Think before you shoot.

Sometimes I forget how important it is to take my time when taking photos. There are so many things to consider when taking a photo; the lighting, the composition, obstructions, facial expressions, clothing, shadows and several other things.  Sometimes, I get caught up in the moment of having fun while working and realize later I made a mistake that will have to be fixed in post. Nobody is perfect and sometimes making mistakes can be good. For instance in these examples below, I learned some new tricks in Photoshop that I wouldn't have learned otherwise. These were some promo shots taken at Bellevue Community College a couple of weeks ago for some local musicians. I have never done the before and after thing and figured you guys might want to see some of the changes I make in post editing.

Before-

After-

So in this shot, the guy really wanted to be in front of the door mainly because of the numbers. In hip hop, area codes are sacred. It's very important people know where you're from so he wanted me to put in the numbers "425" replacing the "444". The angles were way off! The lines weren't straight and that really bothered me. I used the Warp Transform tool to straighten up my lines. I felt like the white wall was really boring so I added a layer of a wall I snapped a while back, set it to a "Soft Light" setting and cleaned it up a bit. What did I learn here? Pay attention to angles. Don't be afraid to tell the client that the shot looks boring aside from the number bit, but do it in a positive manner suggesting putting in the are code in a different setting with more pop. That's why people hire us. It's not a bad thing to shut an idea down, but be nice about it and provide an alternative and explain why. It's their right to know.

Here is another shot that took a LOT of editing to make me happy.

Before-

After-

Originally I thought the sculpture looked really cool. In the end, I hated it. It took away from my subjects. I used to several different blending, masking, erasing, cloning techniques to finally get this guy to look right. What did I learn here? Take more time to think about the shot. Focus on the composition first, then let everything follow. If the composition is good, the foundation is good. Then, you can paint your picture with whatever colors you want.

What do you guys think about the changes? Do you like them? Do you think they were worth all the time I spent on fixing them? Thanks for the feedback!