How to Stay Productive Working From Home as a Photographer

shutterstock_424196902 smallStaying proactive whilst working from home can be difficult, also trying to separate working and relaxing time is hard to separate. Check out these tips below to help.

  • Get dressed in the morning and planning out your days, setting times to do set tasks is super helpful at keeping you proactive.
  • Having a home office is a great idea if you have the room, ideally a separate room is best, so you can go into a separate space just to focus on your work. Closing the door so you don’t get distracted and limiting your coffee breaks.
  • You can pick the times of day you want to work, so if you are a night worker, then work at night rather than during the day, though have your phone on during the day so your clients can contact you.
  • Declutter your work space, try to keep the top of your desk and empty as possible so there won’t be any distractions.
  • Set yourself a list of goals to work towards – make some really achievable and some that you will need to work towards.
  • Don’t work so hard that you are exhausted, have breaks throughout your day taking time to relax, try to only work during the hours you set yourself.
  • Read books on subjects that inspire you during your breaks and when you aren’t working to help keep you inspired and refreshed.
  • Table lamps are better to help you just concentrate on one thing, rather than the room light.
  • Don’t try to rush your work, take your time to make sure that you are always happy with the work, working on more than one project at once is a good idea, to keep your mind refreshed.
  • Most importantly remember to not stress out, take time for yourself and be passionate about the type of photography that you do.

Don’t forget to check out our software PortraitPro, to help you save time post processing your images. Click here to download a trial today!

 

Interview with a Pro – Blake Verdoorn

Canadian Lake Small Canadian Lake – Blake Verdoorn

If you saw our recent LandscapePro 2 tutorial, you’ll already be aware of the work of up-and-coming landscape photographer, Blake Verdoorn.

At only 23 years old, his work has already been published by National Geographic Travel, Photographer’s Forum, and many more. We were thrilled to get an interview with Blake to learn more about his experiences and ambitions…

How old were you when you got into photography?

I picked up my first camera about 3 years ago when I traveled to Alaska with my Grandfather. My parents wanted me to bring a camera along so I could document the trip. At the time, I thought nothing of it. Nor did I have any experience or knowledge of photography. I remember coming home and really being taken back by the images I had captured. Again, I knew nothing about composition, DoF, etc., but something about those images resonated with me. They still do. Fast-forward a year, I decided to buy my first camera. I was 21. I’m 23 now and it has been one heck a ride since that decision.

What inspired you to start?

I have always had a deep passion for the outdoors. Living in Dallas, Texas, it’s always incredibly special to get the opportunity to venture out and experience this beautiful world. After come back from Alaska, looking through the images from the trip, something clicked. I remember sifting through landscape images from professional photographers after that trip thinking, “I want to be able to do that. I want to bring home stunning photographs like this”. So I began dedicating all of my time to learning. At the time, no one close to me was really understanding why or what I was doing. I don’t come from a necessarily artistic family, so to branch off and do something unique and different had friends and family questioning. They still are. I don’t think they’ll ever stop. I question myself too. It’s good. I reminds me that what I’m doing matters.

Big Bend SmallBig Bend River, Texas – Blake Verdoorn

You’ve traveled to some really amazing places and met people from different cultures, what has been your most inspiring experience so far?

I’ve got two really great experiences that I’ll never forget. In 2013, I had the opportunity to backpack Europe (I don’t have any photos from that trip because my camera was stolen). During that trip we met an Australian named Sam. She was staying at the same hostel in San Sebastian, Spain. Whenever we leave for these big trips, about to meet people from all over the world, you develop this idea that these people are somehow vastly different from you because they grew up on the other side of the world. I remember going to dinner with her and the group of friends I was with and talking, getting to know each other. It was there that I realized she was no different than us. We had the same stories of love, hurt, triumph, sadness, loneliness, fears etc. We grew up listening to the same music, playing the same sports and going through similar motions as kids and students. So here five guys were, from Dallas, Texas, laughing and sharing about the complexities of life with a girl from Sydney, Australia, in San Sebastian, Spain. It was an incredibly beautiful and humanizing experience.

