One of the biggest things we get asked at client consultations is: ‘What goes into editing your photos?’ It is a really great question because there is so much more to photography than just taking a shot with your camera. A lot more goes into your photos once we’ve shot your engagement session or your wedding. Shooting is just one part of the process.
The first thing that we always do after a session is to back up the images. We like to use both on an external hard drive and a cloud-based service. We have the cloud service back up to the East Coast because if there was a natural disaster or something that would wipe out the backup service here on the West Coast, the images would be preserved in a spot that would be far enough away that they would be safe. I am always paranoid about losing photos and images so backing up is always the first and one of the most important steps!
Once I know the image files are safely backed up, I import them into a program called Lightroom. When people think of photo editing, the first thing that they think of is Photoshop. While it is a great tool, it is clunky and doesn’t efficiently edit photos the way that Lightroom does.
Files straight from the camera come as RAW images which means that they have more information than a JPEG image and can be manipulated further than the JPEGs without image quality loss. What that means for your images is that I can tweak them without them becoming grainy.
I go through all the images and take out any test shots, duplicates, blinks and any unflattering shots. From there, I am only left with the best shots which I go through and apply any corrections or enhancements. Meaning, any shots that were a little dark I can brighten up. And shots that are crooked, I can straighten. And any shots where the colors are a little off, I can color correct.
I also adjust the images to make sure that they fit with our style and that they tell the story of our couple. This way we can ensure that the images will all fit together because they are all part of the story of the day!
When people think about photo editing, it conjures up images of heavily photoshopped glossy magazine images that look nothing like how a real person would look. We love real and capturing images that show what our couples really look like. We prefer to use posing and light to create flattering poses and images in-camera during the shoot. Unless the image really requires retouching or there is a special request, we do very minimal Photoshop edits. Mostly the types of photoshop edits we do are ones on the scenery. For example, if there is a bright red car zooming behind the couple or if there is an ugly drain on the ground we will take that image into Photoshop and edit it out. As for people, we may do minimal changes in Lightroom which are mostly to make sure that the skin tones look natural.
After all the images are adjusted and ready for our couples, I export the images as full resolution JPEGs (meaning that they are print quality and if you were to have an enlargement printed, they would still look the same without any distortion or grain) and then upload the JPEGs to a password protected online gallery. From the gallery, you can view your images one by one or in a slideshow, share with friends and family and order prints and canvas wraps. Before all the images are finished (early on in the process), we also post sneak peeks on social media 1-3 days after the shoot and then a blog post with 25-40 images 7-14 days after the shoot. We love sneak peeks and blog post previews because you get to see a glimpse of your final package without having to wait for the final package to be delivered.
Got more questions about our editing process? Contact us to learn more!