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A Delhi Wedding Story | Vasvi+Puneet

Two beautiful souls vow their love for each other in a Delhi wedding

When two people in love come together, magic happens. And what’s not to love about capturing the journey of those beautiful souls?

Vasvi and Puneet’s story began in college, where they met each other as strangers, became acquaintances and then friends. Puneet was mesmerised by Vasvi since the first time he saw her. Soon after he knew that Vasvi is the girl he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. For him, there was no going back. His love and care for her over the years made Vasvi realise that she too loved him and wanted him as her life partner. And their families were only too happy to unite the two lovebirds.

We shot their pre-wedding at the Park Hyatt in Goa. It was great to spend some time getting to know the two. We had a fun and relaxed shoot on the beach before the hustle-bustle of their wedding preparations began. Vasvi is the kind of girl that you can’t help but like and Puneet is an absolute gentleman. Shooting their wedding was so comfortable for us as both Vasvi and Puneet’s families are great hosts. Their four-day wedding was an intimate affair with loads of laughter and tears.

Vasvi and Puneet had two beautiful wedding ceremonies in Delhi – Hindu-style pheras followed by a Sikh wedding. The Hindu wedding happened at Shagun Farms while the Sikh wedding took place at the beautiful Gurudwara Pahariwala in Greater Kailash. The grand wedding celebrations continued for four days with haldi, mehendi and sangeet functions. Being the beloved of the family, Vasvi’s bidaai had everybody (including us!) crying their eyes out.

Here are some of our favourite moments from their wedding.

(Click on any image to enter slideshow mode)

[tg_thumb_gallery gallery_id=”27607″ width=”325″ height=”325″]

Watch as Puneet and Vasvi begin a new life with a promise for a lifetime.

Promise for a Lifetime ~ Vasvi + Puneet from Twogether Studios on Vimeo.

 

This is a Delhi Wedding Photography Story. As Indian wedding photographers, we have had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful places in India like MussoorieGoaJaipur, UdaipurKovalam, Mumbai, PuneKochi and so on. Weddings have even taken us overseas to beautiful destination wedding photography spots like Brooklyn New York, Malaysia, Langkawi, Kaula Lampur, Thailand, Hua Hin etc. Read each Indian Candid Wedding Photography story to know how it all happened!

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Tools to Increase Productivity in Photography Business

Some tools and resources we use that make our work faster and more efficient

Wedding photography is an amazing job, isn’t it!? We shoot stories of extraordinary love and celebrations, travel to exotic destinations and create beautiful fairytales for couples. And for half the time, yes, it is exactly like this! We meet amazing people with beautiful stories and help capture one of the most special days of their lives. But the other part of the job is essentially a desk job where we spend a larger part of our work lives on the images we just shot. When you think about becoming a wedding photographer, you naturally don’t think about the hours of laborious work that come with it – data backup, culling, editing, uploading, delivery, albums, online presence, and so on. But a majority of being a wedding photographer includes all the above.

A few years ago, we, just like everybody else slogged on with thousands of files, backing them up, renaming them, copying them into hundreds of folders, editing each one separately, painfully outputting each one, delivering them to the client in a USB, and on and on and on. But the past couple of years have given us great tools and programmes that have made this process from taking an image to delivering them, much faster and easier. Although we do spend a fair amount of time on our desks still, let’s say we don’t break our backs all night anymore. (Unless we’re on a deadline!)

Including these tools in your workflow will save you hours of unessential labour and keep you ahead of deadlines. We have written in detail about the workflow we follow in our studio and why it is important in a previous post. So give it a read if you need some quick tips on how to create a better workflow for a successful and efficient photography business.

Let’s take a look at a few of the tools and programmes we use in our studio and how they help us increase our efficiency.

Online Sharing System: Google Drive and Dropbox

These file sharing and storage systems make our internal working process super convenient! It is a very essential part of our daily workflow. There is no need to keep passing around a pen drive to share data or write everything in our diaries to keep track of things. The Dropbox/Google Drive folders can share data with any amount of people you give access to. So keeping a track of our assignments and work projects in one single Numbers/Spreadsheet file is hassle-free. We can also share images and files with our editors, content writers and social media managers.

Also, all of this is offline! Any changes made to a file by one person gets automatically updated and synced for all. Additionally, it’s a great backup option for project files and work-in-process files. If you also want to backup heavier files, you can explore their pro paid versions that give you more storage space.

Tools to increase productivity in photgraphy business

Photo Culling and Post Processing: Photo Mechanic / Lightroom / Photoshop

We know you’re thinking that if you have Lightroom, why use another software for importing and culling? The answer lies in the reason we’re writing this article – to increase productivity. Photo Mechanic beats Lightroom in efficiency by miles! It can browse through tons of files much more quickly than Lightroom, saving precious time. In Lightroom, rendering a file, going through them with smart preview or even switching between photos is painfully slow. The whole process can take hours. Photo Mechanic goes through images with incredible speed. It also helps cull, organise, name, label and sort images into different buckets, so you can be equally efficient in the editing and development stage. The software gives the option of colour labels, ratings, flags and other ranking methods to identify the ones you want to prioritise. But it’s not a photo-processing/editing tool. So once you’ve shortlisted the images you want to work on, the next step is moving the images from Photo Mechanic to Lightroom which the said tool manages quite effectively.

Lightroom is a great tool for bulk edits. About 80% of images from a wedding require only some basic correction like adjusting exposure, white balance, colour temperature, contrast, vibrance, saturation, sharpening and reducing noise if any. If we follow these individual steps for every single photograph, it could take weeks to complete one wedding set. And we honestly do not have that kind of time. So what do we do? We have some basic presets in Lightroom basis our style of shooting and the kind of photos we need to edit. A preset for all similar images reduces the steps and speeds up the process, leaving us with enough time to give extra attention to 5-star photos!

