Guest post by John Sullivan
If you are an old-school photographer, it is only natural to look at modern editing strategies with some disdain. After all, there are many who argue that such techniques draw attention away from the authenticity of photographs. Nevertheless, if you are running a photo business, it is important to give people what they want.
And, for the most part, the average person is often looking for perfection in their photographs. Since everyone edits most images to a certain degree, this is what the general public has gotten used to. So, if you want your customers to truly appreciate your work, then some editing is in order.
Of course, this can be a tricky thing to get right. Go overboard and you run the risk of creating a photo that seems too fake. To get some tips and tricks for handling your photos, keep reading.
Understand the Style Requirements
Perhaps the first thing you will need to do is to sit down with your client and talk to them about the kind of style they expect. This can differ depending on the event, personal tastes, and even current trends. So, it is important to really understand what kind of effect your client is going for.
Once you have figured out just what they want, make it a point to batch edit all your images with the necessary tones, highlights, shadows, and more. This is especially important for wedding pictures and those where you need to create the right ambiance. By employing this strategy, you can ensure that all of the photographs will have the same feel and style to them.
Flatten Images in Camera Raw
Now, you may look at an image and see that it only needs minimal touchups. Thus, it is natural to assume that you can use the picture just as it is when making those changes. Well, this isn’t exactly the case. For a more professional and uniform look, it is best to first flatten out the image in Camera Raw.
There is a reason why flatter images are better for editing software. These toned-down pictures make it easier to see just where you should place highlights and shadows in your picture. In turn, you are able to create important contrasts where they will be most useful. This is what will really bring your images to life.
Use Frequency Separation for a More Authentic Look
As mentioned, you really do have to be careful when using Photoshop or similar editing software. This is particularly vital when touching up people. While everyone wants to look their best, you have to be careful that you don’t overshoot and end up creating an artificial image.
To aid in getting the balance right, you should consider using Frequency Separation. What’s great about this tool is that it essentially allows you to pick and choose what elements of someone’s face to change. This gives you greater control over what to modify. Therefore, you can remove minor flaws while still preserving the overall appearance of someone’s skin and features.
Add Depth to Your Images
In most photographs, there is always a particular subject that you would like the viewer to focus on. Now, when you are setting the scene for the shoot, the depth and texture are obvious. This, of course, is because you are viewing it as a three-dimensional scene. Such an effect is removed on a digital photograph.
Fortunately, there is a method to bring the depth back, albeit in a different way. One of the most common ways to draw the eye to where you want it to go is to blur out other surrounding features. This way, the main image will stand out in sharp contrast.
Prior to doing this, though, use a spot healing tool to get rid of some of the more irrelevant details in the image. By doing so, you will improve the clarity of the blur (although this may sound oxymoronic), creating a more professional finish.
These are the main strategies you should start brushing up on if you own a photography business. Now, there is no denying that it may take you a while to fully grasp and master all the techniques involved here. With time, however, you will improve your skills. Then, you will be more than capable of providing your clients with an inimitable service.
About the author:
John Sullivan has been a professional photo editor for over a decade. He is a self-taught editor who has picked up various tips and tricks throughout the years. John loves sharing his knowledge with those who share his passion for photography.