What happens between our photo session and image reveal?

July 07, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

Here’s a peek into what happens between the time your photography session with me ends and we get together to look through your proofs together, whether we’ve been able to sync our calendars for two days later or two weeks.

I’ve blogged before about my culling, editing, and retouching process… but not about the Artist Journey that takes place during this time.

My perfectionism joins the party before the party even starts. Right away, within mere minutes of saying our goodbyes, I think of at least three other poses I should have tried with you.

Depending on the intensity of our session, and when we’re meeting up again, I may need to decompress for a bit. I’m an introvert, and as much as I love taking your picture, it’s an energy drain. It’s a good drain, as I imagine runners feel after a race, but I do need a little recovery time. Because I also know what’s coming.

Once I find a block of time, I will load your image files into an editing program called Lightroom. It’s my favorite, allowing me to batch edit if needed, and it’s pretty smart. I usually allow it to automatically correct issues with exposure and tone (sometimes the RAW photos look a little flat), but I will tweak them more to my liking – and what they really should look like: clean and clear. But not until I’ve culled through them.

My perfectionism and I will look at every single photograph. If you think I’m fussy with the lights, stray hairs, and other little details during our photoshoot, it gets worse once I’m looking at your photos.

I check every one for focus (ugh! missed! how?), posing (oh, I should’ve moved her hand a little more this way), expression (oops! That’s awkward… Toss!), lighting (why didn’t I lower that a bit more?), background (where did that tree come from?), and other details.  

For those images that make it through the initial culling, I’m double-checking what’s called the “white balance” to make sure the color is right (and you aren’t too green or purple or blue or yellow). I’m also straightening up any tipped horizons or cropping the photo to create a better composition.

And I’m going through them again. Unless it’s a wedding or we’re planning an album, I’m going to try to cut what you see to just 10-15 or so pictures from each outfit or set.

I go through the analysis paralysis to you don’t have to!

Your proof set will be the best we have, and my goal is to make sure YOUR perfectionism doesn’t join our reveal and ordering session. My inner critic and I want you to love what you see when you view your photographs. So if a pose didn’t quite work, or I caught a blink or open mouth, or one picture is almost identical to another, I’m not going to include it in your gallery.

While I don’t want to spend a lot of time doing final retouching on photos you don’t like, I may choose one or two to demonstrate what they could look like after I’ve made them a little more perfect: lightened under your eyes, brought out your irises, eliminated temporary blemishes, de-linted that dark jacket, smoothed that wrinkle on your top (or softened the one between your eyes)….

And then I hold my breath - up to and through our reveal and ordering session.

I want you to love your portraits. I want you to feel good when you see them. Every time you look at them, I want you to be reminded of our time together, when the focus was all on you.

You deserve the best I can give. So while I may wallow in doubt and agonize over details, it’s worth it if you like what you see.


Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected]... or schedule a Zoom meeting online here!



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