Now, this is where we need t0 bring our the big gun – Photoshop. All of our photos that need detailed editing and special attention go into this software. You can do almost anything you want once you get a picture into Photoshop. It’s also more of a photo manipulation software than basic editing. You can use it to enhance certain part of the images, make dramatic effects and create concept shots.

A screenshot of our Lightroom catalogue showing our presets for images.

Client image sharing: Pixieset

We no longer have to worry about sending a courier to our clients with their images on a pen drive thanks to this nifty little software. Pixieset is a cloud-based client delivery software. It provides easy download and sharing of images for the clients. We love that we can upload high-resolution image galleries which can also serve as a back-up for images in case something untoward happens.

Another great feature is that we can sync our Lightroom catalogue to Pixieset and upload images directly to the cloud from there. There is no need to output all images into a JPEG file first and then upload it to Pixie. Pixieset also helps us get rid of the headache of sending the wedding set individually to friends and family members. One link can be sent to all, and they can pick and choose which images they want to download. It also lets you ‘white label’ the website and add it to your website as a sub-domain. Which means that the link to a client’s picture gallery will seem like it’s on your website.

A screenshot of our Pixieset image gallery.

Marketing videos and Slideshows: Animoto

Sometimes you just need a quick and dirty video slideshow that you quickly need to get done and don’t want to spend hours on. That’s where Animoto comes in. It helps us create video slideshows with incredible ease! You can choose between various templates depending on the kind video you need to create – slideshows, marketing videos etc. There is also a vast media library for choosing the music for your slideshows. You can choose between templates which allow for fonts or not, basis your requirement.

The biggest advantage we think is that you don’t need a video editor to work on the application. Anyone with a fair understanding of the internet can create a slideshow within minutes. The only limitation is that you have very little control over font type, sizes, and a few other formatting options. Still, we think it’s a small price to pay for making effective and quick slideshows. You can be in and out with a smooth
Save-a-Date slideshow for your client within 15 minutes!

A screenshot of different templates Animoto provides.

Album Creation and Designing: SmartAlbums

When it comes to designing albums, the sky’s the limit! There are software like InDesign that give you options and control over every single detail. But like we said, we’re looking at software that save time and increase efficiency while giving us good control over the product. SmartAlbums is a no-hassle, easy-to-create tool with which you can make albums with ease. The application provides a host of layouts to work with. We absolutely LOVE the drag and drop feature! All we need to do is drag the images we want and it’ll import the images into the library. You can also use the drag-and-drop to swap two images. The software can also read the rating systems – labels, stars, and flags – from your Lightroom catalogue. It also gives the option to edit a photo in the album directly in Photoshop or Lightroom. After you’ve made the edit, the updated and edited version of the image is automatically reflected in the album.

Another feature which makes our work completely easy is cloud proofing and online commenting. We no longer need to go back and forth on emails or phone calls with the clients. They can view the album online from anywhere in the world and give their feedback on images directly. We can’t imagine a time when albums were created differently or left at the mercy of the printers. Once you’ve started using it and get the hang of it, you’ll even start having fun with the process, as it gives you quite a lot of control to execute your vision.

A screenshot of one of our albums on SmartAlbums.

Marketing and Newsletter Campaigns: MailChimp

MailChimp has made marketing campaigns and sending out newsletters to our subscribers extremely easy, and dare we say, super fun for us! It has an easy-to-use interface and multiple options for email creation and lists. So we can choose the template of emails or create them from scratch with their easy-to-use template editor. With MailChimp we can also create a segmented list of people – blog subscribers, wedding inquiries etc.

Once you’ve created an email, you can preview it and even send a test email to yourself before sending it out to your list. The service also has an option of creating automated and auto-reply emails that you can schedule. It also gives us the option of tracking analytics – number of subscribers, how many people opened and clicked on the links and other data. So we can keep a track of which campaign, newsletter or marketing strategy is working better than others.

A screenshot of MailChimp dashboard.

Social Media Scheduling: Hootsuite

It’s a fact that as professional wedding photographers we need to be active on social media today. And considering how much work we have on a typical day, it’s an inevitability that we forget to post regularly. Although a direct upload is any day better for reach and engagement, sometimes you just don’t have the time to choose a picture, write a caption, and post. This is where HootSuite comes in. It can integrate all your social media platforms. You can schedule a picture for a specific time, save the caption and hashtags and forget about it! It’s a good idea to schedule a few posts from time to time when you know you’re going to be busy than to miss out. It also helps keep a track of the success of your social media campaigns. You can also use applications like CoSchedule, Buffer and Later for your Instagram marketing.

A screenshot of HootSuite dashboard.

Using these tools is not only a way to improve your photography business but also maintain a good work-life balance. When you’re not stuck in your studio for hours, you not only have time to finish more work but also to give attention to your family and friends. Your personal life is just as important as your professional one.

A lot of the above-mentioned tools have free trials but paid subscriptions. So, take a trial of any of these to figure out if they’re worth spending money on. Or you can use similar applications, paid or free, to keep yourself ahead of the game. As you keep using these, you’ll notice a stark before and after difference in your work and output. Some of the tools we mentioned above may not necessarily be the best ones out there, but they get our work done quite good and fast.

Let us know if we can help you with any doubts or queries about these software programs. We’d love to help you out!

NOTE: This is not a sponsored post. We use all the above-mentioned tools and resources in our studio. All opinions expressed in this post are strictly our own.

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How to set a budget for wedding photography?

