Editing style? What is that?

Editing style is how a photographer edits their photos to have a certain 'look' to them. Some examples of editing styles are: moody, retro/film style, black and white, bright and airy, high contrast, high saturation, or clean and natural. I'm not going to go over every editing style, just the ones I like to use.

Clients want to make sure the photographer they pick out for their family photos, engagement photos, and wedding photos has an aesthetic that matches what they're looking for. I usually edit my photos with a clean and natural style. I also like to edit them in a moody style if the backdrop and outfit calls for it. The above photo has a more 'moody' feel to it because it was an overcast day and the coloring of the background feels darker. I edit my photos in Adobe Lightroom Classic or Adobe Photoshop. I like to keep my edits similar to how the photo feels when I snap the picture. For example, if the photo is taken during the sunset, I'll bump up the warmth in the photo. The following 2 photos show how I edited photos to show more warmth on the left and a cooler edit on the right. The photos were taken on the same day during the same photo session.

When I edit photos, I keep the coloring very similar to what it looked like when I snapped the photo. It wouldn't look natural to bump up the photo on the right in warmth because the snow is white and that would give the snow a yellow/orange tint. If the client is expecting coloring to be like the left, the photo shoot would have to be during golden hour.

What's the difference between 'light' and 'heavy' editing?

I 'lightly' edit all of the photos from our photo shoot. This means that I go through and crop, straighten, and fix the coloring of all the photos. The above photo on the left shows how I 'lightly' edit my photos. The photo on the right shows 'heavy' editing. I have my client pick their favorite 20 photos from the photo shoot that they get to keep and download from the photo shoot. I do 'heavy' editing on those 20 photos. In the above case, the photo needed the snow to be editing so there were no footprints. This heavy editing can be very time consuming and tedious. I also zoom in and whiten teeth and smooth skin. These edits are not very obvious but do take a lot of time. I also will lighten up just the subjects in the photo or make the sky more blue. I don't do any drastic changes, such as a full sky replacement.