Erika Barker – NYC Beauty and Fashion Photographer https://erikabarker.com New York City based Beauty, Fashion, and Lifestyle Photographer, Erika Barker. Mon, 24 Dec 2018 00:46:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0.4 NBC News: Trans Model Arisce Wanzer Lands Cover of Spiegel Shot by Erika Barker https://erikabarker.com/nbc-news-trans-model-arisce-wanzer-lands-cover-spiegel-shot-erika-barker/ Wed, 26 Oct 2016 23:30:43 +0000 http://erikabarker.com/?p=15828 I am incredibly honored to have photographed such a groundbreaking image for cover of Spiegel Catalog.  Arise Wanzer, a trans model who stars in Oxygen’s Strut, knocked the cover out of the park.  I could not be more proud of her, my team, and my good friend Richard Lowe who brought this all together.  If you have not had the chance to catch the season finale of Strut, you can do so by going here. Read the NBC News Article in its entirety by clicking the link below. http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/arisce-wanzer-becomes-first-trans-model-land-spiegel-magazine-cover-n673331

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I am incredibly honored to have photographed such a groundbreaking image for cover of Spiegel Catalog.  Arise Wanzer, a trans model who stars in Oxygen’s Strut, knocked the cover out of the park.  I could not be more proud of her, my team, and my good friend Richard Lowe who brought this all together.  If you have not had the chance to catch the season finale of Strut, you can do so by going here.

Read the NBC News Article in its entirety by clicking the link below.
http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/arisce-wanzer-becomes-first-trans-model-land-spiegel-magazine-cover-n673331

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Be Your Own Makeup Artist https://erikabarker.com/be-your-own-makeup-artist/ https://erikabarker.com/be-your-own-makeup-artist/#respond Tue, 23 Jun 2015 21:24:45 +0000 http://localhost:8888/erikabarker/?p=177 On a budget? Let’s face it. Makeup artists don’t always come free and hiring one on your own isn’t usually the cheapest option. That’s why it’s important to know how to apply your own makeup so that you can be photoshoot ready in a jiff. Follow these tips and become your own makeup artist! HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE! First things first, moisturize! Applying foundation and concealer to dry skin will leave you with ghastly unwanted and unsightly patches. Makeup will go on so much smoother and look a lot better on skin that is well hydrated and moisturized. To achieve this, use a lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer that doesn’t contain any SPF. SPF is not at all flash friendly so it’s better to play it safe and avoid it all together. OIL CONTROL Flawless skin is vital when you’re doing a photoshoot and it’s super important to make sure your skin appears as matte as can be. Shiny skin doesn’t photograph well. It reflects too much light as well as gives off an oily appearance. To keep the oil at bay, make sure to use a really good primer or mattifier that is meant to control shine. It’s also a great idea […]

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On a budget? Let’s face it. Makeup artists don’t always come free and hiring one on your own isn’t usually the cheapest option. That’s why it’s important to know how to apply your own makeup so that you can be photoshoot ready in a jiff. Follow these tips and become your own makeup artist!

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!
First things first, moisturize! Applying foundation and concealer to dry skin will leave you with ghastly unwanted and unsightly patches. Makeup will go on so much smoother and look a lot better on skin that is well hydrated and moisturized. To achieve this, use a lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer that doesn’t contain any SPF. SPF is not at all flash friendly so it’s better to play it safe and avoid it all together.

OIL CONTROL
Flawless skin is vital when you’re doing a photoshoot and it’s super important to make sure your skin appears as matte as can be. Shiny skin doesn’t photograph well. It reflects too much light as well as gives off an oily appearance. To keep the oil at bay, make sure to use a really good primer or mattifier that is meant to control shine. It’s also a great idea to always carry a few oil blotting sheets with you.

FLAWLESS FOUNDATION
Want flawless amazing skin? Use a good shine free foundation that has enough coverage to hide any and all redness, uneven skin discolorations and blemishes. To keep your makeup nice and matte, make sure you use a setting powder all over your face. Don’t forget to take this and a powder brush with you to your photoshoot for quick touchups!

