November 13th, 2015
Wedding Photographer, Lance Nicoll, shares with us his wedding workflow, from upload to the final product, in this guest blog post.
I’ve notoriously taken longer to edit my weddings than my contemporaries. 2 or 3 years ago, I would have probably averaged about 40 hours per wedding from cull to delivery, I have now been able to get that average down to closer to the 20 to 25-hour range. I don’t want my post wedding process to be a quick fully-automated process, I think investing the time is key for maintaining the heart and soul of your work. On the other hand, it doesn’t make business sense to spend 40+ plus hours on one project.
Working with Replichrome has been a huge part of my ability to keep the quality of my images and post-production at the standard I expect while streamlining the process at the same time.
I would like to share with you guys some of the standard steps in my process that have allowed me to be able to meet my deadlines and dedicate more available hours to essentials like personal work and marketing.
Here is my complete wedding post-production workflow.
Step 1: Upload and Backup. First things first. I upload my files from my cards. I like to do this as soon as possible, its not uncommon for me to get come at midnight and stay up 'til 2 uploading my files and then backing them up. Immediately after uploading my files, a plug-in my back up drive and create a second copy. Once I have the two copies, I can rest easy and I’ll setup my online backup (third copy of files, usually the next day).
Step 2: Culling
If I’m going to be traveling and therefore culling from my laptop, I will go through the trouble of creating virtual copies in Lightroom and then its on to my least favorite part of being a photographer, culling.
Step 3: Global Batch Edit
My batch edit settings are as follows:
Then I turn to my Tweak Kit and select Grain +(160S) and Fade Shadows
Step 4: Selective Batch Edits
Each portion of a wedding day and each location will require its own set of specific adjustments. I go into each section and set the specifics for the first image on things like white balance, exposure, and tone curve shifts. I then hit “G” to quickly go into the group view in Lightroom and I hold shift to select the last image from the location and use the “Sync Settings” on the bottom of the right hand column. One tip I use to level out my entire wedding day is setting the grain on the images that where shot with a higher ISO to a lower setting than the rest of my images. For example, if I have a small set of image like maybe the reception that had to be shot at a higher ISO, then I might turn the grain even lower, or if most of my day was at a higher ISO except let’s say the bridal prep, then I will set the bridal prep to ++ on the Tweak Kit.
Step 5: Individual Edits
This is a long and tedious process, but I quite enjoy it actually. I go image by image and make quick and specific adjustments. Most of these center around exposure and my other tone sliders like highlights, shadows, and blacks. I will also visit the Tone Curve. On my Tweak Kit I will often add a print or print+ vignette and also sometimes jump to Fade Shadows + or on rare occasions, Fade Shadows ++
Step 6: Photoshop Edits
I don’t do too many of these. I use to spend a lot of time in Photoshop prior to adding Replichrome to my process. Now, I usually wind up bringing less than a dozen images into Photoshop for some for involved edits.
On my wedding blog you can see a clear difference in the results before and after adding Totally Rad to my workflow, I won’t tell you when, but I bet you can see when it was added!
Lance Nicoll Nicolls Wedding Photography