Why you always need to grey card - from a top Silicon Valley Corporate Headshot Photographer
Ever wonder why I always have an assistant pop one of those little rectangular color charts in front of you before we photograph? It's for white balance. Yep. Seems odd. The whole concept is complicated but essentially you need to have a the true version of the color under the lighting that you will be using as a test photo. Below are examples of my assistants having a blast and making silly faces and mugging while holding the chart.
Here's how you use the thing. You take a photo with the chart under the subject's face (ie. most important part of your photo). Then you start taking your photos as normal. If you change your lighting during the shoot you need to do another chart so that you ensure the color is accurate. When you bring the photos into post production you will reference this chart and click on the middle grey color with your white balance tool to adjust the photo so it is accurate. It is especially important to use this chart when photographing portraits outside as the color temperature changes when it's cloudy, to sunny, to half sunny and half cloudy. It is your best tool to ensure you have the best photos you can. Without this tool you are just winging it and that really is not professional.
You can also buy a smaller version of this chart to put on a lanyard and it comes in white, grey and black and is the x-rite version. This is great for situations when the sun and clouds are constantly changing.
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