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11-29-2013, 09:08 PM   #1
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This might seem like a dumb question...

Last month, I paid a local "photographer" to take some natural light photos of my children. What I got, while not all of them are horrid, is quite a bit of sunlight glare. I'll have to pry the kids away from the pc so I can upload them & show you. The disc I have are, of course, jpegs. Is there anything I can do to correct them? Should I just leave them alone & take the kids out for my own shots? Since I paid for them, is it uncouth for me to fix them myself?

(And no, I won't do that again! I know I'm no "photographer" myself, but I sure learned my lesson! I'll take them myself next time.)

11-29-2013, 09:19 PM   #2
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Until you upload them, it'll be difficult for anyone to comment. It's likely that you'll only have jpegs that don't have the full dynamic range that might have been captured in raw images (assuming that the originals were captured in raw.)

If you own the rights to the images, then no harm in editing or doing anything you want with them.
11-29-2013, 09:32 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
Should I just leave them alone
Depends on the "quality" setting used when the images were saved as JPEG files, but every time a lossy format like JPEG is edited, the modified file will accentuate the effects of missing information from the original image. The results can get ugly very quickly. You could think of it as the opposite of noise reduction. Which makes this point moot
QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
is it uncouth for me to fix them myself?
11-29-2013, 10:14 PM   #4
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Bummer. I anguished over photographers for my wedding, and ended up having a friend with a Sony bridge camera do it snap-shot style. I don't really have any regrets and most of the pictures turned out pretty good, plus I spent a fraction of what a professional photographer would have cost me. What really matters most, I think, when you are choosing a photographer to hire for pictures, is whether or not the photographer's "vision" matches your own aesthetic... I had an expensive, "professional" photographer lined up to do my wedding, but after looking at her portfolio, I realized that I didn't like any of her compositions. Even though my friend had a cheaper camera, her eye for composing shots was head and shoulders above the chick with the Nikon DLSR.

"Good" and "bad" photos (just like "good" and "bad" art) is an EXTREMELY subjective topic, IMO...

Can you ask for the RAW images? Did they photographer even take any? I hope you can edit the pictures into something that you like!

11-29-2013, 10:52 PM   #5
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That bright, high key style seems to be all the rage these days. To my eye, they just look badly blown out but the photographer will tell you that is the look he was going for. Ask him if he can tone the images down from the originals or if this is what they are. I agree with others that it is difficult to correct an overexposed image from a Jpeg. Data lost in the Jpeg compression is gone forever.

What file size are the images? Did he even give you full resolution Jpegs? If he did not shoot in Raw and what he gave you is what he shot, you might be toast. In that case, I might be tempted to try a couple of them in Photoshop. If you don't sell or publish the results, I don't think he could complain. How would he even know?
11-30-2013, 01:39 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
This might seem like a dumb question...
Your question is not dumb, but your thread title is.
11-30-2013, 01:40 AM   #7
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Truly, it's rather non-descriptive.
12-04-2013, 11:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by dansamy Quote
Last month, I paid a local "photographer" to take some natural light photos of my children. What I got, while not all of them are horrid, is quite a bit of sunlight glare. I'll have to pry the kids away from the pc so I can upload them & show you. The disc I have are, of course, jpegs. Is there anything I can do to correct them? Should I just leave them alone & take the kids out for my own shots? Since I paid for them, is it uncouth for me to fix them myself?

(And no, I won't do that again! I know I'm no "photographer" myself, but I sure learned my lesson! I'll take them myself next time.)
There's two things I might do if I were in your situation:
1. Contact the photographer and let them know you are not happy with the result and request they edit them differently to your likely. (you should explain what you are looking for in the second round of photos- less glare, b&w, cropping, etc.). (+ #2- all new images hi-res).
2. Bypass #1 and just request high/full resolution shots (in tif. format) so you have more room to edit yourself. Going with route #1 may prove to anger photog. and not provide the hi-res shots. Depends on your agreement and relationship.

