photography

Top things Photoshop Can’t Fix - from a San Francisco Corporate Headshot and Event Photographer

Top things Photoshop Can’t Fix - from a San Francisco Corporate Headshot and Event Photographer

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You’ve probably heard someone say it before: why pay for professional photography when you can just ‘shop it later? But Photoshop, like any other image editing software, is far from magic. If you rely on it instead of getting good shots in the first place, you could end up with a pile of poor-quality images and regrets, and Photoshop can’t fix that! If the job at hand is “get high quality photos,” there’s no avoiding it—you’re going to need a professional photographer, not a propensity for Photoshopping. Here’s three reasons why you should avoid relying on post-production to save you: Poses and Expressions, Photographers Need Mad Skills, and Correction is Expense.

1. Poses and Expressions

Image manipulation software like Photoshop can come with some impressive features, but none of them replaces the technique and experience of a good photographer. Not every photographer knows how to fix every issue in a photo, and basics like getting the right pose or expression aren’t fixable.

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2. Photographers Need Mad Skills

There are several pitfalls of rushed, poorly-composed or improperly-lit pictures that no amount of image editing can fix. For example, problems like blur, poor focus, or too much/too little light can result in missing, washed-out or burned-out details that simply can’t be restored with editing. These are some of the main traits of a poor-quality image, and there’s no magic app that can compensate for those to turn it into a high-quality image. But getting these things right in the first place takes skill.

3. Correction is Expense

Moreover, the best image-editing software out there is expensive and complex precisely because these programs are professional tools, meant for use by experts in photography who already know they’ll be dealing with skillful camera work. Without the technique that goes into taking those shots, there won’t be much to work with! The longer the photographer or post-production expert needs to work on the photo to fix it, the more expensive it is for your company’s pocketbook. If there are major flaws with the photos, it will take a lot of extra time to fix them. On average, straightforward portrait image manipulation takes about an hour per photo (see my previous article here). It’s a myth that photographers do all their own post production, too. The majority of the time it is contracted out. The costs add up.

In short, there’s no substitute for the composition, lighting, prep work, and general expertise a real pro can bring to a shoot. Getting good shots and avoiding problems in the first place will beat messing around with retouching software that can’t solve those problems, every time.

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So the real question is this: why pay in money, time and hassle using image editors to make messy shots messier, when you can leave it to a professional who’ll be worth your time?

If you like what you’ve read in this post, why not visit and subscribe to my blog, google+, google website, and LinkedIn? And stay tuned for an upcoming post on what Photoshop and other image editors can fix!

If you’d like to book a photoshoot with San Francisco’s top Corporate Headshot and Event photographer, contact me today for a quote and a list of locations that’ll make the shoot a success!


San Francisco Personal Brand Photographer, Corporate Brand Photographer, Corporate Headshot and Event Photographer  

1559 Sloat Blvd Ste B #296 San Francisco, CA 94132 liz@lizcaruana.com

New Year Reflections for your best year yet, Top San Francisco Corporate Headshot and Event Photographer

New Year Reflections for your best year yet, Top San Francisco Corporate Headshot and Event Photographer

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The end of a calendar year and start of a new one is a natural time to reflect on the past year. 2018 was full of lessons learned (link to work-life blog), moments of pride (humble brag!) and new relationships cultivated while old ones were fostered. Here are some of the stand-out highlights from 2018:

  1. Speaking of cultivating relationships, working with new clients is something that fills this photographer’s bucket to the brim! Orbis Investment Management was a new client to me in 2018 and not only was I able to photograph them at the top of the iconic Transamerica building (a dream location!), I also put my problem solving skills to the test by shooting on a white background and flipping it to blue. Not to mention, the slanted ceilings of their space provided an additional challenge that I was thrilled to rise to (pun intended!). <insert photo from shoot>.

  2. Another new-to-me and great client was Alpine Investors. Their fabulous Marketing Director enlisted me to revamp their portraits in the style of a Vogue or Vanity Fair shoot; a challenge right up my alley as some of those renowned portrait photographers have served as my muse over the years. Final Alpine portraits are still in review but I’ll be sure to share them on my website once they’re approved.

  3. Rounding out my list of highlights was the news that I was accepted as a Personal Brand Photographer on my mentor’s vetted list! Bear with me as I humble brag for a minute because this is a BIG FREAKING DEAL!  Jamie Swanson is a powerhouse in the field of business and personal brand photography and I have been following, admiring and learning from her for years. Her screening process for mentorship is rigorous. She evaluates not just the body of work from an applicant, but skill level, communication abilities and more. She is highly respected in her field and it is an absolute honour to be accepted as a mentee, among the ranks of some incredible photographers. To say I’m looking forward to what this year has to bring in terms of learning and growing under Jamie would be an understatement! Stay tuned for more as our mentor/mentee relationship grows throughout this year.

