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Hey internet pals, thanks for reading my last post, Thriving In Wedding Season Part 1, and 2 months later (I lied when I said it would be next week, haha), here is Part 2: Wedding Day Preparation + Culling, Editing, & Delivering

Wedding Preparation

So for wedding day preparation, based on the answers to the questionnaire I sent to the couple, we put together a Timeline. Generally, it goes something like:

12pm Getting Ready
1:30 First Look
2pm Bridal Party Portraits
2:45 Family Portraits Before the Ceremony
3:15 End Portraits // Couple goes to rest before ceremony
3:15PM Take photos of ceremony site and other details
4PM Ceremony
4:45PM Additional group portraits
5PM Second shooter covers cocktail hour and takes candids + casual  “Grip & Grins” of people gathering together and looking at the camera. During this time I upload images and do a quick edit of 30ish photos (moreon how to do that quikly below) to show at the reception for a little sneak peak
5:45PM Guests move into reception hall // couple gets announced // First dance
6PM dinner
6:30pm speeches
6:45pm sunset photos
7pm cake cutting
7:15 garter & bouquet toss
7:30 open dancing
8pm exit and then end coverage

After this I 1) send the info to my second shooter 2) coordinate transportation (for me it’s renting a car via Get Around) 3) Make sure my gear is ready including charged or new batteries and enough memory cards (since I use new ones every time) 4) prepare snackage: my routine is lunch that’s clean (not super sugary or processed) but includes carb + protein since I’ll need the energy to go thru the day. I used to do salads but I run out of gas quick! A vegan falafel wrap from Whole Foods usually does the trick for me. And then I usually have 4 snack bars (Cliff bars that are nut-butter filled or Kind bars are my fave!) + a kombucha to help fuel me. Oh and electrolytes (nuun!)

Again, I pack this all in two backpacks + my laptop, external drive, iPad + styling boards.

And then you shoot the dang thing.

(If you’re interested in assisting me on a wedding day, holler! I’ll put you to work and you’ll see how this timeline plays out + the emotional intelligence, problem solving that has to happen in the moment. That’s harder to blog about TBH. You just have to come see.)

And then you get all those files into your computer and do some digital magic and artistry.

a Macbook on a Roost laptop stand paired with apple keyboard and trackpad

Lifehack: I use this laptop set up and it helps for a long editing sessions

Roost Laptop Stand+ Apple Magic Keyboard+ Apple Trackpad

Culling, Editing, & Delivering

HUGE disclaimer: there is no one right way to do this!

So many photographers have much more efficient ways than I do but I’m sharing what I’ve gotten into the habit of and has found really works for me. This is my process so you’ll see how we can easily get sneak peaks done and the wedding delivered quickly. I can’t wait to read your comments to see what your thought and what your workflow is.

Copy & Cull

I previously used Lightroom for culling but it is slow just to load an overview of photos.
My friend Isabell tried to explain it to me and it had something to do with formats and codes and I got lost. So I took her recommendation and switched to Photomechanic. And. It. Is Helllahhhhh. Faster.   

I use Photomechanic because it deals with photos in large batches speedily.

So for weddings (and for all my other shoots!) it’s one of the best investments. Because #time.

(I’ll be talking about a lot of gear that I talked about in my previous post).

Plug Lacie external drive + Lexar card into laptop.
I open Photomechanic.
I go to Navigator > SD card > DCIM > 100EOS5D > and then click the first photo, then shift + click the last photo to select all then I go to Navigator > Lacie > Right click New Folder. I then name it something appropriate such as Kevin & Sarah Wedding and paste the photos into it. You can come up with your own filing system using dates too. I simply go alphabetical with the couples name (Wedding etiquette masters, is it true that the the bride’s name always goes first?)

And now that they’re copied over and I feel more emotionally at peace because they are in two places (hashtag safety), I can now start looking thru them for my faves!
So I’ll navigate to that wedding folder I just created, double tap a photo to open  a larger screen and using the side arrows on my keyboard, I’ll start looking thru, and starring the photos you want to edit by giving it 1-star or ctrl+1 in the keyboard.

For weddings I  trust my eye and my first view reaction, if I go aww or get goosebumps in the couples session part or in the details, that’s typically a winner! This is when it’s relying on the eye that you’ve cultivated. This is what makes us artists! Not our gear, but our feels and sensitivity.

And for family ones, I sort thru photos as ones that really stick out and that no one is blinking haha.

