01Mar

The True Post-Production Process

By, March 01, 2021

To ensure your photos represent the “True” style, they undergo hours of hands-on care and attention. Our post-production process starts with an amazing photograph. We then take that photograph and bring out the very best within the image. These refined techniques really showcase the art and style of each photo, ensuring that the images will remain timeless, with that extra oomph :) 

This post will walk you thru all the steps taken with the “best of the best” images. 

Step 1 – Portfolio Image Selection
When new photos are ready to be worked on, we start with the Portfolio Selection Process. This involves personally reviewing every photo from your shoot, and deciding which ones best represent your day. You will still have access to every photograph taken, but there are certain shots from your photoshoot that are the clear standouts.

Members of our team, working hard on your photos. When making selections, we make sure to showcase a variety of poses, locations, and lighting. 

STEP 2 – Image Enhancement
Now that we have our portfolio images selected, it’s time to give them the True treatment. In this step, we adjust tones within each photo, correct temperature, and refine the color. We make a lot of small decisions that dictate how far to go, and when to stop.

For example, check out this image taken at Meaghan and Daniel’s wedding earlier this year:

The example above is the original image, right out of the camera. Isn’t it pretty? :) We intentionally exposed it this way, for the highlights, in order to preserve the detail. Had the image been exposed for the mid-tones, all the detail in the sky would be lost, and no amount of post-production would bring it back. 

Next, we identify the areas of the image that will require enhancement.

To address these items, we add our “Secret Sauce.” This consists of applying our custom, painstakingly developed Photoshop presets, as well as expert manual adjustments. We balance the color temperature, bring out the shadows, and restore any lost detail in the highlights, resulting in the image below.

That’s looking better! This is the image after undergoing enhancement. We strive to create images that are bold, crisp and clean, while maintaining natural skin tones.

Step 3 – Image Retouching
With the image looking the way we want it, it’s now time for a little retouching. In this step, we use meticulous Photoshop techniques to remove skin blemishes, fly away hairs, and any other distractions in the image.

We identify areas of the image that will be retouched.

Step 4 – Image Delivery
After identifying the problem areas, and retouching the image, the result is a final product that we are proud to deliver to our clients. Check out the example below to see the results, after the retouch has been performed.

Compare this against the original image from before!

We hope you enjoyed this peek behind the scenes, with a glimpse into the hard work that goes into your finished photos.

01Feb

It’s all about having the “True” Eye

By, February 01, 2021

With over 17 years of photographing professionally, we’ve seen our share of beautiful locations, some of which have been designed to look perfect. But not all locations have what many would consider “a lot to work with.” For example, a photo shoot could take place in a nondescript backyard. Or the light condition may be really harsh. Or perhaps, due to rain, the shoot may be moved indoors at the last minute. No matter the environment, it’s our job to make the photos look their very best!

When we are presented with a challenging location, there are two techniques that we like to follow. One is to use the location as it is. We incorporate the existing conditions into the photo shoot, and show the background as it is. Ex: if we are in a supermarket parking lot, this will be apparent in the finished images. We take what we have to work with, and find ways of making it interesting and creative. 

The other technique we use is to re-purpose the environment. We basically work around the constraints of the location, looking for dramatic lines, angles, unique lighting and focal blurs. The result is nice stylized shots, even if you can’t tell exactly where they were photographed.

To demonstrate these techniques, and take you through our creative process, we selected a location in downtown San Diego. This spot is just down the street from our studio. 

This is a building just outside of our studio that is currently under construction.

When looking critically, from our perspective, here is how we see the location:

When we scout out a location, we are looking at it from a very different frame of mind than the everyday eye. We look for opportunities that may typically go unseen. We start to look for potential opportunities that may photograph well.

After stepping into the shot, we can better identify potential spots for our subject.

Having scouted the location, and determined our plan, here are a few examples of the results.

Example 1: Traffic median and building under construction

Here is a traffic median (left) and a building under construction (right).

Here is what the “True” eye sees :) The picture on the left was just the floor in the center median, which made for a nice graphical background. On the right, we used a long lens to shoot through the environment. This added visual interest, and tied in the colors.

Example 2: Normal street view

Here is what a normal street view looks like in this spot.

Above is what the “True” eye sees :) By using a long lens, and looking for interesting lines, we were able to take a standard city view (street crosswalk and rows of lined trees) to create two dynamic images.

Example 3: A small spot of greenery

Here is… not all that much to see. These are the bushes that you often find in a center median. Not the prettiest, but the only greenery nearby.

Here  is what the “True” eye sees :) We wanted to show color within the photograph, and this location was very narrow. To make the image look more lush, we photographed at a sharp angle.

Example 4: A crosswalk under construction

Here is a crosswalk under construction… We were drawn to the potential of the white, wooden construction boards.

Here is what the “True” eye sees :) We re-purposed the environment in the absolute simplest fashion, using the construction boards. This kept the backdrop high-contrast and clean.

Rather than trying to hide the environment, we made use of it, and looked for cool symmetry and lines.

For more creative uses of the city streets in our photography, check out our full gallery of urban downtown photos

31Aug

What I can expect with 1 vs 2 photographers

By, August 31, 2020

While we typically always suggest 2 photographers, we also understand that based off our clients preference for coverage or for budget purposes, 1 photographer may make the most sense for your event. We have a couple of tips to ensure we are set up for success to provide you with the coverage you are expecting.

As we all know, one person cannot be in two places at the same time, so it will be important to understand what can and can’t be covered. Then, once you decide which portion you would like to have covered, it will be important to share that with your lead photographer. The key is to make sure everyone is on the same page with the same understanding before the big event versus after.

Pre-Ceremony – If you have a bridal party and are not doing a first look, it will be important to choose which side the lead photographer will cover. Or, as a work around, if the lead photographer is given an ample (typically 2+ hours) amount of time before the ceremony he/she can move from one location to the next, to cover both sets of the bridal party. If you are doing a first look, then both sides can be covered beforehand, again, assuming there is a good buffer of time (avg – 2.5 hours before ceremony).

Ceremony – It is important to note that although the photographer will be moving swiftly he/she will need to choose certain moments and angles to cover. For example: When you are first walking down the aisle, there may not be time to capture a reaction shot. We will, of course, do our very best. As well, the photographer will be more focused on the two of you, which means there will be less family/friend reaction shots overall.

Cocktail Hour – During the cocktail hour we are typically photographing the family portraits, bridal party and couples portraits. If we are capturing these images and that is our focus, there will most likely be no cocktail hour pictures of the guests or details of the reception area. As a work around, if you are wanting this covered, doing a first look or scheduling your cocktail hour for 90 minutes would be the solution.

Reception – During the reception our goal is typically to capture the key events while also getting reaction shots. We try to get everyone in the room photographed as we assume people have traveled from many different places. We just ask that it is understood that there will most likely be less guest reaction shots and we may not get everyone captured in a picture, as our main focus will be on the two of you. If there is a special group of people that you want to ensure is captured, it will be important to share that with your lead photographer and set aside time.

If you decide you would like to add a second photographer, please go to your Account Login and you can add it there. Thanks!