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The SLR Lounge Natural Light Couples Photography Workshop is a two-disc tutorial containing nearly eight hours of instruction on all aspects of natural light couples photography, also commonly referred to as engagement photography. Led by acclaimed wedding photography studio, Lin and Jirsa Photography, the workshop covers all aspects of an engagement photography session, including the planning and preparative stages, basic posing and lighting techniques, and then segues into following along with a real couples session, including shoots spread across multiple locations. The second portion of the tutorial covers a dedicated couples photography workflow in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, and includes the RAW exercise files to help with better learning the editing techniques. This workshop is intended for both beginning and professional photographers and helps to develop a systematic approach to more effectively photographing couples using natural light.
DVD 1 - The Workshop DVD
Preparation and Planning for Engagement Sessions
The workshop begins with tips on how to properly prepare for a shoot, including why it is important for wedding clients to have a pre-wedding portrait session as well as some recommendations on makeup and styling for the shoot, optimal shoot lengths, and planning for potential mishaps. The main focus in this chapter, however, is on discussing and planning for the clients' vision for the entire shoot, including the overall style, concept, potential locations, and appropriate wardrobe considerations.
Gear, Camera Settings, and Advice
This chapter features a discussion on gear choices as well as certain ideal camera settings to use when photographing couples. Specific necessary equipment, shooting and metering modes, and a "pre-click checklist" are all covered to further your confidence prior to shooting.
Basic lighting techniques used throughout the entire workshop are covered in this chapter, all of which revolve around the use and manipulation of natural light. Examples are given as to how to effectively use a simple reflector as a key light, fill light, gobo, and scrim.
Posing and Communication
As one of the most important aspects of any type of portrait photography, this section focuses on basic techniques concerning how to quickly and effectively pose, guide, and communicate with subjects.
Learn Foundation Posing
Shooting begins in this chapter and a unique system is presented for posing couples, called "Foundation Posing." This framework enables photographers to quickly move clients in and out of various poses in a quick and efficient manner. After learning these basic essentials, you will have learned how to shoot 10-20 different looks within 1-2 minutes and will have the skills to not be caught pausing when trying to develop new poses.
Come Along for Actual Shoots - Willow Tree
After an understanding of Foundation Posing is developed, this chapter takes you along for an entire portrait session with Ryan and Jackie. Beginning the session at the Willow Tree location, basic sitting portraits are shown as well as a transition into creating picnic scene from the initial mood-board.
At the end of the Willow Tree session, an entire tandem biking scene becomes the next focus. Ryan and Jackie are instructed and guided to ride the bicycle in order to help capture fun and natural lifestyle shots, as well as several prop-driven portraits featuring the tandem bicycle.
The next location shows how to take advantage of a unique scene and lighting to create fun and candid walking shots, a set of soft portraits of the couple sitting, and then a set of goofy piggy-backing and frame-it shots.
The shoot is concluded at this dramatic location, where effective environmental portraits are made that uniquely place the couple within an interesting scene. In total, the shoot has now resulted in over 200 images for the clients, all shot within a few hours at a single location.
DVD 2 - The Post Production DVD
Post-Production Techniques and Editing
This disc includes over 190 full-resolution RAW exercise files as well as all of the post-production video tutorials to take the RAW files and turn them into finalized images. From culling to basic image development to applying advanced vintage and black and white processing effects, the 5 hour tutorial covers all aspects of the editing stages from start to finish.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 is used throughout the post-production tutorial as the main RAW processing tool and editing program, however Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, Adobe Camera RAW, Apple Aperture, and Phase One Capture One can also be used as viable alternatives.
The video files contains throughout the workshop are saved in the MP4 format, and can be viewed on any device that plays these files, such as a computer, iPad, iPhone, Android devices, etc. Additionally, all of the RAW files and dedicated Lightroom catalog are also included.