Newbie hoping for editing tips


TPF Noob!
Mar 22, 2009
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Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Hey All!!

I am a fairly new photographer with decent equipment, some knowledge, but little on the creativity side! My issue is with editing my pictures. I know what I want to achieve, but don't know exactly what components I need to adjust or if there is a simple action that does it all. Also, I don't know exactly what the name of the style is, as searching on the internet would be much easier if I did (if it has a specific name!). What I am going for is that bright, light and airy feel that contemporary wedding and baby pictures have that have become so popular in recent years. I am running PSE 7 and just downloaded Lightzone as a trial for 30 days.

I feel as though I must add that I am not interested in shooting professionally or for money. I just want to be able to make my investment in my camera worth it by taking pictures of my family and having them look the way that I want!

Thanks in advance,

I am attaching some links to some websites that have examples of the style that I am talking about. I would love to hear your thoughts!

Jessica Leigh Runyan Photography { premier Sevierville & Knoxville children's and high school senior photographer } (be careful with sound on this one as the player on the website seems to be very sick!)

Studio193 Photography, a Knoxville, Nashville and Atlanta childrens photographer, specializes in professional children, baby, newborn, child and family portrait photography
OK! We're talking child portraiture here, in broad terms.

You note that you have decent gear and you've provided a [very] good idea of what you wish to do with it.

I believe that the key to success will be your mastery over lighting rather than in photoshopping your way to your goal.

Take time to look carefully at the pictures of children that you find attractive. Note the lighting -- most are not shot in full sun or, if they are, additional fill-in lighting is used. Look at the modeling of the features. Figure out where the light is coming from. Learn to love hazy or overcast days.

Learn the relationship between what you see on the subject and what you will see in the finished picture. Look at the composition. Copy those you find pleasing.
I am SOOO glad you asked this question because I am in the same boat as you. I will take beautiful pictures of my kids, but just can't seem to reproduce that BRIGHT, CRISP look. I would LOVE to know what these people are doing (exactly) in post production so I don't have to hire a professional to take pictures of my kids (since I'm in about $3000+ in photo equipment my husband would freak if I told him I wanted someone else to take pictures of our kids!). I think I have a pretty good grasp on using natural lighting and composition I just SUCK at post production. Thanks for asking the question. Hopefully there will be someone who can provide the steps in post production (or someone who knows of a good set of actions I could even purchase).
I agree with Torus34, The thing that makes those kids pop in the photos shown in the sites listed, is the use of fill lighting. You can use natural lighting and get great shoots, but the examples posted looked like great use of fill light. Another thing is Depth of Field. The kids are in great focus, but the back grounds are blurred nicely, this always brings out your subject so much more.

Just my 2 cents.

Thanks for your responses and input. I have a grasp on the composition and depth of field. I am just having trouble with the lighting I guess. But even in my pictures, they don't have the detail and "glow" that these seems to have. Mine just seem, well, blah!

In regards to lighting & exposure. I tend to always go for the "happy" meter. Should I be going higher and don't think in terms of middle is right?

I appreciate everyone taking the time to help out!!

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