The Editing Process

People are often shocked by the price of photography: what makes it so expensive?

“You’re just taking pictures.”

Along with the photographer’s education, wear-and-tear upkeep of equipment and other general business overhead there is the pre-shoot and post-shoot work to pay for.

Part of the post-shoot work is culling poor pictures, editing winners, connecting with the client and setting up print orders. That is, if the photographer handles printing. I think they should.

Editing is one of the least understood expenses. The following video is the complete process of what I consider a “basic” edit on a picture of my friend’s beautiful newborn baby, Nevaeh. Starting in Camera Raw and moving through to Photoshop for touch-ups, each step took about 10 minutes.

That’s short. There are about 10 keepers that I have to edit. Minimally, that equates to 200 minutes. Roughly three and a half hours of detailed, painstaking, window-crashing, educated work that has nothing to do with “taking pictures.”

“So any picture could take upwards of 20+ minutes to edit? That’s a lot of time to pay for, let’s leave the edits out to save money.”

I am not comfortable doing that. Sure, photos can look pretty great right out of the camera, but when you look at a photographer’s portfolio you are seeing the best of their work. Their most complete process. The work that they think you want from them. The work that they are most likely under-charging for! Understanding each other’s needs is what makes pre-photography work so valuable: meeting for a coffee and discussing specifics and PRICE!

Have a look at the video to see what basic work goes in to editing a photo, I think you will find it is particularly lack-luster before.

Firearm Amnesty Month

The coppers here in Waterloo Region run a program through November that asks the residents to turn in all unwanted/unused/potentially illegal weapons. Don’t dig up all your brass knuckles and hand grenades to deliver them yourself, though! Give the police a call on their non-emergency number and have them pick up your arsenal for you.

Alex Speers was my camera man and editor for this story.