In the digital age, photographers are expected to be adept in photo editing too. It is a fact that purists tend to denigrate editors who add several edits to photographs. But those who use Photoshop as a tool know that the manipulation of images can create a wonderful interpretation too.
Reception photography, especially, happens once in a lifetime. Hence to capture the moments in the camera in the best possible manner is important. But one needs more than that for the full effect. Some use subtlety or highlight some tones more for conveying a moment. One can follow a workflow for post-processing to get images edited in a jiffy!
Additionally, Indian wedding photography requires a lot of effort to deliver within a day and to achieve that here are the six techniques that help to derive the best from the wedding images within a single day!
1. Import and Backup (2-3 hours)
The first step involves downloading images through a USB card reader, from the memory card of the camera. Photo Mechanic is a good option to import images although Lightroom can import photographs quickly too. Photo Mechanic is better since it can handle the import process from multiple card readers, especially since a wedding shoot takes a lot of space and cards. Take care of duplicate images with Photo Mechanic’s default feature of managing all images with a single backup.
Back the images when importing them too. Choose a secondary import location, preferably an external hard drive for the same. Keep multiple copies of data so that you can use the saved images in case, a disaster occurs.
2. Culling and Sorting (30 mins – 1 hour)
Reviewing images is a huge task. Photo Mechanic is faster than Lightroom since it doesn’t load the large RAW file and hence moves through several images quicker than ever. You can use some photo viewer software to sort and cull images since it ensures that you can scour through the images equivocally with minimal distractions.
Also if the process were done before import, it would make the catalogue nice and tidy. No one would have to waste time to edit a file that would not be on the final album.
Culling is required for quick reviewing of photographs and gets the right images to be delivered to the client without any hassle. It is tough to identify the best images but the sorting process is worth the pain because being patient and studying one’s own work is essential to create a worthy album quickly.
Choose images you want to keep so that it saves on time. Make quick decisions and refrain from stopping on multiple photographs to compare to one another. Go through all the photographs if you feel there is need for a more critical eye.
3. Editing and Retouching (3 hours)
The time to get the images edited and retouched is huge. After sorting the images, import the selected them into Lightroom for editing. Lightroom is the most powerful photograph editing tool in the workflow. One can add quick adjustments to white balance, exposure settings, brightness, contrast and the like without breaking a sweat. Create black and white copies of the original pictures when adding some candid shots in between the album. Crop, dodge/burn, use vignettes, reduce noise, sharpen the blurry but important images, and make curve adjustments as required.
The editing has to be done for each of the pictures one by one, avoiding similar photographs in the process. One can sync all the adjustments, to save on time. Use batch edit on all similar images at once with slight adjustments for each of them.
4. Exporting Process (45 minutes)
In Lightroom, the process of saving edited photographs is called exporting. This process creates a new file using the edits you made. The exporting process is as follows:
- Open Lightroom and click on Library Module.Select images you want to export to final album.Click the Export button, which will open a new dialog box that gives a list of options for saving photographs.
- Click the Export button, which will open a new dialog box that gives a list of options for saving photographs.Under Export Location, chooseUnder Export Location, choose
- Under Export Location, choose Specific folder and select the correct folder location where you want the final photographs to be saved.
- Navigate to File Naming and label the photographs as you want to name them. The format “Custom Name-Sequence – Category – Newlyweds’ Names” can be used for naming. For example, one can name the photographs as “WeddingPreparation_CasualPhotographs_JohnBiancaWeds_Pre-wedding”
- In File Settings, choose file format based on preferences. Make sure that ‘Include Video Files’ and ‘Limit File Sizes are unchecked.
- Navigate to Image Sizing section and set your size and preferred resolution.
- If photographs are to be printed, make sure ‘Resize to Fit’ box is unchecked and Resolution is set to 300 pixels per inch. If they are saved for web, resize your image by checking the Resize to Fit box and select Width & Height option through the dropdown options.Lower the resolution to 72 pixels per inch.
- If you want to sharpen images before saving them, scroll to Output Sharpening and check the box. You can choose from Screen, Matte Paper, or Glossy paper out of which type of paper you’ll be printing on.In the right drop down box,choose between Low, Standard, or High for the amount of sharpening, you prefer for your images.
- To add a watermark to the photographs, open Watermarking panel and check the relevant box. Select the watermark from the list.
- Under Post-Processing, choose what you want to do with images after they are exported.
- Click on Export button and the process is complete.The dialog box disappears and the status bar at the top left-hand corner will show the ongoing process. When done, the status bar disappears. Back up your hard work now.
5. Uploading Process (1 hour)
After the images are exported, sometimes wedding photographs need to be uploaded for the client. People are known to make albums online that can be accessed from any place. Additionally, the album needs to be arranged in a manner that it conveys the entire wedding scenario; the ceremonies that were held in different places till the last ceremony of the day or night. There should be harmony to all the photographs that were created, so that they are arranged as the client desires. If there are some imperfections, it is important to look into it before the uploading gets done.
6. Delivery (10 minutes)
Since the entire process needs to be done within a single day, it is important to get the affirmation of the order and clarity of each photograph within the wedding album from the client itself. Share a PDF of all the images in low resolution and in the right order, so that the bride/ bridegroom can approve the edits and structure for the final prints. Also, confirm the number of photographs included on the album and if there is any important photographs that might have missed the photo editor, or might have got excluded from the collection.
Discuss the deliverables and its form, so that the high-resolution pictures can be uploaded to the client’s Dropbox account within a single day. If fine prints and album are to be printed, one can commit on printing some pictures within a single day and get them delivered at a premium price.