12-04-2013, 03:10 PM   #9
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Sorry to hear about your experience. I recently had an opposite one; very difficult lighting in our house and we wanted some good photos of our baby to give to grandparents and to hang on the wall in our house. Having limited flash options and limited knowledge I had very few top-quality photos out of several hundred shots. So I hired a local pro, and he did a fantastic shoot that resulted in over 100 'keepers' we can use for a book, as well as a dozen or so that are more than good enough to print in large format and hang on the walls. Going with a real pro in this instance was money well spent for us. The decision to hire a pro was twofold; we needed to get some good pics before my MIL -- who was visiting from out of the country -- had to go back home, and I wanted to be in some of the pics, which meant I could not be working the camera (they are not all posed shots, so using a tripod and remote release would not have given the desired results). When working through the details of the agreement, I made sure upfront to request copies all the pics, both in RAW format, as well as lightly-processed jpegs, as well as a handful of more fully processed pics for the ones we would initially select as potential for large-format prints.

I wish I could have received similar deliverables from the wedding photographer a few years ago, but sadly he shot only in jpeg at that time (he now shoots RAW). So while we have some very nice compositions, we can't do much to process the pics. It's mainly an issue because the ceremony was outdoor in strong sunlight, and the reception was indoor in a room with a lot of windows, resulting in a lot of shadows.
12-04-2013, 05:53 PM   #10
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Fall Portraits Photos by dansamy | Photobucket

That link might work. I think. The ones of my youngest son seem to be the worst. I might ask the photographer for RAW files. Or I might just make do with what I have & take some new shots at Disney myself.
12-04-2013, 08:43 PM   #11
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I don't want to be reactionary, but those are pretty bad. The kids are perfectly handsome! Adorable! But the bright sun, washed out colors, high hot glare and squinting into the sun... I don't know about this photographer tacking "professional" onto their personal label... The light was not addressed at all in this situation, and if you're not going to address the lighting, how can you create a pleasing photograph?

These are going to be tough to save, maybe impossible. Lesson learned, though, give that photographer several more years to fine tune their skills...
12-04-2013, 08:48 PM   #12
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So, it's not just me then?!?

I was sort of worried that maybe I was being too, I dunno, exacting or something.

I'll be taking pictures while we're at Disney. We'll be at AKL, which is decorated fabulously for the holidays.

Lesson learned. Thankfully, I only spent $40. That's less than I pay for dinner out.

I don't know where/how to see exif data on photo bucket, but I remember looking at it earlier in my laptop. I think the camera was a Nikon D3000, so I'm pretty sure that she's been photographing for a while.

Last edited by dansamy; 12-04-2013 at 08:54 PM.
12-04-2013, 09:00 PM   #13
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I wouldn't be quite so derisive of the photographer as some of the posters, but s/he definitely has a style that isn't for everyone. If you can get the RAW files, there should be something that can be done to salvage these pictures. I'm not a professional, but I have used professional photographers for family portraits, and I suggest looking at portfolios (because every photographer has a style and techniques that they are most comfortable and successful with) and be willing to pay extra for someone who suits you. Don't hire the most expensive, because they will likely have the most iconoclastic style AND be the least likely to accommodate your wishes, but definitely be prepared to spend more than average. And don't be afraid to try taking your own pictures, after all, you don't have to pay modeling fees and your subjects had better do what you tell them to, so use this as a learning opportunity.
12-04-2013, 09:09 PM   #14
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I would feel that the images didn't come out right, looking at the set. There is an inconsistency in exposure, white balance, contrast, and composition. Also, it looks like the shoot was done with the sun bright and high causing reflective parts to be blown out (hair, skin, etc). I would not be happy with such pictures - but at $40 I would just chalk it up as a lesson learned.

Although it may sound rude, if I am getting photos taken of myself or my family - I would ask to see a few of the shots in the middle of the shoot, just so I know they are shooting the way I want (or at least, the way I am promised).
12-04-2013, 09:11 PM   #15
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Looks like snap shoots to me.. Definitely not something I'd expect to pay for.. How was their portfolio of work? Photos don't look professional at all.
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