Miss C's Mom introduced me to the idea of headshots and I introduced her to the idea that all good headshots are photoshopped or edited. I guess back in the days of film, retouching headshots was considered cheating. But today, in this digital age, photoshopping/editing is standard faire, and those images that aren't appear dull in comparison to those that are.
There are oodles of Los Angeles headshot photographers who shoot and burn a disk for their clients of UNEDITED images from the session. I maintain that these photographers aren't doing their clients any favors. These unedited images will most likely not grab the attention of those who are looking to hire.
So, let me show you what I'm talking about with a couple images from Miss C's session. The first picture is the SOOC (straight out of the camera, unedited) image. The next image is "popped", edited to add contrast, remove color casts, brighten eyes & teeth & skin, sharpen, tweak skin tones ... all the little things that make a good image into a great image.
See what I mean? The first image is fine. But the edited image is vibrant and eye-catching and just all around more compelling.
Here's another before and after (and a b/w & vintage conversion):
Here's the "recipe" for this last picture - the picture in which Miss C was hugging a tree ... before she discovered the ants and the spider, which meant we were all done hugging trees. aww, a girl after my own heart! ;-). Anywho, the recipe (using TRA actions):
Pool Party 50%, Lux Soft 50%, Oh Snap 75%, Pro Retouch Eyes, Select o Pop on eyes, and highlight separator 25% (to bring back some of the freckles that got lightened too much with the first two actions).
I'm excited to be adding headshots to my client offerings. BUT. I will NOT be doing business like the mass-market LA headshots photographers. My packages will only include finished, edited images. Yes, they will cost more than those LA companies; but, I believe the additional work justifies the additional cost AND will leave you happier with your end product and results.
Clearly, I fall into the camp that believes the answer is: To Photoshop.
Ok, I'm climbing off my soap box now.
And Mom of Miss C and Miss C? Thank you so much for trusting me with your headshots and for letting me show you what I meant about editing. I hope you're as thrilled with the results as I am.
ps. There's a conversation happening in the comments about the "truthfulness" or "realness" (or lack thereof) of Photoshopping. Feel free to chime in with your ideas...
Laguna Niguel Portrait Photographer, Orange County Headshots Photographer