Right now I’m doing what I do most. . .retouching. And I am thinking, if I charged for this, like a standard rate of $15 per $15 minutes, I’d be rich. But I also think it would be unethical. My job is to provide beautiful memories, and my personal goal is that my brides and grooms would never see an unflattering picture of themselves. So right now I’m darkening carpets and blurring out lego boxes. . .hooray for the glamourous life of a photographer!!
btw, I handed off the camera and made a guest appearance in this picture:) Look at that nice, dark carpet. . .it was quite a few shades lighter before and was a bit distracting from the family picture!
Here’s my thought process behind having a two-week turnaround time for images. If I shoot a wedding on Saturday, I’ll download the pictures when I get home. Then that night or Sunday afternoon I’ll look through them to make sure everything is there, and back up all the RAW files to DVD’s (usually this takes several hours and is done amidst watching football and playing with the family).
Then I don’t look at the pictures again for at least 3 days or ideally until the following weekend. It helps me tremendously to see the images with fresh eyes, to look at the pictures as they actually appear, not how I wanted them to look while I’m taking them.
Next I make global adjustments to all the pictures – choosing the initial keepers, color-correcting, changing light levels, and doing basic changes, which takes a day or two.
Then we photoshop everything – making the B&W highlight reel, fixing everything that needs fixing, this takes a day or two also.
Last, and the most painful is the organizing stage – putting the pictures in order & weeding out the not-quite-great, redundant, or unflattering pictures. I always think it will take 2 or 3 hours, but I start in the morning up working on it until 2 a.m. Then I back up the renumbered pictures to another hard drive and to DVD again. . .and send the bride the happy news that the pictures are finished!
So all told, I spend about 40 hours of computer work on a typical wedding. . .all the while to bouncing Annabelle on my knees and watching Madeline make a creative mess of our living room:)