I recently had a new client request 80 -100 images of his new retail store…and to capture all these shots within a two-hour window just before the store would open its doors for the first time. I dreamed of walking around this store, camera firmly in hand, bending down, stretching high snapping shots to the rhythm of Maroon Fives Move Like Jagger. Oh, wouldn't that be nice!
You cant blame the client for expecting that. Many first-time clients only exposure to professional photography has been watching a wedding or event photographer float through a crowd in search of candid or opportunistic moments. After all, professionals create professional images from their camera…right?
When I explain to potential clients that I can capture 15-30 shots in a day using existing lighting Im often met with a look of puzzlement. Few realize the need for optimum camera settings, tripod set-ups, compositional arrangement, thinking through the number of exposures required for each shot, measuring and selecting the best color temperature, all critical in gathering data enough data to produce a predetermined look as a final product.
Unprocessed image of altar in Cathedral Basilica St. Louis
Post-processing each image may require anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours or more utilizing a number of software products...all critical (and costly) tools in professional photography. The software allows a photographer to extend his technical and creative talents to each image. The entire process consumes a lot of in office time but is critical in distinguishing professional images from amateur photography.
In summary, post-processing is critical in the creation of every professional image.
· Post-processing creates images that are not possible straight from the camera through blending of light color brightness, editing, cropping, etc. (see below)
· Post-processing raises the quality of the final product to professional standards.
· This is where the professional photographer develops a recognizable style or look to his professional images.
· It reminds the clients that this level of photography is worth paying the professional.
Post-processed image from above using Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop