Sequencing in Numbers
So once it's all said and done, on average, at a regular wedding, there will be somewhere around 300 sequences.
Daniel and I had a very long flight from India last week, and he decided he was gonna come up with all these numbers, like Davina and Daniel shooting in numbers, is basically what this is, yeah.
So on average 300 sequences per wedding. Those sequences sometimes are 15 to 20 photos, so those are the ones where things go up, peak and down or they just go up very slightly and go down, basically where a moment starts, you shoot through it a little bit and then it dissipates, so nothing really comes out of it. But those sequences do still exist, but then when the really good stuff happens, the sequence will be anywhere between and 200 photos because it has so many ups and downs and ups and downs, or we're perfecting the scene and letting the scene develop, really trying to get the best version of that photo, and we don't know what that best photo is gonna be, because we don't...
look down and look at the back of our screen. We really just keep clicking all the way through. So once that's all said and done, 300 times somewhere in there, between 20 and 200 photos, well, we always end up somewhere between and 12,000 photos each, so anywhere between 15 and 30,000 images. And again, that number is jarring and it's huge, (Davina chuckles) but it's very deliberate and it's extremely purposeful. Like the way you saw us photograph these sequences, where the curve goes up and peaks and the best moment happens, that's the way that we approach all 300 sequences in a wedding. And that's what gives us those high numbers. It's never firing off for no reason whatsoever, hoping that something good will happen. It's seeing that something good is about to happen, getting into position, perfecting it, letting the moment develop, letting the moment dissipate, and then coming out of it, and that's what gives us those numbers.
Are you shocked or is that okay? (Davina laughs)
Yeah. It's also often over two days, right? There's often a rehearsal in there.
And photographing this way makes for an easier culling process. It's so hard to cull when the sequences are three, four, five photos, but nothing really comes out of it. In our case, sequences of 20 or 100 or 200 photos, it's easy because we see the moments develop, the same way as we see them develop when we're taking the photos. So as we're going through and selecting the ones that we want to keep, we see that same buildup and we know where it's gonna end up, so we go through them very, very quickly.
Does that make sense? So it's not so much you're culling 10,000 photos, you're culling 300 sequences. That's really like the way to look at it. So as a sequence comes about, you're able to identify way more easily where your best moment or your best photo lies. But what Daniel mentioned about, if you just shoot two or three photo and you jump around, what happens after is you're culling in the state of denial. (chuckles) And I've done this, especially at the beginning of the day when I'm not following my own, My own rules for what I know I should be doing, and I am jumping around and I don't know where I want to be and I'm not committing to anything, and then when I go over those images later, I'm like, "Oh no, surely I've got something else. "Let me go over that sequence again. "No, surely there is a better moment. "Oh surely, it came together," and you're just in denial. You're just looking for a photo that doesn't exist basically. Does that make sense, 'cause it's very important, okay. (chuckles)
We do have some questions coming in, thinks "Wow, that's a lot of photos."
And I know you're gonna talk about culling and, 'cause questions are, isn't that a big time, isn't that really time consuming, and how do you go into the edit? So we are gonna cover that, right?
I can answer a bit. Like just in terms of timing that it takes.
On average, we'll cull 1000 photos in 10 minutes. So each, it takes me maybe like two hours to cull an entire wedding, and it's again, it's because the photos are all so similar and the sequence builds out, so you go through them very, very quickly. And as we are looking at the screen, we're just looking at the main subject. If the main subject sucks and it doesn't come together, then it's easier to move on to the other photo. We're not stopping on each photo and analyzing each bit of it. It's really, zero in on the subject, and then when it gets good, you slow down a little bit, pick the best one and then keep going a little bit faster.
That's actually a really good point because our brain isn't starting over with every photo either. We are registering the scene and seeing the small tweaks that we made, the small adjustments, "Oop, this comes together better. "Oop, look, there's a better moment." As we are culling, we also are then in tuned to like these more subtle aspects that are going to make the photo really come together versus like starting over with a new scene every few photos.
So it's really not that long, two hours maybe. Ooh, hands are going up. (chuckles)
I guess, looking at that amount of photos, I've shot pro-NFL shot like that. I'm just curious. Do you use, and you're shooting raw, so are you using a particular size? Do you go with the big card with lots on one or do you split it up for safety or, what's your plan on that?
Yup, good question. So we actually find it a lot safer to shoot on one memory card that stays in our camera. I feel that the risk of losing a card, losing photos, is by switching cards. The risk of the card falling out of our hands or out of our pocket is much greater than the card corrupting within the camera.
Which has happened, yeah.
You did lose a card once physically.
And a guest at the reception was like, "Oh is this yours?" And I was like, "Oh my gosh." (laughter) My best friend.
Yeah. So we'll shoot raw on one 512 gig card that sits in our camera, never gets out. And then we have a smaller card, maybe 64 or 128 gigs that shoots a JPEG as a backup. So JPEGs are our backup. In the absolute worst case scenario, at least we have those and they're still very much good photos to deliver.
When you guys shoot the same wedding together, are you culling your own images afterwards or do you guys just throw them all in one batch and someone then does it? And also, when you're culling, are you still using Photo Mechanic or the new Lightroom? Is it fast enough? (Daniel chuckles)
We do use Photo Mechanic. It's in our opinion still sort of the fastest way to view the images, especially when you're loading them up, like you just drag a folder in Photo Mechanic and it pops right out. And then, no, so we'll each cull our own photos. I'll do mine, she'll do hers, and then bring the images together and narrow it down further if we need to 'cause sometimes we'll still end up like three, 4000 photos which is too much. And that we'll pick for the slideshow together. The photos will come together once they're culled.
We'll be doing that in a later segment going through our entire notes, fine. Going through our entire workflow and we'll actually select for a slideshow and yeah.
We are not gonna cull 12,000 photos in front of you.
You guys can just get to watch us culling, yeah, it's gonna be really fun.
We're not doing that. (Daniel and Davina chuckle)
So just a couple more in terms of your process, this is from Joshua, are you focusing in continuous mode or what have you, like literally when you're, what mode are you in when you're shooting through all these different scenes?
Focusing is in continuous for sure, because the subjects move, and the A9 is able to track the subjects and it needs to be in continuous to do that. We'll sometimes switch to single focusing mode when we need the AF assist light and that one only comes on when you're in AFS, so single focusing mode. But for the most part, it's continuous. In terms of motor drive on the A9, we'll either shoot in, what is it?
Yeah continuous slower or continuous medium. The continuous high's like 20 frames per second. And unless you're shooting for the NFL, then you definitely don't need that at weddings, it's maybe a little bit overkill. Yeah.
We do have limits guys. (laughter)
Thank you, and then, just conceptually, I love your concept of these different arches. So Joshua asks, "How do you know when "to give up trying for a certain photo when things "aren't really lining up?"
You're talking to like the most stubborn person ever here. So he almost never gives up, I think, but I think it's more about the scene giving up before you do. I mean, if you feel like you're not with the inner circle or bride or groom or you know, one of the most important people, then I think I would probably give up a little bit more easily I'm really not sure it's gonna come together and I feel like I could be better used elsewhere. So yeah, it's definitely a tossup, but I think, I always try to channel future Davina who's going through the photos like, will she be mad at me for giving up right now? Or will she be, you know, why didn't you give up sooner? So it's really, I try to kind of channel that, and also think about, you know, what do I have a lot of already, you know, am I just doing something that I've already done? Maybe that will influence whether I give up on a photo or not.