Josh Fisher | Retouching for the High School Senior


It’s busy season and for many photographers, this means late nights spent in front of the computer culling and editing fall sessions.  A few of you might love this part of the job, but many of us would prefer to be shooting or spending time on marketing and other aspects of our businesses.  This was the case for senior photographer and Senior Portrait Secrets founder, Josh Fisher.  Josh found himself spending 3-4 hours on each session and set out to create a workflow that would get each session finished in just 30 minutes.  Creating an efficient workflow has allowed Josh to expand his business.  When this call was recorded in August, Josh had already photographed more seniors than the entire previous year and anticipated that by the end of the year, he would shoot 250 seniors!

There’s no magic button or set of actions that will do the work for you but in this call, Josh shares some simple steps that you can take while you’re shooting that will save you time in post processing.

According to Josh, creating an efficient workflow starts in camera and beyond the camera.   Exposure and color.

Color in Camera

Chances are you’ve spent time trying to make an image that looks washed out pop or trying to tone down an image that’s too colorful.  Paying attention to color harmony and planning the color scheme of an image before you press the shutter will help you create images that are visually appealing and easy to edit.

Shoot in Manual

If you’re using aperture or shutter priority you’re likely creating images that have inconsistent exposures.  The reason for this is that in priority modes, even if your light is the same, your camera might meter for a wall in one image, the sky in another and perhaps your subject’s skin in another.  These inconsistencies can be fixed by bringing them into Lightroom and editing them one by one.  However, shooting in manual will help you get it right in camera so that when you bring your images into Lightroom, you can color correct and make other basic adjustments and then sync those to every other image shot in the same light.  This process will get you out of Lightroom in ten minutes or less.

Be Precise

Slow down and stop taking so many pictures!  A few years ago Josh showed up to 200 images to each client.  Now he shows 16 unique images.  As a result, sales are up, not down. More is not always better!

If you’d like to learn more about Josh’s editing workflow and retouching techniques, tune in to the podcast (there are some great senior rep program tips at the end!) and check out his new online course, “Retouching for the High School Senior“.

Josh Fisher is an international award-winning senior portrait photographer based in Oklahoma City, OK. Josh specializes in custom high school senior portraits for affluent families around the country. He provides nationwide coverage, with the average Josh Fisher client traveling over one hundred miles to be photographed by Josh. In addition, he also provides professional services in destination locations, with a large client base in New England, frequently traveling to the area to create portraits.

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Sarah Responsible for weekly blog posts; pro photog; thrives on organized chaos; loves beer, Booty Barre, and nights in with friends.