Many clients wonder how I edit their portraits. Today, I will discuss my workflow, so you have a better idea. I have two levels of processing photos. My standard process is mostly editing images with slight retouching. While my advance process is mostly retouching them. Let me start by saying that editing and retouching does not replace the need to get the best possible image in camera. The editing process is to enhance an image not to fix bad images. For me, I use the editing process to make great images memorable.
I Shoot most of my work in what is called camera raw. Raw files contain a lot of information about the scene in the image, it applies no presets to the picture. The result of shooting raw is that, any images that come right out of the camera are very dull or flat. Bring the images into, what is called the digital darkroom photographers are able the access all that information in the file. To accomplish this we use Adobe products to allow us to develop our digital negatives.
The first thing I do is to import all my images into a program called Lightroom. Backing up all of the files, then I manually go through each image to flag them. pictures that I think have great potential I use a "pick" flag, these are images that I would want in my portfolio. I leave most images as unflagged because they are solid images. Finally any images that do not rise up to my standards I use the reject flag. The rejected images get deleted so that they are not wasting hard drive space.
Now the editing process begins. My clients will never see any unedited images, We believe that presenting unedited images is a sign of a amatuer. Any images or proofs that I deliver to you will, at least, go through my standard editing process. Which includes cropping the image, tweaking for exposure and white balance, removing any facial blemishes and a mild smoothing of skin.
My advanced retouching process is used for any images that are going to be used in larger prints formats and portraits. This process happens in Photoshop. We use the process to make the subject look their best. Our philosophy is to make the image look natural not fake! We use a process called frequency separation to achieve a naturally looking portraits. We then apply any setting that you may have requested for your portraits. Finally, we focus on making sure that the images will look fantastic for your large prints.
Some photographers are hesitant about sharing their workflow, but we believe that a client who knows the process will appreciate the value of our packages. Sadly, many people focus on the price as only spending a few of hours of shooting but in fact, several additional hours goes into every shoot for editing and retouching. We believe that all of our prices fairly reflect the amount of time and work that is required to make your memories perfect!