In Post-Production, the ends must justify the expense

In Post-Production, the ends must justify the expense

If you’re not careful, post-production can become a black hole. Anyone who’s sat in front of Lightroom or Photoshop knows it’s easy to get lost in the pursuit of perfection. Since there’s really no limit to what can be done to an image, you could spend hours on each one. Or if you have an editor do the work for you, it’s easy to request too much and end up spending a fortune.

But is the expense (time and money) justified? That depends on what you charge and what the final use for the images will be.

For example, a photographer shooting for an international magazine spread may indeed spend many hours on one or two images. A wedding photographer who charges $2000 to deliver 500 images, however, cannot afford to spend more than a few hours total.

But it’s not just a limitation of budget – sometimes it makes sense to go all out on an image and sometimes it doesn’t. Budget aside, you’ll probably spend more time preparing an image for a large canvas print than you will preparing an image for your low-res blog gallery.

As you edit – or as you discuss the work with your editor, – keep your budget and the end product in mind. We’re not saying to skimp or do shoddy work; rather, make sure the effort expended is appropriate to the situation. Make sure the final product looks good, but also make sure it’s worth doing.


Quick-Tip: Once you decide on the work to be done, the next question is, “who should do it?” If you think your time is better spent with clients and your camera, consider sending the image work to PWD. Quick-Tip: August is Contest Month at PWD! Find out how you can win post-production discounts, PWD store credit, and a Lytro lightfield camera.

Check out more Post-Production Tips from the pros at PWD
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