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Lets get real about "editing"

What do we mean when we say we are editing? What is our edit style? What does it involve?

We get asked about our edit style a lot by couples, because it would seem you lot are pretty switched on when it comes to realising that all photographers have a slightly different edit style. That said, there does still seem to be some myths and misunderstandings about what editing, in the context of wedding photography, really involves…so we are hoping to explain a little better in this post!

Our edit style

We would describe our edit style as warm, true to life and timeless with a slightly filmic quality. We have spent a lot of time over the first years of our photography journey finding what we feel like works for us, our clients and our style. We always want our images to feel warm and romantic, but still feel very true to life. The edit needs to compliment our shooting style which you can ready more about here

We want our images to not become dated by the edit and feel as though they can be timeless. We don’t try to follow any trends, but stick with what we love.

The difference between “retouching” and “editing”

So fun fact, Emily actually has a background in commercial retouching, and so we know a thing or two about the difference between “retouching” and “editing” so here is our two cents on the matter…

For us, when we refer to “editing” we mean that we are making changes to the colours, tones and style of the original images. We may add warmth, adjust shadows, make an image black and white etc. In contrast “retouching” to us means adjusting the images in ways such as removing objects and changing elements of an image to make them look different. Traditionally retouching is talked about as changing the appearance of the person in an image, and this has been widely discussed in industries such as fashion.

Why we don't retouch our couples

Well it isn’t that we can’t…from Emily’s retouching days we have the skills available…but it is because of this experience we won’t edit your appearance in your wedding images before you see them.

When you spend your time retouching so called ‘imperfections’ from fashion & portrait studio images (both on models and in sessions with everyday families) you realise quickly that what we see as our imperfections are often just part of who we are. When retouching a person without having a discussion with that person about the things they might like to have retouched…you are making an assumption that there is something ‘wrong’ with their image…and therefore their appearance. This is something we just don’t believe in.

We are all about body positivity, self love and appreciating your beauty as authentically as possible. So when you get your images from us we will already think you look absolutely amazing. Now that isn’t to say we are entirely against little touch ups here and there when things have turned up unexpectedly (we are looking at you surprise bruises!) so if you’ve had a little trip up, cut your face a bit shaving, or been stung by a bee (yeah that happened mid wedding for us last year) we will do our best to cover those bits up!

(So in this example we've got rid of the little cut/bruise on the brides ankle because it was right next to the shoe strap)

What if you actually want retouching?

If you do feel like you want some retouching, that is however totally up to you! We would always encourage everyone to love themselves, and their wedding images, exactly as they are…but we can always make a few little tweaks here and there. Only when asked, and only after chatting about it first. Anything we feel is out of the realms of our capabilities can be sent to an external editor…but remember any tweaks after the gallery is delivered might be chargeable.

The process from start to finish

Some of our couples are keen photographers themselves, and others won’t have the first clue what happens when we head home and pick our laptops up. So we thought we would break it down a little bit. Of course each wedding brings its own differences, and sometimes challenges, with editing.

But as a general rule of thumb here is how it usually goes…

- Upload the files - As soon as we get home from the wedding, no matter the time, we always upload the images before we do anything else. We pop our SD cards into the laptop or card reader, and the images get backed up onto our laptop and hard drive.

- Pick out the previews - We will do a run through of the images and choose a small selection to send first, usually from key points in the day such as getting ready, ceremony & portraits. We always aim to get previews out within a week of the wedding to keep the wedding vibes going!

- Start the gallery process - Now we sit down with a big mug of coffee and start the process of looking through all of the images. This is the bit that usually takes much longer than you would think. We get rid of any images from the day that don’t meet our standards…maybe its a duplicate of another image, the flash didn’t fire, eyes were closed etc. Generally we will look over the images multiple times on a few different days before we start editing because clear eyes second view always help!

- Let the edit begin - We start by applying our base preset. This adds the tones and colours to the images that we love - although depending on the weather, lighting and vibe of the day this does sometimes need tweaking! Then we go through each image individually to check if they need straightening, cropping, any lighting tweaks etc. This is also when we tend to choose the images that we think look best in black and white.

- Attention to detail - Once the whole gallery has been edited, we then do another run through of the full gallery. This time we check the details, any last tweaks that need making or anything we think that is drawing attention from the shot. With usually 500+ images to go through this takes a lot of time and a lot of coffee!

- Export & Upload - The last thing for us to do is export the full gallery in High Resolution and start uploading to our gallery site. Once they are uploaded we can see the images as a full collection, rather than just one at a time. This is when the story really comes together…and it is our favourite part of the process!

- Last checks & Sending - The last thing we do is to go through the whole gallery from top to bottom, make sure we are happy with how it flows and then send it out to the lovely couple! This usually means we send an email link and then start pacing around nervously hoping you love your images as much as we do. For photographers, by this point we have put weeks into looking at them and curating your gallery and we care so much because we love what we do! So just as a little tip from a photographer to couples…please tell your photographers you love your images. We sleep much better when you do!

So there you have it! A little insight into what we do while we are sat at our desks for weeks on end during wedding season! Of course sometimes we get to work the day after the wedding, other times we will have multiple weddings to photograph in a row, so it might look simple...but we are constantly juggling jobs! We are the only people in our little team...which means we work in social media, photography, editing, content creation, customer service, admin & all the other roles that being a self employed person involves now.

This is why we recommend a 6-8 week turnaround for's not because we just fancy waiting to send the images...we need to be able look multiple times at your gallery, take our time with the editing and have the headspace to give our best to our clients. Sometimes we might even need to eat, sleep and rest too!

If you are still not sure that you understand the editing process feel free to drop us a message! We love to chat all about our work and weddings with anyone who wants to talk!

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