Order-Specific References

Order-Specific References.

Order-specific references can help you get scans that best match your vision. But what are order-specific preferences exactly? And what should you be looking for when selecting them? These are the exact questions we’re answering in this week's film tip!

Order-specific references are 1–5 edited digital images from your shoot OR film images shot in similar lighting with similar skin tones. These images should match your vision for this shoot in terms of skin tones, density (how bright or dark the image is) and contrast. These are the qualities our color techs will be analyzing in your images to help make your scans match your vision.

Skin tones

When picking out order-specific references, the most important thing for us to see is skin tones—your clients just want to look good! Send in 1-2 examples of skin tones for the most important people in the shoot, ideally in the key environment from the day. For example, if your shoot is mainly on the beach, send us an example of your subjects shot on the beach. And if your shoot is in a studio, send in a shot from there—it is so helpful to get an idea of what the colors in your space look like! For these examples collages with multiple images can be difficult, stick with an image where your subject fills most of the frame.

This shot (above) by Perry Vaile is a great example of an order-specific reference image. It shows the scenery and weather of the day while also illustrating the skin tones, density and contrast we should be aiming for while scanning. And it lets us know the groom’s suit is blue!


In addition to skintones, it can also be helpful to see 1–2 detail shots if they pertain to your shoot. For example, if you are shooting flatlays with invitation suites and florals or the bridesmaids’ dresses are a very particular tone, please send in a few example images that show these colors so we can match it best! For these examples, an image taken with your handy-dandy iPhone or Android will work great!

The (above) flatlay by Lauren Fair clearly shows our color technician the color of the invitation suites, the florals and the background as well as the density and contrast the photographer is after.


Finally, if your order includes landscape shots please provide examples that illustrate the density you are after—let us know where you want the detail in your image—the amount of contrast you are after, along with overall tones of your environment.

This landscape photo by Corey Wolfenbarger beautifully illustrates the coloring and density of the scene showing our color technicians where he wants the most detail within the image.

Have you heard? We now have online ordering!

Upload your order-specific references directly with your order when using our new online ordering system. It’s easier than ever before!