An Easy & Complete Editing Workflow for Weddings and Portraits


Editing weddings and portraits provides a unique challenge for photographers. After a few hours to a day of shooting you’re left with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of images to work through. Timelines are tight, and you’re juggling multiple sessions at once.

You want to provide awesome quality to your clients, on time, without being chained to the computer for eternity. What’s the solution??

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One word: WORKFLOW.

A great workflow will keep you organized, save you time, increase your per hour profit, and allow you to deliver consistently high quality work. The key is simply planning your workflow, and then sticking to it!

Two things to keep in mind when you’re making your workflow are ease and completeness. You want to make sure the process isn’t complicated or inefficient, otherwise you won’t stick with it. You also need to plan for each and every step, otherwise things slip through the cracks, and then the system falls apart.

Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to experiment with several different workflow strategies, constantly revising and improving as we went along. Our main goal through the whole process was to develop a system that was fast, efficient and produced the highest quality results.

We’re going to share with you our own workflow that we use for every session! We hope it will save you some time in creating your own! It’s easy to follow, and takes into account every necessary step. Feel free to adapt it, tweak it, and experiment with it to find something that works perfectly for you and your business.

1. Import & Backup

The first step in editing is actually downloading the images from your memory card. Make sure you get yourself a good USB card reader. We’ve experimented with FireWire card readers, but the connectors aren’t as durable as USB and after a couple years we started to see errors on import when using the FireWire readers.

We use a program called Photo Mechanic to import our images. While you can use Lightroom to import your photos, we prefer Photo Mechanic because it allows us to import from multiple card readers simultaneously (a huge time saver when you have a ton of cards, like after a wedding!).

Photo Mechanic also automatically appends an alphabetical letter to duplicate file names (so if you’re shooting with two or more cameras at a wedding, you don’t need to worry that duplicate file names won’t be properly imported.)

When you’re importing your images, it’s also the perfect time to back them up. With both Lightroom and Photo Mechanic you can select a secondary import location (like an external hard drive). An important thing to keep in mind with any backup strategy is to keep multiple copies of data, as well as to store a version of the data offsite (in the event a disaster occurs where your files are stored locally).

2. Sorting

Reviewing and selecting images is a big task. This is another area that we use Photo Mechanic instead of Lightroom. Here’s why:

1. While you can use Lightroom to sort and select images, Photo Mechanic is faster because it doesn’t have to load the large RAW file. You can move through images quicker, which adds up to major time saved.

2. It’s also a good idea to use a separate program to sort that isn’t capable of editing the images. It might seem counterintuitive, but it ensures that you aren’t tempted to see how one photo might look when edited, which would distract you and slow things down!

3. Finally by sorting your images before importing them into Lightroom, you ensure that you’re only importing the exact files you want to work on.  This keeps your Lightroom catalog nice and tidy. You also won’t end up wasting time editing a file that you decide not to include!

Sorting is a skill every photographer should be continually developing. Reviewing your photos and making the decisions about which images should be delivered to the client is critical to your growth as a shooter.

It can be a painful process. It’s hard to look through images and identify what worked well, but more importantly what needs to be improved. But it’s worth the pain, because you improve by studying your own work.

A couple tips for getting through it:

  • Sort inclusively. That means choose the images you want to keep, not the ones you want to remove. You’ll have far fewer keepers than deleters, so looking for ones to include takes less time.
  • Go through all the images (full screen) once and make quick decisions based on instinct. Don’t try to save time by stopping to compare photos to one another. Comparing photos at this stage will do nothing but slow you down (until you’ve seen all the photos it’s impossible to make useful comparisons.)
  • Once you’ve pre-sorted images, then go through them a second time with a much more critical eye. Since you’ve seen all the images once, you’ll have a much better idea of what should stay and what should go.

3. Editing

After completing a second sort of the images it’s time to import them them into Lightroom for editing.

Lightroom is the most powerful and most frequently used tool in our workflow. It basically takes care of all the major editing. You can quickly make adjustments to white balance, exposure, contrast, brightness, saturation—the basics. Then you can take it further and create awesome black and whites, apply creative colouring effects, crop, dodge/burn, add/remove vignettes, perform light retouching, reduce noise, sharpen images, and make tone curve adjustments.

