• Thomas Gillman

The answers to a few common questions.

So..  The big wedding day in Tampa Bay is over.  Perhaps we just wrapped up your Clearwater Beach portrait session.  One of the first questions we are asked is.. what next?   How long will it take to see my images?  Do I get a CD?    Those are fair questions.    You want to see the gorgeous images we just took.  We want you to see them too.  CDs and DVDs are going the way of cassette tapes and old VHS movies.  They’re slowly being replaced by cloud based services and thumb drives…which..  are also slowly but surely being phased out too.  Numerous computers now  don’t even have that USB port we’ve all grown to love over the years.   Here at Abundant Grace Photography we use a cloud based gallery. ITs password protected to preserve your privacy.  We upload the photos there and give you the ability to get your high-resolution files straight from there.  The gallery gives you the ability to share with friends and family, share to social media platforms, and to even purchase prints.  Prints?!?!   Yes.  Prints..  Those things that you love to hang on your wall.

You said High resolution files?   Yes.  I don’t believe in holding your images hostage.  They’re your images.  I want you to show them off.  I want you to share with your friends how great it is that we dont hold anything back from you.  I want you to have what you paid for.  Good images that you can display.  I want you to have the good stuff.

Whats next?!?   Well.. after the shoot is over, whether it’s a wedding on the beach or a portrait session in the park.  The very first thing that happens is the back up of your images.  I have them stored in more than one place.  For good reason.  Computers and drives surprisingly do have a life span.  Eventually they may or will fail.  I back everything up.  For your security and for the security of our business.  I can’t tell you how many stories ive seen, or heard, about images being lost or drives failing and now clients have nothing.  So backing up is THE FIRST thing we do.   Next comes editing.

There is a HUGE difference between a few terms here.   Editing.  Enhancing. Retouching.   Let me esplain Lucy.   See…  Editing involves the process of culling, and cropping.   What is culling?  I will tell you!    Believe it or not there is a process of choosing which images stay..and which images go.   “But I want them all!!”   No.. really you don’t.  Sometimes a camera may misfire.  Nothing like having a black photo of your first dance…  Or it may misfocus even though I swear it was centered on your nose.  You really want that picture of you all blurred and the bathroom in the background in focus?   I didn’t think so either..   Then there’s always the pictures of the one eye closed, looking like we’ve had way to much to drink images.  Does anyone remember the image of Beyonce that’s gone around?  From the super bowl?  Yeah.. thats why we cull.  You get the images that best represent you, your big day, your session and your family.   Cropping is pretty self-explanatory.  You adjust the image to bring the focus back onto the subject.  Cropping is not removing people from the image.   ” Can you just crop them out?”   No!   Thats a whole different process entirely.

After culling there’s the enhancement phase.  Enhancement includes Adjusting the lighting, adjusting the colors, adjusting the contrast and adding some more clarity or sharpness to an image.  If the image is completely blurred there is no fixing that.  If it’s a tad softy adding some sharpness can bring it back to life.  Just wanted to clarify there.  We’re photographers not magicians.   Theres a big community of photographers that make the claim that getting it right in camera is the best way.  Well..  Yes.. Thats a great start.  What you get in the camera lays the foundation onto which your going to build your image.  The enhancement phase is like adding spices to your favorite sauce. Oh its good straight up…but its magical when you’ve touched it and added to it. Throw some Oregano in it.. maybe some seasoning here and there.   It’s to make it better. To bring more flavor to the image.   When we deliver a gallery to you every image has been touched and enhanced.  they’ve gone through my hands, or someone from my design teams hands.   We want the image to be the best it can be before it gets to you.

After enhancing I take the images through a retouch phase.  Now.  Here is where the bread and butter is.  This is where blemishes are removed.  This is where back grounds are manipulated so that distractions are taken away.  This is where things and or people are removed.  It’s not ” cropping” as much as it is “cloning”  Taking one area of an image and cloning it into another to make the image better. We also do black and white conversions and special effects in this phase.  This part of the after shoot process takes time.  Each image is brought up in our editing program ( Photoshop) and looked at and retouched as needed.  Formal images at a wedding are more extensively looked at.  Family session images are more intensely looked at.  It’s a process.  which leads me to the last common question.

How long?!   Well.  That depends.  Was it wedding photography?  Was it a Senior Session?  Maternity session or family portraiture?   Each has its own time frame for completion.  Weddings are a big part of what we do.  We are an award-winning wedding photography company.  We take our time to get your images great.   Theres a lot of images in a wedding gallery!  Weddings are turned around here in 60-90 days.  I care enough about your wedding day images to do it right.   Is it a beach wedding where there’s a ton of people there?  Yeah.. im going to do what I can to get them out of your images.  Why?   Because you don’t want Joe Speedo in the background.  Do you?   Family sessions, maternities, newborn photography, High school senior photography.  Turnaround is 14-21 days.   There arent as many images as a wedding so the time isn’t as long.  They however go through the same process.  If retouching needs to happen.  It does.  I was taught that it its more important to do things right…than to do things fast.   I care about your images.  I care about how great you and they look, and so we take our time to make that happen.   Once your photography session or wedding is over there is still plenty left to do.   Its more than just the 1 hour portrait session.  Its more than the 8 hour wedding day.   It takes time to make things amazing.   You’re worth it.

To wrap this post up.  Heres a pic of a gorgeous car from a recent wedding at Andrews Memorial Chapel.  Our bride and groom got whisked away for a few alone moments right after the ceremony.  Pay attention to the background.  Which image would you rather have?   Yeah…  Thats the difference.

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