As a teacher I often hear, “I’m not worried. I’ll fix it in post.” Can you really fix it in post? It depends. If you’ve overexposed your shoot there’s not information to fix. If you’ve underexposed it, you do have more information but your quality will suffer when you attempt to “fix it”.
What if you were doing a family shoot and one of your subjects happens to blink? Most likely you will have multiple shots. You can choose the overall best one and hopefully swap heads with the blinking offender. Those things happen and we take multiple shoots to ensure we get a good one.
But, what if, as the photographer, we are just lazy? We know that the shot is not right but we take it anyway because of your “we can fix it in post” attitude? This is bad practice. The time you spend editing in post is money out of your pocket.
In the case of the photo above, I was contracted to fix a poorly shot photo. This project was for a major catalog retailer so the gradient background and blueish-green tint wouldn’t fly. There were a total of 48 photographs to fix. Money well spent but my point is, it shouldn’t have reached the point where I was hired to fix it. (Note: if you do have shots like this, call me – I’ll gladly fix them for you).
Shoot it right the first time – that’s the lesson to be learned here. Don’t reply on post for mistakes that are easily taken care of when you shoot.
And one more point while we are here. From clients I hear, “Can’t you just Photoshop it?”
Yes, I can Photoshop it – are you willing to pay for it? Photoshop has become a term that is thrown out far to much in photography today. Personally, I won’t Photoshop out your kids braces – you’ll regret that one day. If you press me hard enough I may Photoshop your wrinkles but then please don’t come to me and tell me that the picture no longer looks like you.
For me, as a professional, portrait photography is about documenting, about freezing a moment in time. Photoshop can be a great tool but let’s not get carried away with it.