Wedding Image Retouching-Points to keep in Mind
After an extremely tiring session of Photography during the Wedding events, comes a time when the photographer has to sit down and retouch the images taken for final delivery. Final deliverable by different photographers vary. Some give all the raw images and edit some 200 of them, some don't give all the raw images and only deliver the edited 300-400 photographs, while some try and edit all the images taken and deliver the clients. I personally deliver all the raw photographs taken and edit some of them for the social media uploads and albums.
Now what I have gathered from the last 8 years of my experience is that, there are three kinds of retouched pictures which works well with clients-
1. Colors and mood as it's shot with just a minor exposure and color correction
2. Change of mood to a vintage or similar form but being colorful at the same time
3. Monochrome editing
Lets talk about the first one in detail. The high end cameras and equipment wedding photographers use generally capture the colors and the lights in the scene as it is. Now here the personal choice of the photographer as an artist comes into play. Whether he/she likes the colors to be as it's shot or changing the mood. In this case, if the choice is former, then the retouching requires some exposure correction and a little play with the saturation of the image. In this technique, generally the image doesn't look over edited.
Second style could be attributed to something of this sort as showcased in this image. Herein the play is with the temperature, and the mood is changed. The color balance of the image is not kept as the way it was shot but changed by playing with the blues level of the picture. Giving the images a little bit of vintage look does work wonders but again depends upon the personal liking of the photographer as an artist.
The third one and the most easiest one is the monochrome version of any image. It does look amazing in some context but again talking about a wedding when it's all color based, do these pictures work?...There are some photographers who prefer some 20-30 percent of the images delivered as black and white while there are some who take it up to more than 50 percent. There is also a bunch who absolutely don't prefer monochrome images.
So who decides and what factors does one need to consider talking in commercial terms because Wedding Photography is all about a client's preference. When a client meets a photographer and finalizes with him/her, it's evident that the client has liked the images the photographer takes. But a small interview with the client on these retouching techniques definitely makes it a lot easier for the photographer to post process images after the wedding.
But another thing to keep in mind is the fact that whether the photographer is willing to accept the change or not of his/her artistic side. For eg. on being interviewed, the client says that I like pictures of natural colors and tones but want some 30 images in black and white. Is the photographer at that time willing to edit in monochrome when his/her style doesn't support monochrome images at all. That's a commercial call an artist takes on his/her art.
In summary, a small questioning of this sort with the client or the photographer makes life easy for both of them and hence avoids any unforeseen tiff on retouched images after the wedding as a deliverable.