What happens now? My process after I photograph your wedding or portrait session

I have been a photographer for quite a long time (10+ years!) and my process and business is always evolving. When I first began, I remember editing photos, one by one, in Adobe Photoshop CS2. My computer would freeze and it used to take forever!

Thankfully, my process is a lot more streamlined and faster. Which means, you get your photos a lot faster and with better quality retouching.

My process

After I photograph your wedding or portrait session, I usually go home and upload the photos either that same night or the next day. Usually, I’ll send a sneak preview or two that same night to my clients edited slightly on my phone ;).

I then choose the best of the best photos in terms of exposure, expression, and important events. I try and put myself in your shoes and carefully choose the ones I believe are the winners. For portraits this can be anywhere from 60-100 photos or more depending on the size of the family. For weddings, it depends on how many hours of coverage that you had and on average, it will be between 400-1000 photos.

All of the blue photos are the chosen ones for final edits.

I know other photographers include many more photos however, I make sure not to overwhelm my clients because it can be a little excessive when you’re seeing 30 photos of the same pose, same light, same everything and you really don’t need to. You need a good solid 5 photos of each pose, if that. So I make sure to choose only the best as final images.

After I choose the photos that I’ll be editing, I then begin the process in Lightroom. If I need extra retouching done, I’ll open the photo in Photoshop. Both programs are really great for editing.

Once your photos are edited, I’ll upload them into your personalized online gallery and send you an invitation to view, share, download, and purchase products like albums and prints.

The whole process for portraits takes about two weeks and for weddings it takes me about 4 weeks (sometimes less if I don’t have other weddings waiting).

Editing / retouching

For my work, I don’t do much to the photos. I make sure to get the photos as close to perfect as I can in-camera so that I can spend more time actually photographing clients rather than sitting at my computer all day.

My editing style is simple: I add a little brightness, warmth, contrast, and take away any weird hair fly-aways, trash in the background, and maybe swap a head or two if I need to.

 The photo on the right is the original. The one on the right got a boost in brightness, contrast, shadows, and warmth. Almost no difference.

The photo on the right is the original. The one on the right got a boost in brightness, contrast, shadows, and warmth. Almost no difference.

As for retouching, I will remove a blemish here and there or perhaps the linea nigra on a pregnant belly. Sometimes I’ll take out some sand on the face or weird fly-away hairs. However, I don’t overly retouch a client unless they have asked for it specifically. When I first began, I would smooth out skin, take out anything I considered a blemish, like moles, or even slim arms and waists. I do not do this anymore.

 Very minimal editing done to the photo. Some brightness, contrast, warmth, and straightening of the horizon.

Very minimal editing done to the photo. Some brightness, contrast, warmth, and straightening of the horizon.

I don’t retouch like that because it is not a real representation of who you are. It is fake and I want your photos to be as real as they come. I also want you to look at your photos and recognize who you are and know that you are beautiful inside and out.

Because all of my clients are absolutely beautiful and that needs to be reflected in the photos.

I don’t outsource my workflow

I know a lot of photographers out there that outsource their editing and while that is a great option, it’s not something that I personally prefer.

I rather make sure to edit and retouch your photos personally. I want to make sure that they keep their quality and streamline the editing look so that they don’t look different from one photo to the next.

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I also photograph one wedding a weekend because I want to make sure to give my clients the best I can and doing two weddings in one weekend is so tiring! I have done it and on special requests or situations I will.

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This gives me more time to really focus my attention to each photo that goes into your gallery. To give it real thought and make sure that I pick the very best to deliver to you.

After I receive my photos what then?

When I send the invitation email to your online gallery, you have the option to view, choose favorites, and share your photos online. You also have the option to download high resolution images and print at a location that works best for you.

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Since I am a destination wedding and destination portrait photographer, I offer an array of products through the gallery that you can purchase and have shipped directly to you anywhere in the world. Choose from albums, photo prints, framed prints, small cards, USB with your photos and wooden box, and much more.

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Your photos are safe

I keep client photos for 10 years. Sometimes more! I have them on external hard drives and make sure to backup all of the photos.

I have had couples lose their photos because their laptops broke or got stolen. I’ve had portrait clients forget where they saved them or lost their USB where they had them saved.

