I am not one to share unedited images. You pay for a finished product, and well, I can assure you that an unedited image is just NOT what you pay for. When you invest in photography services you are looking for a complete service. If you went to a baker and purchased a cake and he delivered a half baked, undecorated mess, you would be pretty upset, right?
With that being said, I do feel it is necessary to demonstrate the difference professional editing makes with your portraits. It is part of creating a beautiful product & giving you a stellar experience. We are all happy when we look our best!
The following images are from a recent personal branding session with the lovely Dr. Denise. We chose to shoot at Sherwood Gardens in Baltimore, MD. Sherwood is a truly gorgeous place in the spring and early summer. The park is full of painters, picnickers & children at play. I searched the park for an empty space, all the while looking for soft light. I found the perfect spot, with one downfall... there was a large circular sprinkler pad right where I needed her to stand. So, I put my photographer goggles on and I thought of the "big picture" versus what I saw in front of me.
Can You See the Differences?
I started by sending this image to my professional team of editors over at Photographers Edit who color corrected the image. The shadows needed brightened & the blacks were a little to deep causing the grass to look murky, so they had to soften them up. Then, it was my turn. I adjusted the tonal curve to make the highlights pop and added a bit of contrast. Then, that sprinkler pad had to go, as well as the corner of the building visible in the trees. After correcting the background, I decided to add a bit of gaussian blur to the bushes and grass in the background. The purpose of this is to add a layer of separation between the subject, Dr. Denise, and the background. Finally, I got to work making this lovely gal look her best. I removed the shadows casted on her dress along with any lines or wrinkles on the dress. I enhanced her eyes, whitened her teeth and enhanced the highlight on her lips. Afterwards, I softened her skin. Lastly, I lightened the small dark circles under her eyes.
The difference is very visible between the two images. The ability to shoot in a less than ideal place and turn it into something beautiful is often referred to as "The Photographer's Eye". Most people have heard someone say the phrase "an eye for photography". If you scour the internet you will find many blog post and articles from photographer's everywhere titled "WHAT YOU SEE VERSUS WHAT I SEE" (or some variation of that phrase). "You" is meant as a general term for a someone who isn't a photographer. To mean, the phrase means that what "you" see when you look at a scene isn't always what I see. You may wonder why a photographer chooses to shoot in a specific location, but I promise you, with professional editing most things can be corrected. If a tree in the background isn't quite perfect, if the wind has blown a few stray hairs lose or in this case, if the best light just happens to be on top of a sprinkler pad- a photographer who knows how to edit can correct those minor imperfections making your image perfect.
Every session that I offer includes a gallery of fully edited proofs. I take my time to ensure each image is perfect before it is presented to you. I select only the BEST images to edit, which is called culling. I edit the images where your smile looks the best or your eyes aren't closed, where your posture is as perfect as possible, where your hair is in place and where you look the very best. I typically shoot 6-8 shots of each pose. This allows me to select the best one out of six (or eight) where you look AMAZING.
If you would like more information, give me a call or send me a quick email. I am happy to answer any questions you have!
The Baltimore Girl Blog is written and published by photographer and owner Ashley. On occasion, the blog may feature guest authors and interviews with other kindred vendors.