Before & After: A Motherhood Self-Portrait | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

Life has been full lately, in a good way. Over the coming weeks, I have some tutorials to share on what I've learned about taking motherhood self-portraits, as well as some fun new client sessions to share. But for this week, I'll keep it short and sweet, so I can go spend some more time with this little guy. ;-)  

I thought it would be fun to post a "before & after" edit. When I began pursuing photography in earnest, I was surprised to learn how much of a difference post-processing an image can make.  Learning to get an image right in-camera is the first step to making a great picture. Developing a style of editing that speaks to you and reflects the story as you see it is the rest of the fun (and work).

Motherhood Self Portrait | Northern Virginia Documentary Family Photographer

I generally love color in the images I take in this room.  (It's one of the few rooms in my house where I like the paint we chose for the walls. ;-) ) But for some images, like this one, I choose to convert to black and white.  In this case, I prefer black and white because I want my son's face to be the emphasis.  Converting an image to black and white is one way to eliminate distractions that aren't important to the subject.  In color, I feel the walls and my hair draw the attention away from his face. But in black and white, the eye is drawn right to the light highlighting his face and arms. 

Motherhood Self Portrait | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

The rest of the edits involve a bit of experimenting.  Aside from converting to black and white, I've straightened the lines, increased the contrast, bumped up the clarity, and brought down the shadows for more depth.  The majority of my indoor images are shot in low light, so I generally increase the luminance a bit to reduce noise/grain. I edit almost exclusively in Lightroom and use Photoshop occasionally when needed.  

Check back in the coming weeks to learn more about getting in the picture and taking self-portraits with your children.  And sign up for my email list to receive tips about documenting your family!