I thought some of you might appreciate a bit of insight into how I do things behind the scenes. Here’s a look at my post-production secrets. This is how I arrive at my finished product every time!
- Before I do anything, I always spend a lot of time on selection. I can take anything between 1-400 shots during a session, so it’s important to narrow it down to a smaller number for edits. I make one pass through singling out the ones that look good at first glance. Then I go through with a fine-toothed comb and check the focus and detail on the images. Finally, I make one more pass to remove any duplicates or images that are too similar. If I still have too many images to make a good edit, I’ll repeat the process again with this smaller selection. I aim normally for a maximum of 50 images, though preferably even less!
- I ALWAYS colour correct and add contrast before doing anything else.
- I use Summerana actions almost exclusively in Photoshop, although there are a few actions from Totally Rad that I use from time to time as well, and a couple of others that I have put together myself.
- I use colour tones to add interest. In each set, I’ll probably also have a few black and white shots and a few left relatively untouched.
- I will remove blemishes but almost never smooth skin further or adjust other parts of the face and body. That’s why my portraits often look very natural - they’re real.
- With the finished edits, I make a few more passes of selections. The first one is to take all the images I still like and put them into my queue for Instagram. The second is to narrow it down to perhaps 5 images for Facebook. The third is to select just 1 or 2 for my portfolio.
That’s it! I guess my secret to getting post-production right is to have a good structure. Doing it like this cuts down a lot of time, and I can get most photographs edited in a matter of 2 or 3 minutes so long as Photoshop is playing ball.