Five Tips For a Killer Wedding Photography Workflow
Back up on site
Solid-state media used by photographers, from CF cards to SD cards, is traditionally very reliable. But once your wedding has wrapped, it’s still important to back up to a hard-drive before you head out. Here’s why:
Cards can become corrupted — It doesn’t happen very often, but as Murphy’s Law states, “if something can go wrong, it will.” Backing up cards on site will give you peace of mind that you’ve got the goods in the can before you leave the wedding.
Cards can get lost — Digital media cards are great because they pack a ton of storage in a nice, small package. The downside? Their small size makes them prime candidates to get forgotten in a pocket or dropped on the ground at a wedding. By backing up to an external hard drive on-site, you’ve mitigated the risk should something happen to the card.
Adds an extra layer of redundancy — This is the end-game for points one and two above. Data storage is cheap, so use it to your advantage.
Develop a base look
Developing a base looks is advantageous for many reasons. In terms of a workflow, however, having a base look stored as a preset allows you to apply that look automatically when you import images into Lightroom.
Applying your base look upon import saves you hours of production work down the line. Instead of applying the same look over and over during your edit, apply it once and edit from there!
For more information on why a base look is important, read this blog post!
When culling, use Pick/Reject, not the star system
Lightroom conveniently provides many ways to categorize and sort images. All of them are advantageous in their own right, but the best for high-volume wedding photography is the “Pick/Reject” system.
Why is it the best? Simply put, it’s efficient.
When you edit a wedding, your attitude should be, “if it’s good, it stays; if it sucks, it goes”. Apply a “Pick” flag to those that stay and a “Reject” flag to those that go. It removes any ambivalence and forces you to move on to the next image.
When you’re done culling, you can sort by the “Picks” and edit those images you want to keep in the final collection. You can always go over your cull again and apply a “Pick” flag to an images that was rejected (and vice-versa).
Color correct off your base look
Now that you’ve applied your base look to all your images upon import, you can get to color correcting!
With your base look applied, you’ll find you only need to make minor tweaks to each image!
Upload to your client gallery directly from Lightroom
In the old days, getting images into an online gallery was a time-consuming process that involved exporting JPGs (1-2 hours), uploading those JPGs to a gallery (2+ hours) and organizing the gallery for presentation.
Today there are several proofing gallery providers that offer a Lightroom plugin, which allows you to upload your edited images directly from Lightroom! No more creating JPGs first, now you just upload! Plus, the plugin allows you to organize the wedding into separate categories in LR (prep, ceremony, reception, etc.), and have those categories map directly to your proofing site!
Disclaimer: RAW Honey Studio is not affiliated with any of the aforementioned companies and receives no compensation for their mention in this blog.