You’ve enjoyed your amazing day with friends and family, and now you’re ready to relive it through your photo gallery. We know you’re excited, and so are we. There are just a few things that need to happen first. Rest assured that we are working tirelessly to get your gallery to you as quickly as possible without compromising any of the post-processing. Our contract allows us up to 12 weeks to return the gallery to you so that we can do just that (especially during our busy season). We’ll get it back sooner if we can.
So what is happening with your photos while you wait?
Let’s pull back the curtain and take a look into the JMGant Photography post-processing methods, which have taken years to prefect:
Step 1 – Culling
We shoot thousands of photos at most weddings. With each candid moment, we want to capture the exact frame that tells your story. And with each posed portrait, we want to capture the best expressions. This means we often shoot rapidly, sometimes at 10 frames per second or more, to get the best frame from the whole moment or portrait. This leaves us with several hundred photos (sometimes even more) of the same moment. Our first post-processing step, then, is to narrow down the gallery or “cull” the photos and select the photos that will be editing. We will typically cull 5,000-8,000 photos down to around 750 -800 photos.
Step 2 – Presets
After the photos have been culled, we pull them into Adobe Lightroom and apply our custom import preset. Just applying the preset and then what’s called a “1:1 preview” to the photos can take quite a while. This preset adjusts the highlights, shadows, blacks, whites, HSL, contrast, tone curve, sharpening, noise reduction, etc. universally across all photos. This gets the photos to the starting line that matches are signature style
Step 3 – Color Correction
After the preset has been applied, we go through each photo, one by one, making color-corrections. Each lighting situation requires different adjustments. Are the photos backlit, front lit, are there multiple light sources? Is the lights tungsten, florescent, natural or a combination? Each one of these lighting situations requires a custom adjustment. Not only do we have to make adjustments to the shadows and highlights, but also to the white balance and color. This is usually the most time-consuming step in the process, as it can take even a skilled editor up to several minutes per photo.
Step 4 – Local Corrections
While making color corrections, we will also flag certain photos that need local, more targeted adjustments. Local corrections are those that apply to only a certain area of a given photo, not the whole photo itself. For example, if we want to brighten someone’s eyes but not the entire photo, or we want to darken the background of a dance scene but not darken the subjects, or we want to clone out and remove a distracting foreground element, these are local corrections. Typically, about 20% of the photos will receive a local adjustment.
Step 5 – Black and White Duplicates
The next step is to create duplicate copies of about 50% of the photos to become black and white variations. We then apply our custom black and white preset to these photos and repeat steps 2 and 3 again.
Step 6 – Review, Revise, Highlight
At this point, we have been reviewing all the photos several times over several days. As we’ve gone along, we have watched to ensure we didn’t overlook any issue, such as adverse lighting that could be corrected. We then review 100% of the photos one last time and make any needed revisions. During the final review, we mark certain photos we believe best represent the gallery as a whole for use in the highlights gallery, blog, and social media.
Step 7 – Export Preparation
Next, we adjust all the metadata and copyright information on the back end of the files. None of this can be seen on the photos themselves, but when the photos get to a professional printing lab, or make their way onto the internet, this process ensures that Google and the print lab understand the legalities of the photo ownership.
Step 8 – Export
Your photos are initially shot in RAW photo format. RAW files cannot be printed, nor can they be viewed through most software, but they are superior for editing. RAW files capture the maximum amount of data on the sensor and allow us to do more to the photos when editing. But, when it comes time to deliver the files to you, you need to be able to view them on standard software. Thus, we have to convert them all to JPEG format and export them that way. This export process typically takes several hours.
Step 9 – Upload and Organize
We deliver all your photos in an online gallery so that you can easily access them from anywhere. Uploading these high-resolution JPEG files onto the internet takes several hours. After they’ve all been uploaded, we also organize them based on chronology and event, (e.g., “getting ready”, “ceremony”, “reception”) etc.
Step 10 – Delivery
Yay! The photos are edited and ready to be delivered! Once we’ve completed all the steps above, we send you an email granting you access to your gallery and instructions on how to use it! Enjoy!