Adding a Finishing Touch

What makes the difference between a raw, unedited photo and the final product? As a photographer, I want the final images for my clients to be something that they can only get through me. Meaning, I had better deliver some awesome goods! There are so many areas that are a part of that process/experience. Everything counts from the initial phone call or email, to the shoot itself (posing, lighting, technique, etc.), to the way the box looks when the final prints picked up. (That is a VERY short list.)

One of the “tiny” details is making sure that each and every image has a “finished” look. This is one thing that can help professionals’ images stand out in the market today when everyone and their neighbor has the technology and resources to own a great camera and use Photoshop. That is to make sure that you give your images a finished look instead of a “straight out of camera” look. It doesn’t need to be over-the-top and include lots of crazy, dramatic Photoshop actions. Often, when I am finishing an image, I will run myself through questions like, “would I notice this if I was scrolling down my Facebook wall?” “Would this stand out to me and make me think ‘professional’ portrait?” “Does it have the look of art and not just a snapshot?” “Does it draw me in to the subject, or does it make me go ‘oh look a picture of Suzie’?”

What makes a photograph look finished to you?

If you are a photographer, what are some of the steps you take to give your photos that extra “nudge”?

Retouched but without the finished look.
Retouched but without the finished look.
Retouched and Photoshop layers added to create a finished look.
Retouched and Photoshop layers added to create a finished look.

 


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