Have you ever wondered what your photographer does after you finish your shoot? To a lot of clients, it is a mystery what happens between the time the shutter stops clicking and the time they receive their shiny new photos. It is after the shoot that the hard part really begins for the photographer. If a photoshoot lasts 3 hours, your photographer could easily spend double that working on your photos afterward! So what is all this time spent on? We don’t want to remove all of the mystery, so here are a few of the main things.
Backing up the files – straight away!
Any photographer that has the first idea about working paid shoots will know that they must back up the files as soon as they can! The worst thing that can happen is the files get lost or damaged – memory cards are tiny, and if your photographer has a long journey back home, there are plenty of opportunities for them to disappear or get damaged. Telling a client that the shoot was a waste is a horrible conversation to have. That is why as soon as we have finished a shoot we transfer all your files to our iPad. That means we instantly have two copies should something unfortunate happen!
This isn’t the only time a backup will be done – In our workflow, we will make two more copies of your photos when we get back to the studio. One copy on the PC we will do the editing on, and another on a backup hard drive. We store this hard drive in a different location – it is an unlikely scenario, but fire or theft can quickly strip you of all the hard work from the shoot! The third and final backup is done after all of the editings. There is probably nothing more heartbreaking for your photographer than finishing a full edit to find that the files get corrupted, and they have to redo the whole edit from a backup copy of the original files. Selecting and rejecting There could be thousands of photos if you have been for a full day of shooting, especially at a wedding. But a LOT of these are duplicate or unusable files – unfortunately, people blink a lot, people look the wrong way as you take a picture, and as a photographer, you may retake a shot as your camera didn’t have focus or you didn’t quite frame it right.
There is a multitude of reasons why a photographer will take the same shot multiple times until it is just right. The first pass through the files is to get rid of these rejects – there is no point in editing 3 copies of the exact same photo if one of them has the subject blinking, one is blurry and the third one is perfect! There is definitely only one winner there. The second pass through the files is to highlight the best shots. This isn’t to cut down the numbers further – if there are 50 good shots and we have promised you 30+, we aren’t going to just pick out 30 and delete the rest! The idea of highlighting the best ones is so we will edit those first, for two reasons. Firstly, we want to give you a sneak peek of one or two shots to satisfy your curiosity until we have edited the full shoot. Secondly, if we perfect the editing on the best shot, we can use that as a baseline for editing the whole shoot, so that all the colors, lighting etc are consistent. Nothing looks worse than two photos from the same shoot that have not been processed consistently. Keeping it clean During a shoot there may be rain, mud, dust, food, etc.
There is a strange phenomenon of nature where these MUST all get on the camera and lenses, otherwise, the photoshoot cannot end. After every shoot your photographer has to take care of the equipment – smudges on the lens or dust on the camera sensor that is allowed to build up over time can ruin a shot. Let the editing begin This is the part where the most work is done. It takes a matter of seconds to click the camera shutter, but a very long time to edit that shot. Editing can take anywhere from a minute for a photo of a person with perfect skin, with perfect studio lighting and a backdrop, up to an hour for a large group shot in difficult lighting in a public place. After many hours are spent over many days, your shoot is edited! At this point, your photographer will go about delivering you the finished article. The way we do that is via an online gallery – you can download all the images at full quality, without having to wait for a USB stick to be delivered!
Your gallery can be password protected or open for sharing with friends, however, you like. Everything else There is a lot of other work behind the scenes, and these were just the key points, but we hope you now have a slightly better idea about what your photographer does behind closed doors. A truly passionate photographer spends a whopping amount of time on the editing process. So whilst you eagerly wait for the email telling you that your photos are ready, please take just a moment and appreciate how much time your photographer is investing sat in front of a PC monitor to make sure the photos you receive are as amazing as they can be. They really hope you will enjoy them 🙂