It is the off season for us wedding photographers and I have been thinking about making a post like this for a while. Clients and people in general do not see what happens after the photos are taken. So what does happen during the time between your shoot and when you see your photos? The editing happens and that usually includes 3 main things, Sorting, Processing, and Blemish removal. When picking your photographer their post processing abilities are very important and they should have a processing style that not only fits their photos but fits your style as well. Without getting too technical I will just let you see the process.
1.) When the (thousands) of photos are imported to my computer from the camera they are first sorted. Either Valerie or I go through every photo and pick the best, I throw out duplicates and photos that are not in focus or if I feel they don't add to the story.
2.) Once all the photos are sorted I start processing them, usually it's just a combination of getting the exposure just perfect, adding contrast and tweaking the colors of the photo. I have some some tricks that I do to try and get a certain look to everything, nothing I do in processing is a "plugin" or "preset" made by someone else, it's all a custom process. Skin tones are always important to me and simplicity is very important. When it comes to my photography I feel that at the end of the day these simply need to be very good portraits of people whether they are posed or candid, my hope is that you will still love your photos 10, 20, even 30 years from now. Below are a few processing samples, you can see the photos on the left are directly out of the camera with no processing and the right is the final product.
3.) When all the photos are processed and exported then the Photoshop fun begins. I look through the final photos and look for blemishes or pretty much anything that draws my eye from the subject and try to remove it. Once and a while a client will ask for additional touch-ups to be done and that is taken care of after all the edited photos are uploaded to their online gallery and they proof through them all.
So there you have it, that covers about 90% of what happens between the shoot and when you see your gallery. In the days of digital it doesn't save time over film it is just a different way to get a very polished look, and I like digital for the fact that it allows me to experiment more in the moment and develop my style.