Retouching images? Yes I do.

A few days ago, I was asked if I worked on my images before delivering them to my clients.

Because it shows curiosity & interest into my work & photography in general, I was pleased to receive this question. 

Here are other important reasons: 

  • I think my clients deserve to know how the images they receive are created (if they want to!).

  • In my opinion, post-production (or edition) is part of the creative process as actually taking the photo.

  • Most of the people don't really know what to be a photographer nowadays can include.

  • Many people misjudge & look down on post-production, as it'd be not real or unfair.

  • Some people think retouching only came along with digital photography.

No baker will ever deliver an uncooked or even an undecorated cake. Neither a photographer will deliver raw images to his-her customers. They are just not finished, not ready & sometimes not even readable on a computer without a specific software. Giving raw images is at least as irrelevant as giving a undeveloped film. 

Behind the camera, I do my best to choose the right settings to create the image I want. This is part of my creativity: how I see a scene, how I decide to shoot it, the different angles I try, the different settings. All this leads me to create a unique image.

And it's only the beginning of the creative process.

On the computer, I finish the process, by adjusting the exposure, the contrast, the colors etc. We can say that I actually "develop" the image, with a software, called Lightroom. 

During this post-production, I will correct & beautify the images. Because depending on my own taste & style and what I want to enhance, I will either choose to edit the images to be as close as possible to reality, or in the opposite, to create for example a more dramatic or romantic atmosphere. Some also choose to remove disturbing objects, some won't. Some will choose to strengthen the colors, some will fade them. It's all about the style: from how we take the image to how we post-produce it. And that's actually one of the most important reason why one will choose this or that photographer: style! 

This "back-office" part of the job takes time. A lot of time. And a lot of knowledge & experience. Actually, for 1 hour taking pictures, photographers work 4-5 hours in the images, sometimes more. Some people don't understand the photography prices (seen as expensive), they only see the visible part of the work, just when we're actually taking pictures. 

Others would look down on post-production as they might think it denatures the real images. But when my clients pay for my services, they are paying for the best experience & the best images possible. And if the natural lights, for example, is not as good as we need, I'll correct it. And after all, what does "real images" mean? Real question as the camera doesn't always give me the exact copy of the reality as I see it. 

Last and not least info: photo edition existed before digital photography! Here are a few examples of Pablo Inirio, the master darkroom printer who works at Magnum Photos New York headquarters (and here is the link to the full article about him & his work).


For my part, I decided to show you a few "before-after" images of Istanbul. 

I hope you enjoy reading this article and I'll be happy to read your comments & answer your questions! Don't hesitate to share this article on social medias. 

To discover my work called "Istanbul through my eyes"

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Have a lovely day! 


Noemie DeveauxComment