If you’re looking for some professional photos for your special day, you may be wondering how wedding photographers edit their photos.
You may have seen some amazing wedding pictures on this website, or another websites – and you might be wondering:
What’s the magic behind them? Why do they look so spectacular? Why do people in those photos look so stunning? It’s almost like it’s not real, but out of a fairy tale!
Well the truth is this:
A good wedding photographer takes good photos. But an amazing wedding photographer takes good photos, and edits those photos to perfection.
Editing. Post-production. Post-processing. Whatever you want to call it. That‘s where the fairytale comes to life.
Below, I’ll outline in detail how wedding photographers edit their photos – and transform unedited raw files into the complete JPEG gems you see in your final package.
How wedding photographers edit photos: here are the steps.
Below, I’ve outlined my step-by-step process of how a wedding photographer will edit your photos to craft the perfect memories that will last with you forever.
Importing the unedited photo files.
Taking the photos is the easy part. For a wedding photographer, the real work starts after the wedding.
The first step is to slot the camera’s SD cards (or CF cards) into the computer, using programs like Photo Mechanic.
That’s much more easier than copying and pasting photos from the camera’s file into the computer file.
This process can take some time (especially if there are hundreds of megabytes worth of photos – which is usually the case)!
Backing the photos up.
There’s nothing worse than downloading hundreds of photos, deleting them off your camera … and losing everything.
It’s best to always back all wedding photos up – both online and offline. A photographer will typically back your photos up on the cloud (using programs like Backblaze). If something is accidentally deleted, it can easily be retrieved form the cloud.
The photos will run in the background and if there’s a problem – the photographer is alerted immediately. It’s not like a ‘sync’.
Photographers should also always backup your photos offline. Putting them into an external hard drive can be a lifesaver if the computer ends up unexpectedly crashing. They may use a 4TB hard drive if there’s a tonne of photos that need backing up.
The photo cull.
The next step is to manually go through each and every photo, delete the terrible ones and keep the gems.
A photographer with a sharp eye will be able to hone in on the best wedding photos that truly capture the magic of the moment.
This takes quite a while. It starts with the broad sweep of photos, followed by several rounds of revision to make sure you get exactly the ones you need. It’s critical not to rush this process, and photographers must go through it step by step with lots of thought.
Creating the magic: Adjusting, editing, tinkering.
One a photographer has selected the cream of the crop, it’s time to start the magic.
Making adjustments on photos is much easier with high-quality photo editing software. This includes programs like Lightroom, through Adobe Creative Cloud and – of course – Adobe Photoshop.
We don’t use those simple photo editing apps you can download free from an App Store. The programs we use are much more sophisticated, allowing us to play around with elements within each individual picture.
Minimising grain. Cropping. Adjusting horizons. Ensuring consistency in tone across all images.
A wedding photographer who knows what they’re doing will polish those photos for hours upon hours upon hours.
Do wedding photographers use Photoshop?
Every photographer is different. Some certainly use Photoshop, but others use a mixture of different software (such as Lightroom and Photoshop).
Most wedding photographers in the industry mainly use Lightroom, with a ‘hint’ of Photoshop here and there. There’s also the option to use Photoshop ‘Actions’, which is most more cost-effective than purchasing the entire Photoshop platform.
The good thing about Photoshop is that you can very easily and effectively manipulate the pixels in a photograph – making people skinnier, air brushing, removing things in photos that shouldn’t be there.
But I wouldn’t say it’s the “go-to” program for most professional wedding photographers.
The final step: upload and deliver.
Once the photos are crafted to perfection, it’s time for the final upload (which photographers can use programs like Pixieset for).
Individual photos or the whole photo gallery will be uploaded online for you to see, or delivered straight to you physically – completely up to you.
Looking for a wedding photographer in Melbourne?
If you’re looking a savvy and professional wedding photographer with a keen eye for detail and a passion for excellence, I can help you with that.
My name is Shar and I’m based in the beautiful city of Melbourne. I’ve taken wedding photos across Victoria and have mastered the craft of editing.
If you’ve got any question about how wedding photographs edit their photos, I’m more than happy to share the way I do it.
Get in touch with me today and we’ll start discussing your big day!
Still not sure which wedding photographer to choose? I’ve put together the only guide you’ll need on how to do it.