Editing Those Wedding Photos: Behind The Scenes

When the wedding day is over, the photographer returns to the office to ‘edit’ the photographs. Every photographer has a different style and technique to editing but I thought it would be interesting to illuminate  how photographers edit and why this process is so important. Obviously, I will work from my own methods and welcome suggestions from other photographers or clients who think this could be better or different. A good photogrpaher is constantly learning and trying to better his/her craft so I’m always open to suggestion or discussion.

Depending on the length of the day I can end up with well over 1000 images, I explain to clients that its usually a rate of 100 images per hour as an average which, even in a short wedding is still loads of images. I promise to deliver all the photographs but do take out any images that are either unflattering or just general mistakes. After this, I set to work tweaking every image; checking that it is sharp, cropping and adjusting the colours and tones. This makes the biggest difference, I have seen perfect wedding photographs ruined from them not being edited at all and looking rather flat (see the top image in the example). There is also, I feel, a danger of photographers over-editing (too much saturation or obvious air-brushing can really deflate a photograph). Basically, I like to keep the editing simple; also adjusting some images to black and white where I feel it can compliment an image.

The final part of my process is to create an ‘edit’ of the images; this is a selection of the best images (usually 200-400) in an additional folder for the client. I believe that this amount of images is enough (although I provide all the images anyway) but it also prevents friends and family having to sift through buckets of images!  The editing process is really important; it’s what defines photographers as professionals and one of the crucial things that you’ll pay for as a service.

Just a few tweaks to the image makes a real difference!