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I wanted to share another fun before and after.  I enjoy doing these for two reasons.  First, I like to encourage all of y’all out there by showing you that my photos look a lot like yours right out of camera.  There’s nothing special or fancy about my camera or lens.  (For the most part…The lens used here did create a lovely creamy background.)  And secondly, because I occasionally come across someone who truly believes that photography is simply a matter of pressing a button, uploading and sending pictures to a client.  The price of hiring a good photographer takes into consideration years of work, practice and experience, and also how much your photographer invests into furthering their education.  I’ve spent a considerable (ask my husband!) amount of time and money over the years taking courses to improve my shooting and editing.  I also put a great deal of time into each photograph.  This one actually took me much longer than normal, probably a bit over two hours.  But in the end, I’m happy with the result and it matches my vision of the image when I pressed that little button.

This is a sweet little girlie, the daughter of a longtime friend of ours.  Actually we go waaaaaay back, before we were even married!  They came over Saturday to hang out and it was a lovely January day, probably 60 degrees, so we took the kids to Sims Lake Park to take a walk and run off some energy.

Because of my 365 project, I try to think about what my favorite part of the day will be, or what makes a particular day unique.  I also can’t resist taking my big girl camera to my favorite local park, where I’ve done dozens of photo sessions over the years.

I wanted to get a picture of this sweet girl to give to her Dad.  It was mid-afternoon, maybe 1pm, and the sun was rather harsh.  I needed to underexpose the entire picture, so I didn’t blow the highlights around her hood and hair.  This presented a big challenge during editing, because I had to bring up her skin tones and really struggled with finding the right balance.  I used Sarah Wilkerson’s CMYK method (which is typically waaaaaayyyy too technical and mathematical than what I normally dive into!)  But it helped me to correct her skin tones and I think I got pretty close.  I could go back and forth for hours, but after struggling for a long time, I think I landed as close as I’m gonna get for now.

Here’s the straight out of camera (SOOC) shot:

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And after again (Edited in Lightroom & Photoshop):

best photographers in gwinnett county

To see more before and afters, click here.


Hi, I’m Amanda, a photographer in Gwinnett County, Georgia.  You’ve found my personal blog where I share posts on a wide range of topics, but please be sure to hop on over to my main business site for more information.  I hope you enjoyed this dramatic transformation! Thanks for stopping by~