Make it Work.
New York City based portrait photographer Drew Gurian is a master at making just about anything work. Give him an assignment to shoot a celebrity in a tacky hotel room during a press junket, and he’ll have that room transformed into something workable within the hour. He’s an energetic problem-solver who works great under pressure and has the innate ability to capture people and moments that feel real and raw. That spirit runs throughout his entire body of work, and we were thrilled for the chance to work with Drew to subtly enhance and polish some of his photographs of actor Justin Bartha for a piece in The Observer.
We work with a wide range of clients, all of whom have a unique set of expectations around post-production work. Some photographers like a highly-produced photo that looks ethereal and dreamlike. While others prefer subtler retouching that makes it hard to tell if the photo had even been tweaked or enhanced at all.
A self-proclaimed traditionalist, Drew prefers his images to be as perfect in camera as possible before they even make it to the post-production stage. While he never wants his work to appear excessively retouched, he understands that a raw photo needs to be processed in some way to ensure a toned, refined feel.
Our guiding rule when working on Drew’s photos was to be thorough and subtle in our efforts and help elevate the final result to make an already great photo look amazing. Although our goal was to be so nuanced that it would look like no retouching had been done at all, there was, of course, some basic back and forth and collaboration to help achieve the true cinematic feel Drew was going for in this portrait series of Justin Bartha. We made small enhancements here and there to tone and boost the photos, like blowing out a window a bit in the coyote picture, or accentuating the blue light on Justin’s face and hair in the close up portrait. That coyote, by the way, was property of the bar in which this shoot occurred. Drew knows a good prop when he sees one.
In the End, Everyone Did What They Do Best.
As a photographer, Drew wants to spend most of his time behind the camera. He’d rather take care of his business or work on mood boards for upcoming shoots, and less time sitting at his computer editing images. That’s where we came in – we left the photography to the photographer, and he left the post production work to the production strategists and retouchers.
“Get people who are great at what they do, and let them do their own thing. Surround yourself with partners like pxl.house who are on top of their game,” said Gurian.
Find us on Instagram at @pxl.house for more photos of our recent work.
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