The workflow here is simple. Start at the first image, make your editing adjustments, then move to the next one. If the photos are similar you can sync adjustments, saving you lots of time.

Alternatively, if you have a large group of very similar images, you can batch edit them all at once. That gives you a great starting point, and you’ll probably only have to make small adjustments, or black and white conversions/custom toning.

Ensuring that your photos are sorted by time captured helps here. When the lighting conditions are similar you can really take advantage of those speedy workflow features in Lightroom.

4. Export

Once we’ve finished editing our images in Lightroom we use the handy export feature to export them as JPEGs. We export at full resolution (300dpi) in the Adobe RGB (1998) color space.

We also rename the files with the client name at this stage so that the numbering will be sequential.

5. Retouching

When it comes to retouching we have two ways of handling things:

Weddings: For weddings we only retouch images that go into the album or are ordered as prints. There are simply far too many images to retouch them all!

Some may prefer to outsource to a wedding photoretouching service. These usually provide photo culling, basic color correction, tones & shadows enhancement, bride and groom’s skin imperfections removal, background correction, stylization, etc. The main thing to keep an eye for is that all wedding images are retouched in one style.

Portraits: For our portrait sessions every image gets retouched. It’s extra work retouching images that might not be purchased, but we’ve found clients are less likely to purchase images if they haven’t been retouched. Luckily the number of images to retouch is far less than with a wedding!

Our retouching is pretty simple. We reduce bags under eyes, whiten teeth, heal temporary blemishes, and remove distracting elements (exit signs, garbage on the ground, etc.). Our philosophy is that good retouching needs to be realistic, especially when you’re shooting “real” people (i.e. not models in a high fashion shoot). We’re very careful not to take an image too far (glowing eyes, plastic skin, etc.)

While nearly all of our image editing occurs in Lightroom, retouching is still faster to do in Photoshop. The clone, spot healing and patch tool all make quick work of retouching. To speed through the retouching part of our workflow we use the AutoLoader script for Photoshop.

6. Ordering Products

For products that are ordered (albums, prints) we review the images one final time. We make sure that no additional retouching is required and that the brightness, contrast and colour temperature are perfect. We also apply a bit of sharpening at this stage, to ensure a crisp print.

Tips for Improving Your Workflow

“To outsource or not to outsource – that is the question”…

Outsourcing is very popular right now in the photography industry. It involves paying others to do your color correcting, creative editing and even your image sorting for you.

At first glance this seems like a good idea: pay someone else to edit your images so that you can spend more time shooting or more time with your family.

The problem is that you aren’t learning and improving your own skill set. In the long term you’re setting yourself up to be at a disadvantage compared to the photographers who spent years practicing and refining their workflow and technique. They’ll be able to edit images better, faster, and cheaper than you. You’ll be left behind in this rapidly evolving industry.

When it comes to accounting and law, those are parts of your business you’ll want to outsource to professionals.

But when it comes to photography you are the professional, so even if your workload is challenging, try to leave some of the editing in-house, just so you have a chance to hone your skills so you can use them when it would matter the most – such as an extremely important order, or your own personal photography.

Time yourself.

Time how long each step takes. Challenge yourself to improve the speed you work through each step while maintaining a high level of quality. If certain areas are taking up a LOT of time, see if you can change something to improve your efficiency.

Perfect practice makes perfect.

The more you practice moving through your workflow, keeping efficiency and quality at the forefront of your mind, the faster you’ll be able to bring the best out of your images.

Do you have any workflow tips to share? Is your system similar, or do you have a totally different approach? Let us know in the comments!

Rob Lim

Hi there, I’m Rob! I’m a photography ninja here at Photography Concentrate. I love all things photography: shooting, teaching and always learning more! If I’m not reading up on the latest photography news, or studying a technique, I’m probably reading a book or planning our next adventure!

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67 Comments // Leave a comment

  1. Thank you for the behind-the-scenes look at your workflow! I'm still trying to develop a good one of my own…I like the idea of renaming files w/ the client's name.

  2. I am SO BAD at editing weddings that I am thinking about giving it up completely. It takes SO much time! Can you do a lot of the same things in ACR that you do in LR? I have always found ACR's adjustments similar to LR- but didn't like the storing system of LR. I suppose I could switch if I HAD to, but I'd like to see if ACR can do many of the same things. I have heard of the benefits of Photo Mechanic as well- something to look into. Is there any chance you would consider posting a video of the basic edits you do in LR? I have always been curious about vignettes, cropping, etc. in LR.
    Sorry for the long comment- this article came at just the right time! Thank you!

