Category Archives: Bride & Groom advice

good-feed-back-london-wedding-photographer

 

 review-london-wedding-photographers

 

Look what was waiting for me in the hallway when i came back from a recent trip. 🙂

 

We where absolutely mesmerized that Sara and Neil thanked us with a huge bouquet of flowers and a thank you balloon! Thank you so much Sara and Neil, it made our day!!

Love having positive feedback and hearing couples review on my work.

Coming up next on the blog, will be the chapter from their day…

 

 

♦ Bride and groom advice on image file endings and the importance of image editing ♦

Dear brides, grooms and other blog visitors,

I’ve decide to take some time out today from all the editing, because I really feel that this subject needs to be addressed.

The other day I had a phone call from a couple who have had their wedding photographed by another photographer, and now when they had decided to order their album – this photographer had gone out of business. So their question was, could I design and make an album for them out of the images that they had been given on their disc? I was soon to find out that the images their photographer had supplied them with where with RAW ending…

RAW FILES…?

To me this is mad. And this situation made me realize that for many brides and grooms seeking a wedding photographer, a lot of the terms used in photography are just pure gibrish if you’re not a photographer yourself.

The file ending of an image is one of those things. In a time when some wedding photographers will give their clients high resolution files to keep on a disc, it is extra important to understand these file endings, because they will decide whether you will be able to open the images without professional software, if the images can be printed and – most importantly, if the images have even been edited. So I am feeling obliged to give you guys some information on what the differences are.

First just a quick note on what “file ending” means: After the file name of your digital image you will have different endings such as: imagename.jpgimagename.tif – imagename.raw – there are many more, but these are the important ones in terms of wedding photography. I will now tell you about each of these file endings individually, what the difference is and which one you want to receive from your photographer.

1: – the file ending with RAW: imagename.raw.

( There are different ending names for Raw however, depending on which camera has been used)

I’m gonna start with what a “Raw file” is, because this is the image in it’s very raw state. A professional photographer, using a professional camera will shoot your wedding in RAW setting (in 9 times out of 10). This is why:

* A RAW file will have much more detailed information than the other common setting: Jpg

* A RAW file is the most versatile for the photographer/image retoucher when editing the image

* A RAW file is kind of what a negative was like in the film days – a digital file that the photographer processes your final image from.

Do you as a client want RAW files on your final disc? NO!! ABSOLUTELY NOT! Unless you yourself are an image retoucher, there is absolutely nothing you can do with this file. What it means if your photographer gives you RAW files, is that he/she has done no editing what so ever to your images. And you can’t really use your images for anything:

– If you’re lucky and have a modern computer, you might be able to view them in your default viewing program.

– You will not be able to send these images anywhere for printing. Printers don’t take RAW.

– You will not be able to upload these image online.

– Your image has NOT even been edited – no colour or exposure corrections, etc.

Before I head on to the other image files, I feel that it is in its place to quickly explain the work process for the wedding photographer once your image has been shot, and it will all come clear to you, why your photographer has been very lazy and not done his/her job if you are given RAW files:

THE (PROFESSIONAL) PROCESS OF YOUR IMAGES:

  1. Once your image has been shot in RAW, the photographer will import the RAW file into a professional image software.
  2. He/she will now do all the image corrections and editing to your image, perhaps transfer the image to an even more sophisticated program for further editing/work/playing around with your image.
  3. After this, your photographer will save your image WITH A DIFFERENT ENDING – most probably as a JPG. And this is the final image that you will receive on your disc.
  4. This is important to know: If a file has the ending RAW to it – it has NOT been edited. It is not possible to save a RAW file as a RAW once it’s been edited. Scroll down to the end of this article to read more details on the importance of the photographer’s editing, for you as a client.

 

2:The file ending with Jpgs or Tifs. (Ex: filename.jpg or filename.tif)

JPGs. This is the ending you want on your images!

