PARIS PHOTOSHOOT FROM BEGINNING TO END
Hi! You have already seen some of my pictures and I am happy to see that you are interested. We will try to figure out how I work and what is the process behind my portrait shoots.
Let's dig into the planning. What is important for me to know to begin:
1. The dates
2. What are your expectations and what photos you want to receive
3. Your outfits
When we start chatting, it is always important for me to know about the dates. Not only the actual photoshoot date, but the whole date range for Paris trip and all dates available. To pick the best one depending on the weather and traffic. What is your preferred shoot date? Are you available the whole morning and day? What are your backup dates in case it rains?
I always ask about the photoshoot vision to make sure the couple picked the right photographer. I want to be sure that I will meet your expectations and create photos you love.
Please send me photos of your outfits so I can recommend some poses and locations based on that.
Meet Riz and Marc. They had a photoshoot with me on November 1, 2021. This photo is an example of what a Paris portrait shoot looks like.
I reserved their date with a €50 deposit and sent a contract to sign.
Riz told me about her expectations and sent must-have photos she wanted to create. I saved this information and planned logistics. We usually plan more locations, but they already had their elopement wedding with me some days before. And Riz wanted to keep things simple.
We always start at sunrise to avoid crowds of tourists. Here is how our photoshoot went :
At 7AM I picked the couple up from their hotel near Arc de Triomphe;
-Trocadero and stairs (we begin with Trocadero because it's the most crowded location and the most important one, always earliest possible);
-L'avenue de Camoëns (this goes after because is located next to Trocadeo);
-Alexandre 3 bridge (this location we visit somewhere in the middle because it is between Eiffel Tower and Louvre);
-Louvre (the longest one);
-Cour Carrée (our last location);
We finished around 11AM and I dropped them off at their hotel.
MY CAMERA EQUIPMENT
I use Nikon cameras. They have excellent image quality and are damage-proof. I trust this company, cameras always worked perfectly even in the most difficult weather conditions. When I take pictures, I am sure they will turn out great regardless of the bright light, not enough light, fog, wind or even rain.
I love when the final result is interesting to watch. When the couple has a gallery of images that are unique but coordinated between each other. Diverse, not boring. To have a diverse range of photos, I use 3 lenses: zoom lens, portrait lens, and wide-angle lens.
Zoom lens is best for closeup portraits, it makes the face and body thinner
The portrait lens is the perfect sharp lens for full body portraits and captures the movement when you are walking
Wide-angle lens is a necessary lens if you shoot in the city
My posing approach helps couples feel relaxed during their shoot. You can be scared to pose in front of the camera, but in reality, it’s totally fine. I ask couples about what they want to have and what to avoid. That's how my clients are comfortable not doing anything awkward. Everyone who says “I’m not a model I can’t pose” is lying. Since 2012 and I managed to collect dozens of good pose ideas. For different people: introverts and extroverts, funny and shy, feeling lost or still a little drunk from last night's bachelorette party.
I prefer talking about posing before the shoot. The couple spends some time choosing what they like and sends me a list. It helps us to be on the same page about what they are comfortable doing. I always save this information and make my photoshoot scenario.
Or we can just improvise, it's up to the couple. Some love to control and plan things and others just go with the flow. I am absolutely okay with both.
Riz and Marc sent me some examples of what they want to have. We made their must-haves and improvised for the rest.
Riz wanted to have this type of sitting pose, but with cozier Eiffel view, something with authentic Parisian streets
Love this one, so cute!
Classic request, stairs are so popular
Was easy to create
Paris sunrise on the backgound
We took many photos, this one was my favorite
So we took these must-haves and with other images Riz and Marc just wanted to go with the flow and here is what we did with posing :
For this pose I asked them to kiss like nobody's watching
I give directions where to look and where to stand, but also leave plenty of room to have fun. I always communicate and if the couple is having difficulties with a particular pose, I help and explain
I love all walking poses, they are super easy and the couple just being themselves
Not every pose should be creative. Sometimes just simple standing poses are the most elegant ones. Less is more, right?
Your photos will be ready in 30 business days. I edit pictures to perfection, that's why it takes so much time.
There are 3 main steps of photo editing:
1. Choosing the best images.
2. Color editing. When you transform plain original image into bright art piece.
3. Retouching. When you remove people in the background.
Choosing the best images. I listen to my clients and remember what their expectations are. I choose the best 40/100/150 (depending on the package) images from around 1,000 to 2,000 based on what the couple asked for. Here are the criterias I am looking out for :
- Couple in the photo must look good and how they wanted to look
- Pose is right, no awkward movements, no closed eyes, no double chins, etc
- Outfits are okay, the wedding dress is placed beautifully
- The angle is that one the couple asked for
Nope, couple stands still not ready to pose
Not the right moment for hand position
Yes, love the movement and emotions, choosing this photo
Nope, we don't see a face, and back poses should be done only on purpose
Color editing. I love natural tones. When I edit colors I make sure:
-Skin looks healthy and hair is glowing like after the salon
-Picture is not too light or too dark
-Architecture in the background is visible, but the bride and groom are the stars of the show
Original image straight from any camera. Colors are plain and lots of gray areas
And here is a final result after 30 minutes of work. Do you see how the sky became more visible?
I take one Lightroom preset for a whole shoot and apply it to achieve my signature look. And then I take each photo and work with areas. It is manual work that requires patience and time. I select a specific area and work with colors and tones without touching other areas. If the shoot was on a sunny day and you have a sparkly sequin wedding dress that reflects the light, I will remove the areas that are too bright creating a balanced image. No deep shadows, no overexposed areas.
Think about this editing as an haute couture of photography. Editing at its most refined. Each photo becomes an exquisite creation with extreme attention to detail. Colors and tones made-to-order.
Here is my step-by-step working with different areas:
After applying color preset
Adding contrast to the couple
And after working with sky area
Not always can we add sky, sometimes it is not possible on a cloudy day. But I am trying to make the most of any weather conditions.
Let's do some other examples :
Original image from my camera
After editing colors
Plain and too dark
Make it pop!
After editing colors
Retouching is a process when you remove all imperfections from a photo. Mainly I focus on removing people from the background and cleaning up the city, but this also can include a variety of things. There are many great photographers out there, but very few do this type of profound work. I’m not going to tell you about how exactly it is done because I know you are already a little tired going through this article. But there are important things you need to fully understand. So please focus on this next part. It will create the right kind of expectations about your future Paris photoshoot.
Some people think that retouching is magic that can do literally anything. It is not true. Retouching is a powerful tool, but not a miracle. Let's discuss that.
What I always do for all my shoots, it is my basic retouching combo:
Step 1 - I always try to remove people from the background when possible
Step 2 - No matter how experienced and skilled photographer you are, constructions can kill any photo with the most perfect pose. Ditch the constructions, ugh...
Your turn! Look at two photos and see if you can find all 11 differences between them:
Cleaned the area
....and here is the answer:
For Riz and Marc I did only my basic retouching combo. The couple didn't want to have any beauty retouching. And I don't touch a face or body until clients ask me to do so. It is a very personal thing and any face/body/skin improving are done by pre-confirmed request.
I can do almost anything if you ask me in advance. We can really make you a whole different person or just make some tiny improvements.
Some couples ask me to do a full beauty retouching and I love helping people look perfect in their photos
To sum up, retouching take long. That's why we have 30 business days in the contract. This is how much work I do, red is the areas that need to be retouched and cleaned up.
Tim, the owner of Do it Paris Way and a professional photographer
Let's connect and start planning!