December 2021

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2021 DECEMBER

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DECEMBER 2021 | ISSUE 111

1 2

A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Portraits with Alissa Cincotta

26

Posing Tips For Beauty Portraits with Angela Marklew

40

The Business of Boudoir: Repeat Clients with Ayla Quellhorst

50

Top 3 Tips For the New Masking Tool in Lightroom Classic v11 with Dustin Lucas

66

Make More Money as a Wedding Photographer with Gary & Kim Evans

78

Step by Step In-Person Sales for Photographers with Jenn Lewis

94

Candid Photography Poses with Mariea Rummel

108 120

Night Photography: Settings and Tips To Get Perfect Exposure with Rey Benasfre

5 Ways to Push Your Creativity In 2022 with Sal Cincotta

130

Inspirations from Our Readers

170

What to Know About the New Canon EOS R3 with Vanessa Joy

182

Final Inspiration with Neil Kremer

26

40

66

78

90

170

120

94

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MISSION STATEMENT Shutter Magazine ’s focus is on photography education. Our goal is to provide current, insightful and in-depth educational content for today’s professional wedding and portrait photographer. Shutter uses the latest technologies to deliver information in a way that is relevant to our audience. Our experienced contributors help us create a sense of community, and have established the magazine as one of the leading photography publications in the world.

Shutter Magazine : By photographers, for photographers.

PUBLISHER Sal Cincotta

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Alissa Cincotta

COPY EDITOR Allison Brubaker

Ellie Plotkin SENIOR DESIGNER

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Alissa Cincotta, Angela Marklew, Ayla Quellhorst, Dustin Lucas, Gary & Kim Evans, Jenn Lewis, Mariea Rummel, Rey Benasfre, Sal Cincotta, Vanessa Joy

THE COVER

PHOTOGRAPHER: Brandon Hunter | hunterscottimagery.com CAMERA: Sony A9 LENS: Sony G-Master 70-200 f2.8 EXPOSURE: f10 @ 1/200 ISO 100 LIGHTING: Two Profoto B1’s. Main camera left in shallow octa. Rim/edge camera right in gridded strip box. ABOUT THE IMAGE: When I'm working with a client or just working on my lighting in studio, I often pick an item to build concept around. This day I worked with a great model, Jessica, to practice my lighting. I went to Hobby Lobby the day before and picked out the lavender pictured here. Just simple portraits. MODEL: Jessica Brisco

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2021 DECEMBER

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A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Portraits | Alissa Cincotta

with Alissa Cincotta

Ever wanted to learn new lighting techniques and have fun with photography without the pressure of another human being staring at you the whole time? My name is Alissa Cincotta and this weekend, I’m going to be doing some self portraits in our home in O’Fallon, Illinois using the Westcott FJ80, the Westcott FJ200, and the Westcott Universal Wireless Flash Trigger, the FJ-X2m. I’m going to show you how to do two things with off-camera flash in this shoot. You don’t need an assistant; you don’t need anyone else around. This is the perfect time to brush up on your off-camera flash skills and maybe even learn some new lighting techniques so you can get comfortable with your gear. It’s also a great opportunity for you to get comfortable in front of the camera. Because once you are comfortable in front of the camera, you can explain the experience to your clients. So, this is a perfect time to refresh everything—lighting, posing, concepts, details, and more. Test on yourself. You don’t have to actually do anything with these images, just have some fun and get creative with the lighting. This past weekend I wanted to take some time to practice with off-camera flash without the pressure of having a client in front of me. I had the luxury of splitting my self portrait session into two days. I knew I wanted to do one at night where there was no natural light involved, and I decided to do the second scene the next morning so I could give myself time to review what I did right and what I did wrong the first time around

SCENE 1. DRAMATIC & EDGY

I started setting everything up on Saturday evening at about 5 p.m., and I wanted to let the light go down a little bit more before actually shooting because I had this really moody portrait I wanted to create. For my concept, I chose some really bright reds mixed with neutral khaki colors, and it’s a pretty fierce concept to start with, but hey—go big or go home, right?

So the first scene is definitely more on the edgier side of things, so I’m going to use the FJ80. I took some test shots to get my scene set up with all of the props, but I wanted to wait until the sun went down a little bit more because there was still a ton of natural light pouring in from our windows. You could balance this using strobe and create a nice, soft light, but what I wanted to do for this look specifically is let the room get a little bit darker and then fill my scene with a bunch of warm ambient light and light myself using the FJ80 to create a nice, edgy, moody portrait.

There are three things I would recommend doing before you start shooting:

1. Set up your scene. Make sure you’ve got all your props set exactly where you want them and then get dialed in on the light to get a general idea of where you want to go with the overall look and feel of the images.

2. Go get dolled up. Hair, makeup, and wardrobe need to be on POINT. 3. Pour a nice, tall glass of wine so you can chill out and enjoy this.

