Before + After Photoshop Magic | Jacksonville NC Wedding Photographer


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I’m super excited for this quick blog post for a few reasons.

  • This is the first time I’ve shared an editing “before and after” on my blog!
  • I’m thrilled at the prospect of diversifying the content on my blog!
  • I’m happy to rejoin the Blog Circle many of you are familiar with.

In reference to the last point, some of you might recall that I’m a member of a group of photographers who encourage each other to blog by posting a theme each month and sharing our interpretation of that theme. This month the theme is “before and after.” Once you’ve read my blog, you’ll click on the next photographer’s post, continuing to click until you’ve made a full circle.

Now, if you’ve been following me for a while you know that I don’t have a dramatic editing style. I like to stick with clean edits that showcase lots of pretty colors and skin tones. Sometimes I take a few more liberties with my post-processing, especially when it comes to these gorgeous Carolina skies. I’m a big proponent of “getting it right in camera”, which means I aim to get as close to perfect as I can when I snap the shutter, rather than bring an image into Photoshop and resurrect it from the dead. I don’t tend to over- or under-expose my images. I like to start off with good exposure in an effort to keep my editing to a minimum. However, when you perfectly expose a subject you will more than likely over-expose the sky and lose all that fabulous color and detail. That’s when a little post-processing magic can really help.

Let’s take a look at this photo for example:


The image on the left represents the SOOC image (straight out of camera, no editing). You can see that my bride and groom are properly exposed, but if you take notice to the water you’ll see the reflection of a beautiful warm sunset that is absent from the sky. To accurately showcase the sky, I adjusted the image on the left in Lightroom by bringing down the exposure. The result is the image on the right. The sky in that image is exactly as it appeared at the time the image was taken. I saved both versions of the photo and opened them in Photoshop. I combined the two images by masking in the sky from the right. From there I continued on with my normal editing workflow.

This is the end result:


It’s rarely necessary for me to combine exposures in Photoshop to achieve the result I’m looking for. Shortly after this image was taken, I brought in some off-camera flash so I could get everything right in camera. Not only does that save time in post-processing, but it gives me more creative flexibility. I love experimenting with off-camera flash as a Jacksonville NC Wedding Photographer. These skies just beg for it!

I hope you found this post helpful! If you’d like to see more posts like this, let me know in the comments!

Up next in the blog circle is Oklahoma Photographer Nicole Gulick Photography! Don’t forget to leave her some comments, too!

  1. Beautiful photo! You did an amazing job putting these images into one. I’m just like you, I prefer to get everything perfect in camera. I’m taking Applied Digital Photography in school right now, and my professor is good at making sure we understand light and how to manipulate and control it in any situation. It’s changed how I view the world, and significantly reduced the time I spend in Lightroom and Photoshop editing. Awesome work! 🙂

  2. Absolutely beautiful shot! I love the final edit, I’m a sucker for gorgeous skies <3 <3 <3

  3. You did a fantastic job of combining the exposures, I’m in love with the final image!!

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