Why professional photographers edit their photographs

If you haven’t hired a professional photographer before, you could be forgiven for wondering why professional photographers edit their photographs.

Common questions I have been asked by clients before include:

  • Why do the images need editing - surely a skilled professional photographer creates the image in the camera itself, not on the computer?
  • Why can't I just be sent the digital images, on the day of my photoshoot?
  • And, why must I wait up to several weeks to view my images?

The thing is, I realise that when you've had your photoshoot, you're so excited. I know that you just cant wait to see the results!

But I don't make you wait for your images just to tease you, I promise!

There is a valid reason why, and that is that there is a final stage in the process after the photoshoot itself. And that process is editing.

Almost all professional photographers (some may not, but certainly most do) edit their photographs. It's a critical step in the process. And in today's blog I'll explain that in a little more detail. 

What's involved in a professional photoshoot

Despite what you might think, there is much more to a photographer’s work than setting up a shot and then clicking the buttons on the camera.

  • Lots of planning goes into it before you even turn up for your photoshoot
  • And after the session, many more hours are spent finalising the pictures so that they are ready for you to print.

Which also explains why professional photography comes at a considerable cost.

You aren’t just paying for the time I spend during your phootshoot – which is up to an hour for most portrait sessions, or several hours for a newborn session.

Behind the scenes of a professional photography shoot

Each and every photoshoot I do involves many hours of work behind the scenes too!

But since you typically only see the final images when I share them on Facebook or in your online photo gallery, you’ve perhaps not realised that there is such a lot of work involved.

Before the photoshoot

Yep, creative styling is a huge part of the work in advance of any photoshoot. Whether that’s a maternity or newborn session, a baby ‘sitter session’ or group portraits with older children, or a family studio shoot.

After all, those coloured backdrops, props, dresses, headbands, newborn outfits and wraps, don’t buy themselves!  And I need to setup the photography studio so I am ready for you, with everything I’m likely to need to be at hand.

I have to create and pre-plan my shoots and then editing is a fundamental part of the creative process after the shoot in order to get the image just right.

After the photoshoot

While I will always aim to get the portrait as good as I can in camera, there is always some editing to be done afterwards. I use digital editing techniques to finish each and every image that I include in your gallery.

I do this so that each image is consistent with my KW Photography brand style; something that I’ve developed over the years and which sets me apart from other photographers.

Without that editing, which is the final piece of the jigsaw puzzle so to speak, they simply aren’t finished KW Photography images. 

Plus, as in the example below, there may be a need to do some editing to digitally remove parts of the image.

During my newborn photoshoots, I make sure that I always pose babies safely. When I'm trying to achieve portraits like this one, I ask parents to support their child's head while I take the photos. Then, once the image is edited afterwards, all signs of the parent's hand or arm are removed. Like magic! 

Editing out blemishes  

There’s also another reason why editing is important. Often newborn babies have blotchy, uneven coloured skin for the first few weeks. And marks or blemishes on their bodies that parents would prefer to be removed on the computer.

Also, older children may have chickenpox scars or snotty noses (I’ve certainly edited out plenty of snot in my six years as a baby and child photographer!). I can edit the images that I take in my camera to whisk these away!

If a portrait of your newborn baby or child is going to be hung on the walls at home, it’s usually the parent’s preference to have me edit the image so that these things are removed. But let me assure you, I won’t edit to the extreme! I have limits on what I will do.

Why professional photographers edit their photographs

So, I hope that helps to explain why professional photographers edit their photographs? And why there is a small delay in getting the images to you for viewing and ordering. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the editing process, do always ask me your questions either in advance or during your photoshoot.

To book your session please contact me today. I’m available on 07749 270431 or email me at karenwiltshire@me.com or complete this contact form.

Karen x


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