You may have noticed that I don’t have photos of myself on my website or my blog-that’s for a few reasons.

One, as a photographer, I’m the one that takes all the photos! So it logistically is hard to find someone to take a photo that will be to your standards. (I’ve tried the whole tripod it and then run thing…but I need help posing myself!)

Two, as a photographer that uses my name as a business name as well, I value my privacy and like a degree of anonymity that comes with not posting my photo. 🙂 I’m an introvert like that, what can I say?

Three, I believe the focus for clients that come to my website and blog should be on my work and the clients’ moments, because the wedding day isn’t about me at all. It’s about you.

But then I ran into a dilemma. I wanted to show what can be done as far as retouching and give a little glimpse into my behind the scenes work, mainly to show how much time goes into an image in post-processing. I previously showed how composites are possible with my friend Jen’s family. This round, I wanted to show how I retouch my client’s skin, eyes, hair, teeth, etc on portrait shoots and select wedding images (blogged, album, favorites, and prints) to let their images reflect their confidence and beauty.

The problem-I would never, ever, ever put an unretouched image of my client out there and then point out how I enhanced their shot, as this would call attention to the “before” areas, whether that be some small smile lines, a slipping bra strap, etc. That makes no one happy, and if retouching is done correctly, the client should never know what has been nipped or tucked or smoothed.

So the only image I could show a before and after of is…*gulp* a photograph of myself. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous to put this out here. My own husband *rarely* sees me without makeup. Like most women, I won’t post unflattering images to Facebook. And yet, I’m coming on here and showing all my clients.

My friend Jen (of the fabulous Jen Stevenson Photo) took this image for me in the middle of her family session. Here it is with no retouching, perfectly exposed, posed, and composed, but not fully retouched. As photographers, we sometimes will exchange RAW images and edit ourselves.

The cameras today, and Jen has the top of the line, really show every single pore. We were in the shade, so the light is a little blue-when you shoot RAW images, this has to be manipulated later.

In the after image, I removed the bruise from my left arm and the sand from my face. My guideline is to remove anything that’s not there all the time (so I leave intact birthmarks). I also removed the clasp on my necklace and the bags under my eyes-I guess I wasn’t getting restful sleep! I did my skin smoothing I provide for all clients on select images.

And lastly, I sharpened for web or print, especially the eyes, which is necessary for RAW images to come across nice and crisply.

I’m not professing to be a magazine-caliber retouching expert, and I try not to do it with a heavy hand. I just want my clients to look as amazing as they feel and display their images with confidence. The camera can add ten pounds and show us wrinkles and blemishes that we don’t see with our naked eye, so I like to restore that look in the portraits.

I hope that sheds the light on just a little of what professional retouching is capable of and one of the reasons we spend so much time in editing perfecting the images.

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Do you have a young child? Or maybe you are one of my brides and plan on having a few children involved in your wedding as a flowergirl or ringbearer? Then this blog entry is for you! 🙂

When I am providing images from a wedding or portrait session, I don’t provide images where the eyes are closed or people are not looking at the camera. Of course, I take a lot of images to insure this doesn’t happen and we have one where everyone is looking at my lens.

But during the wedding day, guests are often using their point and shoot cameras to try to capture the shot, causing people to look away, especially after a few drinks! 🙂

At a family session, your child may be distracted by something. You know how tough it can be to get a good shot of your child at home too. And then there’s always the tough choice…

Say Sally looks best in Image A, while Bobby has the best expression in Image B, and mom and dad, you think you look your best in Image C. In the pre-digital age, you often had to just pick a mediocre shot where everyone was facing the camera, regardless of expression or hand position, and settle for that shot you didn’t love.

Now, with the editing services of a professional photographer, you can have the best of both worlds, and one or more images can be combined to create the best shot. If you have one or more little ones, it is VERY helpful!

You’ll see from this before and after, I try not to do a ton of editing, preferring instead to capture the shot correctly right out of the camera through proper posing and exposure. But, sometimes, a little Photoshop lets us capture the best of Miss L AND Miss A’s expressions from two different images, plus a third image was combined to fill the now new space between the little ones 🙂

So here’s a little behind the scenes to show you the transformation!