The first and key step to finding a perfect photographer to capture your special memories is to set a budget for wedding photography

Over the years that we’ve been photographing weddings, what we’ve come to realise is that most prospective clients who reach out to us have no idea where to start when it comes to finding the photographer best suited to their wedding or how much it should cost. Some don’t bat an eyelid when they hear approximate budgets from us while others have been astounded. What it boils down to is that there is no industry standard or even a right/wrong answer. It all depends on two factors – one, how much emphasis and priority you place on wedding photography; and, two, how much you have allocated towards the photography & cinema cost.

Wedding photography is a once in a lifetime purchase. It’s an investment in capturing memories that will last you a lifetime. It’s not like any other commodity or consumable that you can set a monthly budget for – like groceries, personal grooming or even shopping. These are much more tangible and easier to budget for. As a bride or groom to be, with a wedding to plan and a thousand other details to figure out before the big day, there are so many things that you could spend your wedding budget on – from venue & catering to decor, entertainment, clothes & make-up artists etc. The avenues are endless and over-spending is inevitable. Which is why it is very important to have a figure in your mind that you feel is appropriate. It is a personal opinion and you are the only person who can decide what budget works for you. Without that figure in mind, it is difficult to judge whether a photographer whose work you like is below, within or above your budget.

Wedding photography today is available at all price points and you can pick and choose what works for you. But remember this: cheap or bargain deal doesn’t necessarily mean “Value for Money”. The ideal scenario is hiring a photographer or team who’s style you like, is a reputed professional and whose charges fall in your budget. Trust us, there are great photographers in every budget and you will be able to find one best suited to you. But to begin the hunt, you need to have a budgetary benchmark. And that’s what we’re here to help you with.

Cheap does not mean Value-For-Money

There is no dearth of wedding photographers today. A huge variety of services are available at different price points. If you don’t decide on a budget, you will be confused with the sheer number of photographers available in the market. We’re sure that you can find a photographer for any price range that you set. But bear in mind that cheap and quantity will not always mean quality.

While it might be tempting to hire someone who seems to offer a lot in very less, remember that you get what you pay for. Although this is not a guarantee, you can generally assume that a more expensive photographer would have more experience, be better known (brand name), have a reputation as a professional and be more reliable. Those are definitely qualities worth paying for. But this doesn’t mean that more reasonable photographers lack talent, dedication or professionalism. In another roundabout way, we are saying that there are good photographers in every possible budget. It all depends on how highly you prioritise your wedding photography and cinema.

Bear in mind that you are not only hiring someone to capture your precious moments but also investing in the expertise and experience they will offer while shooting your wedding story. Your wedding pictures are kind of a big deal! It is unquestionably important to find a photographer in your budget. But it is also equally important to find someone who will capture your wedding day with respect and love. There’s nothing wrong with choosing a less experienced photographer, so long as they match your vision for your day. So, choose wisely!

So now that we’ve confused you with so many suggestions, what should you do, you ask us? Well, read on!

What do we recommend?

We absolutely understand that a wedding has thousand other expenses that you need to take care of. First and foremost, decide if spending on wedding photography is what you and your fiance want. Is it your priority? Do you value those timeless memories over other aspects of your wedding? And although we would love to think that wedding photography is a priority for every couple out there, it all depends on how important it is to you. Like we said earlier, there is no correct budget, just what is right for you and for your wedding.

So how do you set one?

Our recommendation for setting a budget for wedding photography is this: 10-15% of your total wedding expenditure. It’s not about how much you can afford but, rather, how much you want to allocate. If the (celebrity) entertainment is more important to you than the wedding photography, for example, then you’ll know to set your budget as less than 10%. We are confident that you’ll be able to find a good photographer in that budget as well.

Or, conversely, if your wedding photos are a super-high priority and you have a photographer in mind whose work you adore but who is outside your budget, then stretching beyond the 15% and scrimping on something else is also a good solution.

But if you don’t have a budget in mind, how will you be able to take these decisions?

We for one, are big advocators of capturing the most important day of your life as timeless memories in pictures. Not just because we are in the business, but because we truly believe that memories should be captured for posterity. Years from now, after your wedding is over, the decorations are pulled down and the food has been eaten, what will remain with you are the pictures and the movies. The moments and your fleeting emotions captured eternally. Our recommendation may sound like a lot, but what you get in return is priceless. It’s a lifetime of precious memorabilia.

A final piece of advice? Don’t buy into any trends or get taken away with what the wedding magazines and websites tell you to do. It’s your special day and your experience and memories are the most important. So give it a great deal of thought and find a way to balance out your style and artist preference with the budget that you can allocate.

We would love to answer any more questions you have on the topic!

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Review: BenQ SW320 Photographer Monitor

A brief look at BenQ SW320 Photographer Monitor

As professional wedding photographers of today, your work has the maximum reach on the internet. You post your work on Facebook, Instagram, your website, and so on. You have portfolios on different wedding portals, and you get featured on various online and print articles. Basically, you work is everywhere online. While reviewing your online work, have you ever noticed that your photo looks different depending on the medium it is viewed on? Whether it is on two different devices or on a screen and in print. Mobile phone makers often boost and over-saturate colours on the devices. So no two phones will display one picture as the same. It is impossible to achieve a 100% colour uniformity across different devices.

However, as professionals it is important that you deliver the best quality and accurate colour prints – be it albums or hard copy prints – to the client. Imagine how disappointed a bride will be, who bought her wedding lehenga specifically for a favourite colour, and sees a different shade on the wedding album. Not only will you ruin a cherished memory but your credibility as a professional wedding photographer will also be affected.

If you find that your final delivery to the client (as albums or prints) look different from what you expected them to be, it’s probably that the monitor you’re editing on is not properly colour-calibrated.

