How its done?

A big misconception in photography is that all you do is take some pics and get paid for it. However there is a lot more involvement then that, and I mean a lot. I had a kid the other day ask me "so you just take pictures of people and then get paid?". While that is partially true that is only about %10 of the job. The other %90 of the job is the nitty-gritty; getting clients, loading pictures, editing pictures, scheduling, designing, and making the packages that we end up sending out. The actual photo taking part takes up about %5-10 of the time. And don't get me wrong we would have it no other way, that is just the way we like it. There is a sense of pride when you get down to the nitty-gritty and spend lots of time making a good product and seeing its end result. Any photographer that feels differently may not be the best photographer. There is  a lot of wedding photographers, family photographers, etc, that do spend %90 of the time shooting, but it shows. They take the pictures, load them onto a disk and hand it over, but I think they missed a huge step in the process. THE WORK. The end result never looks as good. Back in the day photographers used to spend hours in the dark room developing images, enhancing them, increasing lighting in some areas, blurring others etc. Today it is no different, just with different tools. I wanted to show a little first hand, one of the steps to creating a good product. That is the editing. I shutter at the idea of even showing you these photos because I hate showing "bad" photos, or even sharing my "secrets". However I noticed how much I love reading these types of posts and seeing the insights of photographers so I thought I would try and do the same.

The example down below is a very extreme difference. But I thought it was a good illustration never the less. I tend to take photos one of two ways. 1. Take the photo getting most of the desired results on camera, and doing very little changes after. 2. Take the photo with certain effects (sun flare, glare, high exposure), knowing full well I will be doing a lot of post production work after.

Method 1 I have to get the photo I want on camera

Method 2 I picture the end result in my head

The examples down below is method 2. Isn't it amazing the different before it is edited? To get the end result I used lots of layers but really only changed a few thing. Adjust lighting levels (create more contrast), add some filters (make tones of skin better) and enhance the sharpness of the photo. After that just a lot of "this and that" editing. But that's just a little look into my work. To me its very exciting, and seeing the end result is the best part. Photography for my is the whole experience, not just taking photos.

Peter Mahar - Destination Wedding Photographer - Portland OR