McGraw Photography Blog » Charlotte, NC | Pet & Dog Photography

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Before & After – Correcting Images

Ok, ok. I know what you are going to say….

EEEEEEEEKKKK! What is THIS picture?!?

Well, honestly, this is what came straight out of my camera – totally naked. I want to show you just what goes into the editing and post-processing of your images. I haven’t done a post like this in over a year so I figured I was due for an update.

This not-so-great image is underexposed, contains distractions, is a little too blue and grey for my taste, and lacks any kind of pop. This need serious help…

Correcting all of these things probably took me 10 minutes or so. And that is just for 1 image. And, no, not all cases are this extreme but it can certainly happen on several images within a gallery. This is why it takes time for me to perfect your final product. The edited version reflects my style and has a warm and happy feel to it. What could have easily made it into the “trash” group for being underexposed, is now one of my favorite images from the session. This is all a continuation of my art…
And a side-by-side…

I hope you enjoyed this little behind-the-scenes peek at my naked image. Ugh! Sometimes it’s hard for me to even look at. But, hey, we all can’t be perfect! :)

Dana Paul - Hello – I love your pictures and I really love how you edited this shot. Do you use any actions? I would love to see what you did to edit this photo!

admin - Thanks, Dana! I actually don’t use any actions. On almost all of my images (including this one), I correct white balance, exposure, fill, blacks, and contrast in Adobe Camera Raw (I’m old school without Lightroom). Then I bring the image into Photoshop and use Curves adjustments to add contrast. On this particular picture, I had to do many local Curves adjustments using masks. Then I just sharpen it up! I’ll try to do a step-by-step post in the future! :)

Charlotte Reeves - Great post Sarah – I think your editing style and method must be very similar to mine! Only exception is, I use Lightroom. We make all the same decisions though, I would have edited that shot almost exactly the same! Great shot, by the way!

Natasha - I personally love seeing before and after images and you don’t have anything to worry about because it’s “naked”. I believe the editing defines your style which makes you unique. I love how you post processed this image – you really brought it to life! Do you do selective sharpening like on the eyes only or general whole image sharpening? As a hobbyist photographer, I struggle with that constantly.

admin - Natasha – thank you! Yes, I do sharpen the eyes and then the entire image. I’m going to put a post together that goes into more detail so be on the lookout! :)

Conrade - Wow, This is so cool! I would love for you to do a step by step post or tutorial sometimes! That would be awesome!

Jack – Angel Session

Jack’s life began in a rough fashion. He was found on a road in Chicago and was very sickly with bugs and parasites. He couldn’t gain weight and the vet said he wouldn’t grow bigger than 40 pounds. Fortunately, after a couple of years, he bounced out of the illnesses and shot up to 85 pounds. He spent the next few years traveling with his mom and getting all the love in the world.

Unfortunately, back in March at only 8 years old, Jack developed a small tumor under his skin. It quickly grew and, despite removal, more and more began to appear and spread throughout his body. It was almost his time to say goodbye to the beautiful life he had lived.

Jack, his mom, and I spent a lovely evening together photographing Jack in his favorite spots around his yard. As Jack hung out, we got to reminisce about his puppyhood, his travels, and his current love for Vienna Sausages. I’m so glad we got to honor Jack with a very special photo shoot before he had to say his final goodbyes two days later. Rest in peace, sweet boy. You will be missed.

I love Jack’s eyes. He is so inquisitive and I love how he still showed some puppy-ness in there.
It was uncomfortable for Jack to lay down so he spent most of the session standing up. He took advantage of a quick massage to relax his muscles…
Jack also got to hang out with his kitty friend!
Oh so happy!!!
I hope Jack’s mom will treasure her images for years to come. May they bring some peace in this difficult time.

Jack’s session was booked and shot on the same day. I will do whatever I can to photograph an emergency session as soon as possible. If you are ever in this situation and time is of the essence, you and your dog will be my top priority.

Becky - Sessions like this break my heart!!!!!

Maureen - Lovely images and a beautiful tribute.

Beth - I’m so sorry for his family, but I know that these photos will help them treasure their special memories of Jack. You can see he was loved and loving!

Debi - Wonderful pictures of a beloved dog.

