The Back End of Wedding Photography
So often I hear people say “Your job is so cool, you just get to take pictures all day” and “Wow, you have a nice camera”. If all someone had to do was go buy a “nice camera” and then take pictures all day, anyone could be a professional photographer right? Well, sadly that’s not the case. It’s the same as saying to a high end chef, “You must have a really nice stove” or if you said “Your speakers must be the best because they make the music sound so good.” to a DJ.
Maybe the chef does have a high end dream kitchen, the DJ is using professional equipment, and yes I do have a nice camera but if you were given these things would you know how to use them? That chef went to years of school to learn how to make the perfect chicken marsala and specialty appetizer that you can’t get anywhere else. DJ’s spend so much time learning about music, tones, how to mix it all together, and don’t forget all of the programs they use to make it all happen. And us photographers? We don’t just pick up a camera and take a photo although that may seem what we do there is so much more that goes on.
We have to learn about camera settings such as shutter speed, aperture, iso and how they all work together. We need to know artistic things such as composition, color tones, and lighting. Then we go through and process each image, which takes hours, to make each one match our artistic style. We have to know different file types and how to use all of this software. There is so much more that goes into each image than just pressing a button.
Every wedding photographer has a different process but mine looks a little something like this:
To begin, we have an initial consultation to go over the whole experience! Then over some phone calls and/or emails and questionnaires I will create a timeline for your wedding day. Once all of the pre wedding stuff is taken care of the time has come for you to be married!
Then it’s on to booking any travel accommodations if necessary. A flight, car rental, and hotel are a must when shooting destinations weddings!
Beginning in the morning while you and your fiancé are getting ready, my second shooter and I will capture your entire day as it unfolds before your eyes. Photographing each moment so it’s never forgotten regardless of how much time has past.
After each wedding I begin uploading all of the images from the day into a program called PhotoMechanic. This allows me to see the images in a lower resolution so I am able to cull through them quicker. Culling is a process of selecting all of the good images and rejecting the photos I won’t be delivering to you. Before they are culled I make sure to back up all of the images onto another hard drive just as a security incase something were to happen.
After this is done all of the selected photos will be imported into Lightroom to begin the editing process. Each image will be looked over and edited to make sure it fits my style and is cohesive with the rest of the images. This includes adjusting the colors, levels, cropping, and a bunch of other creative customizations.
Once everything is looking how I’d like, the export process begins. With hundreds of photos to go through, edit, and export it takes many hours.
After the export has been completed it’s on to creating an album and some wall art options. These images then get loaded into a different program to design some heirlooms!
Upon completing an album design and framed print options it’s time to schedule a design session to show you your wedding photos! As you complete the final customization options that are offered it’s off to make any changes and then send out the order out to a professional print lab to create those precious heirlooms!
When the order is complete I look over everything to make sure it looks perfect before either mailing it to you or scheduling a time for you to pick it up!
This process happens for every single wedding! We actually only spend about 20% – 30% of our time taking photographs while the other 70% – 80% is spent behind a computer making each image a work of art! The next time you see a photographer maybe skip the comments of how nice of a camera they have and just compliment their talent instead!