October 24, 2012

Wes | before & after edits

While I'm happy to show more of little Wes (this won't be the last), I hesitate to show my before & after photo edits; I feel vulnerable... That being said, I'm doing it anyway. Even with different photo shoots, my "editing style" may change. However, in general, I do the following for just about every image (discussed below). As little Wes has stunning, "wise" (as another commenter stated) eyes, I chose to emphasize the blue and try my best to make them literally pop out of the photo as they do in person. The day of the shoot was bright as ever with clear blue airy skies, a blinding sun, and crisp yellow leaves. I kept this in mind while editing to keep the spirit of the day intact in the photos. Bright, crisp, airy.

 All edits are done in Photoshop CS5.
All photos were taken with my Canon 50D and Canon 100mm 1:2.8 L lens. 
 *Sidenote- this was all self taught... I have no idea if this is how you actually edit photos. But it seems to work for me!
1. Crop if needed 
2. Adjust Curves (play with curve to lighten exposure)

3. Adjust Brightness/Contrast if needed
4. Adjust Vibrance and/or Saturation 
5. Sharpen- though I try to capture the sharpest image I can during the shoot and avoid using this tool in photoshop
6.  If a certain color is overwhelming, play around with selective color
 7. Fix blemishes with spot healing brush tool or patch tool
8. Repeat steps until happy with end product

Depending on the pic, I could spend 1 minute or 20 minutes to edit just right. This process definitely takes a long time. This is why people charge for their photography- It's not the shoot that takes time, it's the editing and processing. Whew... hours and hours of it...

Side by side, the edited photos look over exposed, but try to imagine just the edited ones framed on a wall. They'd sure catch your attention and highlight this sweet little boy's face. 

Notice the sun light directly cutting his right ear off. Ugh, so frustrating. So, I just cropped it off! Still works. Easy fix right? But, those eyes, how can I focus in on those eyes and make the photo look like something different? The answer: duplicate photo, crop & flip canvas horizontal (image rotation).

There you have it! I still have a lot to learn about editing--- like how to make it go faster! I'd like to get Lightroom; I've heard great things.


  1. Love this tutorial! I think need to buy photoshop--ive just been using a free one from online : /
    beautiful pictures!!

  2. Amazing! Great job. You've definitely got a gift to do self-teach yourself that. I'm definitely seeing a Floyd family shoot in your future! Haha. Maybe next year?

  3. Sister! I have light room, it is sweet! All of my wall pics on my FB were taken with my iPhone 4 and then edited with light room Huge difference and very easy/quick.

  4. I love your photography! You're pretty brave to show before and after pics, it does make you feel vulnerable. Light room is nice sometimes but I definitely use photoshop more! Cute blog.

    The Broadcloth

  5. Wow, pretty amazing for all self taught!!!


Leave me some love!