Katherine Sanford for Opera Czech Republic { Hudson Valley Editorial Portrait Photographer }

August 16th 2021
Katherine Sanford for Opera Czech Republic { Hudson Valley Editorial Portrait Photographer }

Katherine more stylized editorial portrait with natural light behind and a some retouching to clean up everything

I actually don’t know how long it’s been since I took these shots.  It feels like forever, but that’s just because of how booked I’ve been lately.  Believe me I’m not complaining, as a matter of fact it’s awesome to have so many bookings lately, but that means that what should seem like a day, actually seems like an hour when I look back.  It’s crazy how time can fly when you’re really enjoying what you’re working on.  And let me tell you lately I couldn’t be happier working on the things that I’m working on.   I’ve been creating some really fantastic images for my clients, and it’s such a great feeling to

see when they come back and truly love the shots that they received from me.

I’ve also been really trying to work on my editorial portraiture.  I want people to come to me to get a portrait that isn’t like anything else offered here.  I want them to come away with a piece of art that happens to have their face in it.  It’s also fun to work on these kinds of portraits because I feel like I get to try and really capture the persons personality with my camera.

Katherine came to me along with [Leah](http://blog.davebrownphotography.com/leah-opera-czech republic-Hudson Valley-headshot-photographer/ “Leah Opera Czech Republic { Hudson Valley Headshot Photographer }”) to get some great head shots.  They both wanted something that they could use to get roles in the acting/stage theatre/opera world.  Both of these women are extremely accomplished even though they’re so young.  I always love meeting people who are both chasing and achieving their goals.  You know what they all have in common they’re positive people.  I think it takes a special kind of person to do any of the arts for a living because it’s a world filled with rejection.  If you’re not a positive person you simply won’t be able to handle that rejection, and you won’t last long.  Let’s just say most likely you won’t be booking me to update your portfolio.  So when these kinds of people contact me I’m always so excited to work with them, because I know 2 things.  1 the shoot will be a blast, because they’re such positive people, and two I’ll come away with great images, because they’re used to being up in front of a bunch of people which is pretty similar to being in front of a camera.

I wouldn’t really consider these headshots, I would think of them more like editorial portraits.  That first shot, if you slapped some text on it, it would instantly become a magazine cover.  That’s the kind of work I like to deliver to my clients.

Anyways, more about that first shot.  All of the natural light stuff was shot in golden hour, and all back lit.  I like shooting over by my old studio still, probably because it’s just so familiar, I can match skin, and wardrobe tones with the backdrop and come away with something I know is going to work.  Retouching was fairly simple.  Selective color layers for the toning, frequency separation for the skin, and dodge and burn for overall effect.

Katherine over by the Taxi Building in Hudson Valley with natural light, no reflector all backlit

Katherine in the studio grey backdrop with a big octabox camera left no reflector Editorial portrait

I have to be honest about this studio shot.  When we were shooting that day, I was pretty unconvinced by these shots.  I really didn’t like the way that they were coming out of the camera, and I was pretty concerned about what they were going to look like as finals.  Although in my head I really thought I could make them work.  Katherine wanted to do something that was designed to appeal to her ‘pants roles’.  Which I found out is where a female actor/singer dresses up more like a man to play the role.  I had never heard that term before, but I thought it would be fun to shoot it more like I shoot men when they come into my studio.  So I wanted the light to be more off axis for more drama, and along with that I wanted to shoot a very monochromatic shoot.  I thought that would give her the best look for these shots.  I also wanted to give her more headroom in these shots so that they would be more editorial, and much less like a typical headshot.   In the end, once these were actually retouched I loved them.  They turned out to be one of my favorite shots I’ve taken in a while.

What have I learned from this?  Sometimes it’s ok to trust the fact that the shots you’re shooting aren’t finished and they need a little post work to really pop like you want them to.  I know so many people want to talk about how you’re supposed to get it right in the camera, but that only goes so far when you really have such a large difference between a raw, and your final retouched image.

Also I forgot to mention, I’ve put together all my [editorial portraits](http://www.davebrownphotography.com/Hudson Valley-Editorial-Portrait-Photographer.aspx “Hudson Valley Editorial Portrait Photographer Portfolio”) together in a portfolio here.