Senior Picture Editing & Retouching | A Before & After Transformation

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Senior Picture Editing & Retouching | A Before & After Transformation

Photographers are artists. We capture and edit photos through our unique perspective. When you hire your senior photographer, you’re not selecting them based on the type of camera they use. You are hiring them for their creative vision, and editing is part of that vision.

My take on editing senior pictures is simple: I want you to look like the very best version of the real you! And never like somebody you aren’t.  So in the spirit of #transformationtuesday I thought I would share a real before & after editing transformation – something I’ve never done before!

First, here is the original photo of the beautiful Kailey (taken at the Green Bay Botanical Gardens), straight out of camera:

senior picture editing

Step 1: The Basic Edit

As good as professional cameras are, even the expensive equipment I use doesn’t render images as vibrant and crisp as our eyes see! So my first goal is do a “basic edit”.

The “basic edit” enhances the photo so the scene looks a little more like I saw it in person. Using Adobe Lightroom, I make minor adjustments in the exposure, contrast, saturation, color tones, and more. This basic editing is done for every photo, before you even see it.

Here is what the basic edit of Kailey’s photo looks like:

senior portrait editing transformation


Step 2: The Advanced Retouch

Sometimes increasing the saturation and contrast ends up highlighting any imperfections. And when a photo is enlarged for print, those imperfections will become even more noticeable. So my next goal for any image that I am printing for you, is to perfect it with advanced retouching!

I use Adobe Photoshop for the “retouched” images. Photoshop is a powerful tool that allows me to smooth out skin, minimize imperfections, brighten eyes, remove glare, and anything else needed to create a polished final image!

Here is how Kailey’s final retouched image looks:

senior portrait editing transformation 2

Nothing too over the top. No trendy filters needed (those are great for Instagram, but not your senior portraits!). Just a clean, colorful scene that allows Kailey’s beautiful eyes and smile to really pop!

Here is the entire transformation from SOC (straight out of camera) to final retouched senior photo:

editing transformation

This retouched image was used for Kailey’s senior yearbook photo and wall portrait!

If you liked seeing this editing transformation, let me know and I’ll continue to share before & afters!

And if you’re looking for a senior photographer, check out info on senior sessions herecontact me for more complete details!