In today’s day and age many people have come to expect nearly instant gratification. I’m happy to say that for the most part of my clients are pretty understanding that my photographs are not available the instant after a session is finished. Although, there have been those outliers that have mistakenly thought my job is mostly done as soon as when a session is finished. The reality of my job after a session is not as easy as me hooking up my camera to download the photos to my computer so I can immediately send them off. The truth is that much more of my time is spent working on photos after a shoot than it ever takes to capture a them.
The main hinderance to being able to deliver images almost immediately after a session is the fact that I wouldn’t want to deliver subpar work. Since I always want to deliver the highest quality product, I shoot exclusively in RAW photo format. The best part of this format is the fact that images are not compressed, like with JPEG format, and as a result there is more flexibility for editing the pictures I’ve taken. A couple of the major downsides though of RAW is that the files are larger and that some computers can’t read them. In fact, my process takes a little longer for me since the computer I use is older and can’t read the RAW files from my newer camera. Instead I have to upload my photos and then run them through a program to turn them into a format they can read.
For me, getting started on editing my photos is always the toughest part of this process. There a number of different reasons that might lead me to delay diving right in and getting to work. Sometimes it’s that the session occurred over the weekend and I’ll start to work on them in the new work week. You really can’t blame me too much for wanting to have a game night with friends on Saturday or wanting to have a semi-lazy Sunday with family. Other times during the work week, other parts of my business take priority, like e-mailing back potential new clients. I think really what causes me to delay is I know how invested I am in making each picture look just right.
When it comes to editing photos, the name that usually comes right to mind for most people is Photoshop. However, the truth of the matter is that most of my editing is done in Lightroom and not in Photoshop. The majority of the editing I do on my photos includes white balance, exposure, contrast, straightening, and cropping. Once I’ve edited all the photos from a gig, it’s time to be a little patient and wait for them to export in JPEG format for delivery to clients. From here, I normally put the photos on Google Photo and send my clients the link for the gallery of images.
Currently, my typical turnaround time for delivering images is one week for portrait sessions and two weeks for weddings and events. There are occasions where I can’t keep to these stated timeframes, but more often than not I’m able to achieve these target dates. The truth is that this is by no means set in stone since there are likely to be changes as my client base grows and my process changes evolves over time. .