And once they are all starred, I hit the one-star icon on the bottom right corner to see all the ones I’ve chosen. This usually helps m already go down from the 2000+ photos I’ve taken on the wedding day to about 400-800. I then select all of those and then  I  then I go to Navigator > Lacie > Kevin & Sarah Wedding > Right click New Folder and then make a “To Edit” folder and then right click “copy selected items here” into it.

I then start creating subfolders like 1 – Getting Ready 2 – Details 3 – Bride & Groom Portraits 4- Bridal Party & Family Portraits 5 – Ceremony 6 – Cocktail Hour & Reception

And then from the To Edit folder, I select all the Getting Ready photos (easily seen by arranging photos by Date Taken which especially helpful if you use two cameras or have a second shooter) and right click the “1 – Getting Ready” folder and then select “move selected items here” and then continue to do it for albums 2-6.

Here is a simple video of starring photos and putting them into albums (also disclaimer I didn’t screenshot putting them all into a “To Edit” folder and I also am moving instead of copying in this video):

Edit

And these same albums I’ll bring one at a time into Lightroom (Classic not CC. Any other photographers feel me?!) and rename it in the same collection and also import it into a folder with the same name on to DropBox on my hard drive (so while it is on my hard drive it also syncing to the cloud).

life hack: When space is filling up on your laptop, go into Dropbox sync (DropBox icon on top bar  > gear icon (settings) > preferences > sync > choose folders to sync > uncheck the folders you don’t currently need to be using on your computer so it opens up more space, but remains in the cloud.

And then I edit using my own tweaked form of VSCO presets. Presets could be a whole other post itself! Many photographers make their own presets and *knock on wood* I may release my own later this year but until then a tweaked version of their Kodak gold gives me the warm skin tones I like (and works on 90% of skin tones but fair skin).

Export & Deliver

And then I upload each album to Shootproof in the background as I start editing the next.

I then copy my gallery link into a Wedding Photo Delivery template I have in Honeybook which gives them instructions for how to download and how to order prints and also asks for a review and then send!

When I first started editing weddings it would take me close to 30 hours per wedding. Now with this workflow, I finished a wedding in 5 hours! Incredible. Thank you technology.

Special thanks to Cheney  who I did an in-person tutorial with who encouraged me to post this (and also did so much of the legwork writing out a lot of this flow!)


I am always up for learning.

What workflow techniques work for you?

Hey internet pals, thanks for reading my last post, Thriving In Wedding Season Part 1, and 2 months later (I lied when I said it would be next week, haha), here is Part 2: Wedding Day Preparation + Culling, Editing, & Delivering

Wedding Preparation

So for wedding day preparation, based on the answers to the questionnaire I sent to the couple, we put together a Timeline. Generally, it goes something like:

12pm Getting Ready
1:30 First Look
2pm Bridal Party Portraits
2:45 Family Portraits Before the Ceremony
3:15 End Portraits // Couple goes to rest before ceremony
3:15PM Take photos of ceremony site and other details
4PM Ceremony
4:45PM Additional group portraits
5PM Second shooter covers cocktail hour and takes candids + casual  “Grip & Grins” of people gathering together and looking at the camera. During this time I upload images and do a quick edit of 30ish photos (moreon how to do that quikly below) to show at the reception for a little sneak peak
5:45PM Guests move into reception hall // couple gets announced // First dance
6PM dinner
6:30pm speeches
6:45pm sunset photos
7pm cake cutting
7:15 garter & bouquet toss
7:30 open dancing
8pm exit and then end coverage

After this I 1) send the info to my second shooter 2) coordinate transportation (for me it’s renting a car via Get Around) 3) Make sure my gear is ready including charged or new batteries and enough memory cards (since I use new ones every time) 4) prepare snackage: my routine is lunch that’s clean (not super sugary or processed) but includes carb + protein since I’ll need the energy to go thru the day. I used to do salads but I run out of gas quick! A vegan falafel wrap from Whole Foods usually does the trick for me. And then I usually have 4 snack bars (Cliff bars that are nut-butter filled or Kind bars are my fave!) + a kombucha to help fuel me. Oh and electrolytes (nuun!)

Again, I pack this all in two backpacks + my laptop, external drive, iPad + styling boards.

And then you shoot the dang thing.

(If you’re interested in assisting me on a wedding day, holler! I’ll put you to work and you’ll see how this timeline plays out + the emotional intelligence, problem solving that has to happen in the moment. That’s harder to blog about TBH. You just have to come see.)

