Photography Is Truly An Art Form
After your photographer takes photos of you, their job is not done. What you don't see is everything that comes after your photoshoot.
Usually, I take about 400-600 photos per look when I shoot. Then I go home, pour myself a mug of piping hot tea (that's code for a bottle of wine), and sit down to sift through each one. I carefully select the images that I believe reflect the best moments from that particular shoot, and I begin to edit.
Every photographer has their own style. That's what makes it an art form, really.
PSA: asking your photographer for the raw images is the artistic equivalent of breaking Van Gogh's paintbrushes and stabbing him in the throat with the jagged ends.
The real work comes in when we sit down to edit your images and create something really beautiful for you. Certainly, there is a tad of the photographer's eye in the raw image as well, but the photograph really comes to life in post production. Personally, I like warm, desaturated tones with a subtle vignette around the edges when I am doing fashion photography.
With the image above, I straightened out the horizon line so that the water would be flush with the top third of the image, and then "made up" concrete and water where there formally was none. I got rid of that terrible pipe that was sticking out of the walkway, and also erased some of the dark spots. Then, I brought up the brightness a little bit, and then lowered the contrast. I added some yellow and red into the mid tones (skin tone and the concrete), a little cyan and blue into the shadows, and a slight touch of magenta and yellow in the highlights. I added an adjustment layer over my model's face, and brightened up his beautiful mug. Lastly, I set my brush to black with a very low opacity and color burned the edges to give it that warm, vintage look.
After about a half hour or so of editing this one particular image, it is now ready to show to my model for approval. Repeat this process say 40 or 50 times, and now you have a look book for your model and/or client to look through to select which images they want to keep!
Your photographer (and this is assuming that you have been a smart cookie and hired a really good one) cares about how you look just as much as you do. This is their work, too, after all. A lot of dedication goes in to each individual image, and you don't always get the opportunity to see that. So, as uncomfortable as I am sharing a raw photo and disclosing my editing practices, here you have it, reader friend!
Perhaps soon, we can work together, and you can see for yourself how lovely your images turn out in the end.