Photo editing software is an amazing thing. What used to be cumbersome, difficult, or even impossible with film can be achieved with today’s modern technology. But this is no substitute for a properly composed shot. Technology is an essential part of any photographer’s workflow, but that won’t turn your photographer into a magician.
No photographer sets out with the intention of entirely recasting an image after a session is over. Skilled photographers see their shot, adjust settings appropriately, frame the image in camera, and reserve these tools to adjust things like exposure, color saturation, and sharpness. Photoshop can’t turn back the clock, change the weather, or turn someone into a supermodel.
Of course things happen during photo shoots, so being able to remove a smudge on clothing, smooth out a few blemishes, or eliminate something that wandered into the background is a nice option to have. But a photographer should never spend more time in post-production than behind the camera. And clients shouldn’t want that either. So here are a few things to keep in mind before your professional session.
Q: We might be wearing mismatched clothing and loud patterns, so will you just change a few colors of our clothing later?
A: No, I can’t just fix it in Photoshop. Ask me for some clothing suggestions before the session to make sure you look your best.
Q: I meant to lose 20 pounds before this session, but I figured you’d be able to slim me down in Photoshop.
A: Unfortunately, Photoshop can’t replace diet and exercise. We’d love it too if it were that easy!
Q: My kid is a little sick; can you perk up his color? And make sure he doesn’t have any snot on his face?
A: Kids that are feeling under the weather will never photograph as well as when they’re happy and healthy. Your best bet is to reschedule for the following week.
Q: I’m sure glad you’ll be able to fix all my blemishes in Photoshop, right?
A: We recommend using a professional makeup artist who is experienced in creating camera ready looks. While basic retouching is included with your session, beauty retouching and enhancements will be outsourced and incur an extra fee.
Q: The sun isn’t as bright as I would like for it to be. Can you adjust the sun’s brightness, throw in some white fluffy clouds and would you consider a rainbow?
A: I love sunny days too, but I can’t just order up a nice day in Photoshop. Actually, overcast days are the most flattering for portraits, so consider inclement weather a blessing in disguise.
A professional photographer has been trained to use camera equipment, not Photoshop corrections and tricks, to create stunning images. Photography magic happens in the moment, not in the post production!
~ The F Stops Here is an exclusive collection of articles by Design Aglow, designed to be used and shared by photographers. Look for this column twice monthly here on the Design Aglow Blog and feel free to grab & share on your site, blog and/or social media pages with a byline and link to DesignAglow.com.