Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization
In this lesson we're gonna talk about portrait workflow so I'm gonna take you all the way back to the very beginning of day one of this bootcamp when we talked about Bridge and then we went into Adobe Camera Raw and then we talked about all kinds of stuff that you could do in Photoshop. So we're gonna kind tie everything together with these next workflow segments. In this one specifically I'm gonna talk about portrait workflow so you're gonna see kinda how I look at the images after I shoot them, what I do in Bridge to cull them, and then how I bring them into Camera Raw to edit them, and then also go into Photoshop if I need to do some really advanced things. So the first thing here is Bridge. With Bridge, this is cataloging, organizing, and prioritizing the things that I need to edit. Then I'm gonna hop into Adobe Camera Raw and I'm gonna do basic adjustments like getting the exposure and the shadows and highlights looking good, chromatic aberrations, noise reduction, mild sharpening...
. And then we hop into Photoshop and that's where I would kind of hand off all of the basic stuff into Photoshop to get some of those advanced adjustments done, color grading, creating my artistic atmosphere and mood, and any artistic processing I wanna do with filters on top of that. Along the whole way I want you to keep these three things in mind, tone, color, effects and this is a very step-based process. We're doing tone-based things first, then we're getting into color-based things, and then we'll do our artistic effects that we're gonna do on top of that image. If you maintain this workflow the whole way through, you'll never ask a question about what you need to do and when and where. You do tone first, get that looking good. We do color, then we go into effects. So let's go ahead and jump into Bridge and we'll take a look at one of the photo shoots that I've done recently here. So here we are in Bridge, I'm gonna go ahead and open up this photo shoot here. This is from a recent shoot that I did for one of my friends. She's also a fellow photographer. We have a really cool kinda deal between the two of us that she shoots our family portraits, I shoot her family portraits and then we all walk away very happy with our final result. So it's a lot of fun, I have a lot of fun with these individuals. So first of all, what would I do just right off the bat? Well, because these are people, I would come in and I would make a new keyword and I'd call this keyword Alexander. That's their last name, Alexander photo shoot. Put this in the people category and then I click throughout the whole thing, shift click, and then click on their keyword so that they're keyworded so I always know that they now have keywords associated. If I wanted to go even further with that, I could keyword it down to every individual that's in that family so that I could keyword just the pictures of each individual child or just the pictures of the adults and break down my keywords into very specific categories of what I need to find and when. So if I were to put in here underneath this one, add a new sub-keyword, that sub-keyword would be parents. I could quickly go through here and look at any photos that have the parents of the Alexander shoot in them. We'll even include the kids in there too, that's not a problem. And then click that keyword. So if I ever need to filter this down based on keywords, if I just click parents, I have all the pictures of just the parents or the pictures of all of them together or if I had the pictures of just the individuals and just the kids. So I can weed things out and see things a lot easier with keywords. Keywords make your life a lot easier. After I've done that, what I would do is I would create a... After I've done that I would go ahead and go into my filmstrip view and take a look at all of these images individually and start looking at what images are gonna get prioritized to shoot. So, looking at the photographs, this is where I would start doing the control one, control two, control three, control four, control five. My winner winner chicken dinner would be control eight. Control six is it can get rejected. And that's how I would start looking at these images. So for this one, eh, it's okay, let's do control one. I'll then go to the next one, control, I don't really like the fact that I missed his knee and the bottom of his foot so control one. But if that's the only picture that I have of those two, I'm probably gonna go back to that one. So let me just control two that one, that will give me a little idea that yeah, I don't really like the fact that I cut off his knee there but I could probably creatively crop this in a way that could crop off more of those parts that I'm not necessarily worried about by fitting in a little bit less of the background there. And this one's just a funny one. She's so cute, we'll do control, that's a pretty good personality one, control two. Look at that, I know, look at that. They're just awesome kids, a lot of fun. This one, let's see what happens, if that's the only one I have of that family. That's the thing about shooting with children, they can be just here, there, and everywhere and all over. So you take what you get. Now me, personally, when it comes to me and my family, these are the types of ones that I print, especially with my middle son William, he is just crazy so getting his personality in those pictures is something I'm never gonna forget. If I had him just do that fake smile, that fake half smile, then it's just like yeah, okay, that's not the William that I know. So as a parent, I do appreciate these pictures. Not everything has to be perfect, these are still good pictures that you can deliver. This is a really good one of them so I can control three. Another good one of them. I think this one's a little bit better, let's just do control three on this one. This one we got a photo bomb from one of the kids, control one. That's pretty cute of them two, control two. Control two. I don't really like her face in the back, she looks scared, control one. That I could probably do some really awesome artistic looks with so I'd probably control three this one and then maybe even control seven it so that that tells me okay, this is something that I could probably do a really artistic portrait because of the natural look on her face and those big, beady child eyes. Another good one here, control three. Again, kids just having fun, control two. A little bit better but a little bit blown out, control two. This one, again, right now it doesn't look that great but I know that I could do some artistic processing on this to really focus the eyes right into their interaction. So I could control three that one. That's a pretty good one, control three. Again, just having fun, control, that's kinda fun, making an animated GIF out of that one. (audience laughing) Control three. That's kinda cute, control three. That's a good one, control three. That's pretty good, control three. There's one I have in here of her that is just phenomenal. This one I'd probably control two, it's blown out. Control one, I can use that. This one, do some really awesome artistic processing on this one. There's a lot of character in this one, there's a lot of interaction between her, what's happening with the rest of the area around her so control three. That would probably even be a control four because I could definitely do something with that. I like the portrait that's here. Don't like the fact that it's dead center but I could always crop it later, control three. Again, just family interaction, this could be a good print to deliver