How to Submit Your Wedding Photography to a Blog or Magazine

One of the most frequently asked questions I receive is about how to submit your work to a magazine or blog. How do you do? Which one do you submit to? What if no one ever replies to you? I've been very fortunate and grateful that my wedding photography has been published in several print magazines, online magazines and numerous blogs. My work has also been featured on magazine covers, published in books, and I photographed an entire wedding book (Weddings In Color) as well. With my years of submission experience, I thought I'd take some of the guess work out of submissions and share some of my best practices to help you create the best submission so you can to potentially get featured.

Why should you submit your wedding to a Blog or Magazine? One of the best benefits of having your work featured in print or online is to showcase your work, your vendors work and your clients vision. Most of my couples love when their wedding is featured and all of the vendors appreciate the recognition. It's sort of a "job well done" moment for everyone involved once the feature is live online or printed. Second, the SEO is an incredible marketing tool for you, your vendors, and venues. The more links back to your site means the more opportunities for new people will find you. The venue and vendors also get a great return for their work and when they show their services to new potential clients, they will be using your images to do so. Last, Social Proof that you are good photographer and editors/publishers think so as well. Your couples will see your work in more places other than your own website, blog and instagram account. What's the old saying? You have to see something 7 times before you remember it, so the more times you are featured online or in print, they will remember your name when looking for a wedding photographer.

How to Submit your Wedding Photography to a Blog or Magazine

No. 1 - Curate Your Images - Most magazines or blogs want up to 100 images per submission ONLY. This means that you have to be super selective about which images you include in your submission. You can tailor each submission to the specific publication by focusing on which images they might like to see included. Speaking for myself, I only include up to 100 of my BEST images from each wedding, engagement or styled shoot. I look at each image individually and ask myself if I were to be judged on this one image alone, would I be ok with this photo to represent my entire portfolio. If I don't, then it doesn't make the submission. You have to be harsh with your choices because a smaller and stronger submission will have a better chance of being selected vs. 100 "just ok" images that don't represent your artist ability. 

No. 2 - Get Your Specs Right! - In most cases, the online publication or magazine will have a FAQ or Submissions page where you can find out exactly what specifications they are looking for regarding image count, size and how to submit. Once you know what they will (or won't accept) you should start to curate your images. Be sure to include every single vendor you worked with inside your submission. You don't want to accidentally forget to mention someone who worked really hard on the event.

*PRO TIP* - I created Lightroom Export Presets for each publication I regularly submit to thus saving me time and energy per submission. I put in all their image specifications, save my preset and export my images. Super easy and very fast!

No. 3 - Make Sure Your Style Matches the Publication - I cannot stress this enough but if your photography style isn't a match for the magazine you are submitting too, chances are you will not be accepted. I highly recommend that you do your research and figure out which publications you would like to be featured in and see if your style would fit their esthetic. Like minds think a like and like images will most likely get accepted on a blog that features similar style imagery. Once you've figured out your ideal publication and curated your submission, in time you will have more accepted features than rejections.

No. 4 - How to Submit Your Images - Again, this information is most likely clearly stated in the FAQ or Submissions section on their website or masthead of the magazine however you do have a few options:

  1. Submit directly to the publication via their website or blog. 
     
  2. Contact the editors directly and send your images via online gallery or Dropbox (or similar service).

    *PRO TIP* If you do this method, please make sure your galleries and Dropbox folders do NOT have a password on them. You want the editors to easily gain access to your images and quickly review the photos at a glance. You do not want to hinder their ability to view your work.
     
  3. Use a third-party software application such as Two Bright Lights or Matchology. This is a subscription bases services that allows you to upload your images and submit to multiple blogs and magazines from one central location. It can save you time in the long run because you will not have to fill out the vendor information or re-upload the images because all of that information is already in online. The Knot owns Two Bright Lights so they want all their submissions to go through that system and Matchology is a great tool for more localized niche blogs which is perfect for targeting your audience.

No. 5 - Following Up and Being NICE! - After you have successfully submitted your wedding, engagement session or styled shoot for consideration, it's a waiting game. Usually on the FAQ page, the publication will tell you how long it will be until you hear from them. Most places are between 4-6 weeks but some outlets never reply. They receive so many submissions that it would be impossible to get back to everyone. I know, it's a bummer but it does happen. What I like to do is follow up in two week intervals to the editors via email. I will send a polite email simply following up on my submission and asking if any decisions have been made. It's short and sweet and ALWAYS nice. I cannot stress this enough! DO NOT BE MEAN PEOPLE!! The editors are the gate keepers to their online / print world and you do not want to piss them off. You will never get a reply if you are rude or following up to the point where they have moved your email into their SPAM folder the very moment it comes pops up. (just kidding!!) When you are nice, you can follow up and not be annoying and they will remember that. Even if you were rejected, maybe that editor will remember your work for another feature and reach out to use one of your images some where else. It happens ALL the time so if you start burning bridges now, it's not going to get any better along the road. 

