Workflow and PP post event/wedding

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by swoop_ds, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. swoop_ds

    swoop_ds TPF Noob!

    Mar 8, 2010
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    Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
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    Photos OK to edit

    I've done one wedding last year and I have two so far booked for this season. At the end of the wedding I give the couple a DVD with all the non-crap pictures and they can do with it what they'd like. If they do want me to do prints, I can do that but it is not expected.

    My question is: what is the workflow and PP that some of you more experienced guys do post event?

    For a comparaison, here is what I do, critism/comments appreciated:

    1. Make a backup of all photos immediately and put in fire safe

    2. Go through and pull out all the crappy pictures (someone got in the way, etc) as well as sort the pictures into:
    a. Getting Ready
    b. Ceremony
    c. Family Formals
    d. Bridal Party Formals
    e. Couple Formals
    f. Reception

    3. Pick out 100ish of my favorites and put them in a favorites folder

    4. Convert all images to BW and Sepia (batch convert in Photoshop)

    5. Colour correct/crop/etc the 100ish favorites, and then convert to BW and Sepia.

    6. Pick 10 or so to do "tasteful" editting to, and then edit them and put into a folder called "Handpicked" or something like that
    -these edits would be soft/whimsical/diffuse looking, BW with colour in some spots(clients seem to love this), etc

    7. Once all photos are organized, I put onto a DVD and make a copy for myself.

    I guess I'm just wondering if I'm doing enough PP by picking the 100 favorites and then the 10-20 "special" ones. Should I colour correct/crop all of them? Or just the 100 favorites and any photo that is considered a keeper but also needs colour correction/cropping?

    The couple ends up getting 500ish (plus BW,Sepia) photos this way, is that too many or too few?

  2. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

    Aug 1, 2006
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    Boulder, CO, USA
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    This has been talked about several times on the site, so I recommend searching. However, since I have never posted in them and I've done one wedding, I thought I'd share what I did:

    (1) Import all photos into Lightroom.

    (2) Do a "First Pass" through them and X out the really bad ones. I may do some basic lighting/color correction at this point to see if some may be savable.

    (3) Do a "Second Pass" through and do more careful lighting and color correction, along with basic tilting and cropping if necessary. At this point I also rated them from 1-5 stars, still weeding some out, esp. if there are multiples of the same shot.

    (4) Do a "Third Pass" through, color-coding based on the part of the event (as you listed under your step 2) and checking the stuff I corrected in #3.

    (5) Export as JPGs, watermark, and provide to the couple as proofs. My 5-star ones I put on the proof site as "Photographer's 5-Star Favorites."

    (6) Wait to hear back on what people want to order and what processing they may want.

    (7) When I'm preparing final photos, which I just did for the mother of one of the bridesmaids last week, I export as a 16-bit TIFF from Lightroom and open in Photoshop. That's where I do the fine lighting, curves, and color correction, any extra processing they want (like B&W or other stuff), any major fixes like specular reflections and cloning out the random elbow or fire alarm on the wall, and applying the color profile for my print lab. Save as PSD, flatten, convert to 8-bit, re-size for the printing and do any cropping needed for the print size, and save as a 300 ppi JPG.

    (7a) I've so far only done this for one person 'cause she was a good friend in college, but at this point I shrunk the images to 4x6 (or so) and put them on a website as a "Final Proof" in case there was something I missed.

    (8) Send to the lab, collect, mail out, and done.

    Oh, and somewhere in there, collect the cash.

    For back-up, I have all the photos on an external drive that I back up regularly, and after the B&G FINALLY place their order (it's been 7 months ...) I'll burn them to a blu-ray disk for archiving after the 12-month mark.
  3. Hamtastic

    Hamtastic TPF Noob!

    Mar 9, 2010
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    Here's my post-wedding work flow:

    1. Put the raw files on a hard drive. Copy them to a "working" folder, so I have 2 sets on my hard drives. Make a DVD back up. Set the CF cards aside. I won't use them again until I am sure I've got multiple back ups of all the photos.

    2. Open up the working folder in Adobe Bridge. Sort by date created (deals with files from multiple cameras). Rename files with a temporary name and number.

    3. Select all the photos, and apply my standard Adobe Camera Raw processing preset to all of the photos. I have a couple of presets where I usually start: one for most photos, and one for very low light/high ISO photos.

    4. I select groups of photos that go together, and open them in Adobe Camera Raw for a closer look. Quickly go through and edit out the obvious trash.

    5. Once again I select groups of photos that go together, and open them in ACR. I go through them again much slower to sort trash and keepers (for instance the 2 photos that look the same as a thumbnail, but at full magnification I can see that in one the Bride's eye lid is a bit droopy).

    6. When I have just the keepers (from the group I just opened) I go through and process the photos individually. If several photos were shot in the same lighting I may be able to batch process, but even if I do I still go through and assess each individually. I finish the photo as much as possible in ACR. This is all color correction, contrast adjustment, local adjustments, BW conversion, cropping, etc.... Everything except tasks that require Photoshop, and my final sharpening procedure. If the photo is done (except for final sharpening) I label it so. If it needs work in Photoshop I label that. If the photo is no longer 2:3 aspect ratio I label that (such as a pano or square). Go back to step 5 and start on the next group.

    7. Go though and finish up those labeled for processing in PS. Photos processed in PS get saved as 16 bit tiffs.

    8. Go through the whole group again, and edit it down to the final keepers.

    9. Batch run my output sharpening action using Image Processor. At this point I'm also converting to sRGB (my working color space is ProPhoto RGB), 8 bit, and saving as a jpeg (highest quality).

    10. Adjust canvas size on those with a different aspect ratio so that every photo can be printed as a 2:3 aspect ratio print. The reason I do this after the sharpening is because if I do it before the sharpening can cause artifacts along the edge where the photo meets the white canvas. Yes this is opening, editing, and re-saving a jpeg. Once won't hurt.

    11. Make sure all the file info is filled out (copyright, contact info, usage permissions...). Rename and number so everything looks neat.

    12. Burn DVDs for me and the client of the finished, ready to print files. Order a set of 4"x6" prints for the client. Deliver disc and prints. Including a set of 4x6 prints along with the files eliminates many of the issues often attributed to letting the client print their own. They can see what prints from a good lab (I give them recommendations) look like, and if their monitor is all wacky or they go to a cheap lab and get weird looking prints, they know it's not my files.

    For 8 hours of coverage it takes me about 30 hours to edit (look at and sort) and process a wedding. I usually deliver between 400 and 500 finished photographs.

    About 1/3rd are BW. Very few photos are delivered with both BW and color versions, because in most cases I feel one is obviously the better choice than the other. I still tend to shoot like back in the days of film: I decide whether the photo is going to be BW or color at the time of exposure. Any toning preferences are discussed with the client before shooting.

    I give the clients several weeks to look through the photos. I tell them to get back to me with anything they need fixed, BW to color, color to BW, effects, etc.... Since I make an effort to figure out what the client wants before the wedding I rarely have to make any changes. Once I know the client is happy I delete the raw files to free up hard drive space. I only keep the finished jpeg versions.

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