I wanted to chat in-depth about the process after photographing a wedding and all the work that is involved. In the past when I’ve told people I’m a wedding photographer they would naturally assume that once I’ve photographed the wedding that it is job done. If only that was the case, there is so much work that often goes unseen and today I’m going to provide an insight.
The first and most important job is the backing up stage. As I shoot with cameras that have 2 card slots in each camera I already have 2 backups by the end of the wedding but for me, this isn’t enough.
When I get home from a wedding, no matter the time I back up all the weddings photos to an external hard drive. I always feel it necessary to have 3 backups before I go to bed.
On the next working day after a wedding, I will back up (again) to my working hard drive where I can then move on to the next stage.
Every photographer will do things slightly differently but the next thing I do is begin the ‘culling’ process. For those not familiar with the term of culling in wedding photography, it is the process of going through every photograph taken on the day and removing the following; test shots, eyes closed and duplicates to create a strong portfolio of photos that tell the story of your day.
I usually do two culls, I will do a loose cull whereby I may include similar photos and when I begin the editing process I will select the best.
One thing my clients love is getting preview photos. I aim to deliver a couple of previews within 3 working days of the wedding, with more previews to follow the next week. I know receiving preview photos is really exciting and it makes the wait for the final collection of images a little easier.
Also known as ‘wediting’ (I love this term). This is the most time-consuming part as every image gets individually edited. Firstly I apply my basic preset (this is the easy bit) and then I do the following to each image; colour correction, crop/straighten and occasionally removing distractions. This may not sound a lot but when you’re doing this to hundreds of images it sure takes some time.
When some people think of the editing process they assume that we as photographers are going to change the way you look in photoshop, for example making slimmer, making the nose smaller/eyes bigger, this is one thing that I never do. I believe you are beautiful without the need for manipulation in photoshop and I would never do this to my clients.
I like to take a break after I’ve finished the edit simply because when you’ve looked at anything for too long it is hard to spot errors. So I give my eyes a break from editing for a day or so, I then come back and easily check and see any further changes that need to be made.
This is one of my favourite parts of the process. I love to re-order the photos as it helps to tell a fluid story of the day. I will split the photos into different sections, bridal prep, groom prep, ceremony etc. This makes it easier to look through from a client and guests perspective.
EXPORT + GALLERY UPLOAD
When I am nearing the export, you are nearing your wedding photos (yay!). After the export has finished I upload them to your gallery, this can take a few hours as there is a lot of data to upload. Once the gallery is ready an exciting email will be coming your way. Have your favourite drinks and snacks at the ready and make an evening of it looking through all the memories from your special day!
You thought I’d finished all the backing up earlier? Not quite! Now that your photos are edited I like to backup the final files to the cloud and to a hard drive for safekeeping. As I am only responsible for wedding photos for one year after the wedding I suggest you back up the photos too, check out my latest post on keeping your wedding photos safe for many years to come.
Once you’ve selected your chosen images to be included in your wedding album I put together your album design. After a couple of revisions I send it off to print and you have your wedding album to look over for many happy years. If you want to know more about wedding albums and add one to your photography collection take a look at my album blog post.
THE END, ALTHOUGH IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE...
I always find it sad when it comes to the end of the process as I often grow close with the couples I get to work with. I love it when you stay in touch, so please do. Whether you want to meet up for coffee, book in a family shoot or recommend me to document one of your friends weddings it will always be great to catch up, don’t let this be the end :-)!