Before & After – Lightroom editing progress

In March 2014, I did my sister’s engagement photos. It was one of my very first “gigs” as a photographer and I was very excited, nervous, and super new to the whole thing. I had literally *just* purchased adobe lightroom 4 and obviously didn’t have much experience with the editing thing, either.

On top of that, I had just finished a photography course at Firefly53 and was shooting in full-on manual for the first time.

I managed to get some good shots and at the time was pretty happy with what I was able to do. Now when I look back at all the shots I took (485!!!) I see so many things I would do differently: under-exposures, over-exposures, blown-out backgrounds, inexplicably high ISO when I was in sunny Houston, Texas, bad poses because I wasn’t giving my subjects enough direction – and finally, some horrible newbie editing on my part. Since this is the only thing I can change now, to some extent, I decided to take another stab at some photos that I edited then, reset, and re-edit them, knowing what I know now. Here’s an example!


SOOC Web-0327This sucker is straight of the camera, and aside from the background being completely blown out, it’s not too bad. They’re cute, the picnic table idea I borrowed from Pinterest, and with some editing, it’s a keeper.

2014 Edit:

Web-0327Yikes. I’m honest when I say I’m not sure what I was thinking with this one. Black and white? No. I jacked up the clarity, which makes the dark parts of this photo look harsh and you can literally see the spots on her legs where I use the adjustment brush. Woof.

2015 Edit:

Web-0327My approach this time is simplicity. I kept the photo in color to accentuate their natural skin tones, upped the contrast a little to make the colors pop, and used a little noise reduction – because once again I had the ISO way too high! There isn’t a huge difference from the SOOC version, other than it’s a little more polished, and it’s definitely less harsh than my first edit.

There are a lot of things I would do differently with this shoot if I were doing it now, but luckily I still got some great shots that we all love, they are my family and have to love me anyway, and thankfully, I’ve come a long way since then!


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