Portrait photography: processing can be vital


About a year ago, I took some digital photography classes in my city, and made some portraits of my peers during the practical classes. As usual for me, I just didn't think they were good enough, so I kept most of them private.

That, until a little ago, when I posted one of them here on Steemit for the portrait photography contest. When I was editing that particular picture, I saw all the other ones I had thought so little of long before.

I decided to play a little with the exposition of the pictures, I usually bring it way low and bring the blacks up because I simply like darker pictures, but as I was doing that, I really tried to keep my model's true skin tone, which I think is a naturally beautiful tan.

That's how Veronica's picture came out:

Click to see in full size!

I really like it because her face is the main focus and her expression is lively and curious, making the viewers ask themselves what she's on to.

On the process, we were all talking and joking to make it a more comfortable environment so Veronica could feel more confident, that's when I got this shot:

Click to see in full size!

Now this one looks like a proper portrait, in my opinion. It looks authentic, warm, and natural, and her essence is seen in the picture.

Then, there was this other candid I took, while my subject was distracted looking at our teacher as he gave out some tips for poses.

Click to see in full size!

I believe that if the viewers didn't know what was going on when I took the picture, they would feel some melancholy, and think to themselves "This woman looks deeply intriguing".

While editing this particular photo, I brought down the temperature and saturation just a little bit and brought up the shadows, and it made a drastic change on what the image transmitted; now her skin wasn't so full of color, and of course, her expression was absolutely unintentional, she wasn't posing, she was just being.

That's when I decided to look at the three pictures more carefully and it made me understand how the lighting and temperature of the shot are so important when it comes to what you as a photographer want to show, take, vividness or emptiness, for example.

  • In the first and second pictures, Veronica looks great, she's having a good time, smiling for the camera, managing to show how eloquent and interesting she is in only a couple shots without extra elements.

  • In the third picture, Veronica is distracted, she looks beautiful as she is, she is not thinking about the camera, and inside her head there's a quick learning process going on, she's focused on something else, and she's maybe showing this whole other side to her.

Individually, each picture transmits many different things; the first two pictures could even be used for publicity, while the last one looks conceptual, it's uncertain and subjective.

Now I have to ask, what do you see in these three photos and which one could be your favorite?

I personally am and always will be a fan of candids :)

Taken by @mariacaffrey using Nikon D3400 and AF Nikkor 18-35mm, with F5.6, ISO 400, 1/50s, processed with Adobe Lightroom.


Images above belongs to me; all rights reserved

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Great job and beautiful portraits 😊


Thank you very much ❤️ It means a lot coming from you!!!


Your most welcome @mariacaffrey 😊

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Yaaay! :) Thanks!

Well done, my friend @mariacaffrey. When we think about creating photography, we must repair not only what we want to express but how others will see it, and what its most appropriate uses would be. Happy day. A big hug


Thank you very much! It is really important to think about the observers, to try and get into their minds can help a lot with the creative process. It's a hack for when I have a "photographer's block" :P

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well, all of these looks candid and decent to me. personally I like the 3rd one more, BUT. the eyes look artificially whitened, the contrast (or editing) is too high, so it doesnt look natural, and spoils result ... a bit.

overall -- good work on all of them. all the best, and some !DERANGED tokens


Thanks so much for your insight! It means a lot, and I totally see it now you say it. I'll keep it in mind :) thank you for your kind and wise comment, I really appreciate it ❤️


sometimes a 'fresh eye' is useful. my pleasure to help.