What is colour-calibration, you ask?

Colour calibration basically means adjusting your device’s colour settings to match a standard value of known accuracy.

Computers read colours (red, green and blue) in numbers. So for example, if you type in a numbered code for a green with no red and blues, you will see that specific green on your monitor. However, if you plug in a different monitor, you might see a difference in the shade of green. Calibration is setting your monitor to certain values so that all colours look the same in different mediums or screens or brands of devices. It ensures consistent display across all screens.

There are several ways you can calibrate your monitor. There are built-in calibration tools in both MacOS and Windows. You can even find some calibration tools online to help you adjust your monitor settings. Or, use an external device called a colorimeter and spectrophotometer.

Even after all these measures, a 100% colour accuracy is neither possible nor guaranteed. External calibration devices and manual settings can only do so much in ensuring precision. Your best bet would be monitor’s that are professionally calibrated and tested for exacting colour accuracy, like the new BenQ SW320 Photographer Monitor.

My pictures look great on the screen I edited on. So why do I need to colour-calibrate my monitor?

People are seeing your photos on every screen possible – mobile phones, tablets, laptops, television and so on. Each of them has a different colour and brightness setting. Which means that every person views your work differently than how you envisioned it. Their display settings change the colour, brightness, saturation and exposure of your images. Now we certainly cannot control the medium that people consume our photos on or calibrate their settings to ours. However, we can minimise the error on our end as much as possible. Which is where colour-calibrating your monitor comes in. It ensures that your clients are seeing your images the way you want them to.

All our calibration and colour-correction woes were put to rest recently when the amazing folks at BenQ India sent us an SW320 Photographer Monitor. And our experience with it has been exceptional.

The first thing that strikes you is the size of the box that the monitor comes in, it’s quite huge! It is a massive 31.5-inch display, 4K UHD resolution monitor with 99% Adobe RGB and 100% sRGB colour space and boasts of the most perceptible quality in graphics, designs, and photos that human eyes can see. We were impressed from the second we switched it on!

You find a “Factory Calibration Report” first thing on opening the packaging. All the other parts are neatly packaged and packed. There is a small manual with directions for assembling and setting the monitor and its parts. It was really not that difficult, once you get everything out of the box. We were able to assemble the entire thing in about 20 minutes or so.

The stand is quite sturdy for the heavy 18.7 kg monitor. You can also adjust the screen up and down on the stand for better positioning. The monitor further boasts of a GamutDuo – enabling you to see different colour spaces on the same screen for side-by-side comparison. Another novel feature is the HotKey Puck that allows you to switch between Adobe RGB, sRGB, and Black & White modes effortlessly. You can also customise the HotKey buttons for other modes and functions.

The monitor has been specifically designed with photographers in mind. While you are editing your photos, a hundred things can affect the display on your monitor – the time of day, reflections from your surroundings, lighting, colours, brightness of your display and so on. The BenQ SW320 has a matte screen that eliminates any reflection that could distort the way you view your work on the screen. It also has a detachable shading hood with black velvet insides to prevent any external glare. This comes in extremely handy while you’re editing stills or videos. You can be assured that the outside world will not manipulate your work. You can also quite easily set up the monitor along with the shading hood in portrait mode while working on portrait images. The screen can also make an upward tilt and a 45 degree right or left swivel.

SW320 also includes a DisplayPort 1.4  and HDMI 2.0 port with the addition of three USB 3.0 ports for connectivity. There is also a port dedicated to the HotKey Puck and a headphone jack.

The monitor is professionally factory-calibrated for exacting colour accuracy. The colours are really incredible on the screen. Although we use Apple monitors in our studio, which are claimed to be colour accurate, the difference between the two was quite something to see. We were absolutely blown away by how our images looked on the BenQ monitor!

It would be fair to say that the BenQ SW320 Monitor is a great investment for the professional photographer and videographer! Its 31.5-inch screen display provides a better viewing and editing of images. Our confidence in the colour accuracy of our systems was taken in for a ride when we viewed our work on the BenQ monitor. It provides a much better resolution and colour, and our images looked quite stunning on the screen. The functions are easy enough to understand and work with. The HotKey Puck had us in thrall of the way it increases our work efficiency. We also took a few test prints by hooking up our Epson SureColor P5000 to the monitor and were ecstatic with the results! All in all, the monitor is a great buy for its price. We are excited to work on it and discover more features and witness better results in our work!

Have any questions about colour calibration or the BenQ monitor? Drop us a comment and we’d love to answer any questions!

P.S.: A detailed post on the monitor and more on colour calibration coming soon!

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Photo Editing Workflow: Some Tips & Tricks

Things to keep in mind while finding the perfect photo editing workflow for yourself

Remember when we talked about the importance of Photo Editing Workflow? We truly believe that it is key to efficiency and a consistency in quality. Although there is no one template for a good workflow, we’re sure that every successful professional photographer has one. There is no right and wrong to a workflow and it can continue to evolve over time. What is important, if you are a photographer, is to have one in any shape or form that works for you. Not having a workflow at all can be quite a deterrent to your growth and consistency as a professional wedding photographer.

A solid workflow system makes sure that the task is completed well, using the fewest steps possible. It is flexible enough that you can go back and make changes without compromising on image quality. A competent system additionally safeguards your data as well as delivers a good product – great photos – at the end.

In this post, we will talk about the system we follow in the studio and how a workflow progresses in general. If you don’t already have a structure, feel free to take this post as a starting point.

