“Your camera takes really nice pictures!” Every photographer has heard this at one point or another and the truth is that we all cringe when we hear it! It’s usually not said with malice, but we know that it’s definitely NOT the case. Most people don’t realize the amount of work that we put into an image. A camera is just one of many tools that we use to create our art. When I take a picture with my camera, it’s like a big piece of uncooked meat. Unless you like to eat your meat raw, there’s some prep work that goes into making this piece of meat into a delectable dish. Of course, choosing the right cut and grade is important and sets the foundation for the dish, much like having dependable equipment and a good understanding of lighting, focus, composition and posing. But ultimately, it’s the chef’s receipe that can turn a good cut of meat into an amazing steak. My job doesn’t end once I take a picture – it’s only beginning!
As you can see, the SOOC (or straight out of the camera image) needs some work and is far from a finished image. Some of the things I tackle during post-processing are: removing blemishes and background distractions, correcting and smoothing skin tones, altering the overall color balance, removing distracting elements like (stray hair, patchy grass, random electric wire, etc…), drawing attention to aspect of an image (like a subject’s eyes) by brightening or darkening certain areas and/or artistic cropping and adding my own special “recipe” to make my images clean, sharp and vibrant. It’s my personal preference to only present clients with fully processed images because I believe in putting my best foot forward and I want them to experience the full impact of their images at first glance. It take more time and effort on my part, but the results are worth it in the end.