There is SO much you can learn about portrait photography in general and creating a mood for your images when you do self-portraits. For the first look, I was able to create this warmth and moodiness with the FJ80, the fairy lights and red florals as eye candy in the foreground, and our lamp in the background. I ended up adding the magnetic grid and full CTO gel to the FJ80 to really, really make sure all the light that was hitting me was very controlled and also the same toning as the rest of the image.

There are definitely times where it looks nice to mix different color light in your images, but for this scene it didn’t make any sense to have all this warmth in the image and throw in light that is daylight balanced. It just needed something extra in there to make it all come together visually. The biggest challenge of everything for scene #1 was making sure that the camera caught my eye and kept that face-tracking focusing because I had a very, very, very busy scene. And when you’re that far away from your camera’s LCD screen, you’re very limited to what level of detail you can really see. It was a lot to take 10 to 15 pictures—go check it out. Is it even in focus? If not, try again. So that’s what you want to make sure you’re doing. Take a few shots, go to the camera, make sure it’s in focus, make sure you like the way you’re looking, adjust. It’s a lot of that back and forth. So even when you have your light dialed in, even when you have your scene dialed in, you still have to keep going back and forth to make sure everything’s in focus.

Final Image

A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Portraits | Alissa Cincotta

SCENE 2. SOFT & ROMANTIC

The second look I’m going for is soft and feminine. My main goal here is to mimic the look of natural light without actually having any natural light in the scene. Obviously, natural light is gorgeous, but having off-camera flash always allows you to control your scene a lot more than you would be able to do with natural light. For this scene, we’ve got a really long hallway upstairs and it’s extremely dark. There are no windows at all, but we have a room at the end of the hall and if I crack that door open, there’s this beautiful, natural light that leaks in to the back side of the scene. So I wanted to create this mood where I’m back-lit by the natural light coming in from the room at the end of the hallway. I’m sitting on the floor, and that backlight is just kind of making the flowers I had in the scene pop since I didn’t want those to go too dark in the image. I could have used strobe back there, but I wanted to mix strobe and ambient here. I started off thinking I was going to cool the scene down by adjusting my camera white balance to 3200 Kelvin and add CTO gel just to kind of play with some toning in the image. It looked terrible. Don’t fight it. If you look at the picture in camera and it’s not (visually) the look you were going for, don’t spend hours trying to force something that’s not right. Instead, I took the CTO gel off completely, used the magnetic grid on the FJ80, and adjusted the camera white balance back to 5200 Kelvin to make sure everything in the scene was daylight balanced.

You guys. After a few test shots, I was in love. The scene is just so pretty and moody, and I had that FJ80 right up on me. It was feathering across the front of my body and not just blasting me in the face or slamming light onto the walls around me. It’s so important that you know your settings so you understand how to create something IN-CAMERA that has a painterly feel from that very, very, very soft and subtle light washing over your subject.

Final Image

A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Portraits | Alissa Cincotta

TOP 5 TIPS FOR SELF PORTRAITS

1. HAVE A SOLID PLAN.

When I say plan I mean more like, these are my two concepts. I know I want to do this kind of light and this kind of light. Have your concepts contrast each other, so you can have a good variety in your final images vs. everything looking the same. The entire point of this self-portrait exercise is to brush up on your lighting, posing, and creativity. So don’t do the same thing for every single concept. Also, having a plan doesn’t mean you have to stick to that plan exactly. I’m not suggesting you create a full script like, “I’m going to sit down at a 45-degree angle and hold my arm this way, and the light’s going to come from this angle at 73 degrees.” All I am saying is have an overall idea of what you want to do, and then experiment from there.

2. GEAR IS PREPPED AND BATTERIES ARE FULLY CHARGED.

Charge your freaking batteries, man. What a rookie move on my part. So I had planned to use the FJ200 and the Rapid Box Octa-M Softbox to create a really nice soft light for the second scene, but I forgot to charge the batteries for the FJ200 and didn’t have any more backups. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to use the FJ200 in my weekend selfie shoot, but I was still able to create some really, really magical light using the FJ80. It made me think maybe the FJ200 would have been a little bit too much light for that second scene because I was set up in this very small, narrow, and dark space.

Final Image

Final Image

3. WHEN IT COMES TO MAKEUP, MORE IS RIGHT.

This tip is more about you as a person, not so much about your photo skills, but about understanding makeup. This is something that’s really good to be able to communicate to your clients now that you’ve experienced it yourself. You want to make sure your makeup is on point, man, because you don’t want to spend so much time in Photoshop fixing things that could have been done right ahead of time. I’m saying this about light, I’m saying this about composition and posing, and I’m also saying this about your makeup. Get it right in camera so you don’t waste hours in post-production. When communicating this information to your clients about their makeup in preparation for their photoshoot, the thing you should heavily stress is: Less is NOT more, more is right. More is correct? I don’t know. You get my point here. I’m talking heavy, heavy contour. Stay away from highlighter and dewy makeup products because they’re just going to make you look oily in the pictures. You can always go in and add the look of highlighter in post-production if you want that look. But when it comes to contouring, you’re using artificial light to shape your body, which means you’re going to be shaping your jaw line too. So really, really enhance that contour on your cheekbones, on the edges of your forehead, and under your chin. Somebody on YouTube once told me that I need to have a “snatched” jawline, and I think this is exactly what they meant.

