So you've just uploaded your photos from your recent photo shoot of an adorable family or wedding. Then you start to cull to end up with the amount you want to share with your client. Except, a few of the final amazing images have something that gives you that OCD feeling that you maybe didn't know you had? Nod if any of these sound familiar. There's the little girl's hair covering her eye! Some strange person got in the frame with a loud colored top on! You can't help having your eye draw to him. The sky had no clouds whatsoever but the moment was spectacular. But, no clouds! This bride's photo is perfect except for her unmentionable is peeking through just enough to drive you crazy! Daughter was so clingy to mommy and the only photo that could work for a solo shot has mommy's hand in the frame. Ugh! These are just a few possible scenarios. Actually, a lot of these happened to me! It's a good thing I happen to dapper in Photo Retouching for over 20 years. If you can relate to any of these scenarios, and you don't want to scrap great photos before presentation, then read more on why you NEED a photo retoucher in your life.
You are an artist
With pride you can say that, yes, you are an artist. You are a photographer whether you're just starting out or are very experienced. You are making art with your beautiful photography. You've been mastering posing, attire, special scenes, composition, lighting and what not. What a lot of photographers have started to do is acquire a photo editing software such as Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop Camera RAW. What you may use it for is to color correct to get that color mood you want and of course lighting. You may be having fun with Photoshop Actions you've found trying to find what works for you and your style.
But what about retouching those complicated details?
Remember those scenarios I've mentioned? Have you tried to remove a hair strand from a person's face? Have you tried to swap heads to achieve opened eyes? Or removing a tree limb from someone's' head? Doing these complicated edits can be very daunting and perhaps you may feel like giving up on some photos because those distractions and errors can just ruin a photo. And you'd rather have more options, not less, for your clients. Let's face it, even if you did attempt to edit those errors you need to have it look flawless right? It has to look real. Your reputation is at stake. So what do you do? *smile* You hire a professional who has been retouching those same difficult details for years.
Here's what retouching on a family session would look
Here is my own family photo session taken by the talented Allison from Capturing His Creation Photography based in Bozeman Montana. I loved what she's done but being a photographer myself some little errors stood out to me. When I asked her about these she said she only adjusted color and light in Lightroom. She did not know how to edit those details. This gave me the thought that there must be other photographers like Allison?
Take a look at our session and see if you've encountered similar situations in your photos...
That hair strand in the way
Hello! This is my little family. *smile* Amazing scenery right? Now let's play a game. What do you notice that can be aggravating?.... See it?
If you noticed the hair over my daughter's eyes, then yes! That was it. Now that was all I retouched for this photo and I am just fine with this. Now perhaps you may want to edit further like removing those tree stumps in the background for instance. What else would you like retouched to make it just right?
Make them look at the camera!
Nod if you've experienced the challenge of getting everyone to look at the camera at the same time. Tell me about it!
Now this was a great photo. However I really wanted all of us to be looking at the photo for this scene. So I took the head of my daughter from another shot from the same scene and set it to the new photo.
The ultimate family portrait
When I first looked through Allison's portfolio I came across one of her sessions of a couple standing in front of these mountains. That's when I knew this was what I wanted for our family portrait, complete with snow covered mountains! I thought it would be a dream to make it happen but it actually did! The smoke cleared up, the snow started falling, and the sun started to shine through just for us! This I want to print out huge like a 24x16 or larger? Naturally I wanted all of us to be looking at the camera for this shot. Of course my 3 year old wouldn't cooperate perfectly so I swapped her head. I just love this! Don't you?
Tree removal, weightloss and dirt
I have a love hate relationship with trees. They are gorgeous for sure but when their limbs appear to be coming out of someone's head makes my OCD, I didn't realize I had, go nuts. Sometimes when things are going so fast, especially when photographing children, you may not realize that someone is positioned right in front of a tree trunk or notice those distracting limbs.
Well with this photo, my daughter had positioned herself just in front of the trunk. I loved the way my husband and I looked at each other but that tree trunk! So I removed it.
Also, I've been undergoing some health complications which is temporarily giving me weight gain. In this photo I appear a little heavier than normal but also, the jacket is a little large so in reality maybe I now really look like the edit?
