behind the scenes

I’m getting ready to show you something a little disturbing.  The REAL me… the naked me.  Well, not THE naked me… but the naked as in no photoshop me…

meThe image on the left is Straight out of the camera (SOOC) and the image on the right has been retouched.  This my friends, is what you pay for when you hire me.  This is the difference between going to WalMart Portrait Studio, and hiring a photographer.   Let’s take a moment and notice all the crud I fixed in the right photo. The right photo has the dark circles and wrinkles removed from under my eyes.  I also boosted the color (notice my eyes/lips/skin tone).  I warmed up the image and darkened the background to make the focus more on my face.  I’m not sure why I didn’t fade that gross wrinkle coming out from my left eye… I should really go back and do that.

Now.  I thought I should share a few more so you can see the “behind the scenes” of the photos you look at everyday on this blog.  I’d like to put a disclaimer out there…  I only selected beautiful self confident woman for this post.  Women that I knew would love their before just a s much as their after.  Not to mention I started this post out with MY before so it’s only up hill from there.  And don’t worry… if you schedule a session with me, I promise not to post your “before” photo on this blog.  All of the girls in this post are close personal friends or relatives of mine.


emilyThis photo was taken before Emily put on any make up (can you believe she looks that good without make up?) on the morning of her wedding day.  Emily was worried about the tiny fever blister on her bottom lip that you can see in the SOOC image.  200 retouched photos later… that fever blister was a thing of the past.  No photographic evidence in her wedding album.  My general rule is if it will be gone in less than a month… remove it.  Fever blisters… zits… sunburn… gone.  Freckles… moles… scars… they stay unless I have a special request. I evened out the skin tone under her eyes, and boosted the color to finish up.  Again… can you believe she has on no makeup?


ericaCute.  Adorable with no touch up at all.  But what girl doesn’t want a little somethin’ somethin?  Again, I retouched under the eyes and boosted the color.  It looks like I might have faded the lines beside her eyes also.  I NEVER take those lines completely out.  I don’t want people to look plastic… just well rested 🙂  I must also tell you that this photo is now on her  license in her salon.  All those years of making fun of her old photo… FINALLY she gave in and put up a photo that doesn’t make her look like an ax murderer.  Whoo-hoo!


heatherIf you look closely at this one, there are some other little touch ups.  In the SOOC image, there are Christmas lights in the corners.  I took them out just to make the image a little more timeless.    If you notice in this one, Keith’s skin tone looks exactly the same in both images.  There is a reason for this.  Keith (I love you bro) has a tendency to look a little red in images.  There for when I did my color editing, I warmed Heather up, but just left Keith alone because he’s  naturally VERY warm.  I of course touched up under their eyes and smoothed out a few imperfections in their skin.


justineI have two words for you… TAN. LINES.  You’re going to puke in your mouth a little when I tell you this… no touch up on her face.  I know… gag.  18 and perfect.  Color boost and about nine million hours of tan line removal.  Justine wore three outfits that day… ALL STRAPLESS.  Let me go ahead and put this out there for you… I do not remove tan lines on a regular basis.  Justine is a friend… and I must have been drunk or something when I told her that I would take them out.


gradyThe poor little stinker’s face was all broke out in the SOOC.  This is a VERY common problem with babies.  Uneven skin tone, baby zits, scratches from their tiny nails, pacifier chafe… babies actually require a lot more touch up then you would think.  Did I mention I love this baby?


coopI love this photo of Cooper.  So what… his hand is out of focus.  You would think that the dumb photographer would have had her shutter speed set fast enough.  Anyway, I just thought this was a good example of my normal color processing.  The same as the SOOC… just a little more vibrant, in my opinion… a little better.

And that my friends is your “behind the scenes look”.   Emily, Erica, Heather, Justine… hi.     I like  you.     I hope you still like me.  🙂

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  • Carla - The eyes are AMAZING! I always coailmpn that my kids eye’s never look great because they are brown but now I know I just am not shooting and editing right!

  • emily - Yes, I still like you and thank goodness you re-touch!

  • Amy - thats crazy!!! but fun I bet!!!! 🙂

  • Heather - Okay, so I know that I leave a comment almost everyday and here’s why…I feel like you go to all of the trouble to post a blog for my personal enjoyment so the least I can do is send a little message to let you know that I read it and enjoy it every day. Your blog starts out most of my mornings, it’s one of the first things I do when I get to work. Check the blog. Gotta see what you’ve posted for the day, what witty comments you’ve come up with and last but certainly not least, gotta check out the photos. I don’t care if the pic is a can of crayons, your friends, your kids, your kitchen table…I just like to look at your work. It’s fun for me. I’m really not a scary stalker, I just thought you should know that I really look forward to ALL of your posts. The serious, the funny, the silly, the cute…I like ’em all. You are a great start to my day!

  • Kathy - A complete list of the actions I use can be found on the “what’s in your bag” page. You can find the link at the bottom of this page!

  • Amber R - love the post. isn’t it funny how they appear to be small details but really make the photos pop! so, my question is…will you share what photoshop program and actions you use. where do you get your actions from? love your color boost process.

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