Presentation for Client Approval

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.

Presentation Options

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.

Contact sheets

Contact sheets have have the advantage of being very quick and easy for a client to physically mark the chosen images with a marker. Images are also automatically rotated to be vertical or horizontal, according to how they've been rotated in Bridge. Also, the images can be passed around for a committee vote without requiring each participant to have a computer. (Of course, these days, most anyone likely to be voting will have a computer.) Finally, you can email a JPEG of the finished contact sheet files and the client can then print as many copies as are needed to pass around the office. You can see a finished contact sheet in Figure. (See Chapter 12 to learn how to create contact sheets.)

Figure. A finished contact sheet.


Galleries are similar to the multiple-image Camera Raw view or the Slideshow mode of Bridge. That is, thumbnails of each image are shown on one side of the gallery, while a larger preview image appears on the other side whenever you click on a thumbnail. Chapter 12 discusses the particulars of how to create and prepare your images for a web gallery.

Photoshop's built-in galleries, along with a few that are available from, 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.

PDF presentations

If you're still in love with the tradition of inviting the client over for a live slide show, this is the way to do it. The advantage is that the audience gets to chime in all at once and it's easy to have the conversation bounce around among art director(s), client reps, photographers, and assistants. The big downside is that there's no way to put the image's filename on screen so it can be noted. Furthermore, there's no equivalent to taking the slide out of the projector to give to the photographer as a sign of approval. The potential versatility of PDF documentsthey can be read on most computers and over the Internetholds a lot of promise. Unfortunately, the potential is limited. You'd be better off hooking up an LCD projector to your laptop and running a web gallery from a CD as a means of running a slide show.

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