01Mar

The True Post-Production Process

By, March 01, 2021

To ensure your photos represent the “True” style, they (Best Photographers in San Diego) undergo hours of hands-on care and attention. Our post-production process starts with an amazing photograph. We then take that photograph and bring out the very best within the image. These refined techniques really showcase the art and style of each photo, ensuring that the images will remain timeless, with that extra oomph :) 

This post will walk you thru all the steps taken with the “best of the best” images. 

Step 1 – Portfolio Image Selection
When new photos are ready to be worked on, we start with the Portfolio Selection Process. This involves personally reviewing every photo from your shoot, and deciding which ones best represent your day. You will still have access to every photograph taken, but there are certain shots from your photoshoot that are the clear standouts.

Members of our team, working hard on your photos. When making selections, we make sure to showcase a variety of poses, locations, and lighting. 

STEP 2 – Image Enhancement
Now that we have our portfolio images selected, it’s time to give them the True treatment. In this step, we adjust tones within each photo, correct temperature, and refine the color. We make a lot of small decisions that dictate how far to go, and when to stop.

For example, check out this image taken at Meaghan and Daniel’s wedding earlier this year:

The example above is the original image, right out of the camera. Isn’t it pretty? :) We intentionally exposed it this way, for the highlights, in order to preserve the detail. Had the image been exposed for the mid-tones, all the detail in the sky would be lost, and no amount of post-production would bring it back. 

Next, we identify the areas of the image that will require enhancement.

To address these items, we add our “Secret Sauce.” This consists of applying our custom, painstakingly developed Photoshop presets, as well as expert manual adjustments. We balance the color temperature, bring out the shadows, and restore any lost detail in the highlights, resulting in the image below.

That’s looking better! This is the image after undergoing enhancement. We strive to create images that are bold, crisp and clean, while maintaining natural skin tones.

Step 3 – Image Retouching
With the image looking the way we want it, it’s now time for a little retouching. In this step, we use meticulous Photoshop techniques to remove skin blemishes, fly away hairs, and any other distractions in the image.

We identify areas of the image that will be retouched.

Step 4 – Image Delivery
After identifying the problem areas, and retouching the image, the result is a final product that we are proud to deliver to our clients. Check out the example below to see the results, after the retouch has been performed.

Compare this against the original image from before!

We hope you enjoyed this peek behind the scenes, with a glimpse into the hard work that goes into your finished photos.

 

01Feb

It’s all about having the “True” Eye

By, February 01, 2021

With over 17 years of photographing professionally, we’ve seen our share of beautiful locations, some of which have been designed to look perfect. But not all locations have what many would consider “a lot to work with.” For example, a photo shoot could take place in a nondescript backyard. Or the light condition may be really harsh. Or perhaps, due to rain, the shoot may be moved indoors at the last minute. No matter the environment, it’s our job to make the photos look their very best!

When we are presented with a challenging location, there are two techniques that we like to follow. One is to use the location as it is. We incorporate the existing conditions into the photo shoot, and show the background as it is. Ex: if we are in a supermarket parking lot, this will be apparent in the finished images. We take what we have to work with, and find ways of making it interesting and creative. 

The other technique we use is to re-purpose the environment. We basically work around the constraints of the location, looking for dramatic lines, angles, unique lighting and focal blurs. The result is nice stylized shots, even if you can’t tell exactly where they were photographed.

To demonstrate these techniques, and take you through our creative process, we selected a location in downtown San Diego. This spot is just down the street from our studio. 

This is a building just outside of our studio that is currently under construction.

When looking critically, from our perspective, here is how we see the location:

When we scout out a location, we are looking at it from a very different frame of mind than the everyday eye. We look for opportunities that may typically go unseen. We start to look for potential opportunities that may photograph well.

After stepping into the shot, we can better identify potential spots for our subject.

Having scouted the location, and determined our plan, here are a few examples of the results.

Example 1: Traffic median and building under construction

Here is a traffic median (left) and a building under construction (right).

Here is what the “True” eye sees :) The picture on the left was just the floor in the center median, which made for a nice graphical background. On the right, we used a long lens to shoot through the environment. This added visual interest, and tied in the colors.

Example 2: Normal street view

Here is what a normal street view looks like in this spot.

Above is what the “True” eye sees :) By using a long lens, and looking for interesting lines, we were able to take a standard city view (street crosswalk and rows of lined trees) to create two dynamic images.

Example 3: A small spot of greenery

Here is… not all that much to see. These are the bushes that you often find in a center median. Not the prettiest, but the only greenery nearby.

Here  is what the “True” eye sees :) We wanted to show color within the photograph, and this location was very narrow. To make the image look more lush, we photographed at a sharp angle.

Example 4: A crosswalk under construction

Here is a crosswalk under construction… We were drawn to the potential of the white, wooden construction boards.

Here is what the “True” eye sees :) We re-purposed the environment in the absolute simplest fashion, using the construction boards. This kept the backdrop high-contrast and clean.

Rather than trying to hide the environment, we made use of it, and looked for cool symmetry and lines.

For more creative uses of the city streets in our photography, check out our full gallery of urban downtown photos

See also: San Diego Affordable Photographers

19Jul

A Day in the Life of True

By, July 19, 2017

Not only is ‘True’ the name of our photography company, it’s also one of our favorite team members. Meet our mascot – True the Dog!

True is a fun-loving goldilocked dachshund that rules the studio, and the not-so-mean streets around our building, in downtown San Diego. He spends most of his day with the team, perusing through hundreds of photos, and giving them his subtle nod of approval. When he’s not in front of the computer, he can be found napping, relaxing in our massage chair, or basking in the window light. He’s not the athletic type, though he’ll occasionally accompany team members to the corner store, while leaving his mark on random fire hydrants ;)

Fittingly, True holds the record for the most photographed dachshund in the southwestern United States. He is a natural in front of the camera, and draws inspiration from all of the portraits he personally inspects throughout the day. Here are just a few out of many many photos of True, and a special little video.

Black and white pet portrait
Dog portrait
Black and white dachshund portraits
Dachshund sleeping
Colorful urban pet photos
Colorful pet photos
Dramatic Dog Photo
Walking the dog downtown
Walking the dog
Walking the dog
Dog on a massage chair
Dog at a loft
Lazy Dachshund Dog Photo
Dachshund black and white
Black and White photo of a dog


You do you, True! Did you know we do pet photography? For a full gallery of furry friends, check out more pet photography inspiration.