I want to take a moment to talk about outsourcing, the affect it is having on our personal life, how it has affected the product we deliver and the process of creating something completely unique in an industry dominated by VSCO and Replichrome.
-During Asli’s senior session we shot with a Hasselblad with Kodak Portra 40 and D700’s. The digital photo on the left was edited before the film scans came back.-
First and foremost, we outsource our editing. We’ve been outsourcing our wedding editing since the end of 2013 and just made the decision to start outsourcing all of our sessions for the foreseeable future. It has been amazing and has affected our business in an incredibly positive way. The days of us being locked to our computer after long wedding days are thankfully gone. We get more time with our kids and have found someone we trust to make our images look even better than we’re capable of making them look.
One of our major challenges has been getting the many sessions we do out for the public to see on our blog. After spending several hours on each wedding it is difficult for me to sit back down and build the blog. I don’t know if it’s because I’m tired of being behind the computer or if it’s because I just need a break from the particular wedding I was working on but it has prevented us from keeping our blog up to date with work that we are extremely proud of. Work that would help us to keep building our business at the same pace it has been growing.
Sending our photos out to be edited has been amazing in the way it has allowed us to keep more up to date on our blogging. Almost every single wedding we have photographed and delivered this year is already blogged with a few exceptions that are being submitted to wedding blogs. This is completely unheard of in our world. It’s embarrassing to admit this but I’m still sitting on weddings to blog from before we started outsourcing last year. If we’re able to continue to improve on the timeliness of our blogging it will only have a positive impact on our customers and the growth of our business.
Yay, our photos are getting to our clients faster, are getting seen by more people and we get to spend more time with our family! What does that mean for the product we deliver. Well, in my opinion it’s much more consistent and our digital photos match the look and feel of the medium we love the most. Film!
A few years ago I picked up my mom’s film camera and was hooked. I love the look and feel that film provides. It’s vibrant while still being soft. It’s sharp and can feel dreamy at the same time. It was a look that I didn’t think was possible with a digital camera and it was a huge source of frustration when editing the sessions that were shot on both mediums. We could never get them looking exactly the same and while most people may not have noticed or cared it was hard to send out a final product that didn’t have the cohesiveness that we wanted.
After about a year of editing our digital files with what we felt was the closest option and being constantly frustrated I struck up a conversation with Dustin from Weditoo after I posted a film scan from an engagement session in the Film is Not Dead Facebook group. He asked me to send him a digital file and a film scan from the same session. The edits he sent back were jaw dropping. Without knowing which photo was which there was no way I would have been able to tell you which one was film and which one was digital. I never thought it would be possible to match our digital and film in a way that was almost completely indistinguishable. The work Dustin has been doing for us is nothing short of incredible.
-This was the first edit Dustin did for us. The digital photo is on the left and the film photo, taken with a Pentax 67 on Fuji Pro400H is on the right.-
My first question was how is it different than what is available on the market already. What was Dustin able to do that makes his service different than the presets we were using at the time and after several sessions, how was he able to match our film scans without even seeing them?
The first part of the answer is that his individual profiles are reverse engineered from what he has learned about each film stock. When he applies the profile it starts all of the settings at zero so you can adjust everything that is necessary in only one adjustment panel. The color is already set in each custom profile to match what the corresponding film stock would produce.
The second and most important part has to do with the individual doing the editing. Dustin understands every detail of the profiles he builds and how to tweak them to perfectly match the look that he knows film will produce in each specific lighting condition. He has worked with us through the last year to come up with a look that consistently matches what we get with our film. Not only that but he has also made recommendations on how we shoot, the light we shoot in and the equipment we use to help us get the exact look that we love. His expertise has definitely been a huge part of our growth as photographers and is the most important part of the editing puzzle.
We’re super excited about where our business is going and are so happy that we have found such an amazingly talented person to work with. Outsourcing our editing has been amazing in helping us find a balance in our work and life that was extremely lacking. It has absolutely been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made for Joe & Patience.