Sunday, September 14, 2008

Growing Pains: Letting Clients See Unedited Photos (Part 2)

Nina's pick for her senior portrait

Today I finished editing my last trio of senior portraits referred from Jordan. It was a great pleasure to be able to shoot these lovely young ladies and capture memories of this very important year in their lives. I hope I have given them photos they can cherish for years to come. And it's wonderful to think that my images will be printed inside a yearbook! Thank you ladies for giving me this opportunity, and now I have examples to send to schools across the metro area in hopes of securing more senior portrait sessions next year. I have also been following the work of Anne Martin, a Dallas-area photographer and blogger who specializes in senior portraits. Martin does a tremendous job, and her images have been a great source of inspiration. I love the section on her site that discusses "Senior Secrets," and I will definitely share these tips with my future senior portrait clients to help them prepare for the session.

Gloria's pick for her senior portrait

Last week, I blogged about a new work flow I would be trying out during my post processing of Nina's pictures. I had been worried that editing all of my images before I presented them to the client took too much time, especially when it was clear the client preferred some shots over others. I decided to try a different tactic and allow Nina to see unedited proofs. Thankfully, the majority of the images I took looked great coming straight out of camera, or I wouldn't have had the courage to do this. I think that if you are going to go this route, it's even more important for you to take the time to get the shot right instead of relying on Photoshop to save you later. Nina and her mother had already had the chance to see the result from sessions I completed with Jordan and Gloria and knew that I could produce. But I was still more than a little nervous going into this.

Jordan's pick for her senior portrait

Out of 100 or so images, Nina chose about 20 shots that she wanted fully processed. That alone saved me days worth of editing, and I was able to get all of her favorites (plus about 10 of my own to use in my port) done in a single afternoon! Overall, I think this process worked well. For my next portrait session, I may process one or two images to the max just to give my client an idea of what to expect when I show them proofs.

It will be interesting to see if the process works the same with the several hundred wedding reception shots I took yesterday. With more than 500 images, I would hate to spend time editing photos that the client doesn't want. But there's a big difference between the 25 to 50 shots clients get from a portrait session versus the 150 to 200 shots promised them from an event. More to come on this topic later.

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