PUT THE GLITTER DOWN!
No matter how tempting it may be, resist any makeup that contains glitter. Glitter will reflect too much light and leave your skin looking overly shiny. If anything, you can opt for using a subtle illuminzor to very lightly highlight important features like your cheekbones, cupid bow and even the corner of your eyes.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO ADD COLOR
Avoid looking washed out and flat in your photos. You’ll need to add color and dimension to your face. This is easily achieved by applying contour, blush, lipstick and penciling in your eyebrows. Keep in mind that makeup doesn’t show up as well in photos (it actually photographs 2 shades lighter) so don’t be afraid to add a little extra color. It might take a little figuring out to find the right balance (to avoid looking clownish) but practice makes perfect!

EYES THAT POP
Whether you’re going for a natural look or something more dramatic, using a brown or black liner or shadow will define your eyes and make them pop! Make sure to apply on the top and bottom of your lashes. Keep it simple and avoid lines that are too thick and harsh.
When it comes to applying eyeshadow, the simplest look is to find a good color that matches the shade of your eye and apply it to the crease. This creates depth. Finish off with some fake lashes (use individual lashes for a natural look and a full set for drama). If you’re not comfortable or confident enough in your ability to apply them then make sure to use a good lengthening mascara in blackest black.

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Eat Right, Feel Right! What to eat before your photoshoot https://erikabarker.com/eat-right-feel-right-what-to-eat-before-your-photoshoot/ https://erikabarker.com/eat-right-feel-right-what-to-eat-before-your-photoshoot/#respond Tue, 23 Jun 2015 20:56:47 +0000 http://localhost:8888/erikabarker/?p=174 Not sure of what you should or shouldn’t be eating the night before your big photoshoot? Many foods can leave you feeling low of energy and unhappy so it’s important to choose your diet wisely. Follow this simple guide and make sure to get plenty of rest (concealer can only cover so much) and you’ll be good to go! AVOID SODIUM Have you ever eaten anything really salty and woken up looking like a chipmunk? Ok, well maybe you didn’t quite actually resemble a chipmunk but you may have noticed a slightly swollen and puffy looking face. The culprit at fault here is sodium. Foods that are high in sodium should be avoided as much as possible the night before a photoshoot as they cause a lot of water retention and can leave you looking extremely bloated. DRINK PLENTY OF H20 Avoid sugary and caffeinated drinks like sodas, coffee and alcohol. Yes, they may taste really delicious but they aren’t actually good for you and will only leave you feeling super dehydrated and thirsty. Instead, drink plenty of water. Water is the key to beautiful supple looking skin. Not only will it hydrate and nourish you, but it will help […]

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Not sure of what you should or shouldn’t be eating the night before your big photoshoot? Many foods can leave you feeling low of energy and unhappy so it’s important to choose your diet wisely. Follow this simple guide and make sure to get plenty of rest (concealer can only cover so much) and you’ll be good to go!

AVOID SODIUM
Have you ever eaten anything really salty and woken up looking like a chipmunk? Ok, well maybe you didn’t quite actually resemble a chipmunk but you may have noticed a slightly swollen and puffy looking face. The culprit at fault here is sodium. Foods that are high in sodium should be avoided as much as possible the night before a photoshoot as they cause a lot of water retention and can leave you looking extremely bloated.

DRINK PLENTY OF H20
Avoid sugary and caffeinated drinks like sodas, coffee and alcohol. Yes, they may taste really delicious but they aren’t actually good for you and will only leave you feeling super dehydrated and thirsty. Instead, drink plenty of water. Water is the key to beautiful supple looking skin. Not only will it hydrate and nourish you, but it will help to eliminate bloating and toxins from the body. For some added energy, add a handful of chia seeds (they’ll also keep you feeling full longer) and if flavor is what you’re after, consider throwing coconut water into the mix. It’s full of electrolytes, burns fat and has more potassium than a banana. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water and your body will be sure to thank you.

