At almost every wedding I’ve photographed since the start of my business, without fail, someone will almost always ask the age-old question, “you can just Photoshop that, right?”. Half the time they are just joking and I know they are always coming from a good place. But today I wanted to share a quick post on why your photographer likely cringes every time they hear that being asked! For me, it’s simply for one reason: I don’t want my clients to have unrealistic expectations as that often leads to disappointment!
I think there is a big misconception around Photoshop and how the program works. Trust me, I used to be right there with you! You just press the magic photoshop button and before you know it, everyone looks like Kate Middleton, right? Well, sort of. Sure, you can absolutely make waists thinner, car disappear, or remove tourists in the background of your monument photos, but it’s not just with the click of a button. Photoshop is really its own craft outside of the realm of photography. Working in the program is incredibly laborous and often editing just one photo can take anywhere from 5-30 minutes. Considering that I generally deliver 75-100 edited images per hour of photography coverage, you can imagine how quickly that would get out of hand if each photo needed to be taken into photoshop. So let’s answer a few questions:
Q. If you’re delivering “edited” photos, isn’t that the same thing as Photoshop?
A. No! When I edit your photos, I use the program Lightroom to ensure they all have the same consistent style as the images you fell in love with on my website. This means I apply a custom preset that I’ve designed over years in the business and then hand-tweak your photos for white balance, exposure, and a myriad of other minute details. I also straighten every. single. images. No tilted horizons here!
Q. Do you do any extensive retouching?
A. This is a two-fold question for me! I do flag a few images as I am applying my standard corrections to take into Photoshop for a bit of extra work. These include things like headswaps (if someone’s eyes are closed in a family photo), removing blemishes in close-ups, or removing my second shooter if they hopped in the background of a key moment on accident. These are simply things I do as a gift to ensure my clients love their photos!
Q. What if I want _______ edited? Can you do that?
A. Absolutely! But to be fair to all my clients across the board, there is an additional fee for above standard edits (those mentioned in the first question). The cost generally ranges from $5-15 per image depending on the amount of work requested. These edits usually take 2-3 business days and are uploaded directly to your gallery.
As I mentioned above, Photoshop really is its own craft. While I consider myself an expert at wedding and portrait photography, I certainly wouldn’t say the same for Photoshop. I dabble here and there, but depending on how extensive the requested work may be, I often have to outsource these requests to some fantastic editors who specialize in exactly this!
So if you’re ever curious about whether or not something can be Photoshopped, the answer is almost always yes — it’s just followed by a “…but”!