post processing photos

What You See Vs. What I See

Back before I started my own business I was in corporate America like many others. I had a marketing degree, but I wanted something more. Something more creative and fun. How I would love to wake up every day and get paid to have fun! Who wouldn't want that??? Ok, not every day is all glitter and rainbows, but I would say my line of work is a close second. Let me explain why.

Every day that I have the opportunity to photograph someone or be a part in the evolution of a digital negative file and turn it into the vision I see in my head - well that to me is fun! I never dreamed of actually being a photographer. I honestly wanted to be a graphic designer. However, when I went to get my certificate that nicely complimented that marketing degree I realized the world of photography. My first class was an introduction to photography and the rest is now history! 

The creative process for me starts even before I turn on my camera. I plan out the session, location or set itself. I consider colors, themes, lighting and the end result I am trying to obtain. All of these elements are ways for me to control or let loose in my creativity. However, that isn't were the creativity stops!

After a session I get to take the digital negative files and begin the post editing process. How do I do that? I use Photoshop to help me mold what you might see versus what I see when I am taking a photo. Many people think that Photoshop can fix anything or solve any problem you may have. Sadly that isn't always the case. Not everything can be "fixed" or "altered". Sometimes it is a lack of information on the digital file. Sometimes it is simply a bad photo. Sometimes the changes requested are simply not realistic and may even cross ethical boundaries. Photoshop is a great tool, but one that as a photographer we have to use carefully and with a lot of thought and skill.

Let me share with you a quick story. Last weekend I took photos for my extended family. After the session I was browsing through the images on the back of my camera to confirm with my brother-in-law we got them all. We came to one set and he asked me if these would be good enough because he was concerned as to how they looked. I assured him these were not edited yet and all I was looking for was the right foundation for me to get to work with. This small conversation is exactly why it is worth hiring a professional. My job doesn't stop when I hit the shutter-release button. Let me show you some of the examples I have in my portfolio of the post processing work I have completed!

Newborn Photoshop Before & After. Yes, that is my foot in the original!

Newborn Photoshop Before & After. Yes, that is my foot in the original!

From Suburbia to the open road!

From Suburbia to the open road!

What You See Vs. What I See

What You See Vs. What I See

Color changes to accentuate and "pop" this image

Color changes to accentuate and "pop" this image

Light skin touch up and smoothing, brightening teeth and eyes and clean edits to brighten the image. All done to compliment the subject without taking away her natural beauty!

Light skin touch up and smoothing, brightening teeth and eyes and clean edits to brighten the image. All done to compliment the subject without taking away her natural beauty!

I will admit I LOVE post processing. I love the challenge. I love the frustration. I love the rewards of my hard work. I love seeing the before and afters, just as much as you do. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed creating the end result!