#1 While Shooting

Having enough memory cards is paramount when preparing for an assignment. It’s a good idea to carry enough so that you don’t run out of space in the middle of a shoot. As a rule, we never overwrite any cards during a wedding at all. Over the years of shooting weddings, we’ve figured out how many cards we need for a 3-day wedding assignment shot by 2-3 photographers and always carry enough memory cards and more. A few extra cards can do no harm.

A wedding assignment consists of a gamut of candid/documentary and posed photos. Therefore, often, we have to set up the composition, lighting wait for that right moment or expression. Now feel free to click more pictures to get the right one but be judicious about it. We don’t suggest shooting in burst mode the entire wedding. It’ll only serve to create double the amount of photos and more headache for you later.

You should also make sure that all the cameras being used by your team are time-synced. Often, we’ve saved precious time looking for a different angle of the same event, because we knew the time of day it happened and that two photographers in the team were bound to have different POV to the event.

Shooting in RAW is another important factor. Although it makes the files rather heavy and you may need a larger number of memory cards to accommodate shots from a single wedding, in our opinion, it’s worth it. The flexibility it gives you at the editing stage and the ability to rescue otherwise unusable images is incredible.

#2 Import

The next step is importing images from the memory cards into storage devices. Be careful and organised while copying images to minimise data loss. The only keyword to this step: Backup! Backup! Backup! We cannot stress enough about the importance of having a backup for your images!

Our mantra for this step of the workflow is ‘3,2,1’. We keep 3 copies of all the data transferred onto 2 different mediums (hard-disk, cloud or LTO tapes) and 1 copy is kept at a different physical location than the other two (2 at the studio, 1 at home). If there is a natural or accidental disaster (fire, flooding etc) at one location, the other backup will be safe.

It also helps to have an index of all the data that you own. You can follow a manual method and log in the information into a spreadsheet every time you copy – which photos go into which card or hard drive, how many photos, etc. Or use a software like the Disk Catalog Maker to take screenshots of various disks for you.

#3 Organise and cull

After the photos are copied and backed up, the next step is to cull, sort and organise. The idea is to very quickly and efficiently reduce the population of your images to identify the ones you like and those you aren’t impressed with. At the same time, you want to organise them into buckets (basis various functions, days or even simply identify the priority level for edit and delivery) so you can be equally efficient in the editing and development stage.

You can use various software to categorise your images. The most popular ones today are Photo Mechanic and Adobe Lightroom. We recommend re-naming the files during import, using details like the couple’s name, the date and location of the wedding, etc, to make the file names unique and easier to identify over time. If you stick with automatic camera generated file names, there’s a chance that there will be a duplication of names after a point. Also, make sure you choose the option to keep all metadata intact in the image. This will help you in identifying which camera shot the image, which team member captured it, time of day, etc.

Unlike the old days, you don’t need to separate photos from different events to various folders while editing. Almost any software you choose to use today has options for making virtual copies, folders and collections. It is also a good practice to always work on the virtual copy of the image. This keeps your edit process non-destructive and allows you to revert to the original at any point, should you need to. Give them colour labels, ratings, flags and use other ranking methods to identify the ones you want to prioritise.

Therefore, this step helps you stay ahead of the game in two ways. One, it reduces the number of photos. Second, the labels will help you find specific photos in no amount of time! There is no need to be lost in folder canyon. You can easily sift out 20 highlight images from a wedding based on the ranking you gave them.

In companies where multiple people work on the same images, this step will help avoid any mismanagement of data. If everyone follows the workflow, one person can cull the data and label them with labels/flags/ratings. The second person can do a basic edit of medium priority photos. And a third person can find the high ranking images for a more detailed edit, re-touching or other special effects.

#4 Develop

This is the part of digital photography where post-processing or editing happens. After the previous step, you already know which photos you need to start working on. You’ve already identified which photos require special attention for highlights and portfolios. If you’ve made sure to shoot judiciously, composed & lit your shots well to get good in-camera results, then the development step will obviously be easier and quicker. But if you haven’t, then we hope you remembered to shoot in RAW so you can do maximum damage control!

As you all know, development of RAW images requires some basic steps like adjusting exposure, white balance, colour temperature, contrast, vibrance, saturation, sharpening and reducing noise if any. If you were to follow these individual steps for every single photograph, it could take weeks to complete one wedding set. And do you honestly have that kind of time?

You can easily increase your speed and efficiency by using development presets! Purchase them online or create your own presets basis your style of shooting, the colour palette you like and the kind of photos you’ll edit. If you’re creating your own, like we have, then name them in a  logical fashion, for example, ‘outdoor harsh light’ or ‘nighttime dance floor’. After you’ve used a basic preset for all pictures of a similar kind, you can always fine-tune each image as required. A preset for all similar images reduces the steps and speeds up the process, leaving you with enough time to give extra attention and special effects to your 5-star photos!

#5 Output

Now it’s time to think about using those photos. You need to output them for client delivery, creating archival prints, photo books or for sharing online. Most websites and social sharing platforms have different requirements in terms of size and resolution. Take time and research to find out what size and resolution works for different media. For printing reproductions, try a few different sizes and colour spaces to know which creates the best product. You can speed up the process and maintain consistency by creating and using presets for export as well. 

Keep in mind that you should never resize images during import. Always edit them in their original size and resize only during the output process. Furthermore, always work on virtual copies of the master image. Never, and we mean never resize the master file. Since one image will need to be resized for various mediums, it is best to keep the original size intact. You can change them at the output stage according to the requirement.

Like we said in the beginning, having a workflow is very important. Having a good workflow is even better. In the absence of a workflow, you can face hassle at so many levels – losing photos, difficulty in locating them, duplication of data, destructive editing of original files etc and these are definitely not good for your business.

