March 6, 2011, 10:51 p.m.
posted by zloy
Presentation for Client Approval
Once you have your images adjusted to the point where they are at least presentable to the client, you should be aware of a couple of further considerations. First, if it's a portrait, fashion, or product shoot, consider whether you can get away without retouching before you present. Second, you will have to decide how you're going to make the presentation. You didn't think Photoshop was going to give you only one choice, did you?
Retouching for Client Approval
First, regarding retouching, there are two more problems: retouching can be destructive and, although there are ways to retouch nondestructively, they can't be done in Camera Raw. Then, of course, there's the fact that retouching can be one of the most time-consuming facets of image processing. Next, you have to realize that the glamorization of the subject is the whole point of the three disciplines of photography that I mentioned above: fashion (including glamour), portraiture, and product photography. You shouldn't present the image in less than its best form. That's a bummer, because otherwise you can simply create all the presentation formats directly from your RAW files. The compromise I make is to retouch the shot I'd most like to see chosen and then make it clear in the presentation that this is how all the images in that series would look, should one of them be chosen. So I save that shot as a Photoshop file before I put the images into the presentation and use only the Healing and Clone tools that will put their retouching strokes on a blank layer. You'll find the steps for doing this in Chapter 8.
On rare occasions, I may use other tools if it's the only way to sell the client, but even then retouching is all done on a copy of the main subject layer (usually the Background layer). Once again, Chapter 8 will outline most types of retouching that will be needed. The reason it's mentioned so late in the book is due to the extreme potential for destruction in retouching, which dictates that it be placed as far along as possible in the workflow to eliminate repeating other steps if you need to make a revision. So just remember that there's a very good chance you'll want to delete this retouching later in the process and that you'll have to do it all over again. It won't be as painful if you avoid doing any more than is necessary this early in the game.
As I said, Photoshop CS2 gives you many options for presenting a shoot to the client. Most of these methods have other uses as well. All are discussed thoroughly in Chapter 12 since many of these tools are also tools for presenting your work in its final form on electronic media or on the Web.
Photoshop's built-in galleries, along with a few that are available from www.adobe.com, are the easiest to incorporate into your workflow. However, almost all image editing and image management programs also automatically create galleries from a folder and, generally speaking, the designs are all different from one another. I know photographers who have collected half a dozen or so third-party programs that they use primarily for creating galleries.
All the automatically created galleries are editable in any HTML editor. So if you don't like the style, you can always open the gallery in Adobe Go Live or Dreamweaver and redesign it interactively.