A question our studio gets fairly often is “Can I have my unedited boudoir photos?”
To many of our clients, this is not an unreasonable request. They saw the lights flash over and over, they spent hours in the studio, and it isn’t like they are asking for more images to be edited; they only want the images that already exist. Their package comes with edited boudoir photographs, why not unedited boudoir photos as well?
As simple to accomplish as it may sound, unedited boudoir photos are not something we offer our clients. In fact, our clients won’t even see their unedited boudoir photos.
Our studio maintains this policy for several reasons. Here are six reasons why, and the explainations behind them.
1. We shoot in RAW format
In laymens terms, RAW files are unprocessed data straight out of the camera. They aren’t even technically images yet; RAW images are simply the data that creates the image. The vast majority of people can’t even view the RAW images on their computer, much less print them. Not only are they only data, they are also very large files. Transferring them isn’t like transferring pictures from your iPhone or other device; it is a time-consuming process that takes lots of room on your computer. Finally, when an image is in RAW form, it is possible to override the original data. This means that someone could effectively rewrite the data of the image and claim it as their own. Since we maintain ownership of the copyrights for 99.99% of our images, this creates the opportunity for legal troubles we would like to avoid.
2. We spend lots of time culling the images
While you may see two or three images of yourself in an outfit you know we took many pictures in, that does not mean that we are withholding stellar images from you. In fact, it is in our best interest to provide you with as many stunning images as possible to ensure your happiness with our work. However, showing you 10 unedited boudoir photos of the same pose in which the focus is a tiny bit different would be tedious for both you and us.
Instead of editing a couple of random images and giving you all of your unedited boudoir photos, we spend hours culling down the raw images we took during your boudoir photography session until we have the best ones. After all, do you really want to see the pictures with poor lighting, where your eyes are awkwardly half-open, or that are completely unflattering? We want to help you feel beautiful, not awful. Each member of our staff is a trained professional, and it is our job to know what looks good and deliver those images to you.
While the amount of images you see is highly dependant on the amount of photography time, we do not have a set number of images we will edit for each of our clients. If you have 20 stunning images, we will retouch 20. If you have 60 images that are spectacular, we will retouch 60. While we understand that it may be confusing for us to take so many pictures and to show you such a small fraction of them, the reality of the situation is that we want to give you the best images possible, and the unedited boudoir photos aren’t the best.
3. Straight out of the camera images aren’t a finished product
Some people think photography is easy; that we just set up the camera and lights and push a button. In reality, there is much more that goes into it. Not only do we have to fully understand the equipment we are using, we also set up the framing of the shot, manipulate the light, pose you, and take the picture…all before we even see the image! There is a great deal of work that needs to be done after the picture has been taken to create the image we saw potential for. While the data for the picture exists, the unedited boudoir photo is just a small part of the whole image.
Think of photography a house. The raw, unedited boudoir photo is like the roof and outermost walls. It has the potential to be something, but isn’t a finished product. You need the inner walls, plumbing, furniture, etc to make it a comfortable place to live. Boudoir photography requires lighting adjustments, cropping, brightness adjustments, and the retouching we do the focus of the image (you!).
4. You chose us for our quality and style.
You came to us because we create something you cannot create yourself. Whether you liked our boudoir photography gallery, pin-up photography examples, or glamour photos, you liked them enough to want to book with us. Asking us to give you the unedited images removes a portion of our style, which is what you chose us for in the first place. We understand it can be hard to trust someone with something like this, but it is a necessary part of the process. If you are feeling nervous, look at our work. We have never hired a model; every single person you see in our online galleries, on our Facebook page, or on our studio walls is a real person just like you. She didn’t see her unedited boudoir photos, and they turned out beautifully.
Even if you or someone you know owns Photoshop, there is no way for them to know exactly how our photographer envisioned your images turning out. Poor Photoshopping can ruin a good image. Even if the person who will be editing the images is very skilled in Photoshop, the end result they achieve will not be what our professional boudoir photographer envisioned. When you decided to book a boudoir photography session with us, you gave us the artistic license to finish a particular image in the way our professional opinion feels it will look best.
When you book with us, you aren’t just hiring us to push a button and take a picture. You are purchasing our entire process to turn your images into art that will be treasured for years to come.
5. They don’t look as good
Instead of just telling you, I’m going to show you. These images are from our office manager’s boudoir photo session. The one on the left is the unedited boudoir photo, and the one on the right is the finished product.
As you can see, in the unedited boudoir photo the colors of the jersey, as well as her skin are washed out. As you may have read in some of our beauty blogs, make-up for a photo shoot is very different than what you would wear day-to-day. More than 30% of it is washed out by the lighting. The same holds true of the rest of you, we just can’t put make-up everywhere! Fixing the colors is something we accomplish during post-processing.
You may also notice that, in the unedited boudoir photo, the jersey has wrinkles and protrusions caused by body contortion of the pose. This can happen with a garment of any size, but it is particularly problematic in items that are worn baggy because there is more fabric to buldge out. Not only can it look sloppy, it can also add the appearance of extra width where there isn’t any. During the editing process we remove things like that to help create a cleaner image.
Finally, there has been some minimal contouring done. If you look at the original unedited boudoir photo and the retouched version, you will notice the darkening of the shadow beneath the chin to accentuate the jawline, as well as some shaping of the arms. During your boudoir photography session, it is important to communicate your concerns with your photographer. While we consistently hear concerns about the stomach region, she was concerned about her arms appearing bulky so we did some minor retouching on them using shadows and small adjustments to create a more defined look.
While the unedited boudoir photo on the left is okay, the edited and retouched version on the left is much more visually appealing due to the enhanced colors, cleaner appearance, and darkening of the background.
6. Our images represent our brand
Our goal is to give you the best work we possibly can. The unedited boudoir photos that come straight out of the camera without any post-processing are not an accurate representation of the quality and standard of our product. As such, people viewing the unfinished products could be detrimental to our brand and ultimately our business as it would appear that we do sub-par work. The finished images we show to clients are the ones we feel best illustrates our talent and commitment to producing excellent images, and those are the boudoir photos you will be seeing. We refuse to provide images that we don’t want associated with our brand, and unedited boudoir photos given as a finished product are something we don’t want associated with the Warwick Boudoir photography brand.
If you have any questions about our copyright policies or our post-processing, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To schedule a boudoir session or complimentary consultation, contact us; we would love to have you in!