My little place to post about various photography items, and my shoots.

To content | To menu | To search

My Post Workflow

I have been asked a few times how I process my shots, so I decided to share my Post Workflow Process. From RAW image to Final Image.

I will walk you through this image of Bai Ling from StyleFashion in March of 2015. Feel free to click each image and see a bit larger version, the final is a decent size to view.


Please note: There are numerous times I do a lot more, an sometimes I do a lot less. Example: for portraits, I usually add the slightest bit of vignette.

Step 1: The RAW file. This is the RAW file from the camera (.NEF in this case of my Nikon D810) I just converted it to JPG with out any processing, so you can view it here.


Step 2: Bring the RAW file into Light Room and do some processing on the image. Color correct if I didnt get it 100% at time of shoot. A little contrast, bring out some shadows, fix exposure if my ISO was a little low (so I have less noise) de-noise a bit if there is some.


Step 3: Export from light room. Some people leave it alone right here. And that's fine, but I don't like to just use one tool, I will use many dedicated tools to really bring out a shot. This is the export from light room, and the side by side if you want to check it out.



Step 4: Photoshop, this is where I clean/retouch the image. In this example, I cleaned the floor a little bit, and I removed a single hair that was coming across Bai Ling's eye.


Step 5: I use one of my Skin Retouching packages to clean the pores, removes lines under eyes, and remove thin wrinkles. One of the biggest mistakes I see a lot of retouchers do, is trying to just blur the skin. Bluring is not the best thing to do, its actually a pretty bad thing when its done. (note, blur can be used on a small imperfection, but not across the entire face)


Step 6: I have a Digital Makeup package I use, but I only use it to add a small amount of a tweak here and there. If you try to do all the makeup in a package like this, it will look very very fake! Hence, I still hire Makeup Artists. Besides I don't want to retouch every shots makeup.

In this shot, I just added a bit of blush. Just a tiny bit!


Step 7: Skin softening, I use another package to Dynamically Soften the skin and not touch any other area of the picture. This is not a blur, and retains detail. You will see in when comparing the final image, look at the arms.


Step 8: Tonal Contrast, this is where I really make apparel pop. I only want this on the clothing, so I mask, and brush this only where needed. Do not use this on skin for fashion, as it will make them looked like an oiled up tanned body builder.


Step 9: Final image. I do not apply any sharpening to the image until final output/size. So in this step, I resized the image to the size I wanted, applied a small amount of sharpening (sometimes resize softens a bit) and exported the final image.



Mike Bradley

Author: Mike Bradley

Stay in touch with the latest news and subscribe to the RSS Feed about this category

Comments (0)

Comments are closed

no attachment

You might also like


Shot Framing

Cropping in post does not make you lazy, it makes you productive. Shooting Hi-Res images (36mp for me) allows me to better frame in post.

Continue reading


Managing your lighting controls

Just a quick glance in how I manage multiple Spedlights and Strobes from my camera. When using several lights on a shot, and you change concepts, you need to change some of the lighting, and its nice to adjust power levels or turns lights on/off right from the camera.

Continue reading