Secondly, was about a year ago when I was photographing in New Zealand. My cousin and I had taken a gondola to the top of a mountain in Queenstown to photograph the sunset. Up top was another group of photographers doing the same thing. Max and Sam (different Sam) were both from Germany, touring the South Island on a photo expedition. Similar to Spain, we began talking and getting to know each other. This time, it was much more about the photography community. We were talking gear, styles, techniques, software; we talked about the frustrations and inspirations of photography, but mostly about the joy it brings us in our lives. Again, it made the world feel very small. The same idea in Spain, that people, with seemingly vast differences, can come together so quickly over shared passions and a love for beautiful images. The world of photography is massive, but instances like this make you feel like the community is much tighter knit than we think it is.

In meeting with people from all around the world and hearing their stories about upbringings,  their dreams, fears, and emotions, I’ve found that we are all much more similar than we thought we are—sometimes scarily similar. If you just take the time to get to know someone, you’ll find that everyone is the same.

Which image are you most proud of? Which means the most to you?

I’m most proud of a shot that I took when hiking through Glacier National Park in Montana. This particular shot has won a couple awards and has been published in a couple of photography books. We had decided to do a hike called Scenic Point. It was a high-elevation hike up the mountains that overlooks Two Medicine Lake. We knew we didn’t have a lot of time so we hurried to the peak. The sun began to set on our way down and we were met with a breathtaking orange and red sky that was reflecting off the lake way below us. It was an absolutely stunning view.

Glacier NP SmallTwo Medicine Lake – Blake Verdoorn

An image that I took of my friends outside of Monument Valley means the most to me, simply because it captures my friends so well. We wanted to remake the scene from Forrest Gump when he is running and finally decides to turn around. That scene was filmed at mile-marker 13 driving towards Monument Valley from Utah. So we got out of our cars, pitched our most bearded, Tom-Hanks-esque, friend to play Forrest and the rest of the friends were his herd of followers. It’s significance is a deeply personal one. It’s a great reminder of those guys, how much they mean to me, and the fun we have had together travelling the world.

What would you say is the hardest part of landscape photography?
What is the greatest reward?

Landscape photography, like any genre of photography really, is its own monster. There are so many things that are specific to landscape photography that don’t really have to do with any other genre. Lens selection, composition, light type and availability, etc. Sometimes it gets a bad reputation because anyone can travel to Alaska or Yosemite and take a pretty picture. There is no denying that one. However, you can always tell the difference between someone who takes a picture of Yosemite Valley and someone who photographs Yosemite Valley. The hardest part specifically is really just the getting there. More often than not, you have to totally beat yourself up to get a shot. Whether that is a sunrise you don’t want to wake up for, or a hike that is a little too difficult (especially with 10 extra pounds of photo equipment). What really great landscape photography takes is a whole bunch of extra time. A lot of these professional landscape photographers will wait for hours for the right light and the right conditions. Most of the time, I don’t have that kind of time. So it requires much more inventive ways to get great shots. The second hardest part is simply the money. Landscape photography (with exception) has little money to be made. Unfortunately, that is just the truth. If you want to make a living off of landscape (which I don’t), good luck and let me know how you did it because I’m still trying to find out.

The greatest reward is when you just beat yourself up to get to where you want to be, and you look at that tiny little screen on the back of your camera and you think, “yes”. There is always this feeling of certainty once you get the shot. With all the unknowns that lead up to getting the shot, it’s great to be able to look at your result and think, “wow, this is gorgeous”. I always make sure to get my shot in camera, then take a mental shot for the memory. I always hate when I return home and realize I was so busy shooting I forgot to look at my subject with my actual eyes…

It isn’t always a “yes, this is the shot” type moment though. I have plenty of shots where I went home thinking I didn’t have anything only to find a image that is breathtaking. Those are equally as rewarding. They are like little surprises just waiting to be unveiled.

You photograph landscapes but also portraits and wedding photography, what different approaches do you have to take to these different genres?

The biggest difference is lens selection. I would never shoot a landscape with a 35 or 50 mm f/1.4 lens. I suppose you could. And you would probably get great results. But it’s just not practical. My only overlap in lens selection is the 70-200. I love shooting landscapes at 200mm. When you compose it right, you get this dramatic compression that makes mountains tower over you foreground. To me, that is so much more majestic than shrimpy little mountains in the background of a wide-angle shot.