 This portrait is from more than 7 years ago. Still has my old website watermark on it.

This portrait is from more than 7 years ago. Still has my old website watermark on it.

Because I hold the copyright to your photos, I am able to keep them safe for a long time. Don’t worry, you have full permission to print and save your photos. The copyright also helps me to be able to use the photos on my websites and in the articles that I write. Which basically makes you famous ;).

Easy and simple

One thing I really like about my process is that it is easy and simple. I don’t over do the editing which takes time and can delay getting your photos to you.

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I make simple edits that make your photos pop without losing quality or authenticity. And the online gallery is simple and easy to use as well, which makes it easier on you.

That’s it

And that’s it. That is my process after the weddings or portrait sessions. It’s something that I get asked about often it’s great to let my client’s know what to expect after we have fun at their wedding or portrait session.

 

Ito Family Vidanta Resort Nuevo Vallarta Family Portrait Photographer

Not only did I have the absolute pleasure of photographing the Honrado family, but the Ito family too! They are actually sisters who were vacationing together here in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.

I'm so glad that Jo decided to do a portrait session to remember their beach vacation! I had a lot of fun and love that my clients are always the nicest!

Honrado Family at Vidanta Resort Nuevo Vallarta Portrait Photographer

There is something wonderful about capturing your family during a beautiful beach vacation. Especially if that beach vacation is in Nuevo Vallarta! The long stretched beach and beautiful grounds at the resort make for a mesmerizing background.  Add in a few splashes in the water and you get real vacation portraits.

Loved spending time with these kiddos exploring the resort and getting splashed on in the water while they had fun in the sun!

Family Session in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

I love being able to step away from the beach and take portraits of families at the resort where they are staying. It helps to really commemorate their time there and remember their vacation as a family.

In this case, Katy reached out to me and invited me to take these really gorgeous photos of her and her family! I'm so glad we met because she is really sweet and just the nicest! She is also a photographer in the Delaware area so if you are looking for someone to take family portraits - mainly maternity and newborn, she's your girl!

We walked a bit and then took many in front of the fountain at the entrance to the hotel which made a really nice background.

That's the great thing about visiting Nuevo Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, and the Riviera Nayarit, is that there are so many great places to have your session. 

It was a gloomy day but it made for such great colors and light. Thank you Katy for having me spend such a wonderful time with you and your family! Next time you come visit, it's tacos and margaritas ;).

Click on the photos to make them larger.

Toews Family Bucerias Sunset Family Session

I am so happy to photograph such beautiful families who come to Bucerias and Puerto Vallarta and spend a few days in the sun and sand. Nothing like spending time together and getting to witness the most beautiful sunsets on the pacific coast.

Everyone in this family was just sweet and they were such a joy to be around. Thank you to everyone for having me take a little bit of your time on vacation to capture your beautiful family!

And isn't this baby just adorable! Loved her! 

Sunset sessions are laid back and easy. If you're visiting this area let me know and we'll schedule your session so that you can always remember your time on a beautiful Mexican Beach Vacation.

My Heart is Broken.

If you don’t stand up for what is right, then you are no better than the person doing wrong.
— Annonymous
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If you follow me on social media, you've been seeing a lot of posts from me regarding the separation of families.

My heart is literally broken. And it breaks even more so when people have commented unkind words or words of apathy.

Let me tell you why this broke my heart: Because in a short amount of time a massive amount of families have been separated.  The rest is really superfluous to the main point. The only other time in modern history that this has happened is the Holocaust. 

And even though the president wrote an executive order to stop, many children have been SHIPPED TO OTHER STATES. Let that sink in.  Children have been separated, but it's another thing to ship children like animals to other states into the foster care system, which is beyond broken as we know, and deporting the parents. HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?!

Even the Nazis had meticulous records of each and every person they held and killed. It was almost sickening however, no person was unknown.  These children, some don't even have the capacity to speak because they are literally 1.5 years old. 

My son is 1 year and 8 months. He can't say his name. He can't say my name. He can't even articulate what he wants. If they took him or if he got lost, he wouldn't even know where to begin in order to find me. Many children are in this exact position. 

