With the invention of digital cameras and the fast growing advances in technology, it's not just professional photographers that have good cameras, the average Joe can take good photos using a very affordable camera. This is great for 'Joe' but it has a negative impact on the professional photography industry. People are more reluctant to hire a professional because they can get pretty good results themselves. So one of the things professional photographers have had to do, is get skilled at editing or what we call post production. They need to be able to create something that doesn't look like it came straight out of 'Joe's' camera. Over the past several years I have learned and practised my skills in Lightroom and Photoshop and I love what I can do now to create an image that looks like art, rather than a snap shot.
For an average child or family photography session, I charge $150 for the sitting and it will only take me 60-90 minutes with the clients, which may seem like a rather high hourly rate, but what people often don't realize is that I spend anywhere from 6-10 hours in post production working on that same session. I go through every image, delete any obvious bad ones, then go back and pick out the best ones. Once I've narrowed it down to my favourite 30-40 images, I adjust each and every one of them and do photoshop touchups on things like skin, flyaway hair, colour casts and even soften the odd wrinkle :-). I want the images on my clients gallery to look the best as they can and I want the client to love them immediately and want to buy enlargements to fill every wall in their house. Ok that might be a bit much but you get the idea.
So at this time of year, I do some cleaning up of my computer files and archiving of old photographs and recently I came across this photo I took a long time ago and early in my professional career. It was taken around this time of year in Stanley Park amongst the fall leaves. I didn't do much photoshop back when I first started out so I decided to work on this image again and see what I can do with it now. It's a wonderful moment taken of two adorable little girls, the 'before' photo straight from the camera is ok, but with some Lightroom and Photoshop work, it really transforms into fantastic photograph worthy of display, don't you think?
So that's one example of what a professional can do for you and a good reason to hire one every now and again.