A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Portraits | Alissa Cincotta

4. YOUR POSES SHOULD BE EXAGGERATED… AND IT’S GOING TO HURT.

Posing is probably the most awkward thing to do when you’re by yourself, because you feel like you’re performing, but then there’s no audience, there’s just a camera stuck in your face and you’re doing all sorts of weird acrobatics. Your back is bent, your knees are bent, but don’t forget to point your toes and have a good expression all while you’re thinking about these 800 different things going on. Understanding the importance of over-exaggerated posing is very important, especially if you’re going to be doing any kind of feminine portraiture for your clients. You need to know what it feels like to pretzel your way into some of these positions because you can’t expect your clients to do this intuitively and be comfortable doing so. These poses freaking hurt. I mean, my arms were trembling in some of them, but it’s all about your angles. Now that you’ve experienced the experience you’re giving to your clients, you can explain to them how to pose with the ability to relate and explain to them, “Yeah. It’s going to hurt for a minute. Just push through. I swear, it’s going to be worth it.” Then flip that camera around and show them how it was worth it—that’s when they’ll be mentally invested in the shoot and trust you fully. For me, I was doing a pose and I thought I was bending SO hard. Oh man, I’d go look at the camera and realize I look ridiculous. Or I thought I was really smiley, but all of my pictures in an entire sequence I had resting bitch face. So that’s fun. These are the things you will learn about yourself, and it will all help you learn how to communicate better to your clients.

Final Image

Final Image

5. USE LIGHTING AND SET DESIGN TO CREATE THE MOOD.

Setting the mood for your images comes in many different forms. I’d say first and foremost, you set the mood with your lighting. Anybody can take a natural-light portrait. I think what will elevate your work from everybody else is that you can create a mood whenever, wherever. You don’t need to be held hostage by only being a natural light photographer. I mean, of course natural light is beautiful and it’s easy, but we have to stop being lazy as photographers. You need to be able to recreate the lighting in any situation, whether you have windows or don’t have windows, whether you have north light or west light or whatever it is. You need to be able to know your gear well enough that you can create these scenes and this mood for your clients. Not only do you set the mood with your lighting, you do it with your set design as well. So get creative. I mean, we are photographers. We have the best jobs in the world. We get to create visual magic for our clients. So take some time and create a full set and mix things up. It doesn’t have to stay exactly as you set it from the get-go. Take a test shot. Does the light placement look right? Do your props in the scene look right? Adjust that stuff to make it right. Make it perfect. What I would recommend doing here is create one (or a few different) set(s) so you don’t have to mess around with the details when you have actual paying clients. You can keep them set up in your studio space or take a picture of the setup so you can recreate it the next time you have a client photoshoot.

A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Portraits | Alissa Cincotta

BONUS TIP: TAKE A GRADUAL APPROACH IN YOUR LOOKS.

Your progression, for both clients and for yourself, should be a very gradual approach. Don’t do what I did. I did it backwards. You should always start with your lighter look with your hair and makeup. If your hair is going to be up eventually, start your shoot with the outfit where your hair is down and your makeup is a little bit lighter. Then you can build to the more dramatic looks from there. I hope this inspired you guys to get out there and try some self-portraits. It’s super awkward, but it’s awesome because all you have to do is kick out your spouse, your significant other, your cat, your dog, your kids, I don’t care, kick them out. Have a weekend to yourself. If you can’t do a weekend, fit it into one day. Definitely check out the Westcott FJ80 and the FJ-X2m Universal Wireless Flash Trigger. The Westcott system is beautiful and so simple to use. I only wish that I could have used the FJ200 this weekend, but maybe on my next self-portrait.

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Alissa Cincotta graduated with a degree in television production and has been a part of the Salvatore Cincotta team since 2011. Today she is behind the camera regularly as Sal’s second shooter and as the executive producer and camera operator for Salvatore Cincotta Films, Behind the Shutter and Sal Cincotta’s School of Photography. Alissa is the Editor-in-chief for Shutter Magazine and serves as Sal’s right hand, managing daily operations within the family of Salvatore Cincotta brands. website: salcincotta.com instagram: @_alissacincotta

NEW!

NEW!

Posing Tips For Beauty Portraits | Angela Marklew

with Angela Marklew

When it comes to posing models, one of the more difficult genres of photography is the beauty portrait, especially for beginners. This can be a difficult arena for models as well. On numerous occasions I’ve heard models say something along the lines of: “I just don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve gone through all my ideas.” To help you (and your model) feel more confident with posing, I’m going to share the process I use on each shoot.

