Free Action Set


  • Photo Session Styling: Sisters Vintage Farmhouse Shoot

    I’m excited to share our “Haunted Farmhouse Shoot” shoot with you on the blog today…

    I first posted a few pics from this session back in March, but so many of you requested the styling details on this shoot that I had Mrs. Gatsby (who does most of our session styling) pull a post together… so, here goes… let me introduce you to my better half…

    Session Styling by Mrs. Gatsby:

    I had so much fun styling this session with these two sweet sisters!  I love when we get the opportunity to style sessions, and these two silly girls were a joy to work with!

    Photo Session Styling: Sisters Vintage Farmhouse Shoot | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets

    When I start planning a shoot, I typically start with my notebook of ideas/concepts.  I typically keep a notebook with me at all times (I’m a list maker), and when I see something that sparks an idea for a potential shoot, I jot down a note or sketch that I can reference later.  Yes, I know, actual pen and paper… I’m a little old school in that respect ; )  I also keep categorized Pinterest inspiration boards where I can pin images that inspire ideas for shoots such as hairstyles, scenery, locations, outfit inspirations, etc.  They are a great reference point for bringing a concept together!   I definitely recommend finding some method of getting your ideas down when you have them because, if you’re anything like me, you’ll forget them almost as soon as you have them!

    For this shoot, in particular, the inspiration actually came from one of our old family photographs.  I was looking through one of Josh’s Great Grandmother’s albums (she was very into photography in the 20’s and 30’s… how cool is that?!), and I found the inspiration picture.  It sparked the idea of a vintage country styled session with two sisters, so I filed the idea away for just the right session…

    Photo Session Styling: Sisters Vintage Farmhouse Shoot | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets

    I typically have “go to” clothing brands for certain looks.  For children’s vintage styled clothes, two of these brands are Blu Pony Vintage and Dagmar Daley, which the girls wore here.  We styled Race in a cranberry colored dress by Blu Pony Vintage with gorgeous saddle style shoes by Joyfolie and lace trimmed knee socks.  We kept her hair simple with a bow clip, also by Joyfolie, to add a little interest.  I loved the cranberry color of Race’s dress for this shoot because (1) it was fitting with the vintage theme of the shoot and (2) since we were going to be shooting with two subjects, I didn’t want either outfit to overpower the other.  This cranberry color allowed me to add a color that could stand alone for solo pics while still allowing for the addition of a second subject in other shots.

    For her sister, we obviously wanted to keep with the same vintage feel, but in a different, complimentary color way.  I typically shy away from a matching color scheme in sessions with multiple subjects.  In my opinion, different, but complimentary, tones add so much more interest to a photo with more than one subject.  For Pyper, we chose a taupe/gray dress by Dagmar Daley, and to add a little interest, as well as to tie back to the lace detail in Race’s dress, we added a Lace trimmed skirt by Jak and Peppar as an under layer.  I find that layering as well as choosing fabrics with texture is a great way to give an outfit subtle interest.  Pyper’s boots are some of my all-time favorites, again by Joyfolie, and we completed her outfit with a multi colored necktie and an emerald colored hairpin (both vintage) to add a pop of color to her more muted outfit.  For me, pops of color are another key!

    Photo Session Styling: Sisters Vintage Farmhouse Shoot | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets

    As for the location… that was all Joshua!  He scouted out a few spots in a rural country setting that we’ve shot at before, but stumbling upon this gorgeous 1900s farmhouse was pure chance… Don’t you love when that happens?!  The owners couldn’t have been nicer about letting us shoot in front of their home, and honestly, those images made the session for me!

    Thanks for letting me blog today… I enjoyed sharing my process for styling this shoot with you!  Would you like to see more session styling details featured in future blog posts?

    Photo Session Styling: Sisters Vintage Farmhouse Shoot | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom PresetsPhoto Session Styling: Sisters Vintage Farmhouse Shoot | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets

    *All Color images were edited with a combination of actions from the Innocence and Three Nails Collections.  All Black & White images were edited with actions and overlays from the Wet Plate Collection.

  • Photo Session Styling Secrets: Hair

    I’m finishing up the final edits to a session I did a while back at a warehouse location (that just happens to be a favorite of mine), and I’m reminded of a post that I’ve been meaning to share.  It’s a styling tips and tricks of sorts… and its name is Drybar… (btw, this is a completely unendorsed post).

    Clearly, technique, lighting, posing and experience are the obvious necessities to creating a beautifully composed image, but one, often overlooked, component is styling.  In my experience, the styling that goes into a session is actually incredibly important in helping me achieve the overall image quality I want.  Unfortunately for me, I’m a guy, with no skills in this area.  (Little known fact:  My wife, Mrs. Gatsby, tends to do the majority of the clothing styling for our shoots… but where it comes to MUAH “Makeup and Hair,” Mrs. Gatsby says she’s out of her element.)

    When I’m working on a larger planned shoot, I tend to bring in an onsite stylist to handle hair and makeup (Sidebar: For shoots with children, we don’t use any makeup; in my opinion, they show up much better in camera with the natural glow their skin already has.).  For smaller shoots, where budget is more of a concern, or for more impromptu shoots I turn to my not so secret, secret… Drybar.

