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I am constantly receiving emails from fellow photographers (old and new) who want to know how I handle the post processing of my images. So I'm dedicating this entire post to just that!
First, I want to express an opinion: A photo shouldn't just be shot, burned to a disc, then handed over to the client...if you're a digital photographer (and an artist at that), one must work on the images. Even if it's proofs being handed back to the client, never, I repeat, NEVER, give a client an untouched image! Would a painter hand over a paying client an almost blank canvas with just the pencil sketches? No. Especially when the paying client is expecting "art"! They hire you to do what they cannot do for themselves. We are artists, lets be respectful to our paying clients and deliver to them the amazing photos they are expecting out of us!
Okay, now that I'm done ranting I want to give credit to the amazing companies that make my life 100 times easier when it comes to the post processing of my images. These two companies are Fotofafa and TOTALLY RAD ACTIONS! I use both of these companies separately for two totally different purposes and I'll explain that below. I'm proud to be an affiliate for both of these companies, because as I rave about them constantly (they deserve it more than they know) they are "scratching my back" with beautiful images I can give to my clients and in return I get to share what they do, along with how awesome I truly believe they are for a small percentage return in my pocket.
Plus, I thought this would be the perfect time to share about these two companies because both Fotofafa and TOTALLY RAD ACTIONS! are running HUGE Black Friday sales, see below to take advantage of that as long as it lasts:
To redeem the discount for 15% off at TOTALLY RAD ACTIONS! type in the coupon code 1016BLACKFRIDAY (you don't want to miss out on the RadLab if you don't already have it). Their sale is only running for 24 hours only on 11/25/11!
To redeem the discounts and HUGE savings from Fotofafa during their Black Friday sale, be sure to type in the coupon code LYON11. Their sale is currently running through Monday 11/28/11!
Working on images takes time, we all know that, and if not time-managed properly, post processing of images can take over your life, which will in turn make you abhor the job you once loved. I am a complete believer in outsourcing so that I can have more time to do the things that I love, like spending time with my family, going out on a date with my husband, or even at this time of year taking time off for the holidays.
After shooting a wedding with 3,000 plus images, I get to send all of my photos over to Fotofafa to cull down and process into beautifully proofed jpegs. They take each image and color correct to my preference, adjust the white balance, perfect my exposure, and even add contrast if I need them to.
Here are a few recent images I received back from Fotofafa along with my raw (in camera) image so you can see the before & after:
This image seemed a bit dull and I like how Fotofafa brought it to life.
Before I send all of my images over to Fotofafa, I like to go through and choose my favorites that will be featured on my blog, used for the slideshow, and ultimately used for my clients' wedding albums. Totally Rad Actions help me to "artistically edit" my favorite images and retouch them into a complete work of art.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes played on the following photos using Totally Rad Actions through their new RadLab...(which is seriously RAD and beyond easy to use!).
Recipe for black & white conversion using TRA within RadLab (note: all of my black and white images are always desaturated prior to the following steps):
1. Detroit reduced down to 50% and tone compression increased up to 130%
2. Grainstorm at 100%
3. Get Faded Neutral reduced down to 30%
4. Boutwell Magic Glasses reduced down to 50%
Here is the color recipe I used for these next two images using the Totally Rad Actions within RadLab (the best part about Radlab is that it is very visual and you don't have to be a rocket scientist to use it):
1. Cool As A Cucumber reduced down to 50%
2. Get Faded Spring reduced down to 60%
3. The 600 reduced down to 50% with grain down to 15% and the defocus down to 0%
4. Boutwell Magic Glasses reduced down to 50%
Again, a HUGE shout-out to Fotofafa & Totally Rad Actions for making my life easier, especially during the holidays when I really want to get things done fast in order to have more time to myself and all the while still being able to deliver the quality images my clients deserve!