    • Max Works says:

      Hi tamsen,

      I know what you mean about LR, I don’t like it either. An alternative method in the Photoshop/ACR system would be to do how I do:
      1) Preview images in Bridge and ‘star’ them – you have a choice of 5 stars: preview in full screen and type 1,2,3,4, or 5 to add the stars. (Equivalent to the advice to keep the keepers, as suggested in the article)

      2) In Bridge select the images you have starred.

      3) Select a series of images which will require similar ACR adjustments and hit enter.

      4) ACR opens. Adjust one of the images as appropriate.

      5) Click the ‘Select All’ button with the adjusted image highlighted and click ‘Synchronise’

      After click ‘Done’ to confirme the changes. After that you can make picture-specific adjustments in ACR or simply open them in Photoshop for post production :)

      Hope this helps. It follows exactly the workflow in this article, but using Bridge, ACR and (at the end of the day) Photoshop

  3. My workflow is very similar. I edit and retouch every image I give to clients, though probably not the same extent that you guys do. My editing portion of the workflow has a couple iterations. After selecting all the keepers, I go through them again start to finish and crop them, then go through them again and colour correct, preset, adjust colours, etc. I don't know which way is more efficient, but I do find that it's not quite as daunting to edit a large amount of photos when you do a little bit of work to all of them, bit by bit. Plus, when you keep your 'cropping' hat on, you get a little more polished, rather than switching hats and retouching. I switch 4 and 5 around. And I guess there's no 6. Yet.

  4. Great article you guys; Frances and I are fairly similar but tend to just use LR for most of our needs (Removing unwanted signs etc is done in PS though).

    One thing we picked up from a certain photography couple is to add in a step where we mark, in LR with the stars feature, our top 5 pictures. Why? We send our clients a sneak peek of about 5 images or so within 24 hours. We've had great responses to this and it keeps the excitement for clients while also giving us breathing room from the client because they've now received some of the images and aren't wondering "Are there any good shots?"

    One little tip – when you LOVE a picture in LR make it a 1 star picture. As your love fades make it a 2 star – again counter intuitive but it's easier to add a star than reduce a star. Cheers.

  5. Thanks for the comments!

    @ Tamsen – ACR and Lightroom process images pretty much the same way (same Raw editing engine). I find it's faster to use Lightroom because it's easier to view photos (grid view, film strip), easier to sync adjustments, and easier to use preset. I'll work on putting together a video of some basic edits in Lightroom :)

    @ Evan – Thanks for sharing! I think you bring up an important point about workflow. Breaking your editing into smaller, manageable bits is the key!

    @ Duff – Totally forgot to add in the step about sharing a few teaser photos! It's certainly an important step in reassuring the clients the shoot was a success and keeping them excited. Also thanks for sharing your tip on sorting :)

  6. Amy Hoogstad says:

    I love the "don't outsource" advice!!! I couldn't agree more. I've learned so much over the past two years by doing everything myself, which in turn has opened me up to other opportunities that my skills wouldn't otherwise have afforded me.

  7. Thanks for the awesome advice yet again. I'm downloading photo mechanics demo right now! I've always used Aperture for everything and I've always loved it up until recently. I've had so, so, so many problems with corrupted files, messed up thumbnails, and freezing of the program. I'm fed up! Thanks again.
    I totally agree with the don't outsource. I feel like next to shooting, that's the most important part and if you don't do it yourself, you can't really call the photography your own.

  8. Thanks for the comments Amy and Tytia! Glad to hear others agree about not outsourcing!!

  9. Bah! Thank you so much for this! I already kind of have an idea of my workflow, but it's so helpful to have it all laid out. You guys are seriously wonderful, and thanks again for all the great resources.

  10. You are most welcome Autumn! So glad to hear that it was helpful! :)

  11. shelley says:

    OMG I wish I had read this last year, I did my first two weddings and really went overboard with the shots, hundreds of them, I had to fix everyone of them, I Know, I know, i just could not part with any of them I was so proud of my photo's. So needless to say weeks later and many hours of editing everything and about 10 pounds of weight gain ( of course you gotta have munchies when your working) I was done!!!!!! Yeah.
    So of course I knew there was a better way.. Thank you sooooo much. lol

  12. Hey Shelley! Thanks for the kind words, we're really glad this was helpful! Sorry it couldn't have come sooner for you!!

