Updated: May 24, 2022
“A portrait is not made in the camera but on either side of it.”
– Edward Steichen
Professional photography is about so much more than just the click of the shutter. It is about everything that comes before, and everything that happens afterwards, to turn an image into artwork. Good photographers know their camera like the back of their hand and are masters of shooting in manual. But at the end of the day, a camera is just a tool, and means to an end.
Along with knowing how to work a camera, creating beautiful imagery is just as much about time of day, lighting and weather conditions, outfit selection, posing, composition, and providing prompts that will cause the subject(s) to evoke the desired mood--fortunately for you, it is my job to assist you with ALL of this, from the day we book until the final images are delivered.
But, once the image has been created in camera, the photographer's work truly has only just begun, as creating the finished artwork is just as much about the post-processing, and how a photographer can turn a great straight-out-of-camera picture into an INCREDIBLE piece of artwork with just a little editing.
In all my studies and over a decade in the business, I have yet to come across a professional photographer who doesn't edit their photos in one way or another. Back in the days of film, there was still photo enhancement and retouching. Even the great Ansel Adams edited his photos with the extensive use of dodging and burning to create the images we know and love. All in all, photo editing has been around as long as photography!
Nowadays there are so many different editing styles out there--light and airy, dark and moody, bold and vibrant, the list goes on and on! The photographer's editing style is a very important thing to consider when you are looking for a photographer, because as artists, generally photographers are very attached to their style...and for good reason.
Not only is it to the photographer's benefit to have a consistent editing style, but the client's benefit as well! After all, how would you feel if you invested in portraits that turned out nothing like the photographer's portfolio? This being said, you want to be sure to look at their portfolio prior to booking to be sure it aligns with what your goals are for the session.
I already know my style is not for everyone (as we know, no one can please everyone), and that is OK by me! Fortunately for my clients who do love my work (and for my own sanity), I will keep creating artwork I love and displaying the world how I see it. Every single photographer sees the world differently, and as the client you get to find an artist who's work aligns with your vision of the world, and how you view yourself!
So, what is your editing style?
I am so glad you asked! I would consider my style bold, vibrant, and moody with true to life colors. This means that the finished product will change a little depending on the location, the season, and the time of day we choose to shoot at, along with the apparel that you choose to wear for the session.
Ultimately, I want your images to look how I saw in real life, and for you to look like YOU, but in your best light. After all, whether we are capturing your wedding, an event, your precious newborn, a graduating senior, or family pictures, I know you go through a lot of effort to select your outfits (or decor), and it would be a shame for your final images not look anything like what you selected.
Why is editing necessary? Can't you just take a better picture?
Of course, for a professional photographer, editing is not meant to fix the bad images, but to enhance good ones. But, no matter how good the camera, it is still nothing compared to what we "see" with our own eyes in real life, and there is a reason for this. Cameras are incredible technology and are improving by the year, but they still have NOTHING on our eyes and brain (and probably won't for a while). But why?
Our eyes have a very high dynamic range, which is why we can see both dark and light objects simultaneously. Plus, we have an incredible brain that pieces together all the information sent by our eyes into the finished image that we "see". A camera on the other hand, has a relatively low dynamic range, meaning it can only expose for one thing at a time (for example, the highlights or the shadows, but not both simultaneously without under or over-exposing the other). Fortunately, with the help of the editing programs like Photoshop and Lightroom, we are able to create images much closer to what we see in real life. And at the end of the day, that is truly my goal as a photographer:
To show you the world through my eyes.