It always helps to start out with a good looking model, but beyond that there are many things that can help make a picture stand out. This post is all about the power of Post Production.
It is the piece of the puzzle that can be hard to understand. When I tell clients that I am going to go home and work on their images, I imagine they have little grasp of that concept. It is why some professional photographers charge so much and why it is worth the investment. In the image above you can see I take a good shot and make it great with my computer skills. The image on the top right is striking.
So here it is. I do download the high resolution RAW files, then I take them as they are and save a copy. From there I start working on reducing the overall number of images to work on, I want to get it down to a management number based on fee and based on shoot requirements, and then I do it again. I typically like to give clients only the best stuff, though there are plenty of occasions where I just want them to have everything. “Everything” means I need to write my contract so that I only do one round of photographer chosen editing and that additional editing and retouching is available for a fee. Otherwise I could spend weeks on a $200 shoot and not be able to stay in this business.
So, after I get the images reduced down to a workable number, I go through and take first pass at correcting the obvious such as exposure and white balance. I make sure the colors and tone work and I hope that my clients have computers that can view the images properly. From there I focus my attention on quick crops to refocus the images attention. I want to make sure that no one will be turning their head when they look at the screen, up is up, even if it is not the way I shot the photo. 2-3 minute edits come last. These are only done on my best shots, the ones I hope my clients print and I know I will use for my own marketing purposes. From there I export the RAW files out and save as JPGs for easy viewing. I upload them to a site that my clients can view and share with friends. For the quick and dirty post production pass, that is it!