When you book me for a photo session, we would communicate over e-mail and phone, meet in person, discuss the ideas for the shoot, and finally the day of the shoot arrives. The session may be anything from a 90minute shoot to a couple of hours. We collaborate, chat, laugh, have a great time and then we say goodbye.
BUT that is not where it all ends - It’s just the beginning (for me)!
Most of us photographers spend a lot of time post-editing the photos in order to get the best set of photographs that truly reflects the aesthetics that our individual clients may be after. How we may edit will vary from photographer to photographer and also depends on what the pictures are for.
I have been asked many times what my editing process is like and although each time is different I can give you four main steps that I take for most of my post-editing process!
1 . Cull through for the best images
The first thing I would do is to run through the hundreds and thousands of photos I have taken from my session and cull out what I consider as the best images that I would want to edit. This is a process that takes hours sometimes - it’s like being a judge of the X-factor audition! I rate the images from 1 star to 5 star depending on image quality, composition, overall best outcome. I want to make sure I have not missed any good images out. Once it’s narrowed down to say the last tens or hundreds, I start to really go through them with a fine tooth comb to pick the final selections.
2 . Apply basic adjustments
Once the (audition!) process is done, I go through each image to adjust and fine-tune the image. That is making sure the image exposure is just right, checking the highlights are coming out so that important details and textures of the images are not lost, and adjusting the crop of the image so there is no distracting details (the man walking by that happened to be in the corner of the image is cropped off!). There is more to even the basic adjustment steps but I won’t go into too much here.
3 . Consideration of style and aesthetics
Now this is the fun part where it is like adding seasoning and flavour to the dish. This is where my creative input really comes in. For some sessions this step will be left to some very subtle colour corrections or adjustments but other times the client may be after a certain aesthetic. Either way the editing style will always be discussed before the shoot so that the client does not get any big surprises!
In the case of the bridal shoot featured in this blog, the beautiful bride-to-be Simone did not request for a particular style and allowed me to get creative with the editing of the images. She described the aesthetics she likes as pastel, soft, and elegant tones. She also likes that vintage, old Hollywood movie elegance. I wanted the editing to reflect her personality and presence so I decided to bring out the rosy pink colour tones that would enhance her elegance and femininity. She loved this particular edit I gave her images, so this was applied to all images taken at the session!
4 . Final touches
The final touches may include some skin retouching in photoshop where some obvious blemishes or spots may be removed or if a strand of hair that is cutting across your face on a close up image may be taken out by careful editing. I may be asked to leave the skin untouched which I would also be very happy to do. In any case, I try not to touch too much and I certainly will not alter body shape as I try to capture my clients during their photo session under the best light, most flattering angles, and at their most beautiful - and so I truly do not believe that it would become necessary!
I hope these four steps have given you a little insight into how much love, attention, and consideration goes into every single image that you will receive...so that you can treasure, keep, and love the created images forever!