START SIMPLE

I start every shoot by seating my model on an apple box (or similar) and doing a simple head and shoulders frame. I call this the “warm up” look. I use this time to observe how my subject naturally moves with little prompting from me. I don’t ask them for any big expressions during this set, nor do I give them any specific instructions on how to move their bodies. Once I’ve taken about 20 to 25 frames without giving any instruction, I have an idea of my subject’s comfort zone. It’s at this point that I’ll start giving little directions, which not only gets a pose where I want it to be, but is the beginning of taking my model outside this comfort zone. The key thing to remember when posing for beauty shots is that small movements make big differences. When my model is in a pose I think has potential, I’ll ask them to tilt their chin up or down, tilt or turn their head to the left or right, or simply change their eye line. I combine this process with a series of small poses where I have them angle their bodies, and/or lift one shoulder slightly higher than the other to create a bit of visual interest.

Posing Tips For Beauty Portraits | Angela Marklew

INCORPORATE HANDS & EXPRESSION

I love models to use their hands and give big expressions. Posing hands can be tricky; it’s important to create something visually interesting while making sure the entire pose looks natural. More often than not, people get self-conscious about what their hands look like on camera. Similarly, people are often hesitant to give big expressions out of self-consciousness. To get past this, I always employ the idea of compliment, don’t criticize. Instead of being quick to point out what’s going wrong, take the opportunity to let your model know what they’re doing right. Find the high points in the images (maybe it’s the smile) and compliment them, while mentally making note of the low points (maybe the hands are too stiff, or there isn’t enough going on in the eyes). You can then follow that up with what you’d like to see differently. For example, “Your smile is amazing in this set of images, but the hand positions aren’t quite working for me. Let’s try another set, and this time I’ll have you relax your hands a bit more,” as opposed to, “Your hands are looking really awkward, can you do something different?” What I find works best is asking the model to give a specific pose/expression, but letting them interpret that in their own way. My go-to’s for this are: • Cover one eye and laugh • Laugh with your eyes closed • Bring your hands up near your face in a symmetrical or asymmetrical way • Bring one hand up near your mouth • Give me a series of exaggerated poses/expressions Throughout this process, I often see an interesting pose as my subject is moving between ideas and I’ll stop and gently direct them back to it. I also always let the model bring ideas to the table. I never veto a model wanting to try something. Lastly, it helps to let your model see the monitor. Show them how amazing the photos are turning out, especially in the instances where you’re asking them to really step out of their comfort zone. This encouragement always leads to more self-confidence on the part of the model, resulting in stronger images.

TIPS:

• Provide something (a table, for example) for your subject to lean on to help make a lot of these poses feel more natural. • To help achieve a more believable laugh, have your model actually laugh out loud. In almost every situation, what starts as a fake laugh will quickly dissolve into a real one.

CHANGE PERSPECTIVE

Whenever I feel like I’m getting stuck in terms of giving my subject posing ideas, I simply change my perspective… literally. Don’t be afraid to get up and move around your subject a bit (keeping the light source in mind, of course). Get low and look up or have them turn their back to you. Suggest they extend one or both hands toward camera. Simply changing how you see the pose can turn it into an entirely new image (and helps the “posing fatigue” models sometimes feel).

Posing Tips For Beauty Portraits | Angela Marklew

PROVIDE PROPS

When in doubt, give your model something to hold. This will spark new ideas for both of you in terms of poses to try. When shooting beauty portraits, the obvious prop (that will always work) is a makeup or skincare product. My other go-to props are mirrors, flowers and palm leaves. As an added bonus, being comfortable incorporating products will help you learn to create images that speak to brands from an advertising point of view.

THINK ABOUT INTERESTING CROPS

Once I’ve gone through all the ideas I had in my mind for specific poses, I’ll start thinking about posing my model to draw attention to certain things (expression, hair or makeup) through my crop (or framing). This is pretty much the only time I’ll give a very specific direction. I love tight face crops, and my go-to pose is having my subject tilt their head back and to the side; this provides a crop of the mouth and one eye that I personally find pleasing. TIP: • Revisit older images and practice cropping in to see what kinds of poses you should think about before you start shooting close and cropping in camera. It’s a good way to get a feel for the kinds of crops and poses you’re drawn to.

Born and raised in Ontario, Canada, I knew from an early age I wanted to be a scientist. Starting my career in environmental chemistry, I ultimately ended up working with explosives for the Canadian government. I quickly realized I was not built for a 9 to 5, and so I sold my house, packed up my things and moved across the continent to try my hand at photography. website: angelamarklew.com instagram: @angelamarklew

The Business of Boudoir: Repeat Clients | Ayla Quellhorst

with Ayla Quellhorst

For many studios, repeat clients are a significant asset. Every year, they come in to work with the photographer they love and update their images as their kids and family grow. Family sessions can then lead to senior sessions, weddings, and then additional family sessions. You and your business can work with those clients for generations to come. For boudoir, there is often an idea that clients don’t have a reason to come back. Many boudoir photographers even mention their shoots being a “once in a lifetime experience.” This puts the idea into clients’ heads that they only need one boudoir shoot and there is no reason to come back. Yet, that is not true. Our studio has several clients who come in every year for shoots. They also tend to be our clients who spend the most and hype us up to their friends. These are the clients we love to work with. These clients allow us to be creative and force us to get outside of our comfort zones. They are the clients who come to our studio for one primary reason: our experience. There are a few easy things you can do to change your boudoir studio to get clients to come back for more sessions.

