Why would I want to outsource my post processing?
Many photographers consider outsourcing post processing because they are frustrated having to spend hours on the computer processing their digital files. Instead, their time would be much better spent shooting, marketing your business, or even spending time with the family.
Others want the latitude of shooting in their camera’s raw file format, but don’t have the skills to get the results they want, or are put off by the time involved in getting the best from their images.
Of course you still want the creative control, but with Photoshop Services doing the time-consuming initial corrections, you then have time to develop and apply your own personal style to those images.
I have a specific ‘look’ I prefer – can you match it?
Colour is very subjective, and everyone’s preferences differ. Some like very warm saturated colours, other prefer much more neutral tones. You may prefer very contrasty images, or maybe a little more detail in the shadows.
Our services for post processing are tailored to your individual requirements – just like professional labs learned your film preferences.
We recommend that you send us examples of files you’ve corrected, or a link to a gallery of images, so we can see how you like your files. In most cases we can match your existing style – send us some examples, and we’ll see how close we can get!
Which raw processor do you use?
While we have tested most raw processors at some stage, we choose to use Adobe Lightroom for most post processing. Adobe’s fast updates for all brands of new cameras, compatibility with Photoshop, and sidecar xmp files make it an ideal choice.
Each raw processor has a slightly different look and feel, however high quality raw conversion is dependent on familiarity with the program’s tools, as much as the program itself, so don’t worry if you’ve had trouble getting the kind of look you prefer from Lightroom – send us some test files and your preferred conversions too, and we’ll get them to match.
Are the resulting files ready to print?
That’s up to you. The services we offer are for volume ‘high-quality proof’ standard. Most consider these ready to print as finished prints, but XMP files are also included, so you have the option to tweak further if you wish.
Do you just batch process the files?
Whilst we make use of batch adjustments to ensure consistency across a series of images, all images are evaluated and adjusted individually.
Is there an extra charge for mixed cameras?
No, we regularly work with a variety of Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Kodak cameras, to name a few. We can’t guarantee an exact colour match due to the differences in manufacturers and models, but they are usually very close. Correct time stamps does help ensure consistency, so please ensure the cameras are synchronised.
Which corrections are included in the price?
Basic corrections such as exposure, contrast and white balance are included in the basic raw processing costs. Other adjustments such as a vignette can also be applied using the same settings on each photo.
Black & white conversion, cropping, red eye reduction, localised adjustments, dust removal and other retouching are not included in the raw processing service, but can be done at extra charge.
Some images are very under or over exposed. Does that cost extra to fix?
No. Basic exposure adjustments done within ACR or Lightroom are included in the standard price. If you’d like additional noise reduction or other retouching, that can be done on a quotation basis.
Can I have some images in black & white instead of colour?
Yes, but please decide in advance which ones you’d prefer to have in black & white/sepia, and either flag these with a Bridge/Lightroom colour label (green preferred), or put these in a separate folder.
Alternatively, a full duplicate set of black and white or sepia images are available at just 5p per image, generated as full resolution JPEGs on our FTP Server.
Should I shoot raw or JPEG?
There’s great debate on the subject, and there’s no right or wrong answer.
If you’re nailing the white balance and exposure on every single shot, then by all means shoot JPEG, but then you won’t be needing our services either! If, like most professional photographers, your images benefit from ‘tweaking’ after the event, raw gives much greater latitude for adjustment.
For volume processing, we only accept raw files, not JPEGs, in order to ensure the highest quality result.
Can I send some test files?
Yes of course! It’ll give you an opportunity to see how YOUR photographs could look.
You are welcome to send 4 or 5 test files along for processing free of charge, and please do include some reference files too, or a link to a gallery of your work, so we can start to learn your preferences from this early stage.
How do I send files?
Most now upload to our FTP server, either a copy of the original raw files (if your connection speed is fast enough) or a small DNG copy of them. Alternatively files can be posted to us on a USB stick. USB sticks are returned by first class post after loading and backing up.
If sending by USB, please do NOT send the original files – send a copy!
How are the corrected files returned?
Files returned as full resolution JPEG, TIFF, or PSD, or as XMP/COS data files.
XMP data files are usually preferred by most photographers as they are collected from our FTP server as a small download (usually approx. 1mb). Running Photoshop CS5 or later, or Adobe Lightroom 3 or later these XMP files are then placed in the same folder as the raw files. Then the final conversion to JPEG is run on your local machine using the updated settings in the XMP data.
Please let us know if you’d prefer sRGB or AdobeRGB and capture sharpening turned on or off.
Do I need to prebook your services?
In order to keep the quality of post processing high, we don’t have a large team. As there is a limit to the number of weddings that we can process, priority is given to pre-booked work. Weddings that are not pre-booked may be subject to longer turnaround times. However just ask and we will be happy to confirm the time it will take.
Regular customers provide a list of their year’s bookings at the beginning of the year, with no obligation. A ‘shared calendar’ link, such as from Google Calendar or iCal can save you even having to think about it.
How long does it take?
Turnaround time, from receipt to dispatch, is usually about a week for pre-booked weddings. Weddings not pre-booked may run a little longer through the busiest summer months. Retouching work we usually try and return within a couple of days (assuming this is a small number of photos).
If you have a particularly urgent wedding, a premium 2 business day turnaround service is available at a cost of 50% extra, by arrangement in advance.
How do I pay?
There are plenty of different payment options all listed on the Prices page.