  • This is the LIGHTEST option available when saving it on to your computer or backup, and in its original High resolution, it will have all the information in there for good standard printing up to size A3:)
  • This file CAN be printed by all printing companies – it’s the standard file- ending for printing:)
  • This file CAN also be uploaded online (although you probably need it in low resolution for it to upload):)
  • This file CAN be opened in all computer programs for images, and also in basic as well as advanced image soft wares:)
TIFFs. An alternative to the Jpg but not as versatile…
  • The Tiff file is much heavier in memory for your computer. And I mean much heavier. With a few hundred images or more, you are more likely to want Jpgs from your photographer.:(
  • A Tiff will include more information for printing in professional labs. But you won’t see a difference in a consumer/high street lab ( With the Tiff file, the image will print larger than A3 to really good standard – but only when printed in professional labs aimed at photographers and advertising companies – you can probably order large print from your photographer. You can from me anyway):)
  • A Tiff opens with most image soft wares:)
  • A Tiff can NOT be uploaded online (It can be uploaded in some up loaders. But it can’t be displayed online – such as face book, etc):(
CONCLUSION on bride and groom advice article 1
So just to conclude what I’ve been saying in this article: The professional wedding photographer will shoot in RAW to get as much detail and information in your image as possible. The photographer will then edit the image to his/her preference. The photographer will then save it as a JPG before writing it to your disc. That’s how it should be done! Think about it this way: A RAW file is called RAW, because this is exactly what it is: It is raw and hasn’t been coocked yet. A waiter in a restaurant would not serve his guest an un – cocked, raw dish, would he?
So the bottom line is: DO NOT accept a disc with unedited RAW files.
B

Some further information about The image editing – a VERY important stage in modern, digital wedding photography.

I feel obliged to give some further advice to brides and grooms on how important the image editing stage is – for the result on your photographs. I don’t think that it was right at all what this photographer mentioned did to this unfortunate couple – he skipped about 75% of the job! Yes I dare say that the editing is as high as 75 % of the job – at least in terms of hrs of work. Of course, the photographer has to perform really well as a photographer – put lots of money in towards the proper equipment, know lighting, know what to do with all camera functions, where to be and put a lot of energy and passion in to the work on the couple’s wedding day. But actually, when you think about it, the time that the photographer spends on the day for a full day cover, is just one very long day’s work. Probably about 8 – 12 hrs + time for travel. But the time that the photographer will spend on the computer… I can of course not speak for all photographers, but myself I can spend about 50 hrs in post production with a full day wedding cover. So essential is the editing part of the process, so I struggle to believe that any PROFESSIONAL wedding photographer spends less than 25 computer hrs – or alternatively pay a retoucher for this time. (Of course the time spent all depends a bit on what the photographer is charging as well – the editing might be very personal and thorough or it might be quite automated)

At the editing stage is where the photographer takes your images even further, making images in to bw or colour, making corrections, applying a personal style and experimenting with looks such as vintage, drained colours, crisp colours or enhanced colours, etc.

The editing process is actually a very difficult part. There are so many zilion ways of editing an image. The Adobe Photoshop softwares are so intricate and advanced – there are several options for everything you want to do to an image, several ways to combine, and different ways of doing things depending on what the image is like to begin with. A photographer’s editing style is the result of years of experience and experimenting, it’s not something you just learn over night. It’s an organic process where something new can constantly be discovered, and there’s a style to be developed which corresponds to the photographer’s shooting style. I can admit that I am still learning all the time. Although I started studying digital imaging and retouching on my first photography course in 2001 – I still discover new things. The best retoucher for high end fashion magazines can still open his/her Photoshop program and discover something new. It’s like playing world of the war craft. (An Internet game that doesn’t have an end – my brother has been playing it for as long as I’ve been using Photoshop! :))

I know that there’s a lot of text in this bride and groom advice – article and I hope that it is not too difficult to understand. I just want to break the text up a bit with an image. So this is an image of what a professional image- software might look like once opened with a photograph. (This particular shot is from Photoshop CS 4) See all these tools and options in the software? And I’m not even able to open them all at once for you. These tools and options are of course not there for the photographer to totally change and add random effects to your images. A lot of tools is what is needed to make just small, hardly noticeable tweaks as well. Hopefully this image can paint somewhat a picture of how much is involved in the image post production – a process that photographers like the one in this article, just choose to ignore…

