Hi Friends and happy Sunday! I hope you all are having a wonderful long weekend. For today's blog post, I'm doing it on a question that I get asked quite frequently - which is what do my photos look like when I take them and how much editing do I do to them? While the answer is "it varies", it's truly based on how much I have to do to an image to get it looking like the vision I have in my mind. As an Orange County Family and Child photographer, my favorite part of a session is actually the editing process! That's when I take a raw photo that is ho-hum and make it magical! While I don't normally show the straight out of camera (SOOC) images because they don't represent my finished work that I deliver to clients, I get asked about it so much I thought I'd share a few typical before and after’s with you.
My editing process begins with what’s called culling, or sorting through my images. This is where I go through every since image I take during a session, and delete the duplicates, the ones where eyes are closed/half blinking, any funny expressions etc. From there, I correct color, exposure, and straighten the images in Adobe Lightroom. From there, I take every single image I deliver and hand edit it in Photoshop, which is where the magic happens!
Image 1 Before: While there is nothing wrong with the image (it has the correct exposure, color toning, and composition) it lacks warmth, magic, and pop!
Image 2 Before: While I loved the composition of the image, it was a little underexposed and lacked a pop. It was such a sweet moment between these two adorable sisters that I had to make it into a black and white image! Black and whites are my favorite when it comes to emotional moments.
Image 3 Before: While the image has good lighting, and the exposure it correct, since her face is in the shadow facing away from the light, it kind of gets lost in the image. I wanted to bring the focus back onto her, while playing up the gorgeous sky we had that evening. I also wanted her composed in the rule of thirds to be more pleasing to the eye.
Image 4 Before: Oh, this adorable munchkin! Like with the above image, her face gets lost in the shadows and the overall image is a little underexposed, meaning it's darker than it should be. The SOOC also lacks pop and magic.
Image 5 Before: This little man was the biggest ham (he is totally going to be a famous actor one day!) and wanted an image with butterflies, so that's what I gave him! You can see in the before he's too green/blue, and dark.
Image 6 before: This is actually one of the most underexposed images I've taken, and shows what the power of a good camera and good editing is. It had started getting dark outside, and I was rushing to finish the session and didn't realize how underexposed my images had gotten :-(. As an Orange County child photographer I wanted to share that even we can make mistakes! You can see the finished image has the proper lighting, color and magic to it!
Finally the last image I'd like to share is a composite. I get asked about doing these for clients a lot, and there are so much fun but extremely time consuming! While normal images take anywhere from 5-40 minutes each to edit, composites take me anywhere from 45 minutes - 5 hours! But I really get to have fun and be creative with them!
Before: These two boys love stick fighting, and every time I photograph them they request a new Star Wars image! You can see the original is adorable as is, but became a Jedi battle after!
I hope you enjoyed this look into my editing process! If you'd like your own Orange County Family or Child Photographs, please get in touch - I'd love to make magic with you!