The Business of Boudoir: Repeat Clients | Ayla Quellhorst

CREATE A FUN AND UNIQUE EXPERIENCE

A fun and unique experience is the most critical thing to get clients to return to you. No one wants to come back to a session that was boring or stressful. So, you want to make sure you rock their first session. Please don’t leave them hanging with anything. In November of 2020, Shutter Magazine published an article on building a connection with your boudoir client. See that article for more details on how to create an experience. It would help if you went one step further to get clients to come back. You need to make sure their next shoot will have something different. We have so many sets and looks that we can create for clients. They’re simple things, but it’s impossible to do all of them in one session. If you did, the album wouldn’t flow right and the client would be exhausted. We’re also constantly adding new sets and ideas to our offerings. Sometimes this is as simple as getting a new luxury robe and offering that. Some boudoir photographers offer gorgeous wings or after-hours shoots. Whatever set you can come up with needs to be fresh, different and out of the box. One of the biggest things our clients come back to us for is a destination shoot. You can offer shoots at a beach an hour away from you. You can create a retreat session or rent a unique space to shoot in. The only way a client gets access to that particular area for their shoot is if they are a returning client. You want to make sure whatever you do allows you to create images that are nothing like their last session. You must step up your game each time your client comes in! All the different elements that go into creating a new session are what make returning clients so much fun. Often, they are eager to help you try new concepts and they trust you enough to let you try things you haven’t done before. The push to do something new gets us away from doing the same thing repeatedly. It gets our creative juices flowing.

The Business of Boudoir: Repeat Clients | Ayla Quellhorst

ASK THEM TO RETURN

There is so much information out there telling boudoir clients it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Clients aren’t thinking it’s okay to do another session. They should have gotten all the confidence they needed from one session, right? You must show the clients that this simply isn’t true. We have built discounts into our collections. When a client purchases our middle collection, they get half off their next session fee. Most clients purchase our middle collection. But, if a client buys our top collection, we gift them their next session. We list this on our price list so clients know it’s an option when purchasing the collection. Our studio has learned a couple of things from offering this. First, the client needs to pick the date for their next session when they pick their collection items. We have them sign the contract before they leave. The session must take place within 12 months of the sale that got them the special offer. We want to make sure there are openings for them. If they don’t book the session that day, clients will wait 11 months and then scramble to get in before their promo expires. Secondly, we need to let them know why we think they should book another session. Here, you show how much you were listening to them during their shoot. If they mention that they thought about doing nudescape but didn’t have the confidence to, we can suggest they book the session to do that nudescape. If they didn’t know we offer rope work but saw it in the closet, we could recommend it. We can also use this session to suggest they do an outdoor shoot, or invite them to bring their significant other to their next shoot. Our studio allows clients to bring a guest, so when a partner comes in but doesn’t get in any of the images, it gives us a chance to show them how we work. We found that many partners are interested in a couples shoot after they have seen the individual shoot. Clients need to know that we have a vision for their next session, and we are eager to work with them again. It’s best to make it easy for them to return to you. By having them sign up while they’re there, they don’t have to remember to reach out to you. Everything is about taking care of your clients.

LIMITED SESSIONS AND EVENTS

Finally, show love to your best clients! We have sessions that we release, and invites go out to our favorite clients first either by direct mail, text or email. Limited sessions hit both the above points. It’s something unique. If our past clients book all the openings for these sessions, they won’t open to the public. It’s also something different than what they have done in the past. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Maybe you rent another studio for a day or a weekend and offer these slots to your past clients. Perhaps you work with a local fashion designer to create outfits that fit a fine art look and work with that designer to make sure the costumes are custom to each client. Host a boudoir party that you only invite past clients to. Whatever it is, make it unique and exclusive. Maybe it isn’t even boudoir-related. Perhaps you host a day of formal couples shoots in an incredible location. Do something to say thanks for being such immense support to the business. When you don’t have Covid restrictions, you can also host private events at your studio just for these clients. It gives them a chance to get to know your team better and for you to get to know them better. Sometimes it’s a simple movie night or a trivia night at a local establishment. These clients have supported you in many ways, and it’s critical to show them love. Often these clients become friends.

The Business of Boudoir: Repeat Clients | Ayla Quellhorst

Boudoir is all about building a relationship with your clients. Remember, it’s a super intimate experience for each person who walks into your studio. That doesn’t mean shoot with a client once and then just forget about them forever. Don’t let the perception that boudoir sessions can’t happen more than once continue. You should go above and beyond for each of your clients. Make sure you are serving them year after year. You must find a unique way to do so. So, listen to your clients and their needs. Clients will tell you how they would like your studio to help them in the future.