Mountain Tops - RMNP smallRocky Mountain National Park – Blake Verdoorn

The other difference is paying attention to light. The way I look at light is significantly different in weddings and portrait than in landscapes. When I’m photographing people my only thought is, “find soft light”. When shooting landscape, there isn’t much you can do to control your subject and the light that shines upon it. Obviously changing the time of day changes the light on a mountain. But if I’m hiking and shooting at the same time and limited by my time in a park, my only control is how I compose. So I try and find interesting foregrounds, natural frames, leading lines, etc. to dominate the image rather than beautiful light. If I have the chance to photography a landscape in beautiful light, then great! The perfect storm! But like I said, that isn’t always the case though. My three main landscape lenses are: 24-120 f/4, 70-200 f/2.8, and 15-30 f/2.8

If you could travel to anywhere in the world for a photo-shoot, where would you go?

As cliché as it sounds (and I hate that it’s even cliché), it’s Iceland. I have been trying to get there for four years now and have yet to have the opportunity. It’s driving me crazy. There is some much wild, untamed and forceful beauty there. It’s somewhat of a bummer that it is kinda photographed out. But that doesn’t deter me. I don’t care.

I would love to go back to Africa for a safari. I was there when I was a child and remember being blown away by a photographer’s images of the animals that we were getting to see. I’d love to go back with a monster lens and have a blast shooting those other-wordly animals.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

I am getting ready to go to graduate school to study Journalism and Advertising. I really hope to get more into videography and filmmaking and start shooting documentary.

The greatest think that I am lacking right now is a cause. I shoot because I enjoy shooting. There is nothing wrong with that, but I want my images to stand for something. I want people to see my work and think, “that is more than just a pretty picture that’s the voice of (insert cause here)”. So that’s what I hope. I feel like I have “found my calling” in photography, but I need to find my calling within my calling if you will.

I hope to be running a production company one day. I think it will happen. I just need to be patient. I have plenty of time. I hope to be married, probably have kids. Own a house. Make more money than what I do now. Have some resemblance of a stable life. I need to add that in-case my family reads this.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to start photographing landscapes, what would it be?

Invest in good equipment. Good equipment and good lenses make a big difference. While I am a proponent of “it’s not the camera, it’s the camera-man”, there is also “it’s kinda also about the camera”. I will get better results with some primo glass on a full-frame camera than if I shoot on a entry-level kit lens and crop sensor (that being said, my favorite shots were shot on a kit lens, entry level camera, so I just debunked my own point).

Shoot all the time. Even it’s it’s not landscape. The reason I started shooting weddings and portraits was because I loved to shoot but couldn’t shoot landscape all the time. So I filled my time with other stuff I could shoot. The more you shoot the better you’ll get. Just like everything else in life.

Don’t expect to make any money off of landscape shots. I have yet to make a dime off of any of my landscapes. There are people all over the world making a living off of landscapes but it’s really hard and really competitive. So if you love traveling and love photographing, than make it a personal quest to get better. Who knows where it will lead you.

Lastly, have fun. If you’re beating yourself up because your images aren’t as good as professionals, than you take the fun out of it. Use professionals as inspiration and motivation to get better, but don’t get down because your images don’t look like theirs.

Thank you Blake for taking the time to talk to us. You can follow Blake’s adventures and see more of his work on his website and via Unsplash.

Building Your Photography Portfolio

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Whether you are just starting out or have been a photographer for years, continuing to work on your portfolio is important. Keeping your portfolio up to date with only your best images, shows you in the best possible light.

The first step before deciding on your images is to decide who your target audience are. Who you are aiming your portfolio at? Consider what it is your audience what to see and tailor your portfolio to them.

Show only your best work, this might seem quite straight forward but if it seems like your portfolio is quite short, it is tempting to add in more images to pad it out. Don’t as less is more, also put your best work at the beginning and end, start and finish strong.

Make sure your portfolio flows and that there is a similar style all the way through.

Don’t use images that need explaining, you need the images to be self-explanatory.

Think about what format you want your portfolio to be in, online or in book form or both. Take your time to decide exactly what you want the look to be, especially if you decide to do print. Deciding on the size you want the images to be, and how you want the book to look.

If you are just getting started as a photographer offering to do free work in order to get an image you really want for your portfolio.

Go through your portfolio at least a couple of times a year to add new things and remove older ones that aren’t as good as the new ones you are adding.

Getting a second option, before making your portfolio final, get a second option ideally to someone who would be your target audience. Get them to give you their absolute honest option.

Lastly do not forget to make sure all your images are post processed to keep them looking at their best, download a free trial of PortraitPro, PortraitPro Body, LandscapePro and Smart Photo Editor to see how our software will work for you and cut down your editing time.

