After delivering my most recent wedding album to the lovely couple, I thought to myself 'Wow, how did it possibly take me 8 weeks to edit and return them? The photos are great, but where did the time go?' I figured that since I was asking myself this question that you were likely asking this too! In the post I'm going to breakdown the process that I go through in order to artfully process, edit, and curate the moments you wait ever so patiently for.
Capturing the moments
During a wedding of 6+ hours, I usually capture 5-6k photos. From the teary-eyed vows to the celebratory (and tipsy, hehe) dance moves, I'm there with two cameras and a variety of lenses. The more the merrier is my motto - I'd rather have too many photos to sort through than too few!
Sorting and Selecting
Once I'm home, I immediately begin the upload and backup of your photos - This takes at least a handful of hours. Following the upload, I sit down for the initial culling. This is where I individually review each and every photo - yep, every single one of those five thousand shots. You may be asking 'If you take five thousand photos, why am I only getting a thousand of those?!' - Trust me, you wouldn't want the other four thousand. Those are duplicate shots and repeated poses, ones of eyes closed, or even a photo captured before the camera had a chance to focus.
The Art of Editing
Once I've narrowed down the winning shots, I begin editing. This is where the art of angles and composition during the day meets the artistry of color grading and light adjustments behind the screen. Each and every lighting scenario during the day requires editing tailored just to it. Think bridal suite, groom suite, ceremony, first look, reception, dances, etc.
Each one of these are vastly differently from one another, and even vary based on random clouds, sunshine, and what seems like the flutter of a butterfly's wings. Being so different, each scene requires special attention to color enhancement, lighting adjustment, and individualized cropping to achieve the most artful piece.
When I spend hours in front of the screen editing photos, some wacky questions start forming. For example:
For the love of all things mighty, is this tablecloth orange or purple?
PINK OR GREEN? GREEN OR PINK? Let's try auto white-balance, nope, that's not right either.
To increase or decrease contrast? That is a question that never has one objective answer
I call this phenomena color fatigue. The different editing variables mush together and decisions become more difficult to make due to all of the changes feeling off. When it feels off, I know I'm not doing my very best to enhance the photo.
A long walk outside in the sunshine - the key to recalibrating my color vision and relax my eyes by looking into the horizon during my walk. I've found these walks to be essential to good edits - and they take time.
'If it's not a hell yes, it's a no'
is my go to motto for curating photos. Generally, quality trumps quantity. My goal is to curate a selection of images that cohesively and elegantly tell the story of your day. Each photo has a purpose and works in tandem with the other images to reveal an authentic interpretation of each step, each stage, throughout the wedding day.
In short, I know that the wait for your wedding photos may seem extra long, but I assure you that the length of time necessary is a testament to my commitment to providing you the very best photos, the photos you will have printed out, framed, and ultimately displayed in your home for decades to come. Your children and your children's children will one day take a look at paw-paw and nana's wedding photos - I edit for them, too.
I promise you, it is worth the wait.