SOOC to Editing & New Prices.
Many times clients ask me during a shoot if they can see a photograph, it's very rare for me to stop the session and show a client what some of the shots look like, because out of 200-400 photos I take during a portrait session, there's a good amount that's out of focus or blurry and that's never a good sign to show a client that during a session.
In today's blog post, I will be showing you a shot I took this past weekend of a Senior Session from the SOOC (Straight out of the Camera) to the finished product.
Like I said before, I normally take about 200-400 photographs during a session, and with each Portrait Package, my clients get ten high-res edited images, but that means I have to look through 200-400 images, and look at every single detail in the photograph, most times I edit a photograph and then after looking at it for an hour, i'm not happy with it and put that image off to the side. Photographers have don't have too much during a session to fix things, we're already busy posing people, sometimes we miss if there's hair in the face, or if there's some shadows on your face, maybe if a little kid has some food in their teeth or mouth, or dry skin. We also have to make sure the skin tone is right, depending on what time of day your session is, the lighting will be different. All that comes out in editing, well for the most part (I'm still learning how to edit shadow's out, trust me it's much harder then you think)
Most times during a Portrait Session, I will be using a lens that's 50mm, or 85mm and if I step a few inches closer, or a few inches back it will make the subject out of focus in the smallest detail you can imagine, like the image shown below is of Letizia, one of our 2015 Senior Reps. Her eyes in the first image (SOOC: Straight Out Of Camera) don't really look like they're out of focus, but when you zoom in, and see the color is off, and they could look better then it's time to drag that image into photoshop and make sure her eyes stand out more. Let's be honest, when you look at a Portrait of someone or even when you have a conversation with someone, what's the first thing you look at? Their eyes.
I didn't have to do much editing on this photograph, but it still took me a good 45 minutes to edit it. I edited the eyes, made the color more brighter, sharpened the entire image, made her awesome hair color a little more brighter and softer, got rid of blemishes, adjusted the lip color a tiny bit to make her lips stand out a little more and added more of a softer background to make her stand out more as well as making the roses on her dress stand out a little more in the final product.
You won't ever hear another photographer (in our area at least) say you'll get five preview photographs the within the next day to two days. That's half of your gallery already done, within 48 hours at least. That's two hours of looking through every single detail in every single photograph taken and picking the best ten images to edit, then at least an hour spent on each photograph editing.
We're humans, not robots. Our eyes hurt after a while, and so do our hands from manually editing photographs, and not using the easy way out by adding effects in photoshop that will get rid of these problems. So my friends, if you know a photographer, don't rush them into giving you the finished gallery right away. We need a few weeks at least to finish everything. Never stop and ask to see a photograph during a session, and if you're going to ask us to re-edit a photograph, make sure you list everything you wanted to be re-edited the first time.
- On top of editing we spend 1+ hours prepping emails, consults etc.
- 1-4 hours of shooting.
- An hour of editing per picture, 10+ images total.
- 5+ hours of everything else (driving, posting, ordering, packing, branding, delivering, designing, and making props)
We invest thousands of dollars in equipment, software, and props and spend countless hours learning how to produce beautiful images. We as photographers, learn new tricks in the camera, and off to make our images look the best they can be, everyday. We don't get paid vacations or sick days. We don't get bonuses for outstanding performances or for holidays. We don't have insurance plans for any benefits and 35% of our profits goes straight to taxes. We are humans, and this is our business and we are business owners, and we have a lot of love for what we do, but love won't pay the bills which is why I am at the point in my business where I am raising my rates for good for a few years. It's the talent of the photographer, the amount of work that goes into editing, into buying props, and new software, and branding that is the reason I will be charging $300 for a portrait session. Here is our new and final pricing guide for a while (I promise)
Go hug a photographer today (and everyday) We need it.
I hope this blog post truly explains how much hard work I put into my business and my images. I may be out of some people's price ranges now, but cheap photography isn't good, good photography isn't cheap.