Behind the Editorial Portraits of the Brass Tacks Barber Shop

Go Behind the Editorial Portraits of the Brass Tacks Barber Shop

Ever since I picked up camera and started shooting, back in the days of film and chemicals, I’ve loved photographing people through simple portraits.

So, today I’m going to take you behind the scenes of the Editorial Portraits I recently created of the guys from Brass Tacks Barber Shop.

Through the years Editorial Portrait Photography has been through a lot of changes, resulting in many Editorial Photographers struggling to make ends meat.

For me, I choose Editorial assignments because I truly love creating portraits that support a story.

An Overview of my Editorial Portraits

Throughout the past several months I’ve thrown myself 100% into Composite Photography and mastering my skills as a Composite Photographer.

That’s why I’m so excited about the Editorial Portraits I just created of the barbers from Brass Tacks Barber Shop.

editorial portrait of brandon white the owner of brass tacks barber shop in dallas texas

portrait of barber christian shannon photographed by dallas editorial photographer jason ulsrud

editorial portrait of brass tacks barber shop barber ryan standifer by dallas photographer jason ulsrud

editorial portrait of a barber named juke by dallas photographer jason ulsrud

Unlike the Photo Compositing techniques I use for my Photillustrations, my Editorial Portraits are a toned down version of my Photillustrator style, still implementing many of the things I have become known for.

Let’s take a look at what I’m talking about…

Editorial Portraits Photillustrator Style

Throughout the past four months, I have focused exclusively on Photo Compositing and creating a unique style as a Composite Photographer.

This journey has led me to calling myself a “Photillustrator”.

If you’re curious what a “Photillustration” is, I go into detail in my recent post called, “What is a Photillustration?

That said, my Photo Composites tend to be pretty complex and require a lot of production and time to complete, so I wanted to try my hand at creating Editorial Portraits with my Photillustrator twist.

Here are some BEFORE and AFTER’s of my portraits of the barbers from Brass Tacks Barber Shop.

As you can see, there is a clear difference between where the portrait began, fresh out of my camera, and where it ended, exported from Adobe Lightroom.

Defining my Photillustrator Style

Well, I can’t necessarily “define” my Photillustrator style, but there are some common characteristics I’ll share with you here.

As you clearly see from the Before and After’s of the guys from Brass Tacks Barber Shop, there are two (2) elements readily noticed.

BIG HEADS: First, you can clearly see I slightly enlarged the heads to bring the viewers eye to the most important feature of the entire portrait.

I believe this is really only noticeable when viewing the Before and After’s of the portraits.

I realize not everyone is a fan of my decision to enlarge the heads, but there is proven science behind why this works, which I may get into in a later post.

For now, suffice it to say, it’s simply the way I see the world when I look at people.

COLORIZATION: In photography, there is always ongoing conversation about “correct” color tones relative to skin tones and other elements within a photograph.

Because the way our eyes see the world, and what is good tone is so subjective, there is no right or wrong.

Of course I’m talking within a certain range.

For me, I choose to use color to emphasize moods and highlight details important to the portrait.

Additionally, when you start paying attention to the colors you see in shadows, highlights, and various other elements within nature, you will see a range well beyond what you allow yourself to express within a photo.

Does my Editorial Portrait Style Work?

For me, the answer to that question is a resounding YES!

I absolutely think for the barbers from Brass Tacks Barber Shop, my Photillustrator style of Editorial Portraits works fantastically.

But the question I have is, “Do you think it works?”

Go ahead and share you thoughts below in the comments section and let me know what you think.

Comments (2)

Hello there,
my name is Francesca from Milan, Italy. I loved your portraits, especially the overall bluish tone that gives to the photo a unique mood. As u said I did not noticed the bigger heads until I switched between the before and after versions. I find it an interesting point of view. In my opinion, as a photographer, there’s no a right or wrong thing ( except in photojpurnalism where the goal is freeze the truth, the reality for what it is and not what we would like it to be due to our personal opinions). So I loved your choiche to focus the attention on this particular detail, since for it represents your personal like. Very well done!! My best regards and a big ciaoooo, Francesca

Hey, Francesca from Italy. Thanks so much for commenting and your feedback. I completely agree with your comment on photojournalism and freezing the truth. For me, I create portraits of people the way I think they see themselves. For this very reason, I like to enhance various attributes to better match the way people see themselves.

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