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Capturing Authentic Children Portraits

Lesson 16 of 20

Post-Processing With On1

Tamara Lackey

Capturing Authentic Children Portraits

Tamara Lackey

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Lesson Info

16. Post-Processing With On1

Lesson Info

Post-Processing With On1

Lets talk about post processing Because it is something that I think is really important to know now let me paraphrase that. Lets talk about post processing because it's something I think is very important to offer. You don't have to know it, in fact if you hate post processing please outsource it work with somebody who loves post processing. Don't put yourself through all the effort to do and learn post processing if you hate it. Do the work you love we covered this in a lot of detail in our two day business course on running a portrait studio. Do the work you love and if you don't love it outsource it have somebody else who loves it do it. However if it's something your interested in and you think you would like to do let's figure out how to learn it what we're gonna do here. I currently work with three platforms for post processing. I actually love post processing at those final images I really care about, mass editing where I'm coming home from a shoot and I have 500 images and I'v...

e done three shoots that week and now I have 1500 images that I've got to cull and edit and go through and set up and process. That is where I just die I shrivel up, I hate it I don't want to be a mass processor. I want to be a photographer so I like those final images and doing kinda things like I'll show you here just to kinda control it but for the most part I'm not gonna be doing mass editing. One thing I have found that really helps me to very quickly not only edit the work in terms of culling images but quickly make decisions, across the board about what I want to keep and what I want to drop is using a platform where I can see everything at once and I can compare images together. So I use Photoshop, I use Lightroom, and I use ON1 software, and forever if you were in my workshop you would hear me say that I jump back and forth between Photoshop and lightroom because Lightroom is great for me to be able to see everything, make my picks if I want to grab some quick presets wonderful. Photoshop is where I go when I want to do more detailed skin retouching or fine art editing or if I want to really quickly power through some actions that I really know that I've setup that are customized for my look in a way that I feel is a richer look then I get from hitting presets in Lightroom. Historically that's been my take on it. I have worked with ON1 for a while I think I started using it a few years ago actually and I thought it was pretty good I didn't love it wasn't my main source I used it for a couple things thought that was nice but it didn't give me what I wanted. Which was like a fast hit this summer somewhere around this summer they released ON1 photo raw 2017 version and suddenly the whole platform had changed, it was faster I was able to do everything I did I Lightroom and Photoshop in one space I started working with a lot more and quite enjoying it and they just released Photoshop raw 2018 which is, wait for it, even better. So it's pretty cool because now what I've done is completely transformed the post processing process that I have done for years for years I've done the same sort of thing mass edits in Lightroom when I have to do it or mass culling, fine touch, retouch in Photoshop some of the detailed action works I want in Photoshop going back and forth. Now I can do it all on one platform, which I love. So I sat down this was about a week and a half ago I sat down I knew I was gonna be doing some traveling. I was just in New York doing some traveling. I knew I was gonna come here I'm going next to Oregon and I had to get my studio manager up to speed I wanted her to see how I've been using ON so that she could step through a whole bunch of head shots that the studio had to turnaround. I knew it was gonna take her a long time to do it and I said let me just show you really quick what I do here and as I sat to do it I said somebody throw on a camera. Just film this in case you need to refer to it later and I started talking and I said no no no put on a camera and let me actually speak to anybody who wants to see this so warning I had just finished a two shoots in a row so I look sweaty and gross just throwing that out there cause you're going to see it and your like you look pretty rough. Number two I want you to see when your looking through this video, think in your head what do I do after I do a photo shoot? What do I mostly do, and what I have found is one of my pain points when it comes to culling or editing the images afterwords pulling out the ones that I want to use one of my pain points is if I'm doing a group like I just photographed the three sisters and some with their mom, and when I'm looking at them my pain point is when I'm looking at six or eight images of the family together and looking at them in Bridge or Lightroom I have to do what, open them up one by one. Especially in Bridge I've got to open one up have it pop into Photoshop look at it there zoom into see the eyes really well. If I want to compare several at once and see what's going on in the eyes or the expression. That becomes complicated and you gotta figure out how to look at it all together and zoom in. And this is something that one of probably the main reason I quite love ON1 is that I can view it all, together and I can as I'm looking at four images together zoom in on all the eyes while they're all sitting up together. So I'm gonna show you this because if you shoot families if you shoot head shots if you shoot wedding groups if you shoot anything where you just can't right away see what the expressions are if the eyes were open or closed or if this face is a little better than that face. This is a brilliant solution. I'm gonna show you this conversation pretty rough that we're having, oh I think I've got it up here. That I'm having with my studio manager and she's just coming and she'd never seen it before in action since this new version and it made her very happy cause she had a ton of head shots to get through. Alright here we go. Hi I'm Tamera Lackey and here with Sarah Coppola Hi Who happens to be my studio director and we are here because I was about to just sit down and show her how ON1 works because we have used multiple softwares in the studio but I thought because I'm gonna do that and do a basic overview why don't we turn on a camera and see how were doing. So we are super informal just kinda a walkthrough having some coffee, hearing coffee being made at the coffee shop and jumping in. So you are used to using primarily? Lightroom and Photoshop. Right, okay which is what I'm using most of the time. So the way I've been using software in general I'll have, I 'll open them up either in Lightroom or Bridge just to make my selections. So I quickly cull through the images and then I'll definitely use Lightroom for mass cropping and any sort of quick hits in terms of presets. But then I export them into Photoshop for the very fine retouching that I want to do and sometimes I'm opening up from Bridge and them I have to open up from Camera raw and move all the way through. So when all is said and done I'm literally using Lightroom, Bridge, Photoshop, and Camera raw. I'm using four applications to get through a regular shoot. Just so I can maximize what I can get from all of them. So ON1, I am now going to be using for the most part as a catch all program for everything to be able to not only do the mass edits and the quick presets and the culling but also the fine retouch. So let me show you I am jumping back here into just browse mode where I want to look at everything that I've got in there. Again these are all untouched NEF files. I'm pulling them all in this way and say I want a kinda figure out a selection that I want to make. So maybe I have this one this one and this one and I can go into a mode like this where I can view them all that way. That is awesome so I can go in and look at like three or four well not on this one but if their eyes are sharp that's really awesome. Well actually what you can do is better than that you can say okay I'm gonna look at these four pull them up right there and then you hold down the space key and you go right in there so you can really see. That's great I mean he's got sunglasses on. Right yes. But you can really see right away how exactly your cross comparing them. Oh my gosh, so your holding down the space bar okay. Yep and I'm doing it right there real time together. That's awesome aw yes. Especially for family shoots, where your like they look amazing I've gotta open up each one zoom zoom