What really happens when you add that famous Instagram filter...

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Clarendon, Ginham, Moon, Lark, Reyes, Juno, Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden, Amaro, Perpetua, Mayfair, Rise, Hudson, Valencia, X-Pro II, Sierra, Willow, Lo-fi, Inkwell, Hefe, Nashville

EVERY PHOTOGRAPHERS WORST NIGHTMARE. INSTAGRAM FILTERS.

Now you may be confused, I thought Instagram filters made all photos look better? That may be true but also false. I'll explain. But before I explain, let me add in a disclaimer. ALL photos in this post have been re-edited by myself to only show as an example. As well as none of the photos shown are calling clients out for making this mistake. These are just some of my personal latest photos that I want to use as examples! 

Now let's talk filters and photo editing. Yes, they can easily take an iPhone photo from a 3 to a rocking 10! From highlights, saturation, contract, exposure, and shadows, they all help! However, these filters can also take a "professional" photo from a 10 to a solid 1! When you hire a professional photographer, you hiring them to not only capture the moment but to edit the photos. Once you add a filter/edit over the top of professional photos, it's no longer the photographers work. It is a misrepresentation of the photographers work. As photographers, we spend countless hours learning how to edit and then actually editing the photos. There's more than just selecting a filter and calling it good. From finding our editing "style" to learning how to adjust white balance, HSL sliders, clarity, luminance, sharpness, highlights, and even learning another program, photoshop. Learning Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop is very time consuming, they are both very detailed programs that must be used to their full potential in order to deliver nicely edited photos. 

Think about this from a photographers standpoint. You just spent an evening shooting a gorgeous couple in the middle of the mountains. Not only is the scenery AMAZING, but your couple is so outgoing that you are capturing the BEST candid photos. We all love candid photos, right? You're over the moon looking at the previews on the camera, you can barely wait to put these babies on the computer to edit them! As you start editing, you feel nothing but proud of yourself. These photos are drop dead gorgeous! You can only wait to hear what your client will say about them! So you post a few "sneak peak" photos online, hoping for positive feedback. The client decides to repost some of the photos on Instagram, BUT... they add a HIDEOUS FILTER OVER YOUR PHOTOS and they tag you as the photographer. Now all 3,000 of his/her followers think that this is your work. But it's not. You didn't edit that, it's a misrepresentation of your work. You're disappointed but don't want to be the "mean guy" and say something. 

This happens. A LOT. Our work gets thrown around and placed on the internet in forms that it wasn't delivered. From filters over top of the images to blurry photos because they weren't downloaded but instead, taken by a screen shot.

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I thought this topic was important to talk about, most photographers face this issue. But none of us want to confront it. We never want to be the "mean" person, we want our clients as happy with the photos as we our! We take pride in our work and love when it is shown online properly. This article isn't to shame our clients, but to inform them. Some people may not realize what is actually happening when they add filters over our work, that is why I wrote this post. For those to understand. It is common for contracts to also state about filters/editing, although I don't believe everyone actually reads the contract. It's a lot like when you have to agree to something and you only look for that check mark box and the word "agree/submit". Read your contract! I hope this blog justifies where us photographers are coming from! You should always hire a photographer based on their style and not price (but that's another blog post). If you aren't happy with the editing style from the photographer, don't hesitate to message them! We actually want to know if you are unhappy with your photos rather than reading a nasty Facebook review! But also, know that when you hire a photographer, you should already have an idea of their style. Look at their work before you hire them! This is the first step to avoid any conflicts/disappointment with your photos! Thank you all for reading now back to editing I go! 

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