Category Archives: How to

How to Steal Man Ray’s Portrait Style

Man Ray is one of the great first iconic photographers; his portrait style has something magical about it even to this day. He was one of the first artists that started to use photography as an art form.

He was revolutionary with his photographic techniques, including double exposure (which we will look at in a future blog) and early experiments with color, though black and white is what he is well known for.

Man Ray’s portraits were often around shoulder length, though there are some full length, you can see old photos of his that he would ‘crop’ by making what he wanted the photo to be.

This is a quick tutorial into how to turn your photos into his signature portrait style.

shape sliders

After marking up the photo in PortraitPro Body, I play around with the sliders a little bit, to see what looks best, the only setting I changed on mine was the Curves one, in this image you can’t see the difference too much.

face body

Don’t worry too much about the color and look of the make up, we are concentrating more on striking features, as this image will be made black and white in a minute.

black and white

In the picture settings, I move the slider to fully black and white, then move the others back and forth to get the lighting that I want.

end picutre man ray blog

This is the photo I export from PortraitPro Body and import into Smart Photo Editor.

cropped photo

The first thing that I do in Smart Photo Editor is crop down the size of the photo (the crop tool is on the right hand side.

object removal photo

After cropping the image to your chosen look, the background needed work on, a out of focus light grey background is what we are aiming for, it my photo there was somethings in the background that I needed to get removed to have that nice out of focus background. I used the Object Removal Tool which is found on the right hand side of the screen. As you can see, I have edited quite a few pieces. Don’t worry if like mine it doesn’t look great, we just want to remove the defining features.

select area

Next we are adding an effect to the background, you do this by selecting the Select Area button on the RHS, click on background, then color in what you want to add an effect to, on your left hand side of the screen, you can adjust the size of your selection tool.

Don’t worry if you go too far over, you can correct this easily by the erase from selection button on the right.

Click the Confirm Selection and Browse Effects button on the left when you have finished.

blurred background

The effect I chose was called ‘Blur’, you can change the strength of the effects you choose but I kept mine as full.

This created a lovely blurry effect with a slightly shadow look from the darker part of my background.

end picutre man ray blog_pe

Here is my end result of a Man Ray style portrait.

Hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and try out PortraitPro Body and Smart Photo Editor, they are both currently 50% off in the sale.

image-1

Camera Tips for the Perfect Photo

 

It is now officially spring, what is better than finally putting on your walking shoes and a warm coat, grabbing your tripod and obviously your camera and getting outside to capture the first moments of spring.

Whether it’s a photo of morning dew, of a newly born lamb or the sunrise it is revitalising to get out into the spring sun and enjoy the fresh air. What better way than to get some experimenting done out in the great outdoors.

Camera tips to remember to get that perfect shot

  • Shutter speed – is used to control motion, the faster the shutter speed the fast speed being what you are trying to capture is moving
  • If you are taking photos using a long shutter time, remember to use your tripod
  • Subject matter/where you shoot from – check that you have the best angle you can get
  • Lighting – this is very important, to get the right lighting might mean having to get up early or stay up late, but it will be worth it
  • Filters if needed – a great filter for landscapes is polarising lens filter
  • Practise – this goes without saying

Don’t forget you can then edit your photos with PortraitPro or LandscapeProimage-2

new years resolutions goal setting

Happy New Year!

At the beginning of the New Year it’s easy to have lots of good intentions for the coming year, and it’s easy to allow them to slide pretty quickly.

As a professional photographer, running your own business, it’s important to take the time to refocus on where you’re going and what you want to achieve in the coming year.

Here are some top tips for staying focused in the year to come.

  • Set goals.

Thinking about what you want to achieve in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, even 10 year’s time can help you figure out what you need to do now in order to get there.

  • Add milestones.

Having achievable milestones can help you feel that you are working towards achieving your bigger goal.  Set yourself small markers that will help you know that you’re on the way to achieving what you want.  Perhaps it’s a number of clients, or having a number of weddings booked for the year ahead that will help you know that you’re on your way.

  • Take Action

Take Massive Action – Make a Massive Action Plan. Like writing a business plan, writing a Massive Action Plan can help you stay focused on what you’re doing, on what you need to achieve, by when; and unlike a Business Plan, can give you that emotional connection and drive to achieve what it is that you want to achieve.

  • Don’t give up

Get used to the fact that the process of carrying out the day to day tasks may be boring.  You’re a photographer, maybe you don’t love doing your accounts, or advertising yourself, but in order to make your business work, you need to get used to, and learn to enjoy the tasks that keep everything else going.

