Interviews With Pro Photographers

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Interviews With Pro Photographers

Dan O'Day: Efficient Post-Production

Dan O’Day uses Photo Mechanic to ingest his wedding shoots. “It’s a database program for previewing raw files very quickly. Lightroom takes too long to import the files and cull them. In comparison, Photo Mechanic is really good for ingesting thousands of images at a time. It also runs a report and lets you know if any of the files were corrupt, and it can backup to multiple drives as it ingests. However, what’s best is that I can cull a wedding shoot quickly.”

Dan takes between 3000 and 5000 images at a wedding (depending on coverage time), so his first step is to trim them down to the best 500-700 images. After the image selections have been made using Photo Mechanic, the raw files are sent to Lightroom where he uses presets to give the images the look he wants.

“I have built up my own ‘Dan’s special sauce’ presets over time and on occasion I also use some commercial presets such as VSCO. Essentially, this system allows me to edit one photo and apply the same settings to a series of images shot in a similar setting, so I can edit a whole wedding in around five hours. When finished, I just use Photoshop to batch size the images and that’s it.

“I am shooting 80% of my bookings away from home, either interstate or abroad, so I don’t get to knock on my clients’ doors and drop off a package. More often than not, the DVD or album is posted to them.

“The first time the couple sees any of the images is as a DVD presentation on their television which comprises the finished, edited files.”

As a minimum, the client receives a thank you letter from Dan, a DVD slideshow of the edited files (as well as copies for the parents), and an incentive slip giving them a last chance to purchase an album with a 20 per cent discount.

“They also receive a selection of ten of my fine art postcards, which is something personal from me, and then there’s my wedding present to them – something they know nothing about – an 8x12 inch print from the wedding. It’s a print I have selected and printed, as opposed to a ceremony ‘kiss’ shot they might have selected. This way, at least it is an image I have selected hanging on their wall when their friends (and my potential future clients) pop over for a coffee.”

DAN O’DAY is a wedding and fine art photographer. Wedding photography is his mainstay, while fine art photography is his passion. Dan is a Master of Photography and is based in Canberra, ACT.

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