Recently, I have been telling a lot of people about my editing process and so I thought I would write it out for others to read here. It’s not uncommon for clients to wonder what actually happens to their photos after the wedding day, and I’ve had other photographer friends ask about my workflow. So here’s my response to those two questions in a three-part series of posts… sort of melded into one (and with some photos throughout for those of you who, like me, get bored reading a long post without any images).
I always photograph weddings with a second shooter (it’s almost always Kelly). Together, we end up shooting between 2000-3000 photos (a lot!) on the day of the wedding. Here’s what all happens to those images:
It takes approximately 3-5 hours to upload all the images and back them up to a few different on-site hard drives and off-site storage locations. This is one of *the* most important things to us… something we are always tweaking in order to safeguard the photos as much as humanly possible. As photographers who have been shooting weddings for 5+ years, we understand how crucial basic elements such as back-up storage as well as back-up equipment are. Unfortunately, we learned the hard way with one of the first weddings we ever shot (for a friend, five years ago) when we *almost* (thank the Lord, only almost) lost images due to a hard drive failure. That being said, we make it a point to have each original image file in at least three locations (one off-site) before we ever delete the images off the memory card. And we’re nervous until they’re all fully copied. Are we freaks about backing-up? Yes, slightly totally.
Step Two – Cull (3-6 hours)
Once they’re all on hard drives, we look at every single photo and we then, one by one, cull that number down to between 450-700 (deleting duplicate, blurry, closed eyes, or otherwise unflattering images). Why do we take so many to begin with? A few (of many) reasons: people blink, lighting varies, there are multiple people in some shots (and it’s tricky for everyone to always look great in each photo!), we like having a selection, and lastly – to make sure that we have fully captured the important details. Culling usually takes between 3-6 hours. Kelly is our culler. =)
Step Three – Sneak Peek Photo (1-2 hours)
You can read Part 2 here – where I explain our post-processing details and Part 3 here – some thoughts on balancing art and business.