I LOVE my job (can I even call it that?) as a wedding photographer. However, many people don’t realise the huge amount of computer time required, after the wedding has been photographed. I’m embarrassed to admit, before I had systems to streamline my wedding post-production, I’d leave my un-edited weddings sitting on hard drives for weeks! I’d photograph more weddings in between, and suddenly be left with 5 weddings to edit – which was super overwhelming! Working this way not only stressed me out, but was completely unprofessional, unfair to my couples, and ultimately not the way I wanted to be running my business.
I had tried a few workflow systems in the past, but just last year I have found a system that works for me. I can completely finish my wedding post production (including an album design) in less than a week, my office hours are generally 9am – 6pm. My couples get their images faster, I usually have at least one day off, which leaves me recharged creatively, ready to give my absolute best to the next couple I am blessed to photograph.
Here’s how I do it (based on a Saturday wedding):
DAY AFTER WEDDING (Sunday) //
- Download cards
- Backup all images. REST.
DAY 2 (Monday) //
- Pick images (1 star) in Photo Mechanic (I love this program! Using PM is fast, I’d never go back to Lightroom for choosing images)
- From the 1 star options above, pick images for blog and slideshow and label these 2 stars.
- Create new Lightroom Catalog
- Import the 2 star images only to the new LR Catalog
- Choose and edit one image for FB
- Post sneak peek image to Facebook + Instagram
- Select all images in LR catalog, give 2 stars in LR, put in Quick Collection in LR
- Edit all 2 star images (usually around 200).
- Make slideshow using Soundslides Plus, upload to website
- Email link to clients
- Choose blog images from edited ones (3 star) and export
- Prep blog post using Blog Stomp.
- Import all 1 star images from Photo Mechanic into Lightroom
- Edit all images and FINISH -while listening to my favourite podcasts of course! (This usually takes me around 5-6 hours. I’ve already spent time editing 200 of the photographs sprinkled throughout the day, so it’s usually a matter of hitting the Sync button in LR.)
- Export images for clients
- Upload to PASS (online gallery)
- Export slideshow images 6×4″ size, upload to online printers or get printed.
- Blog Wedding
- Create Facebook album linking to blog post + one image on Instagram
- Design Album Spread, upload to Workspace
- Package USB (images + slideshow MP3) + write note.
- Rest! Spend time with family, have an inspiration day, relax before the next wedding :)
I wanted to write this post, and share my system because I know a lot of my wedding photographer peers struggle with wedding post production! I know what it’s like to have a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you have 5+ weddings sitting on your hard drives, waiting to be finished and sent.
But guess what?! There IS a better way.
The above process isn’t easy, it takes dedication, focus, organisation and discipline.
But the reward is a feeling of deep peace. Knowing you worked hard for your clients to give them your best, you had integrity as a business owner to run your business with excellence, with much less computer time, so you are refreshed and able to approach your next wedding, calm, relaxed and creatively fulfilled.
Fellow wedding photographers, I hope this post has challenged and inspired you to take action in this busy summer season! I would LOVE to know if you will be implementing any of my strategies above. Please let me know in the comments! xx