Caroline Duncan Photography » Bendigo, Daylesford, Ballarat, Echuca, Shepparton and surrounds wedding and portrait photography

How long has it been since your family portraits were updated? Does your mum wish that she had decent photos of all the family together?

Mother’s Day is just around the corner! Give mum the gift of family photos this year with my Mother’s Day portrait special. For $275 I’m offering gift vouchers for a 30 minute on-location session in Bendigo, for up to six people per session.

Mum will get 10 downloadable digital images afterwards AND an 8×10 print of each photo (prints normally valued at $150).

Contact me by email at caroline@carolineduncan.com.au or phone 0449 257 776 to organise your voucher.

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I was recently asked by Danish company Sleeklens to review a set of their Lightroom presets for photographers. The set they asked me to review is called Strike A Pose Portrait Workflow.

The set comes with 69 portrait presets and 62 different adjustment brushes as well as a set of “recipes” to help quickly apply a range of effects and adjustments to images.

I do most of my photo editing in Lightroom, so I was quite keen to try out something new I could use with my editing software of choice. I love being able to batch edit in Lightroom and only ever open up Photoshop for things like Liquify or having to do a face swap. As a general rule, I don’t use a lot of commercial presets and tend to use some that I’ve made myself and apply to my images for a consistent look when editing. I’ve had mixed results when purchasing presets in the past and honestly only use a few from time-to-time in my edits. I also have a few trusty old adjustment brushes I tend to use when editing portraits from family, children or bridal sessions.

So I wasn’t expecting I’d be thrilled with Sleeklens, but cautiously gave it a test-drive nevertheless.

After playing around with the various presets and brushes for a while, I started to get the hang of them.  I liked the pop of colour and the warmth I was able to give to my images with Sleeklens without too much manual adjustment:

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In fact some of the presets allowed me to achieve, in just a few clicks, what I would normally spend a lot of time trying to achieve manually:

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While other presets and light adjustments in the package allowed me to create more dreamy images:

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I’m always a big fan of high-key black and white portraits, and I found that with the Sleeklens Strike A Pose Portrait Workflow I was able to achieve the result that I usually strive for, while adjustment brushes let me bring out additional highlights of the subject’s features:

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When photographing families with babies or very young children, it’s not always possible to shoot in the “golden hour” before sunset because their sleep schedules make it impractical. I really liked that “add golden sun” adjustment helped to make images look as though they were taken at a different time of day, without being too saturated in yellow. This one was captured at around 10am on a summer morning, not a time I generally like shooting at:

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Skin tone is something I constantly stress about in post-production. I will definitely be incorporating elements of this Sleeklens set in my portrait workflow moving forward, as it allowed me to effortlessly achieve realistic skintone representation over and over again:

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The Sleeklens Strike A Pose Portrait Workflow is reasonably priced compared to many other Lightroom presets packages on the markt at $31 USD for the bundle. At that price point it is worth giving it a shot, especially if you shoot a lot of portaits outdoors like I do.

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That being said, there were quite a few presets in the bundle that just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t like how they made my images look and would have required a LOT of manual adjustment to make them presentable. But there are a handful that I was quite impressed with, along with most of the adjustment brushes, and I look forward to the next session that I edit and incorporating them into my workflow.

This review was not paid and I received nothing except for the package to test-drive in exchange for my published comments.

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Charlotte + Stephen were married on a warm summer’s day by the banks of the mighty Murray River at Morning Glory River Resort, in NSW – close to Barmah in Victoria and not far from Moama in NSW.

They were surrounded by family and friends who had traveled from around the world to wish them well on their big day and danced the night away inside the rustic, charming venue.

 

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