LAY OFF THE CARBS
Stay far away from them-or at least the ones that are processed such as white bread, pasta, rice and cookies. Carbs that are simple and processed will zap your energy quickly and if that isn’t bad enough, cause bloating and weight gain as well. Instead, choose unrefined complex carbs that are healthy like brown rice, legumes and whole wheat pasta. These take a longer time for our bodies to break down and in return gives you an even amount of energy.

EAT YOUR GREENS AND WHITES
Do load up on a variety of veggies and leafy greens! You can eat plenty (until your hearts content) and feel good about nourishing your body with healthy choices. Avocados are rich in potassium and help to flush out excess sodium from the system and asparagus contains asparagine (a natural diuretic) that will also help to eliminate any excess liquid.
A girls gotta get her protein! Avoid red meat and choose only white sources of protein like chicken, turkey, fish and egg whites. Center this around your greens and you’ve got yourself a delicious and nutritious meal.

SNACK WISELY
As long as you’re eating the right things, feel free to snack throughout the day. Not snacking can lead to ravenous hunger which can lead to binging on the wrong types of food. The last thing you need before your photoshoot is to feel guilty. Squash that by finding healthy low calorie choices. Whether you reach for a banana, a few raw almonds and fruit, some steamed veggies or even a granola bar; there are plenty of options to choose from.

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How to Prep Your Skin The Night Before a Photoshoot https://erikabarker.com/how-to-prep-your-skin-the-night-before-a-photoshoot/ https://erikabarker.com/how-to-prep-your-skin-the-night-before-a-photoshoot/#respond Tue, 23 Jun 2015 20:49:12 +0000 http://localhost:8888/erikabarker/?p=171 The night before your photoshoot can be nerve wracking especially if you’re not sure how to prep yourself beforehand. These tips will leave you waking up feeling refreshed, confident and ready to take on the day. KEEP YOR SKIN FRESH One of the most important things u can do for yourself the night before is to prep your skin for the long day ahead. It’s vital to make sure that before you go to sleep, you clean all the makeup and dirt from your face and follow up by using a good moisturizing night cream to keep skin moist and well hydrated. Oil of Olay offers a great selection of affordable products that are perfect for this. Their Regenerist Regenerating Cream Cleanser is a gentle 2 in 1 that deep cleanses and gently exfoliates skin and because it’s cream based, it won’t dry out your skin which is a major plus. After washing your face, smooth on a little bit of their Luminous Overnight Mask. It’s gel based and contains mulberry extract, vitamin B3 and humectants so you’ll wake up with soft, supple and dewy skin. NO NEED TO WASH YOUR HAIR Resist all temptations and urges to wash your […]

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The night before your photoshoot can be nerve wracking especially if you’re not sure how to prep yourself beforehand. These tips will leave you waking up feeling refreshed, confident and ready to take on the day.

KEEP YOR SKIN FRESH
One of the most important things u can do for yourself the night before is to prep your skin for the long day ahead. It’s vital to make sure that before you go to sleep, you clean all the makeup and dirt from your face and follow up by using a good moisturizing night cream to keep skin moist and well hydrated. Oil of Olay offers a great selection of affordable products that are perfect for this. Their Regenerist Regenerating Cream Cleanser is a gentle 2 in 1 that deep cleanses and gently exfoliates skin and because it’s cream based, it won’t dry out your skin which is a major plus. After washing your face, smooth on a little bit of their Luminous Overnight Mask. It’s gel based and contains mulberry extract, vitamin B3 and humectants so you’ll wake up with soft, supple and dewy skin.

NO NEED TO WASH YOUR HAIR
Resist all temptations and urges to wash your hair the night before and embrace those second day tresses! Many great stylists agree that clean hair can often be harder to work with and style, claiming that it’s just too slippery and doesn’t hold right. “We often recommend that clients not wash their hair for three to four days. If clients are using the right products and blow drying their hair, their style can last at least that long. Over washing the hair can actually make it more oily, particularly if using very hot water. The hot water strips moisture from the scalp, the scalp then goes into overdrive to replace the lost oils,” says Jonathan Elkhouri, master stylist and owner of Salon Khouri.