  13. Your articles are always so helpful. Thank you! I know everyone has their own style and it probably comes down to personal taste and opinion, but do you have any tips or suggestions on making the sorting process easier? Like what to keep in mind when you're trying to determine what shots to toss from the final proofs or which shots to use for the album?

  14. So needed this! I'm on board with you about hiring an accountant. Would love to hear what you use to keep track of all the money matters. There are so many accountants out there marketing to photographers these days.

  15. Hey Michele! Thanks so much for the comment, I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

    We've used Quickbooks, though we just switched to Simply Accounting (it's what our new accountant uses) to keep track of money stuff. Those programs can take care of tracking expenses, sales and taxes, which is all you really need!

  16. Great tips. I am a beginner and took forever to edit pictures I shot for my friend's kids. When you export from LR and save as JPEG, do you edit the JPEG in PS? Also, do you save the photo in different file sizes (4×6, 5×7, etc) or will printing directly from the JPEG be sufficient?

    Thank you!

  17. Thanks for the comment Laura! When we export from Lightroom we then do a bit of retouching in Photoshop, especially for client portrait sessions. It's mostly skin retouching at that stage, Lightroom takes care of all the colour and brightness work.

    As for resizing, there's no need to make them different files sizes for prints. You can print from a large file to any size. The only resizing we do is to make them web friendly, which is usually around 900 px on the long edge, and saved at 72 ppi for screen resolutions!

  18. Thanks for this succinct break down. My only issue/question with your workflow is as follows…I like to have all my images in LR, so when I need to choose new ones for my website, or to send to blogs, I just sort through LR using keywords and collections etc. If you're exporting the final wedding images to show to clients, and then retouching those jpegs, the best version of that photo isn't in LR, correct? It sounds like all the photos that get special retouching are done after exporting as a jpeg, which seems counterintuitive when needing to sort through your best. How do you handle that?

  19. Hi Kristen!

    Thanks for commenting! And great question!

    To be perfectly honest we never really used Lightroom in to catalog (organize with keywords and collections) our wedding and portrait work.

    If we needed images for marketing or blogging we usually had an idea of what we were looking for and it's easy enough to open a folder of retouched images in Photo Mechanic.

    I can definitely see advantages to having a well organized catalog (making it easy to find things) but for our weddings and portrait sessions it seemed like an unnecessary additional step for photos that we would be infrequently (if ever) viewing again.

    For our personal work (photos that we'll be coming back to a lot more frequently) we have begun organizing collections, smart collections, and keywords.

    What you can also do if you'd like to keep track of the best version of your images is import the retouched folders into Lightroom. You can organize all your best retouched images into one collection (and/or keyword them with "retouched") to make it super easy to browse.

    Hope this helps!

  20. Im trying to want to get on the LR band wagon cause i hear such wonderful things but i cant seem to find a difference between LR and BRIDGE its seems the same cause you can add keywords and fast edit in raw and all that. I have all shoots in their very own folder… within a 2012 folder so they are all there, what am i missing that LR offers that BR dosent?

  21. Thank you for this insight into your workflow. I am trying to be more efficient in my delivery to my clients. They love my work but I am unhappy with the speed in which I deliver.
    I would also add that you should promise clients a timeline of delivery of products, 5 great shots, proofing, printing, video, wedding book, that allows you to have a workflow that you can use to meet your deadlines without frustrating yourself.
    Your advice could not have come at a better time….thank you very much..
    Would it be possible to share your post processing flow…crop, noise, sharpen, exposure, creative..etc.?


  22. One problem that I run into is on the export, trying to line up my shots with those of my second shooter so that they are in "order" from the day. How do you handle this? Is there any trick in Lightroom that can help organize?

    • I believe you have to “reset” your camera clocks before every wedding if you want super accurate precise sync.

      There is a feature in LR under “sort by capture time” in the Library Module

  23. Thank you for sharing your workflow process. We have been trying to determine what kind of workflow works for us and there is so much information and so many different suggested flows out there that it can be hard to choose one. One thing that I'm finding myself a bit daunted by is how to organise files in folders once they have been imported from the camera (ex. naming folders, subfolders and the subsequent files in those folders).

