THE REFINED UNION WORKFLOW

+ HOW DO I CREATE AND SEND A LIGHTROOM CATALOG?

Instructional video can be found here.

Step 1. Create Folder of selected images and import into Lightroom

Step 2. Highlight the folder of images, right click and select Export this Folder as a Catalog

Step 3. Name your Catalog (StudioName_ClientsName)
Important: Select Include/Build Smart Previews

Step 4: Locate folder, right click and Compress

Upload the .Zip file to our uploader and we will take it from there!

+ WHERE DO I UPLOAD MY IMAGES?

Please click here and follow the instructions on our uploader page.

+ HOW DO I SEND A LIGHTROOM PRESET?

You are not required to send us a Lightroom preset to use for your images, but if there is a preset you use that reflects your style, please send it in with your order. We will apply it before making any other adjustments to white balance, contrast, etc.

Sending a preset is a one-time process. Here's how it works:

First, you need to have a preset set up in your own copy of Lightroom. Then you can easily export the preset and send it to us for use in future jobs.

Locate and Export the Preset:

  • Open LR and go to the Develop module.
  • Expand the preset panel on the left and locate the preset.
  • Right-click the preset and choose Export.
  • Name the preset after your studio name for example (TwistedOaksStudioPreset)
  • Locate the exported file outside of LR. It has a ".lrtemplate" extension.

Upload the Preset to The Refined Union:

  • Choose the ".lrtemplate" file that you previously exported.

  • Upload the images into the uploader with your first order. This preset will be kept on file for all future orders.

You can send a color preset and a black and white preset.

GETTING STARTED

+ WHAT SERVICES DOES THE REFINED UNION OFFER?

We offer custom color correction, retouching, and culling services. Please click here for a detailed look and pricing.

+ WHAT ARE THE TURNAROUND TIMES?

The turnaround clock begins once we've received the order. We have a 12pm EST cutoff, so if images are received after noon, they're counted as coming in on the next business day.

Custom Color Correction turnaround is 5-10 business days (7-14 calendar days). Culling turnaround is 4-6 business days (4-8 calendar days)

Please understand that these turn-around times can fluctuate, particularly during late summer and into the fall. When you place an order, you will be given an estimated turn-around time based on our capacities. Keep in mind that placing an order earlier in the day (before daily capacities fill) may result in a faster turn-around time.

RUSH options are also available, add 50% for a 2 day turnaround and 100% for 1 day turnaround.

+ HOW IS MY EDITOR CHOSEN?

Editors are assigned based on availability. The editors are all trained equally, and are familiar with different editing styles & techniques.

+ DO YOU OFFER RUSH SERVICES?

When placing your order, you may choose to add one of the following options:

RUSH: 50% surcharge, 2 business days turnaround
RUSH+: 100% surcharge, 1 business day turnaround

+HOW DO I GET STARTED?

We reccommend starting with a free trial so we can learn your editing style. More information on that here.

If you are ready to get started on yout first full order. Simply, click the order button above or click here and we will take it from there!

BILLING

+ WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY INVOICE? WHEN IS PAYMENT DUE?

Invoices are issued as soon as your order is placed, and charged automatically to your credit card on file.

We accept Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, and Paypal.

+ CAN I GET A REFUND IF I NEED TO REDO THE WORK?

If you edits are returned not looking quite right reach out to us as soon as possible. Feedback is important to get your style just right.

We stand by the quality of our work and believe that our clients shouldn't be re-editing their images.

Failure to get in touch with us in such situation will make it more difficult for us to issue a credit or refund, as alternative solutions would have first been available.

+ DO I NEED TO SEND IN THE IMAGES TO BE RETOUCHED IN ORDER TO GET A FREE QUOTE?

Yes, we need to see the images before sending you a free quote.

CULLING

+ HOW DO YOU HANDLE CULLING?