LandscapePro 2 Tutorial – Sky Reflections

This week we’ll be looking at one of our other products, LandscapePro 2.

LandscapePro is an intelligent, easy-to-use and powerful tool for outdoor photographers. Whether you’re looking for simple color corrections or total transformations, LandscapePro puts dozens of intelligent controls at your fingertips.
To join in with the tutorial, download the free trial and head on over to Unsplash and download the example image. This image is provided by landscape and wedding photographer Blake Verdoorn. We’re hoping to score an interview with him in the next few weeks so look out for that in an upcoming post!

Don’t forget to share your results with us via our Facebook page.
If you have any questions or need assistance, our customer support team will be happy to help.

Want to Specialize in Wedding Photography?

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It is wedding season once again and if you are thinking about specializing in wedding photography now is the time to start. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

When putting together your portfolio, only include weddings, yes you might have some other amazing shots but they won’t interest your prospective clients, and it reinforces the point that you specialize in weddings.

As a specialist, your prices will/can increase, to decide on your price have a look around at what other specialist wedding photographers charge and also what you think you are worth.

Going the extra mile – As a specialist you should really go that extra mile and make them feel special. Gifting the couple a free extra (such as a photo book or big canvas/print) when handing over their photos, makes their experience with you that much better. This will mean they will keep you in mind for anniversary photos and recommend you to people. Obviously this will be reflected in your pricing if you feel you an charge enough in your local area.

Creative shots  – Think/do a few creative shots that will really work and show the couples personality, the more you do the more knowledge you will get and knowing what will and won’t work. A little different from the usual wedding photos.

Marketing – This is key to growing your business, try to set aside some time every week to work on marketing.

Plan out – Plan ahead what shots you want to take, keep an eye on the weather forecast, know where you are shooting, visit before the wedding or if you can’t look online at photos and see what is around, bear in might what the couple want, they might have some clear ideas of what they want, do theirs but also some of your own.

Candid photographs – Only show the couple the good ones. Naturally happy and smiley, don’t just shot the ceremony, shot the bride getting ready, waiting at the altar, literally everything you think will give the couple that little bit extra and make it that more special when they get their photos.

Turn over time – When telling them how long until the photos are ready for them, don’t underestimate, there is nothing more annoying, give yourself plenty of time so you will be done early and they will see it as a nice surprise and feel valued.

Back Up your photos – I’m sure this goes without saying but back up your photos on the wedding day and on your finished images.

Post processing – Do not show any photos until you have edited them, this might seem like an easy one but the couple will be eagerly awaiting the images they might ask to see the unedited so they know what there is. It is best to make them wait for the perfect images.

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PortraitPro and PortraitPro Body is a perfect companion for you, try out a free trial now to make the Bride and Groom look their very best.

1940s Glamorous Photo Shoot Post Processing

Doing decades photo shoots can be really fun and glamorous and with PortraitPro you can make your images look even better within minutes.

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Open your image in PortraitPro, the software will identity the face and have a pretty accurate mark up,  You can move the mark up dots to make it as accurate as possible to get the best results.

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Once you have adjusted the mark up, chose the Preset Glamorous on the top of the right hand side. This does most of the work for you, leaving you to just make your own personal preference tweaks to the images.

unsharpen the eyes a little bit

I reduce the sharpness of the eyes a very small amount.

make up lipstick

I also change the color of lipstick, red was a very popular color for lipstick in the 1940s, but due to the softness of my image due to her outfit I have gone for a pink color instead.

Simply chose your preference shade for the selection, it is important to make sure your lips are marked up accurately, it is simply if they aren’t quite right. You can change the mark up on the left hand image at any time.

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Next I change the color of the hair, as auburn hair was a popular color back then.

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To do this, under the hair settings, click the View/edit Hair Area button. All the hair should appear pink, go over any bits that aren’t selected and click OK.

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Click through all the hair colors selecting the colors, that you like before deciding on your final color.

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The last change that I make to the image is under Picture Controls, I move the  Vibrance slider up to full on this setting, this make the colors move in line with what you would get in the 1940s.

before and after

This took hardly anytime and you can really see the improvement in the image, and with Studio Max you can batch process them to save even more time.

To try this out for yourself, download a free trial of PortraitPro now.