Charlotte Reeves - Aww, this session brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely but sad story, I bet Jack’s mum is so thankful she had him photographed, he’s gorgeous. Farewell Jack x

Stacey - oh my gosh, this post made my heart ache. So sad he passed away so young. These images are breathtaking though and a gorgeous memory!

Charlotte Today – A Quick Clip » McGraw Photography Blog - [...] black Lab named Jack. To read Jack’s story and to see his sneak peek, check out his post HERE. Thank you so much to the crew of Charlotte Today for sharing what can be done for these types of [...]

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Lucy – The Youngest 12-Year-Old

I want to start this blog post by saying that I want to be adopted by Lucy’s human family! Not just her parents, but her entire family tree. This is the third session I’ve had within their family and each and every one was a complete joy and pleasure. I seriously love these dog lovers!!! :)

Another side note…this session really got me thinking about my start in photography. I traveled up to Chapel Hill, NC for the photo shoot and one of the locations we shot at was UNC. Now, why does that matter? Well, way back in 7th grade during my first photography class, my teacher, Mr. Corbin, took some time to educate us on the NCAA basketball tournament (I know, I know, haha!). At the time of this little off-topic conversation, the tournament was already down to the Final Four. Mr. Corbin was a huge Kentucky fan and he was so stoked on their chance of winning the whole thing. To make things interesting, he asked who we were pulling for and wrote it down on the chalkboard – don’t worry, there wasn’t any gambling involved! I honestly had NO idea about the NCAA so I randomly picked UNC to win. Well, yay, they ended up winning!!!! Totally cool for me! So…ever since then, I have been a big UNC fan. Long story short, it was cool to actually be photographing on the campus of UNC – a place I’ve been a fan of for so many years only because of my first photography class.

Anyway, now onto the good stuff!

As I mentioned, I traveled up to Chapel Hill for Lucy’s session. We got to spend a gorgeous – but hot – evening photographing her at her home and at a field at UNC. This spunky girl had me fooled because she moves like a 2-year-old but is actually 12! I would have never guessed! She can run after squirrels and tennis balls like nobody’s business! Here, she is chasing a S…Q…I…

Jack Russell Photography
Durham Pet Photography
She also does a great job of looking after her 2-legged brother and sister…
Charlotte Pet Photographer
And they thank her for it! :)
Charlotte Dog Photographer
Charlotte Pet Photographer
Charlotte Dog Photography
Jack Russell Photographer
Her favorite toy in the whole world!!!
Chapel Hill Dog Photographer
Chapel Hill Pet Photographer
Durham Pet Photographer
Eeeeeekkkkk! I love her!!!
Chapel Hill Pet Photographer
UNC Pet Photographer
Lucy likes to show off her catching moves…
Charlotte Pet Photography
Durham Dog Photographer

Thanks to Lucy’s family for such a wonderful session! I hope you enjoy the sneak peek and there will be more to come (including ones with her brother and sister)! XOXO!

Mary Curry - Absolutely love all of them! You are the best at capturing their personalities. Hope to speak with you soon!

Casey - Love these!

Ruby and Leo – Family Time

During our recent trip to New York, I was lucky enough to spend some quality time with my 4-legged niece, Ruby, and 2-legged nephew, Leo. We had a nice little photo shoot and tried our best to get some images of the two of them together. However, they both seemed to have other plans! Lol! When I was photographing one, the other would be across the field. Most of what I was able to capture were the brief moments they crossed paths or when Leo would give Ruby a treat. I think we still got some cute images and I seriously love these two!

I love how Leo is so curious about Ruby. Children at this age always are so interested in what their furry brothers and sisters are doing.
Isn’t my little nephew adorable?!?
Ruby isn’t too shabby either! BTW, I loved all the “cotton” that was falling down from the Cottonwood trees…

I can’t wait to see how big Leo has gotten next time we go up to New York. Hopefully I can get even more pictures of the two of them together!

Karla - Your nephew is seriously adorable! I’d love to see a side-by-side of the one of him with his arms up in the air and the one of Linus doing the same thing. LOL

admin - Haha, Karla! That would be too funny!!!

Ali Peterson - Love that face in the 2nd image & the one with just a teeny bit of tongue hanging out the side. I’m such a sucker for funny tongue shots!

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