Updated: Jul 3, 2020
These days everyone's a photographer. The newest smartphones have three camera lenses! They can do everything a pro's camera can do. The determining factor lies in the person's skill to compose an image and then edit it to stand out above the rest.
As a life-long learner, I enjoy taking live classes, online courses and also teaching myself how to do things via YouTube and other free sources. I have an acute attention to detail when editing images that surpasses the enthusiast. I take time and care to edit images until they are as perfect as I can get them. I also take pictures of people which lends itself to using my discretion on how they are portrayed. I can enhance a photo to create a mood or vibe of the individual. The untrained photo taker will slap a filter on all their Instagram images and call it good. My edits take me hours.
I take the time to survey my clients and get to know them and the story they want to portray through their branding images. The images I create will reflect who they are and what they offer. The image becomes more than a portrait. The entire photo session should be edited to feel like a story is being told about the person and what they offer the world. My goal is for someone to feel like they know them when they spend time on their website, blog, or social media page.
One thing I have to mention that has been on my mind the past few months is the way "professional" photographers are editing people of color. Wedding and family photographers are trying to keep up with a trendy style of a bright, over-exposed, hazy look to their pictures. I have seen it done correctly where the colored people in the photo are not washed out and care has been taken to enhance their features and skin tones, which lends itself to creating a stunning photo (still not my preferred style). On the other hand, when a picture of a colored family is clearly white washed with a quick preset it enrages me. It is careless and shows weakness in your editing skills and sensitivity to what your clients actually look like.
If you are working with a photographer and you get your images back and are not completely in love with how the pictures portray you and make you feel, you have the right to ask them to re-edit them or refund your money. It is not something that should be swept under the rug and not drawn to a photographer's attention. If you get a negative response from talking about your images and your edit preferences get your money returned and give them a negative public review.
I am not sorry for getting a bit dark on this issue (pun intended). My extroverted-self passionately expresses her emotions from time to time on social platforms!
Here are some of my before and after edits to check out. Hopefully you will appreciate the art of editing.
There are three images to each set; straight out of the camera, proof edit, final enhanced edit. The proof edit is for the client to choose their favorites from the full session gallery. I then take it one step further and refine the image to make it look really clean and professional.
SOOC PROOF EDIT FINAL EDIT
Corrections made; exposure correction, highlights fixed on couch, skin smoothing, facial features sharpened, blouse ironed, couch blemishes removed.
Corrections made; color correction, vibrancy added, skin smoothing, facial features sharpened.
SOOC - press arrow to view edits
Corrections made; increased exposure along with mid-tones and highlights on face, color correction, vibrancy added, skin smoothing, facial features sharpened. I changed the color of the walls to help with website branding and removed outlets and marks on the floor and right side of the room.
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you through my lens soon!