I learned a lot from others photographers tutorials and blogs.

In the web you can find many resources for free, I really suggest you to take any of the Creative Live Classes and to follow the inspiring blog of Jasmine Star.

Even if I do not consider myself an expert I think that it’s my time to pay it forward and to help others out.

I’m an open book, I’m happy to share tips and tricks.

Feel free to post any question, I will do my best in order to help you.

  • I shoot in Raw, because it gives me more freedom for editing.
  • My screen is calibrated, I use Spyder 4 pro (if your screen is not calibrated you are just loosing your time and your final output will always be too warm or too cold). If you print at home your printer must be calibrated too.
  • I hate editing, I have more interesting things to do in life than spending hours and hours in front of my pc screen. I’m really minimalist too. I do not use spectacular special effects unless I’ve drunk too much french wine.
  • I try to get it right in camera. In many tutorials or forums you will find the acronym SOOC, it simply means straight out of camera (zero editing).
  • I like natural looking and airy editing and as I’m lazy I’ve created my own actions (Photoshop) and presets (Lightroom) in order to speed up my work flow.
  • Try to learn to edit «by hand», on your own without relying on third parties actions. Especially when you are starting out and you do not have found «your editing style» yet it’s easy to over edit. I’m still ashamed of the shit I posted in photographers forums thinking I was a photoshop genius.
  • With photoshop and lightroom there are thousands of ways to achieve the same result, feel free to experiment and at least once a week do some crazy edit just for fun, even if it does not fit with your style. Push your limits and go out your comfort zone.
  • I will never stress enough the importance of the WB. Normally I use Kelvin, especially when I’m shooting indoors. In my house I stay around 4800/5000 K. Remember that a wrong white balance leads to a wrong exposure.

My gear and my settings:

Nikon D700

Nikon 85 mm 1.8


ss 1/200 sec

ISO 1600

WB: 5000K

natural light, coming from a big glass door


1.This is SOOC, zero editing. When I shoot with high ISO I tend to expose to the right (ETTR)  in order to avoid (or reduce) noise (noise loves the shadows and darker areas.




2. As the original pic was a little bit overxposed I’ve decided to bring the exposure and high lights down ( -0.60 and -29) and increased the shadows, whites and blacks (+26/+7/+26). Now it looks more natural.

exposure etc

3. The skin looks slightly too warm for me. This is why I decide to reduce the WB to 4800K.

Then I go to the HSL PANEL and I reduce the saturation of the orange (-7) and I increase (+10) the luminosity.



4. I usually finalize my editings in Photoshop.

Go to Photo—>Edit in —>Edit in Adobe Photoshop CS6.

As I just want to make eyes and mouth to pop: I go to Adjustements—>Saturation: +10.

I add a layer mask, I hit CTRL+I in order to invert the mask and I paint with a white brush on the eyes and mouth.



5. In oder to lighten in a soft and natural way the subject I use a gradient and I paint with a black brush on the areas I want to leave as they are. I set the opacity of the layer to 25%.


6. The last step is sharpening. I Use the high pass filter.

Go to Filter—>Others—> high pass.

Set the radious to an amount of about 0.8-1.5 (until you should be able to see some details).

Then set the blending mode to overlay and adjust the opacity of the layer as needed.

You can change the blending mode to soft light too.



Here is the finished image!



If you have any questions or you want to show me your before and after feel free to chat with me in the comments, I will answer to you asap!