Do you know what else I've noticed? Our boots. We've been trudging around in snow and mud which resulted in dirty boots. Some of you may be ok with it but me? Not so much. So I cleaned them up some.
Lastly, what do you think of the sun flare? I'm happy either way.
Making a great photo even greater
What is your style? Do you like the whimsical and soft? Or do you like color and pop! Me? Color and pop! The original was great but I wondered if I could ease the transition of the shadows of the trees to the highlights above them. I was able to brighten the darks a little bit and add pop to the rocks and sky. What do you think?
Golden and colorful turn magical
Oh my gosh this location was gorgeous! And our outfits seem to work with the scene too! The original was great but I truly believed there was more color on location. Also, I wanted to play with the sky. I really like having a sun setting sky in my photos. This photo would look great with or without the new sky since there was a hue of color instead of white. To each their own right? How would you like it?
Sun setting magic
You've noticed it's sun setting right? Love it! The original is great but as I said before, I love color and pop. And that sun flare too. *wink* It would have worked fine without it with the boosted color and light. But who can not love some gorgeous sun? Hmm, the tree trunks behind my husband can be annoying but it's not terrible. At least one is not just behind his head, then I would have went straight to work on that one.
So much beauty but then there's this little detail...
I wish I had brought an iron. Do you see what I see? My jacket collar flap is bending over. That will truly aggravate me to no end. So, I used my digital magical iron *wink* and flattened it out. *sigh of relief* Then there's my daughter looking away again. I'm all for the candid moments but for the more official posed shots I do like us all to look at the camera. Just my personal preference. I think her new head worked out well enough. *giggle* That sounds funny doesn't it?
Portrait of love
Here's us. My husband James and myself. I love this photo of us very much. Again, that jacket flap is definitely noticeable since this photo is us much closer in. Other things more noticeable is my lack of makeup. Yes, I admit it. I don't wear make up. Except for eyeliner. Nothing goes on my skin or lips. For this shot I've decided to even out the color of my lips for the heck of it. There were a few zits on my chin that I wanted gone. I did soften under my eye a little bit. On my husband I did soften the skin under his eyes just a tad. Lastly, I reduced the blue colors in my hair and warmed it up.
Working with Katherine as your photo retoucher
When you do a search on photo retouching sites, you will find companies who have their team of photo retouchers. You will likely never personally communicate with your retoucher who will be editing your photo. That person will not get to know you, your photographic style or your vision. Fortunately, working with me, there will be a lot of communication, trial and error, I will get to know you and your style and most important, your vision. A relationship will be established. The more we work together the more our visions become one. Just like the relationship between you and your camera are one, you and your photo retoucher should be the same. And what a way to help support a stay at home mother to realize her dream, which is to be YOUR photo retoucher bringing life, love and magic to your photography. Read what a lot of clients have to say.
The way I work is; you and I, will work together to create the perfect photo for your client. You give me your ideas and I will share mine. There may be times where my retouching may not look like what you were thinking. That's ok! Our styles may not match the first time.
But with trial and error and previews of work in progress, you will always know how things are going. I will keep making adjustments until you are satisfied. Sounds fun doesn't it?
"I definitely will keep you in mind and contact you when I come across an image that I would like to send to you. I do most of my own editing but there is a lot of things that I cannot do well since I do not know photoshop. I look forward to working with you for retouching purposes in the future.
I hope you've enjoyed looking at my family photos and that you understand the possibilities and how far your photography can go.
You won't have to throw that almost perfect photo away. It can be saved and improved.
Contact me [kat at katphotomagic.com] and let's talk about YOU and your wonderful world of photography.
Comment below what you liked about this article. Don't forget to share it! Tell me what your experience with Photo Retouching is. What is the most difficult thing to retouch? What is your favorite method to use? Have you hired a photo retoucher before? From a service or solo freelancer? How did that experience go? Looking forward to your answers. Have a fabulous day!
My philosophy is that photography should lighten up the heart and the eyes with vibrant color, light and majesty as memories flood back into the mind and soul. No cringing allowed. Only magic!