Carleigh’s Parting Shot….and why I presented the image the way I did… {Loudoun Senior Portrait Photographer}

Carleigh is one of the happiest kids I know.  And having the opportunity to photograph her is a joy!  I love letting Carleigh just smile…and be so relaxed about it – because that is how Carleigh really is!

Here is just one of the ones that struck me as one I had to share from her recent Parting Shot session in the #portraitpark last week.

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Now – people sometimes ask me how I “process” my images.  And it’s a tough question as I don’t have an overall, “this is how I do it” approach to every image.  I don’t typically use a lot of filters, or fancy editing actions.  Each image stands on it’s own, but overall I could say I process in a clear, crisp way.  I show photos in good contrast, and that have good strong focus so the image will print well in any size.

Every image is downloaded to Lightroom, where it is cataloged and “categoried”.  Naming, numbering, favoriting, culling and yes even deleting – I could spend all day explaining that approach, but that’s for another time.  In this case, I presented this image to Carleigh and her mom in it’s original process version, which was color correct, with a good contrast, and overall “punchier” in color.  Which I liked.  But this one, well, it also had this option- to be a more “sunny” version…so I processed it first as typical, then came into Photoshop and added a boost of sun/flare/haze in the direction she was looking.  I allowed the image to “absorb” that tone with an almost honey cast to it because it worked beautifully with the grass, the willow tree in the background, and the curve of the road as it led away behind her.  She’s looking upwards, towards the hazy light, and has the perfect posture for expression.  Even the tassel and the flow of the gown prove she was walking at a good clip, just enjoying the beautiful afternoon.

But not EVERY image can have this treatment.  Some images need it to be less “airy” and more color and contrast correct.  I see so many photographers get this treatment wrong – and use it too much.

So I liked both versions – and showed both to mom and Carleigh.  Wonder which one they like better?

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