SWOLLEN TIRED LOOKING EYES?
Freeze your spoons! That’s right! It’s quite possible that you’ll wake up, take a look in the mirror and find yourself staring back at a pair of big puffy, swollen looking eyes. Don’t fret just yet. Take out two frozen spoons and place them underneath each eye for a few minutes and watch the puffiness shrink away.

SLEEP TIGHT
Getting a good night’s sleep will not only keep you looking your best but will also keep you functioning at your best so make it a point to turn in early for the night and aim for at least 8 hours. Stay away from all electronic devices. They’ll only distract you and studies have proven that the bright light omitted from them actually trick our brain into higher levels of activity.

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The 10 Commandments to Retouching Portrait, Fashion, and Beauty Photography https://erikabarker.com/113/ https://erikabarker.com/113/#respond Fri, 22 May 2015 18:38:54 +0000 http://localhost:8888/erikabarker/?p=113 We retouchers have been taking a lot of heat recently over some really questionable work being released in the media.  Just this morning I woke up to find the headline This Photoshop Fail Will Make You Sick To Your Stomach on the Huffington Post’s front page. The image was of a female model that was viciously attacked by the Liquify tool. Out of all of the bad retouching stories I have seen lately, the Liquify Tool seems to be the primary culprit. I was considering on pitching an idea for a television show called When the Liquify Tool Attacks. Another problem I have noticed lately is professional photographers who decide to throw their hat into the retouching ring, without fully doing their homework first. Sad thing is, many of them are conned into buying ridiculous software which claims to retouch photos with just the touch of a button. Other photographers just get lazy and crank the Clarity Slider in Lightroom all the way to the left, leaving our subject looking like a Final Fantasy character. Now I am not the authority when it comes to the retouching industry. There are many retouchers, such as Julia Kuzmenko, and Michael Wolozynowicz who are […]

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We retouchers have been taking a lot of heat recently over some really questionable work being released in the media.  Just this morning I woke up to find the headline This Photoshop Fail Will Make You Sick To Your Stomach on the Huffington Post’s front page. The image was of a female model that was viciously attacked by the Liquify tool. Out of all of the bad retouching stories I have seen lately, the Liquify Tool seems to be the primary culprit. I was considering on pitching an idea for a television show called When the Liquify Tool Attacks.

Another problem I have noticed lately is professional photographers who decide to throw their hat into the retouching ring, without fully doing their homework first. Sad thing is, many of them are conned into buying ridiculous software which claims to retouch photos with just the touch of a button. Other photographers just get lazy and crank the Clarity Slider in Lightroom all the way to the left, leaving our subject looking like a Final Fantasy character.

Now I am not the authority when it comes to the retouching industry. There are many retouchers, such as Julia Kuzmenko, and Michael Wolozynowicz who are at a level that just blows me away. They have spent years perfecting their craft, and each image they retouch is given the highest attention to detail. Something you will learn from the industry’s best retouchers is the best work is created from someone who is patient, and keen to the smallest details.

With all that being said, here are the 10 commandments for retouching your next image:

1 – Know thy target audience:
There is no one method to retouching everything. If you are retouching an ad for Oil of Olay, or some skin care product, you will treat it much differently from a clothing brand. Know who your target audience is, and retouch based on their needs. This means you will want to avoid using presets, and the same Photoshop actions for every image (Nothing wrong with Photoshop actions if you set them up to allow customization when the action is being ran).

2 – Imperfections Create Perfection:
If you take away every mole, freckle, and wrinkle, you will be left with a subject that has no story. There would be nothing for the audience to really relate to. In other words, leaving a few moles, or freckles will make your subject look much more appealing.