I can't look at my baby without thinking of all the other babies who don't have their mamas and daddies to hug them.  Even if it's because I gave him regular Cheerios instead of the chocolate Cheerios.   Or rejoice in the fact that he plays and dances and is a happy baby when we chase him through the house.  No, these children, instead, have been separated and SHIPPED OFF to other parts of the country.  As if there was never going to be a possibility of the families being reunited. 

I don't care what your political views are, but families come together and they should go together. Detain them together. I wouldn't care if I was detained in a shack as long as my family and my child were with me.   I wouldn't even care if they sent me back to my home, as long as we were together.  

I am just in awe that today, in modern times, we are seeing a similar pattern of apathy and hate that led to the genocide of many.  Including many, many, many children.  You don't recover from something like this.  You remember it and hold it in your heart for a long time.

But we can help.  We can donate. We can donate to lawyers who are on the ground doing something.  On the ground bringing those 8-month-olds, 2-year-olds, and 15-year-olds back to their homes with parents who love and want them.  Because children need THEIR family.  Children NEED their moms and dads.  

Help by clicking on these organization links:

DONATE TO TOGETHER RISING WHO IS ON THE GROUND DEFENDING THESE FAMILIES.
DONATE TO UNICEF TO HELP THESE FAMILIES.
DONATE TO HELP WITH SUPPLIES FOR THESE CHILDREN WITH BABY2BABY.

Help.  Help all you can because that is what these children need from us. If you are on the ground close to a center, help. If you can donate clothing, help. If you can translate, help. If you can take in a family while they await their trial, help. If you can share this post, help.

Let us reunite families, like all of the families that I post on here. Let us keep families strong and united.  Stand for families, not for unjust laws. Stand to help, not add to the noise. Stand to fight for what is right, not look the other way.

Stand. Help. 

Bergert Sunset Family Session in Destiladeras, Bucerias

Destiladeras is probably one of my favorite beaches in the Riviera Nayarita.  It is so incredibly beautiful and a hidden gem between luscious vegetation on the way to the famous Punta Mita.  A deep shoreline and calm waters make for beautiful sunset portraits, gah! Just beautiful!

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I had the pleasure of photographing the Bergert family while they were visiting from Minnesota, where it's currently snowing! 

It was so much fun and I love getting the opportunity to photograph such beautiful people while they are enjoying themselves in one of the most beautiful places in Mexico.  

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If you're visiting the Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita, Bucerias area, let's get a sunset portrait session done. 

You won't regret it when you look at your large wall portrait of your family on a beautiful beach, slowing down, and enjoying life!

Update on life...

Hey everyone! If you've been around for a while, you'll notice that I haven't been posting a lot lately.  This usually comes in waves when work is really busy, when I have a lull in work, or when I'm just not in the writing mood.

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I remember I used to mix in a lot more personal on this blog and since it is mine, I'm going to start that up again.  I am hoping to mix in a little reflection and share snippets of my life.  I could start a separate blog but then that would just be super confusing.  I do however, have a blog dedicated to my religious journey, which you can read at The Lost Lamb.  It's mostly about God and my faith as a fairly new convert to the Catholic religion some 5 years ago.  

But on here, I'm just going to share what is on my mind as well as my photography.  

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Currently, this is where I'm at:

  • Baby vampire teeth are coming in... I don't know the official name but you know which ones I'm talking about.  And man, have we been having a lot of nightly wake-ups and bouts of crying that comes out of left field.  But today I saw the little buggers poking through so it seems like we've passed the worst.  For now.  
  • After 1.5 years, I am finally feeling normal as a woman, mother, wife, and just person.  I feel like this should be a post all in itself because it's been a rollercoaster - I'm so grateful for my husband who has been so patient with me and always by my side.
  • I'm working on a couple of side projects at the moment and have let my photography kind of go by the way side, but I'm happy for the (few) events we'll be covering this year! Whoo hoo!
  • You guys, living by the beach is awesome.  I feel like I'm bragging but let me just say that if you wish to live by the beach, or on a mountain, or where ever, make moves.  You are not stuck and you don't have to be stuck.  We made moves, and trust me we were afraid, but we're here.  Living that beach life.  You can do it.  This also feels like I could do a separate post.  
  • I'm excited for the beach sessions coming up that I have! If you haven't already, check out the McKay (pronounced Mac・kai) that I recently blogged.  If you're visiting this area, let me know and we'll catch up and get some coffee and take some killer photos.
  • Making new friends is awesome.  I'm an introvert by nature and actually like being alone.  But I also live for those one-on-one connections with people and since moving, I haven't really had that here.  Finally making friends and getting out and having some good ol' girl time was so needed.
  • I bought new pens, I know this is so boring, but they have changed my planner life.  I'm a pen junkie, anyone else? 
  • Today I went to the beach and drank my coffee there looking and listening to the big blue space in front of me.  I need to do this every morning because I feel like I've slept a million hours, all by just looking at the ocean.  Incredible.
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That's all guys.  I know my life isn't exactly the most exciting.  It's a normal life and full of hard adulting and some pretty good belly laughs, mostly at my son because he's a toddler and does some really funny stuff.  Check out my Instagram to see him dance, and do funny stuff.  But I rather have my little boring and normal life than be faking the funk.  Anyone else feel like social media is all about the "influencer" now? So boring. 

