Part of my responsibility as a photographer is making a lot of decisions about all kinds of things that greatly impact how my work turns out. Decisions like what time of day and where a shoot will take place, how to place my subject in their environment, what angle and direction to shoot them from, where to place my light, guidance on what my subject should wear, what props, if any, to use, how my subject should pose (or not pose), what camera settings and lenses or other equipment to use,
and on and on and on.
But the decision making doesn’t stop once my shoot is over. It’s really only just begun. You see, once I get the images back to my desktop I have to run through them, sometimes over and over again, and decide which pictures to keep, which to throw away, and which to use as highlights on my blog and in my portfolio. Then I have to decide how to correct color and exposure if necessary, which photos will be presented in color and which in black and white or otherwise, and how to crop them. It’s a task that can, at times, be quite overwhelming. But as any photographer will tell you, you learn what to look for and how to work quickly and efficiently to get the job done.
When I am running through the culling process on a collection of photos, I oftentimes have to keep myself emotionally detached from the work so that I can make the best decisions for myself and my client. It’s agony when I come across a photo that is perfect in every way…except that it’s out of focus…and I have to trash it! But these things happen and it’s my job to make the hard decisions so that I can present the best work to the client to the happiest end result of everyone involved.
My typical output for a photo session is about 50 images for every 1 hour that I shoot. So, in a 90 minute senior session my clients can expect an average of 75 images to view. I shoot more than that, I just whittle it down in the decision making process to present the best of the best to my client.
I admit that I have completely FAILED in this responsibility when it comes to Mckenzie’s senior portraits!!! Mckenzie is one of those girls who photographs well, takes direction well, moves well. Everything Mckenzie did in front of my camera looked good. No. Amazing. Her sense of fashion is spot-on, and I literally could have taken pictures of her all day long.
So when it came down to making those hard choices about which photos to keep, which to trash, how to edit them, not getting emotionally attached….I got a big fat F –. There are so many stunning pictures of this senior that I couldn’t cut them. I was even baffled as to which ones to use on my blog! The one definite decision I had made in the beginning was not to convert any of the photos into black and whites because I loved the colors in them. And then about two-thirds of the way through I changed my mind. The black and white conversions were just as beautiful as the color. *sigh*
Now the responsibility of making those hard decisions falls to my clients (and my blog readers). I’m sorry, guys! What can I say? Mckenzie is just too beautiful for words and I love her senior pictures so much, that when she should have been presented around 75 for viewing, there are 216.
Below are some of my narrow favorites from Mckenzie’s session (edited) and you can click HERE
to view her entire collection, unedited. Do us both a favor and leave a comment with your favorite image numbers to help us both in deciding which photos are the creme de la creme!
And THANKS so much to Mckenzie and her sweet mama for being such an amazing couple of ladies to work with! I had a BLAST shooting Mckenzie and she gave me a welcomed reminder of why I love doing what I do!