When Sending out Proof Galleries I often receive an email from Clients later on asking if xyz will be edited out, removed, or brightened, This Blog post will go through and explain my editing process with example photos of Before and After.
The Technical Side
Back when I was shooting with my Canon 6D I got in the habit of photographing on the darker side. I Photograph my sessions in a format called RAW which is amazing for preserving detail and storing all of the image file information. This makes editing a lot easier. Now that I upgraded to the Canon R6 which is mirrorless, I've run into an issue where the preview image the camera shows me is a lot brighter than what it actually is when I upload the file into Lightroom. In order to preserve highlights ( if you shoot too bright the information in bright white highlights is lost) I continue to photograph on the darker side.
Before - Unedited
This image above is an unedited Raw Photograph. Parents are sent a proof gallery to choose their favourite images from their baby's photo session. After they've chosen their favourites I take those selections and open them in Photoshop. From there I look at the image and decide what needs to be done.
Typically I start with backdrop correcting, I first go through and remove anything that's not supposed to be there. In the image above I went through and removed those little flakes on the backdrop fabric and the floral headband that I wanted to keep on hand for a quick change. I then went and fixed the top right corner to fill in the gap. I use a round backdrop stand for photographing newborns which is why there's often that little corner to fix.
Next I zoom into the image about 200-300% and remove any little bumps, scratches, flaky skin and in this image above I removed the lines created by her diaper.
The next step is to smooth baby's skin. This is a subtile change but a very necessary edit. Babies naturally have soft and smooth skin, so when it comes to "smoothing" it's really just trying to bring out their naturally soft skin.
Then I go in and sharpen their eyelashes to make their eyes stand out and brighten the image.
After - Edited
When Necessary I also will go in and adjust the colour if the image looks too blue or yellow. Occasionally I will add some blur to the backdrop or brighten the corners of the image for a white vignette.
My Editing Process Above Still Applies
With parent Images I also edit Mom & Dad's Skin removing blemishes and softening tones. I also go through and remove any fly away hairs where possible while making it look as natural as possible.