When we show up for the shoot, that is the fun part of the job, the only part the public sees, but it's not not just clicking the shutter button and voila here are your images. A session consist of everything leading up to the shoot and following. Most people don't realize that is the real work. When a shoot is scheduled, we work with the client to determine location or studio, each of which require preparation. Studio shoots require a minimum of backdrop and lighting setup while location shoots require scouting the area for the best light and background choices. Each option includes additional steps before beginning but after the shoot is where we tend to spend the most time.
Once we have worked together to create those wonderful images you will cherish for a lifetime, the real "work" begins. We sit behind the computer, sometime for hours depending on the type and length of the shoot to sort through all the images, choosing the very best to deliver. After the selection, the images go through "processing", kind of like in the days of film except we digitally process. During this step, we make any necessary adjustments to light and apply other enhancements including blemish removal or skin smoothing. These are done on an individual image bases and while it may seem very simple, there are steps necessary to maintain the quality of the image and integrity of the original file and if done incorrectly, it will compromise the the final product.
It can take five hours or more to process 20 images depending on what type of adjustments need to be made. Once this is all done, it is time to deliver the final product to the client. This can be done with different methods including print or digital proofs and sometimes both.
In the end, what has seemed like an hour of photographic service is truly more like a five to eight hour workday for the photographer.