Good Morning! Now that the holiday season is on a break (before New Years rolls around at least), I can relax! I am sure you also have that feeling, or maybe you love it and are ready to continue the celebrations!! Either way, welcome back! Today I would like to briefly describe to you my culling and photo selection process. Jump In!
Whether it is a portrait session or a wedding session, I basically cull your images the same way. In order to present you, the client, with the best images and to give you a great selection I only choose the best of the best.
First, I upload all the files to my Mac and eliminate all the missed focus and blurred images. Yes, this will still occur even with seasoned pros. Light is ever changing and depending on the session type, moving bodies definitely come in to play. Now comes the real organizational process.
Second, I will run through and categorize your images into ratings: 1-5 stars. In this process I find it easiest to pluck out the absolute, without-a-doubt breathtaking images. These are my automatic 5-stars. Just because an image doesn't get placed in this category, doesn't mean it isn't wonderful or unworthy. Just like you will have your favorite images, I will too! One or more of these images is where I go to pull your sneak peek. If I love it enough to zoom in on it first, I want you to enjoy it right away! Also, this isn't the end of the 5-star rating. After a 2nd, 3rd, umpteenth round of looking, the others will end up here too!
Next, I will run through and now sort through for your-must have poses and shots as discussed by us beforehand. For weddings, this is the shot list we will have made. For portraits, its taking into account your wishes to have as your final end product. These will all be 3-star images. I will take a run through them a second time and separate duplicates. The near-perfect images of the duplicates will move into a 4-star pile, and the others will stay at 3-star. A reason for keeping these duplicates at all may be for if I need to do any editing to a final image and I need to pull likeness from these images to perfect your finals. I will run through the 4-star batch once again and move the best to 5-star status.
So now what is left? All images that were either off the mark, not in-line with our goal, something I may have wanted to try that was not talked about before the session, and test shots for White Balance, Exposure, etc. The latter will stay unmarked, or 0-star. These images are for my own personal editing/technical needs. Photos of new ideas will be mulled over and moved to a 3-5 star rating. The ones off the mark will also stay unmarked.
So now we have photos that are unmarked, 3, 4, and 5-star. What I do next depends on our contract agreement. If it is a simple portrait session, chances are there are more than enough images in the 5-star batch that will cover your image quota plus some!! I will hang on to the others in my storage files, but chances are they will be phased out. I WANT TO PRESENT YOU WITH ONLY THE BEST! If it is a wedding, there will definitely be a mix of 4 and 5-star images. Most of the reception photos will be in the 4-star category, and your details, ceremony, and formal portraits in the 5-star slot.
From there begins the actual editing process.
It takes a bit of time to go through this process doesn't it? There are many behind the scenes processes that we do as photographers. Our work clicking the shutter is only a small portion of the bigger picture, (pun intended)!
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