How to Hire a Family Photographer #4: Editing Imperfections

How to Hire a Family Photographer #4: Editing Imperfections

Let’s talk about editing expectations.

This item is important for both client and photographer to be on exactly the same page.

I’ve heard stories of business relationships that went south quickly because clients had very different expectations for what their photographer would edit and what she wouldn’t.

What kind of editing are we talking about?

I’m referring to imperfections on your person, both temporary and permanent, as well as body modifications.

What’s reasonable to expect, and what isn’t?

I automatically edit out any temporary imperfections, like acne or scratches. I also whiten smiles if needed, minimize under-eye circles, and for those ladies who aren’t blessed with supermodel skin (um, hi 🙋🏼‍♀️ ) , I smooth skin to even tone and minimize wrinkles.

These edits usually go pretty quickly and don’t require a huge time commitment to fix, so I’m happy to do them if I think they’re helpful.

I don’t perform plastic surgery on chins, tummies, thighs, arms, or hips, for two reasons: authenticity, first and foremost. I’m not here to make you look like someone you’re not. I’m capturing the person who’s loved by your partner and adored by your children. Your family doesn’t see your imperfections. They just see love. ❤️

Second, plastic surgery repairs are time consuming to pull off in Photoshop under the best of circumstances, and if the angle or surrounding pixels aren’t perfect, they can be downright impossible.

In summary, it’s unreasonable to rely on your photographer’s editing chops to perform plastic surgery.

Ask your photographer exactly what kind of edits they do routinely to every photo, and what type of edits are off-limits or come with an extra cost.

Let your wardrobe do the work.

The good news: smart clothing choices will draw attention to your best assets and deemphasize the rest, making any nip/tuck editing requests completely unnecessary!

Styling is an increasingly important part of the pre-session experience, and it’s another important question to ask when hiring a photographer. We’ll cover it in more detail in part 5: styling and wardrobe!

Check out the other parts of the series for more about editing style and posing, asking questions about digital images, pricing for prints, turnaround time, and disaster preparedness.

Part one: Editing style

Part two: Posing style

Part three: Questions to ask

Part five: Styling and wardrobe

Part six: Location

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