    Do you guys change file names from each session as you import them or do you simply create new folders for each session under a master folder (for each year as an example)?

  24. a helpful article as i have just purchased a second camera and wanted some tips on importing because I don't want to end up with a folder of images all out of time order

  25. Hey guys, fantastic post! I always open my images in PS for retouching using LR’s “edit with…” option. Do you find that working on exported jpegs vs. Raw files right from within Lightroom limits your edits in any way?

    My thoughts are that you have more of that Raw data to work with when you edit through Lightroom. I suppose using the “edit with…” option in LR may just be opening up a jpeg in Photohsop. Do you guys know if that’s the case?

    It would be the best of both worlds to find a autoloader plugin that worked with LR selects.

  26. Good points.

    I’m missing a step after step 5, and that’s backing up all of the retouched pictures (not just the exported jpgs). It happens regularly that you might have to make an albums months later and in that case you sometimes need the original source files with the Lightroom retouches and not the exported jpgs (for example, if you need to create a black and white version of the image).

    After having done a couple of years of wedding photography I’ve ended up with conclusions different that yours.

    1) Retouching all selected images that will be displayed on a website. Possibly also quick retouches for the additional images on the dvd only. I’d like to be known as a quality (and expensive) photographer. Hence the whole package need to be perfect in my eyes. Everything you give should be good.

    2) Outsourcing. Having done 20 years of photography and years of retouching my wedding means I’ve gotten the hang of it. The retouching gets really tedious in the long run and is definitely the one single thing that preventing me from shooting more wedding. If I could find a good place to outsource to I wouldn’t hesitate!!!!!! Naturally you’d need to follow up on results and train the people.

    3) Ratings and colors. In my workflow I also use star and color ratings to indicate images that need to get processed into black and white. Do these B&Ws at the end (after filtering them since you’ve probably selected too many). Also rate which images are the favorites as well which ones are for the website and which one for the dvd.

    It would be great if you could say a few words about how many images to put on the dvd and the website.


    • Lauren Lim says:

      Hey Robin!

      It’s always neat to hear how others tackle the issue of workflow. There is definitely no one-size-fits-all solution!

      In terms of backing up retouching pictures, you are definitely right. That’s important! We have a backup system that automatically does that every night, rather than doing so manually. You can read more about our backup system in this article!

      For retouching, it certainly is a personal choice. Some photographers don’t do colour correction and black and white edits to the files they deliver, unless the clients purchase a higher package. Some photographers automatically do retouching. It really depends on how you want to approach it, and what sort of time investment you can give the images! Retouching is also done along a wide spectrum. Skin and eye enhancement on every image would definitely take a long time!

      Using different ratings and colours is a great technique, and can be very useful!

      As for how many images to deliver, that is another situation where there is no one-size-fits-all answer. It will depend on the approach of the photographer. Those who shoot very photojournalistically will have a lot more images than those who approach things in a more classical, styled manner. The wedding itself will also dictate how many images are delivered. A 3 hour backyard ceremony is very different than a week-long East Indian extravaganza!

      So we definitely don’t think that there should be any sort of rules on how many images to give you client. Deliver enough so that you’ve covered their event in a manner that is consistent with the coverage you show in your albums and samples when they book you!

  27. One last thing, before a wedding all cameras should get time synced.
    After importing, I find it EXTREMELY useful to sort the files by creation date and then batch rename all of them using a sequential 4 digit number (using F2).


    SImply because if you use external programs to create HDR images, panoramic (stitched) images, or face retouching (portrait professional), your file gets converted into a TIFF or PSD (depending on your settings) and they sometime get new time creation info (in particular panoramic images). This means that these files end up with a new creation date and you’ll manually have to place them in their correct location. Sorting by name or by creation date would lead to an incorrect sorting. Renaming all the files in the beginning solves this problem.

    • Lauren Lim says:

      Good tip. Time syncing before a wedding is crucial!

      We have a different approach, and don’t rename our files right after importing. We don’t create HDR or panoramic images, so we don’t require the files to be sorted in any way for those applications. And leaving the original file names intact lets us double check to ensure our cards uploaded correctly, which we always do before we reformat for the next shoot.

