Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wedding Photography isn't just one day.

Treasures online are such a wonderful treat to share with others. I was looking at websites for fellow photographers and fell upon this gem of how digital photography has changed the workflow of photography so much.

Although when you talk to a bride about wedding photography there are different aspects she is concerned about. But really she should also think about the work that a photographer does after a wedding and how it can effect her turnaround time and receiving her images of her beautiful day.

Here is a blog about what a photographer does to prepare for a wedding and all the ins and outs.

Digital Workflow

Inspired by Seshu and a group of photographers, I wanted to fill you in on my digital workflow! While I customize my workflow for each wedding (because every client is different, and I use different equipment for each assignment), there are some standard things that I do for the vast majority of my weddings. Since I’m prepping for the upcoming wedding season by cleaning lenses, ordering all new cards, and cleaning up my workstations I figured this would be the perfect time to describe my typical workflow!

The night before

Oh yes, everything begins the day before. Charging batteries, erasing cards, cleaning lenses, packing my bags. I have a laundry list of “to do” items that also includes printing out your shotlist questionnaire, directions, and setting up my equipment so that I will be ready to go. I also make sure that my camera bodies all have the same time set - imagine using four cameras at a wedding then realizing some of them weren’t set to the same time! Makes for some loooong hours ordering the images later :)


I offload all of the images to my computer using Image Capture on my Mac (it’s so fast!). I then back them up (and then back them up again, and sometimes AGAIN). I have offsite backups as well as onsite to ensure we keep these images safe! I back up everything, and use external hard drives (I recommend Western Digital) onsite.

First edits

I use PhotoMechanic to sift through and organize my photos. I do a first edit of my favorite photos, which will turn into the teaser slideshow. PhotoMechanic is incredibly fast and is my favorite tool in the whole workflow.


The teaser images get edited in Photoshop based on my clients’ preferences - do they like really vibrant images? Should I vintage-ize them? Do they want really romantic images or photojournalistic storytelling? Once these edits are done, I drop them in a blog, and then email my client (and CC the wedding planner if I know his or her email address!) the link and thank them for a wonderful day :)

Second Shooters

At this point, I check in with my second shooters. I ask them to also sync their camera bodies with the correct time so we don’t run into the same ordering issue, so everything should be good to go when I download their images.

Second edits

Now it’s time to organize and take out all of the “blinks” - the images that I’m sure my clients won’t want later. :) I organize the images into folders based on the subject (ceremony, portraits, details) and go through with PhotoMechanic to select the ones I want to keep. This removes duplicates, photos where people are blinking, blurry photos, etc.

After this paring down, I use Adobe Photoshop to correct exposure and colors. Usually this doesn’t take very long. It is also my favorite part because I can re-live the entire wedding.


I prefer to rename my images and also helps me keep things organized when I add second shooters’ images to my piles.


At some point during this process I blog the wedding. I like to add the blog the day after I’ve sent it to the client, since I want to show it to the world right away! :) While I’m editing the detail photos I also pick out a few that I want to add to the blog, since they’re often a huge hit and can help other people planning their weddings. I also try to add my favorite portraits to the blog, since those are often my favorite photos from the whole day.


At the very end, I add photos to my portfolio. Haven’t visited my portfolio in a while? It’s constantly updated with new stuff!

Disk Burning

I burn the images to a disk for the clients. If they want me to sign a copyright agreement this is the time I print it and sign it for them.


For album creation, I use a number of different actions and files. I work in Photoshop and make everything custom for each client.

Other stuff

So as you can see, quite a few hours are spent in post-production just focusing on the digital workflow. Wedding photographers’ work doesn’t end with the wedding! And this is just for a typical event - there are so many little things that can be different for each client.

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