Sleeklens recently offered JFP an opportunity to review their Strike A Pose Portrait Workflow. They provided us with the Adobe Lightroom preset bundle ($39) -- saying they liked our portrait work -- and asked us to put the software to the test. So we arranged a downtown Saratoga Springs, N.Y., session with fitness model Haley Diane (hair and makeup by Alayne Curtis of Make Me Fabulous) with the intent of editing the photos in Lightroom only (with the Sleeklens software doing the heavy lifting).
Typically for a model session, we begin our editing in Lightroom. Then we transfer the photo to ON1 Photo 10. Finally, we often go to Adobe Photoshop for final touches.
Needless to say, we are interested in exploring anything that might make our process more time effective. For example, the thought of being able to work solely in Lightroom (which -- let's just get this out there -- is what the Sleeklens software allows us to do) is very appealing.
The above photo of Haley is a finished product, and it never left Lightroom. Here's the image's starting point (with JFP's personal Lightroom settings applied):
Simply put, the Strike A Pose Portrait Workflow (which consists of 69 portrait presets and 62 portrait brushes) allows us to punch up a portrait relatively quickly. The process is definitely quicker than utilizing three programs, and you can achieve a wide range of looks with the software.
Here's another photo from our shoot with Haley (this is the starting point):
And here's the finished image (for us, editing doesn't always mean doing a lot -- it means getting the image to the place we intended it to be when we pushed the shutter button):
The Strike A Pose Portrait Workflow's 69 presets are intended to be stacked. So, we start working with these after we have imported our raw images into Lightroom, applied the JFP settings (contrast, clarity, etc.), and corrected for exposure and white balance. At that point, we work to find a base Sleeklens preset that fits the vibe we're going for. They come with names like "Beach Glow" and they impact the overall look of your photo. If you like a particular look but want it to be a little less/more strong, it's easy enough to move your Lightroom sliders. (We quickly found a few base presets that fit the JFP style.) After, we begin to stack Sleeklens presets that address exposure, color correction, tone/tint, polish (i.e., sharpening or softening), and vignette. They all work together nicely.
Finally, we head to the Strike A Pose Portrait Workflow's 62 portrait brushes, which are designed to address everything from eyes to skin to haze. We love having these brushes at our disposal. They are perfect for adding final touches to our photos, and they keep us from wasting time fiddling around and trying to create brushes to address whatever issue we may be facing.
And, of course, if we have a series of photos with the same exposure, we can copy and paste the majority of our settings. We edited about 60 raw images from Haley's shoot -- without ever leaving Lightroom -- in an hour or so. That's definitely faster than our pre-Sleeklens workflow (thank you, Sleeklens).
Here's one more starting point photo:
And here's the finished photo:
We hope this is helpful. And, if you end up purchasing the Strike A Pose Portrait Workflow from Sleeklens, please tell them JFP sent you. :)
Did you know that Jeff and Jeanette, the husband-wife team that make up JFP, have a camera to thank for their marriage? Jeff was working as a photographer and Jeanette was working as a model ... The rest is, as they say, history!