It’s almost Thanksgiving! I’m going out of town this week, so I thought I would do a series of blog posts to get caught up while I’m away 🙂
A lot of questions have been raised by curious minds lately, particularly about what all goes in to a photography session and why photography sessions are so expensive when done by a professional photographer. I can say that ALOT more than just a few clicks on a nice camera goes in to a photography session, but I’d like to show you guys one small(but also big) part of the art that is photography.
Newborn sessions will be the example for today. These sessions last about 2 hours long. But did you know that editing that session can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours? It’s true! After the actual session has come and gone, the planning and styling has been made, and the images have been taken, a lot of post production work takes place.
Newborns in particular take a lot of extra work to edit. I am not big on “airbrushing” photos. I take a deep and lengthy approach to editing photos, which gives an all around more natural appearance. I don’t edit out birth marks or scars, I leave mongolian spots and cute little newborn milk bumps. But they usually have blotchy skin, newborn acne, scratches from run ins with their tiny nails, peely skin, purple hands and feet, yellowed skin from jaundice, all kinds of stuff! Things that aren’t supposed to be there, that will go away with time.
Also, sometimes newborns are posed in positions that often require composites or extensive photoshop to create an image that isn’t actually there. There are many newborn photography poses that are not safely done on their own. So instead of posing Baby in a precarious situation, mom and dad’s are often acting as “spotters” during the shoot, with holding baby in to a pose or place. But they are completely photoshopped out of the picture. I’m going to show you guys both!
Here is an unedited, straight from the camera image. It’s dark, it’s not very sharp, and all around looks just kind of “meh”. It’s an okay image, but not something I would ever want to send a client. See how gray and plain it looks?
Next is the same image, but after I have applied my color corrections and changes. Baby still has a lot of scaly pieces of skin hanging around, red patches, a little bit of baby acne, some scratches, and some of his face is a bit red in more areas than I would like. There’s also that big black shaded area to the far upper left corner from where my backdrop on my posing pillow ended.
This photo shows all the corrections that have been made. Each little dot represents a pin in an area that has been fixed or edited to change the back drop, skin, and colors. FYI, this is an average amount of fixes for a newborn. Usually babies that are more than 10 days along have a lot more editing that needs to be done to their skin. Which is why it’s recommended that little ones have their sessions done between 4 and 10 days old. After some more skin corrections and color corrections, as well as post processing, this is the final image. The skin tone is light and dewy, it’s not red and blotchy. The little bits of peely skin have been removed, and baby acne has been corrected. The backdrop has been smoothed out with no distractions, and all that is left is a beautiful baby.
Next is our composite. You’ve probably seen some photos on pinterest that show a picture of Baby in their room, just sitting atop a changing table by themselves. You may even remember the next photo from Gideon’s newborn session that I did a few months back. simply put, this photo is a fake. Mom is in this picture, but you can’t see her because she’s been edited out.
See her now? A composite is when you take two or more images, lay them on top of one another in Photoshop, and edit around the areas that you want to keep or disappear. It takes a while to get it just right, but the end result is an image, showing no Mom, and just Baby hanging out by themselves. Both of the images below were laid on top of each other, so create the above image.
And that’s it! I hope that’s a small look in to the editing window of photography. Can’t wait to show you guys more!