I wanted to showcase a cute, cute image I captured this last weekend and show you how I take the image that comes out of my camera and process it so that the client gets a “perfectly processed image.”
Why do I even need to process with Photoshop in the first place? Well, one reason is that I shoot in RAW mode – a camera mode that carries more information/bits so that an image has more “color information.” Basically, the final image quality is higher. However, a RAW image comes out of the camera looking bland – it needs processing before it can be turned into a jpeg that will print out beautifully.
But before I share a “before and after” image I thought I would also share the steps I take from start to finish when working with a client.
BEFORE THE PHOTO SHOOT:
1. Set up with client the day/time of the shoot, discuss with client location options, the “vision” for the session, styling possibilities, etc
2. Check gear (camera body, lenses, battery, memory cards)
3. Clean gear (lenses, especially)
DURING THE SHOOT:
4. Travel time to location (usually about 30-40 minutes roundtrip)
5. time spent with family/children newborn (1.5 – 2 hours for a family session and up to 4 hours for a newborn session)
AFTER THE PHOTO SHOOT:
6. download images from my camera into my catalouging/organizational system, Adobe Bridge
7. back-up images
8. proofing images and selecting the 30-40 best images from approximately 350 images
9. post processing 5-20 select images to present to client
10. converting the “Straight Out of the Camera” images from RAW to jpgs to present to client
11. uploading images to online gallery
12. contacting client with information on how to view images and how to order images for their portrait collection
13. creating a blog entry for the photo session
14. Discussing with client specifics about their order (images they’ve selected, products they are ordering, prints they are ordering)
15. placing print and product orders
16. packaging orders and sending them off to the client!
PHEW! That is a lot of steps! All in all – I would say that I spend about 12-15 hours from start to finish working with a client. Some people might be surprised by how much work goes into each session – people might have thought that it only takes an hour of taking pictures and that that is it. Nope! It takes quite a bit longer than an hour. :)
Okay, now, . . . the before and after picture I promised you.
Here is the BEFORE and AFTER shot:
Alrighty then, what did I do to this picture?
The picture above was taken in “cool” open shade so these two cutie-patooties are a tad cool in skin tones. FIrst, I warmed up their skin a bit by adjusting the white balance. Then I added some contrast to the picture. I also made the background more rich and a tad darker so that the subjects were the clear focus of the image. I then touched up Mr. Cutie-Patootie’s chin because he had a little scrape. Because the sun was not hitting their eyes, otherwise they would have been squinting, I brightened up their eyes a bit. This light+shade combo also left a slight red color cast on Mr. Cutie-Patootie’s neck that I had to desaturate. And finally, I saturated the overall color in the picture because I do lovvvvvve bold colors.
How long does post-processing take for one image? It depends on the image. Sometimes 10 minutes per image, sometimes 20-30 minutes – depending on how many Photoshopping tricks I need to employ. **wink**
And remember, I did all of this because RAW images come out of the camera looking a bit bland until they are processed. The client receives a high-quality image that will print out beautifully at a professional lab – one that knows how to handle professional processing.
Hope you all have a great rest of your week!