Processing your workflow.
Simply put When the glamour & excitement of the wedding day is over & day one of the happily married couple start their journey. All the guests the have gone home, the Photographer will also start a journey. A different kind of journey, the editing kind. You may think A photographer will take lots of photos pops down to the chemist. Have them developed and collect them in the next 24hours. Those days a long gone & if only that where true, The photographer or editor will start a journey into the world of post processing and editing.
Post processing this in most cases but not all can take longer than the wedding venue itself & where the photographer or editor comes into their own.
As a wedding photographer you are faced with the following agenda. Several probably full up CF or SD memory cards capturing the whole day. Which of course need to be downloaded in some cases this can take 30 minutes to an hour depending on how many images are taking. In a lot of cases up to or just over 1000 images.
Download & Back up, back up, back up.
Once they have been downloaded they will be backed up at least twice on separate Computer hard drives. In case the only backed up set is damaged or deleted you want to cover yourself.
Now the images would be In most cases taken in RAW format
Raw Meaning that this is the largest file the camera will be able to capture of a single image most of you will know of Jpegs. However Jpegs differ from Raw files in the following way a jpeg image is approx.: 1-2 megabytes in size where by a raw image is approx: depending on your mega pixel camera 20 megapixels in size. So something to consider if you have a Gmail account they will only allow you to send something like 20Mb of data per post. In short one raw photo as jpegs are 1-2 Mbs so you can imagine how long it would take to send several hundred raw photographs!.
Raw files hold three times as much data/detail than a jpeg will. So if your planning on having that enlargement photo of yourself, then the raw file can be blow up to a much larger scale without any image quality loss. Unlike a jpeg it will compress the image data for you. The upsides & downsides shooting jpegs all day is fine as you can have plenty of photos captured on your memory card. Where by Raw they are much larger files will eat up more room of your memory card thus less images.
Raw to the core.
Raws are mainly used for people wanting full control over their image in order to change or process it.There are many, different techniques. From colour change, exposure and so on.
So we have backed up our images twice we have now two sets of raws safely downloaded. The next step is to upload one set to a photo editing peace of software. In many cases again this would normally be Photoshop or light room, however which one to use is your choice. I have found that Light room is the only choice for speeding up the workflow process. By a simple matter of organising the images, adding meta data which is the hidden details created within the images.
Data is about who owns the image when it was taken & camera settings etc.
In light room many alterations will be changed as described above, exposure, colour correction softness, detail the list is quite endless.
Most editors would have several if not several dozen pre-set, filters as they may have done editing before. Or being a professional editor etc. These are clickable filters that will instantly change the chosen or several chosen images to a specific look hence this speeds up the post processing time frame.
Once some hours have passed in a lot of cases if processing approx: 1000 images can take an entire day or several days. Final touches we be made and then within light room you can add a watermarked proofing copyright as well. Keeping an original set for the clients once the proofing has been viewed, by the clients.
Again all these images can & should be backed up again in case of technical issues. We would not want to spend another day re-doing them all again!!.
Photoshop most people have heard of it. It can be used for special effects & other filter effects or as a stand-alone for just simple editing. Though not the fastest ability of the workflow as the light room, howeverbut still very important.
Once the proofing has been completed in most cases the couple can view up to 500 of the images taken. The couple will choose their final photographs they require whether it be full wedding albums, frames usb, Dvds etc.
That would normally be the end of the process in my case. I would keep the images for one year of the venue date in case other images would be requested.
I hope this was a small insight into the general post processing world of wedding photography is helpful. A wedding photographers life is all about capturing the romance. The clients day as it happens. Being in charge of this process is a big responsibility. So trust in your equipment and your planning.