      But, as I said before, each photographer will have a different approach in response to different ways of shooting! So it’s awesome to hear that you have a method that works well for you. And I’m sure it will work well for other photographers, so thanks for sharing!

  28. 2 tips that I’ve discovered through trial and error. If you use more than one camera for weddings, make sure that the clocks on both camera’s are synchronised, otherwise when you go into lightroom it will sort by time and you’ll start to see shots of the service in the middle of your bridal prep shots etc.
    Also, particularly with LR4, the Noise reduction luminance setting seems to take time to apply. it may only be a second per shot, but over 1000 shots it adds up. I use the colour labels (shortcuts on the numberpad) to identify the ISO’s that i shot each section at (ISO 100 – Blue, ISO 400-Green, ISO 1000 – Red etc) then apply the Noise reduction at the end, in batches according to ISO.

    • Thanks for sharing those tips, Mark! You are definitely right, time-syncing cameras is critical!

      And that’s a really neat idea, to batch noise reduction by ISO. Never thought of that!

  29. I just shot a small wedding and this article really helps a lot. I’ve been working on the photos for 2 weeks straight and still too many to do. I’ll start over (of course without ditching the ones I’ve retouched) the steps and see if I can minimize the hours needed to complete the job. Thanks a lot!

  30. Hi there,
    I am just wondering what JPEG quality setting you usually use. (0-100)
    I am unsure if I should be doing the recommended 76 or if I should take up extra space saving it at 100…
    Thank you!

    • Hi Tricia!

      It depends on what you’re using the photos for. If you’re posting the photos on the web or a blog you can use a lower quality setting. If you’re exporting full resolution jpegs for printing or for a client then you’ll want to use the full quality setting.

  31. Hey guys,
    Love your advice. It’s been invaluable in setting & running our business smoothly! So thank you. One question I have is re. backing up files. Do you keep an ‘edited’ file on LR at all times? What do you do if the client requests a B&W or you need to make slight colour adjustments for print?

  32. Do you recommend separating wedding images in to different categories.

    For example: Grooms house, Brides house, details etc…….

    Also would you consider removing an un wanted object part of editing.

    For example: a piece of trash on the ground. Or an exit sign.

    Matrix Photography

    • Thanks for commenting! Good questions!

      I don’t think it’s necessary to separate the wedding images into different categories. I’ve seen some photographers do it for their clients online galleries which probably makes it easier for them and their families to find certain photos — so that might be a good reason to do it. In that case I would have only broad categories like Getting Ready, Ceremony, Portraits, Reception.

      For unwanted objects in a photo we had a two part strategy. First try to frame the distracting element out of your shot, or move the piece of trash from the ground. Second, if a distracting element made it into the photo we would edit it out only if the photo was going into a a wedding album.

  33. I keep hearing about Photo Mechanic! Guess it’s something I should really look into.

  34. Great article! I’m wondering when you apply pre and post sharpening? Also, do you do your PS work on the .jpgs after export, or the .dng files before export? I have been bringing .dng’s into lightroom, unsharpened, but I suspect there’s a quicker method.. I just got Autoloader last night and I love it, thanks for the tip!

    • Lauren Lim says:

      Hey Jill! For the full size images we only did sharpening during the print making process (custom canvases, desk prints and albums). Otherwise we left them unsharpened, so there was more flexibility. Then we did sharpening on export out of Lightroom for web images. The Photoshop retouching is on the .jpegs after export! Hope that helps!

  35. My friend and I are in the process of starting a business together. We have recently started researching companies to go through for products (prints, albums, etc). I read in another post you recommend Vison Art for albums. Are there any other companies that you would recommend for printing?

  36. Fantastic post! Very helpful. Now off to look for organization ideas once you have all these images. =)

  37. Very useful information; Thanks.

  38. How would you recommend approaching workflow when shooting weddings as a team of two? How did you guys split up the tasks when you were shooting weddings?

  39. “Sort inclusively. That means choose the images you want to keep, not the ones you want to remove. You’ll have far fewer keepers than deleters, so looking for ones to include takes less time.”

    This should not be true. You should not be deleting more photos than you save, unless employing a spray and pray method of shooting.

