The Portrait Series, Part 4: Post-Production and Image Delivery
The post-production phase is the critical last stage of any portrait session. This is when the photographer makes all the necessary adjustments and refinements that will allow the final images to stand out. This is the stage where all the work put in during the session comes together to produce the best possible outcome for the client. In Part 4 of our “Portrait Series”, we will discuss the post-production phase and the image delivery process.
Introduction to Post-Production
Post-production is essentially the digital darkroom. It involves manipulating the raw image data to get the desired look and feel for the final images. It includes tasks such as color and contrast corrections, retouching, cropping, and any other manipulation that needs to be done to produce the desired look. This can be done in a dedicated photo editing program like Photoshop or Lightroom, or a more general design program like Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. In the digital age, the amount of post-processing available is unprecedented.
Taking the Finishing Touches
The goal of post-production is to create the best possible product. It is important to take the time to carefully examine all of the images and adjust them to the desired look. An important thing to remember is that post-production is not the same as retouching. Retouching should be used sparingly and only when needed. Overdoing the retouching can result in images that no longer look natural. Aiming for a natural look is always better than trying to achieve the “perfect” look because perfect is really just a matter of opinion.
Delivering the Final Images
Once the final images have been adjusted and retouched, it’s time to deliver them to the client. There are a few ways to do this. In most cases, the client will receive all of the finished images on a disc or USB drive or in a download link. If the image is to be used digitally, it should be uploaded to a sharing site such as Dropbox or Google Drive. If the image is to be used in print, it is best to deliver the highest resolution file possible to the printer. It is also important to include any guidelines that the printer needs for the specific project.
Post-production and image delivery are the crucial last steps before a portrait session can be considered finished. Taking the time to make all the necessary adjustments and refinements, then delivering the final result, can make a huge difference in the overall quality of the portrait. By following these steps, the photographer and the client will be pleased with the final product.