Editing & Photoshop: What is it for?

April 25, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

What is "photoshopping"? Why do photographers do so much editing?

The simple answer is SOMETIMES life gives you challenges and you can not always get what you want in the 1-2 seconds you have to capture an image. Lightroom and Photoshop and many others are great tools to achieve the look we want in what we call Post Processing or just Post. 

Danielle 1Danielle 1

This is an example image, I had a young client here at the studio last week. 

The challenges?

1: My studio space is smaller with low ceilings and my lights are GIANT

2: Large props- Which Can I just say I love these GIANT balloons!!!

3: A 3 year old... with tiny little feet that move quickly

So I shot the image as you see here, Obviously I know I am going to need to Photoshop the image, I knew that when I shot it. In this size studio I COULD get a wider seamless paper backdrop... but they are heavy and hard to store in a small space especially if you want to have multiple paper colors and because of my short ceilings everything seems to get a little clumsy in there when moving these long giant paper rolls so I stick to this size its great for babies and close ups and it works for me. If I need to do some editing on a few of the pull back shots its not really a huge deal to me. If it is to you then purchase the wider drop :) no problem. 

So what do I do next?

This is my editing regimen or workflow as some call it

1: Shoot

2: Upload directly to Lightroom

3: Viewing- this a browsing process in which I quickly pick a few favorites to quickly edit and post a preview on social media (within 48 hrs of the session usually)

4: Cull (weeding out whatever you would like to call it) I pick out most images where subjects are crying, have eyes closed, arms flying, running to close to camera, mom and dad hands etc. you get it... No client want to browse through the 300 images I took of un-culled images. So that is why this is done. I do like to leave in a few crying ones because... That is parenthood and being a kid and I think sometimes those are still cute! Or at the very least a memory none the less.

5: I do a quick soft edit (this a series of small adjustments I make to every image) Some images after that adjustment are good to go for a soft edit. Others I need to tweak more one on one. So what is involved in the soft edit? I adjust Exposure, Contrast, Sharpness etc. once all the images have a "soft edit" I upload them to my preview site. Most of the time these image are perfect for printing and sharing. They do not "need" to have any extra editing done. 

6: But "need" and "want" are two different things. So sometimes I like/need to go the extra mile and create a "full edit". Such is the case here in the image above. I can not send that image to my client as it is not suitable for printing... So I import my image into photoshop and start creating the magic. Here is the ready for print image after post.

Danielle 2Danielle 2

Now I could of stopped there but... sometimes I like to play around with an image and have a little fun sometimes so I tried this fun confetti action to achieve this cute birthday look. 

Danielle 3Danielle 3

I sent my client both images so they can choose if they like the confetti or not but I thought it added a little something and was fun.

With all that said I do have clients that will want a "full edit" on an image that is still print ready (see in the example below) the top image is great but that full edit really turns its up and gives it that crisp clean feel that I love, However doing a full edit on all images would be too much to keep up with so that is why I keep it to a limited amount. My "full edit" consists of things like, wrinkles, under eye circles, small bruises, skin smoothing, highlighting and toning.

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Post processing or editing, has so many realistic as well as artistic options like the one below, you can create fantasy images and drop in skies the options are quite endless!!!

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Editing is a part of our art, for me I can see a final image in my head and I use this software to make those images in my head come to life. :)

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