Portraits at Chrome Salon & Blowout Bar in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
For the last month I have been designing and building a new website for Chrome Salon. We decided to overhaul the whole website and give them a fresh new look to boost their business and bring the website up to par with their fabulous salon.
Naturally that led me to take new photos for their "About" page. I was hoping to give them something fresh, unique, and with a "boss" vibe for their portrait shots. My idea was more upscale and classy, as opposed to straight on headshots or boring portraits standing in front of the front desk. Honestly I wanted something that shouted powerful, sassy, and in control.
The day came when everyone was available for photos. Jessica, the owner of Chrome Salon, wanted black and white portraits and I knew exactly what I was going to do.
I decided I was going to shoot with two lights for this portrait session. My Main light was a soft box with a speedlight placed on the dominant side of them. Then I used a continuous light placed above the behind the back shoulder pointing at the top of their head. I wasn't planning to light the background because originally I was going to black out the background and only leave the stylist lit.
The photo shoot went great, everyone was so fab, and I was confident that I got the shots I wanted. Now it was time to edit and personally, I love editing in black and white, or black and white photos in general. My process here was fairly simple. First, I converted to black and white, and I know all the photographers will shun me for this, but I just decreased the saturation in Lightroom. Throw stones now if you may, but yep I did it.
From there I adjusted the contrast, and then lifted the shadows to give it that raw, dark, and classy look. I guess my intention was to give it that mob feel but to let the ladies look like queens. I intentionally told them to "look like a boss" in their photos, which they knocked out of the park.
I didn't boost clarity, sharpen, or mess too much with highlights. I tried to get everything right in camera so that I had little to do in post. This time it was spot on.
When I finished the black and white edit, all that was left was to eliminate the background and dodge and burn to blend the black with the stylist, but Jessica loved them and said to leave the photos as is. Thats where my editing process ended.
There you have it. It was a fairly simple setup, easy shoot, but with great results. I think a lot of times we get caught up with gear and cameras, when really we should be focusing on taking better pictures with as little gear as possible. If you can do that, then gear just becomes a tool to enhance your photo shoot but something you depend on and can do without if needed.
PS: Also I did this fun edit on Jessica because she looked so dope in the photo. I changed the color to have that 60s retro look, using aquas and greens. I think it came out pretty cool.
Go check out Chrome Salon in Santa Fe, New Mexico. They are one of the top salons in Santa Fe. I always get amazing haircuts and laugh my booty off at the girls in their fun atmosphere.
Address: 1005 S. St. Francis Dr., Suite 107, Santa Fe, NM 87505
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