Recently I shared this photo with a local photography group near Kansas City and a couple people asked about my settings, location, etc. I decided to make a blog post to share how I go the extra mile for my clients. Wedding photographers that give the digital files (like me) and do not charge for prints, really have no reason to put post-production effort into their work, there is no incentive. On the flip side, wedding photographers that charge for prints have every reason in the world to put the time in!
At the time of this writing I do not charge by the print, but my perfectionist mindset and desire to go the extra mile, forces me to go above and beyond for my clients. In the future, I’m considering a pricing/package change but for now, let me explain my wedding photography process.
Step one… have a great couple to work with! Check. These two not only rocked but the location was spectacular. St. Aloysius Church Historic Site is just outside of Girard, Kansas and a treat to shoot at! We shot around noon, and the big fluffy clouds that I ordered, didn’t show. No worries.
Here is a side by side of the SOOC (straight out of camera) and the final delivered photograph (I can’t remember but think there were a couple versions delivered).
Gear and software: I’m shooting with a 5D Mark III, 24-70 f/2.8L (ver 1) and then using ACR (Adobe CameraRaw) and Photoshop CC. I still recommend new photographers start with Lightroom, but for me, I have a decade of Photoshop experience and can work pretty fast that way.
Below are my ACR settings before dropping it into Photoshop. I knew I was going to go for a bit more dramatic look so the contrast needed to be addressed.
It is very rare I go this extreme with these settings: contrast, highlights, whites. It is even rarer that I’ll up the clarity and sharpening by this amount for a wedding. However, having a lot of photographs with this beautiful Church & Couple, I decided to ramp it up on this specific shot. The ruggedness of the ruins and the distance from the couple allowed me to get away with some of these settings.
With the couple in shade and the ruins having no roof, the bright sunny day needed to be addressed. So I did a spot adjustment in ACR and painted the through the doorway. Lowered the exposure there slightly to help bring some exposure balance. One of the many benefits shooting in RAW!
The next step was to bring the image into Photoshop. Get rid of those hot spots, clean up the ground and I chose to remove the window for this photograph. It’s a habit to duplicate the layer (default name: background) and start working on new layers and adjustment masks from there. On this duplicate I put the cloning tool / patch healing tools to work. A very VERY slight sharpen on the couple was done. I then worked a little bit of the color… desaturated the yellow channel and then I decided to use an overall warming adjustment layer to bring back some, well, warmth. After adjusting the overall saturation one more time I then balanced the exposure with levels on an adjustment layer. This levels layer was to darken the door way a little more and create a very slight vignette.
And that’s it. One photograph done… a thousand to go *wink*
If you would like to see more than the few shares below check out my Facebook ‘sneak peak’ album here: http://goo.gl/qj0eF5