Editing Client Photos | I am not Bob the Builder or a magician!

I can’t fix everything or turn an image into something it’s not. But I do have many tools on hand when it comes to editing your final photos.

Editing photos from sessions is a three step process.

The first step is culling the photos. This involves eliminating blurry images, duplicate images, or photos with strange faces or body positions (e.g., someone scratching their arm).

The second step is doing a preliminary edit in Lightroom. This involves adjusting the exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, colours, clarity. And also cropping all of the photos I’m going to share with clients in their gallery.

The final step is editing in Photoshop the photos that clients select.  This is definitely the trickiest step of the process. And also one where I have to clarify that I am not Bob the Builder. I can’t “fix” everything!

The purpose of editing client photos in Photoshop is to remove temporary things from photos that wouldn’t otherwise be there.  For example, a car in the background of a photo, a scratch on someone’s face, or a rash on someone’s neck. Or temporary redness, or hairs that are crossing a person’s face or sticking straight up on their head.  

There are no “fix this” buttons in Photoshop. Which means editing client photos means every adjustment is done by hand on each individual image.  For example, I don’t push a button that says “remove stray hairs” or “remove scratches”. Each of those edits is done one by one.

Before editing client photos

One of the reasons we spend so much time working with our clients before sessions is to ensure we understand what their expectations are for their final images and whether that is a part of my editing process.  For example, I don’t change people’s clothing colour or totally alter a person’s appearance as part of the final step of my editing.  As a mother of teenagers, I am more and more aware of the impact of social media on our expectations of what humans “should” look like and the impossible standards we hold ourselves and others too.  Working as a photographer and editing client photos is a fine balance between meeting clients expectations and also changing the narrative for our children that they have to look a certain way to be beautiful.

Photo of our children smiling at the camera while holding their newborn sibling in a blog post about editing client photos. Maternity photographers ottawa.
Photo of mom and dad smiling at their newborn while mom holds them in a blog post about editing client photos.  Maternity photographers ottawa.
Photo of mom and her 4 older children smiling at the camera while mom holds her newborn baby in a blog post about editing client photos. Maternity photographers ottawa.