Ayla is a full time boudoir photographer based out of Tacoma, Washington. Her studio opened in 2018 and has grown to include six team members serving nearly 200 boudoir clients per year. The

studio’s goal is to create an empowering and life-changing experience for women. website: aylaquellhorst.com instagram: @aylaquellhorstphotography

WI N TH I S BACKDROP : PINK CAPE

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Top 3 Tips For the New Masking Tool in Lightroom Classic v11 | Dustin Lucas

with Dustin Lucas

Top 3 Tips For the New Masking Tool in Lightroom Classic v11 | Dustin Lucas

It’s busy season for most of us and what better time for Adobe to drop a new version of Lightroom Classic, right? Not only that, but Apple released Mac OS Monterey and silicon chips for creatives. With Adobe’s recent release of Lightroom Classic version 11, we are finally seeing a huge overhaul well overdue. Masking in Lightroom Classic just became game-changing due to its pairing with AI. You can now quickly add a mask to select specific subject(s) and sky, and even refine masks to a whole new level. Of course, if you haven’t updated to Lightroom Classic v11, I encourage you to take advantage of the new masking feature. Also, be sure to install the latest 11.0.1 patch update to reduce bugs like presets not syncing and other reported issues. It also helps if you create a brand new catalog in the new version instead of upgrading catalogs. Just a few extra tips before getting started. With the new masking tool comes a learning curve. Let’s dive into the new interface.

fig 1a

fig 1b

fig 1c

1. QUICKLY SELECT SUBJECT

With a new interface in Develop, you’ll notice your crop, spot removal, red eye, graduated and radial filter and adjustment brush tools have changed in look. (Fig. 1abc)

If you strike the “k” key you still get to the adjustment brush but you’ll notice a new panel pop up with what looks like layers. Now that masking has evolved, we must rewire our brains to use it efficiently. So instead of using your hotkeys, just simply click the masking tool to the far right and you’ll see quick options to choose: Select Subject and Select Sky which use AI to automate selections. (Fig. 2)

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Along with this, the Auto Mask tool has gotten more accurate as well. After choosing the Select Subject option, within a few seconds the couple is painted in red where the Develop effects can be applied. (Fig. 3)

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Once I raise the exposure, the red mask falls off and we can see the changes take effect. (Fig. 4)

You’ll notice in the masking panel the affected area turns white and the black areas are masked out like in Photoshop. I like to move this to the top of the basic panel by dragging it over. (Fig. 5) Now a simple task would be to dodge and burn, right? We can add exposure on this current layer to dodge the clients, then we can duplicate this mask and invert it to affect only the background. (Fig. 6) Then, simply drop exposure to burn down the background. I like to tone it down as well by lowering highlights, shadows, whites and saturation while lifting the blacks and dehaze. (Fig. 7ab) Now that you’ve gotten a taste of the power of AI to speed up your workflow, we can really start to refine our masking using Add and Subtract as well as Intersect.

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2. INVERT AND INTERSECT WITH ADDITIONAL TOOLS TO REFINE SELECTION

We’ve already covered how to duplicate and invert a Select Subject mask to quickly dodge our client and burn down the background in less than 15 seconds. Of course, you can create presets for masking effects as well to really speed things up. The newest refine tool added to masking is Intersect. After you choose to create a mask, you can then intersect it within another masking tool to refine it. So, for example, if we wanted to mask the skin by using only the automated tools and refrain from any manual/hand-painted masking, here’s how.

First, let’s make a Select Subject to isolate the couple. (Fig. 8)

fig 8

Top 3 Tips For the New Masking Tool in Lightroom Classic v11 | Dustin Lucas

fig 9

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This is important because now we can intersect or isolate within this mask with the Color Range tool. (Fig. 9) Once we activate Color Range, we can click on the skin and instantly have a mask for the skin only. (Fig. 10) Now, there is a limitation. If their clothing has a similar color this will be added, and lowering the refine slider doesn’t always work. Nonetheless, we have an automated way to get a mask for skin only to apply effects like skin softening. (Fig. 11)

Another useful way to utilize Intersect is to create a mask for the foreground with your subjects removed. Using the graduate filter to mask the ground you’ll notice the subjects’ feet are included as well. (Fig. 12) Then we need to intersect with Select Subject to isolate the couple within the gradient mask. (Fig. 13) Once we uncheck the Invert option, the gradient covers the ground and removes the couple. (Fig. 14)

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Top 3 Tips For the New Masking Tool in Lightroom Classic v11 | Dustin Lucas

In areas where we need to add or subtract we can simply use the adjustment brush with auto-mask as well. (Fig. 15) This technique is how I can get quick and accurate masks applied to my images. (Fig. 16)

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3. SYNC MASK SETTINGS TO MULTIPLE IMAGES

