Editing the perfect senior portrait is a skill that is acquired through experience. Keeping a balance between perfecting the image but not over editing it the key. Obviously, the editing or final look of your senior pictures is something that is subjective to each person. One senior might really like their senior portraits to be very highly edited while another may want very little to be done. It is a matter of taste and opinion.
As a senior photographer who has been shooting and editing for ten years now, my skills in Photoshop have definitely developed and improved from my early days. I have invested in some training over the years to become better and providing a very authentic, but polished finished product. I will never say that I can never get better at it because we can always improve our skills, but I am proud of the product that I offer. I am often told by my senior clients that one of the main reason they choose Thrive Seniors is because they loved how I did not over Photoshop and that the senior still looks like themselves. I receive that as a huge compliment, as I am my harshest critic.
One key to getting this right is taking the shot right, to begin with. In my before and after’s below, the before editing picture is straight out of my camera. There is nothing “wrong” with these before images, but tweaking the contrast, color, highlights, and shadows can make a good picture great! In Photoshop, I will do some finishing touches of clearing up any pesky skin issues that popped up, whitening smiles and popping that color just a little bit more to give it the signature Thrive Seniors’ vibrancy.
In Megan’s before and after, you can see that I added a bit of golden sun glow to the back of her hair where the sun was already backlighting her. Just a little touch to enhance the overall look of the image.
In Aaron’s before and after, you can see there wasn’t much to do. Just worked a little contrast and saturation to make it pop and definitely, no over smoothing of his skin. In my opinion, senior guys don’t want to “glow”. Keeping their skin texture is a must.
In Matti’s image, I absolutely fell in love with this gorgeous spot in Loose Park! I needed to add some light to her face to make up for the lack of fill light when I shot the picture and then warmed the whole image up with a glow.
I love Collette’s red hair and soft freckles! There is no way that I am going to airbrush those out. I needed to remove a little redness to her skin and brighten it all up and boom! This picture became their canvas and one of their favorites.
I wanted to share Miller’s before and after to show you that clearing up your skin can be done without making you look like you are plastic. A photographer with experience is going to be able to do this and in my opinion, should never be charging you extra for this.