Workflow Series #2 | Culling, Organizing & Scheduling | Photography

So you shot the wedding today. You come home, your feet are aching, like the kind of ache where you sit down in the car to drive home, and you take that first step OUT of the car and you feel like your knee is going to buckle and you will just lay helplessly in the driveway until your husband comes out to carry you inside.

Oh? Not you? Well, that’s me 🙂 Shooting a wedding is by far more physically exhausting to me than anything work out I have ever done, any amount of time in the gym, it’s just SO tiring and I LOVE EVERY SECOND!!!!!! 🙂

So this is where some people are going to say, noooo way! And some will say, ahhh, I get it! The night of the wedding…….I cull the images. If something comes up or I am literally to the point of headache and serious fatigue, I’ll do them around 8 am on Sunday morning while the baby and Mikey are sleeping in and by the time they wake up, I’m done! 🙂 Again, this is not for everyone I know– but I LOVE getting work done, being quick for my clients and having workloads off my shoulders because running a business from home is hard in itself..I want every session and wedding to have an amazing and efficient workflow! 🙂 I can’t complain about working hard when I get soooo much more time with my cute little family now! 🙂

Off the top of my head I remember some of my favorites from the day and I post sneak peeks first, importing JUST those 2-3 images in Lightroom and editing and posting to Facebook the night of the wedding. Then, I sit down and cull all of the images from the wedding day and prepare myself for Monday– the marathon day!

I then take time to organize folders, images– and then set the “schedule” for Monday’s madness. Here is the breakdown:

Step One: Culling

Before culling….ALL RAW images are backed up on folder on Desktop of computer that has already been prepared before the wedding and then THAT folder is additionally dragged onto external hard drive. That way, I have two copies of ALL RAWS outside of the memory card itself! That’s three copies, just in case!

The program I utilize that I just don’t know how I lived without before is called Photo Mechanic and it was so worth the investment! Basically, you can do a lot of different things with PM but I use it strictly to cull images. Culling is sorting through all of the RAW images and deleting the ones that didn’t come out, blurry, bad, eyes half open, etc. Culling is simply the system of narrowing down what you are sending to be edited instead of keying through all of the images in Lightroom (or whatever program you use) and deciding there, which can take longer. I know that for me, images in Lightroom take longer to load up and cull so the quickness with which Photo Mechanic brings them up is amazing! It also gives them a hint of sharpening and contrast so you can see if an image is workable or not. At least that’s how I have mine set up currently! I’m sure you can work with the default settings on it, but all in all mine has been a lifesaver!

I cull the images straight from the memory card because I have the RAWS double backed up between my Desktop and external hard drive. Once all of the images are culled, I “select all” and have them all highlighted. Then I open Lightroom, open the Import window and drag those images that are highlighted in PM right into the window and bam! They upload! SO EASY!

Step Two: Organizing

Another easy step! Once all of the images from the wedding are culled and sitting in Lightroom, I simply drag the images over to the respective folders that fit the category I pre-made before I shot the wedding! That was part of the first steps in the workflow series “Preparation”!

See them labeled? PreCeremony, Ceremony, Portraits and Reception

That way, all of the images are culled AND ORGANIZED. This organization helps me know how far along I am in my editing and workflow on Monday. This is the only step to organizing there is! Simple! 🙂


Step Three: Scheduling

This step is pretty easy, too– but it’s gonna vary on three big factors: 1) Do you have children? 2) What is your schedule weekly? 3) Can you hustle baby!?

The number one reason it takes me any amount of time to answer any email, work, etc is the fact that I have a baby that requires tonssssssssss of time. TONS of my undivided attention, diaper changes, food preparation, mental and emotional stimulation, making sure she is safely playing and even when she’s napping– mommas ALWAYS have to be alert. This requires not only time, but breaking focus. A LOT. Breaking focus is the number one thing that makes it so hard to balance owning a business with being at home with the baby. It’s not like doing dishes, laundry, etc where having your focus broken is something that will deter you from being able to efficiently pick up where you left off, it’s very difficult to continue to edit or answer an email after being interrupted 2, 3, 4, 5 times. This is where babysitter is KEYYYY! I tried to do it the first year without one to save money but it was such a heavy burden on me. Now I KNOW that there is no way I can be efficient without planning and scheduling a full 6 to 8 hour babysitter day for Cammy on Mondays following a wedding. Every time I booked a wedding this year, I wrote in on my planner the following Monday “WEDDING WORKFLOW” and I don’t allow myself to schedule ANYthing those days. No appointments, sessions, meetings, nothing. It’s work day. Tuesdays are additionally penciled in as workdays but they are social media and submitting days. Most of the time those are my half work days and thank goodness I have a mother-in-law who drives an hour to our house every post-wedding-Tuesday to watch Cammy while I escape to get this wedding live on the blog, Facebook, PASS and submitted to Two Bright Lights!

Another option? Outsourcing editing, but that is not something I consider to be in my budget at this time and additionally I am not ready to add it into my pricing! Plus, if I can get this done in one day and all is well, no need to change it just yet. If another baby comes– we’ll see 🙂 It may be great then 🙂

So there you have it– I edit the entire wedding (only able to do so if culled beforehand) on Monday and post it all on Tuesday. But the next question is– what is your schedule?

Not everyone is able to just reserve every single Monday and Tuesday post wedding weekend for editing and additionally not everyone is able to edit so quickly which I totally understand. It took me over two years to get this down in a way that worked for me and the only advice that I could give to those who work another job or have other obligations is to make sure you DO plan and schedule a full day or as much as you think you need in your planner, blocking it off, and dedicating it TO the corresponding wedding. Saying “I’ll just do it this week” will not result in getting it done all the time! It can really start getting pushed back over and over and sitting on your shoulders. BLOCK OFF TIME! Just like you’d schedule a session, schedule your editing time!

The last question– can ya hustle? I can work FAST. There is a phenomenon that can only be realized after having a child I call the momnomenon. Example: for some reason, before can take you 3 hours to complete a certain task..but after having a child and realizing how valuable time to yourself or baby-taking-a-nap or relaxing time is……..OH YOU CAN HUSTLE! I can now fold a basket of laundry in minutes. SHORT minutes. I can make us breakfast while preparing our lunch and dinner to be made later while packing Cammy’s lunch for the next day if she’s going to a sitter. No literally, at the same exact time. You become a frantic fast moving waitress once you realize that your time to get things done is SHORT and rare. If you can hustle, turn off your internet and work quickly– you CAN DO THIS. You can get that workload diminished and take care of business and have more time for family and life!!!!!! 🙂


Take a break in the middle! That’s one of the cool things about dividing the wedding into four can take a break after you’ve gotten through preceremony and ceremony– knowing all that’s left is portraits and reception! You can schedule in a nice 30 minute lunch, coffee and tv time to yourself 🙂

And— I felt like this blog post was a LOT of talking and not enough pretty pictures, so without further ado..some nice Hydrangeas and Cammy’s naked heiney!

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