The Post-Session Process | Boston Maternity Photographer

In the peak of Boston family photographer busy season, clients often want to know: why the long turnaround times for my images?

Why would it take 14-21 days for me to receive them back? What exactly happens when my photographer leaves my session? Admittedly, this is quite the dry topic to put into text although I enjoy the process overall. To keep your attention, I will intersperse some quintessentially Boston Public Garden maternity pictures as I explain.

boston maternity photography session in the public garden

1. The Back-Up

The first thing I do when I get home from a maternity, newborn, family, or wedding shoot is back up your images! I want everything to be in at least two places *just in case* something happened to one of those spots. This is particularly important for things like Fresh 48s and weddings which (in the worst case scenario) could not be re-done. Even though a lifestyle newborn session and a family session could technically be re-shot, I treat all sessions with the same system.

pregnant mother laughing in beautiful light during photoshoot

2. The Sneak Peek!

Most of my clients are very anxious and excited to see a sneak preview of their images. Even in busy season, I try very hard to pull your folder into PhotoMechanic (a program that loads quick previews of each file so I can cull more quickly) and grab 1-3 images for a sneak peek within 48 hours.

maternity photography in the middle of boston

3. The Initial Cull

After the sneak peek, each client’s images go into my queue. In the busy season, my queue can be anywhere from 5-15 sessions deep. Why is this? Because each session can take me 3-5 days to work on and sometimes I have 5-7 sessions within 10 days in October! When a client’s session in next in the queue, I open it in PhotoMechanic and do the “initial cull”. Cull means basically to whittle down the 600-1000 photos from your session to around 100-150 of the best images. During culling I eliminate blinked eyes, silly expressions, images that are not sharp, badly composed images, duplicates, and anything else I wouldn’t feel totally confident delivering.

maternity photographs in boston

4. Color Correction: Basic Edits

Once I have done my initial cull, I bring those images into Lightroom where I do 80% of my editing. Each image has my initial preferences (a custom preset) applied and then I go through each one by hand tweaking the white balance, exposure, contrast, etc. I usually cull about 10% more during this process: usually ones that are very close duplicates that I wanted to take a more detailed look at. I also convert approximately 30% to black and white at this time. Did you know that not every image looks good in black and white? I am looking for specific things for my conversions: enough contrast, a wide variance between lights and darks, emotion.

This Boston maternity session had some great contrasty emotive images and I ended up converting quite a few!

couple snuggling eachother and their baby belly during boston maternity photo session

5. Photoshop Time: Final Edits

When Lightroom edits are complete, I export all my images in high-resolution jpeg and again view them all in PhotoMechanic. Seeing them as a set helps me identify any tweaks I need to make like wonky horizons, white balance discrepancies, or exposure differences. As I go through them, I flag any images that I need to bring into Photoshop. Things I use Photoshop for would be: background image distractions, temporary skin blemishes like scratches/bruises, and newborn acne.

baby bump pictures on beacon hill in boston

6. The Delivery!

Once photoshop edits have been completed, I upload them all to ShootProof (my client gallery hosting service) and view them as a set one last time. Once I am happy that everything looks cohesive, I back up the final images again in my hard drives, and deliver the final gallery my client!

photo session outdoors in public garden

Are you looking for a Boston maternity, newborn, family, or fresh 48 session? Let’s chat about Winter and Spring 2020 options!

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