Before & After | Editing Portraits
After each of my photo sessions, I am probably just as excited as you are to see the finished product! When I get home I upload all the photos to my computer (and back them up), and then go through them to pick out my favorites. Next comes the editing. This is the part where I take the great images we got during the session and make the little enhancements that make them really special.
So I thought it might be fun to show you the before and after versions of a few of my recent portraits. It's going to be a little "behind the scenes" look at how I work with your images!
Michaela at the Botanical Conservatory
I almost always adjust color and contrast in my edits to achieve a bright, vibrant look. The original image of my sister with the waterfall is a bit dark, and if you look closely at her face you can see that her skin tone is picking up a bit of green light from the surrounding plants. The edited image is brighter and more vibrant, and I removed the green color cast.
Collin Senior Portrait with Storm Clouds
Here's one of Collin's senior pictures. This was taken at Concordia Seminary on an overcast, drizzly day, and I kept the exposure low enough in the original to capture some of the moody sky. So, when I edited this one, I had to bring up the exposure on the foreground. The "after" image is brighter, so you can see the subject's face. I also increased the contrast in the background to get the most out of the storm clouds.
Colin Senior Portrait Downtown
When I'm setting up a portrait, I make sure my subject looks great, and I also do my best to find a great background that is free of distractions. Sometimes, though, that's easier said than done. Especially when I'm taking senior pictures downtown while construction is going on. (And, here in Indiana, there's always construction happening as long as there's not snow on the ground.) You can see where I removed the orange traffic markers from this image.
Teddie Senior Portrait at Foster Park
I took Teddie's senior pictures at Foster Park, just after a thunderstorm in early fall. All the green plants were practically glowing after having been refreshed by the day's rain. In the "before" picture, you can see that the green color is a bit too strong. Teddie's face is a much healthier color in the edited version. The edit also features a tighter crop, which gets rid of excess scenery and gives the subject a bigger presence in the frame.
Jacob Senior Portrait with Brick
The most obvious edit here is that I removed the circular decoration from the brick wall. As part of the building it looked fine, but it was a little weird above Jacob's head. I cropped the image a bit, to bring the subject's face closer to the top of the frame. The final image is also brighter and warmer than the "before" version, and I've cleared up a bit of the acne on the subject's face.
A lot of portrait photographers dislike the editing process, as it can be a bit tedious. But I love it! It's fun to take a good image, apply a few adjustments, a slight crop, and watch it transform into a great image.