tonia johnston photography | my dirty little secret

my dirty little secret

February 09, 2014

I have held this in for so long. I'm not sure why. The world won't fall apart. The mountains will not crumble into the sea. But honestly, it's made me feel dirty. I've only uttered the words to a few people but sitting here right now, I can no longer hold it in. I have to say it...

I strongly dislike to edit. There it is!

I am a photographer. I love to shoot. I love to visualize the shot. I love to shoot the heck out of one thing, one pose and could do it all day long. I love rush I get when I push the shutter and I know I've got what was in my head. And I'm usually more than happy to edit it. It's when I edit it, come back to it, change it, come back to it, change it, come back to it, tweak it that drives me crazy! I feel like it's sucking the life and fun out of me and the business.

I'd love to be one of those who can edit an image in two minutes. But that's not me. It's not me in anything I do. I take my time with things. I'm like a mother hen, I've got to love and nurture the images until I feel they are truly ready to leave the nest. And if in the end, I don't feel like it's ready and no amount of tweaking is making me happy, I'll start over.  Ahhh!

I'm not talking about trying to take a bad shot and make it a good one. I'm talking about taking a good or great shot and making it...perfect. And we all know how easily perfection is obtained, right?

So why am I saying this? Well, obviously I'm editing that one shot that is driving me crazy. And I am hearing a voice in my head saying, "if you don't like it, change it." Not the image I'm editing, no. There's already been enough changing done to that. I'm talking about going about this editing business in a different way. Efficiency needs to be the name of this game. That, and I've always been afraid to say it. I truly felt like somehow if I didn't enjoy the editing process I was less of a photographer. I thought my clients might not approve. Totally shaking those feelings off. Already feeling quite liberated about this.

I realize that a lot of people think photographers push the shutter and that's that. But for some of us, (don't think I'm the only one) we spend a heck of a lot more time editing that we do the actual shooting. And I'm just sitting here thinking..I want some of that time back.

I believe 2014 is going to finally be the year of outsourcing for me. I couldn't justify it last year but I'm not sure I can take it this year. Last year I researched, asked questions and figured I'd save the info for "just in case."'s time to whip that info out. I realize that there will still be images I will have to tweak and I realize that there will be sessions that I am going to WANT to do but something has to give here and it can't be my sanity and it can no longer be my family.

So, people can mock me if they want to. I'm sure there will be naysayers. But one cannot simply continue to do what he or she does not enjoy. Translation - life is short. Enjoy what you do and remove what you don't enjoy when possible.