Washington DC Wedding Photographer: Stephen Gosling Photography
The first thing I want to say is that I am under no illusion that people read my blog, let alone other photographers. I in no way think that the way I do things is the correct way and I am not writing these posts to tell people how to shoot or how to run their businesses. I am however going to be writing about my experiences; my failures, my successes, etc. If these posts help anyone, great! If not; no big deal.
I’m not sure where it was; either facebook or a comment on the blog but someone asked me to talk about my workflow. So here it is; warts and all. And just in case the disclaimer above didn’t hit home – This is just my way of doing things; it is neither right or wrong, it is just mine.
Day 1 (day of shoot – usually a Saturday)
- Shoot wedding in RAW
- Put images onto computer hard-drive in folder that is designated by date and event type. For Example;
Desktop > Photography > 2012 > Weddings > 2012/01/01 Jane Smith & John Jones > 2012/01/01 Jane Smith & John Jones – Raw
- Rename the images in the folder based on shooting time (I shoot on multiple cameras and sync the times on the cameras at the beginning of the day to make sure that the timeline of the images is correct) starting with 0001.
- Copy the images onto 2x external hard-drives. The images now exist in 4 different places; on my computers hard-drive, still on the memory cards the event was shot on and also on 2 external hard-drives. Only after the images are copied onto the external hard-drives do I put the memory cards back into my bag to be re-used.
Day 2 (morning after shoot – usually a Sunday)
- Open the folder of images in Photo Mechanic and select a favourite image (usually a portrait of the bride and groom) for a preview blog post.
- Edit selected image in Adobe Photoshop CS5.
- Blog preview blog post (schedule blog post for a weekday morning).
Day 3 (usually the Monday after the wedding)
- Open the images in Photo Mechanic. Select best images for further editing. I use a marking system. Firstly I give 5 starts to the images that I will probably end up using in the full blog post. These 5 star images are also marked purple. I then go through all the images again and mark some more client images purple to found out the final take of images that will be delivered.
- Pick a 5 star image to use as the DVD cover for my custom DVD case covers.
- Edit DVD case cover image in Photoshop.
- Send DVD template image to printing vendor. The Custom DVD case will be shipped back to me within one week.
Day 4 (within 2 weeks of wedding depending on how busy I am with other projects)
- Import selected images (images marked as purple in Photo Mechanic) for further editing in Adobe Lightroom 3.
- Select all images and apply my own pre-set to them all (my pre-set isn’t that complicated, its just a starting point for my images. For example; I don’t like Lightrooms sharpening so part of the pre-set is to remove all sharpening (I’ll add sharpening later in Photoshop)).
- I then go through and edit all the selected images in Lightroom (this can take anywhere from one whole day to a week depending on how much time I can dedicate to editing the images per day). Whilst I am editing I select which images I think will look good as black and whites and change their colour from purple to yellow. I also have my own black and white pre-set which I use to convert them to monochrome.
Day 5 (within 5 weeks of wedding)
- After finished editing the images in Lightroom I wait until the next day. I then go back into Lightroom and look through the images to see if they need any further tweaks or if they are ready to export. I like to take that time between finishing and checking the images so that my eyes are fresh.
- Once I deem the images ready to go; I export them as high-resolution jpegs into the couples folder on my computers hard-drive.
- I then apply a batch sharpening action to the images in Photoshop. If you don’t know how to do a batch action; find out!
- The images are now finished. No more editing needs to be done. It is now all about delivering the images to the client. So firstly I upload the finished images to my online ordering site.
- I then upload the finished files to my 2x backup hard-drives.
- I then burn the clients DVD.
- Now I go back through the images and open up the 5 star pictures that I previously marked . I prep the images for the full blog post and get that blog post written. I then schedule the blog post for the following weekday morning.
Day 6 (morning of blog post – within 6 weeks of wedding)
- Email couple to let them now that their images are ready and that I have blogged my favourites. Included in the email is also a link to see all the images on the online ordering site (same as pics that will be on the disc). I encourage the couple to pass this link around to their friends and family. I also get the couple to confirm their address so that the DVD gets to them asap!
- I then head out to the post office and mail the couples DVD to them.
I think that’s it. I deliver wedding images to clients within 6 weeks of the wedding. For engagement sessions it is usually 2-3 weeks as there are much less images to edit.