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Before & After - Laura Pope Photography Northern Virginia Maternity Photographer

Have you ever wondered what a photo looks like before the editing happens? I for one always love to see the before versions of photos. It's fun to see the changes that go into it and how the editing affects the overall mood of the photo. For the photo above of Steely & Shane, I bumped up the overall exposure of the photo to make it a little brighter. I increased the warmth quite a bit because I wanted to emphasize the gorgeous glow of golden hour. I lifted some of the shadows and brought in some clarity. The final result is one of my favorite photos I've taken to date.

Tova's Palo Alto maternity session was beautiful. She is truly stunning, isn't she? I bumped the exposure and adjusted the greens in the photo so they were more green/blue instead of yellow. Greens can sometimes be tricky for me. A lot of times they can look neon yellow in camera. Green grass also tends to cast color on skin. I used to avoid shooting in green places, but now I'm really seeing the beauty in in. I also warmed up Tova's skin. She has gorgeous fair skin that was photographing quite cool/blue. I wanted to only warm up her skin, so I did it selectively without warming up the green background. I also warmed up her dress. Can you see how blue it looks in the before picture?

Aakshi & Kunal's maternity session took place as the sun was setting on the beach in Santa Cruz. The sun was just about to dip below the horizon. In fact, I think there was just a tiny sliver of the sun that was still out for these last few shots. I bumped up the exposure and lifted the shadows a little. I also warmed it up just a bit since the sun was falling behind us, and the original was just a bit too cool.

Another one from Steely & Shane's engagement style Palo Alto session. The sun was really low for this photo and you'll notice that if you shoot into the sun, your images will get a little hazy. I knew that I needed to bring up the clarity and dehaze it a little. This photo was also perfect for a black and white conversion. I just don't think it has the same feel in color! I save black and white conversions for really emotional images. When I asked Shane to give her a kiss right on her temple and I snapped the picture, it captured such an authentic connection between them that was perfect for black and white.

This was from Rachael & Sebastian's engagement session in San Jose. I had miscalculated the time, and we were there way too early. Luckily, this couple was so much fun to get to know while we waited for the sun to come down. Again, I was shooting into the sun here, so it was creating a good amount of haze. The white balance was really off, and my camera was adding a lot of magenta tones to the gold grass. In post processing, I brought up some of the clarity, dehazed, and added green and orange to the grass to make it look more true to life. I also removed some stray hairs that were blowing out of the back of Sebastian's head.

This last one is from Jenny & Jon's engagement style session in Livermore. I bumped the exposure and then added a tiny bit of warmth. I also fixed Jenny's hair since I didn't notice that it was popping out while we were shooting.

I would describe my editing style as clean, vibrant & modern. My goal is to provide images that are authentic and true to the location and the colors in real life. Occasionally, I will rely on Photoshop for helping me make pretty major changes like head swaps, blemish removal, color cast issues or cloning out distracting elements. For the most part, I keep things simple and streamlined.

Can you see a big difference in the before and after versions?

If you would like a maternity session done with Laura Pope Photography in San Francisco or the Bay Area, please email me at

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