I wanted to give you a little behind-the-scenes insight into my editing style and the thought that goes into it.
But before we begin I must first explain why it's not as simple as taking a pretty photo...When you take a photo on your phone or camera, the device produces a jpeg image file ready for printing and more. The device applies contrast, saturation, toning and sharpening to the files so that they look their best, and then it throws away some of the data it decides it doesn’t need.
When I take a photo on my DSLR camera it produces what are called RAW files. You cannot print a RAW file, it must first be processed. These RAW files are huge because all the data captured in camera is saved & it becomes the photographer’s decision in post-processing to decide how to treat the image, applying contrast, toning, etc. And that is why you hear photographers say that their job is only half done when they have taken the images. Each image must be processed and “edited”. And this editing process is where most photographers begin applying their style.
We all shoot a little differently and we all edit a little differently because we all see the world differently. I would call my editing style natural, timeless and bright. I don’t want heavy edits that draw attention from the moment or connection, I just want to enhance on what is already there and bring the image to life as I envisioned it when I captured it.
Here's a few before and afters highlighting the differences from straight-out-of-camera to my final product:
You'll notice that the RAW files from the camera tend to look flat or dull before they are processed. The first thing I do is add a bit of pop to my images, bringing out shadows, applying a little contrast & generally brightening the image overall, while making sure I don't blow out any of the highlights.
Sometimes an image will need a little warming up or cooling down in colour. I will also sometimes crop my images in a little to avoid distracting edges, but try my best to get the composition correct in camera.
I like to reduce the yellows down in the green tones, such as grass, which I think creates a more timeless, classic look. I'm always paying attention to skin tones & colours, making sure skin never looks grey!
So you can see there is a noticeable difference between the before & afters, yet nothing too dramatic.
I like to keep my editing workflow consistent because I want my clients to know how their photos are going to look when they hire me. When I first began editing photographs it was tempting to apply "preset effects" to images, but this is a sure-fire way to produce an inconsistent portfolio! It's also easy to apply a preset to "fix" an image rather than understanding what needs to be done to it to bring your vision to life. Over the years I have learned a great deal about editing & am confident in the style I have developed. But there is always something to be learned & aspects to improve on - that is one of the things I love about my job!