Its now mid September and as autumn sets in the wedding season slowly comes to an end. May – August are exceptionally busy months for weddings and this year it really has felt that every single available weekend ive been shooting a wedding. I wanted to touch a little bit on the end of this busy time and talk about the side of things my customers do not see. The post process of the images.
Only photographers who work full day weddings will know just how much hard work go into shooting a wedding day. They are often 8-12 hours of constant back to back action often quite chaotic whilst under a lot of pressure to hit your mark and get the shots. At the end of each wedding we retreat with a bounty of photos on our cameras knowing full well that only half the job has been done. The next phase is known as the post processing phase, every photographer will have a work flow which they will put their photos through.
A lovely photo of Paul & Sarah in Market Harborough Rose Gardens
My Post Process
The first step for me when I get home in the evening at a wedding is to make a copy straight off the memory cards, creating an instant backup, (I normally breath out at this point)
Then ill have a quick skim through the photographs and find one that is particularly good and pull it straight into photoshop, tweak it if it needs it, slap on a watermark and upload it straight to Facebook. Why? In todays world everyone have camera phones and from the second the bride walks down the isle awful phone camera photos are being taken and uploaded to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I like to think that by uploading a high quality photo that day that the couple will then be able to have a decent photograph online they can use that reflects their day.
Once thats done, ill set about creating another backup and then ill go to bed safe in the knowledge the photos are safe and sound.
The next phase is the sorting and culling phase, this is by far the most tedious phase. I will combine my two cameras photographs together and load them into lightroom where I will view them in full screen and flick through them one at a time. I will look for composition, lighting, focus and duplication of the images as well as the subjects expressions and pose. This is a form of quality control and one ive become quite adept at.
Now i will often come back from weddings with anywhere from 2000-3000 photographs and i will have to get that number down to about 800 via this process. This process alone can take 3-4 hours. Once this is done i can then set about fine tuning the remaining images, cropping, and light adjustments etc.
Once I have my final selection i will then ensure they are in the correct order, rename the batch and burn them to a DVD.
From here i will print the DVD top, the DVD cover and a few 5×7 prints to build up the DVD pack.
Once complete its packed up and posted.
I will then go back through the album, select a 30-60 photos I like, watermark them up and make a nice little Facebook album.
From start to finish this entire process probably takes as long as the wedding day itself.
Why do I do this?
I do this to ensure that my customers get the absolute best quality from their day, allowing the cream of the crop to rise whilst still providing quantity.
Lazy photographers might pick out just the nice ones and use them which will result in much less quantity. Some people just burn everything to a disc…even all the fails which results in the good being diluted by the bad.
A fun photo we setup of Paul & Sarahs Wedding – Streetfighter Hadouken Pose.
So wedding season is nearly over… what next?
The busy period is over yes, but weddings still do occur during autumn and even winter. My last wedding this year is mid November but have had them right through December in previous years. The challenges intensify as the weather, temperature and light worsen, but ill save that for a different post.
As the weddings die down i will lean more on my portrait services (newborn, children & family). My recent push has been in my Newborn portraits so im hoping to get alot more of these over the coming months.
It wont be long before the next season is upon us, my calender is looking very busy for 2014 already and all the challenges that come with it.