One of the most common questions from my clients is what is and isn’t included in their proofs. So I thought I’d walk you through the process of photography editing and what happens to an image, from what comes out of the camera to the final image that ends up in a print or album.
ORIGINAL SOOC IMAGES:
The first part of this equation is what comes out of the camera. Photographers call this SOOC (Straight Out of Camera). If this image had a hashtag, it would be #nofilter. Here’s an example of one of my images as it came out of the camera:
The next step is creating the “proof”. During this phase, I go through all the images, decide which ones won’t ever see the light of day because of blinking, bad expressions, duplicates, etc. The ones that remain get basic adjustments to correct and refine cropping, exposure, contrast, color, and tone. This is also where I make artistic decisions about what I want the final image to look like, including stylizing the image, converting to black and white, adding grain or blur or other effects. Every image you see from me in your Proofs has been edited with these artistic and basic corrections.
These proofs are what you receive in your online gallery, and they are ready to be printed. But… this is not the final image! There’s one more step…
If you’re happy with the above image, you’re ready to go. But… there are more refinements that can be made to the final print. These are the refinements that are simply too time consuming to do for every single image. But when you order a final print from me or when you make your final selections for the album, there are things that can be improved and refined to perfect the final image. This is where blemishes get removed, teeth get whitened, flaws and distractions get minimized … things like removing an annoying light switch or power plug in the background, minimizing wrinkles or blemishes or removing stains.
There are some things I’ll do automatically, like smoothing skin or removing obvious distractions. These things are usually temporary distractions, like a blemish, stain, tan line. There are also things you can request at this point, like moderate slimming, removing scars or birthmarks, etc., but these are things I will NOT do automatically, because they are part of who you are! I generally won’t do things to an image that significantly alter your appearance without your request. For instance, if this model wanted her Cindy-Crawford-style birthmark removed, I would do it at her request, but I would never assume that she wanted it removed.
Retouching like what you see here is included on all prints you buy from me, and on all images that go in your final albums.
There are some other things that can be done to images that may include a retouching fee… things that are out of the ordinary because they alter the content of an image, not just the details. If you want to add or remove a person from an image, change the color of someone’s clothing, remove braces, etc. those can be requested at an additional cost. Most retouching can be done for $20 per image, but is evaluated case by case based on the difficulty involved.