Simple, Edgy Blog Portrait

When we started the blog, we knew it was just another excuse to do another photoshoot. Something neither one of us would hate doing. Anything to shoot more fun, different photos! I’m always working towards keeping shoots as quick and easy as possible. This one was no exception.

We wanted to shoot something basic and straightforward. Something that would be contrasty and bright. We started as we usually do, by digging through the internet to find inspiration. I came across some images of off register cmyk images, then thought about combining both Rachel and I together into one image, from separate images. It would visually show the collaboration together and gave us each the chance to shoot photos of eachother rather than setting up the tripod and waiting for the timer to fire the camera. This way, we could coach eachother and get some more authentic reactions and emotion. It really worked well! See below for some of our inspiration.


We kept our setup super simple. I used a standard 5 in 1 reflector/scrim as a plain white backdrop. Just big enough to give us a clean white background behind our heads and upper torsos. That’s all we needed as these would be more headshots than full body portraits. I propped it up against a wall and on a stool. For the lighting, I used a Canon shoe flash in a small, collapsible beauty dish. It’s amazing how easy it is to get many styles of portraits with a one light setup in a simple modifier. I really like the medium soft quality of light that a beauty dish gives. It’s not as hard as a bare strobe and not quite as soft as a soft box. It’s a happy middle ground that gives skin tones a bit of contrast and pop. I set it up just above the camera and triggered it with an off camera shoe cord since it was so close. With the strobe just above the lens, it gives the photos a bit of a “fashion” vibe. It’s essentially shadowless and really bright. We ran the gamut and got a bunch of different poses and expressions for each of us to work with.


On to the post production! We went through our photos and pulled some selects in Lightroom. I did some simple editing in there to bump the contrast and sharpness a bit, followed by some desaturation in the skin tones. I wanted to flatten the skin tones out a bit so when I add the bright colors over the top, they would stay nice and contrasty.


The next step was pulling our selects into Photoshop to combine into our final image. I did some simple color overlays to get up to the colors that we wanted, then multiplied them over eachother. I duplicated those two layers, made one yellow, and the other cyan, then shifted them each over a bit. Making the whole thing look like it was slightly off register or 3-d. An easy way to add a little more interest or texture to the image as a whole.


And that’s it! A quick, simple photoshoot and some easy Photoshop moves to make a nice, bright, edgy profile photo!

Creatively yours,
CJ + Rachel

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