Essential Wedding Kit (Part 4) - The backup and edit

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The backup and edit

Capturing the shots is half the job, but storing them and fixing them up is just as important

Description: The backup and edit

Ask any professional wedding photographer about their backup rituals and you’ll almost certainly be told tales that make them sound borderline paranoid. Making double-backups on site, getting a UPS man to collect a copy of images at the end of the day and even burning a DVD right away and entrusting a copy of the RAW images to a relative should something happen to the photographer. Over the top perhaps, but telling a bride and groom their memories are gone is certainly a whole lot worse.

Have a backup plan in place to ensure that the images you shoot make it through the editing process and end up in the hands of the eager couple.


Description: Retouching

Editing the images is something that should be factored into your fee. Antici pate how long the editing will take

Everlasting memory

Description: Everlasting memory

You need to be sure your shots are going to last as long as the couple’s memory of the day. Always back up your image

Treasured image

Description: Treasured image

Backing-up your shots is as important as taking the photos in the first place. Don’t get caught out - always make copies.

Process power

Description: Process power

You will need to have a well-specced computer to handle the amount of files shot at a wedding.

Backing up and storage

Initial backups are vital to avoid loss of images from a lost or corrupt card. Portable hard drives are handy to have on the day as they don’t require an external power source. For more stable storage, a large external hard drive is a good option. A year is a good amount of time to tell couples you will keep their images for, but to be safe burn a backup disk and keep the photos indefinitely.

Free Agent Go Flex Ultra-portable Drive

·         Price: $110

·         Website:

·         On-site backups

·         Automatic continuous backup software

·         File encryption

Western Digital My Book Storage 4TB

·         Price: $400

·         Website:

·         High-volume desktop storage facility

·         Permanent backup

·         Multiple-input cable

SD Card Recover

·         Price: $50

·         Website:

·         Rescuing images off SD cards

·         Compatible with Compact Flash, SDHC and MiniMicroSD

·         Supports all top brands

The editing programs

Adobe Photoshop

·         Price: $699

·         Website:

·         Advanced features

·         Total image control

·         Airbrushing and portrait touch-ups


·         Price: $80

·         Website:

·         Simple adjustments

·         Clear interface

·         Template photobooks


·         Price: $149

·         Website:

·         Batch processing

·         Easy colour conversions

·         Instant res-eye removal

Pro advice Mike Garrard

Description: Mike Garrard

If you shoot with multiple cameras or with an assistant, synchronise the time on all cameras. When reviewing all the images they will then appear in the right order. This makes the selection process quicker and easier, and they will be in more or less the right order to present them to the client, saving lots of time.

Of course, watching your framing and making sure there is nothing distracting in your backgrounds all helps to avoid time spent cropping or cloning!

I use a piece of software called Photo Mechanic, made by Camera Bits to quickly look at all images together and rate/sort them into shots to keep and work on. and those to trash. It's much faster at building previews than Adobe Lightroom. so I only take my keepers into Lightroom. Somewhere between 300-600 is a good target for a wedding, I tend to produce 500-600 on average. Don't pad out your collections by making a colour and black-and-white copy of the same image, or include ten pictures of the same thing, though!

Finishing touches

Weddings are all about the flourishes and adding a few of your own when delivering your images will leave a lasting impression. Be upfront about what format you deliver the images in and how they will be presented. Attractive options include producing hardcover photobooks or presenting prints in a smart keepsakes box with an added bow. If you're presenting discs, keep your eye on the small things and print colour stickers rather than labelling the disc yourself. To show extra attention to detail choose colours and patterns that match the decor or the wedding.  It may be the fine touches that get you recommended to the next couple who walk down the aisle.

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