In the digital age of photography, post-production can be as important as capturing the image itself. And with amazing advances in post-processing software, like Photoshop, an image can be manipulated to astounding degrees – even to a point of being unrecognizable from the original.
Unlimited possibilities is where some wedding photographers, mostly amateurs but also some experienced photographers, go dreadfully wrong. Of course, it’s great to add some obviously funky effects to a few pictures here and there. But, good wedding photography incorporates post-production in the same way a good wedding make-up artist plies their trade (ie) even if there is a lot of make-up, it’s subtle and tasteful.
Of course, subtlety and taste are subjective. So, when it comes to selecting the best wedding photography one needs to look carefully/closely at the photographer’s work to evaluate their use of effects after the fact.
For example, many wedding photographers will do some skin smoothening, especially for the couple shots. This is one of those effects that if overdone looks awful – like the front covers of some magazines that have been over-airbrushed so the subject looks plasticky. Conversely, just the right amount of this effect will nicely enhance the subject. The goal is for the subject to look like the best version of themselves without crossing the line into looking like a mannequin.
Meanwhile, skin smoothening is just one of many effects that can be utilized to varying degrees to either fix an image or improve it. Other effects that are employed may seem like a good idea at the time but they end up being passing fads that do not stand the test of time – like bad fashion from the 80s. The difference is that bad fashion often makes a comeback, which is almost always not the case with tasteless/misguided post-production.
The best wedding photographers employ post-production software to produce images that stand out in all the right ways. Make sure your wedding photography is on the right side of the sometimes fine line.