FAQ: Editing

One of the most asked questions I get while meeting with future couples is what I edit and how much I edit. This post will try to explain in a visual way the most frequent things I tweak! Not one photo leaves my hands without editing in some way, but I tend to do the same type of edits repeatedly for each shoot. The most common work I do to any given image is skin smoothing, but for our purposes here I’m not going to do before and afters of my client’s skin (for obvious reasons). Good skin (to me) is the most important thing in any image, so I correct bruises, blemishes, rashes, etc… if you weren’t born with it, it’s probably going to be edited out!

The close seconds are cropping, color correcting, adjusting contrast and eliminating distractions (bugs, pollen, logos, light fragments, hairs out of place, etc…).

The photos on the left are straight out of camera with zero editing! The photos on the right are pictures actually delivered to the client.

This next image is what I would consider a wall portrait. That’s just my term for very important pictures in any gallery. Below, you can see I cropped, straightened, eliminated the thermostat on the side of dad’s arm and got rid of the person in the background.

I get rid of people in the background all of the time, you can not imagine…

A few things about this next image: I don’t love logos in close-up portraits, so the North Face logo had to go. I also cropped in to eliminate that distracting line on the ground in the upper left, plus there was something on the patch of grass in between their two foreheads! I also thought her hands at the bottom were distracting to the emotion of the image…

In most of my photos outside there are bits of dust, pollen, etc… that float around in the frame. On the left hand side of the photo there are some fragments in the air that (to me) totally ruined the picture!

When the light is perfect but the bugs are out of control…those are tiny no-see-ms backlighted from the sunset, which happens all of the time! (This can be eliminated by avoiding dark backgrounds and shooting subjects in front of the sky or lighter backgrounds, but my style is definitely shooting against something that makes the subjects pop!)

Sometimes there are elements on the veil that look like a mistake (but are supposed to be there), so I just use my best judgement. There were delicate gems scattered throughout the veil but in this case it took away from the photo…

Perfect light and awesome emotion, but you can see the distracting specks of pollen floating around. I also boosted up the sun’s warmth in editing. I shoot in “RAW,” or, a neutral format (instead of jpg format), which allows me more freedom in post production…

Look closely and you will see some little flyaway hairs on the top of her head, I remove those all of the time…

Another stray hair (coming out of the bride’s mouth.) This was in a dozen photos but I didn’t notice it while I was shooting (and even if I did, I don’t like to interrupt natural laughter!)

The blue hue from the snow was way too much for me, plus there was a drop of water on her shoulder. When I shoot in snow I expose for the brightest part of the image so as not to lose detail in the highlights, then bring up the light in editing. Also, you can see her finger coming out of his collar in the back, so I zapped that!

As much as we all love Peter, they might not want a shot of him in action! I love shots where the veil has some movement…

This isn’t what I would consider wall portrait material but they were smiling after being finished with pictures and I liked the vibe. Had to delete random rogue guy in the background, though…

This bride had a silver clip on top of her hair but, to me, that’s all I see in the image! It had to go…

I photobombed second shooter Peter’s image (woman in black dress who appears to be moon walking, bottom right) and I try eliminate us out of any photos where it can be done!

That does it for my most common editing on any given photo shoot! Any questions, just ask!

(Another FAQ I did is about the lenses we use, so take a look at this post from last year.)

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Taylor & Alec: Welch Allyn Lodge Wedding

On a sun-filled autumn day, Taylor and Alec wed in a magnificent basilica. It was a grand and glorious space, one that I have been eager to shoot at for the past ten years. This couple gave me absolutely full reign to do whatever we wanted photographically, which is a rare and trusting feat. For that, we are endlessly grateful. When we wanted Taylor to go into the tall pricker-filled meadow, she went enthusiastically. When we were done shooting but decided to get one more shot…Alec laughed and said, “I know what they want!” and dipped his bride in a sunset soaked field. These two…light up my camera. I’m thrilled to share a  few favorites from their joyful day…

A testament to how close Taylor’s bridesmaids are, there was not a dry eye when the bride opened her gift from the groom!

A beautiful series of moments when Taylor’s mom saw her girl in the dress for the first time…

Nothing I like more than when the bride leaves lots of time for her timeless portraits! We went light and airy…

Then we got more dramatic with the light…

Second shooter Peter with this insane balcony shot!

These ladies were a delight!

Ok, the guys nailed it too…

I carry basically everything you could think of during a wedding…except bread…

This woman is a vision…

The Lodge At Welch Allyn always looks beautiful…

The parent dances were sweet, but I love that we also got the bride and her dad cutting up the dance floor!

The party was awesome, thanks to Black Tie Entertainment

I offer unlimited photo coverage and actually insist on staying until the last dance. Sometimes the most gorgeous moments happen at the very end! I was done shooting the last dance but then saw the groom run up and hug the bride’s dad. I ran right up after him!

I’ve been doing this more and more at weddings: wandering outside! This gives the people on the dance floor a break from me, but I also think it adds something special to the photo gallery!