 

article-raw-files-jpgs- tifs-wedding-photography

 

I’m hoping that this advice article has been helpful for couples who want to understand more when they are looking for a wedding photographer. And I’m sorry if I sounded a bit angry  here – but I actually am a bit angry with what happened to this couple… Please feel free to post me a question if there is something that you don’t understand, I will answer your question if I can! I believe that it might be very difficult to know what to look for when searching for a wedding photographer, so there might be more Bride and groom advice chapters coming up on my site in the future!

  • canape - Fantastic post. Thumbs up!ReplyCancel

  • Jo Wheeler - Whilst I realise this article is a little old, I have recently been asked to supply RAW images after a wedding to the Groom as he wishes to work on them himself within Apple Apperture. I am not aware of the package, but understand it is comparable to Lightroom which is the processing package I use.

    What are your view on supplying RAW images? I’ve initially said yes, but after having thought about it, I’m having a number of reservations for a whole host of reasons.

    I would like to hear your views please? Thank you.
    JoReplyCancel

This was meant to be a blog post showing the design for my new children’s portrait book –

and instead it became a little article on photo story books, and why I am so inspired to make them!

The post showing designing samples from a portrait book, has instead been linked at the bottom of this post – if you wish to see it.

I recently designed a book with portraits that I photographed of two really cute brothers. And I want to take this opportunity to tell you about my love for photo books. To me a book of photographs is a story. A story in pictures about what happened in a certain time in a certain place. About what that person was like or what that certain person’s reality was like – because reality changes and will be different tomorrow.

It used to be that you had go to a library or to a book store, to access books with images – images that would tell you about yesterday, show you a frozen moment, a shot by a photographer of strangers. But technology has evolved. It is now possible to have the images of you frozen on to the pages. It’s no longer a story about strangers. You may laugh at the thought. But imagine how your grand children’s grand children will look at the images. It’s images of their grandmother’s grandmother in that book. It is not some stranger –  it’s somebody that is a part of them. And imagine in some 100 + years time from now, what the viewer will look at in an image. The fashion we had back in our days! The hair cuts. The gadgets. The cars. The buildings. The shop signs. The way people interacted. How the person in the image has exactly the same eyes or the same smile as their descendants some generations later.

Take this photograph for example, wich I shot of  a groom’s family waiting for the ceremony to start, at a wedding in London Design Museum. It’s nice to have for those who are related to the people in it – it’s a generation portrait really, with mother, daughter and grandmother. But there is another thing as well about this image. You might not think about it now, because we are too close to this image in time and because the image is a bit small on here – but look at the mobile phone. I got a close up of that mobile later on – I just had to when I found out how much it cost – which I’ve displayed so you can see it close up. Imagine what people who look at this image will see, in 100 years from now. That mobile, that is a piece of history for you right there. That dates the picture. That is what a pricy mobile phone looked like back in 2010, when mobiles was still a very young invention…. (before we had mobiles built in to our ears… well, who knows :))

wedding family portrait by louise bjorling

diamond mobile photography louise bjorling

 

For a long time I’ve enjoyed looking at photographs in books that tell me something about the people in it – and if the image gave me an understanding of what those people where feeling in that moment, or what their lives where like, shivers would be sent down my spine. But not until that day when I sat in the car on a Highway between Montreal and Toronto – and the sky opened up for months of stock with rain, did I realize why I actually wanted to make books of recorded memories for people.