  40. Thanks for the workflow ideas Rob.

  41. Why use the adobe rgb color space? whats the theory behind that? Does it differ based on what media you ultimately go for, i.e., print, web?

    • Lauren Lim says:

      Hi Justin! Good question! Adobe RGB is a wider color space, which means there are more colors in it. This larger range can be reproduced in print, giving better results. The web color space, sRGB, is optimized for monitors, and has fewer colors. We save in Adobe RGB to prioritize prints, and when creating web size files we will convert them to sRGB. Hope that helps!

  42. It is important to note that LR does indeed allow you to render all 1/1 previews during import (or afterwards) and once you do, culling (or sorting images) is just as fast as Photo Mechanic. Transferring the files between those two peices of software is the time it takes to preview images in LR (about 15 minutes or so on my MacBook pro using a Raid Zero drive).

    The other issue with only importing your culled shots is if you make a mistake on an image you thought was sharp, or you need an image that wasn’t culled, you have a big messy system to find that file, get it in LR and so on.

    Culling multiple times is a big time sucker and should be avoided. Yes, use your gut and pick great shots, but don’t look at them full screen unless checking sharpness.

    Using comparative selection (the Loupe View by selecting 2 or more images and pressing N) on a large screen is the fastest way to cull (sort) images with the greatest efficiency. I can cull 4,000 images down to 700 or so (picking client finals, album shots and blog images) in 45 minutes flat using comparative selection and a short-cut tool called the Shuttle Pro V2. The act of just glancing down at the keyboard while hitting P for pick is a huge time sucker and the Shuttle Pro fixes that problem.

    Then to retouch images in Photoshop, instead of just using Adobe Phtoshop Lightroom (Photoshop for just photos) is another big time sucker. :)

    Not outsourcing images is also a new idea and not an old one. Film photographers that shot pro (and actually made real money and were successful) had their developer relationship and worked with teams to create their art. It is important to work with your images, but you don’t need to work with all of them. Moving from a 3rd world to a first world mentality will help you succeed.

    You won’t stand out in wedding or portrait photography based on your quality of work, as this economies purchasers pay a high dollar for experience, and not quality (Tim Sanders, Love is the Killer App) and they pay for emotional connections to products and services (Jack Trout, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing).

    Each minute spent editing is losing you money and making it more difficult to run a sustainable business. You must focus on income generating activities like marketing, creating exceptional client experiences and sales, and focus less on editing and income dividing activities. Become a great photographer and focus on that and spend less time becoming a great editor.


  43. When you deliver photos to client, do you categorize or put them into separate folders (i.e: preparation, ceremony, format portraits, reception, etc.) just curious how others do it. Or all photos in one folder.

  44. I only have photoshop elements 11 or I use picasa 3. can you give me a good work flow for photoshop elements & why do I need to resize all the photos to 300.
    thank you

  45. Great information about wedding photographer workflow. Thanks a lot!

  46. Hi Rob,

    I suggest you to check out Evlaa (, you might be interested as it speeds up the photos selections with clients.
    It is based on a Lightroom publishing service and it’s very easy to use for both side.
    You, and your clients, will save a lot of time, you will offer them a great experience and you will avoid a lot of errors as you retrieve the selected photos directly into Lightroom.

    You can try it for free :-)

    Let me know what do you think

  47. When culling, press caps lock to move automatically to the next imagentry after rating. I keep my fingers on P, U, and X to quickly rate as Picks, Unrated or Reject.

    Filter and edit only Picks.

    Library > Delete Rejected when all done.

    Use Lightroom mobile to generate online album for client review and comments, synchs back to your catalog, very slick!

  48. Nanna Endersbu says:

    Thank you so much for this workflow set up!! I’ll give that a go! I have a question though.. I’ve not crated the code on how to sort our the source issue in Lightroom. What back up do you select to be the source when you upload to lightroom? I want to have a eternal hardrive backup and a cloud backup, but want to avoid backing up 3000RAW files to the cloud before they are sorted… can you brake down the workflow from when you get home and to and from where you upload and at import photos from?

  49. Robert Thompson says:

    Really great article. Thanks for taking the time to explain about photo editing tips in such great detail in a way that is easy to understand.

  50. Thank you so much for sharing with us the great tips. We hope you post more about on this topic in your next post.

  51. Thanks for sharing with us like this nice post.

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