There is a caveat to this tip: You can sync AI-based masking like Subject or Sky select to multiple images; however, it won’t automatically generate each subject’s mask. Not to worry as we can update the mask afterwards. First, you’ll need to create a Select Subject mask and apply Develop effects. Then you’ll want to rename the mask Subject so you can quickly recall it later. (Fig. 17) Then select a sequence of images and sync settings. In the sync settings popup box, click Masking and Subject with a caution symbol and click Synchronize. (Fig. 18)

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Top 3 Tips For the New Masking Tool in Lightroom Classic v11 | Dustin Lucas

fig 19

If you get a popup asking if you want to replace or merge existing masks, you can merge to add this new one. (Fig. 19) Then in the first image you synced from, open the masking tool and select the Subject layer. (Fig. 20) To advance to the next image, hold the Command key and hit the right arrow key. The last step is to click the Update button listed under the mask panel to refine your Select Subject mask and repeat for all images. (Fig. 21)

fig 20

That’s it! (Fig. 22 before/after)

fig 21

22 before

22 after

Top 3 Tips For the New Masking Tool in Lightroom Classic v11 | Dustin Lucas

THE RESULTS

Boom—this is a game-changer for editing with masks in Lightroom. Finally an update we can all be happy about. Not only is this accurate, but the processing is fast whether you have 8GB of ram or 32. I have to say I am very impressed with the new masking tool and we’re only scratching the surface here. There are plenty more ways Adobe can enhance this tool and I am excited for what’s next. Try these tips out today to push your editing to the next level or at the very least, save some time. From a Select Subject tool to intersecting masks within masks, to being able to quickly sync and update AI masks, this tool is insane. Enjoy!

Dustin Lucas is a full-time photographer and educator focused on the wedding industry and the academic world. After achieving his Master of Fine Arts degree, a career opportunity opened once he began working with Evolve Edits. Through teaching photography classes and writing about photography, Dustin continues to expand his influence on art and business throughout the industry. website: evolveedits.com instagram: @evolveimaging

Make More Money as a Wedding Photographer | Gary & Kim Evans

Image © Gary Evans Photography

with Gary & Kim Evans

Make More Money as a Wedding Photographer | Gary & Kim Evans

Our photography business has done some major evolving in the past three years. At ShutterFest in 2018, Gary realized there was definitely something missing. We cared so deeply for our clients but until that point, we hadn’t considered or truthfully hadn’t even known much about IPS. We were providing wonderful work and not helping our clients display that work. A lightbulb went off for us and we’ve been on a mission to transform both our clients’ lives and our business ever since. Whether you’re looking to evolve from a shoot and burn wedding photographer or want to level up your post-wedding sales, here are our top tips for how to sell after the wedding.

Make More Money as a Wedding Photographer | Gary & Kim Evans

1. INCORPORATE THE IMPORTANCE OF PRINTING

Throughout the entire journey with our couples, we are talking about and stressing the importance of printing their artwork. This starts in the very first meeting. All of our wedding packages include a wedding album. Not only are we discussing and showing off our collection of albums but we’re also surrounding them with stunning artwork. As we’re walking each couple through our packages, we’re discussing how we structure the engagement sessions, how we design the albums, how we’re shooting our signature portrait as part of the wedding day and how our couples appreciate having their trusted photographer handle all their printing needs. Our engagement sessions are another perfect opportunity to discuss printing options and shooting something epic that they’ll love to display in their home. As we’re shooting, we’re chatting about where in their house they would put artwork and whether any family members are waiting for these images as gifts to display. We’re setting the stage and piquing their interest in preparation for our first sales session. Following the engagement session, we’re scheduling their first sales session. We try to look at it as a part of their post-wedding sale. We’re already talking about their wedding printing and how the art will be displayed, and incorporating their engagement session prints, albums, etc. into that plan. A great example is sizing. Our couples typically want their largest print of the wedding, so we’re already discussing those options and sizes at this point. They love the 30x40” example of a wedding we have on the wall, so they’re naturally considering a 20x30” for the engagement session. We’re building their future post-wedding sale already. Even as we’re shooting the wedding, the excitement is building. “This is the one! I can’t wait to see this on your wall!” You’re just as excited as they are to create a masterpiece for them to love for years and years. We are shooting to sell.

