After a long day of shooting a wedding, the last thing you want to do as a wedding photographer is to sit in front of a computer and edit photos. However, post-processing is an essential part of the entire wedding photography workflow. Through photo editing, you can correct imperfections, enhance colors, and add your own unique style to each image. While processing images can be a daunting and time-consuming process, following a few simple workflow tips can help you process images in bulk and make the whole procedure more efficient and smooth. To help better your post-processing workflow, we’ve put together a wedding photography post-processing workflow guide so that you can finish your editing process in no time!
What Is Post-Processing?
Post-processing is the process of manipulating and enhancing digital photographs using specialized photo editing software. Common post-processing techniques include cropping, straightening, color correction, exposure adjustment, clone stamping, retouching, and adding text or graphics. While post-processing can be a time-consuming job, it’s essential for creating high-quality images. By carefully manipulating your photos in post-production, you can overcome many of the challenges that arise during the photo-taking process. For example, if you’re unhappy with the exposure of your original image, post-processing gives you the ability to fix it. Similarly, if there are unwanted objects in your photo, post-processing allows you to remove them.
A typical post-production workflow might involve importing photos into a software program like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, making adjustments to the images, exporting the edited photos, and then uploading them to a website/gallery or printing them out. In addition to giving you more control over the outcome of your images, post-production also allows you to unleash your creativity. With the right post-processing techniques, you can turn an ordinary photo into a work of art.
Lightroom For Wedding Photographers
Lightroom is a powerful photo editing software that provides everything you need to create stunning images. From basic color correction to advanced manipulation, this software has all the tools you need to make your photos look their best. Furthermore, Lightroom’s non-destructive editing means that you can make changes to your photos without damaging the original image file. This is essential for wedding photographers, as it allows you to experiment with different looks without having to worry about losing the original photo. It also offers a more seamless workflow to edit large numbers of images. With its Smart Previews feature, you can even edit photos when you’re offline!
Lightroom Workflow For Wedding Photographers
1. Save & Back Up RAW Files
The first step in a wedding photography post-processing workflow is to save and back up your RAW files. As a wedding photographer, you should always back up your image files. If something were to happen to the original files, it would be devastating for your business and reputation. There are a few different ways to back up files, such as using an external hard drive, cloud storage, or a USB drive. The next step is to segregate your images into folders according to the wedding day timeline or a client folder. This will help you quickly find the images you need when editing. Name your folders according to the type of images they contain to help you quickly identify the folder when searching for specific images.
2. Import Photos Into Lightroom
The next step is to import RAW files into Lightroom. To do this, go to the File menu and select “Import Photos and Video”. From here, you can choose where your photos are located and how you want to import them. If you have a lot of photos to import, it’s best to use the “Copy as DNG” option. This will convert your RAW files into the Lightroom-compatible DNG format and save them in a separate folder. Once you’ve selected the photos you want to import, click the “Import” button. If you’re importing photos from storage devices, you’ll be given the option to delete the files from the memory card after they’ve been imported. It’s always a good idea to do this, as it will free up space on your memory card.
Culling is the process of selecting and rating the best images from the shoot. This can be a time-consuming task, but it’s essential for creating a cohesive final product. When you rate your images, keep an eye out for duplicates, blurred images, and poor composition. Once you’ve selected the best photos, delete the rest. It’s important to be extremely selective when culling, as it will save you time in the photo editing process. After choosing only your finest shots, copy your culled images into a new folder and create a new Lightroom catalog. Sort your images in chronological order and begin editing.
Related Read: Culling Images In Lightroom: A Step-By-Step Guide
4. Batch Processing
Batch processing is a great way to save time when editing large numbers of photos. This technique allows you to apply the same edits to multiple photos at once. To batch process, select the images you want to edit and go to the “Develop Module”. From there, make all of the necessary edits to one photo. Once you’re satisfied with the results, click the “Sync” button. This will apply the same edits to all of the selected photos. By applying the same edits to multiple images at once, you can save a lot of time in the photography editing workflow.
5. Advanced Editing
After completing basic edits, move on to the next step – advanced editing. Lightroom has the option to send pictures to Photoshop for editing. All you have to do is select the desired image and click on “Edit In” and then “Edit In Photoshop”. You can remove unwanted objects, blemishes, add borders, apply textures and texts! Once completing the final edit, select Files > Save, and Lightroom will automatically sync and show all the final edited images.
6. Export Photos
The next step in the post-production workflow is to export your photos from Lightroom. To do this, go to the “File” menu and select “Export”. From here, you can choose the location where you want to save the exported files. It’s best to export your photos in high resolution so that you have a high-quality version to provide to your clients. You can also choose to export your photos in multiple sizes, such as social media and print-ready versions. Once you’ve made your selections, click on the “Export” button.
Suggested Read: Best Lightroom Export Settings
7. Optimize File Size
Once you have your high-resolution photos exported, the next step in the photo post-processing workflow is to optimize them for web use. This will help to make sure that your photos load quickly on your website or blog. There are several ways to do this, but the easiest is to use a plugin for Lightroom. We recommend using the ImageOptim plugin, as it seamlessly integrates with Lightroom and provides excellent results.
8. Create Online Gallery
After you have your photos edited, exported, and optimized, the next step is to create an online gallery. There are several platforms that you can use for this, but we recommend using Extra. Extra provides beautiful and easy-to-use galleries that are perfect for displaying your work. They also offer a variety of plans to suit your needs and budget. Creating an online gallery is a great way to share your photos with clients, family, and friends. It’s also a convenient way to deliver high-resolution files.
9. Deliver Your Work
The last step in the wedding photography post-processing workflow is to deliver your beautiful visual artwork to clients finally! This can be done in a variety of ways, such as sending digital files via email or making prints. If you’re delivering digital files, we recommend sending them via a service like Dropbox or WeTransfer. These services make it easy to send large files without any hassle. If you’re making prints, we recommend using a professional printing service that can offer high-quality prints.
Bonus Tip: Seek Help From ShootDotEdit
If you’re looking to save even more time in your wedding photography post-processing workflow, outsourcing your photo editing to ShootDotEdit. ShootDotEdit is a fast and personalized photo editing service that can help you edit your images quickly, consistently, and with a personalized touch. Trusted by many wedding photographers around the world, we are committed to serving our customers with the highest quality, and our services are designed for professional wedding photographers.
At ShootDotEdit, we are passionate about helping you grow your wedding photography business. A part of how we do that is by lessening your post-production workload with our professional photo editing services. To learn more about how we can help your wedding photography business, check out our pricing plans.