Lightroom Tips

My Weekend Photo Session for a Friend

Hey folks. Here’s a photo I took this weekend and I thought I’d give you the low-down on the setup for a shot I call “Super Baby!” (get it, low down, set up – I know, it’s bad 🙂 ). Anyway, a good friend of mine, Derek, asked me to photograph his wife and new baby. He assured me the baby was really great and when that happens you can usually count on a miserable day. But let me tell you – she was the cutest, happiest, best-behaved baby I’ve seen in a long time. I’ve never photographed a more pleasant child and I don’t think she cried once. As for the set up – here goes:
1) Photo taken with a Nikon D200 and a Nikon 17-55 2.8 lens
2) f/11 at 1/160th of a second. ISO was set to 400 (I forgot to change my ISO from my previous shoot – insert expletive %&$# here!)
3) No tripod and I didn’t shoot tethered into Lightroom. With the baby, there was just too much moving around.
4) White Backdrop
5) Lighting – Elinchrom Octa Light Bank (I’m in love with it!). Scott Kelby did a write up about it on his blog so make sure you check it out to find out more.
6) Props: A white rattle with a little Santa Claus on the end of it and lots of goofy adults standing behind me waving and making funny faces and sounds (OK, I may have made a few funny sounds too but not funny faces).
7) Not much done to this one in Lightroom. I increased the Exposure setting by about 1/2 stop. Bumped Clarity to around 40 and used the HSL panel to boost reds and blues (shirt and jeans).
8. I moved into Photoshop only to remove some spots/folds/wrinkles from the white backdrop and a little selective sharpening on the eyes.

A big thanks to my pal RC for helping me out during this shoot. Plus, he reminded me early on that I had my B&W polarizer on the lens. After all, why wouldn’t you want a polarizer on before a studio shoot? Seriously, I always forget to take it off, and I couldn’t figure out why my shutter speed was so slow. Thanks RC 🙂



  1. artyom 29 November, 2007 at 21:10 Reply

    hi, i am new to photography and your site just rocks. i was wondering if you made those white borders on the pic above in the lightroom, if you did then how, and if you didn’t then how? i would appreciate it.

  2. mattk 27 November, 2007 at 12:02 Reply

    Hey everyone:

    Ian – If you’re a NAPP member there should be a tutorial on it on the NAPP member website.

    Richard – Seriously, it happens to me way too much. You’d think I’d be better at it by now but nope – it still happens. Can’t count how many photos I’ve ruined.

    Steve – Unfortunately I just live. I don’t seem to have the “learn” part mastered yet 🙂

    Tore – Yep. I actually wrote an article on it for Photoshop User magazine a few months ago. I’ll see if I can post it on here.

    Thanks everyone!
    Matt K

  3. Richard Whetton 26 November, 2007 at 21:23 Reply

    Hi Matt, you just listed my two most commonly occuring issues – forgetting to adjust the ISO back down and forgetting to take the Polorizer off! Glad to know I’m not the only one!

  4. Ian 26 November, 2007 at 19:08 Reply

    Hey Matt, nice photo and great site, really helpful and well put together! I was wondering if you could give me some info on using PS to sharpen just around the eyes as you mention. I’m using LR and CS3, or if you could point me in the right direction. Thanks for your time and all your tips!

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