Now, if I get *really* brave, I will show you a before and after of my headshot to show you just what can be done, but I’m almost afraid to put my unedited image out there for all of you on the Interwebz to see, yikes!

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Brigit’s a photographer from New York State with three adorable kids. We “met” online on a photography board, and over the past year, I’ve gotten to know her. I was so thrilled when she was vacationing in my neck of the woods and we met up for a family session.

If you look at most of my blog and website, you’ll find I’m primarily a wedding and engagement photographer. That’s just what I seem to get the most inquiries for. So I was a little nervous about living up to Brigit’s expectations, since she is a portrait photographer specializing in kids. It is always a little nerve-wracking photographing another photographer.

Brigit’s family had a lot of fun on the beach, and Brigit has a lot of energy to keep up with her kids!

First is Brigit’s son A, who is a great help with his younger siblings.

Then we have the middle child, Miss I.

Miss C:

And Brigit herself:

I titled this one “Photographer’s Children.” Many photographers report that their own children are the least cooperative subjects. I think Brigit’s kids were over the photo session at this point, and this image just makes me laugh. A looks sullen, I is silly, and poor little C is crying. Sometimes, we have to remember these little moments.

They ended the session by jumping in the strong ocean and getting soaked!

I hope you had a safe trip back to New York and enjoyed your time in our sleepy little town! It was so, so, so wonderful to meet you!

2 People have left comments on this post

bplatephoto said: | Aug 2, 2011 - 09:08:51 |

OMG- I am in LOVE. You did a fantastic job capturing my monsters (and it wasn't complete torture being infront of the camera!!! lol). I'm SO glad I got to meet you, and I can't say "thank you" enough. Absolutely perfect.

Jennifer said: | Aug 3, 2011 - 04:08:19 |

Lovely, Kristen! The colours are so warm and inviting. You did a great job!

What is 4 + 6 ?
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Christina’s extended family was in town from up north for a family vacation, so she decided to get some images done! Unfortunately, a few of her grandkids fell sick, but we decided to do the session with the out-of-town relatives anyway. (We’ll have to do another session when the little ones are feeling better!)

The weather on the night of the session was absolutely perfect for beach photography. Christina and her family were so nice and fun, including Christina’s niece, who quickly became obsessed with gathering shells. She even filled up her dad’s shoes with them and had huge handfuls of them as she left the beach. I don’t usually think of Brevard beaches as being good for shells, but I guess I was wrong (at least through the eyes of a child)!

As the light faded, I really enjoyed capturing this silhouette shot for them. We pretty much had the beach to ourselves, so it was nice, unspoiled, and quiet. I hope you guys had a great time creating some images.

Thank you so, so much for choosing Kristen Wynn Photography! 🙂

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Typically, fall is a busy time for family portraits, just in time for Christmas cards. But this year, I’ve actually received several calls and emails for family portraits in the month of June. Although I photograph a lot of weddings (and thus, at weddings, family shots), I really enjoy family portraits and am so thankful that I’ve been able to do several this month.

Linda’s family was special to me. Linda and her two sisters got together here on vacation with their mom. It was a ladies’ trip, and I could tell they were having a lot of fun roadtripping a little with their rented Jeep. Linda told me that there are actually six children in the family, three girls and three boys.

I was taking a few images of just the sisters when we looked over and caught their mom just leaning against the railing of the little house. I really liked the image in black and white because I thought it was a classic, timeless look:

Big families are a blessing and so fun-I overheard some wild tales of what life was like growing up while I was encouraging the ladies to laugh for the images. This photo session and vacation was only for the ladies, so if Linda’s three brothers ever come into town, we’ll have to squeeze a session in for them.

I haven’t had a photo done with my siblings and parents in several years, and doing this photo session makes me want to schedule that soon.

We were also able to take advantage of a shady spot that was lush and green. I’ve always wanted to photograph near our library, and the foliage kept us all cool on a hot day.

