FAQ : Raw or Jpeg?


Before I begin this week’s FAQ, here’s a disclaimer: I’m SO not a workflow guru, so please don’t think I’m trying to portend I’m all that and a bag of chips. And, yes, I use disclaimers because I went to law school and now know how important they are! 😉 The end.

“Do you shoot Raw or Jpeg?”

Well, the answer to this question is YES. Yes, I shoot raw. Yes, I shoot Jpeg.

Truth be told, when I first started my business, I was looking for the quickest way to improve both my skills and knowledge. I’ve never been one to shy away from hard work, but one thing I learned in law school is that it’s not as important as hard you work, it’s about how smart you work. So, instead of reinventing the wheel, I tore apart my favorite photographers’ workflows and chose one that would work for me.

In the end, I completely and whole-heartedly adopted David Jay’s raw workflow. It’s allows for me to batch process my images and ensures my clients have consistent images that are all color-corrected and have a little saucy punch to them added by raw presets.

Why jpeg? Two reasons:
1. At every wedding, I show a slideshow of images from the wedding day. While guests are eating dinner, I download my favorite images from the day (about 30-40), retouch them lightly in Photoshop and display the slideshow on my laptop at the reception. The slideshows are an AWESOME way for clients to see the images and guests are equally excited to see instantaneous images. Because I do this, I need my images already in jpeg format so I can immediately open them in Photoshop. Yes, I can convert the raw to jpeg, but that’s one extra step during a time crunch that I really don’t want to be concerned with.
2. I like jpeg better. Plain and simple. I love the color and crispness I get with a jpeg and whenever I convert an image from raw to jpeg, something’s missing. Please don’t ask me what that ‘something’ is because I couldn’t tell you…I just love jpeg (FYI, everything on my blog and slideshows are shot in jpeg). When I first started my business, I shot completely in jpeg (which forced me to start nailing exposure because I didn’t have too much latitude for mistakes), and I would have stayed shooting that way, but I was literally killing myself trying to retouch so many images before they were posted online (and, yes, I could’ve posted unprocessed images online, but I seriously have OCD and perfectionism-issues, so that totally wouldn’t work for me!).

So here’s my workflow after a wedding:
*Download my images using iView and tag my favorites (blog, slideshow, portfolio) with color codes
*Edit blog favorites
*Edit a slideshow
*Pour the remaining 800-900 raw images into Adobe Bridge and use presets to process them.
*Convert to jpeg
*Upload to my online lab, Pictage

I know this is a very, very basic breakdown, but if you want to learn more about what to do exactly, David Jay is the main man. Be sure to check out his Freedom Club for video tutorials and latest news. He’ll also be speaking at Pictage’s PartnerCon next month here in Los Angeles, so be sure to check him out! I’ll be there too, so be sure to holla back!

Again, the FAQ blog posts are just to kinda-sorta help push people along in their business. If only one person found this helpful, then I’ll feel like it was worth it! 🙂

Happy Wednesday!

P.S. Because my sister once told me she hates reading my blog without any pictures, here’s a picture of JD…some people have hinted that he hasn’t made a blog appearance in a while, so here’s my main squeeze at Sandy and Jesse’s wedding