Use these 5 Easy Secret Steps to Deliver a Complete Wedding in only ONE WEEK!

In this blog post I'm going to share with you my simple system and 5 easy secret steps to deliver a complete wedding in only ONE WEEK! I'm going to break down each day of the week, what I do, what I don't do, and tips for you to be able to do the same! But first, let me explain why I do this...

When we got married Jackson and I waited over 3 months to get our images. I knew this was industry standard, but those 3 months+ were agony as we waiting to finally be able to flip through our images! When I became a wedding photographer, I knew something I wanted to do was provide my clients with a short turnaround time, and so that's just what I did!

I have consistently delivered every single wedding (aside from one due to a personal event) within one week of the wedding date. ONE. WEEK. And you can do the same!

I recognize this isn't normal, and absolutely not necessary, but this expedited delivery time has been a key marketing factor for my business, a constant point within the word of mouth surrounding my business, and I believe a key component to the rapid growth of my business back when I started.

Watch the YouTube video here! xx

Now before you call me crazy, there are some major benefits to editing and delivering an entire wedding within only one week:

  1. Happy clients! This is obvious, but of course my clients are happy when they're presented with their images after only 7 days! Who wouldn't be?!
  2. Minimal overlap of weddings or events. I rarely book back-to-back weddings, which means that with my one-week turnaround model I seldom have an overlap of weddings that I'm editing or working on. This helps me maintain clarity of vision for the images, stay within the story I'm working on, and I believe deliver a better product.
  3. The images are DONE. With the images edited and delivered, I'm able to have them fully backed up, delivered, blog post published, and my cards formatted before my next wedding even comes. I cannot tell you how amazing this is for my mental to-do list that's constantly in the back of my mind! To be able to close the tab on one wedding before I open the tab on another is a huge benefit for me.
I have consistently delivered every single wedding (aside from one due to a personal event) within one week of the wedding date. ONE. WEEK.
katie graham photography destination wedding photographer editing tips business tips for photographers

I want to be clear and say I don't believe every photographer should adopt this one-week model as I have. For a lot of photographers this model isn't going to make sense or even be possible. This model works for me for a few reasons:

  • I shoot digital. If I shot film this would be impossible.
  • I am a wedding photographer full-time. I don't have other jobs eating into a large chunk of my time during the week.
  • We don't have any kids. If I was a parent this might look differently, but right now I don't have any kids which means I have much more time available during my week to work on my business.

If you shoot film, or are a photographer part-time, or have kids this model might not be realistic or healthy for you. Although, if you're in a similar situation to me and desire a faster turnaround time, then keep on reading! I'm going to share with you my system and 5 easy secret steps to deliver a complete wedding in only ONE WEEK!

katie graham photography destination wedding photographer editing tips business tips for photographers

How to Deliver a Wedding in only One Week...

  1. Organize your images well.
  2. Cull immediately.
  3. Edit a small batch of favorites, then utilize SYNC function to batch edit the rest.
  4. Make final adjustments and export.
  5. Upload images to gallery software and deliver.

I understand that that is overly simplified, so allow me to elaborate...

Saturday:

  • Photograph wedding
  • Backup images to external hard drive and cloud
  • Store SD and CF cards in fireproof box
  • Post sneak-peek images you shared at reception on Facebook and Instagram (To learn how you can show your couples a sneak peek before you even leave the reception, click here!)
  • Take some Advil, drink a glass of water, and go to sleep

Sunday:

  • Nothing! Take the day off!

Monday:

  • Import images to Lightroom
  • Create new folder in Lightroom for wedding
  • Sort images into different albums for different parts of the day (i.e. getting ready, ceremony, reception, etc.) Pro Tip: Name the folders starting with a number so they stay in order of the day! (01 Getting Ready, 02 Details, 03 First Look, etc.)
  • Apply preset to images
  • Basic edits of images (crop/straighten, exposure, white balance adjustments)
  • Select favorites for blog post + copy images into specific blog post album

Tuesday:

  • Final edit blog post images
  • Export blog post images
  • Upload blog post images to Pixieset in private folder
  • Create blog post
  • Download web-size images from Pixieset
  • Create blog post
  • Create social-sharing images for blog post

Wednesday:

  • Final checks for blog post
  • Send blog post to couple
  • Share blog post to social media
  • Use blog post images within Lightroom and SYNC function to batch edit remaining images from wedding
  • Working 1 album at a time, give images fine-tuning adjustments

Thursday:

  • Take the day off! This is important as it gives you some time to step away from the images and see them with fresh eyes when you come back to them on Friday.

Friday:

  • Final necessary adjustments within Lightroom
  • Export images | Pro Tip: export the images into separate folders all contained within one master file! Title the master file after the wedding, and title the separate folders the same as your Lightroom albums for easy reference.)
  • Upload images to Pixieset, utilizing sets to organize the images
  • Rearrange Pixieset images if necessary
  • Backup edited images to external hard drive

Saturday:

  • Final checks of Pixieset album
  • Share album with couple
  • Finished!

If you found this blog post helpful, share it using one of the grey social icons below! If you would like to learn about how I show my couples a sneak peek during their reception, click the button below!

Leave a comment below and share with me which step you found most helpful and are most excited to implement for your next wedding!

Katie xx

Watch the YouTube video below! xx