How to Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer: Viewing Your Photos

Fifth in a series.

Your wedding day is over. All of the planning and preparation has paid off, and you’re now married to the man or woman of your dreams. Basking in the glow of that unforgettable day during your honeymoon, you or your spouse will inevitably declare: “I can’t wait to see the pictures!”

If you’ve chosen the right wedding photographer, viewing the photographs should be easy and fun to do. A professional will make it that way.

Rather than handing you several thousand unedited photographs on a DVD for you to painstakingly plow through, the professional will create an edited portfolio and present it to you either online, in hard-copy form, or both.

Editing and Organizing Your Photographs

Here’s how the process should work:

First, your wedding photographer will make an initial edit of your pictures and remove all the pictures that aren’t technically or aesthetically up to snuff. The resulting edited take will be the best images from your wedding — probably between 600 and 1,500 images.

Next, the photographer will organize the wedding images in a way that will make sense to you. For example, I typically use the following categories —

  • Bride prep
  • Groom prep
  • Family portraits
  • Ceremony
  • Reception

Each category will hold 100 images or more, depending on how many photographs your photographer included in the edit.

<i>This is an example of how I use Photoshop to enhance an image. A simple vignette and tighter crop (below) adds impact to this image of Chris and Meredith's first dance.</i>

This is an example of how I use Photoshop to enhance an image. A simple vignette and tighter crop (below) adds impact to this image of Chris and Meredith's first dance.


The next step in the process may be different depending on the photographer. In the case of Cayton Photography, we go through the images and selectively retouch those that need it. Perhaps the color balance is off, or there is a dust spot from the camera. Whatever it is, we try to catch it before giving the final portfolio to the wedding couple.

Photographers may also want you to see what their own favorites are from your wedding day. I always make a selection of the photographs I like best and present them in the first category of the wedding portfolio. I call this group my signature collection. We also take some extra time to enhance these pictures using Photoshop.

A brief note about Photoshop: It’s a tool, just like the camera I use.  I use Photoshop to make an image stronger, usually through a series of vignettes or filters or both. The changes are not meant to be noticed. My goal is to “finish” the picture without taking away from the image itself.

Delivery Options

Today most photographers deliver the wedding portfolio online. We have invested in an online presentation software that allows us to display individual portfolios in a password-protected gallery — and gives wedding couples a wide range of options.

The gallery allows couples to place orders, select images for their albums, e-mail images to friends and family, view slideshows, and even view different toning options for a picture.

Other photographers present portfolios on CD, DVD, or as 4×6 prints. Whatever way your photographer delivers your portfolio, however, it should be edited, organized and presented in a way that makes it easy and enjoyable to view.  

Next: Creating your wedding album.

One Response to “How to Find the Perfect Wedding Photographer: Viewing Your Photos”

  1. my friend just got back their wedding with over 3000 images. More is not always better. If you cant get it in under 1000 images you aren't editing right

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