I took last week off from my Post-Wedding Turnaround series as I was out of town in Boston visiting family. If I can, I take the week off from blogging when I’m out of town. Two weeks ago I talked about my culling process; today I am going to discuss my editing process. If you missed any of the other previous posts, you should go back and start from the beginning.
Last week, I talked about how I do an initial cull for the blog and then a final cull for the entire wedding to be delivered to my couples. When I cull for the blog, I edit those pictures initially and 5 star them. They remain with 5 stars for the rest of the editing process. I do this mainly because I don’t want/need to go back and remove the 5 stars.
When I am ready to edit the rest of the wedding, I edit the different categories of the wedding one at a time. Below are the different category/folders I group the pictures into:
- pre-ceremony details: these include all of the detail shots I take of the shoes, flowers, dress, etc.
- getting ready: while I take the detail shots, Ben captures the getting ready pictures. These are all getting ready moments that happen before the ceremony.
- [first look] and couple portraits: if the couple does a First Look, these pictures are included in this folder.
- wedding party: all wedding party pictures are included in here- guys and girls, group shots, etc.
- ceremony: this includes all of the wedding ceremony details and the ceremony.
- family portraits: all family portraits done before and after the wedding are in this folder.
- reception details: I give this a different folder than “reception” because there are so many that can fit into this folder. Plus, when I send the album to the vendors who worked at the wedding, it’s easier for them to navigate and find the pictures related to their business.
- reception: all reception moments are in this folder.You can see based on the order of these folders from left to right, top to bottom what order I edited this wedding in.
I start by editing my least favorite pictures to my favorite pictures to edit. I used to edit from beginning to the end of the wedding and by the time I got to the reception pictures, I got so bored and hated editing them. I now have my favorite ones at the end that I don’t dread making it to the end of my editing process! I start with the family portraits, because we all know as wedding photographers, these are the most boring to take and edit. (Or maybe you love family portraits!!) I then move to the largest set of pictures: the reception. Once I get these two sets of pictures done, I go to the ceremony. From there, I mix it up with what I have left, but I always leave the couple portraits for last. I love editing First Looks and couple portraits.
While editing, I 4 star each of the pictures from each group. While they are in time order and in order, I like to have them starred. Times when they aren’t completely in order are when I’m taking detail shots, Ben is shooting getting ready pictures and because our cameras are synced, these pictures are often mixed up in Lr; or for family pictures before and after the ceremony. I know this part of 4 starring the pictures may or not need to be done, but I like the starring system I create for myself. It works for me! If you don’t have camera’s time synced then this also is helpful, but I recommend syncing cameras or doing it post in Lr if you don’t do this already.
One of the great things about editing for the blog is that I already have 200 or so pictures edited. I will select one of the 5 starred blog pictures and select the ones around it and batch edit! The initial blog edits help me so much when I finish editing later. Pictures like wedding party, detail shots, and couple portraits take me almost no time to edit because I’ve already done so many for the blog, and when the lighting is consistent, all I have to do is batch and they’re done!
You can see below that I have 4 starred all of the family pictures from my most recent wedding. Most of the family pictures were done before the ceremony with the more extended family pictures done after. I 4 starred these and exported all of these into a “family formals” folder for the wedding.
Once I have exported this folder, I then upload them to PASS. I use PASS for my online gallery delivery for my clients. I upload these to PASS right away so that when I’m done with the entire wedding album, I don’t have to spend hours uploading 800+ pictures. I then delete that section of pictures from Lr and start with the next set. Because these were deleted, I now have another set of 4 starred pictures to edit. I repeat this process throughout the entire set of pictures that I edit.
If you have been a photographer for any time, you know that batch editing and Lr presets are amazing. I won’t go into detail about this part of my process- that’s not really the point of this post since so many of us have different editing styles; but will say that because I do more clean edits, I have created my own presets that I use and adjust based on lighting situations if I need to. I always batch edit when possible. It’s harder with reception pictures as the light shifts often with people dancing, but I’ll do a lot of batch editing when I find a section of pictures in the same light!
I hope this lesson today helps you and can help speed up your editing process after a wedding! Be on the lookout next week for my final post in this series of Creating and Post-Wedding Process! Thanks for following along!