Taylor and Alec, I waited for your wedding for two straight years. After our thousand e-mails back and forth, it’s hard to believe it’s all over! Thank you for your trust, energy and kindness. You two are something special!

xo

I always have so much gratitude for the pros who make the day go smoothly and beautifully…

Hair: Dana Rinaldo

Makeup: Gina Scammell

Dress: Allure Romance

Florals: Backyard Garden

Ceremony: Basilica of Sacred Heart of Jesus

Reception: The Lodge at Welch Allyn

Cake: The Gingersnap Bakery

Entertainment: Black Tie Entertainment

Videographer: Meg Sova

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Love Story: Jackie & Zack

Winter…you saucy minx…I just never know what I’m going to get! It could be below zero or it could be quite balmy…and it can all change quite quickly! One thing is for certain, though, with the snow everywhere, it’s always such pretty light! Jackie and Zack didn’t mind wandering in the cold to find some good sunset light and gorgeous backdrops. I’m always having little panics about whether my couples are going to be too cold to have fun with their session, then they show up with their enthusiasm and fun and absolutely kill it. 1.) I need to calm down. 2.) I’m constantly reminded how awesome my couples are.

A few favorites from our Boston area session…

These beauties are having a late summer wedding and I couldn’t be more excited to document their love!

xo

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Hello 2018!

Friends! My first blog post of the year! Happy 2018!

Right about here is where I’m supposed to drop down insightful lessons I’ve learned from 2017, then lay out my lofty 2018 to do list! (Obviously detailing how wildly successful and supermodel thin I’ll become, eating all organic everything and looking younger by the day!)

Awww man, not happening! The truth is, sometimes to do lists are just reminders of my inadequacies. There is just never enough time. Like, EVER. Furthermore, there is zero desire to perfect my body, gain financial wealth or attain status. In fact, I’m recoiling as I think about acquiring more things. (Ok that is to do item #1: give away more things.) Maybe I’m lazy, but dreaming about becoming more successful or popular ended when I tried to tight roll my jeans perfectly, perm my already curly hair, and attempt access into the cool crowd because of my new look. It was the nineties and I didn’t stand a chance.

I still don’t.

Is anyone else daring to tweak what’s on the inside and being ok with how they are on the outside? At the risk of being further uncool, here’s what I plan to do, every day:

Let go of the superficial. (Wear unpretentious like a badge even if it embarrasses me.)

Connect with people in real ways. (Make time to get coffee with anyone. Strike up conversations with strangers. Even if I’m insanely busy. Especially if I’m insanely busy.)

Dole out compassion. (Listen more, linger more, particularly to opinions that differ from mine.)

Be more generous. (Even on those spent days when I feel as though I…just…cannot… Have the courage and patience to dig deep.)

Let 2018 be the year I live with renewed enthusiasm, curiosity and vulnerability. The year I put down the phone to end the frenetic noise coming through my screen and embrace thoughtful interaction in person.

I know I will not be perfect, but I will be intentional.

Here’s to a wonderful 2018 and hoping you are your greatest self. (Acknowledging that it has nothing to do with how great your hair is.)

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toni - You already are a very generous, compassionate, and kind person So glad you took after me lol (and humble)

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Shannon & Mike: SKY Armory Wedding

You know its a great wedding when months later I still think about it often and smile! Let’s just put aside Shannon’s dimples, stunning beauty and enthusiasm…and let’s forget Mike’s kindness and generosity. Even outside of the bride and groom, this wedding just had a joyful vibe from EVERYONE and it was EVERY MINUTE! While the ladies were having the time of their lives in their hotel room, the guys were totally cool with me hanging out with them goofing off, then all of the guests were hugging and laughing the entire time! Sometimes, you get a day that is jam packed with beauty and fun! So honored to be able to document some terrific moments for these beauties! I had a lot of favorites so bear with me!

First off, it was such a treat to document the guys getting ready! They played some video games and it was fun to be sitting on the floor laughing with these fun gentlemen!

Over at the bridesmaid’s headquarters, Shannon read an incredibly beautiful note from her soon-to-be groom…

Shannon’s bridesmaids were a dream!

This round chapel at LeMoyne College had a 360 degree view and we had ALL ACCESS to get cool angles from everywhere!

It was a perfect Syracuse afternoon…

Seriously… These ladies? I could just tag along with them every day!

Some fun candids in Franklin Square…

This squad…the coolest! (with the help of a large puddle!)

The fact that we got awesome shots in nature and then also took some with a city vibe makes my heart happy! I like variety!

SKY Armory is modern and timeless…

I take dessert seriously, delicious treats get their own photo shoot!

Some killer dancing on this floor!

Shannon and Mike, I loved you from minute one. SO lucky to have captured your love, thank you for the incredible honor!

Also, a thank you to this fine team who made the day exceptional!

xo

Mens suits: Men’s Wearhouse

Ceremony: LeMoyne Chapel

Reception: SKY Armory

DJ: Erik Strail

Videographer: Railroad Productions 

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