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Editing is crucial

For any photographer who takes his or her craft seriously, editing is just a fact of life. And while it has its creative qualities, a lot of shutterbugs would agree that it’s not exactly their favorite part of the process.

When all is said and done though, the time used doing a thorough editing job is well worth it when you see the final product.

Some causal photographers make the mistake of thinking that some of these “editing” apps, online tools or quick-fix type programs can get the job done almost instantly. While it might not take a long time to edit an image sufficiently, any real quality editing can’t be done with just a click or two of the mouse.

Below is a sample of some photography editing I did after a recent promotional shoot for a young lady starting her own life coaching business. I hope these before and after images along with the basic steps taken to get from the original to the final version will give you an idea of what I mean.

Please note that all edits where made using a combination of Adobe Photoshop and a program called Portrait Professional. However, some of these edits can be made using any number of other programs that offer a wide range of similar features.

headshot editing

General overview of steps taken to edit the above photo:

1. Adjusting exposure

– Started out with “Auto Levels” before increasing the exposure a little more.

2. Tweaking colors

– An increase in overall saturation was used to add color and vibrancy

– Using the “Dodge/Burn” tool also helped.

3. Airbrushing

– Basic tuning with Portrait Professional softened the skin, reduced blemishes, removed pores and took care of assorted imperfections.

4. Small details

– It was necessary to use the” Clone Stamp” tool to match some skin tone areas and clean up shadows and glare cast by the glasses.

– Did some final burning to minimize hot spots and even out the color of her hair.

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