Anyway, what's your life been like lately? Normal too? 

How to avoid meltdowns & have a great family portrait experience

Seriously, what could more intimidating than getting your portraits take, as a family?! Probably traveling with a baby comes close.  

I hear you, it can be really hard on parents who try to get their family portraits taken and suddenly you're dealing with a melt down because your toddler doesn't want to wear that dress and hates those shoes, on the day of your session.  Trust me, I've been there.  And it can be so stressful that you want to call your photographer and reschedule, which let me tell you, is completely in your right! 

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel! These quick and easy steps will all lead to a melt-down free session and lead to a happy post session!

DON'T SAY NO. 
This is really the only real rule that I have when I photograph families.  Especially out on the beach.  It's really easy to try and be on your best behavior as a family, but we all know that on the day of the session, your kid is gonna want to push their limits, set the new rules, and act a little goofy.  

I say, let them.  Let them get it all out of their system, let me take over and have fun.  The more they see this as a fun activity, the more willing they'll be to cooperate.  And this means, not saying "no" to running, climbing safely onto a tree, or even throwing sand and getting all wet.  Keeping things light and fun are going to change the whole experience for you!

BRING EXTRA CLOTHES
Being that we have just let these kids wild, you'll need to be prepared in bringing more outfits.  Always choose clothes that the kids feel most comfortable in.  And if that day they are particular about a shirt, bring it,  we'll use it and then I'll convince them to change later during the session.  Usually this works because I'm a stranger and they don't know that I'm a complete push over.  Plus, we're having fun and so they'll go along with it even more if we turn it into a game.

BRING SNACKS / TOYS
Kids are hungry all.the.time!  I'm sure that you are constantly bringing snacks and juices everywhere you go; sessions are no different.  Make sure you bring those favorite snacks and we'll give them to the kids through out the session so that they can keep their energy up and keep giving us those cute smiles!

Bringing toys is another great way to give your kids a break during the part of the session where we focus on mommy and daddy.  It's a great way to keep them entertained and sometimes, we can get cute photos like this one below; this photo captures who she truly is at 3 years.  

SMILING POSING MAY NOT HAPPEN
Just know that at your session, depending on your children's age, they may not be willing to be still enough for photos.  Take a 2 year old, they constantly run from the camera and don't like to sit still.  As where you have teens who don't like to smile at all but will stand there limp and bored.  So that's where we try to play, run, jump, through the baby in the air, maybe jump onto your teens back, or tell a funny joke - anything to get the energy flowing. 

I'll capture those interactions and sometimes, they make the best memories because they are natural, authentic, and real.  

DON'T BE AFRAID TO RESCHEDULE
Portrait sessions, thankfully, are always able to be rescheduled if your kid is having a really bad day or isn't up for anything.  Call me and we'll reschedule for a later date.  It's happened where we're in the middle of the session and we'll reschedule for a different day, and it's totally ok!  Sometimes this happens and it's quite alright.  I'd rather not force the session because we'll definitely see it in the photos.  

Having fun is always the best part of your portrait experience! Don't forget to bring on the bad dad jokes, run, jump, and be willing to play.  I guarantee everyone will have a wonderful time and we'll get the shots that you'll be able to treasure.