You probably have some sort of a system already in place. Now you just have to identify areas which cause you more time and work out a structure for it. Of course, a perfect system doesn’t magically happen overnight. We’ve spent years devising a system, which we’re sure we can also improve on. So, start today. Write it down or make a flowchart if it helps you. Whatever you do, put a system in place at the earliest, if you haven’t already!

Did this post help you get started on a system? Tell us in the comments. Got any questions about the process? We’d love to answer!

 

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Photo Printing in the Digital Age – Why it Still Matters

Despite the slow death of the art of photo printing, here’s why it is important for us as wedding photographers to start printing again

Of late, we’ve come to realise that most wedding photographers of our generation have learnt their craft on the job. Majority of them – us included – didn’t go to photography school or learn photography from a formal source. We were born millennials and saw the advent of the digital age as we moved into adulthood. We followed the non-traditional path of photography, which means that most of us made a mid-career switch to photography and, in the process, didn’t learn to print photos in a darkroom or experiment with rolls of film. Yes, we were the last generation to be a part of the film and reel era, but mostly shot digitally as professionals. So, with the development of digital cameras, printing of photographs as a practice is dying.

Today, photographs predominantly exist digitally as files on a smartphone or a computer. The printing part of photography has become limited to digital post-processing and editing. However, we are of the strong opinion that if you are a wedding photographer or any kind of photographer, you should definitely print your own photos. Here’s why.

Prints make for eternal memories

We’ve actually thought about this a lot. Memories are surprisingly fickle. They fragment, fade or even mould themselves to whatever sensory evidence we can find for them – anecdotes of our childhood from parents and relatives, old photo albums. We’re sure you’ve noticed that two people with a shared experience would remember it differently, depending on how the incidents are recounted over time. We might not even have any remembrance of certain events, but seeing pictures creates a makeshift memory in our minds. You may, for example, remember your very first bicycle to be fire engine red in colour. While a picture of the same will tell you that it was actually sunshine yellow!

As wedding photographers, our sole job is to create timeless memories for our clients. Our work freezes moments in time so that a couple and their families can relive the moments years after their wedding. Albums and photo prints are literally the backbone of the memories we create for them. If you give your client fine art prints of photos from their wedding, the memories will forever remain in their minds and in front of their eyes. Digital copies have a way of getting lost amidst the multi-terabytes of data on their systems but a photograph hung on the wall will always remind them of their special day.

Sense of accomplishment

Printing out your work is immensely satisfying. We know this from personal experience. Once we deliver the digital photo files to clients, we archive the files and often forget about them for long periods of time. We hardly ever make time to or even have the inclination to go through older work. Having large fine-art print(s) of the wedding photos you’ve created in front of your eyes will always bring in a sense of accomplishment and joy. The prints are a tangible product, physical proof of your hard work. And once you see that big photograph on your wall, we are sure it will inspire you to go out and create many more incredible images every day!

Improves your credibility as a wedding photographer

As a photographer, your knowledge about printing technology and correct colour calibration can only enhance your credibility as an experienced professional in the field. Moreover, it’s important to show your clients the end result which is as per your original vision of the events and photographs. As an artist,  you’re the only one who knows how you visualised each photo or moment while taking the shot. You know what the finished product should look like in terms of colours, depth, size etc. And you can ensure that final look and finish by working on your high-tech, colour calibrated editing machines and screens. But the impact of so much hard work can be completely lost on a client when they view it on various digital mediums like their (uncalibrated) laptops, tablets, mobile phones and whatnot. They are literally viewing a distorted version of your vision.

But you can control that aspect and ensure client delight by showing them the photos the way you envisioned them – by providing fine art prints of your favourites from the set. Not to forget, it increases your product offerings from a business point of view as well. Of course, you can use other third-party professional photo printing services or get the client to print the photographs themselves. But by printing out the photos yourself, you will have full control over how the final products look.

Makes you a better photographer

The advancements in digital camera technology are no doubt an excellent advantage to us as photographers. However, printing out a photograph is significant because it can bring into perspective those details that our eyes would possibly not see on a screen. Also, when you have online galleries full of thousand pictures, you tend to not be critical of your own work. Social media also spurs on the sense of accomplishment and pride. But printing out a set of the best 10 pictures from a wedding, for example, will force you to be brutal in critiquing your own work, and creating real shortlists and portfolio-worthy shots.

Technology distracts

While viewing an album or gallery of photos online, there are numerous distractions on a phone or a laptop. And one (or all) of them is taking your client’s concentration away from your photos. Seeing a photograph is an immersive experience. When you see a photo, you take it in all its elements, look for a story or a message, appreciate the technique, colours, and the effort behind it and only then, you move on. Seeing it on a digital screen can never give you this opportunity. Your client can only have the best experience of taking every aspect of that photo in, in a print.

Print won’t go obsolete, technology might

How many of us remember seeing a roll film or a VCR? The technology is obviously out-dated now, but many of us never even saw it. We don’t use floppy disks or even CDs to store files anymore. And who knows how long pen drives and hard-disks will be the standard storing devices. But a print has a much longer shelf life. Files and their formats might get outdated, but your clients will always have the print(s) as a memento.

We, at Twogether Studios, are great fans of fine art photo prints. But let’s get real. Learning how to print wasn’t as simple as plugging in a laserjet printer (like we did in our corporate jobs). Fine art photography prints involved learning a lot about colour profiles, print media and substrates, colour optimization, and so on. But learning this was certainly FUN and added a whole new dimension to our professional standing as wedding photographers. We truly encourage you to try it for yourselves. We know the results will be fabulous.

Okay, I’m sold. Give me the low-down for printing my own fine art photos.

Fine Art Photo Printing vs Lab Prints: What’s the Difference?

