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Image Salon Post-Processing Overview

Lesson 24 from: Family Photography: Creating a Successful Business

Kirsten Lewis

Image Salon Post-Processing Overview

Lesson 24 from: Family Photography: Creating a Successful Business

Kirsten Lewis

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Lesson Info

24. Image Salon Post-Processing Overview


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What Makes a Picture Successful?


Technical Tips: ISO


Technical Tips: Aperture


Technical Tips: Shutter Speed


Technical Tips: Focus


Using Light to Tell a Story


Using Composition to Tell a Story


Lesson Info

Image Salon Post-Processing Overview

Lots of business today. Lots of stuff I'm not as good at so I have some friends to help me teach you. This is my good friend Daniel Kudish. He is also the owner of Image Salon and it has been a saving grace for me and, I mean, thousands, right? Thousands of photographers around the world? Thousands, yeah. Yes. It's a really unique company in terms of, I believe in terms of post-production. And I'm gonna have him talk a little bit more about it. But, their services are different than the most, the majority out there 'cause the nice thing-- Oh, actually I have a question. Has anyone used a post-production company before to help with your outsourcing? Okay, have you been happy with them? Yes? 'Cause she uses us. Oh, okay (laughs) Okay, so those that haven't been happy with them what my issue was when I wasn't happy with my post-production companies in the past is that I was always getting different styles back. And it wasn't matching my own style, right? So the thing that I love a...

bout Image Salon is when you get a post-production person, you get one person. It's not multiple people within the company working on your images every time you send them. You get one post-production specialist. One editor. One editor. Yeah. That is yours and so you work with them and prime them so that you and they are in sync with one another and so they're really matching your style. And that was the only reason why I decided to go with them. I'd always done in-house before and it's just saved me so much time and headaches by just going with them. So, for those of you at home, in here, if you wanna write it down, this is what when you open up the page, this is what it's gonna look like, this is their website, The Image Salon, and this is the address. Just so you have this moving forward. Today Daniel and I are gonna talk and chat while he tones, I think it's about 20? Yeah, we chose about 28 photos I think. Yeah. Photos from one session. But what I'm gonna do is show you because I still do, for those that saw my first class and my second class, I do two edits that I deliver to my clients. However, just like with my work, my business is changing a little bit and right now I'm still delivering an artisan edit for availability to purchase as well as an extended gallery. What that means is the artisan edit is my favorites from the whole shoot. So, these days A Day in the Life shoot, unlike four years ago, when I was shooting about 10, during A Day in the Life now I'm only averaging about 6,500 images. And part of that is what I taught you yesterday, I'm only shooting what I find interesting, right? So that has cut out so much extra that I'm not shooting any more and it's a lot less work for me. So, of those 6,500 I'm culling that down, or editing that down to about 80 to 100 of my favorites, okay? So those are what I process myself. That is what's delivered in the slide show. That is what I pull from for social media. That is what I pull from for any blogging, if I ever do it in the future. (laughs) But you should all blog, do as I say not as I do, right? Okay, so that, I have, like a con-- I told you I'm kind of a control freak so I still wanna have control over what I put out there as mine. But I have an extra set of images. My extended gallery. And now I'm only delivering about 250 at the most extra. I'm delivering a lot less than I used to. But I feel like that's a much better decision on my part. It's a lot less images that my clients have to feel overwhelmed with and then they can just see the best. So those 250, 350 go to Image Salon and then they process those to try and match my style of editing, does that make sense? That combination is really great. That's what makes for a really good companion product to your slide show, your best edits. Which, as an artist, you should be spending time on. And that's kinda what we believe in. Davina, my wife, and I, we're photographers too and that's how we work as well. We'll just do our slide show photos and outsource the rest. That's how almost all of our clients operate as well. It's a really fantastic combination 'cause you get that artistic touch on your favorite images and then the other, you know, hundreds of photos, well, as long as they're done in a similar style and approach then you're clients are still gonna be quite happy. Not all of you might be business-wise getting enough business where you feel like it's necessary to have a post-processor at this point. A service that does this for you. But would this be something you might be interested in? Do you feel like it would be a big relief if you could trust someone else to do this heavy lifting? (laughs) It's given me a lot more time with my family which is everything because I have so little of it anyways. So, remember the Mom I talked about was my first Mom that was my muse? So we worked on her photos. This was also the first session ever that I photographed now, I counted, it's like 91 or full Day in the Life sessions. Like full, from beginning to end and I had never gone to the emergency room with a family before. Just really surprised, that ended during this shoot. (laughs) I'm just gonna show you, these are just some of the best that I had chosen to give them in the slide show. And they're kind of in order from morning until evening. If you notice, my post processing is clean. I don't... I like it to look just like real life, just a tiny bit better. My black and whites though, I do tone much like when I shot Ilford film 'cause I shot film for a long time. And so it's really strong blacks and whites. Very distinct white, very distinct black and then a nice contrast of variation between the black and white and the grayscale. And so that, to me the black and whites are really important. It's funny because when I work with students I find that they spend more time on the color production and the black and white they're like, "Nah, I'll just take away the color and adjust." I think black and whites actually need more attention to detail, in my personal opinion. Do you think so Daniel? I mean, from a purely technical standpoint they are easier to edit but I don't think it should be, "Oh, this image is less good let's throw it in black and white." Right. I think as much attention should be put on it and a lot of photos, they shine in black and white so they can be-- Right. Even more powerful than in color. Another thing to notice with my toning is I'm pretty consistent and I'm consistent through all my shoots for my toning is always the same and that's gonna help lead to what I talked about yesterday with the make it work, you know, I want cohesion with my collection of photos, my portfolio as a whole. Look how fun Mom is, I just love her so much. (laughing) She's so funny to me. Check out this next one (audience laughs) She fell off of the, what is the thing that spins? Merry-go-round. Yeah, kind of like a little merry-go-round. She fell off of it twice, like, flying and I was like, "Oh my God! Tammy are you okay?" (laughing) Okay, so this is when the incident happened. Their older one that she's talking to right now, this was right before it happened. He had started taking golf lessons and I'm just wondering if you were curious how this all happened? I was. As I was going through them I'm like, "What happened?" (laughing) So, he just started golf lessons, he's like five or six and he's really good. He has a really good swing and so he has his own 5-iron and so they were at their country club and he was swinging and he pulled back and I had just turned my head for a second and the little brother came around and he went "Pow!" and hit him right in the head and I was, like, "Oh!" and I could hear it. So obviously the little one fell right to the ground. And, so, Mom-- I think you toned, we're gonna tone an image where Mom picks him up right away and then, of course, the other one is so upset because he didn't mean to hurt his brother, so now they're both crying and she's taking care of both of them and we're like, "Well maybe he'll be okay, he has a hard head." And then he... (laughs) 'Cause he's like had crazy accidents. And then he turned his head and we just saw blood coming out and I was like, "I think this is the time we're gonna go to the Emergency Room." And so we did, and he got a couple of staples and I photographed the whole thing. I will tell you a little secret. I photographed in the waiting room with no issues. This is where the Fuji comes in handy. You're not gonna see any photos with medical staff. However, they didn't want me to shoot but my job is my client so here's the nice thing about the Fuji. I put it around my neck and you can control it with your phone. So when the doctors and nurses were in there, I just shot and I just will never show them publicly. But I made them for my client. But, yeah, that's how I got around that. I just put it on my neck and then I shot. And they were like, "You're not taking pictures are you?" I was like, "Nope." (laughs) On Facebook. But I did shoot anytime they gave me... They gave me permission to shoot anytime they were out of the room. But he did get a staple in his head. Aw! (laughing) And the other brother was pretty bored. Here's a staple. (laughs) Aw! He was perfectly fine, he's such a trooper. He was really such a trooper. But it was a 15-hour shoot. And Tammy kept going, "Go home! Go home!" I was like, "No way! You've hired me for the day this is your day and I'm not leaving after we've gone to the emergency room." And I always stay 'til the end. So, I think we're gonna-- Yeah. So you guys have an idea, and you know how I tone or whatever but I wanted you to see from that collection and then we're gonna see some additional images. Also, so you can see what I include in an extended gallery. They're not as strong, right? They're not the best moments. But they're still moments that I think are good that I think should be delivered. They deserved to be processed.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Fearless and Framed Marketing Bundle

