As one of many photographers in Columbus, Ohio, I want to earn your business and more importantly, friendship. One of the things that was instilled in me from a young age was honesty builds relationships. Now, as an adult who owns and is the face of her own business, I want to present myself correctly to everyone I work with. I want my clients to know how I work and what my process is from the beginning. This knowledge up front gives you a clearer idea of the final product you will get after working with us and in turn, it will hopefully give us your trust.
So here I go! Let’s dig into one of the most important things a photographer does (in my opinion): My editing style!
Let’s start out with a couple terms:
- SOOC – Straight Out Of Camera
- B/W – Black and White (I know, simple, but I like to be clear haha)
- RAW – RAW is a file format that captures all image data recorded by the sensor in the camera when you take a photo.
- Culling – The process of selecting images to edit from a large quantity.
I love the process of taking pictures! Being with people and getting to know them on a personal level is in my top 3 favorite things in life. I also consider myself an Extroverted Introvert, which sounds like a contradiction, but in fact just means that I love people AND also really enjoy curling up with my coffee and computer for a good ol’ editing session! So how long does it take me to edit a typical shoot? A wedding can take anywhere from 5-8 hours and a portrait session (Family, newborn, etc.) is usually 2-4. This doesn’t include extra retouching that happens when you order custom prints, canvases and albums. My goal is to always get images back to clients for their Reveal Night within 2 weeks, so I need to work efficiently.
I start by culling through all the images I have taken and simply asking myself “is this a good picture?” If the answer is “yes” then it is kept, if “no” then I forget about it. The next time through the “yes” images, I ask if there are any crucial flaws? If they are major ones like someone is making a really awkward expression, or a bird flew in front of the camera, then I cut it. The only time I wouldn’t remove it would be if it was the only image of its kind and it was a very special moment that I thought deserved to be in the final set. There are also lots of multiples so I pick the best one in that case. Lastly, everything has to meet my creative standards. If I wouldn’t suggest you print it or put it in a book, I won’t include it.
After I have the best of the best I start editing! I have a very natural style, which you have probably noticed. I don’t want to overdo an image or try to create something that wasn’t there. Creating beautiful, real, moments before I edit is the goal. I try to find the natural light when I’m taking pictures so that I don’t have to add a lot of it later, which is why I LOVE shooting outside or in homes with big windows!
Lastly, I want to talk about RAW images. I always shoot in RAW because it gives me freedom to edit and preserve an image in a way I wouldn’t be able to as a JPG. RAW files are HUGE and have to be edited with special software. If I’m shooting in low light I will be able to edit it without it getting grainy or improperly exposed.
Because I shoot in RAW is also one of the reason I don’t provide all of the images for my clients. For one thing, they come SOOC looking flat, lifeless, and dull. They are that way so that the artist can create something stunning! As RAW files, they cannot be developed or uploaded to Facebook. After editing they can be exported as JPG, which are then printable.
I hope this was helpful for you! In my next post I will share how I go about selecting images for B/W vs. Color