The journey of a millinery photograph

When we photograph hats the image goes through numerous stages of processing to get to a clean magazine style. The objective is to make the viewer go wow and to therefore help the milliner position and sell their work. The three stages we use are capture, edit, retouch. You can see the stages below.

Capture is the initial shot taken in what is called a RAW file. RAW is straight out of camera. Think of it like a negative in old film language. No editing has been applied. It can be a very honest (and raw) portrayal. RAW files are big because they contain a lot of data about the photograph. You can shoot in jpeg but there is less data contained in this file format hence why they are smaller. Less data = less editing options.

The next stage is Edit. This is where we begin to get the image where we want it and show the hat off at it’s best. We do this in Lightroom. Things we do at this stage include cropping, exposure balancing, white balancing, highlights/shadows, light skin texture improvements, any lens correction etc. We provide this as a standard service with our millinery work for no additional charge.

The final stage is Retouch. We do this in Photoshop. Here we get the skin as perfect as we can as well as using a number of subtle adjustment layers and filters. Finally, if available, we add the milliner’s logo to provide a little professional polish. I always suggest adding a hat name to the image so your buyer can quickly identify the one they like.

If our clients want this level of detail doing then we can do that for a small charge. We always recommend viewing the edited images (which could be over 200 in a typical shoot) and selecting their favourite five for us to work on.

Model – Honey Malone

Hat – May

Milliner – Donna Hartley Millinery

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