Shooting Portraits At Home

Before I had an in-home studio, my entire house was a studio and one of my favorite places to shoot was the kitchen because it had a North-facing bay window.

IMG_9069-1If the upside of shooting portraits in your home is that it’s convenient, the downside is that sooner or later you’re photographs are going to start looking similar. Moving or redecorating can be the most expensive alternatives so the best way to make your photographs look different is to make them look different in the digital darkroom. Here’s one way to do it.

This aspiring model was photographed in my kitchen using mostly available light with fill from an EX550 speedlight. Camera was an EOS 50 with EF 28-105mm lens and an exposure of 1/60 sec at f/4.5 and ISO 200.

IMG_9069-2One way to apply effects is using presets in Lightroom and Photoshop. In Photoshop, they’re similar to actions and are a bit more complex to install but can run within Adobe Camera RAW or Bridge via the Develop Setting menu or within Adobe Lightroom as Presets in the Develop module. Presets are tiny (4K) .XMP files and Gavin Philips has put together three different sets including Fashion FX, Chic BW, and Retro Passion.

The name of specific effects such as Color Bump Vignette, Color fade 1,2,3, Mist and Moonlight— this one is called Autumn Soft—give you a pretty good idea of what they look like but visit Gavin’s Web site to see a few before and after examples. As always keep in mind one of Farace’s Laws: All effects are subject dependent and what looks good with one image may not look that great with another, different one.

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 9.13.43 AM


To learn more about studio lighting techniques, please pick up a copy of my book, “Studio Lighting Anywhere” which is available from your favorite book or camera stores as well as including

Author: Joe Farace

Share This Post On