How I Edit Wedding Photos

Basic Editing and Advanced Retouching

Singapore wedding photographer editing

I am asked over and over. “Do you edit the wedding photos?”. “How do you edit the wedding photos?”. You want things to look their best, so yes, I do edit the wedding photos. Every image is hand edited.

How I edit wedding photos

Let’s start with how I don’t edit wedding photos. A lot of photographers use Lightroom and just apply presets. Presets are often like applying the same Instagram filter to everything. I don’t do this.

Sometimes wedding photographers send a selection of your photographs to be edited by a third party, often in other countries. I am proud of the quality of my own work, therefore I never offload it to third-party editors.

I use Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Photoshop to do my own editing. This is a more consistent and creative way of editing than using presets. Yes, it’s more work, but the results speak for themselves.

Particularly when it comes to photoshoots, we have wedding photoshoots and pre-wedding photoshoots. Therefore, when I edit these photos, I split them into two categories, basic editing and advanced retouching. All photos taken during the wedding and pre-wedding will go through basic editing as the first step. Couples who signed up for the pre-wedding photography package get to choose a certain number of photos for advanced retouching.

Enough talking, let’s delve into the topic of how I edit my wedding photos.

Basic Editing

Light editing is what I want to achieve, not radically changing things. (You might want to zoom in on some of the pictures to spot the differences after the edit)

  • Refine exposure and brightness, colour balance, and contrasts
  • Straighten and square things up if needed, so vertical lines are vertical, horizontal lines are horizontal
  • Crop the image artistically

Advanced Retouching

This is what I do in Photoshop. (You might want to zoom in on some of the pictures to spot the differences after the edit)

  • Remove spots, breakouts, stray hairs, eye bags, and blemishes from the skin
  • Remove unavoidable distractions from backgrounds (bins, fire extinguishers, marks on floors, etc.)
  • Remove distracting objects
  • Subtle skin smoothing and removing hotspots on the face
  • Fix any wardrobe issues, creases on gowns, marks on suits, etc.
  • Add surrounding elements to fill in the spaces
  • Add dramatic lighting for aesthetic effects
  • Liquidfy for either slimming or shaping
  • Signature colour toning

Out of all these editing techniques, this one has probably the biggest effect. Yellows and greens tend to be oversaturated during a bright sunny day and bringing the saturation down a little bit will change the mood significantly. And I also added an earthy tone to create my own signature style.

Of course, I allow my couples to pick which toning style (natural, vibrant or Signature tone) they prefer for their photos.

Lots of time and effort

All this detailed work takes a lot of hands-on computer time dealing with files, backing up and editing. Some photos need hours of editing time each, others just need over 10 minutes. Either way, a whole wedding takes many weeks of full-time work to edit perfectly.

Photography by UnderTheStars Photography

Singapore wedding photographer editing

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