Great Photographers are excellent editors

(Last Updated On: October 23, 2010)

A big part of being a great photographer is the ability to edit well.

In the age of digital cameras photographers create hundreds of images, but only one will represent the best in a portfolio.

Often new, inexperienced or unconfident photographers will want to play it safe.  Safe will demonstrate average abilities.  Those who can not edit well tend show everything or to many images.  The best image is usually presented but it is watered down by the addition of safe images displayed in the group.

If you are displaying images for client selection it is wise to share options – but not too many.  I will supply 3-5 images per scene, look or subject. This can still result in hundreds of images for a large assignment.

There is nothing wrong with asking other people’s opinion.  A good photographer will use this information to support their decision, but she will not depend on it.

Just for kicks, below is my full editing workflow.

A) Download all images to my desktop.
B) Make a backup copy on my archive hard-drive.
C) Edit 1: remove all obvious errors, soft or poor images.
D) Edit 2: select best images via bridge (you can used Lightroom). I use my first gut feeling to make selections and place the photos in a separate folder.
E) I open each selected image to make necessary corrections, adjustments and basic touch ups.
G) Edit 3 (as part of E): Remove similar images and photographs that don’t wow me.
F) Save images to my “final picks” hard-drive.
H) Create a preview Website for the client.
I) Make final adjustments and touch-ups to client selections.
J) Upload client final selections to their personal gallery on Photoshelter.
K) Immediately Invoice through Quickbooks via email.
L) Copy all final picks to CD for storage to take off site.

How do you edit?


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