Ratings and Reviews


I own Kirsten's 3 classes. And they are ALL amazing, inspiring and refreshing. She is not only a super talented photographer but an amazing teacher and person as well. I have learned so much from each one of her classes. I have never met a photographer so willing to share and see their students succeed. I highly recommend people not only to buy this class, but all 3! I would not be the photographer I am today if it wasn’t for her. After following her advise for the last 3 years I am finally engaging with the audience I want and I feel true to myself in the way I shoot. This makes a huge difference in my everyday. I am am truly grateful to this photo wizard lady. ps: warning, make sure you are on birth control. These classes might make you want to have children, just to get amazing images like the ones she takes LOL (joking) #not

Carrie Littauer

This workshop was by far the best photography workshop I have ever been a part of. Kirsten's work, her humor, her authenticity, her expertise and perspective will forever change the way I work with families and go about documentary photography. I am so motivated and inspired to dig deeper into my role as a photographer, and as a person, to make a real difference in the lives of those that I photograph and with my art. I'm thrilled to have been in the LIVE studio and am so grateful for Creative Live for giving phenomenal artists like Kirsten this exposure and opportunity to teach other creatives like myself! Thank you.

Johanne Lila

In the very minutes Kirsten Lewis' first class (first of three) for cL aired, I realized I needed in on this awesomeness. I became a 1 Year Mentorship student with her right away, and now I have been so incredibly fortunate to be in the studio audience for the live taping of her final class (or the third of the three, who knows what the future might hold!). For me as a 'Kirsten Lewis alumni' taking this class was perfect. I was reminded of things I knew, but had forgotten. I learned a ton of new stuff. But most of all, I remembered why we do this work in the first place: The love that is right there in the reality of life. How much this work matters to real families out there. And how much it matters to keep getting better at this, to give our families better work. I will be forever greatful that I chose the best mentor, Kirsten is such a gift to all of us. And if you're still in doubt: This class is AMAZING! If you're new, if you've at it for a while, if you're alumni: Gold is HERE!

Student Work