Smart Photo Editor Transformations

You can completely transform your images with Smart Photo Editor, here are some ideas of the transformations you can make, with links to the tutorials.

ballet before and afterBallet Dancer

Untitled-11Changing the background to black and white.

double exposure before and afterDouble Exposure

bear before and afterTriple Exposure and Mirror Effect

rhino before and afterBlack and White Wildlife 

polariod before and afterPolaroid

elephant before and afterWatercolor

org all threeSharpen 

Click here to download a free trial of Smart Photo Editor, to try this tutorials out for yourself.

Travel Photography 101: Everything You Need to Know

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Travel Photography sounds wonderful but there’s a fair bit to it, here are a few tips, equipment list suggestion and how to make money for Travel Photography.

Tips

Research – Look up where you are going, what is around and put together a list of places that you want to photograph. Be selective so you can spend a fair amount of time in each location to get the best shots possible.

Know your gear – Whether you are buying new gear or not, a little before you go, it is a good idea to have a play around a week or two before you go away. Just to refresh your memory.

Get up early/stay up late – In order to catch the best shots, sunrise and sunset usually are the best time to photograph, so take this into consideration when planning your shots.

Picking the right accommodation – Choosing the right location for accommodation is really important. Be close to where you want to shot.

Get inspired – Look at other photographers photographs of where you are going, to help you decide what locations you want to go to and to be inspired. Ask them where the photo was taken if it isn’t written anywhere.

Experience their culture – Whilst travelling try to immerse in their culture as much as possible – food, music and local markets, etc.

Travel light – Try to travel as light as possible, don’t load yourself down by trying to take every camera and lens you own with you, just take a main lens and one to zoom, especially if you are going trekking or hiking. You don’t want to be too loaded down.

Be selective of where you are visiting – Don’t try and squeeze absolutely every location there is to visit, pick your favorite and spend more time there taking pictures, rather than rushing around trying to capture everything.

Don’t always be behind your lens – Experience where you are rather than constantly being behind your camera.

High angle shot – Try to find somewhere to take a good birds eye shot.

Your camera doesn’t have to break the bank – Don’t feel the need to go out and buy a brand new top end camera for your trip, you can get great shots on the camera you already have.

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Equipment

  •  Camera body
  •  Backpack – One opens from the back, makes it safer and a lot of secure. Have it organised, using pouches is a good idea making being able to find things quickly.
  • Spare batteries – It’s a good idea to have at least one spare batteries in your backpack.
  • Lenses – only need one of two lenses.
  • Small Camera/Action Camera – Having an action camera/small camera to take quick photos. Action cameras can have window mounts and you can film travelling on train or car.
  • Back Up/Laptop – Backing up your images is super important, save at least one place if not two.
  • Portable Charger – To Keep your phone charged, they also work on charging some cameras as well, so check to see if it will work on yours.
  • Shoulder Strap/Camera Clip – Keeping your camera ready to go at all times.
  • Tripod
  • Camera Filters – Just like with lenses only take one or two.
  • Lenses cleaner
  • Mini Torch
  • Camera Remote

 

Settings for Camera When Moving

When travelling in a moving car/helicopter a good camera settings are:

Manual Mode

Shutter Speed – 1/1000 + (higher for  helicopter)

Aperture – wide depth of field f/8-11

ISO Auto mode

For in a car have the window open.

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Making Money as a Travel Photographer

Making money as a travel photographer can be a slow starter, as you already need to have a portfolio. Speculative or commission based are your two options.

Speculative is where you go to a location first then afterwards try to sell your images, either as stock images, prints or to advertising. This will mean you aren’t guaranteed to make back any money from your trips, so only plan to go to places you would go anyway.

Commission based is going somewhere you already know you will be paid some money for whether you were commissioned by an advertising firm or if you had contacted the tourism board/ local hotels and have an agreement, this will most likely not be the entire cost of your trip but could be a fee or free accommodation in exchange for your images to be used for their advertising.

Website

To be able to make it as a Travel Photographer you need a website and an Instagram account. Instagram account is becoming more and more the source that agencies and clients will go to first before your website, so both need to be uniform and relate to each other. This is your brand and you want one clear image of who you are to come across.

Post Processing

Don’t forget to edit your photos, to make your image look their very best. LandscapePro is great for editing your travel photos quickly, click here to download a free trial.

Becoming a Full-Time Photographer

smallBecoming a full time photographer is a big step to make, you aren’t just becoming a professional photographer but you are also running your own business, meaning your aim is to be profitable and make money.

