For 11 years I was based in Milan, where I worked as a beauty photographer, shooting models for some of the top magazines and cosmetics companies, including Rimmel, Collistar, Io Donna and others. Various assignments also led me to Africa, Australia and other parts of Europe, though the majority of my work was studio based and I enjoyed producing images with a fresh vitality that were appreciated by clients, who wanted to present a positive, healthy image of their products. But early encounters with art directors made it clear I had to shoot clean colour if I wanted to work regularly, and the transformation in my work fortunes was startling. Cosmetics companies are obsessed with colour accuracy because every season they are selling a precise shade of eyeshadow or lipstick etc, but there is no way a photographer can deliver that accuracy without an effective colour management workflow, during every step of the process.

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The number one thing I have learned in my photography career is really simple: always practice good photo technique. This comes down to the basics. While photography is an art, if you are pursuing it as a career then it is also a business. You are employed to deliver a job according to the brief, on time and within budget.

The moment you start cutting corners things tend to go wrong. If you concentrate on the basics, none of those distractions need ruin your shoot. As an example, I once photographed a beauty cosmetics campaign in South Africa for an Italian client. The shoot lasted a week with numerous locations and different lighting. However, I came back to Milan with a pile of images that were near enough all perfect, requiring little or no adjustment in post-production before going to print.

That was because I had followed the basics before each shot. Nobody is perfect, but successful photographers will develop a workflow that they refine over the years to ensure they make very few mistakes and that any problems are minimal at worst. There is a tendency nowadays with digital to think you can fix everything in post-production.

Unfortunately, this is a big mistake based on laziness and it is actually counterproductive. It will save a lot of time, money and stress if you shoot with a more methodical approach; once you are confident in the basics, you can experiment more creatively and still deliver technically solid results. A big part of beauty photography involves accurate colour, and I started at a time when photographers had little real control compared to now.

Colour management was still limited in scope, but I became one of the early adopters because accurate colour was essential on big budget productions for advertising campaigns. The particular importance of colour management is that it saves you a huge amount of time and money, because everything works first time, every time. It is the biggest investment you can make in your photography. In addition, you can maintain this consistency when you change camera, computer display, printers or even move to the other side of the world.

Colour management allows you to pass images seamlessly from one stage to another without ever needing to colour correct. At the point your images come on to the computer, they should essentially be ready to send anywhere with no nasty surprises. After leaving Art College, he spent some time in London before moving to Milan where he began working as a photographer, moving from fashion to beauty and later including both still life and other subjects before moving back to the UK in From choosing your lenses right through to dealing with prepress printers and working with video.

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The Biggest Lesson I’ve Learned in Photography with Coloratti Ashley Karyl

I am a professional photographer based in the UK, who spent 11 years working in Milan on commercial assignments for a number of well known editorial and beauty cosmetics clients, before returning to the UK. The majority of my work was advertising based and I was known primarily for my clean colour studio images. A big part of beauty photography involves accurate colour and I started at a time when photographers had little real control compared to now. Colour management was still limited in scope, but I became one of the early adopters, because accurate colour was essential on big budget productions for advertising campaigns. It was a huge challenge that took almost four years to complete, but it has helped a considerable number of photographers to produce excellent colour on a consistent basis with little stress. At present, I am in a transition phase, having left commercial work behind and moving towards fine art photography. The work shown on this site is a small random selection from some of the photography I did in the past, but in the near future I will update the site with my new work, as I concentrate purely on the images and subjects I love.


Free Ashley Karyl Colour Management Pro eBook

The i1Display Pro is a screen calibration device that ensures your screen display is accurate and matches the image you captured. To claim a free copy of Colour Management Pro, customers can visit the X-Rite site and follow the simple instructions. Visit our Competitions Forum, where you'll find our monthly competition and other external competitions to enter. Search for all the latest photography gear and services in our dedicated photography directories. Magezine Publishing Top. Login Join for Free.

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