Click Chick | Austin TX Wedding Photographer

Can you Photoshop that?? | Austin TX Glamour Photographer

At probably 8 out of 10 of my photo shoots, the client says to me at some point “Can you photoshop that??” I love how “Photoshop” has become a commonly used verb!  I thought it would be good idea to help educate y’all on my process when it comes to editing!  Keep in mind–every photographer is completely different, so what I may have to say/show you could be 100% different from someone else. But, it’s MY blog, isn’t it?? 😉
To best demonstrate, I will use a visual of the lovely Katie 🙂   Let’s take THIS image, for example:
This is the image as it was shot in-camera.  This is a jpeg image that was pulled directly from my camera, sized for this blog, and otherwise unaltered. (P.S. I DO shoot in jpeg, not RAW.  There are endless debates amongst photographers in this department. I will remain neutral by saying “Every photographer should do what’s best for them and their business….JPEG works for me.”). This girl is stunning no matter what, but the shot itself needs some work. First of all–it’s crooked! Yep–I make mistakes sometimes. Can you BELIEVE it?! Second, there’s something blue on the floor in the background on the left hand side of the screen–that’s driving me nuts.
I deem this “unfinished” and not up to Click Chick Images standards. Therefore, my client will never see this version of this image. Well…until she views this blog post.
When anyone books me for ANYTHING, I include color-correcting and basic image “zzhushing”. That looks like THIS:
001-zzhushed to edit
 As you can see, the image has been straightened and cropped just a tiny bit. I also add the “Click Chick special” zzhushing techniques which is a culmination of adjusting contrast, clarity, saturation, black levels, sharpness, mild vignetting, subtle skin softening, and noise reduction when necessary. It’s looking pretty darn good, right??
These types of adjustments are done on every image that my client sees.
The next step— every client who books a session with me gets an online proofing gallery to view all of their proofs (which have all been “zzhushed” in Adobe Lightroom) and order anything they’d like. If the package they selected comes with digital downloads, these zzhushed proofs will be delivered to them via a super snazzy download gallery with printing permissions. This gallery is called PASS and it’s the Bee’s Knees! It allows my clients to view all of their images in a oh-so-pretty web gallery, share the images directly to Facebook or Pinterest, save the images to their computer, AND the images will be stored on the cloud for a whole year so they can view them from any computer or mobile device. It’s pretty stupendous if you ask me–especially since it means no more burning discs….and then going to the post office to send them out….and then re-burning the disc when the client loses it/their computer won’t read it/their mom wants a copy. Ahhh, efficiency at it’s best. Here’s a screen shot of what a typical client PASS gallery would look like:
Screen Shot 2012-12-12 at 12.21.04 PM
Most clients, whether they purchased the digital downloads or not, end up ordering prints, albums, or canvases to display their new artwork in tangible form.  After all, what good are pretty pictures if you keep them sitting idly on your computer?? Any images that are blogged by me, or ordered from me for print items will receive a little extra TLC! This will include editing extra distractions out of the background where necessary (and possible),  converting to black and white or a vintage effect where I see fit, and a little extra skin/eye retouching.  While I don’t shave off inches or pounds, or enhance body parts (eh hem), sometimes just a little chin or arm “pinch” is necessary if I’m shooting at an odd angle and I will gladly do this VERY subtly if it will enhance the image and does not morph the client’s figure or face unrealistically and unethically. I rely on strategic posing AND, of course, not showing the client any unflattering images of themselves- in my professional opinion 🙂  I also am not super crafty with Photoshop and leave extreme editing to the professional Photoshop wizards. SO if a client has a specific request that I cannot accommodate (swapping heads from one photo to another if someone blinked for example) I will outsource it to one of my fabulous wizards for a per-photo rate that the client can choose to pay if the edit means that much to them.  Honestly, this doesn’t happen too often—but every now and then there’s an image that would be REEEEEALLLLLLY amazing if only little Billy had his eyes open!
So THIS is what a full Zzhush of that image would look like :
In this final image, I have eliminated the lamp cord, and brought this image into Photoshop  for full retouching. I use software from Totally Rad called “Pro Retouch 2.0” to get a non-plastic, super gorgeous finish on my blog and print images. In this particular shot, I smoothed the skin, enhanced the highlights in her skin to give Katie that pretty shine, did an “eye pop” which defines itself, added some extra shine to her hair, and ever-so-gently pushed in the top of her arm near her shoulder because the pose that I put her in was causing her to have to support herself on that left arm, which basically made her FLEX her awesomely sculpted biceps. Totally my fault in posing–and when it’s my fault, I’ll “fix it”.
Putting them all side-by-side:
 Pretty cool, eh? Nothing crazy or off the wall—nothing unrealistic or special-effecty (yep, made that word up just now)–just an overall zzhushing.
Here’s another example:

001-closeupsoocThe image at top left is straight out of the camera, the image at bottom left is gently “zzhushed”, and the image as right has been fully retouched and converted to black and white.

So there you have it!! The Click Chick Images editing process in a nutshell. In summary– I aim to enhance the awesomeness that’s already there, NOT change it to something else entirely. That’s not my bag, baby!

For more information on boudoir, glamour, and relaxed portrait photography…visit the Click Chick Images website. For availability or to book, email



  1. Thanks so much for this! I honestly aspire my photos to come out close to yours… which is pretty much perfect. I think I am stuck in the second phase, so hopefully I will utilize these techniques to get the full “zzhushed” effect! 🙂 Also, I’m trying to incorporate things that I’m learning about my camera. I have a long way to go but I’m glad I know people like you so I can learn! Thanks again!

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