May 11, 2012


My goal with my photography is to take the best possible image in camera - meaning proper exposure & composure. The reason? To have a consistency in my photo's but the main reason - I hate editing.

Okay, okay, hate is a strong word. Strongly dislike.

I strongly dislike editing partly because I am just a little bit lazy but mainly because there are so many other things I would rather be doing with my time than stuck in front of the computer for hours. Like watching a movie with my hubby. Or reading. Or, you know, actually taking photo's!

Since I am not in love with editing, I have developed my own very minimal style of editing that I feel gives my photo's a natural, true to life, consistent, timeless look. Well, at least, that's what I'm aiming for! I do not use any actions or presets because I feel like they just take more time and I never love the result. I truly feel that editing is about refining your style not creating your style of photography.

And so, in the off chance it helps even one person, I thought I'd share my approach to editing. Plus, I just couldn't pass up another opportunity to share some of the photo's from Darren & Mallorey's e-session!

Step 1: Take the best possible image you can in camera.

Step 2: Upload to Lightroom. I rarely ever use Photoshop. It's just much too time consuming for me.

Step 3: Edit.

I usually start with up-ing the brightness of the image then move on to correcting the colour temperature. 97% of the time this means only warming it up a bit (more 'yellow' on the sliders). Then, up the contrast just a tiny bit and reduce the clarity (amount varies on the image - this softens up the subjects skin and takes out some of the harshness) and then sharpen AND that's it!

And, of course, some visual aids.

Straight Out Of Camera:

Brightness +15, Temp +160, Contrast -5, Clarity -15, Sharpening +20

Nice & simple and it only took me 30 seconds!

Then, for my black & whites all I do is take my saturation all the way down before adjusting the brightness, contrast, clarity, & sharpness. Easy-peasy! I personally do not do sepia colouring only because I prefer black & white.

Straight Out Of Camera:

Saturation -100, Brightness +15*, Contrast +5, Clarity -9, Sharpening +20. And, in only 32 seconds!

*My secret is to over brighten my b&w version just a bit - this gives the image a bit more POP*

I hope that this helps and if not then you at least got to see how I make the magic happen for my photo's ;)

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