Edits. Post. Frills and Fluff.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with digital photography and how it works, editing is basically the manipulation or enhancement of a photo.
And right away, maybe you're thinking to yourself, "I don't like it when people make their photos look fake," or "I don't need all of that done."
Well, believe it or not, almost 99% of the professional photos that you see have been touched in some way, whether it be to do something completely fun and unnatural, or maybe just to add a pop of color, add some crispness, fix a blemish, or remove something distracting in the background. You may not even notice, but more than likely, it's been touched, and for good reason.
Take the above photo for instance. If you were to view the photo on the right (the after photo) first you more than likely would think it was in it's natural (or close to natural) state. Good. That's exactly what I want you to think when viewing my work. I don't want the main focus to be the edits. I want the main focus to be the subject- these beautiful wedding flowers in their rustic setting.
Now, how would you feel if I would have presented to you the actual original photo as my final product? I think you would be pretty disappointed. The overall feel is drab, the flag, flower pot, and beam are distracting, and there's a small bit of light sneaking through the bottom of the photo where the pinic table stops. With a little work, this photo came a long ways!
Another thing you may wonder is, "Why take a photo like that in the first place?" Well, most of the time I try avoid doing countless hours of work in post, but sometimes, you have to.This was a quick shot I got bc of lack of time, the picnic table was the closest, rustic, elevated object to me, and there was no time for flash equipment. Instead of junking it, I took some time, played with it a bit, and am very happy with the final result.
Long story short- this is a perfect example as to why you want a photographer who is willing to do edits and go the extra mile for you (if need be.)
(Please keep in mind- just getting the photo right originally, with out edits, is the way to go and my personal practice, but sometimes, it doesn't always work out like that, and this example is perfect for getting that point across!)
Which brings me to my next point- why I say no when clients ask me if they can have ALL the pictures from their session, even if that means they are unedited and why you, as a client, should not be willing to sacrifice edits (or be willing to perform your own) to save money.
Let's say I DID give you all your photos from your session, unedited, bc maybe we worked out a deal that after viewing all of them you could pick which ones you want me to edit. That seems fair and reasonable, at first. But now think about this. What if you were to go through your photos and come across the above photo on the left (the before)? Chances are you would bypass it bc of the distraction and not even think about what "could be" and be too fixed on "what is."
That's 1 reason why I don't offer that option. I want your portraits to be viewed how they were meant to be seen- as little piece of art, your art.
And speaking of art- although your portraits are your portraits, they are also little pieces of me and my artistic view of the world that I am releasing to you to enjoy. With that being said, that's also why I don't allow other people to take my images and edit them to save money, or for any other reason. Each image is special to me and I personally tweak and meticulously perfect each one as I see fit. Some images may have to be worked on for awhile, some images are done within mere minutes. But the point is, they have passed through my fingertips and exited them the way I intended.
The above set is a perfect example of just that. This image was taken at another wedding I photographed in April. The weather was chilly, there was a chance of rain and we were all happy to run inside after the outdoor ceremony. The bride's mother had put a rosary outside bc it is said that they will ward off rain (and it worked by the way!) When I got to the editing process the image was nice but it needed some "uumph" so I added some nice warm colors (the photo on the right is the result.) I love warm colors. At the last minute though, I thought about it and realized, that image was not an accurate depiction of the cold day we endured, and I changed the edits to cold tones before finalizing the image. Yes- I personally like the image to the right, but that wasn't the point of the photo. I want the bride to remember the day as it was and how the rosary did it's job well! Had I allowed someone to take my image and edit it to their liking to save them money, or for whatever reason, my work would be floating around in a way that doesn't represent my view or artistic view point.
So, with out further ado- go for the edits. There's a reason why they are there. And if there isn't a good reason for them, well... that's for a another blog. ;)