When it comes to our slideshow and portfolio, we do use a different approach, and all of those edits are done in Photoshop. We use Smart Object layers that we apply on the same image a multitude of times and really work on bringing out the best out of every part of the image.
So it's basically a more refined version of what you've seen done in Lightroom. The Lightroom process is supposed to be quicker because we're doing so many more photos and because now we're going to our slideshow, which is, you know, our final product, it's what we're working towards all day. Then we really want that to be even more refined and just more perfected.
It's really the same mindset, but the technique allows us to go and get even more detail and a lot more color in the image. In an image like this, we do wanna push our color and push our contrast on the bottom of the frame, really go and get those bold colors, but if we do that on the entire image, the skin tone is gonna go a little bit too crazy, s...
o we wanna avoid that. And by doing multiple layers in Photoshop, we're able to achieve that. Again, raw file, we wanna bring out a lot of the color, a lot of the texture, we also wanna fix a lot of the wide balance issues here between the light and the ambient light. And doing so with layers in Photoshop allows us to really bring this image to life. Again, we never really wanna create something that's not there in the photo. We just wanna bring out the best out of every part of the frame and really make the image shine as much as possible. On black and white images, here you can see there's still a little bit of light on the dad's face, and that's really what we wanna emphasize in the final edit. So we make sure that the bride goes into a full silhouette, which is how we envision the final photo to go, and then emphasize the light on the dad's face. Something like this, the raw files from the drone, they come out super, super flat, really not fun to look at on the computer, but all of that information and all of the detail is there. So the image really comes to life once you start pushing your settings a little bit more. Each edit, we end up spending maybe, you know, anywhere between three and 15 minutes per image. It really depends on the complexity of the photo. It is a lot of work, but we believe that spending this time on the photos that we worked so hard to get only increases the value of our product and it makes our images stand out that much more. Again, you saw this one edited in Lightroom, but in reality we delivered this photo as a slideshow photo, so we did spend a little bit more time editing it.
Same with this one.
See, you didn't crop it.
That's right, no crop.
A good way, one of the ways that we like to use our editing in Photoshop is really to reverse the highlights in an image. So here the highlights are sort of in all of the wrong places, they're not on the dad and the groom, which is where we want the viewer to look at. So by playing with our exposures and our contrast levels, we can really bring out the best out of the center of the frame and make sure that the viewer looks at that part of the image. This photo, there's a lot of issues with the white balance. It's so cold from one side of the windows, but it's warmer from the other side because we're getting shade daylight and we're getting sun daylight and we have light from the candles, so there's multiple layers that are needed here to really bring out the best out of every part of the image. In the end it was about six or seven different layers to really piece it together and really make that image shine. You guys will recognize this photo, super super flat, but the information is there, you know, the colors are there, they just need to be brought out. So again, we're not trying to create anything that's not there. We emphasize the white balance on the one side of the frame and emphasize the white balance on the other side and really give it more punch.
I see you use a combination of your actions as well as some personal touches in slides. Do you do that for every single image or do you ever synchronize your images that were taken under the same light condition?
That's a great point. We do definitely, our sequences will be edited by syncing, and then possibly little tweaks, a crop or anything that changes from one image to the other, but we definitely, you know, the first image of the sequence will get a little bit more work to kinda set the tone and then that helps us throughout the rest of that sequence. And since we are often shooting in the same situations, the getting ready room will, a lot of those tones will remain the same, a lot of the white balance will remain the same, so then the tweaks just end up being more minimal from one image to the next.
Go ahead, in the front and then in the back.
As you guys are processing a full wedding, are you applying these local adjustment, like brush, like dodge and burning, each image as you go, or are you just color correcting first and then going back to it, or what's the process with that?
I think it's really a priority thing. I try to look at the images like, is this really going to be worth the time, is it really necessary? And it kind of goes back to our formula in a way. The images that are higher priority, they'll spend a little bit more time on, even if they're part of the full gallery versus going and nitpicking every single image just for the sake of nitpicking. It's probably not worth your time. So it is a priority thing to a certain extent.
But the adjustment brush is applied as we're on that image.
We don't do the general settings first on the entire gallery and then go back with the adjustment brush, because once you're in that mindset about editing that specific photo, you might as well go all the way and not come back to it later on.
Does that answer your question?
Do you have a question?
So I noticed you had your brightness all the way up on your photo laptop. Is that typically how you always edit?
And also, do you do any sort of calibrations to your screens or monitors?
Love that question. So no, actually, we don't. We're very visual people; as long as what I see on my screen is consistent with the way our prints come out and the way our albums come out, I'm satisfied with that. The thing is, I can't control how our bride and groom's screen is done, same at the Image Salon, we get that question a lot, which is very normal. But we can't control what kind of screen our clients have, and even two iMacs side by side with the same calibration, they're not gonna look a hundred percent identical.
And you know because you tested it.
Yeah, we've done all of the testing. So the adjustments that we make, they're always relative to what our client tells us. So if they feel on a consistent basis everything is coming back too bright or coming back too warm, they communicate that to their editor, and the editor knows that based on what they're seeing on their screen, they need to make that adjustment relative to that. So same thing for our approach. It's always gonna be relative to the way things come out on print and in our albums, yeah.