Editing is magical… and a special skillset separate from photography.

The Importance of Editing an Image

We’ve talked about the importance of editing in past blogs and I’ve shown you before and after images.

You’ve emphatically said, “SHOW ME MORE!!!” and I’m happy to accommodate!

I spend HOURS AND HOURS in my dark office – this (and my British heritage) are why I’m extremely pasty.

The reason my office is dark is because I have my computer calibrated to very specific settings. This is so my images can be perfectly reproduced when sent to my print lab. And I edit in the same atmosphere so my vision is constant. There is a lot of science that goes into presenting you with a perfect picture.

Unedited picture of princess session from studio james in calgaryEdited picture of princess session from studio james in calgary

Let’s Talk About the Princess Sessions

Before I talk about editing this actual image, I want to talk about my princess sessions. These are NOT run-of-the-mill princess minis, not by a long shot!

My goal is to make every girl feel incredibly special by turning her into a princess. I’m not dressing her in a cheap costume dress, my dresses are INCREDIBLE. I would have given anything to have worn a dress like this when I was a little girl. You can’t see the full dress in this specific image (you should check out my Facebook or Instagram to see more) but the bottom of the dress is layers upon layers upon layers of pouf!

I say “my dresses” because I own them but, really, I purchase them from a woman in the United States who hand makes them. I like to support her because her products are so gorgeous and she puts a lot of love into designing them. Many are one-of-a-kind, and, if they’re not, only a handful of similar dresses are created.

These dresses are so stunning that it doesn’t even matter that each one costs more than my wedding dress.

It’s an experience to get dressed up in my princess dresses (I currently own 5 of them in various sizes). From choosing your dress, to stepping into it and having it done up, to choosing your headband and wearing your crown. The dresses aren’t light so you feel like you’re wearing something special…. and twirling??? twirling is THE BEST!

This Princess Image

Obviously this little girl is perfect as she is. The point of editing is not to change people. Don’t get me wrong, I “can” change people – significantly – but I don’t unless I’m editing for that purpose. And I don’t alter kids.

The first thing you’ll likely notice with this image is the change in the background. It was photographed in my studio in front of a paper backdrop. I envisioned something “more” than this background but I knew that I wanted it a similar colour. That’s why, in post production, I enlarged the background and altered it to make it more polished and luxurious.

Let me point out some other things that are quite different:

  1. Her skin. Skin tends to photograph with excess red or magenta. When you look at a person you don’t necessarily see it, but when you photograph them, it pops out. Some people actually photograph extremely red. Some people’s skin photographs very patchy (with red spots, pink spots, yellow spots). And, if people are surrounded by colour, their skin will actually pick up that colour tone (green or blue outside, pink if they’re wearing pink, etc) – I should write another post showing you the colour casts on outdoor skin (you’ll never look at an outdoor image the same way again! Long story short, I coloured the excess red out of her skin and toned it.
  2. Her dress. As I mentioned, that dress is well made and HEAVY. It was starting to pull down on her. I lifted it up so it wasn’t as low cut.
    And, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I paint colour and light into every image. This is meticulous and takes a lot of time but really makes my images POP and gives them WOW FACTOR.

    Planning Ahead

    I have planned ahead and designed/styled the next few years of my princess sessions. This ensures that you can celebrate your child(ren) every year and your images will be different enough to make it a worthwhile experience but with a complimentary look so that images from every year can be displayed together on your walls! It’s an important thing to think about!

    Booking Princess Sessions

    A side note: I don’t offer these princess sessions on a regular basis. They are limited edition and will be announced, at most, once a year. Also, because of the time spent in the (aforementioned dark) editing room, I, unfortunately, can only accept a select few little princesses every year.

    I usually reach out to my VIP list before announcing the sessions to social media and they’ll often book up. So, if you desperately want to participate, please touch base and we can see about getting you on the early notification list. We will be looking at spring of 2023 for the next sessions.

    I also want to mention that we are an inclusive studio and any child who wants to book these sessions is welcome.

    jaime sword calgary newborn photographer