Batch Editing vs. Custom Editing

If you’ve read What Happens After a Client Shoot, you know that a Photographer’s job does NOT end after a photoshoot or event.

To speed up post-processing of images, many photographers opt to batch edit.  Batch Editing is just as it sounds:  you select a batch of photos (usually an entire set from one location or section of an event) and apply the same edits to all of them at once.

It may sound like I’m poopoo-ing (that’s a word, right?!!) batch editing, but I’m not.

Every photographer works differently, like any Artist.  One painter may spend weeks prepping and then a few hours painting on a canvas while another painter may spend a few minutes preparing and then months painting his canvas.  Both canvases are finished paintings, and they both have a distinct style.  Photography is the same way.

With that said, I never ever ever batch edit.  It’s just who I am.  For the things I am passionate about, I am pretty meticulous about the details.  This is true when it comes to my kids’ health and safety, education, finances, and photography.

For my images, I do Custom Editing.  That means I look at every image, one at a time, to see what needs to be done to make the photo its absolute best.  Every.  Single.  Image.

In fact, I look at each image numerous times before I edit and after I edit.  It may sound tiresome or redundant, but I love it.  I admit it’s a long process, but the end result is rewarding.

I am currently editing several hundred images from a wedding and thought I’d give an example of custom editing…

Custom Edited

Original SOOC (straight-out-of-the-camera)

Photography Notes:

The SOOC image is not bad technically.  At first I thought the White Balance (WB) was slightly cool, but the table cloth and wall colors show the WB is correct.  The only thing is the Flowergirl is standing in the shade and could use a little more light.

Since this is an editorial image (the Flowergirl was sneaking in candy before the ceremony), I didn’t pose her in better light or have time to grab a reflector.  I took this shot to capture that look on her face of innocence and “being caught”.

I wanted the final image to reflect the sweetness of the story and highlight the pink theme of the wedding.   :)

So, in post processing, I brightened up the image a tad, did some “dodging” (spot lightening) in areas, got rid of some of the unattractive marks on the walls, and added a soft pink wash.

 

If you have an opinion of Batch Editing vs Custom Editing, leave a comment below.  If this was helpful to you, you can share it by clicking one of the links below. 

Happy shooting!

annie

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6 Comments

  1. I am still learning about photography, so I didn’t know about batch editing. I can see the perks of batch and custom. No two photos are exactly alike particularly if the light is changing or the photographer is moving about. So from that perspective I’d go with custom editing. But if it were a set studio scene and time was limited I’d probably want to batch edit.

    • That’s a great point. I think Batch Editing would work great with studio work where there aren’t as many variables. Thus, batch editing or custom editing wouldn’t really make a difference.

  2. W. Lowe

    Annie,
    That means that you are a true artist and do not like to take any shortcuts. That’s why your photos as a whole would be that much nicer. A true artist individualizes every single piece of their artwork. I too am learning about photography and have not yet learned how to batch edit. In theory it sounds nice, but I too am really particular about my photos. Thank you for taking the time to write this article. Good luck on your post processing of the wedding! (Wow, What a difference post processing does to a photo!)

    • Hi Wayling!

      Thank you for your lovely comment.

      My opinion about post processing was born from learning photography with film cameras. I learned how to develop my own film around age 19 or 20, and learned how to process them into prints. I would spend hours upon hours in the darkroom. It was so much fun!

      A photographer’s technique in the darkroom effected the final print bec, for example, you’d need to set the aperture and shutter speed AGAIN…. it’s not just when you take the shot! It was eye-opening to me since I spent years of my childhood shooting film and then just taking it to the local drugstore to get it developed! Once I learned the importance of post processing, I always did it myself… to control the entire look and feel of an image. :)

      Now with the digital format and editing tools, like Photoshop, we can have even more control of the processing, and thus, impact on the final images.

      Have a great rest of your weekend!

      Annie

  3. I will do a soft edit on a batch of pictures if they all need the same basic fix though I try to get it right in camera. But then I always go back and edit pictures individually and finally I look at them side by side to make sure they have a cohesive feel. This is especially important for me with newborns because their skin often requires a lot of brushed on adjustments. I love your work! A true artist :). I think it is really cool that you learned using and post processing film.

    • Thanks for commenting, Mindy! I love your post processing steps. It sounds like you are very thorough and take great pride in your work. I respect that!