Congratulations! You got the call from your photographer that the disk and/or proofs of your wedding or bat/bar mitzvah are ready – hundreds and sometimes even more than a thousand of them! You are probably now thinking – where do I start!!!
Elizabeth Beskin of 5th Avenue Social has put together some helpful steps to guide you in the preparation and sorting of the images to create the album of your dreams. She has broken down the process to 3 easy manageable steps – much like how the professional photographers work on a daily basis. Here are her tips on organizing and managing your proofs so that you don’t become too overwhelmed by the prospect of selecting the best of the best.
STEP 1: SORT YOUR IMAGES
Sorting the proofs or digital images is key to the selection process. Elizabeth recommends sorting the photos by type and creating piles for each one. If you are working with a disk, you can simply create folders for each type of photo. She suggests creating 6 main piles or folders: immediate family portraits, extended family, service, details (such as flowers, decor, and location shots), reception and rejects.
Tips to help you sort the images:
- Quickly go through the images and put them into a category. Speed is important – first reactions and your instincts are not to be ignored!
- Since you’ll be going through each pile/folder multiple times, trust your instincts. Any photos are are unflattering to anyone should immediately go into the rejects folder. Create a ‘maybe’ file.
- Follow this process for each of the categories.
Next, you’re ready to fine tune your categories and whittle down the piles. Start with portraits – that’s the easiest – and create sub-groups for portraits, such as, bride, bride with mom, etc. Select and mark your favorites from each grouping.
Trust your instincts and look more critically at each photo with an eye to the lighting, facial expressions, setting and composition. Repeat these steps with each of the main categories. For example, Elizabeth points out that “reception photos can be sorted into sub-groups such as candle lighting, toasts, dancing.”
Elizabeth recommends envisioning about three album pages for each category. In other words, create a selection of two or three photos for each sub-category. You should now have about 20 to 30 pictures to choose from in each main category and be working with a total of about 250 images.
Now review the images again – but with a critical eye towards detail and uniqueness. You will want to select those images that will help to create a WOW factor for your album – unusual expressions, dramatic lighting, emotions, unique camera angles.
STEP 3: REVIEW YOUR FAVORITES BEFORE UPLOADING
Now you should feel like it is all coming together! You’ll now have a clearer idea of what your album will look like. Time to make the final cut! Upload your selection and review it again. Hit the ‘Send’ button and forward it off to your photographer along with any comments and notes so that the photography team can work on their first design of your album.
Thank you Elizabeth for your great tips and advice.