When the photoshoot ends, the work doesn’t end for the photographer. Oh, no. Like The Carpenters, we’ve only just begun. Actually, that isn’t true. We’ve done a lot of prep work before the photoshoot even started. Not everyone is a photographer, though, and we wanted to share our process with you. When you see all the work that goes into making your family photos memorable, you definitely have a new appreciation for the finished product that’s delivered to you.
Before the Photoshoot
Like we said above, only part of what goes into making a photo visually beautiful is what you actually see during the photoshoot. With Our Everyday photo sessions, many of our shoots happen outside where conditions are much harder to predict than inside.
Naturally, we have to get to know weather patterns. Photographers are mini-meteorologists! In the days leading up to a shoot, Nathan is checking his phone’s (many) weather apps to ensure favorable conditions that lend themselves to having electronics (and small children!) outside for long periods of time.
Because of the unpredictable nature of, well, nature, we also have to scout a few locations in case we get rained or snowed out of our main location. If you’re wondering how we handle weather conditions on your big day, we wrote an entire post dedicated to it right here!
When shooting outside, we also have to learn about the path of the sun to ensure you’re in the right place for the best shot and that our cameras are picking up the right light. There are many phone apps to aid in shooting in the best light possible and Nathan has tried just about all of them. He takes lighting very seriously.
Perhaps the biggest thing photographers do before a shoot is learn their equipment. It’s imperative to taking good photos. Think about it: you wouldn’t go into an exam unprepared yet still expect a perfect score. Nathan studies every camera he gets his hands on to understand exactly what he has to do to produce the best possible results. Every good photographer knows his tools inside and out and how they react to light, movement, and other elements in order to get the best results in-camera and minimize the need for editing later on.
During the Photoshoot
Once we know the weather will behave and everything is in the proper light, it’s time to get the perfect shot. While it looks like we’re just running around with your family and a camera, there’s a little more to it than that.
We keep an eye on the scene to make sure the shot is clean. There’s nothing worse than finally getting a smile out of a timid toddler only to realize the picture was sullied by trash on the ground or the appearance of a tree growing out of your head. Sure, we can edit some of this, but it isn’t always possible and we’d really prefer to get a good shot in the moment than trying to airbrush a chip bag out of the frame later.
We’re also adjusting on the fly based on the mood of everyone in the shot. We’d rather naturally let a vignette happen, so we don’t tell you how to pose or where to stand. That said, we will suggest situational activities or guide you into a zone where the light and backdrop makes for a better photo.
After the Photoshoot
Once the camera is cleaned off and the lights are packed away, it’s time to process your photos. The biggest part of post-processing we do is to pick the best photos. You know, the ones where no one’s eyes are closed, no one is mid-sneeze, and so on.
Porter Loves Photography does minimal editing. Real life kids and families interacting together is our jam and as we’ve said many times over, we don’t want perfect photos.
Wait, let me rephrase. You don’t have to be perfect to make memories with your family and we aren’t going to edit you to look like you are! Our typical editing is mainly light color correction, no teeth whitening or waistline reducing happening here. More extensive editing does happen on occasion when kids are sick and we need to break out the Snot-Be-Gone tool in Photoshop. Other than that, we prefer to let you look like you.
Hopefully this has shed some light on the work photographers do when they aren’t actively photographing you. There is a lot that goes into getting a great shot and we wouldn’t trade that work for the world because we know we’re helping you preserve great memories with every click of the camera.