zoom in yeah so that's brilliant for that. That's awesome. And then and just as quickly if I want a double click that jump into develop mode and I want a say okay I want a you know crop right there. I can obviously do that again if I'm thinking about the combination of Bridge, Photoshop, and Light room this is crazy cool I'm gonna go ahead and crop it and then I can hit up some of my presets. So for here for people being he's a people I might want to quickly go into radiant people and you can see how fast it hits, which is wonderful and then I can make adjustments there. So maybe I want to bring down some of the exposure or I want to deepen some of the blacks and I want to increase some of the shadows anything you know warm up the tones go right in through all that pop up some of the vibrance in the shot. For me I'm gonna be thinking about haze or no haze a lot and in portraits like haze and de haze is often really good for landscapes. But with portraits you can do a lot of cool stuff with it too which I love. Okay what questions would you have from here if your going into this yourself and trying to figure out what you want to use? Well maybe not necessarily on this image but I would love to know about brightening eyes and teeth or well we could do the teeth on this one. Yeah yeah, so one of the cool things here we'll jump into it in just a second is the skin retouching which is obviously in the same vain. But let me jump back to that, right here you have toothbrush so toothbrush That's haply named. I know, lets go right into and then obviously I guess I shouldn't say obvious but if you've been using Photoshop a lot you know that you be going in here and adjusting the capacity or the feather or the size. I'm gonna go ahead and bring that down bring the size down to, you can obviously see how it's going right and then opacity I'd rather have it a little bit lower and then bring it in. You can also go really high and bring it down but say we kinda start right here we got the feather so it's not like (static sound) you know it spreads the effect. Nice. Yeah I mean it's really nice and then you got that pretty zoom out get a better look see how your doing yeah and you've got that right there. The other thing that I've mentioned was the retouch. So if I'm going into, so if I want to do retouch I would just be clicking this option to show more and jump into skin retouching and what I love is you can zoom right in and you know the same thing I'm gonna go right into where I want to be right there and you can click one of these right away say I want it to be subtle, I want it to be moderate, I want it to be strong based on what you need. I'm gonna go probably moderate and tone things down as I want. So I'm gonna be in the moderate mode and I'm just gonna be managing this and if I want a kinda get in closely to see something I'm just gently pulling this around you know being able to operate it that way I might say he's got a little bit of shine there look at his nose right there you can kinda see how it shifts right there I can dig in and start doing things with the brush and manage it all very well. If I'm just saying I need to be in and out I need a quickly do some things here that is available to me that quickly. Now can you just mask that for his face? Yes, yes exactly I can jump in and do all the brush work that I need which is gonna take a whole nother walk through. Right, but just so you know I can do that. But yeah, and another thing that I love here is the starting points. So starting points is saying, every single time I shoot an image I'm gonna pull it into browse right. So I'm back in browse I'm looking at all the images that I want to work with let's say I'm up here and I'm gonna look at these four images. These six. Six (laughs) fine if your gonna be a counter and I want to look at the presets I might say one by one I'm gonna just make one. So one by one I'm gonna click on this image and I'm gonna say I want to have a starting point be something where I have you know I want to do a little bit of a de haze, I'm gonna do a little bit of a de haze on the shot. So every time an image comes in go ahead and bump the contrast right, go ahead and pull down the exposure go ahead and deepen the blacks you know pull a little bit of haze out. You know pop up a little bit of that contrast in that structure. Just the little kinda things that I might want to do every single time I go into it. I can get, you know if I say every single time I want you to autoish a color palette or something you know those are things I can look at too. I prefer to manage that on my own but those might be little things that right away I just know I'm gonna want. I can show more and get into things like every single time this happens this image comes up go ahead and brighten it through curves module like the curves module very similar to how you have in Photoshop. That's one of my favorite things in Photoshop so awesome. Me too you can say that I automatically want it to be lens corrected you know kinda all that I can take all this save it as a preset and then every single time I come in I'm gonna have a preset called hit the ground running or what ever I want to name it. Ahh nice. And then I'll just click it and then I can do it here or I can do it in browse mode across a whole chunk all at once. So everything I'm custom doing you can go right away. So it's batching them all. Yeah. That's great. And it's all right there but then as I batch them I can say but this one specifically no no let's dig in and do what I want to do with this image specifically. Which would be the same as you would do in terms of a Lightroom or Camera raw. Where I'd go in here and I'd say okay I feel like it's a little blue I want a bring some warmth in. I want to deepen the blacks on this image specifically, as you can see when I built those presets earlier I made sure I was a little general so they would apply to everything. But then here I can go in and do all those things I talked about in terms of the skin retouch and popping in the eyes. Can you quickly show me maybe like a specific spot retouch type thing? Yeah, real quick I'm gonna show you two things. Lets jump back in and let me show you how the magic eye fixer works. Okay. Cause I think your gonna want to know that. yeah And then I will jump back and show you how to fix something. So if I'm over here and I'm in local adjustments and I'm just gonna click more and I'm gonna hit magic eye fixer. And what that does is it allows me a chance to go in really close, I can do the same thing I did last time where I can adjust the feather and the size and the opacity. The size is actually great for this kinda helps preset a lot of things right here but maybe I'm gonna go in and just do that. Ah nice. Ah maybe I say I want it a little more contrasty I want it to pop but not be like I'm a fake eye popping. I usually think of this as a tool that if you know if I had the opportunity to do on the spot correctly I wouldn't have to do this. So I had every single light source I needed but we don't have that on every shoot. So that's kinda nice you can do that right there. And then this is obviously the preview, so original and then with it. Awesome. Yeah so there's a lot of great usage there. The other thing you'd asked about was a spot retouch. So if I click this over here. The band aid. The band aid yeah the retouch brush and then I'm gonna adjust the size to what I want and then let's say I just want to fix something like that like a little fix It's gone. Perfect. A little fix it's gone. It's such a great combo of what I do in Lightroom and in Photoshop. That is what I'm talking about it's ridiculous so then you go back and you see kinda where you before and after including all your retouch marks. Yeah I mean that's I'm trying to see if there's something I can show on her. She's, we pick to great... Okay lets say over here for instance we want to do, just a little bit closer on, let's say we don't like that mole I would just go that and it's gone so it's that fast. So obviously there's 80 million things you can do with this product I'm gonna just kinda click the average portrait the catch all portrait one it does a lot right there. And yeah that's it click, click. Wow, yes it looks great. So I know we probably want to dig into a lot more in terms as detail work but as an intro does this all make sense? Yes Alright great. I'm really excited to get started with this. See look at a testimonial right here. (laughs) Alright thank you guys very much. Thank you. So the big take away that I want you to get from that is there is an opportunity to now... I'm gonna jump into that in just a second. There's an opportunity now to take everything that you use to do in all these kind of ways and put them together so that you no longer have to jump back and forth between platforms.

