Need pro advice for wedding photos

Started Aug 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
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helldesign
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Need pro advice for wedding photos
Aug 18, 2012

Hi,
I need some pro advice and guidance.

Few Months ago I started working for a wedding photographer and the job is mostly to correct the white ballance, exposure, black, Crop the image, add little more contrast and clarity (and maybe a few other settings) with Camera Raw. Then opening all images with Photoshop and applying one-two filters -> Unsharpen Mask mostly (or unsharpen mask + High Pass depends), Noiseware for high ISO images, some retouching and Portraiture for the bride "make up" images and thats it.

The end result is fine, but it doesn't 'wow' effect. The photos do not have enough contrast and sharpness and they looks ordinary (nothing special). When I put more strength to the Unsharpen Mask or Contrast it looks unnatural and overdone.

I'm starting to thing that there is something else for the sharp/contrast/exposure of the images that I miss. Maybe some other technique - Lab color contrast from the channels or something...

I'm uploading few examples of the effect I'm looking for. Take a look at this pictures:
http://forums.dpreview.com/galleries/1281827364/albums/test/slideshow

Some parts of the face and body are heavy exposured/white without detail loss and have nice shadows/highlights. Entire image has very strong contrast and sharpness and still looks fresh and natural.
All photos look as if they are treated with the technique "Dodge and Burn".

In this case we talk about a large number of images (around 700-800 selected pics for a wedding) and it's impossible to make "Dodge & Burn" for each photo.

I know I can split RAW files into several parts and apply different settings to each element - different exposure, WB, contrast, sharpness etc. but still it's very slow method.

I would be very grateful, if anyone can give me advice on how I can achieve the above described effect and if there is any technique that can help me to do it faster.

Thanks!

P.S. Pictures with similar style of processing:
http://www.kaphotostudio.com/?p=5571
http://www.kaphotostudio.com/?p=5763

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