how i edit my photos

Recently, a few readers have asked how I process my images. I shared this post a few years ago, but since then my style and workflow has evolved. I started using Mastin Labs presets in Lightroom last summer and instantly fell in love. And then I died. I have always loved the classic look of film and these presets help me achieve just that while still harnessing the benefits of shooting digitally. I LOVE the look and feel Mastin Labs brings to my photos and I feel there is a quality to them that enhances my brand.

I created my own preset using the Fuji Original + common tweaks as my base and add it to all my images as they import into Lightroom. Once my images are imported, I go through one by one, making minor tweaks to exposure and temperature to make sure each image is perfect. Very rarely will I bring an image into Photoshop, I try to shoot my images spot on, paying attention to what’s in the frame before I take the image. My goals when it comes to editing is efficiency – no one wants to be stuck behind the computer editing all day! Or worse, all night! – and consistent, natural looking images. And Mastin helps me achieve exactly this. I decided to add my camera settings for each photo because I always found that helpful when I was first starting out…

50mm | ISO 160 | f/1.8 | 1/250 sec

how to post processing

Here is a photo from Bobbi and Kevin’s engagement session. The one on the left is straight out of camera (SOOC) and the one on the right is the final image. As you can see, the SOOC image is slightly underexposed. I typically underexpose about .5-1 stop as a precaution since it’s a lot easier to lift the shadows than it is to fix blown out highlights (especially when it comes to details in a wedding dress). Plus, Nikon has great dynamic range so I’m not worried about losing the details in the dark spots when I underexpose. This was pretty much a 1-click edit, I just adjusted the temperature a little bit warmer since we shot in the shade.

105mm | ISO 200 | f/2.8 | 1/1000 sec

how to post processing

This next image is from Stevi and Cody’s Dolphins Resort wedding. Again, SOOC is on the left, edited image is on the right. I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous when the helicopter landed on the mountain top in the middle of the afternoon with pretty much ZERO shade. I decided to shoot Stevi and Cody backlit to avoid squinty eyes, underexposed like I normally do and said a prayer. After I adjusted the temperature and exposure, the only other adjustment I made was a slight straighten/crop.

50mm | ISO 320 | f/1.8 | 1/500

how to post processing

One more before I lose everyone’s attention…I’m known to be quite long winded when I talk. This last image is from Bebe and Jared’s wedding in Nakusp. The SOOC image on the left was a bit more underexposed than I normally like, but this is where shooting in RAW comes in handy. I increased the exposure A LOT (like 2 stops), warmed up the temperature, then rewarded myself with a glass of wine.

If any of you have made it to the end, I hope this offers a bit of helpful insight. Feel free to post further questions in the comment section below (or email) and I’ll do my best to answer; I am always happy to help!

Happy Wednesday!

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