Class Description

Each child is unique and needs different techniques to draw out the most authentic portrait. Acclaimed family photographer, Tamara Lackey, talks through how to quickly identify the characteristics of a child and the posing techniques and direction that can lead to a fun session with great results. She’ll cover:

  • The 6 basic personalities that children may show up to a photo shoot with
  • How to draw out a shy child in front of the camera
  • Tips for photographing the children who don’t want to be there
  • Gear and accessory considerations for family shoots
  • How to build to a natural pose

Have the confidence and the technique to capture an authentic child portrait in every session no matter client or their mood!

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Tamara Lackey Posing Book Discount

Nations Photo Lab Discount

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



Tamara Lackey brings amazing energy to her teaching and shooting style. She shared a ton of tips and tricks for capturing the true character and personality of each child in both individual and group portraits. I have always found it to be particularly difficult to capture portraits of multiple children that are composed to be both visually interesting and true to their unique story. I learned so much about directing and communicating effectively with child subjects, and how to use my gear and other tools to streamline the process and keep it all fun for the family. No matter how much you think you know about photographing children, this class is an asset that you will not regret! Thank you Tamara Lackey!

Heidi Mikulecky

I love Tamara's tips for working with common personality types found in children. I also love that class allows you to be "fly on the wall" during her photo shoots. It's so helpful for me to see how other photographers engage their subjects (especially children). Tamara brings a ton of energy, excitement and playfulness to her shoots. It opened my eyes to how fun (and how exhausting) a photo shoot can be when you give it your all. Great class!

Sara NAomi

This was an amazing class. Photoshop has been a huge learning curve for me during the past year and it was so helpful to see the quick and easy way you used levels to bring down brightness/hotspots. I will definitely be using it to improve the "ear" on the portrait that you critiqued. Thank you soooooooooo very much Tamara and CL for providing such great content!