What is Post Production Retouching in Wedding Photography

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Post Production is very common among photographers today. We explain what post production work means and why it is important when you select your photographer.


Retouching of photos has always been done in professional photography. In the olden days this was quite difficult with complex dark room techniques and it required an artist who could work with pencils, brushes and airbrush. Hence it was mainly done in high end magazines and advertising and not so much in Wedding Photography.

Whilst most photos are great straight out of the camera, first classs photographers don't leave at that, they use special techniques to make the photos outstanding. Today the post production work is more common among professional photographers thanks to the digital age. There are new tools and techniques available to the photographer who can use these techniques for traditional retouching such as removing blemishes, improving skin tones or to change the photo into Digital Art. The possibilities are endless only restricted to the photographer’s (or should I call them Digital Artist's) imagination.

There are different degrees of post production work that are more or less time consuming and labour intensive. When asking your wedding photographer about the post production work they do or can do you should have a basic understanding of the variations:

1) Colour correction and basic enhancements

All photos taken at your wedding need to be reviewed for some basic quality criteria such as colour balance, sharpness, composition and of course facial expression. This is quite a time consuming activity where the post production designers will have to review every photo and make basic adjustments. Just imagine snmething like 1200 photos that need to be reviewed, assessed and adjusted.

Often photos come a little flat out of the camera. We change the photo to enhance the Saturation and Vibrance of the colours. Further work is adjusting the exposure of the image and cropping it if necessary. Additionally we apply enhancements to make the photo look sharp and crisp.

2) Detailed Retouching

Once the initial improvements are applied we look into cleaning some of the best photos up. The extend of cleaning work depends on the photo, the people and the circumstances. Extended cleaning work takes quite a bit of time and hence it will normally only be done on a select few photos usually the photos selected for the album get more attention.  We can fix quite bit these days so don't worry if you got a stress pimple or your dress got a stain during the wedding. We can fix this up.

Below is an example of how the original photo was enhanced.

Before After
Before Retouching After Retouching

The before photo already is a beautiful shot, but there is some reflections on the skin and the colour of the image is a little warm due to the light in the church. Together with a some colour correction, a slight crop some vignette  and some improvement on the skin the image was improved significantly.

3) The Magic

Retouching improves the natural look of the images and they build the basic set of wedding photos. At AD Photography we have the motto: " The image is just the beginning!" which means that we love to go that little bit further with the images.  Here is another expample were we took an otherwise beautiful image and added some magic to it.

Before After
Wedding Couple Kissing Wedding Couple Kissing with Magic Applied

Whether you like the before or the after photo better is up to your taste and in the viewing that we perform with all our couples you can choose the image that you would like included in your album. The technique that we used for the after shot is quite a complex procedure and it would take to long to explain it in this overview. We just love to work with the images and turn them into artwork that you can hang on your wall.

You can see many other examples what can be done when you visit our Gallery at www.adphotography.com.au/weddingphotos/

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