  • Start now

The sooner you start doing something, even the smallest start means that you’re a little bit closer to achieving your goal.

Download the trial for PortraitPro now, and see how much time you can save on your photo editing.

Baby in pumpkin hat

Photo editing for New-Born baby portraits for Halloween

A new born baby swaddled in any wrap or blanket makes a good portrait, but Halloween themed portraits are particularly cute for any October baby.

In your collection of baby props, it’s a good idea to have some Halloween outfits for baby, perhaps a knitted pumpkin for baby to sleep in. A pumpkin themed wrap works for any autumn baby portrait, and a wicker basket could be wrapped in different colors for any occasion or season.

Neutral fabrics, and soft bean bags and blankets to curl the sleeping baby on will work for any season, and contrast with any color or outfit.  They’re a great investment for your business.

A sleeping baby in a peapod blanket

You can make or very easily purchase soft, knitted or crocheted blankets and wraps in a range of colors and textures. The simplest and softest fabrics and textures will give the most classic and timeless images.

  • It’s important to keep the baby safe, and warm and comfortable at all times. When working with children of any age, it’s always a little unpredictable, but there are some ways to make sure that your baby portrait sessions run as smoothly as possible.
  • It’s a good idea to ask that the baby has been fed and winded before the session, and then they’re at their most comfortable and most likely to fall asleep next.
  • Don’t attempt to put the baby into any potentially dangerous or uncomfortable positions.
  • Keep the parents around and on hand to help soothe the baby if they wake, or if you need an extra pair of hands to help position them.
  • It’s normal to take several shots of the baby, and combine them in post processing. If you’re not comfortable with combining several different shots, then keep your poses simple and safe.

Very little time and effort is needed to achieve beautiful baby portraits.

With Smart Photo Editor you can quickly and easily add vignettes and borders to your image, turn your image Black + White, or Sepia, and insert your watermark for web-ready images.

Try out Smart Photo Editor today.

photographer retouching portraits

7 tips to improve your portrait editing with PortraitPro

The beauty of PortraitPro is that you can make fine edits and can achieve a professional standard of portrait retouching with very little effort.

Although PortraitPro contains a number of presets that can offer a very quick portrait touch up, it is also possible to entirely customize the portrait retouching through the huge range of sliders and controls. You can even create your own; but first, spend some time getting to know the incredible range of portrait retouching controls available to you:

  • The re-lighting feature allows a great deal of adjustment on the lighting that was in the original image. Perhaps you have an image that was shot with only the available light and you want make it a little more flattering to your subject. With PortraitPro you have a huge range of lighting options available to you.
  • The facial outlines can be adjusted to ensure that the software has the outlines exactly where you want them by clicking the Back button in the top right of the editing screen
  • You can achieve incredible accuracy by zooming into the image to see a very fine level of detail.
  • When editing the area specified as skin, the intensity of the mask can be adjusted using the number keys on your keyboard. 1 = very subtle, and 9 = very strong.
  • The makeup can be edited as much or as little as you want; you can restore the original makeup, or you can edit over the top of the existing makeup, or if your model has no makeup, you can create a look entirely from scratch.
  • You can adjust the controls on the whole picture too, by using the Picture Controls, keeping the rest of the image in balance with the face.
  • Don’t forget the Reset to Original Image button that means you can turn everything off and start from no editing at all, and tweak each slider exactly as you want.

PortraitPro allows your portrait editing to be as subtle or as magazine-perfect as you wish.  You can give your clients the level of portrait retouching that they want and that you’re comfortable with doing. You don’t have to compromise your creativity in any way; PortraitPro allows you full freedom to express your vision as you wish.

Download the free trial today, and see how finely detailed, fully customizable your portrait editing can be.

How to survive making a living with Travel Photography.

Travel photography is not always going to make you a lot of money, but the freedom of the lifestyle can be particularly attractive.  Living life on your own terms and being your own boss can be a great motivator.  You have the flexibility to take on any project you want, and reject the ones you don’t.

working on the beach

You don’t have to take the plunge immediately; you can start by doing things in your vacation time, and spending weekends photographing in your own town.  Wherever you live, it’s exotic to someone else.

