If you're reading this blog, it's because you are a friend, client or fan of one of the most talented wedding photographers working today. And maybe you've wondered, how do amazing photographers like Jasmine Star do what they do so well? How do they create such breathtaking images, sometimes from not-so-amazing situations and scenarios?
The answer is - I have no idea. Every photographer is different, but I think for each of them it's a combination of the following things:
- An amazing eye for what's beautiful, and a unique way of seeing the world
- An undeniable talent and skill
- A lot of patience
- Good equipment
- A ton of hard work
- A dash of luck
- And a little bit of help.
That last piece is where I come in. I'm Jodi, and my company MCP Actions makes tools that help photographers process and edit their images using either Photoshop or Lightroom. Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets can't take bad pictures and make them look good. But they can take good images and make them look amazing, in a lot less time than it would take a photographer to edit each image individually by hand. They're what some photographers refer to as the 'secret sauce' that takes their images from good to great in a short amount of time.
So how do they work? I'm going to show you two examples using recent photos of my twins.
Side note: I had originally asked Jasmine if she wanted me to edit a few of her photos to share here. But she said she'd rather have me use some photos of my own, and even remembered that I had twins! The touching part here is that she remembered I have twins - granted she's a twin, but she remembered this from a chat we had early in 2009. Though it may sound small, I believe Jasmine's emphasis on personal relationships is part of what has helped make her such a success.
The photo below of my daughter Jenna was edited with the MCP Fusion Photoshop Action Set and the MCP Eye Doctor Action. The really cool thing about the Fusion set is that you can use the Mix and Match actions. You can try out different looks on different images to determine what looks best. Once you know what you like, you can layer in actions at different strengths to make your images look exactly the way you want.
For this image, after running Color Fusion Mix and Match, I selected Lemonade Stand at 19% and Vanilla Cream at 26% (the workflow folder called One Click Color was left at the default 50% opacity). To achieve a more custom look, I used a few of the "paint on" actions: Dodge Ball applied to the face (it looks bright on the computer but printed beautifully on canvas), and Magic Markers on the background to pop the color. I finished the edit with the Eye Doctor and used the Sharp as a Tack layer.
Here's Jenna's twin sister, Ellie. I also used MCP Fusion Photoshop Action Set and the MCP Eye Doctor Action. For this edit I wanted a softer look, so after running Color Fusion Mix and Match, I lowered the opacity of One Click Color to 35%, and selected Lemonade Stand at 36%, Crave at 35% and Vanilla Cream at 15%.
Next, I used the Eye Doctor to enhance the light in her eyes. And lastly, I duplicated a pixel layer and used the patch tool to reduce the dark shadows from under her eyes. I am not sure why, but Ellie named the creases and shadows "packages." So she always asks, "can you get rid of my packages?"
Editor note: If you do use the patch tool under the eyes, make sure to use it on a duplicate layer and then reduce the opacity so it looks natural.
Want To Win Something Cool:
So, now that you know a little bit more about how actions work, wouldn't you love to have some shiny new actions to try out for yourself? Well you're in luck! We are giving away two $150 gift certificates to the MCP Actions store. All you have to do to enter is visit our site and then come back to this post and leave a comment saying which actions or presets you would select if you win. Join us for photography discussions and free actions and presets on the MCP Facebook Page for "extra credit." If you "like us" on Facebook add a bonus comment below.
Jasmine will pick the winner on Monday. So check back then.
Good luck in the contest, and thanks for reading!
The Contest is over and CONGRATS to Kimberley and Stephanie Fox for winning!
MCP Actions wants to make sure everyone "wins" so make sure to visit the MCP Store to download some free Photoshop Actions and free Lightroom Presets too. Warning: actions and presets can be addicting - so don't say we didn't warn you.
Also, check out MCP's newest freebie to help you transition to the Facebook Timeline: Eight Free Facebook Timeline Cover Templates, complete with an instructional video teaching you to customize these and even build your own.
MCP Actions Site: http://mcpactions.com
MCP Actions on Facebook: http://likemcp.com