Our Editing process
Photographing clients is the one part of our job clients see, we do much of our work before and after the session. Editing is harder, and easier, than one would imagine. It takes a lot of classes, research and testing to get it right and we are always learning and expanding as our programs are. Take a look below to get an idea of how we like to edit.
As photographers and not digital artist we strive to retain the integrity of the image and subject while enhancing the overall image. For instance, a general rule is 'if it will be there in a month it stays'. Tattoos, birthmarks, scars will remain unless requested and face blemishes, bruises, spots on clothes will be edited out. We smooth the complexion while retaining wrinkles. We want you to look like the best version of you while not feel like you are a stranger.
We edit out flyaway hair, extra subjects in the background, cars/buildings if possible. My goal with each image you get back is for it to be a 'portrait', not simply a photograph someone took of you.
We take hundreds of pictures during a session, making real time adjustments to each shot. Every click is intended and planned for. Sometimes it's to get extras to use for face swapping, sometimes to catch the hair not billowing to the sky, or to expose for different lighting situations, or it's to ensure there's no eye blinking. There are just way too many reasons to list here. It’s necessary to take these images, they are part of the working process of art, just as a painter sometimes tries a few colors before making the final stroke.
We then go through the images and cull them, marking the ones that will be edited, discarding the eyeblinks and my own testing shots to select the real pieces of art that all the other shots helped create. We choose the best of each 'pose', combining several photos together if necessary so hopefully we can get some of everyone smiling, not blinking and looking their best. We love to add extra shots, the story telling images taken throughout a shoot in addition to the posed images.
We take those shots and spend a great deal of time working with them by hand to tone the color, smooth any imperfections, and produce heirloom pieces of art that are up to our artistic standards – the same quality of work you saw in our portfolio.
And finally, to answer the question of why we do not give out all the images we shot. Not all shots are created nor intended as final products – they simply enabled us to work out issues that arose to ensure you’d get the high quality images you received.
Below is a standard A&C edit. Cleaning up the background, making sure all have smiling faces, and finishing up with adding our brand style all while maintaining the quality that ensures a good print.
Some images require more editing time than others. This one below was edited to remove distractions and bring focus to the story.
Sometimes you have to grab the moments as they come and do not have time to set up the shot. In this case I was photographing his sister when I turned around and saw him coming up and just had to take the shot. The cityscape on the left was bothering me too much so I filled it in to create the story of him in the woods taking a stroll in a stream.
Although my lovely model did not need much help, we do light skin retouching on each image to enhance ones natural beauty.
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