Here’s what else to do before you go:

  • Get all the education you possibly can while you can. Acquiring skills in writing, in technical photography knowledge, in geography, human interest and art is all going to be useful when you have only your skills and ideas to live by.
  • Build up a portfolio and put in the images that you want to be paid to shoot. Don’t use things that you don’t enjoy doing or you’ll end up doing more of them, because people will think you like them.
  • Set up a photography website to host and license your images. Choose one that links through to purchasing prints. This can save you time and makes it easier for the client to purchase your products.  It can be automated throughout the site, and the customer will have very little interaction with you. It’s very time effective for you.
  • If you have no obligations, mortgage contracts, loans, or people to take care of, then you can reduce your expenditure considerably. If you give up paying rent, you also don’t need to pay the gas and electricity bills either.  You can choose where to live, in hostels, hotels, camping, in any country you like.  ( Within visa restrictions etc.)
  • It may be helpful if you’re located somewhere that the exchange rate is favorable to your salary currency. This effectively makes your hotel bill cheaper, and you can afford a higher standard than you would elsewhere.
  • Be prepared to take any assignments. Be flexible and open minded on what jobs you take.
  • Set up accounts with micro stock sites. It may not make you a lot of money, but it should become a steady income. Think about the unusual images you could take for these sites, because the usual angle has already been done so many times.
  • Set up your laptop with all of your photo editing software. Have everything you could need ready, PortraitPro and LandscapePro will save you time on editing in Photoshop, and they can both be used as plugins to Photoshop.
  • Be prepared for anything you might find. Have an app for model releases; you don’t want to not be able to use the image because you missed getting the stranger to sign a release.
  • Look for apps that will save carrying extra things.  In fact, anything you can carry in an app effectively weighs nothing.  Maps, editing tools, ebooks, you can carry all kinds in an app and you’d have your smartphone with you anyway.
  • Keep your kit lightweight. Remember not to take everything you could possibly need. It weighs a lot and you’ll regret carrying that spare lens when you are so tired you can’t make it up the next staircase or mountain peak or down the next road to get the shot. The best camera is the one that you have with you, and having to make do with the reasonable camera you have with you can make you more creative to get the shot you want.

Girl with laptop and camera

When you do leave on your travels, there are some things you need to remember while you’re away to help you stay organized and productive:

  • Keep regular hours when you can. Do what you should to avoid jet lag; don’t work through the night because you’ve just left somewhere where you’d normally be awake at that time. Sometimes that means staying up a little longer, sometimes it means going to bed before you’re ready.
  • Stay focused every day. You need to stay focused on the 2 or 3 things that you need to achieve each day to continue making a living. Set achievable goals, and make sure you do them. Don’t get overloaded by trying to do too much in one day, just take each day at a time and make each day productive.
  • Make room for down-time. Every day that you take a break, is a day that you don’t make any income. This is tough when you’re your own boss. You still need to have the discipline to put in a day’s work, and also to give yourself a day’s break.  There’s no one to throw you out of the office if you’re still working at midnight.
  • Don’t underestimate the people you meet. You never know who you might meet when you’re traveling.  Travel is a great opportunity to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise have bumped into.  Step out of your comfort zone and go somewhere you wouldn’t usually think about going. You might be surprised, and you might find your next project.
  • Do your photo editing as you go. If you’re taking lots of images every day, then will need to back up your photos and should do your editing regularly. Discard the images that won’t make the cut often too, so you’re not storing images that you’ll really delete when you get home.
  • Doing your basic photo editing in PortraitPro or LandscapePro. Doing it while the original is still fresh in your mind, and while you still remember what you wanted to portray in your image is useful.

 

LandscapePro software

Anthropics Technology announces LandscapePro

 

We’re delighted to announce this week the launch of our brand new landscape editing software, LandscapePro.  

Just like PortraitPro, LandscapePro  is available in standalone and Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and Elements plug-in editions. The new software radically simplifies and speeds up outdoor and nature photo retouching. It includes landscape relighting, sky replacement, 3D depth estimation, a depth of field simulator, distance controls, intelligent selection tools, and photo-adaptive controls among other powerful features. With one-click presets and targeted editing available, users can create beautiful landscapes in seconds.

Woodland before and after

LandscapePro is a new way to enhance pictures that rises to the challenges and nuances of landscape photography. It assumes no prior knowledge or technical skills, and photographers can create unique, dramatic effects quickly.

