MuSenPhotos’ 3 Editing Styles Explained
A frequently asked question I receive is “Do you give out unedited photos?”
The short answer is “No and never”.
The only “unedited” photos would be what I call “SOOC–Straight Out of the Camera” photos. They are shot in RAW format. Because I take these photos, I own the copyright to these photos. It is my policy that I don’t transfer these rights. I like to take photos just a shade darker, i.e. slightly“underexposed”, because underexposed photos retain more information in the darker areas of the image. Editing software can often recover some of the lost details in underexposed areas, allowing for more manipulation without severely degrading the image quality. Therefore, when I show clients photos from the back of my camera, these photos often don’t look very flattery. This is more obvious during an outdoor photoshoot vs. in my studio where lighting condition is controlled.
I am going to use a photo taken in-studio to demo the 3 levels of post-editing services provided by me.
This is an example of a SOOC photo. You can obviously see flaws such as wrinkly background, model standing on a posing box, etc. And it is taken in a much bigger frame.
“Color Correction” might sound familiar to you as many photographers give out “Color Corrected” photos in their package and it is usually in a large quantity. I do color correction during the proofing stage. I would go through the culling process and eliminate obviously bad and repetitive images. Then I crop and straighten the images according to composition rules, and apply color and lighting adjustment. Color correction is relatively a quick fix for photos and therefore photographers can afford to give out a large quantity. I typically provide color-corrected photos for event customers.
Signature edit is a series of standard workflows that I created and follow through during post-editing stage. It reflects my style and the consistency is how QUALITY is perceived. I pay great attention to details. Signature edit includes color correction and in addition, it includes advanced editing techniques such as background fix (wrinkles removal, backdrop extension, digital composite, etc.), skin retouching, body contouring, expression/posture enhancement, head-swapping (see an example below), advanced color and lighting adjustment…Images that are signature-edited are meant to be printed and printed big. That is why I spend so much time editing each photo, making sure they are close to flawless. For that reason, I only include a reasonable number of signature edited images in each collection to ensure quality standards are met. Signature collections are often offered for baby milestone photoshoots, family portraits, and headshots.
A fine art painterly portrait refers to a portrait created by an artist with a focus on artistic expression rather than strict realism. It often involves using various painting techniques, brushstrokes, and colors to convey emotion, mood, or personal interpretation. When used in digital photography, these techniques are applied during post-editing using modern software. The term “painterly” suggests that the portrait has qualities akin to a painting, where the brushwork, texture, and overall composition a reemphasized over precise details.
Fine art portraits are also meant to be made for print. They are high-end products and I carry a luxury line just for them. An incredible amount of time is spent on these types of edits and therefore we don’t yield a high number of deliverable images per Fine Art portrait session.
I typically offer fine art portraits to styled sessions such as maternity photoshoots and couture photoshoots.
The difference you see between Color Correction and Signature Edit might not be super distinct due to digital images being compressed when presented in a website blog format and viewed from an electronic device. I guarantee you will see the difference when they are printed.
Here is an outdoor photo comparison. The top is color corrected. The bottom is signature edited. The difference is a bit more distinct with this set as there are quite some distractions in the background and the lighting is not controlled. But you get the idea by now.
Head swapping is a commonly used technique for photoshoots involving large groups and/or small children. It is for clients who prefer a classic portrait look where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. I will take many photos of the same series, pick out good candidates, and combine all the good ones into one “Picture Perfect” image.
Photography by MuSen prices the sessions with editing complexity taken into consideration. We always value quality over quantity. Contact us now to discuss your next dream photoshoot.
- L. (maternity and newborn sessions customer)
I had an extremely anxious pregnancy after my miscarriage, which is why I didn't reach out to you until so late, but you really went out of your way to accommodate and make it happen for me and my family. I'm so glad that I have all these photos of this special time in our lives and the captures of (our) brand new baby. I'll be forever grateful for the perfect moments you captured. Thank you again, so much."
"Hi Karen. Just wanted to really say thank you again for everything with our sessions. I could not be happier with how they both turned out."
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- ZHAO FAMILY
We have gotten many compliments from visiting guests. The photos you took are candid and captured true moments of joy. The product has amazing quality and yet very easy to install. I can’t wait to get another great collage for the upcoming family shoots. Thank you Karen.
"We absolutely loved the wall collage you designed for us. It has become the focal point of our great room"
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- JESSICA JACKSON
She listened to what type of photos we were looking to achieve and offered suggestions since she is in fact the professional! Karen was always very responsive if I had any questions leading up to the actual photo shoot and was an absolute pleasure to work with the day of our session. Everything went very smooth, and our proofs were delivered very quickly. After the selection process, our final images were delivered also very quickly and looked so amazing. We have received so many compliments and will be using Karen again in the future. I highly recommend MuSen Photography to anyone looking for quality professional photography!
"Karen was amazing to work with from the very beginning through to the delivery of our final photos"
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- SUE COLON
I hired her to do my daughters first birthday party photos and she captured the moment perfectly. I was so pleased with her work I hired her again to do a mother and daughters photo shoot for Mother’s Day. She NAILED IT one of the most beautiful photo shoots I have ever seen. Karen picked the location, lighting, told us how to pose her eye for perfection is beyond words she saw my vision and made it come true. She also was very easy to contact and communicate with. The turn over time to receive the photos was fast and easy. Karen is also very sweet it was truly a pleasure working with her. I highly recommend her and if perfection is what you seek Karen is definitely the one. I look forward to working with her again. Thank you so much Karen you rock .
"Karen is absolutely amazing."
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Truthfully from the beginning when we met in the diner to the very end of our day to stay to capture all of our memories. You were a pleasure to work with and we will be using you again for sure for our family photos and every event we have. I love most about you that your attention to details and making sure you get everything right and perfect for us.
"Karen what can I say but you are fabulous"
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