I spend alot of time talking about what happens during a shoot and talking about the wonderful people and horses that I get to meet, but just incase you were wondering what goes on AFTER a shoot, I thought I'd put this post together! Here's a step by step guide to my most recent shoot, you can find out all about their shoot by clicking here.
After each shoot I come home and will pop my memory cards in to the card reader and start downloading them all - once they've downloaded, I'll do a quick back up on my external hard drive so that they're all safe!
There are many programmes you can use to edit images but I've never found anything better than Photoshop! I usually have an idea in mind when I take an image as to how I want the final image to end up. I will open up a batch of images on PS (Photoshop) and go through each one. I will flit past any where the horse doesn't look happy with their ears forward, or where they look relaxed and focused on their owner. That's a great starting point and will leave me with the best images - I take anything from 400-700 images during the shoot - the majority don't make the final cut, i only want to send my client the most beautiful ones!
If there's anything glaringly unattractive, such as a telegraph pole or sign in the background I will remove that first of all. Most of the time I try and shoot so that the backround is as soft and unattracting as possible, however sometimes distractions in the background can't be helped. This also applies to, in the summer months, removing flies!
Each image is then cropped, straightened and then I play my favourite actions on the images to increase the contrast, bring out the details in the image and make the colours pop! The colourbase that I use also adds a vignette to the edges. Most of the time I don't play too much with the opacity of the actions that I use, but I will sometimes up the contrast a little more or play around with how bold the vignette is.
Sometimes the image calls out to be filtered black and white. I will add the initial colourbase beforehand - I like all my images to have a similair feel and style to them, so the editing process stays the same whether it's in colour or black and white. I LOVE matt finishes on black and white images, so after desaturating the image, I apply a matt overlay and flick the opacity down to around 25% so that there is still a lovely contrast between the black and white tones.
I like to have YouTube open in the background and a bowl of crisps or chocolate whilst I edit! Alot of work goes in to each image, I only select the most flattering and lovely photos to show you! There will be some very similair images taken with just a subtle angle change, the horse moving, an ear flicked slightly to one side or a smile turning in to a laugh, I choose my favourites from these; I will then work through the rest of the collection of images before ending up with anything from 70 to 150 photographs to show. I use AIS Watermarking to protect each image before uploading it to the client gallery. An editing session takes me on average, around 3 hours.
I love seeing how an image is transformed from the back of my camera to a finished peice. The next thing I do once the images are edited is pick out my favourite image from the shoot, and with permission, I post a SNEAK PEEK on to Facebook! Everyone is excited to see the initial preview from their gallery and they can't wait to share it with their friends and families!
The biggest transformation of all has to be the black background images - typically the background of the barn is cluttered, rarely am I lucky enough to find a background that is completely perfect for the black background images - rather I try to look for nice dark places to create the effect I am after!
Each shoot is then brought to life through a blog post for you all to enjoy. I look forward to recieving feedback from each shoot after I've sent their gallery over - I still get little butterflies in my tummy when I see that email pop up in my inbox waiting to see what their reaction will be!
I will have a future installment in these series of blog posts soon to explain how to choose the correct image and product size to display proudly on the wall!