For years we’ve used our neighbourhood photography lab for our prints – and we were perfectly happy with the results. Sometimes it looked great, and at others… not so much. Their options were limited to glossy paper and matte paper (we used matte, naturally), which were more often than not made by Fuji.

And then we discovered professional fine-art printing – and our world changed! Broadly speaking, the main differences between traditional lab prints and fine art prints lie in two parts – the printing process and the media options.

Labs usually use an inkjet process with four to six ink heads, the results of which are usually not colour accurate. Fine art prints use a dry pigment based process that utilises may more ink heads that are capable of printing at a staggering 2400 dpi – which makes the final product clearer and sharper. The Epson 7900 and P5000 that we use have 11 different inks. When used together it can produce a very large tonal range that most lab prints can’t even think of.

The second difference, which is even more mindblowing in our opinion, is the variety of paper available. We use two types of paper – archival (for client deliveries and other blow-ups) and non-archival for proofs. An archival paper is acid-free fine art paper – the acid content in paper usually turns a regular paper yellow, and it cracks over time. But an acid-free fine-art paper lasts for years without getting damaged. A fine-art paper also enhances the quality of the image. It brings out richer colours and makes an image look alive.

Got it. What do I need to get started?

Well, it’s really simple actually. All you need is access to a printer and the medium of your choice.

If you don’t own a printer or haven’t tried fine-art photo printing, the first course of action is to get your hands dirty with a professional fine-art printing service. Experiment with a couple different set of mediums and printers to figure out what works the best for your style of photography. There is a huge range of paper samples available in the market, so get a few prints to decide which one suits you best.

We have used Epson’s Stylus Pro 7900 printer for the past two years and recently got an Epson SureColor P5000 printer. Epson’s P5000 17-inch 10-Color Inkjet Printer is designed for professional photographers and it is said that the extreme colour gamut makes it possible to hit colours accurately and consistently, achieving PANTONE coverage of 99%*.

Generally speaking, a print made from the traditional lab-used silver halide technology deteriorates at quite a fast pace in exposure to light – and in our Indian weather conditions, this could mean very short lifespans of just a few years. The pigment ink technology in the Epson printers however usually boasts of a print longevity of 200 years for colour prints and 400 years for black-and-white prints. Realistically though, these are under laboratory or “ideal” conditions – but if you keep the prints away from moisture and in the shade, you can realistically have it last for a very long time indeed. And of course, telling our clients that their prints will last 400 years makes it seem really awesome!

As far as the printing medium goes, there is an incredible variety of high-quality fine-art papers available for Epson printers, both Indian and imported brands; we use Epson Enhance Matte (our standard go-to for most prints), Epson Premium Lustre 260, imported archival and canvas paper in our studio and our experience has been exceptional.

We’ve been using the P5000 to print quite regularly on different papers and the prints were every bit as stunning as we expected them to be. We started a project to make a special art installation for the office (using the P5000) – and we’ll post about it soon!

After you’ve played around with different kinds of printers and mediums, we highly recommend getting your own printer. We promise that you won’t regret it after you see the pronounced difference in how your images look and how well they will be received by your clients. Being able to provide your clients with high-quality fine art prints in-house will elevate your offerings to a whole different level.

Do share with us your experiences of fine-art photo printing. Any questions? We’d love to answer!

P.S.: Read a more in-depth review and the second part of printing for Indian Wedding Photographers using the P5000 here. (And see the art installation we made using the P5000!)


Disclaimer: This post has been written in association with Epson India but the opinions are strictly our own. We have owned an Epson Stylus Pro 7900 and printed on it for the past 2 years. We also recently got a SureColor P5000 printer from Epson to play with, and the results are fantastic!

*PANTONE® is the property of Pantone LLC. 99% coverage of PANTONE FORMULA GUIDE solid coated palette based on Epson Proofing Paper White Semi-matte printed with Epson printer driver at 2880x1440dpi. PANTONE coverage may vary when printed with a third-party RIP.

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A Jaipur Destination Wedding Story | Abhiney+Ruchika

A beautiful Jaipur destination wedding of the duo that set couple goals for us

The couple that loves each other and laughs together even when they’re 90 – that is how Abhiney envisions his life with Ruchika. He knew with certainty that years later people would talk about them as the “real couple that lasted”.

The lively duo met in medical school and for the next five years, life kept throwing them together! They constantly found themselves in the same study groups and friend circles. They went from classmates to acquaintances to friends and finally companions for life. The pair took a leap together — literally for a bungee jump(!) and for life when they decided to get married.

It was a joy to shoot them in their moments of great happiness and celebration. They exude an aura of comfort and understanding with each other. And their tremendous chemistry had us believing in love and forever after!

Abhiney and Ruchika were married at the stunning Fairmont Jaipur in a magnificent celebration. From the Mehendi to the Pool Party, the fun Haldis and the Pheras, the vibe of the wedding was exactly like them, relaxed and naturally chill! Here are a few of our favourite moments from their beautiful wedding.

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This is a Jaipur Destination Wedding Photography Story. As Indian wedding photographers, we have had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful places in India like DelhiGoaJaipur, UdaipurKovalamBangalore, Mumbai, PuneKochi and so on. Weddings have even taken us overseas to beautiful destination wedding photography spots like Brooklyn New York, Malaysia, Langkawi, Kaula Lampur, Thailand, Hua Hin etc. Read each Indian Candid Wedding Photography story to know how it all happened!

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Finding THE One: A Delhi Wedding Story | Ayushi+Vikrant

A three-day grand celebration of love in Delhi

Ayushi had been dreaming of the perfect wedding ever since she was a little girl. She had planned everything down to a tee. She knew just how her wedding would be, what she would wear, how she would style her outfits. One could often find her dressed up as a bride, dreaming about her special day. The only thing missing was the right person to take the vows with her, someone who would complete the picture.

