre

Achieving this naturalness in a photo also requires preparation.

Planning

Fall day, dry hill, 3pm….. Impossible? Apparently not!

Although it sounds outside of all the tips I give for photo shoots, there is an explanation. On this hill the light runs out an hour earlier than below, and in the fall it gets dark around 5:30 pm, so this was the right light for the photos.

That’s why I always go to the place where the session will be, one or two days before, to know where it comes from, its intensity and look for the best places.

What I prepared

  • Location
  • Light
  • Dresses of various colors, but all in the autumn color palette.
  • Suitable shoes

A mind map with pose and photo ideas to do.

During the session

  • The first thing was to talk to the girls (with signs more than anything else!), make a connection between them, which was very easy, and a friend/assistant who was running next to them to show them what to do.
  • I was very far away, and I shot in burst with very high speed to «freeze» the movement.
  • Settings: Sony FE 85 mm f.1.8 lens | f 2.2 ⇥ Vel 1/4000 ⇥ ISO 400 ⇥ WB auto.
  • The shooting angle was on the ground to achieve a background with green and not just sky.
  • Secret ingredient: have a lot of patience and enjoy every minute of the session!

Editing

Editing is an art and it’s the part where I give my style to the photo, I love editing, it’s where I give the special and unique flavor to my recipe!!!

I’m always looking to contrast the subjects, change or accentuate some colors, and make the photo more beautiful. Of course, this is much better and easier when the shot is good.

You have to be very careful when taking the photos.

I always edit my photos in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop programs (https://www.adobe.com).

In Lightroom is where I develop the photo, lower the highlights, raise the shadows, recover some contrast, and if there are greens (there aren’t many here), I desaturate the yellows.

I leave the photo as ready as possible to go to Photoshop.

Adobe Lightroom-bernardita aguirre
Photoshop-bernardita aguirre

Print

This topic is very important too! There is no more beautiful and unforgettable souvenir than photos on paper.

If I make normal prints, I ask for photographic papers, matte or satin, and if I want Fine Art, the paper is 300 gr. cotton paper.

It is very important to know the color profile used by the lab where we print, to have the same colors we see on the computer screen.

DO YOU PRINT YOUR PHOTOS?

RECIPE #2

Tom Sawyer of the South

I named the photo after Tom Sawyer, because Tom Sawyer was one of my favorite books when I was a child, and because the place, his attitude, and even that twig he plays with just remind me of that great book.

Books can also be an important source of inspiration, we must not forget our childhood.

Let’s go for the recipe!

Tom Sawyer del sur-bernardita aguirre

I’LL TELL YOU HOW I TOOK THIS PICTURE

I went to give a workshop in Cordoba, Argentina, with students and organizers of luxury, I have no words to thank them for that weekend.

Well, they asked me some things I wanted for that day, I told them the age of the children, a place with a soft sunset, water and neutral colors for the costumes. They got me this wonderful place.

We went down to the river, and that log I imagined it as part of my photo in exactly one second. I looked at his mom with a «do you think I’m crazy if I ask you to put your child on that log» look on my face. Her reaction, and his, was spectacular: please, let’s go there! My reaction of happiness you can imagine….

I am convinced that without the help of those enthusiastic moms and dads who book my sessions, my photos would not be the same.

The photo story begins and ends with me and all the students almost in the water, and with a spectacular memory of that day.

Planning

  • Location
  • The schedule
  • Lighting
  • The wardrobe
  • Props (hat)

During the session

This was the moment where it all happened! It all happened with an almost fake fluidity.

  • We found that twig, the boy was a real Tom Sawyer, and the truth, with only two tips from me, he let himself go and had an impeccable performance.
  • Composition was very important for an interesting photo. I had him look to the side so that no light would hit his face (direct sunlight on the face is never good for a photo).
  • Settings : Sigma Art 135 mm f1.8 | f3.2 lens ⇥ Vel 1/250 ⇥ ISO 320 ⇥ WB auto.
  • Secret ingredient: laughter! 🥰

Editing

In this photo, in addition to developing it, I removed color in the yellows and greens, then I changed the tone and luminance to bring the photo to warmer colors.

I leave the photo as ready as possible to go to Photoshop.

Edición Tom Sawyer del sur lightroom-bernardita aguirre

Working with colors – still in Lightroom

Edición Tom Sawyer del sur lightroom-bernardita aguirre

First step in PS, illuminate your face, then correct the background, so as not to have distractors.

Edición Tom Sawyer del sur lightroom y photoshop-bernardita aguirre

Then, many layers to work by theme in each one.

Edición Tom Sawyer del sur lightroom y photoshop capas-bernardita aguirre

Printing

A fundamental step in preserving our memories!

Before & After

Dos niñas edición-bernardita aguirre
Tom Sawyer edición-bernardita aguirre

Would you like to follow any of my recipes? Or better yet, make your own work plan, create your own unique recipe that distinguishes you from others and of course, share it. You can upload it to my private Facebook group Fine Art Learning Group which you can access here, and I will gladly comment it to you personally.

Remember that your path will be much easier when you have someone holding your hand through the process, rather than trying to do it all yourself.

  • Organize your workflow
  • Learn editing
  • Compositing
  • More advanced techniques
  • Study everything you need to make your work more professional

YOUR WORK MUST BE BEAUTIFUL, CONSISTENT, PROFESSIONAL.

I’d love to know what you think!

Do you prep your sessions, edit them, print your photos?

Tell me below in the comments!

Love,
Berni

¡Hello! I´m Bernardita Aguirre

I am a Chilean photographer and I help photographers to find their unique stamp and families to capture priceless moments.

I studied pedagogy at the University, but I have dedicated almost all my life to the artistic area, and I have been able to unite my two passions and turn them into my work: teaching and the art of photography!

I will share with you my methodology, my art and my photography. If you want to learn with me I offer several courses that can help you.

berni-bernarditaaguirre.com

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