There are three things we want to share with you: (1) the uniqueness of our post-processing , (2) how we stylize images, and (3) the unique work we provide each client.
Our Unique Post Processing
First let me explain what post processing is. When you buy a small point and click camera, or you use your iPhone, to take a picture you’re getting an image called a JPG (pronounced “J-Peg”). The image that you see wasn’t a simple “click” and the image was captured. Once that click took place the camera then begins to process what the lens saw and makes decisions that alter the image from the lens to look like what your eyes saw.
The human eye is far more complicated than a camera. And it sees things better than a camera. For example, have you ever noticed how a during sunset the sky changes color, but so does everything the sun’s light touches. The human eye adapts to this change perfectly, but a camera must be programmed to make these adjustments. This is called “processing”.
The more sophisticated the camera the better it is at making processing decisions, but even with the best of cameras will often get it wrong. This is why professionals tell the camera to not process the image at all, but rather give us the raw data the lens captured and we will process the image our self. This is called “post-processing”.
Look at the image to the right. Some may claim that I took an image and made it look “fake”, but the truth is the sky was far more colorful than what the camera lens was able to pick up (and the couple in this image can testify to this). The human eye saw more than the lens and so I used post-processing to make that happen. I do embellish from time to time, adding a little more contrast and a little more color just to make the image stand out a little more, but I do not enjoy taking it too far.
As with all things, some photographers are better at post-processing than others. It is a very complicated art with thousands of choices. Each artist will choose differently, some are more meticulous than others and some are more skillful than others.
I personally like to spend a lot of time with my images. I see them as an opportunity to create a piece of art our clients will hang on their walls for the next 40 years. That, to me, is worth the extra effort.
Our Unique Styling
Simply put, we have 4 distinct styles we like to work with. These may change over time a little (sometimes a lot) but for the most part the themes of each remain the same.
The first is our natural processing. I always strive to make this one perfect before moving on to the other styles. I will remember what I loved about that day and try to express it in the image. If it was a beautiful sunset with orange and red hues I will try to bring that out in the image, and because the lens did capture some of those colors it’s just a matter of bringing it out.
The second is our sepia. Back before color film was invented people would use chemicals to add a warmer tone to black and white images, which was known as sepia. There was great variety in the types of sepia in history, all dependant on the choices the photographer made. We love sepia because of it’s throw back look and we love the unique toning.
The third is our antiquing. This is a name we gave it. In all honesty, it’s not all that old. In fact, the look is based on old polaroid film. These were the first cameras to give you an image immediately. The problem was the ink quality was so poor that they would began fading within months. While this may have been seen as a product of poor quality it is now looked at with some degree of nostalgia. The faded film look has a unique tone. We process ours where the image itself isn’t faded but the color choices in the image are based on a faded palette.
Lastly is our black and white. There are a lot of varieties of black and white out there, and even ours has seen a lot of changes over time. We try to use the freedom black and white gives to push the boundaries of an image. In short, you get a black and white with dark darks and light lights. You get a higher amount of contrast with more subtle shadows.
Our Unique Work
One other thing we do that is very different from other photographers, is once we select which images we’re going to give a lot of love to, and spend the most time on, we will create a version of the image in each one of the styles above. This takes a lot of extra time, but we believe it is worth it.
Why would we do that? We hope to create works of art that will be precious to you for the rest of your life, and passed down to the next generation. Over time, trends change. In many respects, this is our way of keeping your best images timeless. Color and black and white images are already timeless, but the love of sepia and faded film (antiquing) go in and out of style. We have many clients who have our images in sepia and antiquing on their walls, but in 20 years they may wish to see it in color.
How come other photographers don’t do this? Most do not do this because they want to choose a single style that they love and that suits their artistic eye the most. They believe there is one perfect way to present their image. I can understand where they’re coming from, but, artistically speaking, I very much love taking the same image and presenting in more than one way. This isn’t something we do “better” than anyone else. It’s just something unique about us.