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Sisters & Friends: Perfectly Imperfect

It’s not often I get to see my friend Julie who lives abroad with her girls. She was only in Los Angeles for one full day before she got on another plane. Julie’s daughter has modeled for me before and she introduced me to Hannah and her sister Madelyn a year or so earlier. We decided to make the most of our time together and let the girls (friends for years) visit while simultaneously having a little photography fun at the same time.

Everyone met up at my house and dressed for the shoot… The only issue was that the light wasn’t cooperating. Earlier in the day it had been very overcast, perfect for natural light, but just before they arrived, the clouds parted and the sun started shining… harshly. We decided to allow the light to soften a bit and I thru up a backdrop in my dining room. It was wrinkled from lack of use and sloppy storage on my part but I wasn’t in the mood to iron. (Who is?)

The light coming in through my French doors was also stronger than I was used to. Typically if I shoot inside, I use a different spot, but that area wasn’t big enough to accommodate three girls. This would fit everyone but the light was very contrasty, not as bad as outside, but nearly!

I have never been a perfectionist. When I am in a situation, whatever the limitiations, I tend to accept them and decide I will incorporate the challenges into my final product. So my challenges were wrinkes and contrasy light. I felt I could deal with that and so we spent the next hour indoors, playing with different ideas and poses.

This was probably my favorite pose and moment of the day. I asked the girls to pose like this as I wanted all three to be shot from the side but looking towards the camera. You can see in the pose how comfortable the girls are with one another. Their sisterhood and friendship is expressed in the easy intimacy of their closeness.

Later that evening, when the shoot had finished, I came home and downloaded these images. I knew immediately they would look wonderful if I edited in an Old Masters-inspired way, using the strong directional light for the dramatic contrast. I added a Painterly Texture to both darken and transform the backdrop from wrinkled sheet to painterly canvas.

In addition to hand-edits in ACR and Photoshop, I also used my QuickFlow Actions and Tints set. It’s funny how I envisioned that set for down and dirty quick edits but now I use it on everything, including my most painterly images.

To see all my steps and watch me edit, check out the Sisters and Friends tutorial. And if you want to edit right along with me on my original RAW file, you can purchase that in the PLUS version for only $15 more.

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Sisters & Friends: Perfectly Imperfect

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