editing style & post Processing

Editing style is something that sets all photographers apart. It’s what you’re choosing when you select your photographer. My editing style tend to be warm, a little moody, but still true to life. What can I say, I like a little drama in my photos. It makes them dynamic.

Here’s a list of things I take care to watch out for when I’m editing

Skin Tones: I always watch for that first. Regardless of whatever else is going on in the photo (unless I’m doing something more artistic and intentional). I want you to look like you, maybe a touch more tan, but nonetheless, I don’t want you to look orange, darker or lighter than you are or too green or too red.

Important Colors: Typically if there are important colors I make sure those are as true as possible. Examples of this are colors in bouquets and florals, the color of your shoes or make up/lip color, and all the guys’ suits. If your guy is in a navy or burgundy or emerald green suit, I’m going to make it look like that. If you want a photo of your great-great-great grandmothers emerald necklace or turquoise handkerchief, I’m going to make it look like it does in real life keeping the dynamic and more dramatic look that matches my style. Similarly if there’s a ghastly color showing up and it looks icky (thanks fluorescent light) I’m going to get rid of it.

Moodiness: “Moody” is a word that other’s have used to describe my editing style. I like to think of it as drama or intensity. It adds contrast to the photos, making the whites pure white and enjoying the warm dark tones of browns, grey and black. The opposite of what you see in “light and airy” photography. To each their own, no style is more “right”. That’s why this is art. I personally try to take what my eye sees and make it more cinematic as opposed to “romantic” with a lot of bright light and pinks, it’s simply not my style. There’s a spectrum between “Dark and Moody” and “Light and Airy”. My goal is to fall in the middle, leaning towards more rich colors and contrast.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you change your editing style or match So-And-So’s style?

Definitely not. Matching or copying someone else’s style is something I don’t do. Under any circumstances. That’s their work. As an artist I don’t find it inspiring to copy someone else’s work and it’s just not kind to the other photographer. I also don’t change my editing style. It would be like asking me to write with my left hand instead of my right hand (I’m right handed). I know my flow, what I’m looking for and what I like from the colors in a photo. Asking me to try to be different would be a difficult change of pace for me and I can’t stand behind something I’m not confident in.

Why do some photos look brighter and some look darker?

Excellent question. I always, always, always, always, always edit for each wedding. I work within a range of 6-12 different presets that I’ve decided match the aesthetic I’m going for. Some are good for bright, high noon light, some for soft light, some for those crazy orange sunsets, some for night reception photos. I’m a natural light photographer, meaning the sun is my best friend. Believe it or not the sun produces different colors in its light. Sunrise is a very white light, midday tends to be a little warm but makes everything super vibrant, and sunset can be orange, pink, yellow, or blazing red. I work with all of these colors to make your photos consistent but also accurate to what’s going on that day.

Other Notes

Types of Light

Tungsten, fluorescent, flash, sunlight, moonlight, streetlights, headlights…I could go on but all of these light sources produce different colors and fall differently. My goal is to work with what I’ve got and make you look the best either way. My goal is to be true to life with a little moody, cinematic flair.

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Bright, direct sunlight

This is an example of bright, direct sunlight. You can see how the light is hitting the couple straight on. When the sun is out (any time other than sunrise or sunset) it makes everything more vibrant and all the colors pop. Their skin tones may make them look really tan, but the color of the sunlight at this time was more orange (it was getting close to sunset). However, the editing on the skin tones is true to the original lighting and to their true skin tones.

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indoor & backlit/sidelit

Canlis is an indoor ceremony venue that has gorgeous views of Seattle and Lake Union. It’s an interesting challenge because typically couples stand in front of this widow, making them backlit with light coming in from the sides. There is also a lot of dark (the ceiling and floor are dark grey or black) this creates a dark feeling in the photo but the skin tones are accurate and consistent with my editing style.

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Flash

Late night, string lights in the back ground and an on-camera flash. Classic reception lighting.

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overcast

This elopement on the Northern California coast was a very grey and misty day. Without direct sun, everything is much darker and all colors are significantly muted. However, overcast weather prevents harsh shadows and makes for the most gorgeous light. The skin tones are consistent and accurate to true life colors.

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full shade

This is full shade, the sun is fully hidden behind the trees, it’s not even peeking out. This is ideal for non-squinty soft light throughout the day.