During your session, I make sure to capture a lot more shots than I need so I have the very best photos to choose from when I go to edit your session. The photos I capture on my camera are referred to as RAW or SOOC (straight out of camera) and they are not as appealing as the final images will be. SOOC images will look somewhat flat, and dark, and won't really have that "pop" until they are enhanced with editing.
After your session, I whittle-down the selection (this is called "culling") to several dozen photos in a variety of poses. I carefully review each photo and use editing software to adjust and highlight the best assets of the photos. From minor skin retouching in Photoshop- like getting rid of a pimple or smoothing out skin, as well as larger changes like enhancing the entire picture in Adobe Lightroom to give an artistic effect or feel.
See the before and after example below
This photo is exactly what I am seeing through my lens during our session. You can see the photo appears flat, a bit dark, and it just doesn't have that wow factor or pop to it to make it stand out. *Also note the background "clutter" (fences, cars, soccer goals).
POST EDIT (below):
You can see the post edit of the photo is much brighter, and a bit more colorful. I added just a touch of blue to the sky since it was a very dreary cloudy evening during this family session. A pop of color makes it appear a bit more cheery. Note that I also removed the background clutter as well, keeping the focus on this gorgeous family.