Why Shoot With A Color Card?

In this video, I show you guys how shooting a color card while taking portraits will greatly help with setting your white balance.

This is mainly a practice I use while shooting in the studio, however there’s nothing wrong with shooting a color card so you can find a nice neutral grey when you edit.

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I shoot RAW, so it’s not necessary for me to set the white balance while i’m shooting because it’s so easy to set the white balance when editing, but sometimes, you may get odd readings and shooting reference shots with a color card will help you to find a neutral setting

Once I get my lighting dialed in, I will have either my subject or assistant hold the color card around chest level for my reference shot.

Whenever I shoot tethered, I want my white set for the images so that I can view them with a more accurate color reading. Even though the camera in auto white balance does a pretty good job, there are influencing factors that can affect the reading. Different color temperatures of ambient or artificial light, the type of strobes, speedlights you’re using are just a couple.

If you are shooting multiple scenarios, it’s a good idea to do a color card reference shot for each scenario. That way, you can tweak each photo set accordingly both as you’re shooting and in post.

Even though I may have my neutral grey reference shots, I still may tweak the white balance either cooler or warmer, but it’s very helpful to have the color card image as a starting point for setting white balance.

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