Photo Editing

Editing. It is the longest and hardest part of being a photographer. It's also the part of the job that nobody really gets to see. It has many names: editing, Photoshop, post processing, but it all means the same thing. Taking the original photo and trying to make it better. If someone provides an image without making adjustments to it then you are not getting the best image possible.

My approach to the business is to be clear and transparent. Simple costs and quality work. Editing is part of that process. It's no secret. I use software which is available to everyone else and make the adjustments I like. For anyone who is interested in booking me as a photographer can now look at this post and see what I do after the actual event, and see my workflow.

It's SO important to get the photo 'correct' in camera, and by that I mean applying the right settings for the desired photo/effect. Good software will help recover some mistakes, but it cannot make an out of focus image sharp or bring light out of too dark of a shadow. I've written before about how I edit, and that is to enhance a photo and not change the fundamentals of an image.

Before: The photo I took on the day, no editing applied

Before: The photo I took on the day, no editing applied

After: What the final image looks like in the below video

After: What the final image looks like in the below video

So this is the first of a series of posts that will show how I edit a photo. They will cover the basics of why I took the shot and what adjustments I'm going to make. I hope it also shows what a photographer does for most of their time, and it's not taking photos but adjusting them.

I do all my edits myself. Some will pay others to do it for them, which creates time and space, but doesn't allow you to apply your own style, which if consistent shows everyone how you shoot/edit.

If you have ever questioned why it costs what it does to hire a photographer, and I have, then I hope the above helps. That rushed video edit took about 5 minutes. If applied to 350 photos from a complete wedding shoot, it looks like this:

350 photos x 5 minutes = 29.17 hours

1.5 hour meeting + 1 hour travel + 8 hours shooting 3 hours filtering photos + emails...

That is a conservative effort. If not interrupted by other things in life then the edits will go on and on, there is always one little extra adjustment to be made. Always seeking the best image possible.

But all of this time is worth it. The shooting is the most enjoyable part of the job. By a country mile. But the editing is what makes a real difference. In no way would I feel comfortable delivering the original photo in this video, and I never planned to. Nobody can control what the weather will do, how much light will be available, what the vicar allows access too, but I can control the edit. And I knew when I took the shot that it would be black and white.

Everyone has their own views and preferences to what photos they like. That's the way it should be, it makes it interesting. But what is important (along with other things like flexibility and compatibility) is that you choose a photographer whose style you like. That's the style your photos will end up with.

I plan to post more videos of other edits, this one being an environmental portrait, and I will show how other edits can be done, but still applying the same 'style'.