I always say I don't do much editing, so I thought I'd finally prove it.

Exposure. Contrast. Colour. Skin editing.

A photographers basics. I do them. I try not to do so much that it becomes a very different image. I only want to enhance what is already there. That is why I don't really go into all these other techniques that other photographers do. For me, the extensive editing was the reason why I fell out of love with landscapes. Nothing you ever see with landscape photographs seems to be real - those beautiful colours and effortlessly stunning skies? Most likely composite images with months of editing. Knowing the insider tricks, really turned me off of landscapes. With Portraiture, it's easier to keep things as real as possible.

This is an example of a before and after.

Notice that it really changes is the exposure? I'm notoriously bad for underexposing my images. There's also a lot of circumstances as a photographer that you need to shoot a really low shutter speed - but that means you have greater chance of losing focus when shooting portraits. With photography basics, the less light, the more sacrifices need to be made. A lower shutter speed, a wider aperture, a higher ISO.

I love darker images, this is my style, and I love the grain that comes with a higher ISO. In my studio room, I'm usually shooting around 400 - 640 ISO, which is actually high for a lot of photographers.... but I might be old school in my "looks like film" photographic love.

With the above image, I've increased the exposure, increased the highlights and decreased the whites in the image, as well as increased the contrast. Recently I've been getting into colour grading on Lightroom, so have used that tool to enhance the colours of the image and apply the golden glow to the whole thing. I've then gone through with Photoshop and cleared up any blemishes or pimples.

It's that simple!

These images are another example of how little I do to my boudoir images. This image is my own (and one of my partner's favourites might I add) so of course I'm extremely critical. But all I've done is adjusted the highlights and shadows to soften the image lighting. Barely a difference!

Skin editing makes a huge portion of my workload as a photographer. However, if this something that is a major concern for you going into a session, the biggest advice I can give you is this -

  1. Drink lots of water and keep hydrated - this is the most important rule of good skincare.
  2. Make sure your skin is clean and develop a daily skincare routine
  3. Makeup that is actually your colour - I often work with models and clients that do their own makeup. Matching foundations correctly is so important!

As you can see by the above images, I've up'ed the contrast and highlights. There's been no colour grading, no body work (e.g. softening out curves with liquify tools), and no skin retouching. There were no pimples, bruising or skin blemishes so I felt no need to edit any more. I've left freckles as I always do... it's something that is natural and part of you. So I don't touch it unless you as a model or client ask.

I often get asked to remove bruises - if there's anything you want edited, please let me know prior. Currently I show images to clients after the photoshoot to allow them to choose their images right then and there - but after they've chosen, I'll go through and do more serious skin retouching on the images they actually want.

I only ever edit the whole image when required to my style. I love the dark and moody or grain filled pictures... anything else that gets edited, is completely up to you as to how far I go.