Editing in Photoshop
The bulk of our images, so the full galleries are edited either by Davina or our own editor at the image salon, depending on our schedule if we're home more, if we have a little bit more time, or if we have a lot of weddings we'll outsource them. So we do about 50 percent of our weddings we'll outsource, the other 50 percent we'll edit in house ourselves. And that's for our full galleries. When it comes to our slideshow and portfolio and blog images all those photos are done by myself in Photoshop and we spend a lot more time on these images, editing them one by one using Smart Objects to really bring out the best out of every part of the image. The mindset is very similar to what we did in Lightroom. Really giving a lot of color, a lot of texture to the images while retaining good skin tone. We just feel that there's a lot more power and a lot more that we can do with the images in Photoshop as opposed to Lightroom, perfect. And so on something like this, the premise is going to be to...
apply a different set of settings on each part of the image. So first stage play with the white balance, get the cool natural light on one side of the frame. When we do this, this side of the frame goes too neutral, the tones aren't where we want them to be so we would then bring the image back into camera raw, create a second layer that is a lot warmer, that is going to balance out the blues and yellows. We then apply a layer mask that will help us define our blues and yellows and a third layer simply to clean out the image, get rid of any little elements. On this image it could be done in Lightroom as well the same way that we did the image with the lightbulbs. We feel like we have a lot more control in Photoshop and we can dictate a little bit more of what the settings look like. And especially where the adjustment brushing comes in, it's a lot easier to go back and forth between applying it and removing it, applying it and removing it. In Lightroom it gets just a little bit tricky. Another example so the same image, so the result is similar but it's just a little bit more polished than the Lightroom version, so our first layer very underexposed, a lot of saturation, a lot of contrast on the lighting. A second layer to start bringing in some of the light on the mirror and on the groom, and then a third layer just to make that final brightness. Third example. Layer number one underexposed, a lot of color a lot of contrast, if we leave it at this, obviously this is not a great edit, the bride and groom are very underexposed even though the sky and the landscape of the photo looks great, that's not enough. The second layer start bringing in a little bit of the light on the bride and groom over here, third layer really bring in a lot more of that light. Again what's important is we do the brushing as naturally as possible, make sure that the way that the light falls on the subject feels the way that it could have been on the wedding day. And then last layer just a quick polish, remove any distractions, darken the edges a little bit more, really focus the attention on the photos. So we do spend anywhere between five and ten minutes per image in Photoshop. In the webshop that I was mentioning we do spend about 45 minutes just on the first image going at a high level detail, really slider by slider explaining what each one of them does and how we reapply it as a Smart Object layer and how we bring in different layers to combine the image into this high tonal range high color high contrast image.
Do you offer the different types of prints to your clients and what percentage of your work is candid in a wedding shoot?
That's a good question, so we do offer prints through our online gallery through Shoot Proof, so clients can order directly through there. We use a local lab near where we live that actually doesn't ship outside of Montreal, so I won't talk about them too too much but they do a really great job no matter what kind of editing we did on the photos, they're typically 100 percent spot-on. We love using them. And then in terms of candid versus posed, when we sell ourselves and we sell our work to our clients we explain that we have a really strong storytelling approach. Really focused on documenting their wedding day and that most of the coverage that we do is going to be candid, but we do also explain that we do take control when it's time for formals with their families that we photograph all of the details that we do take control with the two of them when we do the posed photos. And if we need to take control over anything, we're going to be very vocal about it, we don't hold back. Even though we have a photo journalistic candid approach we do believe in the fact that we're wedding photographers and we're there to create the best results for our clients and it's okay to take control. What's important is we don't stage the moments, but we will make sure that the moments take place in the best light in the best situation. Good example I can give you is the bride is about to put on her dress but she's in a dark corner next to the bed, not ideal for us to photograph, so we'll be hey hold on take one second can you come here near the window where the light is good and then we let things happen. So whatever moments she has with her bridesmaid, her mom, whoever, those moments are going to be natural, we didn't stage any of that but we will have staged where those moments take place. So that's kind of that philosophy and mindset that we have throughout the weddings. To give you a final number in terms of percentage, I never really quantified it, I'd say maybe around 85 percent candid, 15 percent posed, roughly guessing.
The photos that you edited in black and white you spent a good amount of time on them to make them really beautiful, but what happens when you put those in the gallery and the bride requests it in color, do you educate or do you just put it in color and let her decide?
It happens so rarely to us that our clients ask us and I think the reason for that is because we do overselect and we do give a lot of variety within the gallery, we make sure that for every image that we put in black and white there's also a color version. And we're also very careful about which images that we put in black and white, so obviously if it's a detail of her bouquet we would never put that in black and white because if we did then she probably would ask for it in color. So we definitely try to be careful with that. If they do ask, generally we'll accommodate, it's not worth putting our artistic foot down and saying no like this is meant to be in black and white, we want our clients to be happy and to have a good experience. So we'll usually accommodate it and just send them a color version of that as well.