Here are a few tips to keep your business moving:

Budgeting – This is so key, as if you don’t do this properly, your business won’t succeed. You need to know how much you have to make to meet your current living costs and set aside a little money every month to cover taxes, and also incase any of your equipment breaks and you need to replace.

Prioritizing your time – You are a lot more productive if you have even a rough schedule of what you want to have done each day.

Setting your rates – It can be hard trying to think of what you think you are worth, but it is important not to under sell yourself and you need to earn enough to live off of, also don’t calculate what to charge by assuming you will be fully booked. Base it on what you need, what you think you are worth and in comparison to other local photographers.

Setting aside time to keep your business finance side of things in order – This is the least interesting part of your business, but it is essential that it is not forgotten about. A few hours per week is better than nothing.

Keep building up your client base – you may be busy now but you still need to bring in more clients to make sure you are always busy.

Marketing/Networking – You need people to remember you, as well as bringing in new clients. Sending emails every now and then is helpful, every month or so it makes sure your past clients and people who were interested don’t just forget about you. Too many emails will annoy people and have the opposite effect.

Keep/ get an organiser – This is a great way to keep all the business side of things together in one place.

Appointments book – so you don’t double book, you might think that this is an easy one and it won’t happen to you but it’s easy to forget and write down on scraps of paper that are lying around.

Keep all your receipts for equipment you buy, as these are business expenses so will be taken off money made for the amount of tax you need to pay, try to keep them in date order, but just having them all in one place is enough. If you lose a receipt you can’t claim it.

Insurance – Make sure to insurance your equipment.

Post processing – editing your images to make them look their best is very important, but it can take an age, but with our software (PortraitPro, PortraitPro Body, LandscapePro and Smart Photo Editor) is it really cuts the time you spend editing your photographs.

Good Luck!

 

Lillian Bassman Style Tutorial

Lillian Bassman was an amazing photographer, who shot Fashion photography for Harper’s Bazaar in a new and exciting way from the 1940’s all the way til the 1960’s. Her black and white images are striking, due to her developing techniques in the darkroom, using tools that included tissue paper, bleach and spatulas.

Open your image up and identify the gender.

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The software will mark up the face for you, but you can tweak it to make it exact.

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Under ‘Presets’, I chose ‘Full Lighting’, as it gives the face more of a glow.

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Under ‘Skin Smoothing Controls’, using ‘Master Fade’ to apply the changes to all areas, go quite high with the slider as image will be in black and white and this will help with the contrast.

Also I changed the around mouth in this section with this image, but this is just personal preference.

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If the lighting isn’t quite right you can change the direction that the light is coming from, we want the light hitting the front of the face, leaving a slight shade on the other side.

Under ‘Make up Controls’, I have added red lipstick, mascara, highlighter and blusher just a little, this is to create more of contrast when made black and white and makes her features stand out.

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The last change I make in PortraitPro is have the ‘Baby Skin’ slider all the way to the top, this makes the skin as smooth as possible. The facial features will now looks slightly blurred, don’t worry.

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I also crop the image slightly under ‘Picture Controls’. Save the image as a Jpeg/Tiff/Png and then open it up in Smart Photo Editor.

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In Smart Photo Editor the first thing I do is to apply a Black and White effect to the whole image. The effect I pick is called ‘Portrait’.

To do this, you click ‘Effects Gallery’ on the right hand side at the very top, then on the left hand side click ‘Color’>’Black and White’. Then pick with effect you like best.

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Blurring the background is the next step, click ‘Select Area’ button on the right hand side, click ‘Background’ and work your way around the person.

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When you have completely done around the person, click the ‘Bucket’ that appears to fill in the rest of the background.

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Now click the ‘Confirm Selection and Browse Effects’ button.

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We want a blurred background, there is a small search bar, just type in blur, the effect I picked is called ‘blur’. You can change the strength of the effect by moving the slider. Click ‘OK’ when you are happy.

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My image isn’t quite right, so going to crop the image again, click the ‘Crop’ button on the right hand side and resize your image.

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After Cropping the image I apply two effects to the whole image, firstly ‘Constrast f6′ followed by ‘Brighten faces 2b’.

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Now just save the image.

Finished image

This is the end result. With the background blurred and the facial features smoothed out, you can really see the effect the strong black and white colors have against each other.

To try this tutorial for yourself click here to buy PortraitPro and Smart Photo Editor, or download free trial of PortraitPro and Smart Photo Editor.