Editing portraits, especially camera phone portraits, doesn’t have to be complicated or too time-consuming.
Sometimes it’s just as simple as one or a few favorite apps to get your portrait photography ready to share.
My favorite portrait editing apps:
Lightroom: Create presets to get a consistent look across your photo shoot. Great for vignettes, lighting effects, color toning.
Facetune: Great for making details pop, adding our effects (including faux lens blur), lighting effects, healing, and textures.
The more simplified you can make your process, the easier and quicker it’ll be to create and edit beautiful photo sets without having to turn on a desktop and pull out a tablet. With a few apps, you can shoot and edit beautiful portraits on your phone or iPod!
What are your favorite editing apps? How do you streamline your editing process?
In this list you’re going to find my favorite additions to the photography studio over the last ten years, big and small.
Everyone’s favorite tools and equipment and accessories for their work are personal, here’s mine:
DSLR body: Start out with a basic body. I still love my kit camera from 10 years ago, it’s a Nikon D3100 with my upgrade being a D3300.
Glass: I’ve become a sucker for fast prime lenses in this small studio. My favorites are 85mm f/1.8 and my 50mm lens.
Ring light: Perfect for smaller studio spaces.
ContinuousLighting: I love lightweight floor lamps with daylight LED bulbs.
Flashgunsand umbrellas: These have given me my most luscious lighting, but not my favorite option in a cramped studio.
Remote TriggerRelease: This has been indispensable. I almost always use this one but I also have a few other versions depending on the shooting situation. It prevents a LOT of running back and forth.
Polarizing Filters: Remember to choose quality so you’re not degrading the quality of your images. Not only will these handy filters boost colors and reduce glare, they’ll help keep your lenses safe from scratches.
RechargeableBatteries: Extra points if you use a solar panel to charge these.
PS and Lightroom: I bought PS CS5 for my computer back when Adobe wasn’t subscription based. I use the free Lightroom app on my IPod to edit my mobile shots.
Computer: Editing photography on a laptop isn’t ideal (depending who you ask) but it frees up a lot of space in the studio. If buying a computer, research ahead to see if it’s a good option for photography.
Monitor Color Calibrator: Calibrate your monitor and, in your editing program, use the best color space when editing and saving. Plenty of great tutorials for this online.
Backdrops: aka: Blankets, curtains, etc outfitted with safety pins to hang from nails on the wall. Check out your local thrift shop to see what colors, textures, patterns and prints you can find.
Mobile Camera: Gorgeous shots are absolutely possible on a smartphone and other devices. A growing number of my portraits are taken with my IPod. It’s a great way to experiment and get different shots before shooting the same look with a DSLR, or to do an entire shoot.
Mobile Camera Accessories: Tripods, selfie sticks, and clip on polarizing filters and other accessories are available for mobile devices.
Flash Drives: You’ve worked hard to create your work, be sure to save copies somewhere off your computer.
There you have it!
My favorite tools and equipment that I’ve adored the most over the past decade in the photography studio.
What are your own favorite tools and pieces of equipment?
Share with your friends and trade your own list of must-haves!
A gorgeous fantasy shoot is sometimes as simple as a blanket hanging on the wall, a caplet made from thrifted curtains strung on a ribbon, and a touch-light.
With custom PS brushes (from a picture of an orchid taken a few years ago) and a fave DSLR, of course.
The studio keeps getting smaller and smaller as Blessed Shadows expands and inventory continues to build, so it’s great to remember that beautiful photography doesn’t require a fancy studio.
My laptop is a decade old (if not older), the DSLR is a decade old, as well as my version of PS. The newest piece of equipment I use for photography is my iPod 4th generation, used in some of the more selfie-style portraits.
We don’t need huge studios, expensive equipment, and the latest gadgets to create great work.
Let’s upgrade as needed, and not sell ourselves short with a self-imposed expectation of needing all these other things to create. It’s great to treat ourselves and improve what we’ve claimed as a studio, but there is no shortcut for just creating.
A $200 isn’t going to be a game-changer, $19 ones can be amazing.
Expensive equipment isn’t going to sell our work, we are.
Let’s keep creating with what we have, treat ourselves responsibly and accordingly, and do our best to think and act big on a small budget when we need.
Selfie style portraits have been so much fun, as they have a different energy than my other portrait photography, but there’s no replacing the stunning lighting and moody detail that comes with a good old DLSR.
The studio will soon be home to a new lens for my Nikon DLSRs, but there is also good reason to start saving up to invest in a good phone camera as well.
What are your thoughts?
Are you fully committed to your DLSR, or to your camera phone? Or do you have a healthy balance of prioritizing both types of cameras for your photography?
How do you balance portfolio and blog building between the two types of cameras?
Let me hear your thoughts, and share this post with friends to get their feedback, as well!