3 – There is no magic software, photoshop action, or preset that does everything:
If you are new, or at a novice level with Photoshop, and Lightroom, don’t waste your money buying filters, presets, actions, and other software. Photoshop is the only software you need PERIOD. I really wish there was some magic software that could retouch skin just as well as a seasoned professional retoucher spending several hours on a frequency separated image, but there is no such thing. Believe me, I have tried them all. Just the other day I took my car through one of those automatic car washes that spray wax on it. When I got home, I had to spend 2 hours re-waxing the car by hand because the car wash can never do it as well as a human can.

Bad example of Clarity tool abuse in Lightroom

Bad example of Clarity tool abuse in Lightroom

4 – Thou shall not rush:
This kind of falls in line with the previous commandment. I am sorry to tell you this, but it takes time to retouch. You cannot simply retouch a model in Lightroom by simply sliding the Clarity Slider to the left. You cannot simply retouch a model in Photoshop by running an action you found on Model Mayhem. It is never a 10-minute job. Sometimes I spend up to 4 hours retouching an image. If you aspire to reach the level of retouching you see in Vogue, you have to be patient, and caress the image. Think of it as a nice pot roast that needs to marinate for several days. MMMMMmmmmm.

5 – Thou shall not distort the body more than 15%:
I know I am going to catch some heat for this one. What this means is to not go crazy with the Liquify, and free transform tools. When you are trying to make your subject look thinner, taller, with slightly exaggerated features, it should be minimal. You will ruin the stew if you add too much salt.

6 – Thou shall not forget tone:
If you think retouching is simply using the patch tool, or the healing brush, you are mistaken. Building a keen eye for skin tone is just as important. This is one of the reasons why we are so fond of using Frequency Separation. This does not only apply to skin tone, but how well the subject pops from the background, while looking natural at the same time. If the light and shadows from your subject do not naturally compliment the environment, or source light, you are going to have problems.

7 – When possible, get it right on camera first:
Yes, we hear this all the time, but let me explain. If you are a photographer who plans to do the retouching, or you are on the set of the photoshoot, you need to keep your eyes open here. What this means is you need to stop using that little tiny screen on the back of the camera, and actually tether the camera to a laptop. Blow the image up to 100%, and look at the eyes, lips, and hair carefully. If you see something that is going to create a lot of work, you need to tell the makeup artist right away. This can literally save you hours of work, and a headache to match.

8 – Thou shall not whiten the eyeballs:
I am not sure where this silly trend came from. Maybe it came from Twilight, I really do not know, but it needs to stop here and now. All you need to do is clean the veins from the eyeball, and slightly pull the yellows, and reds out with Hue/Saturation. That is it. Do not be tempted to use the dodge tool here my friends.

Bad example of applying HDR effect on a portrait.

Bad example of applying HDR effect on a portrait.

9 – Thou shall not use cheesy effects:
We all love a good Michael Bay Film, but let’s keep the explosions for Transformers 5.  I use to tell my students, if you feel like you need to add effects to “jazz up your work,” you are literally telling them that you had to do this because the content was not strong enough. So be careful with the Vignette, adding grain, and most importantly, the Clarity Slider. I know many people are fans of Dave Hill, or that HDR photography High Pass look, but we do not apply this effect on portraits NEVER, EVER, EVER (please do not confuse this with commercial photography for sports, and bands).

10 – Thou shall not forget texture:
Remember, we do not want our subject’s face looking like porcelain, or a Barbie Doll. This is why we do not simply go into Lightroom, paint a mask on the subject’s face, and turn down the Clarity. It is very important that we see the little pours, and that the skin texture is kept in tact. If you do not know how to use Frequency Separation, here is a great tutorial from Elana Jasic.