Enter Vikrant.

Vikrant wasn’t expecting to fall in love… and, that too, so quickly! He had agreed to meet Ayushi only at his father’s insistence and, boy, was he glad he did! As he tells it, he was ‘totally awed’ when he saw her. He instantly felt like he could be himself with her. What more can a man ask for?

A really lovely conversation later, Ayushi had found the one, and Vikrant found his ‘best buddy’. Two strangers came together and emerged best friends.

Ayushi and Vikrant married in a grand celebration of love. Their family and friends had the time of their lives as the couple made their vows and embarked on their new adventure together.

We loved being a part of this beautiful Delhi wedding. Even though their union started out as an arranged match, they had such beautiful chemistry that it was a pleasure to shoot them together. We wish them the best in their future together! Here are some of our favourite pictures from their three-day grand Delhi wedding.

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Read what Ayushi had to say about her experience with us!

“We chose you as one of my very good friends wanted to have you for her wedding and really recommended you very highly. Then we checked your profile and really liked it. Your work is extremely professional and at the same time you blended in so well with the family that it didn’t seem like we had hired such good artists. And the work was phenomenal, from the photography to the choice of location for the pre-wedding shoot. We thank you for the amazing pictures and hope to have you for all future weddings in our family!”
-Ayushi


This is a Delhi Destination Wedding Photography Story. As Indian wedding photographers, we have had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful places in India like DelhiGoaJaipur, UdaipurKovalamBangalore, Mumbai, PuneKochi and so on. Weddings have even taken us overseas to beautiful destination wedding photography spots like Brooklyn New York, Malaysia, Langkawi, Kaula Lampur, Thailand, Hua Hin etc. Read each Indian Candid Wedding Photography story to know how it all happened!

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A Destination Wedding in Goa | Ramola + Santosh

A beautiful, intimate wedding by the beach in Goa

Ramola and Santosh had a beautiful, fun, warm and intimate wedding in Goa a few months ago. They are such a lovely couple that we were very excited about being a part of their big day. Ramola knew Arjun in a professional capacity 10 years ago. When we broke away from our 9-5’s and decided to take wedding photos for a living, she told him that she has no idea when she will get married but she had already decided that we would shoot her wedding, wherever it may be. It was so humbling to hear a statement like that and we are so glad that a couple with such beautiful hearts wanted us to capture the most important day of their lives.

Ramola first met Santosh at work, when she moved to Dubai for a job opportunity. Santosh was quite a taskmaster, a workaholic who expected the very best from everyone around him. But somewhere along the way, they became friends and then more.

As she tells it, the first birthday Ramola spent in Dubai was one of the early special memories she has of Santosh and it may well be the turning point! Away from home, her family and friends, Ramola spent an unhappy birthday at work, dreading going home to an empty apartment. But when she came home to find a surprise birthday cake from Santosh, it turned her day around! I guess there was no going back from there.

Both Ramola and Santosh are very close to their families. They wanted to have a wedding where everyone close to them could attend and be a part of their celebration. So Goa was a natural choice, where their respective families from Pune and Bombay could come in and stay with them for the course of a 3-day fun-packed wedding. They decided to host their families and have their wedding at the beautiful Zuri White Sands Resort – booking out most of the hotel so they could enjoy themselves to the utmost degree.

They planned it all, from a grand welcome for the families to a Moroccan themed night with dancers and Hookahs for their Engagement evening; from a combined bride+groom Haldi with pichkaaris and water buckets to a poolside mehendi (which turned into a pool party with everyone jumping into the pool in all their wedding finery); from a Bollywood themed Sangeet Cocktail to a Beach-side wedding, Ramola and Santosh planned it all. They thought of the fun, the time to be spent with their families and the memories that everyone would take away from the wedding. It was all just perfect.

We hope that they will have a wonderful life together and are so very glad that we were able to capture their wedding. Here are a few of our favourites…

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To know more about their wedding, you can take a look at their wedding movie trailer here:

A Lifetime of Happiness ~ Ramola + Santosh from Arjun Kartha Photography on Vimeo.


This is a Goa Destination Wedding Photography Story. As Indian wedding photographers we have had the opportunity to travel to many wonderful places in India like DelhiChandigarhJaipur, Udaipur, KovalamBangalore, Mumbai, PuneKochi and so on. Weddings have even taken us overseas to beautiful destination wedding photography spots like Brooklyn New York, Malaysia, Langkawi, Kaula Lampur, Thailand, Hua Hin etc. Read each Indian Candid Wedding Photography story to know how it all happened!

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Delhi’s Big Bachelorette Party by For My Shaadi

Mission Bachelorette or Mission Wedding? Either way, For My Shaadi helps you figure it out at Delhi’s Biggest Bachelorette Party, Ever!

For My Shaadi, India’s only Wedding Registry website put together a fantastic evening for brides-to-be and their friends at Tabula Beach Cafe. Not only did they throw a Bachelorette-themed party, they brought in everyone a bride may need to plan her wedding, or her friends may need to plan the bachelorette. From venue partners, liquor partners, wedding & party planners, to feminine gifting ideas, decor and gifting specialists, makeup artists and wedding photographer, i.e. yours truly.

They had naughty bachelorette games, impromptu dance classes, pretty giveaways and a fun Photo Booth.

As wedding photographers, it was refreshing to “attend” a wedding related party rather than shooting it. It was great fun interacting with so many brides-to-be and hobnobbing with other biggies from the wedding fraternity.

Here are a few of our favourite photos from the event…

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Here’s to the most fun bachelorette we’ve been to!