Editing Workflow and Fast Turn Arounds | Advice for Photographers

What’s the easiest way to have a happy Bride after a wedding day?  Deliver her wedding photos WAY before the estimated time stated in your contract by having creating a solid editing workflow!  I’ve talked a little bit about how to make this happen by using photo mechanic and having workflows placed in your business that set you up for success.  While my contract states I have four to six weeks to deliver a wedding, I have never had a Bride wait longer than three weeks, and most wait less than 10 days.  Yes, 10 days AFTER a couple says their vows, they have their online gallery in their hands.  Pretty incredible right?

I’m able to have a fast turn around for several reasons.

  1. My SOOC (straight out of camera) is nearly dead on so there needs to be minimum editing happening.  Simple color corrections is all it takes
  2. I don’t sit on the wedding day photos for three weeks before I cull them in Photo Mechanic.
  3. Culling in Photo Mechanic verses Lightroom saved me HOURS!  Yes, HOURS!  I can now cull a wedding in less than 45 minutes.  That’s looking through 3,000+ photos and picking out the best 1,000 in 45 MINUTES!
  4. I create FOLDERS!  Yes, again with these folders.  (PS…My Email Folders and Computer Folders are keeping people from going grey and keeping them out of the loony tunes!  You should give it a try!)

I use to use categories in Lightroom to organize a wedding day, but after taking Katelyn James’ Consistency Course, I changed the way I organize.  Her way of creating folders yielded faster results in my editing, and knocked another 30 minutes out of the process for me!

Steps in Loren’s Editing Workflow

  1. Ingest the photos into Photo Mechanic (read how I do this by clicking the link)
  2. Tag (clicking T) the photos I want to deliver
  3. Create a Tagged folder inside the couples main folder
  4. Inside the “Tagged folder” create the following folders:
    Getting Ready
    First Look
    Bridal Portraits
    Bridal Party
    Family Formals
    Reception Details
  5. Drag and drop parts of the wedding into their corresponding folder
    IE – Bride and Groom photos go into Bridal Portraits // Detail Photos go into the Detail Photos folder, ect.
  6. Import ONLY the tagged photos into Lightroom
  7. Edit that photos
  8. Export

With ZERO distractions and a focused mind, I can edit a whole wedding in under three hours.  It’s a freeing feeling to know I’m not weeks behind in my editing because I’ve sat on the photos for too long.

It truly doesn’t take someone 4-6, 8-12, 16+ weeks to edit a wedding.  But sadly, it takes that long for wedding photos to be delivered to an excited Bride because an editing workflow hasn’t been prefected just yet.  Wow your clients with a fast turn around and you’re going to see your business grow exponentially!

If you found this blog post on editing workflow helpful, be sure to check out my other post for photographers and small business creatives by click here


  1. You are SO helpful! I’m happy that someone I know is there to give such good advice when I am struggling.

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