There are many different ways to edit a photo!
What is an Edited Photo?
Upon customer enquiries, I often get asked “do you edit the photos?” – but what does an edited photo really mean? There are so many degrees to what an ‘edit’ is so I thought I’d write this Blog to explain a bit further and also give you my interpretation of an ‘edited photo’, including some before and afters.
The answer to that question ‘do you edit the photos?’ is a big YES. Any photograph that is purchased I will take the time to fully edit, giving the best result possible and also putting my own little artistic touch on it.
But technically, any photograph that has just been downloaded from the card in the camera could be classified as edited. Here is my explanation of different levels of editing:
Upon downloading a card full of images, whichever computer software the photographer is using to do this they can create a PRESET to apply to all their images. This is a bunch of basic adjustments (such as white balance, exposure, etc) that is saved as one setting and can be applied to all images with the click of a button. Photographers can work hard on creating these presets… to create a look that they love and they feel sets them apart from other photographers. The best thing about presets is that upon downloading a card full of images, every image will have these settings applied to them which saves so much time!
I personally have 2 main presets that I have created that I apply to my photographs upon import. One is for my studio work and one for my outdoor sunset work.
Some photographers choose to just apply an import preset to their work and leave it at that. This is quite common for ‘shoot and burn’ photographers – those who take a large amount of photos then simply just burn the files to a disc for the customer to print themselves.
Other photographers choose to go on and do further editing. ‘Spot Editing’ is something I definitely do and involves magnifying the photograph and fixing any imperfections on people’s skin. This can be removing acne, scratches, bruises, dry skin (particularly on babies), or even scars if a customer requests so.
I like to keep my level of editing natural – have you ever seen a photo of yourself or someone you know and think ‘that doesn’t even look like me/them’?! I don’t like to remove any natural marks such as moles, freckles, or even birth marks unless the customer specifically asks me to do so. I will reduce dark circles under eyes (which is very common for sleep deprived parents!) but again keep it to a natural level so customers don’t look like porcelain dolls! I will also soften skin if need be.
Have you ever looked around at your family or friends and realised how different your skin tones are to each other?! If not, do this the next time you are around a large group of people and you will probably be surprised at just how different everyone’s skin is! Quite commonly men carry more heat in their body so their faces have more redness. With young children, a lot of them can be quite pale because their beautiful skin hasn’t seen much sun damage yet. Newborns are tricky for their own reasons! Those suffering a bit of jaundice can be yellow in some areas (usually their face and eyes). I’ve had newborns that have literally had 3 skin colours throughout their body!
Correcting skin tones is probably the most time consuming part of editing a photograph but can make a huge difference to a portrait looking good or bad.