 

My Canadian bride was the first of my clients to want a square book, and since we had been discussing design ideas together in the car and since we could not drive any further in the rain, we made a stop to visit the book store in a mall for some inspiration. That’s where I found� Love, a book released by National Geographic. And it was love at first sight. It was a book with recorded moments of love, photographed from all over the world, since the early days of the camera til the present times. And when I flicked through it, feeling those shivers down my spine, I realized how special it is to be able to see those moments caught in time. Moments that where photographed decades back – still here to tell the story about what once was. And I realized that photographing a person’s important day, with their thoughts, their personality and perhaps a flicker of their lives and being shining through, are put in to a book – not only for the wedding couple or parents to have – but also to still be here, for future generations to see.

www.nationalgeographic.com/books  FRONT COVER: Guillaume Herbaut

photo story book

 

Pictures excerpted from the book

BOOK TITLE: LOVE

BY: Ferdinan Protzman

 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, Washington DC

 

Here follow some favorites of mine from the book’s hundreds of images. Photographs that have that special moment of interaction between people, and that tells us something about those people’s place and time.

photo blog chapter coffeetable booksBy bert Glinn, Chicago 1968 ← →  By Herbert List, Italy 1959

photo blog on photo story booksBy Paul Fusco, R Kenedy funeral train 1969, US  ← → By Bruce Davidson, NYC 1966

blog chapter louise bjorling on photo story booksxxxBy Gueorgui pinkhassov, Montreal Canada 1997 ← → By Gueorgui pinkhassov, Kamtchaka Russia

blog chapter by louise bjorling on portrait booksBy Carlos Baria, Cuba 2006 ← → By Simon Wheatley, London 2005

photography blog chapter on book of lovexxBy Chien-chi-chang, NYC 2005  ← → By Guillaume Herbaut, Albania 2004

 Amazing hey. ↑ It could have been the same photographer. But yet it isn’t, just two different people with the same idea!

 

blog chapter on photo story booksxxBy Thomasz Tomaszewski, Romania 1999

blog chapter on book of love by national geographicxxBy unknown photographer, Crimea 1909.

– I love this photograph of princess Anastasia and prince Alexei. The children’s expressions are just so timeless – these children could be at any time and in any social class. Apart from the quality of the image, there’s nothing about the children that dates this image. Their expressions are timeless – you won’t be able to tell that this is early 1900s and there is nothing about them that specifies them as royalties. Children will be children.

And now from the book… some wedding photographs from back in the days!

photography blog on weddings from national geographic

 

Isn’t in cool to see all the different trends in wedding photographs from different times and places? Such as this one here – which unfortunately is dateless, but which obviously was shot at a time when tacky backdrops where on the agenda…. and for some reason the backdrop doesn’t feel tacky to me all the sudden, here it rather feels like a part of the history of photography!

 

This image underneath is by Henry Cartier Bresson, known amongst photographers to be the father of documentary photography (photojournalism).  And it is interesting to see that even in his wedding images back then, he is adapting to this – looking for a decisive moment to photograph the couple, rather than placing them to smile in front of the camera.

By A.Broomberg and O. Chanarin, Tanzania, date unknown

photography blog on weddings from national geographic bookBy Henri Cartier Bresson, 1938 ← → By Josef Koudelka, Chechoslovakia 1967

photography blog on weddings from national geographicxxx By Tomasz Tomaszewski, Romania, 1990′s…

photography blog on weddings from national geographicxxx By Elliott Erwitt, Russia, 1967

Always when I’ve flicked through the book, I’ve thought that this image above is American, I had planned in my head to say something about the “American 60′s fashion shining through” – and yet it is Russian. Cold wars apart, the fashion obviously found ways to slip through the door.

photography blog on weddings from national geographicxxx By Martin Chambi, Peru 1930

This is my favorite amongst wedding images from the book. Probably because it enables me to see what a wedding could look like all the way back in Peru in the 30s. The dress fashion. The style of the veil, which seems to be attached to some sort of hat. And it’s an interesting piece of information that the bride would have bridesmaids at that time as well, on the other side of the world… and I wonder what it could be that the little bridesmaids are wearing around their heads….

I think it is great with Internet, and I think that it is great for a wedding couple to be able to place their images on to their Face book page or on to My space , or where they want to post it. But those images unfortunately, might not be there tomorrow… So that is some (long piece of) information on on why I love photography books, and why I enjoy to make a book out of a couple’s wedding day or a portrait shoot.