Saturday, February 12, 2011

What Makes one a Professional?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a professional is one that engages in a pursuit or activity professionally, participating for gain or livelihood; receiving financial return, permanent career, etc.
Kind of leaves it open in my book. Pay someone and they can be considered a professional. I used to always correct my kids when they would refer to me as a professional. I never wanted to over state myself (or is it that I am just over critical of myself!) with the fear of letting someone down. I guess my theory is that people will be pleasantly surprised instead of seriously disappointed. I want to please people not disappoint them. And I will scrutinize my work to the point of spending so much time that it is never.. uh, what was that, "gain or livelihood"? Now don't get me wrong, I never mind fixing or working a photo. However, if I got it right the first time I wouldn't have to, right? lol

So this first photo is one that a 'real' professional took. I looked at it and saw things that I wanted different. (or things I think should have been corrected prior to printing and charging a large sum for) Now this is where the blessing of having photoshop really comes in. Yes, sometimes things don't look out of whack when one shoots and it only is apparent when you look at the print in large scale. But this photographer did one thing that really set one person out in the photo. The girl in the front with the shorter length dress shouldn't be there. The dress was actually to the floor and should have had the girl adjust it. However, while I was in photoshop, I made sure I corrected everything else too. This will be a game for you on how many changes there are between the two photos. Similar to the magazine game in either Us or People, can't remember which. One of my main challenges with this photo was the paper it was printed on, so you will see some lumps and clumps - that is from the original paper.
Oh, and was I supposed to reprint the photo? No. Can I scan it? I don't know. But I do know that I didn't like that the photographers flash made the center girls look whiter, the one in the center stuck out like a sore... foot, the podium on the right, the girl next to it was too far to the right and one of the girls in the back was dwarfed too much. OK, so I'm helping you on the game. And yes, there are still things that could be changed to make a photo perfect.
One of the things I do is give the client ALL the photos on a disk. I don't want to be the one holding onto them for reprints. I do however fix and print some of my favorites or change things for them as they request. Again, I want them to be happy. Not just me.


  1. Wow, what a difference. Great job. Amazing that the photographer didn't catch that dress for the get go!

  2. Ooo, ooo, I love this game! Here's my guesses...

    took down the chair legs' reflection
    muted the cables/wires on the floor
    enhanced color/decreased blue
    removed podium
    lightened shadow on the right side curtain
    girl on far right scooched closer to neighbor
    removed wrinkle on stage cover (rt hand side)
    softened the drapes' gathers

    I cannot for the life of me figure out how you made the short girl in the back seem more proportionate. Did you magnify her just a hair? Excellent job!

    Thanks for your comment on my floating books!