Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Culling Images :: How to Identify THE BEST Images from Your Shoot

This one...or this one? Struggling to decide which photo to use / show / submit / publish / print?

When you're culling (choosing) images from the bunch, it's usually pretty easy to get it down to the final "top picks." But when you've got to narrow it down more...that's when things get sticky, especially if you have two pictures that are pretty similar but each has it's own special little somethin' somethin'. Sometimes the differences are so subtle, only you can see the difference and no matter how many time you ask your husband...he's just not going to be able to help you decide. 

Running these tests always helps me out....
Test A) Imagine it was your face/body. Would you be happy with how it looked? What would you want changed/wished looked different? What little flaws would catch your eye? Be SUPER critical. Even the tiniest flaw, that you don't even notice at first will be huge to your client.

Test B) Imagine your photo in a fashion magazine. Use photoshop to write your favourite clothing designer's name on the image. Does it look out of place in that situation or does it look awesome? I love this trick and it has the power to instantly make tough decisions for me. 

Test C) Close your computer and walk away... the longer you're away the better. Which images stick in your mind. The images you remember are the ones that are impactful and....memorable! Sometimes when I'm driving, walking around or at the gym I'll close my eyes (highly dangerous timing lol — I don't actually close my eyes... it's just a good expression to paint you a picture) and try and remember as many pictures as possible from a shoot. Even after hours of editing, I'll usually only be able to visualize 3 or 4 pictures. 

Test D) Imagine... You have to present this image at a gallery with your name signed underneath it and the world's best photographers, top art critics, and BIG potential clients are there. Which images are you proud to show & defend? Which images would you dive in front of, rip of the wall and toss out onto the street to be run over by a NYC taxi...before it was seen by those high-powered eyes? And which image would be kinda embarrassing because it's kinda mediocre and this gallery event is supposed to be the best of the best...and hence your work looks out of place? Anyway, long fancy story but you get my point. Pick the photos that are worthy of representing you and your brand to the world.

What are YOUR tricks for identifying your best images? I'd love to hear them! 
Leave your comment below!