When do I receive my wedding pictures?

The wedding is over, the honeymoon is done. What next?

Well most of the year I, like most photographers, am playing catch-up. You see during peak season I’m generally shooting weddings (and other photography jobs) faster than I can edit them. A LOT of work goes into getting images ready for the client. I’m not one of those photographers who gives ‘proofs’, I’m one of those who edit’s their images and get’s them ready to present – finished. I want to do the best job possible and I don’t want to do a half rate rush jobs either.

So what do I have to do? Haven’t I done all the hard work already at the wedding? It’s just pressing a button no? Well, not quite. Photography is a creative process and it’s one that begins from the moment I decide to create a photograph and finishes when the image is in print.

When I decide to make an image I’m not only looking at the many factors like location, light, posing, interaction, focus, depth of field, shutter speed, ISO, aperture, cropping etc. I’m also thinking about what the image is going to look like at the end. Will it be colour or black & white? Will I shade some areas or lighten others? What will the ‘colour balance’ be? Will I need to leave options for cropping landscape, portrait or square? What other processing shall I do? I’m imaging the end product in my head. All of this BEFORE I press the shutter. All of these decisions in a matter of seconds (or less!). This means I have a lot more work to do once that shutter is pressed and the wedding is over.

I’ll give you a little understanding of my work flow after the wedding:

  • Copy and backup the wedding (usually into four places, one off site).
  • Review the images and pick the good images and this forms my initial selection.
  • Import the images for processing and editing.
  • Work on my editing for this particular wedding. I don’t apply standard ‘looks’ to my images. I find something that matches A) what was in my head when I took the photograph and B) what suits the wedding.
  • Once I have my ‘looks’ for the wedding I start applying it to images then tweaking exposure/contrast, shading/lightening, adjusting colour, applying toning etc. All on EACH image.
  • I output the images and check them once more.
  • Images are then ready to show the client.

So how long does this take? Well, I have a rule of thumb. For every hour I spend at a wedding I will be spending ANOTHER hour and a half doing the rest of the work. So an 8 hour wedding will take me around 12 hours to finish up. What is really important to understand is that this is something I can’t doing in little dribs an drabs. I needs to be one or two big blocks of time without interruption. That is a hard thing to do.

This is why it can take a big of time! I usually say 4-6 weeks after the wedding.

I hope this article helped. Continue reading more FAQ’s here

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