Barnet Workshops » Sharing Experience, Information, Inspiration

Behind the Image… Bridal, Before and After

Joe and I had a lot of fun photographing professional model Melissa in gorgeous wedding gowns for the next editions of Ceremony Magazine.  We spent the better part of the day at the beautiful Ebell Club in Los Angeles.  What an amazing building!  Everywhere you look there is artistry and elegance of a time gone by.  You could just imagine ladies in the 1920’s gathering to discuss the educational, cultural and social issues that affected their Los Angeles community.  OK, back to photography.  I wanted to share some of the retouching and enhancing techniques I used on a few select images.

On this image, I started with some basic retouching under the eyes, and knocked down the shine on her cheek.  For retouching I use the clone tool and the brush tool, both at low opacity.  I also took some liberties and reshaped her lips a little with the liquify tool.  I LOVE that tool, and so do my clients!

Side note: We use Wacom tablets in our studio for all our retouching.  The pen takes a little while to get used to, but once you do, you can get very specific in how you apply pressure using the brush tool, clone tool, etc.

Next, I softened the skin with the Pro Retouch action in Totally Rad Actions.  This is one of my favorite actions and is great for all skin types.  Pro Retouch also allows you give the eyes a little pop, which is what I did here.  Once that was done, I ran Kevin Kubota’s Creamsickle action on the whole image for a glowy, more punchy look.   This action is in the Artistic Actions Volume 4 collection.

Lighting:  The lighting was a strobe head in a medium softbox along with ambient.  Camera: Nikon D300, Lens: 24 – 70


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On the image below, I started by fixing her lips.  Do you see in the before that her teeth are showing a little?  Also the top lip on the right is raised a little high.  In the “after” image, I brought her lips together using the liquify tool, then, with the brush at 20%, I built the colors to make the shadow between the lips connect.  The interesting overall effect you see in the after is Totally Rad Actions The Revenge: “Pool Party”.   The background is actually a patio table that Joe turned on its side.  How Magiver of him!

Lighting:  The image was shot in the shade and the main light was available light reflected with a silver/gold reflector. We also had a large white panel in front of her.  The model was sitting on a step.  Camera: Nikon D3, Lens: 70-200

2-up table-2

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For this image I wanted to show you another one of Doug Boutwell’s actions I really like.  It’s called Troy and is part of the Totally Rad Actions the Revenge collection.  It warms up the image and adds a little pop.  Troy also does some interesting things to the red tones. Notice her lips in the after image.  I did very light retouching under her eyes and gave Melissa a little “digital visine” before running Troy.  The last step I did was to run a vignette to add a little drama.  I don’t vignette everything, but I do use it for effect if I think it’s going to add to the image.

Lighting:  Ambient.  Main light provided by large white reflector.  Also used a white panel on the floor in front of model.  Camera: Nikon D3, Lens: 70-200.



I hope I was able to impart some information and inspiration with this post.  If you found it helpful let me know.  I’d love to hear from you!  Plus, hearing from you gets me excited to share more Behind the Image adventures!  So take some time, get a willing friend to be a model and try some stuff yourself.  Get into photoshop and get creative.  I’m always looking for new things to try.  I’m only as good as my last job, so I always challenge myself to try something different.

  • September 17, 2009 - 10:16 am

    c.s - What stunning images 🙂 great job you two !!!!!!!!!!ReplyCancel

  • September 17, 2009 - 10:52 am

    mark byrne - Great images – thank you for sharing the behind the scenes images, i always love looking at before and after shots, yours are pretty amazing in the before state!

    All the best
    Mark ByrneReplyCancel

  • September 17, 2009 - 5:38 pm

    Amelia Thornton - Wow Mirta…thanks so much for sharing your recipies and tricks. I love hearing which actions other photographers love. I will have to try out your liquify trick on some lips some day – great idea!ReplyCancel

  • September 17, 2009 - 11:28 pm

    Melissa Allen - WOW oh WOW!! I can’t wait to see the rest of them! Thank you for bringing your artistic magic to The Ebell of Los Angeles — it was a joy to have you there!
    Director of Catering & Special Events
    The Ebell of Los AngelesReplyCancel

  • September 18, 2009 - 12:08 am

    Carrie Vines - Love the behind the scenes stuff. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • September 25, 2009 - 5:39 pm

    Audrey - Awesome! Thank you for posting this. It was very informative and I can’t wait to try some of your tips.ReplyCancel

  • October 23, 2009 - 12:54 pm

    Jan Garcia - Great post you guys. So informative…I love how you love to write about what you do. Shows true passion. Keep doing what you’re doing. If you guys are ever free for lunch in OC, I’d love to meet up.ReplyCancel

  • January 4, 2010 - 8:40 am

    courtney bowlden - thank you SO SO much for sharing! =)ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2010 - 9:22 pm

    Jeff Brooks - NICE! It’s so great to look at examples of work along with commentary. Thanks for sharing your techniques.ReplyCancel

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