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Chic Critique is THE elite magazine, community, & resource for women who love photography (yes, we’re biased!)
Our mission: critique | confidence | community
Get your CHIC on with our Celebrity Photographers who inspire, teach, and critique to help increase confidence and improve your images!

WHY ARE CRITIQUES IMPORTANT | CELEBRITY MODERATOR

Why are critiques important?  Courtney Dailey of Courtney Dailey Photography is here to tell you why !  She is our Monthly Mentor in the forum and you can ask her questions and get advice!  Not a Forum Member?  Get in on all the action HERE and hang out with Courtney!

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Courtney Dailey Photography

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HOT LIGHTS IN BEAUTY | TEACHING TUESDAY

We are excited to share the amazing Courtney Dailey of Courtney Dailey Photography today as she shares gives the scoop on Beauty Photography.  Don’t forget that Courtney is in the forum all month as our Monthly Mentor!  

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Courtney Dailey Photography

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BEAUTY PHOTO OFTEN HAS THE APPEARANCE OF BEING SIMPLE, YOU’RE ONLY SHOOTING THE MODELS UPPER TORSO AND FACE, AFTER ALL. HOW TOUGH COULD IT BE?

IN REALITY, BEAUTY PHOTOGRAPHY CAN BE ONE OF THE TOUGHEST GENRES TO SHOOT! ITS BECAUSE THE SUBJECT HAS TO CONCENTRATE ON HER EXPRESSIONS, TO THE POINT OF MICRO MANAGEMENT WHILE THE PHOTOGRAPHER HIGHLIGHTS THE PRODUCT THEY ARE TRYING TO SELL; THE MAKEUP.

In order to make a dramatic image with strong light work you must have a subject with great skin, symmetry and who’s comfortable on camera. Shooting beauty with new talent, can be tough, because shooting beauty is about little movements, versus large  smooth transitions, like in fashion.

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For this set I wanted Nydia’s warm caramel skin to just glow. She has great skin, so I knew I wanted to shoot with some harsh hot light. Hot lights not only give the skin this skinkissed look, but it also gives me the ability to shoot video while I shoot my stills. That’s a massive plus in the commercial world!

Camera

First, the details: I captured this image using a handheld, but I shouldn’t have done that. Why? Even when shooting with flash, there is always some motion blur. It was shot on a Canon 7D, ISO 800, open at f3.2 on a 28-75 Tamron.

Distance from camera to subject was about 4 feet. Nydia was seated behind a TriFlector, so it was fairly easy for her to maintain balance. She did have some trouble with the lights in her eyes, which made it difficult for me to get pictures of her without her squinting.

Lights

The best directional light is a spot Fresnel. I like the color the Fresnel gives with a 80C blue correction filter on it. Normally I’d use an 80B, but I knew I wanted the background to be blue from the strobe I’d be using on the background. If I took to much warmth from the subjects main light (the Fresnel) id be dealing with a blue mess.. The Fresnel was open to allow a large circle of area, so the model could move without drastic light changes. I flagged the sides of the light with the lights barndoors while also using actual flags to the sides of Fresnel to block the light from hitting my background.

Behind Nydia are 1 light, a Westcott Strobelite with an umbrella facing the back wall and a few mirrors tilted to give interesting reflections. There is a mirror to the models left and behind. Since I slightly corrected the main light, it allowed tmy subject to still be warmly lit, while giving my background a nice blue glow.

 Join Courtney all month in the Forum!

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COURTNEY DAILEY | CELEBRITY PHOTOGRAPHER

Chic Critique is excited to have Courtney Dailey of Courtney Dailey Photography be our Monthly Mentor in the Forum.  She will be sharing her expertise exclusively in the forum!  Each Monthly Mentor creates a video just for you and will answer any questions you may have regarding their video & business ALL MONTH LONG…so bring it!

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logo 150x150 As a Beauty photographer, Courtney Dailey knows the business of beauty. Based in Los Angeles, she leads teams of beauty experts creating images from prep to post. Known for her use of color, she delivers imagery that is colorful, dramatic and confident. She feels all images should communicate concepts, stories or evoke feelings.

Receiving her B.A. in Communications from Oakland University, she has the ability to help her clients oversee projects from Concept/Creation/Post-production.  Since 2012 Courtney has been touring with Mentor Sandy Puc, on her “hands on tour” and become a highly sought after mentor on her site photobeautycoach.com

Courtney is in the process of “greening” her studio and is one of the few photographers who can offer eco friendly shooting options. Sites like Womens Health, the Huffington Post and the Daily Green.com have featured her work for her participation in the green fashion community.

Since her arrival in Los Angeles, Courtney has shot for numerous international magazines, campaigns and celebrities. She was recently featured in Allure, Elle and Vanidades and was chosen as one of FJ Westcott Lighting’s “Top 50 Professionals”.

A note from Courtney:

Hi guys! For first and far most, I’m am not a ‘celebrity” although I love the title! I love teaching and I have a long time love for the industry I now call my own. I’m a self taught photographer, who started off in a small market. I’m here to help you to to push through barriers and achieve your goals. I’m like a answer filled cheerleader!

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Do you edit mostly in Photoshop or Lightroom?

Both

 

Why do you think honest critique on your images is important?

Sometimes we honestly can’t see our own work. We have a personal attachment to every image we produce. Every image has a back story, a laugh and smile. When I look at the images I took for a magazine during a series of dust devils, I see a wind blown dress and a smiling girl. We had fun that day, it was an experience that day. I see that day when I look at the photos. Others may see bloodshot eyes and goosebumps due to our environmental circumstances. Our eyes are influenced by our emotions.

 

What camera do you use? Favorite lens?

Canon 5d mark ii 24-70 2.8

Allure Russia

What has been the most helpful critique you ever got on an image?

“Why does she have bloodshot eyes?”. I NEVER looked at the whites in my images eyes, now Im fanatical.

 

What 3 words would you use to describe your style?

Clean, Colorful. Strong

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Where do you pull your inspiration from?

Everywhere! My yard, the city, current trends, television, fashion magazines.

 

What is one specific way that you balance work and family?

I call it the 5 theory. I only do 5 business based things a day. THAT’S IT. So a day for me might be “email, phone calls, finish x job, update website, blog” otherwise things get too overwhelming. Its hard to stick to 5, but its good.

 

Best biz/photo advice?

Focus on your goals and don’t veer from them. If you don’t like photographing children, don’t. Its not always about a payday. its about growth.

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What have you learned the hard way?

CONTRACTS AND COPYRIGHT Ive lost over a million dollars in copyright claims because I didn’t know what i was doing. Missing that train, is painful.

 

How does your business deal with the rise in photographers. What have you done to standout and compete?

There will ALWAYS be competitors and compared to 10 years ago that’s 10X more every week. Ive developed a trademark look and branded myself like whoa. Finding your visual voice is important.

 

What has been the best workshop or convention you’ve attended so far?

Im not going to name names, but recently I took another mentor’s class simply to see how she taught and I quickly learned how I DONT want to teach. Im an energetic person, and her class was just a drag. She clearly doesn’t like what shes doing.

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Where have most of your 2014 clients come from (besides WOM)?

Word of mouth, great SEO.

 

What is your most popular product?

Pocket Wizards

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 Join Courtney all month in the Forum!

Not a Forum Member?  Get in on all the action HERE!

 

 

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