I often have clients asking me if something can be photoshopped, so I wanted to talk about that for a moment, especially when it comes to Hawaiian elopements or weddings. I love to photographing couples on Hawaii, but when I do, I have to be intentional and plan for the extra work and time it takes to clean up the background if we’re not alone on the beach.
Hawaii can be a crowded place, and even if you find a hidden beach, there’s still often some background clutter that may need to be removed.
If there’s a perfectly romantic photo with a random person going fishing in the background, that person has to go, in order to preserve the moment.
I can’t just take any photo and photoshop it any which way, I need to set up that photo in order to be handled by photoshop later. You can’t just “erase” problem parts of an image. You have to replace them, and the information by which to replace them has to be included in the original file somewhere, so I can merge them. It’s almost impossible to create exact information outside of the original moment.
Here are some before/after pictures of a portrait session on Oahu so you can see how much cleaner and prettier it is to clean up images. Not every photographer does this- and I myself have to send my files to photoshop specialists fairly often if I can’t clean up an image myself. Photoshop is it’s own career path, with ever evolving tools and processes, and so I’m grateful to have trusted professionals to ship extra images off to when it’s outside my skill set.
Usually I’m able to direct and position a couple to minimize visual distraction in-camera, which is always the goal, but in cases where I can’t it’s important to be able to retroactively remove elements we don’t want in the photos.