Snow is always a great time to shoot!
Absolutely LOVE this
One of our favorites from 2014
LOVE these portraits of Katherine from their wedding earlier this year!
When I talk about how we are shooting 120+ weddings in a year, the first thing, without fail, I get asked is, “Do you edit all of those weddings?”
There has been a huge push in the wedding community to outsource anything you don’t like to do to free up time to do the things you love. But if you outsource your editing, in my opinion, you lose the ability to add your voice to your photos. Some people don’t care about that. But I do. I care tremendously about the final product. So, YES. I edit every single photo of every wedding.
The weddings I shoot, the weddings my associates shoot, and every image in between. The next question I get almost immediately is “How do you have the time to edit ALL of those weddings?!?”
The question itself assumes so much! And I think reveals something about what a lot of us didn’t know when we got started as wedding photographers.
It doesn’t (or shouldn’t) take that long to edit a wedding!
Brace yourselves people… it takes me about an hour to edit an entire wedding. From the moment they finish importing to exporting, it takes me 60 minutes. And inevitably I get a whole array of responses when I tell other photographers that. From disbelief to “wow that’s amazing”. And here is the best part. I am going to give you 5 quick and easy things you can do starting now, that will reduce the time it takes to edit your weddings from 4-8 hours to 1.
1. Turn everything off
That’s right, turn off the distractions. Put your phone on do not disturb, turn off the internet and GET TO WORK.
2. Be selective
This starts on the day of. On average I give the bride 500 finished photos. That means I am shooting around 600-700. That creates a much easier catalog to file through and cut down. The bride and groom don’t need 45 images of themselves cutting the cake!
That’s incredibly overwhelming to the bride and groom. Stop shooting so much and pay attention to what happens. This alone will cut your editing time in half.
3. Abandon Photoshop
Lightroom was made for the professional photographer. It has every single tool you need to edit a wedding. If you aren’t using it, download the trial today.
4. Use presets
There are a lot of great plugins and software you can use to edit your photos. But I since I want to keep my workflow within Lightroom I stick with Lightroom presets. You can spend the time to create your own, or there are many available for sale.
I took the time and made some that I love, you can check them out here.
5. Stop obsessing over every little detail
When I edit the image i don’t spend but maybe a few seconds on each image. Part of this begins on the day of by nailing the shot in camera! Then later you will not have to spend time fixing your white balance, exposure and color.
If you get it right the first time, you can make minimal adjustments in Lightroom and move on to the next image. That isn’t to say sometimes you can’t. There are images I may absolutely fall in love with, or images that I am unsure of that I spend more time on. But don’t make it a habit. The majority of your editing should be quick with minor adjustments.
So that’s it! Five ways to speed up your editing.
When it takes hours to edit a wedding, it’s easy to keep putting off editing because it feels like a giant mountain you need to climb. As you get faster editing you’ll find you procrastinate less. That means your clients will get their photos faster and they will love that!
The details matter!
Absolutely LOVE this!
Such a beautiful wedding at Pippin Hill Farms this past weekend!
There is no shortage of beautiful photos from this wedding!
Another image from Michael and Brittany's beautiful fall wedding in Washington DC
In our photography survey Nick asked, “How can you make more time in the day?”
At first I thought this was a tongue in cheek question. Maybe more of a statement like, “there isn’t enough time in the day!” But the question stuck with me.
I think I get Nick. He wants to get better at photography but he doesn’t have the time. Life is busy, things get in the way, and who has the time to work on a hobby or side business when there is a full time job, family, cars to repair, a house to work on and friends to spend time with? I’m getting stressed out just writing that list.
Maybe you are busy too, but I have some good news! You are never too busy to make time for something you value. It's all about priorities, not time, because everyone has the same amount of time. We make time for the things that are important to us. The question is, do you want it?
I want to help people like you achieve their dream of being a professional photographer, or at least make some extra money doing something you love. The fastest way to kill any dream is to tell yourself you do not have enough time.
Time is a lot like money, if you do not budget your time you will get to the end of the month and have nothing to show for it. And like money it is wise to plan out how you will spend each hour of the day.
Consider this; if you set aside a half-hour every day to work on your photography business, after a year you would have freed up over four 40 hour work weeks. ONLY A HALF-HOUR A DAY!
That’s crazy. And think if you could set aside an hour a day. It adds up fast!
For me it is not about the question of do I have the time, but rather have I been deliberate enough to make time for the things that are important to me. Because the time will go somewhere, and if I am not intentional it will slip away, slip away to mindlessly surfing Facebook, browsing the web, or hours binge watching the newest season of Portlandia on Netflix.
Here’s what works for me:
I have to schedule the time to work on my dream. This is like creating a time budget. If you want to spend more time learning photography or building your business put it on your calendar and hold yourself to it.
Try and make time to work on photography every day. Even if it is only 15 minutes, the time adds up. This isn’t a sprint; slow and steady wins the race. Be steady, be consistent.
Work when you work best.
For me I know I am at my best in the early mornings and late in the evenings. So if i have projects, either personal or for my business, that is when I am working on them. Otherwise it will never ever get done.
You may have kids, so you may need to work after they go to bed or before they get up. Remember it doesn’t matter when, just that you are doing it.
It needs to be your passion
Whether it is photography or something else, it needs to be something you are passionate about. Here's why; working a full time job, juggling everything else in life AND trying to work on your dream at the same time is difficult. It is a lot of work. But, if it’s your passion, if it's something you love, you won't mind working nights and weekends on it, because you will be doing something you love.
Becoming good or successful has less to do with natural talent and more to do with how much time, energy and practice you put into something. If you are willing to put in the sweat you can be successful!
The question is, do you want it?
The way you edit an image should add to, never take away from what you are trying to convey. And there is a fine line between creating a beautiful image, and spending hours and hours and hours editing a wedding. That's why we are really excited about announcing our very own set of SSP Lightroom Presets.
A set of presets for both color and black white images that present a clean and timeless look! Take a look at the before and after images below. Sure it helps when you have beautiful clients to photograph but we love the look we have created with these presets.
AND for a limited time We will be offering these presets at a discount to those who are subscribed to our email newsletter. SO take a second and sign up below!
I just shot a couple of new videos and answered some of the questions from the survey many of you responded to a while back. Talking to a camera is harder than you would think and we have the hours of footage to prove it. Haha!
I'll post the first Q&A video in a week or two. In the mean time you can ask your questions here. I'd love to hear from you!
easily one of the best moments at a wedding....