We are asked over and over. Do we use Photoshop? Of course, we do. You want things to look their best. But there is so much more that we do. Before we do anything, we’re backing everything up both on and offsite.
How we edit wedding photographs
Let’s start with how we don’t edit wedding photographs. Most photographers use Lightroom and just apply presets. Presets are often like applying the same Instagram filter to everything. We don’t do this.
Sometimes wedding photographers send a selection of your photographs to be edited by a third party, often in Thailand or the Philippines. We are proud of the quality of our work, we never offload it to third party editors.
We don’t use Lightroom and never use presets.
After we have backed everything up, we use Capture One to edit the RAW files
We use Capture One, the same software top end fashion photographer’s use. Every image is hand edited.
This is a more consistent and creative way of editing than using presets.
Yes, it’s more work, but the results speak for themselves.
Even though most wedding photographers skip most of these steps, this is how we edit every delivered image…
- Straighten and crop, so the horizon is straight
- Square things up if needed, so vertical lines are vertical, horizontal lines are horizontal
- Crop the image artistically
- Create and apply colour profiles
- Refine exposure and levels, colour balance, colour casts. I.e., the overall look and feel.
- Tweak to ensure skin, the wedding dress, and dark suits keep detail
- Make sure the images work as a set
Then we edit your wedding photographs in Photoshop
A light re-touch is what we want, not radically changing things. We do not remove permanent marks like tattoos. We are not about changing reality, just perfecting what’s there.
This is what we do in Photoshop…
- Remove spots, breakouts, stray hairs, temporary blemishes from skin
- Remove unavoidable distractions from backgrounds (bins, fire extinguishers, marks on floors, etc.)
- Opening eyes
- Subtle skin smoothing and airbrushing
- Fix any wardrobe issues, marks on suits, etc.
- Fine tune anything we have squared up or straightened.
- Very subtle colour matching
Things which are nearly impossible to remove / fix in photoshop
- Strap lines
- Burnt or peeling skin
- Unwanted guests or other people
- Bad expressions or posture
The takeout here is…
Take care to not get sunburnt and make sure everyone looks happy.
Now the image has gone through the finishing process, we sort any minor colour matching corrections that are needed in the set, followed by several technical edits.
All photographs are then meticulously quality checked by both of us. Elizabeth has a very good feminine eye.
Lots of time and effort
All this detailed work takes a lot of hands-on computer time dealing with files, backing up and editing. Some photographs need hours of editing time each, others just need over 10 minutes.
Either way, a whole wedding takes many weeks of full-time work to back up and perfectly edit.