I often get asked about how much editing I do to my photos.  The answer is I walk a very fine line.  I thought Sunday’s shoot would be a good one to use as a before and after.

The before image is exactly the way it came out of the camera.  I tend to overexpose in the studio since I know I will lighten it later, but this is even a little too dark for my liking.  The after image has been edited to remove blemishes, sparkle the eyes, smooth the skin, and overall lightening and color balancing.  I try to be very cautious not to over edit on babies and children.  I want them to look like the best image of themselves, but not a porcelain doll.  I remove any distracting elements (like a cut or bruise on the skin) and enhance the important features (like the eyes).  I prefer clean, crisp images over ones that look like they have been all doctored up.

A before and after example of my typical studio session editing.