Category: Creativity

Why we retouch our photos in house: 5 pointers

studio commercial retouchingHere’s our top five list of why, as photographers, we do our retouching in-house:

    1. End to end Process: We get involved in your image creation from the start of the process to the finalised file. The things you would like to pay special attention to during the photo shoot can be seamlessly emphasised in the retouching. This is an ideal work flow which allows positive details and images that pop.


    1. Experience: Every photographer at Studio Commercial has an average of 13 years in the field.


    1. Instant Feedback: Because your photographer and retoucher work in the same studio there is a constant dynamic feedback that can’t be replicated by sending images overseas or across cities. We extend this level of feedback to our clients.


    1. High Quality: Our photographers are thoroughly trained and we foster a community of knowledge as the latest software and techniques evolve. Check out our retouching portfolio for the proof in the pudding.


  1. We don’t cut corners: We go the extra mile in our retouching, which is the only way to go for the highest quality images. The last thing you want is for your images to look fake or unrealistic.

The Last Supper

Merry Christmas from everyone at Studio Commercial! Let us create your masterpiece in 2012.

Have a great Christmas and an awesome New Years!

Please note, we’ll be closed from Christmas Day to New Year’s: 25th – 31st of Dec 2011.

Party hard and catch up with loved ones.


Behind the scenes

Here’s a shot I like.

David and I were on a regular casual portrait session at an office and were shooting away.

I gave the subject a mini break and suddenly saw a shot and quickly pushed the shutter button while he wasn’t aware of the camera.

It is probably a shot hardly no company would choose as a profile image of one of their employees. However I think it could definitely work well in a certain context or in an editorial piece or annual report.

The shot works because of the human being in his suit in the corporate environment is suddenly vulnerable as opposed to being smiling and strong in a profile shot. It sort of gives the corporate world a more human ‘face’.

Active Retirees Cover

We had less than an hour before a storm hit our way and we were in the middle of a golf course, photographing the cover for Active Retirees Magazine.

During the shoot, I was thinking about how quickly our hour was pushed into half an hour by the weather.

The client was very driven to replicate the mock-up, which had clear blue skies. I shot according to the mock up first and once I knew we had gotten the image, we quickly moved to a different location so a cloudier piece of sky acting as a backdrop.

I wanted to add some contrast to make the image pop, make it more dynamic.

The sun was hitting the model’s head quite nicely so I used a main light to fill in the shadows. By now the wind was really battling against us so my first assistant held down the lighting equipment. My second assistant held the reflector just hovering over the grass below the dark golf club to fill in the shadows.

I’m really happy with this picture. It was created in half an hour and I feel like it really builds on the concept of a happy, active retiree.

The image on the left hand side is the brief, the image on the right is our final product and the image that ran on the cover.

 Want more? Watch the behind the scenes video.




This is what I shot on the long weekend.

Long drive. Beautiful drive. Near Wagga Wagga.

Farm life. Away from the city. Green air and taking deep breaths…


Tips of the photography trade

Studio Commercial has been in business for forty odd years. Our studio has survived the change from film to digital, the global financial crisis and mullets.

This is what we’ve learnt along the way:

  • Always carry these to every photo shoot: gaffa tape, spare batteries, spare CF cards and more than one lens.
  • Having seven photographers is invaluable. When one of us has fallen ill and another staff member is holidaying in the Maldives, photo shoots continued, emails were answered by others.  Everything continues to run like clockwork.
  • As a photographer, be very clear about your contract, prices and terms and conditions. Every second client will expect to get all of the raw unedited images at no cost and you will have to explain your policy. If you see nothing wrong with this, you shouldn’t be in photography.
  • Be nice to your camera brand’s representatives. They have the potential to love and nurture you and your equipment or keep you guessing as to when you can pick up your camera. Unfortunately, in either scenario, they will never let on when the latest gear is coming out.
  • Arrive early to every shoot. Leave nothing behind (that may mean having a gear bag packed with used tape).

Winter Newsletter

Hi guys,

We launched our winter newsletter a couple of weeks ago.

If you dig behind the scenes footage, photography tips and bite sized slices of our lives, make sure you sign up to our mailer in the right hand side column.

You’ll get an email for every season, that’s four juicy emails a year. No dribble, just great information.

If you have any topics you’d like us to cover, please let us know in the comments section.




5 ways to instantly improve your photography

Here are five ways you can instantly improve your photography by making little changes to your camera and the way you snap.

A small example of big aperture.

    1. Don’t photograph people eating. Nobody looks attractive while they’re scoffing their face or have half a plate of seafood in front of them.
    2. Play around with Aperture priority. By shooting at f2, your images naturally improve by the background or foreground being completely out of focus. Have a look at this flickr group to see what I mean by f2.
    3. Save your images in the highest resolution possible. Yes, you might have to read your user manual to find out how to do that, but your images will thank you in five years time. We have images that we took on digital in 2002 that are tiny files, but at the time, they were cutting edge. Expect the same and don’t just stick to the automatic JPEG size.
    4. Stand closer to the subject, then get closer. It will only improve the image. You’re never as close as you think you are. Unless you hit them in the head with your lens. Then say sorry.
    5. Turn off auto flash. Most modern cameras can deal with the mild darkness and will automatically pump up their ISO (light sensitivity). You’ll know pretty fast if your camera is capable of this or not by looking at your LCD screen.


Digital SLR Cheat Sheet

For those of you that have recently purchased a digital slr, this is a great infograph that you can print out and keep in your wallet for when you’re feeling creative. If you’re thinking about buying a beautiful, bulky DSLR camera and don’t know where to start, this article should help.

Miguel Yatco, the photographer that created this graph told My Modern Met “The main reason I made this infographic was so that I could help beginners get a better idea of how the manual mode of a camera works, although it takes awhile to get used to, this infographic will hopefully give you a smoother transition from auto to manual.”

Let us know how you go!

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