I wanted to write this post to clear up some commonly misconstrued ideas about professional photography and what it is and isn’t. Hopefully this post will give you a better idea about the services we provide and if professional photography is right for your needs. Disclaimer: I’m not necessarily the end-all, be-all source of knowledge on this topic; I’m simply sharing a bit about my experience and process.
First, let’s talk about the different “levels” of photography by starting with your average cell phone picture. No judgement if this is primarily what you use- I often do too! After all, the best camera is the one you have with you. 🙂 Here’s a photo I snapped with Will’s camera phone; it’s dark and sort of grainy. Not all phone pictures are like this (obviously), but I was trying to create a good comparison and this was the only place I could get the dog to lay still.
Next, I want to show you some raw photos. This is exactly how the photos came off my camera- no editing, adjustments, nothing. They look pretty decent but still lack that “pop”. After you book a session with us, I create a gallery of your raw images for you to choose which ones I edit. I do this so that you can get a feel for what the final product will look like and so you can select images you love. Like most professional photographers, we never sell raw photos (maybe I’ll do another blog post on that later).
Now for the edited photos. In these, the exposure, color balance, contrast, and a hundred other small adjustments have been made. Additionally, I use brushes to slightly enhance the subject.
Here’s a side by side comparison:
Now how does that play out on a human face? Below is a picture that Will took of me. On the left is the photo with basic lighting adjustments and on the right is with the final edits. I smoothed my skin, darkened my eyebrows, defined my jaw, removed a piece of hair from my face, and brightened my eyes. If you desire this level of portraiture, THIS is why you hire someone like me. I always strive to create a still-natural look (no plastic skin here!) but one that you’re proud to hang over your mantle.
There is no shame in wanting any of the above levels of photography! I just wanted to shed a little light (pun intended) on how much effort goes into creating a final edit. I truly see this as a form of art and value each client that entrusts their photos to me. Thanks for hanging on through this long read and feel free to ask me any additional questions you may have!