  • Number When you place an order with us and request culling, you get to designate the number of images you'd like us to cull.
  • Moments It's important that the images in the final selection accurately represent the event's timeline. We'll make sure that all important moments of the day are maintained as part of the final selection, in order to best tell the story. Even if some of those images are slightly blurry, or the expressions aren't best, we'll still keep them in order to maintain continuity.
  • Composition or Artistic Value When we're choosing from a series of images, we'll choose the more visually appealing of the series.
  • Expression We'll choose the images with the best expression, and certainly those that convey the most powerful emotion.

+ DO WE PAY $0.06 ON THE FULL AMOUNT OR THE CULLED IMAGES?

The price is per total amount of images, regardless of how many we cull down to.

+ WHAT IS THE TURNAROUND TIME ON CULLING?

The turnaround for culling is 4-6 business days. RUSH options are available, add 50% for a 2 day turnaround and 100% for 1 day turnaround.

+ ARE YOU CULLING IN LIGHTROOM OR PHOTO MECHANIC?

We prefer Lightroom Catalog with Smart Previews. We can use Photo Mechanic upon request.

EDITING

+ I HAVE A SPECIFIC LOOK. CAN YOU EDIT WITH MY PRESET?

Absolutely! If you have a specificlook, make sure to specify it in the editing notes section. We will look at your work extensively, and you can forward us your preset at the same time as your catalog. It can take a couple of jobs for your editor to perfect your editing style, so you feedback is important for us to nail down your style.

+ CAN I SEND A CATALOG WITH ALREADY EDITED IMAGES?

Yes, and can often be very helpful as a guide when we are first learning your style. Flag the edited images and leave us a note in the editing note box with your order.

+ WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GIVE FEEDBACK TO MY EDITOR?

Your editor is your main point of contact, and you can email them directly.

Feedback is a important part of the process. Side-by-side comparisons of your editing next to ours is always most helpful.

If you are doing sneak peek galleries for your clients, you can include those in your upload. Additionally, you may pre-edit a few photos before sending them in, so we can see exactly what you would typically do to them. If you are doing this, make sure to mention that in the editing notes and to flag the images in Lightroom so your editor can use them accordingly.

+ HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHICH IMAGES ARE CONVERTED TO BLACK AND WHITE?

Our editing team converts images to black and white based on following criteria:

  • Percentage The percentage of B&W images you chose when you submitted the job.

  • Distractions Images with distracting backgrounds that draw the viewer's eye away from the subject could be converted to black and white.

  • Color Images with distracting/unattractive colors could be converted to black and white to draw the viewer's eye to the subject.

  • Overexposed Images that have been over-exposed and are not recoverable and are great images, could be converted to B&W.

If you would like our team to include a color version of the images we convert to black and white, you can choose this option during checkout.

+ WHAT ARE XMP FILES?

XMP files are very small data files that hold the editing and exif information for each RAW file. They will usually have the same name as the original associated with it. If you're sending us RAW files, we will send back XMP files, which will need to be loaded into Lightroom or Photoshop.

RETOUCHING

+ WHAT DOES RETOUCHING INCLUDE?

Custom retouching is a highly customized service, usually reserved for advanced Photoshop work like head swapping, background removal, etc.

Note that this service is more advanced and requires you to know precisely what you want. We'll ask you to describe the desired work in detail, and we will send you a quote based on that description and our review of the images.

Price: $1/min or $60/hr

If you're just getting started with us or you just want simple color correction, please start with our Editing service.

+ HOW DOES THE RETOUCHING PROCESS WORK?

When placing a custom retouching order, you'll describe the work you want done and upload the images. We then look over the request and provide a free quote for the work within about one business day. At that point, you have the option to approve or reject the quote.

As we get familiar with each other, you'll be able to skip the quote step by pre-approving a maximum budget for the order. We'll only charge for the amount of time it takes, and if we need more time, we'll send a quote before.

UPLOADING

+ IS THERE A MINIMUM ORDER?

No, there is no minimum order.

+ HOW WILL I RECEIVE MY FILES?

If you send in a LR Catalog, we will send back the same. For RAW files, we can upload the JPGS (option available in your order form)

SUBMIT A SUPPORT TICKET

Still need help? We're looking forward to helping you.

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