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Ever wonder what I do with your pictures once I take them off of my camera???

March 31, 2008

My friend Cheryl, who is also a photographer, has been posting some great info on her blog recently to inform clients about the importance of choosing a professional photographer and just what your hard earned money is paying for when you choose a profoessional (custom portrait photogrpher) to shoot your family’s portraits.  You can read some of this GREAT info here.

In light of Cheryl’s posts, I have decided to give you all a little peek into just what goes on behind the scenes of Maggie Hendrix Photography.  I would like to post one of these little snippets from time to time so that my clients and all of my other faithful blog-stalkers can see what I do once I step out from behind the camera.  There are so many steps taken before the final images from just one portrait session are ready for viewing. 

For today’s peek, I have posted 4 versions of 1 picture of my GORGEOUS sister (seriously, can you believe she is only 15!!!).  The first picture is a final edit of one picture from Lacie’s session.  To get to just that point, I had to take this particular image through several steps in Adobe Photoshop (also referred to as the digital dark room).  The picture started out as a slightly under-exposed image (we did her shoot at 7:00 p.m. so it was pretty dark out).  I had to adjust the lighting in this image by changing the range of light in the shadows, midtones and highlights until I got the exposure exactly as I wanted it.  Then, I had to make several adjustments to enhance the image and really make Lacie shine.  It can take anywhere from 5-15 minutes per image just to get an image exactly the way that I want it.  The reason I take so much time on my images is because I want my clients to have the best images possible to choose from.  This is what a custom photographer does! 

After I got this image edited, then I had to decide what creative touches I might want to add to the image to really set it apart.  Today’s teens really like an edgy, artsy, right out of a magazine look.  After trying several different effects on the picture, I decided that it would be a great image for cross-processing.  Using a tool called “curves” in photoshop, I adjusted the individual red, green and blue channels of the image until I achieved the look that I was going for.  I prefer the cross-processing on this image to the regular version.  Other methods that I try on images include vintage, color pop, antique, warm tones, cool tones, retro looks and many, many more.  This is just all part of the creative process.

After I have finished with my color versions of the image, then I work on my black and white conversion.  You may say to yourself “don’t all black and white’s look the same?”.  No, no and NO.  Converting a picture to a black and white can be simple or it could be somewhat complicated.  I may want a true black and white or I might decide on a warmer toned black and white, depending on the image.  I won’t bore you with all of the technical reasons why it takes the perfect balance of light and dark, warm or cool to get a pleasing b&w image, but as you can see below just a few changes in your conversion can give an image a very different feel.  The first of these two black and whites is a darker, moodier version, while the second is a brighter more contrasty look.  I prefer the second version myself.  Another photographer might prefer the first.  Again, these choices are just part of the creative process that I go through to create art out of your portraits and they set me apart from other individuals who have different styles of their own.   

 I love what I do and I love every step involved to create beautiful works of art for my clients to enjoy.  I love meeting new people, the science of getting a technically and creatively correct picture with my camera, working on the images in Photoshop and continually educating myself on new shooting and processing techniques.   I hope you have enjoyed my novel!  LOL  Have a great week!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2008 4:22 am

    wow. she looks amazing!! her skin is flawless

  2. April 1, 2008 3:25 pm

    Bravo Maggie!

    Well said, and look at your sweet sis!!!! Can’t believe how grown up she is. JUST BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

  3. April 2, 2008 6:30 pm

    Yay!!! I love the picture of Lacey. She is such a beautiful young lady.

  4. Cassandra permalink
    April 5, 2008 5:09 am

    Bright & Contrasty Black & White DEFINITLEY the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!
    What a BEAUTIFUL young LADY Lacie is turning out to be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Love,
    Cassandra

  5. Falone permalink
    April 5, 2008 7:01 pm

    OH! How I understand! I am going to have to take lessons from you! Not for pictures of people because I don’t have your eye 😉 but for the pic’s of landscapes I have to use in my designs! You have figured it out! AGAIN, man your good! And your sister has become so Beautiful! Yeah for Maggie!

  6. Aunt Beth permalink
    April 9, 2008 4:19 pm

    Lacie is just gorgeous!.
    I didn’t read all the technical stuff on the picture processing , because I don’t care! haha That is why I am not a photographer.
    I need to sign up if you can make me look this good!

    Do you realize the last time we had a family portrait made, you were about 3, there was no Lacie, and I hadn’t even met Dewayne! Not to mention the “few” changes in your little nuclear family.
    ( Thus the electric tape over the “nameless one” in the picture – cracks me up every time I think about it!)

    Keep doing what you are doing, because you are terrific at it.

    Love ya’,
    Beth

  7. Jolene permalink
    April 17, 2008 12:36 am

    These pics of Lacie are great!! Also I wonder if you know of any more blog stalkers other than myself? Can’t wait to party with ya next Tuesday=Dlove ya Jolene

  8. maggiehendrix permalink*
    April 19, 2008 6:54 am

    Thanks everyone! And yes, aunt Beth, it has been too long…

    Jolene, I know that I have plenty of blog-stalkers, but not all of them have come out of the closet like you!

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