Pandemic Photo Shoot – Add people together in a photo.

It’s already a given, people can simply cut people out, and paste them onto a picture to make it seem like they’re together. But it’s easier said than done simply because of the nature of photos being put together are different and they have to look like they were shot in the same conditions.

I recently made an asset shoot for a client, where I was asked to shoot adult models onsite, and minors in the comfort of their homes, due to safety precautions and regulations brought by the pandemic. This meant a lot of photo manipulation from my end, not to mention a lot of planning.

Below are some points I took note of that contributed in making things easier in terms of putting people together in Photoshop, which could hopefully give you insight on how to work this kind of set-up.

A shot list helps in keeping things organized. You are aware of what scene is shot where, and who is missing in the shots, if applicable. This way, you don’t end up with shots where somebody was supposed to be there, but now you either have to omit, or hope for miracle shots that work.

It goes without saying it REALLY HELPS to know the setting of the shoot, so you can accomplish an effective list. Print it out, and check off the items. Ezpz.

Light plays a big role in making a shot look organically put and everybody cohesive. You should be aware how to manipulate light and shadows to properly make people from different scenarios look like they have the same light source when put together.

Sometimes, using a single light source strong enough to manipulate the area would be sufficient enough. In my case, it was an interior shot, so shooting with the Fame V6 was ok.

It helps to make sure photos put together are shot using the same unit, or at least the same settings to make it seem like so. While sure, you can post-edit photos, it’s a great advantage to have photos naturally already look similar in terms of quality.

I’m a Canon user and have always adored the built in color science of cameras, whether it’s the Canon 5D Mark III, Canon R, or Canon R6. Using related cameras like this can always help.

Always be gritty in the focus of your camera. I ended up with shots which were supposed to be ideal, but were out of focus. It sucks, but it’s a lesson learned. Make sure focus is on point.

An external monitor helps in keeping things monitored on a bigger scale. I use a simple and cheap Feelworld External LCD, which runs on a Canon LP-E6 battery.

Not everything will be shot straight forward. Sometimes you have angled shots because of the need for it, or simply because the size and terrain would dictate it. Again, the importance of the shot list is to be reiterated here.

If it helps, be sure to have a copy of your shots, even digitally, so have a great reference of how the supporting and complementing scenes need to be shot.

That’s it! Hopefully with these tips, you should be able to put together a good composition of photos, despite subjects being shot separately. Just in case you were wondering, I was using a minimal gear set-up comprised primarily of the following:

Camera: Canon 5D Mark III
Lens: Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 L
Lens 2: Sigma 50mm f/1.4
Light: Rimelight Fame 4 with Beauty Dish
Light 2: Aputure Amran AL-M9
LCD Monitor: Feelworld FW568
Tripod: Benro A2573F

If you found this helpful or insightful, be sure to share this, and send this post to somebody who could use these tips!

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