Thursday, April 30, 2009

From My Portfolio: Macy's Prom Fashion Show

Check out the photos I took at the Macy's Prom Fashion show held earlier this month at the Cherry Creek Mall. I tried something risky in my editing process, but it worked out because my client, Cheryl Carter with the Auraria Higher Education Center, loved the end result!

I used the selective coloring technique in several of the images to further emphasis the subject. I've used this approach before when the background was too busy, but I didn't have any control over where the images were being photographed. I could have used my 70-200 telephoto to focus on the subject by blurring out the background with a wider depth of field, but the shooting quarters were too tight (and my smaller 75-300 would have been too slow at f4 shooting indoors).

While some clients have asked me to use selective coloring (including the wedding I will be shooting on May 23), I wasn't sure if my client in this instance would appreciate it. I knew from observing several photos Cheryl had hanging up in her office that previous university-hired photogs had used some unconventional post-processing to showcase their models, who were usually students from the campus. I thought Cheryl would be open to it, but to make sure, I emailed her two photos asking what she thought about my choice and explained to her why I thought it would work in some cases.

Here's one in all color:

Here are the same models using selective colouring:

What do you think? To me, the subjects just get lost in the background that has so much going on, it's hard to separate the models from the mannequins. Cheryl agreed with my assessment, but if she would have told me otherwise, I would have used Photoshop to try to blur out the backgrounds and focus more on the subject. Do you know of any other techniques I could use to avoid this problem of a troublesome background again? I would appreciate the help, as the selective colouring was well accepted in this format, but another client might not like the nontraditional look.

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