Our process for editing every wedding & shoot

No matter what industry you're in, you'll want some amazing images to accompany your brand. Business is changing again and this means that every creative business needs to know how to take good imagery - even if you just get started on your iphone.

So today, let's talk about an editing workflow! I've found that batching tasks works really well, so it might be best to set aside time on a certain day each week to edit all those images you're taking for your business.

Since I'm a photographer, I load and backup all of the images right away. I cull the images the day after the shoot and then Jenna comes into the office to edit 2 days after the shoot.

how to find a good editing workflow

Once we have all of our images loaded off the memory cards and backed up, I open Lightroom and import the wedding or shoot.

Step One: Cull the Images

There are 3 different culling methods I've tried.

  1. You can sort the images into folders before you bring them into Lightroom and then cull folder by folder. 
  2. You can cull from the end of the wedding/shoot to the beginning.
  3. You can cull starting and the beginning.

I prefer the 3rd option because of the caps lock key. If you press down on "caps" on your keyboard, Lightroom will automatically advance you to the next image once you give it a rating. This is the simplest way to cull for me because I just have to press 1 or 0. I don't have to worry about arrows and such.

Related: Introduction to Lightroom

One quick little hack if you're culling inside Lightroom: stay in the "Library" module. LR only fully loads every pixel in the "Develop" module, so that's where culling in Lightroom can become slower than molasses. Stay inside the Library module and you should be good to go!

There are lots of thoughts about what culling software is best for photographers. I've gone through some of the free trials for those programs, but Lightroom is still my preferred place to cull. 

Related: How to make blogging work for your business

Step Two: Edit the Images

We prefer to do one round of edits and then go back through for the final round. Here's how it looks...

Jenna opens the color profile and drags it over next to Lightroom so that she can see the overall vision for the images. She then edits the first image in a group (where a group is a set of images that include the same lighting). Then she syncs that edit with the rest in the group. She repeats this process throughout the entire wedding/shoot. And then... she takes a break.

Related: My process for Light & Airy Photos

To us, that break is key. Can you imagine what information your brain is processing while you look through all those images? The break helps to split up the two edits!

After she takes a little bit of a break, she goes in to do the last round of edits. In this phase, she compares each and every image to the color profile and crops the images. Once she's done with this round, she'll go back through one more time really quick just to make sure everything looks good together as a whole!

Related:


Start by deciding when you want to edit the images you take. You may find that you want to cull and edit on the same day that you shoot. Before I introduced film into the workflow, that was a great system for me!

Do some experimenting and discover what works best for you!

p.s. Tomorrow's the day! Tomorrow is the day that we launch the Light & Airy Preset Suite! I can't wait for you to get your hands on this and watch it change your business. See you tomorrow at 9 am EST!

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