Why do professional photographs look so much better than those taken with other cameras?  In truth, the camera has little to do with the final image.  It’s because the photos have been retouched to enhance the model’s skin, hair, eyes, neck, and posture to name a few.  In addition, the photograph will be cropped for visual appeal and optionally enhanced with vignettes and special effect filters.  In other words, you rarely see a professional photograph exactly as it emerged from the camera.

My workflow starts with downloading RAW images to the computer followed by adjusting for color balance, exposure, and tones.  Every image from the photo session gets this basic treatment.  Unlike some other photographers, I don’t retouch further because it’s simply too time intensive.  Instead, I further enhance a select few and explain to the client that any prints that are ordered will get the full treatment including any special effects that are wanted.  Below are some pictures showing before and after retouching enhancements.


Nearly all seniors require some facial retouching to eliminate blemishes, scars and bruises. If the treatment isn’t done properly, the skin starts to look plastic and unnatural.



Men’s complections are retouched too. I always leave some ruggedness so that the masculine features remain intact.


Special-Effects- Black and White

There are countless ways to convert an an image from color to black and white. Here you rely on the photographer’s artistic vision to come up with the right formula for the scene. This image takes on a mysterious, somber feel the way it was enhanced. Notice the dark vignette that was applied to the outside edges of the B/W image.


Special effects - Bleach Bypass Filter

This photo was processed with a bleach bypass filter to give it a highly masculine rugged appeal.


Special effects - soft pastel

This photograph takes on a romantic, almost fairy tale quality as the colors were enhanced with a pastel filter.


Special effects - contrast

Carefully adjusting edge contrast and color saturation brings added visual appeal to some scenes such as this one. Note how the model’s hair was given a soft, smoothing treatment.