to them, control three. Control three. Control two. Control one, I could crop the photo bomb out in the bottom right corner. This, I could probably brighten it up and still get a lot of that. What I was going for here is I like the light on the side of their face but it was a little blown out too much. I know my camera well enough that I know that even though this is kind of underexposed, I can still go and brighten up those areas in Adobe Camera Raw and not lose them and still have that beautiful light that's on the side of their face. So a lot of times we just don't show, especially if you're photographing another photographer, like, yeah, just don't look at this one. (laughing) But I know that I could do something with this that would take it a little bit further so maybe control three on that one. I'm a little less critical with myself on landscape, on portrait photography as I am on landscape photography. Landscape photography, my control threes and my control fours are a lot less because I want that one very perfect image. Now when I'm delivering photos to clients, especially in a portrait shoot like this, I need to consider that I'm gonna have a lot more control threes 'cause if I were to treat a portrait shoot like my landscape shoots, this family would get one picture. And I don't think they'd be pretty excited about that. So that's why I would probably do a little bit more on my control threes and my control fours here as I'm culling through these images in Bridge. I like that one, control four. They're all good faces there. These ones are good. I don't like that sign over there so that's something that if I was gonna deliver this image I'd get a little bit more nitpicky with and I'd probably get into Photoshop and do some cloning with that to get rid of that so we'll just move to the next one. This one's kinda cute, just their interaction but I got a good one of their faces so control two. I like this one. This one the B's right above his head. Good job, Blake. We'll just do control three on this, control two on that one. Of these three, this one would probably be the best, control three. Control one, I could probably just delete that one, control one. That's kinda fun, control three. Don't like how it's cropped, control one to delete. That wouldn't be a bad one to deliver. That probably wouldn't be a bad one to deliver, again. Eh, don't like the side view on that one, I'd probably control one that one. This one's pretty good, control three or control four on that one. She was just so much fun. Getting to know the kids when you're doing a portrait shoot is very important. The first probably 15 minutes of hanging out with them, I was just hanging out with their kids because you can't really have the parents focus on keeping those kids in line, that's kind of your job. So if the parents are upset and the kids are running around doing stuff, then when they go to take those pictures it's gonna be forced and there's not gonna be a lot of fun. So I'd get on the ground with the kids before we even started the shoot, just talk to them, get to know what their interests are, ask them what they like, what's fun, get some fun shots with them just so that they're comfortable with the camera so that when I say okay, we can have some fun, but how about you go over there with mom and dad and smile for me. They're like okay, cool. And then they go ahead and do it. That way the parents don't have to be trying to corral the kids and screaming at the kids, "Hey, just smile, dang it," because I know that's what I do to my boys. (audience laughing) But she's very good with that. I learned a lot, she photographed us first, so I was less concerned with how she was photographing us and more concerned with how she was treating our children so that when I went to photographs hers I was like okay, this is how I'm gonna, and it helps, it definitely helps, take those notes. Next, this one I don't really care too much for. That's kinda cute, control three. There she is. I told her to shoot my like Harry Potter would. But yeah, so then if I look at these images and I look now at my star ratings over there, I can see what my ones are. If I take away these check marks and just look at my ones, what do I have listed here as my ones? These are all the images that I'll do a second pass on. After I've labeled it a one, I wanna be sure that that's something that I wanna delete. After looking at my images, if I label something a one and then realize, well, I don't have any other photos like that, can I make that work? If I really needed to make it work, would I have to do a head swap? That's a pain in the butt but if I needed to make it work because I didn't have that pose anywhere else, that's where I'd wanna consider doing something like that. So with this one, I've got plenty of poses with them hanging out so this one I could definitely delete. And if I wanted to really let myself know that, I would control six this one so that it's red for reject. This one, control six 'cause we got another good one. This one we already had a good one of them so control six. That can remain a one. We already had a bunch of them together so control six. I had a better one there. Didn't really like that one 'cause we had another better one. So these could all go. So then after I control six them, I could right click on them, right click, and I could just delete them if I don't want them. If I wanted to save them I could but I just know that I don't need to have those included anymore. Then I'll look at my two stars. Take a look at those two stars and see what I've got in the two stars. This one, I didn't have any other picture of the two of them together so I'm probably gonna have to get a little bit creative with the crop on this one. So I'm gonna have to bump this up from a control two to control three. That's just to tell me, hey, process this one. So then I'll look at this one, we have plenty of her with her funny character so we can just do control one. And once I control one, notice how it disappears. What it's doing is it's going into that bucket of one star images. This one's actually kinda cute so I might actually wanna three star that one. And then this one we had plenty of them, control one. And then control one, control one, control one. That's actually kinda good, I kinda like that one so I might control three that one to keep that one. Control one, control one, control one. So now I could go, if I wanted to I could go back to that bucket of the ones. These are the ones that I just know that I'm not gonna do anything with. So now after doing this shoot, after however many, I took maybe, I even think I took even more pictures than this. This is a cold version of the cold version. I took about 150 pictures, we narrowed that down to just a couple for demonstration purposes. Now I've got all my three star images here and my four star images. I would select both of these together, unlike what I did with the one and twos, because now with the four and the three star, these are the ones that I'm gonna wanna bring over to Adobe Camera Raw and start editing. Bridge is not an editor. It can't edit my images. The only thing that can right now at this point is gonna be hopping over into Adobe Camera Raw before we go into Photoshop. So I will batch edit these in Adobe Camera Raw. A lot of times people use Lightroom. If you use Lightroom, this might be not something that you'd do. If you use Bridge, the next transition is to go into Adobe Camera Raw which would be the equivalent of just after you've culled them in Lightroom, doing your basic settings in Lightroom. So I'll grab all these, press and hold shift, right click, open in Camera Raw.