Edwin’s Wedding Workflow

Darren wrote this 1:35 am:

Edwin from CameraHobby.com has just posted an interesting article detailing his workflow for when he shoots weddings. (That site doesn’t allow the ability to link to individual entries, so if you’re reading this sometime in the future you’ll need to search his archives for the May 16, 2006 entry).

The workflow he describes is quite suitable for both professional and amateur photographers, and could be applied to any type of event or project shooting, not just weddings. It’s a fairly long article so I’ll summarise the key steps here, adding a little of my own clarifications. I think it’s useful to look at an overview of his process before diving into Edwin’s post for the details.

  • Shoot the event (350 original images)
  • Backup the original files ASAP (external hard disks, DVDs)
  • Edit out misfires and duplicates (250 images remain)
  • Convert RAW -> 16 bit TIFF
    • Use plugins and/or actions to process all images
      • Noise reduction
      • Auto brightness/contrast
      • Input sharpening
      • Color correction (shouldn’t be necessary if you shot things properly to begin with)
    • Review auto-processed images and manually re-process tricky images (10-20%)
  • Review TIFFs and edit images as necessary (minimal – the images are just proofs at this stage)
    • Fixing blemishes
    • Healing and cloning
    • Cropping and resizing
    • Correcting perspective
    • No creative edits yet
  • Final edit and ordering
    • Reorder and/or delete images as necessary to “tell the story”
    • Try to keep in groups of 4, either 4 landscape, 4 portrait, or 2×2 for nicer album display
    • Use a numeric component in the filename to set order (e.g. Wedding001, Wedding002, etc)
  • Batch convert for DVD slide-shows, proof printing, client’s copy
    • 16 bit TIFF -> 8 bit JPG
    • Full resolution
    • Highest quality
    • Tagged with sRGB color space
  • Batch convert for web use
    • 16 bit TIFF -> 8 bit JPG
    • Lower resolution ( less than 800 pixels wide/high)
    • High or highest quality
    • Tagged with sRGB color space
  • Review both sets of JPGs to remove sub-par images and rename/reorder again
  • Print proofs
    • Self
      • Print from TIFF proofs
      • Use Adobe 1998 RGB color space
      • Use Epson 4800, custom profiles, Epson Premium Luster
    • Lab
      • Print from high-res JPG proofs
      • Use sRGB color space
  • Burn proof CD/DVD (200 images)
    • Use something like FlipAlbum Pro to make browsing of images easier
    • Include full-size JPG proofs in a subdirectory
    • Use LightScribe burner for personal touch or print labels directly onto disks
  • Create and burn slideshow DVD (160 images)
    • Use something like ProShow Gold (Windows) or iMovie/iDVD (Mac)
    • Keep to about 6 minutes
    • Set to music
    • Playable in normal DVD player
  • Deliver proof disk, slideshow DVD, proof prints (if required)
  • Wait for enlargement/portfolio orders
  • Handle enlargement/portfolio orders
    • May need to do RAW conversion again with greater eye for detail
    • Do touchups more critically
    • Do creative edits (toning, vignetting, B&W conversion, composites, edge treatments, diffuse glow, etc)
    • Output sharpening
    • Print (Epson 4800 or lab)
    • Mount and frame or prepare album

For the wedding he uses as an example, Edwin shot 300 photos and delivered a 200-photo proof CD, a 160-photo slideshow DVD, a 150-image portfolio album (including two 8x10s), and one 11×14″ enlargement. He spent a full weekend on editing and printing, and required 32 GB of drive space to store the whole project.

A big thanks to Edwin for allowing us to look over his shoulder and peek inside his workflow.

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