    Photography Session Styling Secrets: Hair | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets

    Drybar is simply what the name describes, a styling bar.  They have a menu of hairstyles you can choose from if you don’t have a pre-determined look you’re going for, or, like I typically do, you can bring in a photo of a hairstyle you’ve pre-selected to fit the theme of the shoot.  It’s a much more cost-effective approach to getting a fully styled look, and in my opinion, a much more polished image.  It really is all in the details, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to address those details.  (Sidebar: There are many different chains offering these styling services, so I’m sure if there isn’t a Drybar in your area, there’s probably something similar).

    Now, back to the session I’m finishing up.  We chose (or I should say, Mrs. Gastby, chose) an airy Tutu Du Monde dress and paired it with a blush floral crown for the shoot.  The blush pink hues really worked well with our model, Kennedy’s, olive skin tone and dark hair, and our Drybar stylist did a beautiful job of working the floral crown into the long curls we wanted for the shoot.  Here are a few of my favorite images from this session edited with actions from the Innocence Collection.

    Photography Session Styling Secrets: Hair | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom PresetsPhotography Session Styling Secrets: Hair | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom PresetsPhotography Session Styling Secrets: Hair | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom PresetsPhotography Session Styling Secrets: Hair | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets

  • Shooting In The Snow At 200mm

    It's not very often that we get snow here in Texas, but as soon as we saw it coming down we threw on our heavy clothes and headed outside.  Our little man still wasn't quite sure what snow was, and it was an experience for him that I definitely wanted to capture.  Sometimes it's hard to find the balance between capturing the moment or putting the camera down and just sharing in the fun, but his elation over the snow was just too wonderful not to have lasting tangible memories of it.

    To keep the snow off my gear, I balanced an umbrella on my shoulder while I shot.  Did I look ridiculous?  Yes.  Did the neighbors probably get a good laugh at my front yard antics?  Most likely.  And, should I have remembered to have my wife take a picture of me taking pictures of my son so that you could all see my crazy setup?  Absolutely!  Oh well, next time, next time.... Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to keep the snow off of your camera.

    Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets | Shooting In The Snow At 200mm

    It wasn't snowing very hard, but shooting at 200mm allowed me create the illusion that it was.  This is because there was more distance between my lens and my subject, which means more snowflakes in my line of sight.

    As I was snapping photos of him playing, I wanted to ensure the snowflakes didn't contain any motion blur.  I always shoot in manual, and I typically set my aperture first.  In this shot, once I set the aperture to f/2.0, I set my shutter speed to 1/1000s to avoid motion blur from his hands and feet.  This also allowed me to effectively freeze the snowflakes in place.  Then, I raised my ISO to 500 to achieve the correct in-camera exposure.  I've listed my gear and settings below:

    Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
    Lens: Canon 200mm f/2.0
    Focal Length: 200mm
    Aperture: f/2.0
    Shutter: 1/1000s
    ISO: 500
     

    This image was edited with actions from the Innocence Collection: Emotional Color Base then added Paddington @ 40% opacity (added rich contrast and turned the greens from warm to cool) and Polar Express @ 20% opacity (enhanced the temperature and added a clean fresh tone).

    Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets | Shooting In The Snow At 200mm
     
  • Boho Styled Shoot

    Flowers in November?  I'm still in disbelief that it was 80 degrees for our last fall session, but I think it was a sign as to how amazing this shoot would be.  Even more amazing was my model, Race Austyn, who rocked this session donning a boho-inspired Jak & Peppar outfit. All images were edited with actions from both the Innocence Collection & the Three Nails Collection.

    Boho Styled Shoot | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom PresetsBoho Styled Shoot | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom PresetsBoho Styled Shoot | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom PresetsBoho Styled Shoot | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets

  • How To Post Sharper Images On Facebook In 2015

    I'm constantly asked, “How do you get your images so sharp on Facebook?” BUT the real question is, “How do I minimize Facebook’s image compression?”

    Well… there’s a Photoshop Action for that, and you can download it for FREE from the link below.  My Exact Dimension Resize and Sharpen action is one of the 12 actions included in our free action set,  This action properly converts your image from a high-res photo to an optimized web file, and is perfect for any social media platform.

    www.greaterthangatsby.com/free-photoshop-actions/

     

    How To Post Sharper Images On Facebook | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets

     

    Facebook allows for a maximum image size of 2048px on the longest size, but still claims that the optimal size for posting is 960px. Within the past few months, Facebook has made changes to their compression algorithm, and I noticed these dimensions were not  working for me anymore.

    After much trial and error, these are the dimensions that I now use:

    • Landscape images - 2000px (longest side)
    • Portrait images - 1600px (longest side)

    When you run the Exact Dimension Resize & Sharpen action, your high-res image will be duplicated, converted to low-res and resized to the dimensions you specified.  You will also see that a Web Sharpen layer has been created above the Background layer in the Layers Palette. The Web Sharpen layer opacity defaults to 50%.  To ensure your image is not over-sharpened you will need to reduce the layer opacity.

    When you’re ready to save your image, go to File > Save for Web.  Most people save their web images a JPEGs, but I personally achieve better results on Facebook by saving my images as PNG files (PNG-24 to be exact).  Below is an example:

     
     

    How To Post Sharper Images On Facebook | Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions & Lightroom Presets

     

    By no means am I saying that this is the only way to do this, or even the correct way; this is just my way.  I have had success using these new dimensions, but I have a feeling that Facebook compression will change again in the future and I will need to update this post.

    To learn more of my tips and tricks, check out our new Gatsby Gathering Facebook group! This group was created to provide a safe and secure environment, where photographers of all skill levels can post images and ask questions related to Greater Than Gatsby products.

5 Item(s)