When you look at this photo, what’s your first thought?
When I look at the photo my first thought is her eyes are captivating me and pulling me in. Her eyes are a cool blue color by nature and I really wanted to capture them and show them to everyone. I chose to convert to black and white to create depth. There is always something about B&W images. She’s an amazing spirit and I felt I captured it well.
There IS something about black and white. When I take my own photos, I always want to try to make the color work, since that’s how I see it at first. But when I see someone else’s B&W photo (and never see the color), it just feels right.
What’s the background story for this shot?
This image was taken for her just because. She was anxious to get in front of the camera and I had yet to shoot someone with blue eyes and blonde hair. This shot was taken in a local park even though you can barely tell. The light you see is the sun and a flash bouncing. It worked out lovely. The image’s motivation came from a self portrait image I previously posted the year prior.
How many photos did you take before you thought you had one you liked?
I honestly took about 200+ images and this image stood out in the first few 20 but she paid for a full session so I wanted to make sure she had more to choose from.
Can you walk me through what you did in post for this photo?
Whew! First I liquified her face shape just to create a little more symmetry. I got rid of the blemishes as well as discoloration through the frequency separation technique. Closely after, I made a surface blur layer as well as a high pass layer to smooth and even out the skin. I grouped these layers together and painted the effect. Then, because I had to remove her freckles, I opened a new layer and painted her some new realistic freckles. Finally, I dodged and burned on a 50% grey layer and made adjustments.
Is there a certain technique you always like to use in post?
The frequency separation technique is something I never skip. My image will never look complete. The skin just never looks right.
How long have you been a photographer?
I’ve been shooting since early 2010. So it’s been a few years of tears and leaps. A lot of ups and downs.
Why are you a photographer, what motivates you?
When I first started, what motivated me was the simple fact that I love to manipulate images and couldn’t find quality images to use. After a while, my love for that died. Then with picking up the camera playing around and shooting self portraits, I began to crave that feeling when the camera was in my hands. I loved what I was able to create. I loved that I had found my passion.
Are there any photographers you look up to?
Oh wow! So many! Emily Soto, Lara Jade, Orinary, K Rish, Brendan Forbes…on and on! So many greats I follow!
Do you always have a camera with you?
I’m actually not one of those photographers to always have a camera on me. I am an extremely paranoid person and always think the worst when I leave it in the car or something. Maybe if I shot full time I would feel differently. If I really need to photograph something I’ll bust out my iPhone.
What do you typically carry in your camera bag?
I don’t carry a crazy amount of cool gear like other people. I carry my Nikon D7000, Nikon 55-300mm lens, Nikon 85mm 1.8g, Nikon 35mm 1.8g, Nikon 50mm 1.8g, Nikon SB600, my 2 triggers, batteries, and camera charger. Sometimes I’ll carry my MacBook Pro.
What’s your next camera/equipment purchase going to be and why?
My short term purchase goal is more lights for an in home studio. Summers in Las Vegas are brutal and require an inside space to shoot in. My long term purchase goal is a full format Nikon camera. I’m not exactly sure of the model yet but I know that’s what’s next for me.
About the Photographer
Brittany Martin is a photographer working in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can find her on Facebook and view her photos at 500px.