May 22, 2024
Recently I featured Ruan van der Sande‘s website for LRB Portfolio. Ruan is a commercial, lingerie and beauty photographer based in the U.K.. His work is really stunning, so I thought he’d be perfect to feature as a Lightroom User.


Ruan, welcome to Lightroom Blog on Pixiq. Tell us a little about yourself. 

Well first of all I would like to say thank you for this great opportunity of being interviewed for such a great site. So about me, where to start? I haven’t been doing photography that long, I think it was late 2007 when I got my first camera and since then I have been stuck with this crazy obsession that I hope it never goes away! I can honestly say that the last couple years since I started photography it’s been non stop and my constant want for more and better keeps me motivated and keeps me pushing to learn and shoot more and as much as I possibly can.


How did you get interested in Photography?
Well I started out like I think a lot of people do by shooting landscapes and still life until one day a friend asked me to do some acting head shots which very quickly turned into people asking for portfolios and it just kind of snowballed from there into what I am doing now which is a mixture of commercial, lingerie, beauty and a bit of fashion.


You’ve specialised in fashion and beauty work, was that a concious descision, or did you fall into it?
Yes it was most definitely a conscious decision. I mainly shoot lingerie and beauty, and some people might find this funny, but it is a lot easier to style. I use to think I wanted to be a editorial high fashion photographer but I quickly realised that unless you have a decent budget finding good stylists is not as easy as you might think! So I have been focusing mainly on lingerie and beauty and from that I have been lucky enough to get some great commercial clients. 
With your bigger clients, how do you build up to a shoot day?

One word, ‘preparation’ I believe that the more you can plan and prepare before a big job the better the day will be and the least chances of panic. And when something does happen just stay calm because its almost always not half as bad as you think it is at the time! So I try and plan as much as possible. Then also another and very important part is putting a good team together of people tat you like working with and trust! This is actually one of my most important things at a shoot.    


What’s a typical shoot day like for you and your team?
It’s mostly pretty relaxed and laid back. Everyone turns up and we have a quick shoot brief before we start work with a coffee in hand. The rest is pretty typical to any other shoot… I have an amazing team of people I always work with so everyone pretty much know what they need to do so it makes it a lot less stressful! 

Let’s talk about your post processing. You use Lightroom, talk us through a little of a typical workflow. 
After a shoot I’ll import everything to Lightroom and start sorting images.  While I am doing this I will also flag anything that really jumps out at me. Then I’ll rate the images until I get them down do a reasonable amount to start sticking them into contact sheets that I will then send to the client to make a final selection.


Do you use Photoshop in your retouching?
Once I get the final selection from a client I will firstly use Lightroom to correct white balance and exposure before I will then export and open the images in Photoshop. So my retouching will mainly happen in Photoshop and once its done I will go back to Lightroom where I will now have the raw files and retouched files in one place. I’ll remove the rating from the raw files so that only the retouched files are displayed and from here in I will export the images into the required file sizes and formats that the specific client requires.   


What’s your favourite thing about Lightroom?

I have to say ease of use and how effortlessly I can sort and rate my images into groups and selections. It makes my life so much easier! 


Your least favourite?

Hm, well there is the thing that it doesn’t want to do all my work and retouch all my images for me so I can get some sleep at night! But other then that there is nothing I really don’t like about it. 

What feature would you most like to see added to Lightroom?

I don’t know if this already exist for Lightroom but I would really like some sort of iPad integration for shooting tethered to Lightroom with images showing up on an iPad for the client to flag files right then and there. So come on you developers get working I am sure I am not the only one that need this! I know there are other applications that do this but I would prefer having it all done straight in Lightroom. Oh and a Lightroom iPad app would also be fantastic. 


Thanks for your time!

You can see more of Ruan’s great work on his website.


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