good friends, great questions!

  Thursday, 1.29.09

i have said this before, & i will say it again -- i love what i do, i love my job. while i feel incredibly fortunate to be able to do what i love, i also have to admit that it takes an incredible amount of work -- there is SO much that goes on behind the scenes that most people don't see... so it is no wonder to me that so many photographers become friends with each other. not only because we can relate in the passion & art of it all, but also the work in it all! however, please don't get me wrong -- all the work is worth it!

i have been blessed to know so many amazing photographers whom i can also call my friends. it is truly a wonderful thing that i am forever grateful for. one of those great friends is the beautiful inside & out Heather Essian of Heather Essian Portrait Arts. Heather & i met in December of 2007 when i documented her sister-in-law, Sam's, wedding. we instantly clicked that day, as well as over some yummy Caribou Coffee & great conversations the following week ... and have been friends ever since!

the other day, Heather & i were talking and we both realized that, although every photographer is different from each other, both she & i specialize in fine art photography & tend to have a longer turn around time due to the process that goes into editing, post-processing, etc.

therefore, the question that we discussed was that day was:

why does it take so long to receive my wedding/portrait images?

(Heather & i decided to collaborate on the verbiage for this post!)

while we've been lucky to not have anyone ask this question, at times maybe we wish you would! we wonder if you might be asking yourself this question, or just plain want to know more about the logistics of it all!

recently, we were also inspired by a post on Anne Ruthmann's blog (if you don't know Anne, she is an uber-awesome photog & person !)... and, although we completely related to her post which you can read here, we thought that we would both take a moment to break down the process for you, as well!

however, just to make it easier, let's use a wedding for the example!
here are the basic steps about the process we fine art photographers go through the minute your session or wedding is over.

step one:
we load all memory cards to the computer in order to properly back up your beloved photos.
then spend what seems to be a NEVER ENDING process,
burning dvd's of these files to make extra sure the images are safe, as well as backing them up to an external hard drive!!
EXAMPLE: 3500 images = 8 - 10 hours (MINIMUM)

step two:
all thousands of images are reviewed (often times up to 4500 images... yes 4500)!!!
one by one, we choose the best of the best images, to help make your life easier.
the idea behind narrowing down images, is to make sure only the most perfect shots are edited and given to you.
we take so many to make sure we can have a grand selection of every moment, as well as duplicates to insure the moment is captured!!!
this process takes hours & hours looking at each individual image, deciding which to keep or not to keep.
EXAMPLE: 2500 images = 2 - 4 hours (MINIMUM)

step three:
somewhere between 100 - 300 top favorite images are selected and then given the very special artistic effect that is custom by photographer's style and makes your wedding unique and special!!
this is the process that takes the most time, energy & personal touch, as well.
in order to provide you with the beautiful, one of a kind, fine art you invested in, this process most definitely cannot be rushed.
EXAMPLE: 75 images = 10 hours (MINIMUM)

step four :
a blog post is created so that you have a great sneak peek to be able to view, share & enjoy some of the top faves from your day!
everyone does blogging a little differently, however for me, i really LOVE being able to make my blog posts as special & personal as possible because of how much i connect with my clients. i want your first look at your wedding to be moving & memorable.
an average blog post from start to finish takes me on average about 24 hours & up (MINIMUM)!

step five:
color and density is corrected with each and every image. images are cropped if necessary.
because your wedding was shot in a multitude of different lighting situations each image can have different corrections needed.
EXAMPLE: 2500 images = 21 hours (MINIMUM)

step six:
the images are loaded to an online proofing company for viewing, sharing & ordering!
depending on the photographer's system and the on-line company used... this process can take several days.
EXAMPLE: 2500 images = 48 hours (MINIMUM) now you can see it has been a MINIMUM of 117 hours - just to get to this point! this of course doesn't include other weddings & sessions shot, client meetings, daily emails, phone conversations, downloading/backing up, orders made, album designs, etc. that all happen in the 'in between' time either!

****PLEASE NOTE****! both Heather & i feel it's super important for all to know that we as photographers each have our own way of doing things. some photographers have a team of editors,,, and others do it all themselves there is truly no right or wrong... which is what makes it an art & so special.

all of us have a different style and approach. what is MOST important is the fit. finding the right person to capture the memories of your special day who also has the style that makes your heart swell,,, because after all, we are around you the entire day, too!!!

another thing that both Heather & i firmly believe in is that what counts in the end is the quality of your wedding photos. when you see how much you love, LOVE them, you will be sure it was worth the wait!!!

...and then, you will have all the years of your life to relax, share & enjoy them!

and just for fun... here are a few more top favorite wedding images from this past year that have all gone through the meticulous process mentioned above!

*** UPDATE! this post can now also be found on The Weddingbee!!! whoop! hollllaaa.

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