I am sure many other retouchers could add to this list, please feel free to add them in the comment box below. I look forward to checking out your suggestions. 🙂

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Why You Should Never Get Injections, or Have Plastic Surgery https://erikabarker.com/why-you-should-never-get-injections-or-have-plastic-surgery/ https://erikabarker.com/why-you-should-never-get-injections-or-have-plastic-surgery/#respond Fri, 03 Apr 2015 02:35:27 +0000 http://localhost:8888/erikabarker/?p=6 Before I get started with this article, I just want to address that a few years ago, I had a nose job. The doctor did a fantastic job, and I could not be happier with the results. I know a lot of beautiful women who have had minor surgeries like nose jobs, breast augmentation, and honestly if you have a great surgeon, you have nothing to worry about. When you stare in a mirror, you are looking at a reverse image of yourself, so it is not really how the rest of the world sees you. Ever notice how you might feel more comfortable looking at yourself in a reflection rather in photos? Well, in photos you are seeing yourself for who you truly are. To some of us, it is a brutally honest look at ourselves. Usually, we are the only ones who consider it brutal. To get to the point, I, as a photographer am a heartbreaker. While I am very skilled at getting people to be relaxed, and finally get a truly amazing beauty shot in the studio, there is nothing I can do if you have no control over your eyebrows, and facial muscles. I recall […]

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Before I get started with this article, I just want to address that a few years ago, I had a nose job. The doctor did a fantastic job, and I could not be happier with the results. I know a lot of beautiful women who have had minor surgeries like nose jobs, breast augmentation, and honestly if you have a great surgeon, you have nothing to worry about.

When you stare in a mirror, you are looking at a reverse image of yourself, so it is not really how the rest of the world sees you. Ever notice how you might feel more comfortable looking at yourself in a reflection rather in photos? Well, in photos you are seeing yourself for who you truly are. To some of us, it is a brutally honest look at ourselves. Usually, we are the only ones who consider it brutal.

To get to the point, I, as a photographer am a heartbreaker. While I am very skilled at getting people to be relaxed, and finally get a truly amazing beauty shot in the studio, there is nothing I can do if you have no control over your eyebrows, and facial muscles. I recall one of my clients came to my studio, and she could barely move a muscle on her face. Her skin was tight, and her lips were overly plumped with silicon injections. All for the sake of getting rid of wrinkles, she discarded one of the most beautiful attributes a person could possibly have, and that is the ability to show emotions gracefully, and naturally. Of course, when we take selfies, or put makeup on in the morning, we are focusing on the wrinkles, grey hairs, and that weird mole under our chin. We are not looking in the mirror, and expressing every emotion that we go through during a typical week. Therefore, we never see our facial personality until someone maybe records us on video, or photo.

When my camera takes a snapshot of someone in the studio, the photo immediately goes to my computer. I am using a Nikon D800, where the file size and clarity of the image can make many folks really uncomfortable. When I zoomed into the images of my client who had Botox, and lip injections, I could immediately see in her eyes the heartbreak. This was possibly the moment she got a reality call on what she had finally done to her face. Sadly, she left my studio with only a few good shots that I had to Photoshop heavily.

The moral of this story is we all hate wrinkles, but I would personally never trade them for a face that was unable to show my beautiful personality. If you are going to do something, try eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, moisturize, and exercise. You can’t cheat aging; embrace it, and you will always stay beautiful.

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500px Interviews Erika Barker https://erikabarker.com/500px-interview/ https://erikabarker.com/500px-interview/#respond Thu, 03 Jul 2014 18:31:13 +0000 http://localhost:8888/erikabarker/?p=106 I had the distinct privilege of meeting 500px founder, Evgeny Tchebotarev here in New York City’s beautiful Bryant Park. We decided to meet up again over some delicious coffee at a local coffee shop on 14th street, and we chatted for almost three hours about life, photography, and soccer. During our conversation, I told Evgeny how I use to be a combat photographer in the U.S. Navy, and many of the challenges that I faced as a photojournalist in the military. He decided to meet up with me the next day and host an interview which talked about the lessons I learned as a combat photojournalist, and how I bring those traits into my studio photography. After our interview, we went over to a local Irish Bar near Bryant Park, and watched the USA vs. Portugal game over some nice beer. I must say, Evgeny is one of the nicest people you could possibly run into, and I really cannot wait to hang out with him again. If you are ever in a city where he is hosting a local photo walk, you should take advantage of it! You can watch the interview here: For more, you can see the […]

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I had the distinct privilege of meeting 500px founder, Evgeny Tchebotarev here in New York City’s beautiful Bryant Park. We decided to meet up again over some delicious coffee at a local coffee shop on 14th street, and we chatted for almost three hours about life, photography, and soccer.

