Sophia is One

Our sweet, sweet girl was not feeling so sweet at her one-year session. Dratted illness had her in its fist, so we had one of the shortest sessions ever. However, when you’re this cute, it’s really not hard to get some great shots regardless.

Sophia is One
Sophia is One
Sophia is One

She is now a year-and-a-half and so big and smart. I can’t believe she was once so very tiny!

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You can Photoshop that, right?

From my Frequently Asked Questions page

Question: What kind of processing goes into your photos? Do you remove blemishes, braces, or what?

Answer: I do remove blemishes but I don’t remove anything that is natural to a person. I also do not remove braces. In my way of thinking, having braces is part of who a person is at this time. A mole is part of a person. A blemish is here today and gone tomorrow and is not part of a person. I will smooth skin if it needs it, and I will often bump sharpness and contrast or color. Sometimes I want a session to have a softer, artsy feel to it. But mostly, I don’t ever want to over-process a photo. I think people are beautiful on their own and the last thing I want to do is airbrush them to death. I like freckles and wispy hair and wrinkles. If a person wants to look magazine-ready, I’m not the right photographer. I’m interested in capturing life as it is, not as Photoshop can make it.

As I’m often asked to “fix” things when I’m out on a session, I wanted to talk further about what I do and don’t do. Or rather…show you.

In the following pictures, the first of each is SOOC — that is, Straight Out Of Camera. I shoot in RAW, which is pretty much only understood by other photographers. RAW is essentially a stripped down image file. It allows a photographer to adjust settings after the photo has been taken, in case you missed your mark or you want to change the temperature (cold to warm), etc. Whereas a jpg file — the kind you see when you take a photo on Automatic or with your Smartphone — is often WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get), a RAW file is not. So, while it allows for adjustments to the original recipe, the file when seen can appear dull. I explain that so you understand the “dullness” in the following “before” pictures.

During this backyard play session, our little princess was having an allergic response to the grass. She seems sensitive to it, but it wasn’t as noticeable when we were IN the moment. At the end, we realized her face had broken out more and more. It’s really noticeable to me since I took a lot of pictures. The following series, then, shows you some before and after shots, to give you an idea of what an original file might look like (SOOC, remember) and what I do to fix boo-boos and such. In this case, skin correction was needed.

Before and After
Before and After
Before and After

I am writing this post to give you, my client (or potential client), an idea of what I do to make beautiful pictures beyond the day we have our session. I spend time with each image that I end up choosing for you, and I pay attention to all the details. I do not merely shoot and then burn you a disc. This is an art to me, not just something I do with a camera.

And yet, as you can see, this little one is the same girl at the end of the photo processing, only without the temporary allergic-reaction blemishes. I will often have parents re-schedule a session because their little one has a boo-boo on their face, but I want you to know that isn’t necessary. I can and will fix it.

However, when I hear, “You can Photoshop that, right?” it’s usually in relation to things like braces and glasses and bad hair cuts or something like that. In which case, no, I won’t. If you have a mole or freckles or wrinkles, they stay. The ONLY time I’ve ever taken out a mole was by special request because the client was having it surgically removed soon after the session anyway.

Photoshop is a tool in my toolbox. It is NOT meant to replace good photography. I said early in my career that I wanted to be an amazing photographer, not someone really good at Photoshop. I still want that.

So, to recap: I WILL Photoshop your blemishes and boo-boos (or a crazy wild hair that is distracting). I will NOT Photoshop and change who you are. If I’m in doubt, I will ask. If YOU are in doubt, you can also ask. And because of the work I do (which is often more on children than anyone because they have a tendency to break out with rashes or scratch themselves), that is why you don’t get your photos as soon as I return home from your session. What I do for you is help create art, not just snapshots. I want you to love the outcome and I WANT you to have a hard time choosing a favorite because you love so many. I want you to laugh and tear up, not be distracted by overly-processed photos or photos where I didn’t care about the details at all. For me, this isn’t just about snapping pictures. It’s about creating a life I love by creating memories YOU love.

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Stacey, Class of 2015 | Colorado Senior Photography

Here’s what you need to know about this girl: she is amazing, kind, funny, beautiful, and all kinds of smart. And she’s mine.

Part 1 (because when you’re a photographer’s child, you don’t have just one senior photo session) –


I mentioned that she always takes her sessions seriously, right?


Wouldn’t be complete without a quick selfie –


(I want you to know that we took at least a dozen selfies, and THIS is the one we both decided was acceptable.)

I have it on good authority that the future holds some pretty awesome awesomeness for this girl, but her present looks pretty great too!

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