No Program Can “Fix” A Bad Picture

Okay folks, as a professional photographer…one who has been shooting professionally for 15 plus years, around the country, weddings, seniors, births, children, families, sporting events, reunions, commercial work, fine art, etc…I have to say this….

Just Because You Have A Photo Editing Program….Free, Inexpensive, Or Top Of The Line…You Can Not FIX A Bad Picture. And a good picture starts with proper preparation on the subject’s part!

You might be able to make a snapshot a bit more likable to you. You can color a badly lit image into a sepia color, make it black and white, even crop it in. BUT….

YOU CAN NOT “FIX” A BAD PICTURE! You can play with a snapshot, but it’s still a snapshot.

Programs such as Light room, PS, CS3, etc are for image enhancement….the BASIC IMAGE HAS TO BE THERE to start with.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard “Well, you can just FIX that in your Photo shop”. Or even…”you can make me look lighter in photo shop”. And…”You can fix my hair in Photo shop”. And “You can change the lighting in photo shop”. Through my equine photography, I get this a lot “You can just put a differant halter on the horse in photo shop”….”You can make him stand better in Photo shop” and “You can clean that white up in Photo shop” or “You can straighten out that leg in photo shop” and here is a big one…”You can move that barrel/pole/fence in photo shop”.

Folks…first of all, I’m a professional photographer. I’m not a landscaper, personal trainer, beauty salon, mother nature, tack technician, groom, babysitter, barber, vet, doctor, or miracle worker. I work with what I’m given to work with.

If your child has been up crying all morning, well, puffy eyes and a runny nose is what is going to be captured. If a lady chooses to wear a shirt that is 6 sizes too small and a bad color for her, a black and white may fix the color issue, but it’s not going to fix the size issue. If you choose to put an old frayed halter on your beloved horse, that is what is going to be in the picture. If you want clipped images of your horse, then by all means CLIP your horse BEFORE the session. Photo shop does not have a “dehair” button. Trust me, I certainly wish it did, ’cause then I’d do ranch and stallion shoots all year long, but it doesn’t…so I don’t.

Oh yes…Stripes and poke-a-dots….one word….NO!

Okay, two words…HELL NO! Those are like the mullet…long gone!

So, as a subject, take your time, TALK to your photographer before the session. See what advice they have for you and take it seriously. Don’t forget…they are the one photographing you and knows what looks best in the end result. You may have an “idea” of what YOU want…but do YOU KNOW HOW TO ACHIEVE IT and…perhaps the photographer might have another option in mind as well. Why not achieve BOTH?

And…if you’re a budding photographer with a nice new Canon Rebel and a program….remember this…THOSE DO NOT MAKE YOU AN EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONAL! Just because you can convert an image to black and white or crop, that does not give you years of experience, learning, camera knowledge, lighting knowledge, posing knowledge, and so on. You close friends and family may and probably do LOVE your images, however, that does not mean that you’re a professional. We all have to start somewhere, but photo shop and a digital camera can not make a bad image good.


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