Understanding the Photography Post-Production Process
post production

Understanding the Photography Post-Production Process

Photography Post-production, also known as photo post-processing refers to those steps taken or processes done which are generally linked with the photo editing needed to submit the final photo to the client based on their needs and demands. 

In the photography industry, post-production means enhancing images with added effects, manipulation, retouching, and color correction, among others. A good photo editor would have a photo team with different skill sets and are highly professional to complete any project.

In this post, John Armitage of Atlanta shares what you need to know about photography post-production or photo post-processing for commercial photography:

How does Photo Post-production work?

Post-production works hand in hand with photography. In commercial photography, the photographer takes the picture, and then the editor or photographer’s assistant manipulates the photograph. The editing process takes a long time to complete, which is why a photo editor must have experience and a good eye to complete the job correctly. There are different types of post-production work for commercial photography.

At the end of the post-production, the image would be ready for its final purpose, which can be used in any web or print media or further on for any other advertising need. Some common tasks in post-production are retouching, color correction, conversion of RGB to CMYK, sharpening, compositing, and cropping, among others.

1. Photo retouching

Photo retouching is the process of manipulating a photograph to remove unwanted objects from a picture. For instance, in commercial photography, a photographer assistant would need to remove a telephone pole from the background of a photograph. In this process, the photo editor should not remove the background from the picture, leaving a blurry image. Photo retouching is a highly complex process and should be left to a professional photo editor.

2. Color correction

Color correction, also known as photo color correction, is a process of updating the colors of a photograph to make them more accurate and attractive. There are times when the light is not good, and the photo looks dull and lifeless. In this case, a photo editor would need to color correct the photograph to make it look more vibrant and alive.

3. Converting the image from RGB to CMYK

When a photograph is shot, it’s shot in RGB format, so it has red, green, and blue color channels. But when the picture is ready for print, it must be converted into CMYK because print is done using the CMYK color model and not RGB. Converting the image from RGB to CMYK is a process of changing the color channels of an image to something other than red, green, and blue.

4. Sharpening

Sharpening is a process used to make the edges of an image more crisp and clear. In a commercial photograph, it is very common to have a product or a person in a picture where they look a bit fuzzy and not sharp. Sharpening is the process of increasing the contrast on the edges of the image, which makes it more crisp and clear.

5. Compositing

Compositing is the process of combining two photographs into a single image. In commercial photography, products are shot on a plain background. In this case, the editor would have to combine the product with a background image to make it look natural. In this process, a lot of alignment is done to make the layers of the picture go together smoothly.

6. Cropping

Cropping is the process of cutting out parts of a photograph for use on a project or to fit a certain layout. For example, when the photographer needs to take a picture of a product, this process would be used to cut out the product from the background.


There are various types of photography post-production that are not discussed in this post. However, these are the most commonly used post-production services in the photography industry. A photographer assistant must know all of these to be able to do their job properly. The photography post-production job requires a lot of time and experience, so it is best to leave it to a professional photographer like John Armitage of Atlanta.

John Armitage is a professional photographer who specializes in commercial photography in Atlanta. Contact our team today to know more about our photography services!

For more information and how to book services, please reach out via email at aphoto.ja@gmail.com or via phone at 404.247.5458. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn for exceptional photo inspiration as well as photography tips and tricks.

John Armitage

John Armitage is the founder of Armitage Photography, Inc. in Norcross, Georgia. He's passionate about product photography and hosting classes teaching various elements of professional photography in Lilburn and Atlanta, GA.

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