What Happens After Your Session | Burke, VA Family Photographer

What happens with your photos after your session? What do I do after your session? How long does it take to edit a session? These are common questions I get from mom or dad during or after a session. And they are great questions! My families want to know what goes on behind the scenes after the actual picture taking part.

After being in business for a year now, I would say I have my processes mostly down pat. I still tweak things as I see fit and as I add or subtract steps from the process. I think it’s important to streamline my workflow and keep organized. Here is a step by step of what happens after your session:

1. I go home and backup my files. I want the image files backed up as quickly as possible. I have never gone to a session and then left my camera in the car for 3 hours while I was out shopping or hanging out with a friend. It makes me too nervous. You trust me with these images and I want them safe and sound quickly!

2. I do an initial cull off my camera card. Now I have the files in 2 places - my card and my computer. 

3. Within the first 24-36 hours I TRY to edit a few images for a sneak peek. I know how anxious I am to see my own family pictures. I want to keep you excited about your session and ease the wait with 2-4 images.

4. Next I rate all the images in Lightroom. Each image is assigned a 1 or 2 star rating. This usually cuts down my initial cull by 10-15%.

5. Now I can do my first edit. I use Adobe Lightroom for 99% of my editing. The spot removal tool does a good job for most of the times I need to remove something from the background. If it gives me a hard time then I just move over to Photoshop later. The first edit is quick and I try not to get caught up in the details of every picture. If I can get through the whole session that is ideal for a nice, consistent look.

6. I wait 1-3 days. Giving my eyes a break and some time between the session and editing is helpful. I find when I step away and then come back to it I have fresh energy for the last bit of editing.

7. The last edit! (Most of the time). This time I look at each picture and finesse the colors, temperature, contrast, saturation, etc. For more on editing check out my Before and After Editing Blog. Each session is different and this step can take anywhere between 1 hour to 3 hours. 

8. Export the photos and any last tweaks. I export the photos to your folder. If Lightroom couldn’t fix the background or I have to face swap then Photoshop is always the answer. I’ve been working in Photoshop for 12 years and am always learning something new. It’s an amazing program! 

9. Upload the images to your gallery. I preview the gallery, pick a nice cover photo, and send it off!

10. Backup again. I backup your RAW files and the edited folder of images. I want to have the edited images in two places as well. Then I can delete the RAW files off my computer in a month or so if needed.

Most people think photography is all about taking pictures. I would say that the actual photo-taking part is about 10% of my job. Blogging, marketing, emailing, and of course, editing, are all major players in running a photography business. 

These photos are from a recent session near Fairfax Station and Springfield and the editing was a bit on the longer side because of some challenging light and people fishing near the water. I hope this was insightful!

Using Format