Ladies, it was a pleasure to meet you. I hope you had fun and love your photos as much as I do! Thank you so much!

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This is one of the larger groups I have had, and I know a lot of planning went into this session on Angie’s part!

Angie came to me via a referral from my friend and fellow photographer, Jen Stevenson. She had been trying to get a session set up for months, but when you have twenty-nine other people’s schedules to coordinate, including six little ones of your own, it can be tough.

Luckily, the weather held out and the lighting was perfect as we set up in a local park. It was great to see an entire family reunited and the kids did a wonderful job in being patient.

What I love about this session is that Angie had everyone coordinate, but not match, for clothing. We picked three colors (green, blue, and cream) and had everyone mix and match with denim. The result really popped against the natural setting. I was so thrilled to see everyone switch up their outfits from the standard “white shirts and khaki pants” many families do, and by choosing a range of colors, you decrease the need for people to purchase special outfits just for the photo shoot. This way, everyone can look and feel their best!

While I was there to capture this large family image, we were also able to fit in some individual family portraits.

Thanks so much for selecting Kristen Wynn Photography for your family portrait! 🙂 Please keep in touch; it was so wonderful to meet all of you!

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I photograph a lot of weddings, and weddings are beautiful. They are the start of what we all hope will be a life long journey together.

What’s even more beautiful and inspiring is to see a long marriage celebrated. Shannon’s parents have been married for forty years! I can’t even imagine the challenges they’ve worked through and the good times they’ve had together over forty years. I’m just amazed at their commitment to each other.

Family and friends turned out for the event, and one couple in attendance told me that they had actually been in the wedding. So often, I hear of people losing touch with their bridal parties, so a long friendship like that is to be celebrated as well!

Shannon had her new baby at the party, and she might have stolen a little of the attention! 🙂 But I think the proud grandparents, the attendants of honor, are okay with that!

To Mr. and Mrs. M, I can only hope that my marriage lasts as long as yours and is as happy as yours! You are certainly an inspiration to everyone! Here’s to forty more years!

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It was wonderful to work with a great family last week in Titusville. This weather is perfect for family portraits-not too hot just yet, and not too cold like it can sometimes be around the holiday portrait time here in Florida.

Andrea emailed me and told me that she had recently had a baby and that attempting to take photos themselves simply wasn’t cutting it anymore. With two big sisters and a new little baby, life can be hectic; it can be hard to get any of the kids to sit still for just a minute to take the photos.

I always like to get a few images of the couple without the kids as well, since the last time many couples had photos taken was on their wedding day.

I think we did a pretty good job of corralling the kids for some images, but luckily, I had help from grandparents and great-grandparents too. We were able to capture some nice extended family images in a beautiful community in Titusville. And while we were originally scheduled for an evening sunset time, I think moving the session to the morning was much better for the little ones.

Andrea, your family is beautiful and so sweet with one another. Thanks for having me as your photographer; it was a pleasure to work with you. I hope you enjoy your images for many years to come!

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I met Rebeka on a hot, hot day last summer in a Panera Bread. I knew right away she was a super sweet lady who works hard. Months passed, and finally came the opportunity to work together and capture some family portraits of her daughter C and some headshots of just Rebeka.

Rebeka’s entering a new phase of her life, and her confidence and smile really show how ready she is for this new beginning. She’s a young mom with a great set of friends and family. As a matter of fact, we have a mutual friend in common, Jen Stevenson of Jen Stevenson Photography.

One thing Rebeka did for her session that helped out tremendously was to bring a friend along to keep a close eye on her daughter, C. This way, we had an extra set of hands, and were able to distract C and amuse her for better photos.

You can tell C adores her mom.

I also love the colors they chose for their outfits-coordinating without being exact matches of each other.

Thanks, C, for being so well-behaved on our long shoot. You certainly deserve that popcorn reward you earned!

Rebeka, thank you so much for coming out and making some portraits. I hope you treasure your images for years to come and I wish you so much happiness and success!

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