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There you have it. Another year in the books and a great one at that. What are some of the things you’re celebrating from the past year? If you haven’t taken a moment to reflect, I encourage you to do so. It’s a great exercise and is valuable when it comes to goal-mapping for the upcoming year. I’m looking forward to adding to the tools in my kit, learning from the best in the game and meeting new clients as well as connecting with old ones. As always, I’m grateful for the support of my clients this past year. If we haven’t yet worked together, contact me today and perhaps you’ll be on my list of 2019 highlights!

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Keep followingmy blog, where I share tips, tricks and insights as one of San Francisco’s Top Corporate Headshot and Event Photographers.You can also connect with me on mygoogle+ page andLinkedIn.


San Francisco Personal Brand Photographer, Corporate Brand Photographer, Corporate Headshot and Event Photographer  

1559 Sloat Blvd Ste B #296 San Francisco, CA 94132 liz@lizcaruana.com 

Tip of the Week: Be More Than Prepared for a Corporate Headshot Shoot - from a top san francisco corporate headshot photographer

Tip of the Week: Be More Than Prepared for a Corporate Headshot Shoot - from a top san francisco corporate headshot photographer

The deposit check was in, the assistants booked, and the shots were planned. But the client still hadn't asked for final numbers and seemed pretty content to just “wing it” the next day at our shoot. 

Some photographers here in San Francisco might find this a bit nail-biting — but for me, I see it as a great opportunity to really WOW the client. Simply by being more than prepared. 

A super relaxed approach is fine — but the details, the planning, they still need to be there so everyone can be relaxed on the day. To make sure I was more than ready for this shoot, I prepped a full treatment that included, shot list, call sheet, example photos, full detailed estimate and terms and conditions.

I made sure to include examples of poses and lighting for reference, a shot list, and even a rough timing for the number of photos I knew the client was looking to come out with. This meant I could arrive on the day of the shoot and know exactly how long it would take, but still give the client the level of flexibility I knew they needed to get the best photos done. 

Being more than prepared also means being specific. And that means talking to your client. What’s the final use of the photos? Will you need more horizontal than vertical layouts? Will these be running in a carousel on your homepage or blown up to hang in the office? It’s super important to understand the use and the audience with you prepare a detailed treatment. 

Bottom line: always aim to wow the heck out of your client so they know that you know what you’re doing. Above all, you want to inspire confidence in them that you’ve got all your bases covered and you can do what they need.

If you like this post please consider following my blog as well as my google+ page.

If would like to book a San Francisco Corporate Headshot photo shoot with me, contact me today.

Men's Look Book Photoshoot - From a top San Francisco Lifestyle Fashion and Sports Fitness Fashion Photographer

I love Look Book Shoots!!!!! I'm serious. They are so so so much fun!!! If you know me, you know I'm really in my element in the studio where I get to help a client create images of the designs they've worked so many hours on.

Frequently you'll see women's lookbooks, but I really enjoy the men's lookbooks as there is more a challenge with them. Posing a man like a high fashion model is not appropriate for a look book, so you really need to be able to connect with the model immediately and get great expressions, and flattering poses that show off the clothing. Check out the images below or my entire studio portfolio to see examples of the work I do with my clients.

Inquire today about your shoot.

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If you like this post please consider following my blog as well as my google+ page.

If would like to book a lookbook photo shoot with me, contact me today.

New lifestyle fashion work - from a top san francisco lifestyle fashion and sports fitness fashion photographer

I was so happy to work with Jenn Bonnett for my lifestyle fashion photography shoot.

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I've been pining over doing a shoot in the Lands End area of San Francisco for years and finally found the right stylist to work with me on it. Jenn and I spent many an hour brainstorming concepts and coming up ways to have the shoot look effortless and fun.

I think we really succeeded on this one as all the elements came together. We had fantastic models, great weather, and gorgeous scenery. If you've never been to Lands End, it literally is the Lands End. There is no more San Francisco at this point. It sits atop steep cliffs and never ending stair cases with epic views of the beach, the ocean and the Marin Headlands. In San Francisco on a clear warm day, it doesn't get much better than this. Our models came from both Scout and Stars and proved to be great choices. Our hair and make up artist was Tacha Scott Santana owner of Dream Girl Make Up Institute. Tacha always does an amazing job and I could not be happier with the work she does.

When putting together a shoot with multiple models it's really important that the girls match. This can be pretty challenging as they not only need to match height wise photographically, but they also need to be able to instantly connect so that they portray that they are friends. Lucky for us we keep a pretty light atmosphere on set and everyone became fast friends. I wish I could do this shoot over again except without the camera so that I could hang out and enjoy the beautiful sunset at the end of the day.

Thank you ladies for an amazing photoshoot. I couldn't have done it without this amazing team that I get to work with!

Check out the rest of the images from the shoot below.

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If you like this post please consider following my blog as well as my google+ page.

If would like to book a sports fitness photo shoot with me, contact me at lizcaruana@gmail.com or go to my website www.lizcaruana.com to see more of my work.