During our conversation, I told Evgeny how I use to be a combat photographer in the U.S. Navy, and many of the challenges that I faced as a photojournalist in the military. He decided to meet up with me the next day and host an interview which talked about the lessons I learned as a combat photojournalist, and how I bring those traits into my studio photography.

After our interview, we went over to a local Irish Bar near Bryant Park, and watched the USA vs. Portugal game over some nice beer. I must say, Evgeny is one of the nicest people you could possibly run into, and I really cannot wait to hang out with him again. If you are ever in a city where he is hosting a local photo walk, you should take advantage of it!

You can watch the interview here:

For more, you can see the 500px feature here:
http://iso.500px.com/photographer-erika-barker-interview/

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My Photoshop Retouching Process – Time Lapse Video https://erikabarker.com/my-photoshop-retouching-process-time-lapse-video/ https://erikabarker.com/my-photoshop-retouching-process-time-lapse-video/#respond Sat, 01 Mar 2014 20:00:11 +0000 http://localhost:8888/erikabarker/?p=164 These videos demonstrate what goes into the process of retouching photos here at Erika Barker Photography. Unfortunately, many people assume there is a magical button, or a quick way of going through this process, but nothing could be further from the truth. The time spent in properly correcting a photo that is ready for print can range from 2-3 hours. The highest attention-to-detail goes into every imperfection in the photo, until the final product looks like a polished product. Unfortunately, consumers are not the only ones who may misunderstand the process of retouching. I have come across many photographers and photography portfolios where an “all-in-one” magic filter was used. Well, at least we would like to think it’s magic. Usually these products promise to deliver perfect skin retouching within a matter of minutes. That is just simply not the case. It’s incredibly sad that so many photographers fall for this, and waste good money on a product that makes imagery look very plastic, unnatural, and edited. The trick to being a great retoucher is to give the illusion that the photo was never edited. If you are looking for a photographer who claims to do image retouching, make sure, their […]

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Retouching Demonstration

Photoshop, and Lightroom method to professional high-end retouching. This video demonstrates how I use the Liquify filter, patch tool, rubber stamp tool, Frequency separation, Curves, Adjustment Layers, and Noise to retouch in a non destructive manner.


These videos demonstrate what goes into the process of retouching photos here at Erika Barker Photography. Unfortunately, many people assume there is a magical button, or a quick way of going through this process, but nothing could be further from the truth. The time spent in properly correcting a photo that is ready for print can range from 2-3 hours. The highest attention-to-detail goes into every imperfection in the photo, until the final product looks like a polished product.

Unfortunately, consumers are not the only ones who may misunderstand the process of retouching. I have come across many photographers and photography portfolios where an “all-in-one” magic filter was used. Well, at least we would like to think it’s magic. Usually these products promise to deliver perfect skin retouching within a matter of minutes. That is just simply not the case. It’s incredibly sad that so many photographers fall for this, and waste good money on a product that makes imagery look very plastic, unnatural, and edited. The trick to being a great retoucher is to give the illusion that the photo was never edited.

If you are looking for a photographer who claims to do image retouching, make sure, their final products don’t look unnatural. Make sure that the texture of the skin is still preserved, and the photo looks well balanced.

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How Photographers Can Find their Niche with Pinterest https://erikabarker.com/how-photographers-can-find-their-niche-with-pinterest/ https://erikabarker.com/how-photographers-can-find-their-niche-with-pinterest/#respond Fri, 07 Jun 2013 19:59:36 +0000 http://localhost:8888/erikabarker/?p=162 If you are trying to find more direction in your photography work, try using Pinterest. In this video I cover how a photographer can identify colors, trends, and styles that is best suited for them. Discover your inner photographer with Pinterest!

