What editing does for your portraits!

After a session on the beach we know the job of making your portraits look great has just begun. The fun part, getting to meet your family, playing with the kids, directing traffic,  and helping you look your best out there is behind us and now the second part of our job is starting. We have hours ahead of cropping, correcting color, brightness, and contrast, punching up that reflection, taming highlights, opening shadows on anywhere from 50 or 60 images to sometimes 100 or more if the kids were having a good time and showing themselves off, all before we format the images and post them to your gallery for you to view and enjoy. This is all a part of what you should expect from a professional portrait photographer. We are thankful for the time and investment you made in trusting us for your portraits, and we always hope to repay that by putting our time, effort and skills into editing your family portraits so you look your best. Not every studio does that, some will be happy to grab your images from the camera, burn you a disc and send you on your way. Others will edit and go even further to retouch every image they shoot and of course have to build this into the price you pay for your session. In this entry we will show you the difference between edited and unedited images from some recent sessions. If you like what you see in the “after” portraits, be sure and call us for your next sitting and see what we can do for you!

Local color correction applied,

Naturally beautiful, bringing out her warm skin and hair color along with the water gilds the lily.

After the sun sets, the color cools and desaturates, editing recovers skin tones.

Editing enhanced his color as well as highlighting the rim light that late afternoon sun brings
open shade is very cool and low in contrast and saturation.
On a dreary day, after the little bit of sun has gone, use of fill flash and then editing gave them a warm healthy glow

Some qualities of early, somewhat cloudy light are great, the softness, the open eyes it allows, but not the color so much. Compare this with the unedited version to see how we help the skin tones as well as the sky and background

That late afternoon backlighting is nice, but off color, so in this one the little lady is helped by color and contrast correction.

The light angle gave us soft light to wrap her in, but still a bit cool and blue, so tweaking the color temperature and saturation levels brought her to life

Another wonderful senior session at the Whalehead Club!

Corolla gave us this storm cloud off in the distance for effect.
Soft shade flattered her as we started
Both bright and sweet, they made a perfect set for sibling portraits
The sea oats were at their best, soft tan to work with her golden hair
Her outfit was an excellent choice with the white clouds and soft blue sky
When the wind and waves work together we get sweet reflections.
I really like this brother and sister shot with the mirrors
She wore the breeze well.
The dune ridge was right for the sun setting behind Cassidy and Connor
The navy dress works well with her tan, and the location finger piers gave her a place to show her length
Connor’s height was easy to compose with the poles to stretch back on.
The shade of the trees let his eyes relax before the sun starts to mellow
Over in the shade her face showcases her natural beauty
Again, looking for the soft front light and sharp backlight found us this, Mom’s favorite of Connor.
So many great options at this location, the bridge with repeating framing elements and her beautiful smile.
Her curls and the light wrapped her in gold.
Before it gives up, the direct light over the sound is warm and flattering
From within the wooden bridge, many gorgeous variations on the light are there for the taking
Without the color you can see more of the shape and essence of the subject, and she is beautiful without color.
Connor’s sweet buddy was very patient with us throughout and deserved a little attention
As the sun kissed the water, Cassidy gazed with longing at the sight, a great reminder of what we have all the time.

A favorite spot, with a favorite family.

Shelley, Todd, Cooper, Jamison and sometimes Unkie have been frequent fliers with us on their summer vacations, playing on the beaches in Duck, around their pool and various spots on the Outer Banks, so something different was in order this year. They chose well, and off to the Whalehead Club in Corolla we rolled. It gave them a chance to get away from the bright light on the beach, gave me a chance to use more backlighting as we worked on through the evening. The bridge also lets me use framing elements, and sillhouettes over the water as the sun kisses the Currituck sound. Most of our clients are friends by the time we are through with a session, and those that we see year in and year out are good friends. The Haley family is high on that list, every year the boys show more personality, have more fun, and get some ideas of their own to add to our shoots. If you want to know why we are reluctant to do mini-sessions, 20 minute quickies, or assembly line stuff, Todd and Shelley are the reason why – because our family portrait customers deserve all of our attention along with all our skills, and why we do what we do.

Jamison started us off as he took possession of the little pier.
Whalehead Cub, Corolla North carolina
Cooper with an easy smile.
brothers on the water
Here on the water they are confined a bit as we shoot
wooden bridge, Whalehead club
Once we cleared the spiders we could use the arches as frames.
With a gap toothed grin, Cooper needed a couple with a serious side, which he really doesn’t have.
Todd always smiles, always.
Cooper is growing up.
Sunsets at the Whalehead club are beautiful, and every once in a while a bird graces us.
Currituck beach lighthouse
Cooper was anxious to climb, so we did.
Not to be outdone, he made sure he was further up than his little brother
Shelley, her brother, husband and two boys hit the sweet spot with the light and location
Shelley and “Unkie” popped one for their Mom to have.
Bet you never saw this before! LOL

Chris’s crew in Carova

Some of our best shoots come from the 4×4 territory, nice folks looking for a different vacation than down on the pavement, usually open for some fun or creative shots and we’re happy to play. The wind and the light were just right for Chris’s session so we shot until the last light faded.

We usually start with those started the whole thing.
Up in the dunes, we had awesome scenery, unfortunately, Currituck County now says this is a no-no.
The whole gang got together for a few.
Chris and her husband are always smiling
Before we got chased off the dunes we got a few sweet ones.
Kim and her boys
All the grandkids got a fun one going before the toss.
We left the dunes and headed to the waters edge
Chris Dery 11870
As the sun waned we found goodies.
For just a minute the shadows fill the footprints
Timing is everything when the waves are playing
Soft light and gentle waves helped Gage.
Bringing them together for a late shot with soft light
The men in the Dery family caught late light well.
As the sun faded, the moon took it’s place

Christina and Morrell, a Nags Head Wedding

Christina and Morrell, an afternoon delight. Small weddings leave us time to play, be creative or just responsive to our couples, concentrating on them and their interaction instead of the trappings and crowds. Their wedding was a perfect example.


Perfect for the beach, her bouquet was light, with just a bit of color.
She made these guys part of the wedding with these
Family and friends have been waiting for this
i Do OBX weddings did the decorations beutifully
His face erupted in bliss
Tony Joseph of I Do Obx Weddings does a beautiful wedding
When he saw her, all the worries blew away
Her face speaks volume.
He and she wore the same look
Every time she looks at Morrel, she looks like this.
Tony Joseph presents the bands that bind
They exchange smiles while they exchange rings
a lot
Right after the ceremony
soft light helped her shine
Calm waves gave them this beauty.
Even while he carries her above the water, he was all lips
As we left the beach, the light on Christina was terrific, looked better on her than him 😉
Just for fun, he wanted to do the same shot she had.
Christina looks great in two views.
Christina and Morrell with her brother Mike and sister-in-law
From barefoot to tennies, ready to roll.
Nags Head’s Lone Cedar has sweet spots to hang out for the couple.
Basnight’s lone Cedar was kind enough to lend their pier for a few shots
Christina had wanted to do a dip, and without any training or practice Morrell nailed it.
cupcake wedding
Over the tower of cupcakes, a small round just for the cutting
Seasoned with butter cream, one last one before I faded away.