Snapping photos and capturing my subject’s natural beauty is only half of my job. After the photoshoot ends and I’ve packed up my camera equipment, I have several more hours of work – although I don’t really see it as work because I absolutely love it – to edit a raw image to the final photo I share!
Every photographer has a different process, but for me, editing images is all about bringing out the essence of that photo.
When I’m behind my camera lens, I’m trying to capture the intimate look between a newly engaged couple, the sly smile from a shy boy stomping through the leaves, or the sheer joy coursing through a dog jumping up to her owner.
But I’m also trying to do this while bearing in mind the exposure of the light and how it illuminates my subject, the focus of my lens and how clear the photo will be, and so on. Even when a photo looks incredible, post-production editing allows me to make small tweaks to take those raw images to the next level.
In many ways, raw images straight out of the camera, are unfinished. Editing is the final step.
The very first thing I do is sort through all of the images. While I don’t take a trigger-finger approach to snapping shots, I do end a photo shoot with a lot of pictures. For every final image I deliver to my client, there is a handful of similar photos with a slightly different exposure, a lock of hair in the face, a blurry version, and so on. Basically, I’m extracting your best images. I have spent years looking at millions(maybe more!) of photos, so I’ve developed an eye for spotting the best images to take into editing.
With the culled images, I start making corrections to each image one by one. I look at the brightness, contrast, saturation, color, and highlights and shadows of the photos to make adjustments. These adjustments bring out the radiant light of the sunset behind that loving couple, enhance the diversity of autumnal colors in the leaves that boy is standing in, and bring that dog’s expression into focus.
This is one aspect of the editing process that I am often asked about by my clients. We all want to look our best in our photos, which is why I take the time to polish and retouch. I never want to remove natural beauty from a photo, so the retouching I do is only where necessary. This might include removing a distracting object, whitening my subject’s teeth, minimizing a blemish, or even eliminating a background altogether!
After I’ve completed the editing process, I order proofs of each image to share with my clients. I love hearing their responses as they see their special moments encapsulated forever.
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