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Post Processing A Moody Arizona Engagement Session

Bridal, Engagements

June 9, 2018


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Post Processing A Moody Arizona Engagement Session

I feel like my blog posts are like storybook chapter titles.

Seriously coming up with a clever but accurate blog title is seriously hard! Especially when you have shot about 600+ clients. I am totally running out of ideas guys.  I want to share the gorgeous images I take, celebrate my client, and tell their stories. Sometimes I like to share tips & ideas but mostly, I just want to tell stories.

So storybook chapter titles it is.

Today’s story is friendship & fun rolled into one.

I’m so lucky to have met Michelle. She’s really wonderful. It all happened randomly.

I had photographed a few weddings this past year where the couples had purchased suites with Nick’s Menswear. I love to share images with all my involved vendors, (as I know they can use them to market, enjoy seeing their product/services on their couples, and really just build relationships with them myself. I always joke that it takes a tight-knit team to throw off the best weddings. So building those relationships is very important to me.) So I sent an email off to Nick’s.

Joyfully Michelle responded, with so much enthusiasm and kindness I just needed to be friends with her! lol. Michelle’s family actually owns Nick’s and they are so wonderful! And how lucky are we both that she needed engagement photos???? So that’s how the story of our friendship began.

I am sure it’s going to be so much more because they have invited me to ride!!!! Yeah that’s right. I am the luckiest! They own horses and her mom is simply amazing. She shows and trains and rides & is seriously cool. It doesn’t hurt that we share a name. Her name is also Tracy! (Not sure if she spells it differently) Anyways when life calms down & I have a life again I will be riding again! It’s been over 12 years since I’ve ridden. I’m seriously missing out on one of the biggest loves of my childhood.

Moody Post-Processing

So another thing to know about me and my work is that I don’t do styled post-processing. I mostly shoot in RAW for the look I want -which is mostly natural but on the overexposed brighter side, while still embracing mold color & sharp imagery. I’m just really good these days at getting the light I love and the poses that tell a story and embrace your relationship. (For more about my shooting process and goals read this blog- Three Ways I Make You Feel Comfortable In Front of The Lens)

For post-processing, I hand edit each image just barely in Adobe Bridge. I don’t do pre-sets, or filters. Now, I do “styled shoots”, almost all my shoots have been planned to some degree. I work with the couples pre-session to find their style, wardrobe, and locations, but I do not filter my work. I also don’t photoshop unless I’m specifically asked to, and I charge hourly for that service. I’m always trying to capture a light and airy, bright & joyful image and I do very minimal editing. Mostly I just increase my shadows a wee bit and I ever so slightly increase my expose (if I didn’t expose as much as I wanted originally). That’s about it!

However, sometimes a client loves the latest style or filter for images and they want a specific look. In the past my answer has always been no. However Michelle is a friend and so I said YES!

Michelle LOVES the gritty moody style with darker images and more serious poses.

(Before & After)

I am always up for a challenge or something new so I was thrilled to do just that. We had SOOOO much fun. We picked spots that reflected the look, including this little burnt up area of the forest that I instagramed about a few months ago (if you follow me you will recognize the area)

We also shot until dusk to capture those grainer gritty civil twilight at the end. I didn’t even need to pose them because they knew exactly what they wanted ) Michelle’s sultry looks & Mark’s easy-going nature made this moody shoot a success.

So enjoy getting to know Michelle & Mark in this moody Arizona engagement session! Tell me what you think about the dabbling in a different post process than I normally. I am going to include a mix of what I normally do with the style I edited for.

(Before & After) 

(Before & After) 

(Before & After) 

If you are wanting your look altered let me know. I did not use a filter or preset, I hand-edited these to reflect a darker grittier and less saturated look for Michelle. I will be charging a little extra for the service but I don’t mind because it was fun!

(Before & After)

Post Processing A Moody Arizona Engagement Session

Want to see more engagement shoots? CLICK HERE


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I'm Tracy and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about our clients, shoots and my own personal life! Stay awhile, leave a comment, or say hi!

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