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If you are trying to find more direction in your photography work, try using Pinterest. In this video I cover how a photographer can identify colors, trends, and styles that is best suited for them. Discover your inner photographer with Pinterest!

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DC Shoot Off 2013 https://erikabarker.com/dc-shoot-off-2013/ https://erikabarker.com/dc-shoot-off-2013/#respond Sat, 20 Apr 2013 19:58:23 +0000 http://localhost:8888/erikabarker/?p=160 It’s DC Shoot Off time again. For those of you who may not know, the DC Shoot Off is an annual workshop/competition where military photojournalist and civilian photojournalist participate in a 24-hour photojournalism contest. A theme is drawn from a hat, and each participant must find a story that matches that theme, shoot the story, and edit the story down to five photos. Oh, and not have a heart attack in the process. You will find the competition at the DC Shoot Off is not to be taken lightly. Many participants are Syracuse University alumni, and notable military photographers who have been published many times over. So when you arrive, you should be intimidated. Really Intimidated. I always am. The beauty about the DC Shoot Off is not the competition itself, but the mentors who guide you the whole way; such as Jeremy Lock, seven-time military photographer of the year, or Mannie Garcia, who took the well-known photo of presidential candidate Barack Obama, which was featured in Shepard Fairey’s “Hope” poster. Two notable mentors who made me the photographer I am today are Ken Hackman, and Chip Maury. You can think of these two as the Godfathers of all Military […]

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It’s DC Shoot Off time again. For those of you who may not know, the DC Shoot Off is an annual workshop/competition where military photojournalist and civilian photojournalist participate in a 24-hour photojournalism contest. A theme is drawn from a hat, and each participant must find a story that matches that theme, shoot the story, and edit the story down to five photos. Oh, and not have a heart attack in the process.

You will find the competition at the DC Shoot Off is not to be taken lightly. Many participants are Syracuse University alumni, and notable military photographers who have been published many times over. So when you arrive, you should be intimidated. Really Intimidated. I always am.

The beauty about the DC Shoot Off is not the competition itself, but the mentors who guide you the whole way; such as Jeremy Lock, seven-time military photographer of the year, or Mannie Garcia, who took the well-known photo of presidential candidate Barack Obama, which was featured in Shepard Fairey’s “Hope” poster. Two notable mentors who made me the photographer I am today are Ken Hackman, and Chip Maury. You can think of these two as the Godfathers of all Military Photographers. If it were not for Ken and Chip, military photojournalism would not be what it is today. So do yourself a favor and look these guys up.

After the competition, be prepared to give, and receive a lot hugs because this is a loving, passionate group of people who have a family-like bond. I have found myself constantly going on to Facebook and asking for help, and within a few minutes these guys respond.

The theme this year was warmth. Upon finding out what the theme was, I went through my one-hour of freaking out, crying in a corner, and going into a panic about what I was going to do. So I turned to Facebook to see if I could find any ideas. The first photo that appeared was one of my colleagues holding their newborn baby closely to their face. I thought to my self “BINGO!” I sent them a message at 8:30 P.M., and prayed that they would say yes! They responded back to me around 9:10. The answer was YES!

I arrived at their house 8 o’clock the next morning, and the first thing that I noticed was their home had this really cool, and unique lighting. The sunlight coming through the windows looked majestic, and movie-like. This is when a photographer like myself has to apologize to these good people for getting drool all over their nice, clean floors.

With some proper guidance from Bill Auth, I was able to get my story edited down to five photos. Then I had to nervously wait the next day for the judges to rip our work apart, and send me back into a corner crying. Well, maybe I am exaggerating a little bit, but the judging is a big part of the learning process too. This year I did not win first place, but I took second in their Shoot Off International category. Hey, I am still happy!

This competition always keeps me on my toes, and reminds me that I have a long ways to go. It’s a little easy to become a little cocky as a photographer who has been shooting for a few years. When that happens, you usually stop learning, and you work never gets any better. I have found myself in this situation several times. Thankfully one of my mentors comes along, splashes some cold water in my face, and gives me a wake up call.

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