Make More Money as a Wedding Photographer | Gary & Kim Evans

2. SET UP YOUR SPACE FOR SUCCESS

Our studio space has a dedicated meeting/viewing room. There’s no clutter or extras to draw focus away from the artwork. We have prints on the wall in our most popular sizes, album samples, as well as the different finishes that we offer. As we’re reviewing our post-wedding packages, we’re taking images off the wall, handing it to our couples so they can not only see, but feel the quality that we offer. We want them to imagine holding their favorite images. As you can see in the images on page 73, we have cozy seating facing our television where we can easily view the images, knowing that our color settings are consistent with our monitor displays. When our couples arrive for their wedding preview, we chat about their day, offer them a glass of wine or beer and settle in to view their slideshow. It’s really fun to relive their day with them, usually with a few happy tears. After viewing their images, we review the wedding packages that we provided to them when booking their session. We chat through different print sizes, what might work for them, explain value within the packages and show them everything that’s included in each by getting them to see and feel as many of the products as possible. Incorporate the answers for your most popular objections by answering them before they need to ask. For example, “We offer payment plans” limits the objection that might be holding them back from choosing a larger package. Then we’re ASKING FOR THE SALE: “Which package would be the best fit for you? It sounds like you’re leaning towards package X?” If they’re chatting about their options, BE QUIET. Let them chat. Most likely they’ll end up convincing themselves. If they have any questions, answer them of course, but let them take their time. Once they’ve made their decision, we help them fulfill their order as well as choose the cover for their album (that we’ve included already in their package). We want all the pieces that they’ve selected to complement each other and work together to tell the story of their wedding. Once they’ve selected each item in their package, the last but very important step is to confirm the sale by asking the very simple question: “How would you like to pay for that today?” Do not invoice after the session. Confirm the sale so your clients can move on, confident in their purchase and excited to receive their artwork.

Make More Money as a Wedding Photographer | Gary & Kim Evans

3. USE THE RIGHT TOOLS

To really connect with your couples and be able to focus on creating an exceptional experience for them, it’s integral that you have the right tool box. Our confidence in our systems and suppliers that we have in place allows us to walk into a wedding preview worry-free and ready to wow. Our client management and email automation and workflows in 17Hats make it effortless to communicate with our couples via professional and thorough emails that walk them through everything including what’s coming next, automatic reminders, and client invoicing. During their preview in studio, we use N-VU to view their images for their slideshow, choose images, keep track of favorites and even show sizes of prints on their own walls. This program is a partner in all our sales. It makes it easy to confidently walk through a session with our couples while being able to focus on making their experience special while maximizing each sale. It goes without saying that in order to sell prints, you need to find yourself a professional print lab partner that has great products, high standards and great customer service, all of which will help you to dazzle your clients. The printer on your team should make your artwork look its very best, be on time, and allow you to over-deliver and delight your couples.

Make More Money as a Wedding Photographer | Gary & Kim Evans

4. MAKING THE SWITCH

If you’re considering a switch from a shoot and burn model to IPS, here’s what we did to dip our toes in the water. As we were getting our product samples, learning our software and getting into the rhythm and confidence of our wedding previews, we needed practice. We realized that we had years of previous wedding couples who might not have printed any artwork. We put together some packages for our legacy couples (previous wedding packages, pre-IPS) and a killer offer for 50% off the a la carte pricing for our new wedding albums. We customized each email with one of their wedding photos as well as a screenshot of a wedding album design with their image on the cover to show them what’s possible. The experience of taking couples through a preview, showing them album details and customizing options was invaluable, and since they were previous couples who already loved their artwork and were coming in specifically to make a purchase, it was virtually stress free. By revisiting previous couples, we added over $20,000 in album and print sales. Before we offered post-wedding sales, we were laser focused on client experience. We held their hands through the entire process up until we gave them their digital files, and then pushed them off a cliff to fend for themselves to figure out the most important part: how to display the art you just created for them. By offering post-wedding sales, we’re helping them with trusted professional printers, industry knowledge, and how to choose the right image and size. We’re getting the images off the USB and their phones and helping to get that gorgeous image up on their wall to enjoy for years to come.

After a whirlwind romance that brought Gary to Canada from Wales, Gary and Kim have been building Gary Evans Photography into the full service, luxury photography studio that you see today. As a husband and wife team, Gary is the Principal Shooter and Visionary, Kim is the Studio Manager, Social Media and Website Guru, and IPS Whiz. Together they are driving their business forward, all while balancing a hectic home life with two boys. website: gary-evans.ca instagram: @ garyevansphotography

Step by Step In-Person Sales for Photographers | Jenn Lewis

with Jenn Lewis

Step by Step In-Person Sales for Photographers | Jenn Lewis

“I WANT TO START IN-PERSON SALES, BUT HOW?!”

I’m often asked about my process for my ordering sessions. First of all, let’s talk about the term “ordering session.” I call it that because I don’t want my clients to be confused about the purpose of the meeting. I’ve heard terms like “reveal session” or “viewing” (I mean, a viewing is what we go to before a funeral, right?), but as with everything else in my life, I like to be direct. :)

Step by Step In-Person Sales for Photographers | Jenn Lewis

START WITH A SOLID FOUNDATION

So we’ll have to back up a bit to make sure we’ve set a good foundation for the ordering session to go smoothly. No matter how my clients find me, they will see that I’m a print and product based photographer. If they find me through my other clients, those clients will have albums and wall art to show off to their friends. My website has a “How It Works” section and photos that I created in Fundy of products and stock room views showing art on the walls. On social media, I use my Instagram and Facebook stories to show unboxings of albums and wall art, clients picking up their new products, or wall art on my clients’ walls. Being clear about being a print and product based photographer makes those phone calls expecting cheap digital images essentially nonexistent.

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