Replicate a certain photographers look

I’m new to film photography but love the look and the process so far. I’m a family photographer and super inspired by Brooke Schultz (if you don’t know her, heaven, you’re in for a treat!) and her work. I try desperately to replicate the tones and color she has in her photos but I fail miserably. I know we use the same film, portra 400, she sends her rolls off to a lab that uses frontier scanner. I have no such lab with nice results in my country, so I use dslr scanning. So I need some help with negative lab pro (v 3) and how to reverse engineer her amazing tones. I’m not very good at seeing different tones of color so I don’t know where to start really… blue shadows and yellow highlights only gets me that far… and that’s not even close (or when I do it, pretty!)
attaching some of her photos as examples. I know a lot comes down to the light, but still…
Thank youuu!

Here is her instagram profile. Her work is just stunning!!

To replicate specific look you should analyze how the light is used in those pictures up to certain level of overexposure and ways to have light fill the pictures. All other technical things like film stock or lab are very much secondary and non essential.

She is clearly a brilliant photographer and businesswoman and yes, her pictures definitely have a certain ‘look’ in terms of colours and tonality, but also in terms of style. I think for this forum though you might ask a specific question about one of your own camera ‘scans’ so that some of the NLP experts on here could advise you how to emulate that look using NLP, which settings to try etc. I get the impression from what you say that you haven’t been able to achieve that yet. You could even perhaps provide a download link of a sample image, it can just be an ‘outtake’.

Then, once you’ve found a way to make NLP give you a result that you like it’s a question of whether NLP can give you the consistency in the same way that a Frontier scanner seems to be able to do, though even that owes a lot to the operator using it.

Going back to her style, she is clearly great with people but there is a kind of pattern to the way she photographs, differential focus, a lot of ‘contre-jour’, movement etc but also great engagement with her subjects. Goodness knows how much film she gets through to capture these moments. Unless I had unlimited funds I would certainly use a digital camera to try and develop my style and work out my colour palette.


I’d not try to get the “Schultz” look with NLP, but in Lightroom with converted files - or any other app with a comprehensive colour manipulating feature set. Maybe a custom Picture Style (that’s what Canon calls it) was used. Getting close to a custom style is difficult, specially if we have no un-tweaked reference capture, e.g. of a colour checker.

Some photographers sell style packs, Schultz seems to not do this.

From what I see in the examples, the following things are part of the style…you might see things differently though.

  • reduced saturation and contrast, haze effect, bright
  • managed sharpness (balancing sharp and unsharp parts)
  • midtones shift towards petrol
  • reduced presence of hues (mostly white, skin, beige, blue(s), coloured black)
  • staged subject(s) - Schultz landscape or car racing? Probably not!
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