Frequency Separation for Models and Headshots

There are other videos out there discussing frequency separation, and how to use it for models and headshots. This one is easily the best, since it goes into detail about what you’re doing and why.

If you didn’t know, frequency separation is the method in Photoshop to do a real, but tasteful retouching. If you look at a model’s picture and you think “this looks airbrushed,” then they didn’t do it right.

By carefully minding how you “airbrush” a model’s images, you can clean up blemishes and color irregularities, while keeping the humanity — and appearance of reality — in the picture. In simple terms, what you do is to smooth out tones in the face, while keeping the pores intact. This doesn’t happen if you’re using the clone tool a lot, or if you’re doing some gaussian blurs. Blurring effects on skin tone can be a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. While it will smooth things, it will also kill some of the finer detail that you want to keep, that little detail without which your model is thrust into the uncanny valley; that is, looking a little bit un-human.

Anyway, if you’re a beginner or an amateur, or even intermediate in photo retouching, you may not know about this method for professional image editing. It’s very much worth learning about.

Before & After: Mekayla in Red

Mekayla in Red

Mekayla in Red


Here’s Mekayla, a lovely young lady who came in to see us a couple months back. Her retouching was mostly just adding some color back in after the sun blew her out a bit. Of course there’s a lot of other detail work that may not be as instantly obvious, too.

Before and After Two: Rose

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rose Jamal Before and After

Rose’s before and after photos highlights the skill of photographer and the importance of retouching when it comes to headshots. Celebrity Portfolios also benefit from retouching and models appear picture-perfect.
John Strand is noted as the best photographer in Los Angeles. He is a hugely successful and accomplished commercial, portrait photographer and he offers the best pricing when it comes to men, women , kids, actors and models headshots.
He is also a veteran when it comes to corporate headshots.

An Actor’s Approach to Shooting Actors

 If you’re going to shoot an actor, aim for the heart.

Haha, seriously. As a long-time performer in front of and behind camera, I know myself and I know the people I’m used to working with. Shooting photography one-on-one does not differ from establishing a relationship with a new woman (or man, in qualifying cases). Your conquest will be timid, at first. Or maybe not. There are all kinds of performers and people, after all. But generally speaking, when a new person walks into your studio they are counting on your professionalism in not screwing them (at least not on the first date). You have to make them comfortable.

Proof of acting


And really, that’s the first and most important rule in taking an individual’s picture. Group shots are one thing. Landscape photography might as well be an entirely different profession altogether. You don’t ask the setting sun to relax and try a bigger smile. When you take your pictures back to the lab you may be using the same editing tools, and more objective viewers may approach an image of the California coastline the same as a girl glowing against a green screen, but ultimately the products are measured and manipulated in their own way, and serve a completely different function on the market.

I was gifted with a naturally deep voice that has a calming influence on my clients, and for that I am grateful. You may not have that. All you have to work with is your personality and a few basic rules of thumb.

You are expected to take control, so have it and maintain it. Know what you want your subject to do, where you want them to stand, what position they need to take to get the best lighting. Know what you’re doing in advance.

Don’t make your model stand around all day because you didn’t plan the shoot properly. Time sitting or standing around the studio while you’re still obsessing over lighting configurations is time for your subject to second-guess themselves, get bored, tired, hungry, and uncomfortable. Don’t do that to them or yourself.

One thing that I do that seems to help a lot is to show my models the images of themselves as we go. It’s easy, can lighten up a shoot, and with technology today allowing for instant monitoring from the back of your camera, there’s no reason not to.

I suppose I could go on on the subject, since I think it’s a strong suit of mine, but I’d better leave more for future blog posts…