I get a lot of questions about why it takes so long to get your wedding photos back. Believe me, I would love to give them to you right away. However; the photos we take in the camera is only part of the work we do to give you stunning images of your day.
I’m a big Google learner; that’s how I can find anything on the internet.
I found a great article from Emily Fuselier Photography that explains the typical editing process. Of course, everyone is different.
So thanks for the info Emily! Head on over to her blog to see her beautiful work!
Edited photos vs Proofs
Although we include the proofs and a limited release in all of our packages, people still have a lot of misconceptions about what proofs are and what they can do with them. Hopefully this guide will help you to understand a little bit more about this popular item.
What are proofs?
Think about what film negatives are.. Small, unedited, easy to store, with lots of potential. Proofs are the same way. These files have had very minor tweaking (if any), no retouching, no resizing. They are a blank canvas, with lots of potential, if you know how to use them. However, proofs are NOT the images you see in our portfolio, in our albums, and on our blog. The photos we present have had extensive editing.
Why would I want them?
Many people want these files because they feel better about having a digital copy of all of their wedding images, or because they want to print the photos off themselves, or because they want to post their photos online, such as on Facebook, MySpace, or a personal wedding website. You are welcome to do whatever you please with your negatives, as long as it falls under the limited release.
When I get the proofs, does that mean I own the copyright?
No! Per federal law, we retain the copyright to every image we take, and copyright ownership cannot be sold to any person, for any price. When you purchase the proofs, you receive the images on a disc, plus a written release that gives you permission to use the images for certain purposes, such as making prints or other photo products, posting on a website, or for personal use. The release is specific to the person or persons purchasing the proofs only, and cannot be duplicated for others’ use.
What CAN’T I do with the proofs?
First and foremost, you cannot transfer or sell your copyright release to anyone else. This means that you can’t e-mail the photos to your Aunt Betty and tell her she is free to print the image all she wants. Only the bride and groom have permission to use the images. You also cannot make significant changes to the images we give you (cropping and resizing are ok, but please leave the image editing to us – that’s what you pay us for!). You also cannot sell DVDs, CDs or prints of the images to your friends and relatives, wedding magazines or websites (although we are happy to submit your images to wedding magazines on your behalf!), your other wedding day vendors, or anyone else. Emily Fuselier Photography is the only entity authorized to sell or distribute the images that they own. If you have a specific request, we are more than happy to work with you to accommodate your needs.
Why are your photos so expensive?
The process that each image goes through before being printed can take hours, and is very skilled work, so we charge accordingly for this service. This is why there is such a big price difference between taking a proof to your local neighborhood one-hour photo and getting a 4×6 for $.20 and purchasing one from us for $15. At the one-hour photo place, you are paying for the low-quality paper it is printed on, the antiquated equipment that prints it, and the two seconds it takes them to run the image through some generic tweaking (which usually makes the image WORSE, not better). When you purchase from the photographer directly, you are getting an image printed by a professional photo lab on super high-quality photographic paper and whatever time it takes us to carefully tweak and retouch the image and then calibrate it to the specific printer that our lab will be using, as well as our unconditional guarantee that if something is wrong with the print you receive, we will replace it free of charge until you are satisfied. This requires expensive computer software and hardware, as well as lots and lots of time (roughly 15-30 minutes per image). For large prints, we also have a special process that allows us to enlarge the image to virtually any size without any loss of quality. This is something that you just can’t get at one-hour photo shops.
What exactly does “editing” a photo entail?
This is truly a huge question, and hard to answer with words. It can mean increasing contrast, adjusting the white balance, changing color hues, removing pimples, slimming down unattractive body parts, opening closed eyes, erasing debris or distracting backgrounds, adding special effects like vignettes or sepia, etc. The possibilities are truly endless, and every single image requires something different.
Furthermore, each image goes through two different rounds of editing. The first round of editing is where we make minor tweaks to the image to make it presentable for proofing.
It’s much easier to answer this question visually. In the following examples, the “unedited” photo is the image straight out of the camera, the “proof” photo is the photo after the first round of editing (this is the image that you will see in your proofing galleries, as well as the image you will receive with your proofs), and the “edited” photo is the image after extensive retouching work that we will use for prints, albums, canvases, etc.