And then you get all those files into your computer and do some digital magic and artistry.

a Macbook on a Roost laptop stand paired with apple keyboard and trackpad

Lifehack: I use this laptop set up and it helps for a long editing sessions

Roost Laptop Stand+ Apple Magic Keyboard+ Apple Trackpad

Culling, Editing, & Delivering

HUGE disclaimer: there is no one right way to do this!

So many photographers have much more efficient ways than I do but I’m sharing what I’ve gotten into the habit of and has found really works for me. This is my process so you’ll see how we can easily get sneak peaks done and the wedding delivered quickly. I can’t wait to read your comments to see what your thought and what your workflow is.

Copy & Cull

I previously used Lightroom for culling but it is slow just to load an overview of photos.
My friend Isabell tried to explain it to me and it had something to do with formats and codes and I got lost. So I took her recommendation and switched to Photomechanic. And. It. Is Helllahhhhh. Faster.   

I use Photomechanic because it deals with photos in large batches speedily.

So for weddings (and for all my other shoots!) it’s one of the best investments. Because #time.

(I’ll be talking about a lot of gear that I talked about in my previous post).

Plug Lacie external drive + Lexar card into laptop.
I open Photomechanic.
I go to Navigator > SD card > DCIM > 100EOS5D > and then click the first photo, then shift + click the last photo to select all then I go to Navigator > Lacie > Right click New Folder. I then name it something appropriate such as Kevin & Sarah Wedding and paste the photos into it. You can come up with your own filing system using dates too. I simply go alphabetical with the couples name (Wedding etiquette masters, is it true that the the bride’s name always goes first?)

And now that they’re copied over and I feel more emotionally at peace because they are in two places (hashtag safety), I can now start looking thru them for my faves!
So I’ll navigate to that wedding folder I just created, double tap a photo to open  a larger screen and using the side arrows on my keyboard, I’ll start looking thru, and starring the photos you want to edit by giving it 1-star or ctrl+1 in the keyboard.

For weddings I  trust my eye and my first view reaction, if I go aww or get goosebumps in the couples session part or in the details, that’s typically a winner! This is when it’s relying on the eye that you’ve cultivated. This is what makes us artists! Not our gear, but our feels and sensitivity.

And for family ones, I sort thru photos as ones that really stick out and that no one is blinking haha.

And once they are all starred, I hit the one-star icon on the bottom right corner to see all the ones I’ve chosen. This usually helps m already go down from the 2000+ photos I’ve taken on the wedding day to about 400-800. I then select all of those and then  I  then I go to Navigator > Lacie > Kevin & Sarah Wedding > Right click New Folder and then make a “To Edit” folder and then right click “copy selected items here” into it.

I then start creating subfolders like 1 – Getting Ready 2 – Details 3 – Bride & Groom Portraits 4- Bridal Party & Family Portraits 5 – Ceremony 6 – Cocktail Hour & Reception

And then from the To Edit folder, I select all the Getting Ready photos (easily seen by arranging photos by Date Taken which especially helpful if you use two cameras or have a second shooter) and right click the “1 – Getting Ready” folder and then select “move selected items here” and then continue to do it for albums 2-6.

Here is a simple video of starring photos and putting them into albums (also disclaimer I didn’t screenshot putting them all into a “To Edit” folder and I also am moving instead of copying in this video):

Edit

And these same albums I’ll bring one at a time into Lightroom (Classic not CC. Any other photographers feel me?!) and rename it in the same collection and also import it into a folder with the same name on to DropBox on my hard drive (so while it is on my hard drive it also syncing to the cloud).

life hack: When space is filling up on your laptop, go into Dropbox sync (DropBox icon on top bar  > gear icon (settings) > preferences > sync > choose folders to sync > uncheck the folders you don’t currently need to be using on your computer so it opens up more space, but remains in the cloud.

And then I edit using my own tweaked form of VSCO presets. Presets could be a whole other post itself! Many photographers make their own presets and *knock on wood* I may release my own later this year but until then a tweaked version of their Kodak gold gives me the warm skin tones I like (and works on 90% of skin tones but fair skin).

Export & Deliver

And then I upload each album to Shootproof in the background as I start editing the next.

I then copy my gallery link into a Wedding Photo Delivery template I have in Honeybook which gives them instructions for how to download and how to order prints and also asks for a review and then send!

When I first started editing weddings it would take me close to 30 hours per wedding. Now with this workflow, I finished a wedding in 5 hours! Incredible. Thank you technology.

Special thanks to Cheney  who I did an in-person tutorial with who encouraged me to post this (and also did so much of the legwork writing out a lot of this flow!)


I am always up for learning.

What workflow techniques work for you?

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