Most couples will ask us whether we do black and white wedding photos, and simple answer is yes. The cameras we use, either Canon 5D mkiii or mkiv, shoot full frame with high resolution colour sensors, so everything we shoot is in colour; we each bring 2 camera bodies, and every camera shoots onto two memory cards just in case one fails. So, for every wedding you will have two wedding photographers, with two styles of photography, working with two cameras and all images being recorded onto two discs. Depending on the number of hours we work at a wedding, whether it’s a half day just from the ceremony to the call-to-meal, or a full day up to the evening dances, we will shoot between 1500 and 6000 images.
Once a wedding is done, and we’re home at the studio, the files are immediately backed up onto the main computer and the next morning all files are backed up onto two separate external hard drives. When Mike begins processing a wedding his first job is to edit thousands of images down to a few hundred, and to choose the ones that best tell each couples’ wedding day story in the best way. It’s not all about the wedding portraits, although they’re the most important, but getting a sense of the whole day from morning preparations to the evening’s entertainment. We shoot a lot of guest photos, family and friends are a big part of everyone’s day so we make sure we’re available for anyone who wants a photo taken.
Once all the images have been edited down to a manageable number, which takes a day, sometimes a long day, the processing work can begin. It’s the same process for every wedding, selected RAW files are imported into dropbox and basic settings are applied so the images have a similar look in terms of colour temperature, contrast and saturation. Then, one by one, each image is tweaked to get the best from it. Because there can be 500+ images to be inspected and adjusted, this part of the work will take at least a day, sometimes two - we don’t farm this out to third party firms. When that’s done, we might spend a final day fixing anything that needs to be fixed in photoshop, then make a selection of images to be converted into black and white. We do this last because we can see everything in its final colour version with all the fixes in place, which gives us the best sense of what will work in black and white - not every image will, and we’re pretty choosy about what gets selected.