Before & Ta-Dahhh!

August 30, 2020

There’s one rule of ‘shopping:

Never talk about what’s been ‘shopped.

Not because it’s a secret.

But because it’s the end result that’s important, not the process.

It is an interesting process though (to a point – it gets monotonous after the first few pictures and requires endless peppermint tea and family bags of giant chocolate buttons).

And it’s a big part of the service I provide.

So I thought it’d be cool to show you the kinds of things I do. Because I want you to feel confident that I’m taking care of your photos – and not making you look like you’ve just stepped out of a L’Oreal advert.

So here you go …

Some real-life before and after photos …

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The newly-weds emerge

I love how relaxed Joe and Izzy look after walking down the aisle as Mr and Mrs. And of course, I love that door! I mean, just look at the detail.

Before :s The colour is cold (look how blue Joe’s suit looks) and the skin tones slightly red. The brickwork looks flatter than my hair at the end of a wedding day. Someone forgot to do the weeding … tssk! And who put that cable there? #eyeroll

Ta-Daah! ahhhh, that’s better! The picture has been warmed up so Joe and Izzy look radiant. I’ve increased the contrast so the door’s detail is more defined and Izzy’s bouquet is more vibrant. Cropping the image and removing the rogue cable and weeds, puts all the attention on Joe and Izzy.

(I think I prefer Photoshop weeding to real weeding #notevensweating)

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The stolen kiss

I simply love this photo of Joe planting a kiss on Izzy’s cheek, with some of their wedding guests peering in from the left. I’m a sucker for in-between moments like this.

Before :s The moment is nothing short of lovely. The composition works well to tell the story. And the exposure is spot on. This photo has the makings of a favourite image. But … Joe and Izzy’s skin tones look red. The overall finish is flat. And the colours (particularly the reds and greens) are distracting.

Ta-Daah! First, the redness was been removed to make Joe & Izzy look as radiant as they did on the day. Then, the contrast was increased to give the image more punch, especially in the background and to the left. Finally, the edited photo was converted into black and white to remove the distraction of so many colours and put the attention on Joe and Izzy.

***

I a-door you

Sometimes, as I’m taking a photo, I know that 50% of the photo will come from post-production. Like this one of Ben and Carly.

I imagined Ben and Carly glamming up Boughton House’s imposing but understated front door (which they did magnificently). But the photo needed a helping hand. Bear with me here …

When you photograph architecture with a wide-angle lens (especially close-up) the vertical lines distort. And I didn’t want that for this photo. I wanted to make the location look good. The solution? A zoom lens that doesn’t distort the image. But that means being far enough back to fit everything in the frame. Which is fine (and great for my step count) but being further away meant the pillars in the foreground crept onto the edges of the photo. #rockandahardplace

I much prefer to get the image right when I take it, but taking the best shot I could on the day and tidying the rest in Photoshop was a happy compromise.

And to finish off, adding warmth has brought out the natural golden hue in the brick and increasing the contrast has returned the natural richness.

***

The big reveal

This photo of Kate coming down the stairs and making her debut in her dress is one of my all-time favourite wedding photos!⁣ But it needed a helping hand to realise its full potential.

Before :s Kate’s expression is priceless. And the reflection in the glass adds an interesting layer. The overall exposure is okay but it’s taken in bad light so Kate’s face is a little dark. I shot wide to give me flexibility to move as the moment unfolded but that’s left a lot of ceiling. The colour is cold and there are distracting elements on the right-hand side.

Ta-Daah! The image was colour corrected, adding warm tones to match the original scene. Areas of the image were selectively lightened, like Kate herself, putting the radiance back. The curtain, painting, bannister top and thermostat were removed … not forgetting the curtain reflection in the painting! And finally, the photo was cropped to improve the composition and make Kate the star of the show.

***

Let’s go littles

How adorable? 10/10 adorable.

These three well-bribed kiddiwinks cherubs couldn’t have played it any cuter as they accompanied Georgie into the church.

And the photo as it came out of my camera was sweet too. But not as sweet as it could be. I wanted four-scoops-of-butterscotch-with-whipped-cream-sprinkles-flake-AND-caramel-sauce sweet.

Before :s The exposure and framing are spot on. *toots own horn* But having exposed for the page boys’ outfits, the brightness of the wall in the foreground is distracting, and the Ushers in the background are too dark to see. Plus, the colours are wonky – all that green in the scene confused the camera.

Ta-Daah! The colours have been corrected so the outfits and brickwork look like they did on the day. The foreground has been made darker and the background brighter, making Georgie, her Dad and the ushers a more prominent part of the moment. Much better.

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