“Inspired by the success of Anthropics’s PortraitPro software, we are delighted to introduce a new product to help photographers expand their creativity and take landscape retouching to the next level,” said Andrew Berend, CEO, Anthropics. “LandscapePro offers an innovative and easy way to create stunning landscape photography, and can be used by novices or experienced photographers alike. As its intelligent controls uniquely adapt to the features of each photo, it enables photographers to do incredible things with their outdoor photos simply by using sliders.”

Easily enhance landscape photos. LandscapePro contains a host of unique tools to enable anyone to create beautiful scenic photographs.

  • Intelligent selection tools.
  • Unique editing controls that adapt to the photo.
  • Easy-to-use slider interface.
  • No technical skills required.
  • LandscapePro Studio handles RAW files and can be run as a Photoshop, Lightroom and Elements plug-in.

Wedding image LandscapePro

 

 

Check out the LandscapePro video here. 

Download your trial of LandscapePro today.

 

 

Woman in red dress

People who buy often buy more

When booking a studio session with you, your standard deal will include the client receiving some images, but it’s a good idea to start with just a basic package, and allow for additional purchases.

It’s easier to get people to make more purchases, once they’ve decided to make one. People have a need to justify their original decision. Making more purchases makes it better, makes it more valuable, and it validates the original decision. If it is wise to buy more, then it is wise to buy in the first place.

So if they book a studio portrait, you may want to offer them one standard image from the session, and then a series of upgrades they can add on after:

  • The services of a makeup artist and stylist during the shoot, so they look their very best.
  • The portrait retouching with PortraitPro you do with their images after the shoot. You can now adjust the makeup in PortraitPro too, meaning they can get even more looks with just one session.
  • The digital copies of their edited images. – You don’t want to put out anything less than your best work, so only give them the edited images.
  • A range of different prints offers, a variety of sizes for different purposes, but it helps to define (for yourself) what purpose they would serve for the customer. (A wedding package, a senior’s package, graduation package, large families, small families, etc.)

You can start the process of turning people in to repeat customers by thanking them with a small gift, or extra.

A small handwritten thank you note after the customer has made their purchase will help to keep their purchase valuable, reminding them of what a great person you were to work with, and that their time with you was well spent.

You can offer special extra items to your service for repeat customers, or those you’d like to become repeat customers.

model  photo shoot

For instance, the portrait retouching could be the thing that you decide to “throw in for free”, because although it’s valuable to them to have retouched portraits, and you’d never want to give your clients a completely unretouched image,  your portrait editing can now be so easy and fast, that you can afford to offer it as a “free” extra.

PortraitPro will pay for itself in just a few sessions. Try it out today, and see how easy your portrait editing can be. 

PortraitPro Tutorials – Learn to use your software with Dustin Meyer

In our previous post, we interviewed internationally acclaimed wedding and portrait photographer, Dustin Meyer

As well as creating stunning images, Dustin also makes tutorials about shooting and editing photographs. Here are some of his top tutorials for getting great results with PortraitPro 15. 

PortraitPro Studio Max with Lightroom Review & Tutorial


Facial Retouching with PortraitPro Studio Max

Facial Retouching for Guys

PortraitPro Facial Retouching for Headshots Tutorial 

To get more tutorials and inspiration from Dustin Meyer, be sure to check out his blog and follow him on Facebook and Twitter

Self confidence is key to your success

Self-confident people don’t just make resolutions; they have goals, because they know that they will achieve them.

We’ve talked previously about goal setting for success, but you have to have self-belief to have self-confidence, and it’s also hugely important to your success. You have to believe that you can achieve something, because if not, then why are you doing it?

You need to set goals, to know where you’re going, because, if you don’t, then how will you know when you’ve reached your destination?

It sounds incredibly simple, but thousands of people don’t have the self-belief they need to achieve their ambitions in life. It’s been said, many times, in many ways that whatever you believe, you can achieve.

Think you can, Henry Ford Quote

If you want to be a top quality, world leading professional wedding photographer, shooting high end weddings, you need to believe that you can put everything into your ambition, because you believe that you can achieve it.  When you believe that you can achieve something, then you will use all the resources available to you to make it happen.

Open your planner, and start writing down what you want to achieve, and then break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks, and then, schedule when you’re actually going to carry out each step.

One of the first ways you can achieve great, high quality portrait images is to use the best quality portrait retouching software so all your images are the best that they can be.

You’ve seen how some of the leading photographers use PortraitPro in their photo editing work, you can also learn to incorporate it in to your workflow and see how much time it can save you, whilst giving you high quality portrait touch up.

Try out PortraitPro today, and start the beginning of your new path.