No. 6 - Don't Take It Personally - Nobody likes rejection and it can truly sting when it's about your photography. Believe me, I would know! It happens all the time but that's ok because it might sting for a few hours (a day at the most!) but I do not take it personally. I just move on to the next publication and try again. It could be that the blog just featured a wedding very similar to yours, or you style didn't match, or it just wasn't a fit and hey, that's ok! If you want, you can ask the editor why they rejected your work and if they had any advice to share. This information and feedback is INVALUABLE, if they reply to you. Not all will, but some do! Gaining access into an editors insight is going to help you with your next submission, your next shoot and your next wedding to make it even better than before.

BONUS: I received a couple of questions about how I style my flat lay detail photos for weddings and submissions. While I'm no expert, I do love taking the time to style these photos to tell a cohesive narrative of my couples wedding day. The bonus? Publications LOVE these type of photos that clearly and beautiful showcase the couples details of the day.

One of the best resources I can recommend on learning how to style your own flat lay photos is the online course by wedding photographer Rebecca Yale. I purchased her course earlier this year and it's over 5 hours of incredible information and demonstration videos. You can find out more about the course here and use the code KERSHNER10 at check out so she knows you found her course through my site :) It's worth the investment and I cannot recommend it enough!

I hope this was helpful and encourages you to submit your work to be considered for publication. With a little effort and time, you'll be getting more Yes's than No's in no time! Have any questions you'd like me to answer? Please leave it in the comments below. I can't wait to hear from you! 


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Best Instagram Apps for Editing Photos and Stories

After I shared my favorite tips how to use Instagram for your wedding photography business, I received a few direct messages asking me to recommend my favorite editing apps for Instagram. There are a gazillion apps out there so I thought it might be helpful to share my top apps that I frequently use to plan, edit, and share my photos on my Instagram grid and stories. 
 

Best Apps for Planning Your Instagram Feed

Planning and Auto Posting Your Images:
I've mentioned this a few times but I use Planoly to plan my Instagram grid in advance. I like that I can visually see how my photos are going to look prior to posting them. I created a photo grid for myself that I like to follow which helps me speedup my planning workflow. Instagram has also given third-party applications, such as Planoly, access to auto-post your images, which is a true game changer. Other applications you can use to do the same thing is Iconosquare and Later.

Best Apps for Editing Photos in Instagram

Editing Your Photos:
When I want to add a photo I've taken using my iPhone, I will use a photo editor to brighten, straighten, crop, my images before I share it on my account. My favorite app is Filmborn by Mastin Labs. This can give your photos a "film-like" look but I really just use it to brighten my images and remove some of the dark shadows and contrast. Afterlight is also a great app for Instagram to brighten your images and adjust the highlights, shadows and contrast. Both apps have in-app purchases for more options.

Best Instagram Apps for Adding Text and Borders

Adding Text and Borders to Your Photos and Instagram Stories:
By far, my favorite app to do this is Word Swag. It's so user friendly and they have a lot of great font options, backgrounds and sizes to choose from. Additional options are Over and A Design Kit for more fun font options and additional stickers and cool colored backgrounds. You can never have too many options, right? If you want to make a cohesive story showcasing your wedding or photography, you should try the Unfold app. You can add white borders, text, multiple images to one slide and much more. It makes your story really stand out among the crowd!

Best Instagram Apps to Edit Videos and Create Slideshows


How to make Slideshows for Instagram Stories:
It took me a while to find an app that I could easily make a 15 sec slideshow for my Instagram story that was  fairly easy to use. I finally found InShot and paid to remove the logo inside of the app which is well worth the $1.99 fee.

How to cut your videos for Instagram Stories:
If you don't want to keep creating 15 second videos for your Instagram Stories, you have the option to record one video and then have Cut Story or Storeo clip your full length video into 15 second intervals automatically. Once the app is done, you can just upload each clip to your Instagram feed.

Best Instagram Apps for Hashtags and Adding Sparkle

Add Some Sparkle to Your Story:
If you know me, you know I love my glitter and I really love using the Kira Kira app to add a little bit of sparkle to my stories. It's great for adding a bit of bling to the ring or beaded wedding dress. It's super fun and I might be addicted to using it!

Automatic Hashtag Generator for Photographers:
My last recommendation comes with a warning, do not solely use this app to create hashtags for your photos. Focal Mark is an application that will automatically generate instagram hashtags that are the most popular to the content you are posting. This is specifically designed for photographers. You can tell it what your subject is, what location the photo in and what camera type you used. Next, Focal Mark will search Instagram and give you the best hashtags to use for your photo. However, you do have to pay to access all 30 hashtags which is the max you are allowed to post inside the app. My advice would be to use this app for part of your hashtags (let's say 15) but then use different hashtags that you found on your own for the remaining 15. This way, it's more authentic and you have less of a chance of being shadow banded by Instagram. (oh, it's a thing - look it up!)

I hope these Instagram app recommendations where helpful and help you create some great content for your own Instagram account. Do you have any apps that you love and would highly recommend? Please leave them in the comments below. We'd love to hear from you!


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Blogging Workflow and SEO Tips from Cinnamon Wolfe

The latest episode of our Tea with Jainé Podcast has been released and it is jam packed with amazing blogging advice and SEO tips from Cinnamon Wolfe. Cinnamon is photo editor and business coach who specializes in helping creatives maximize their business potential. This podcast is so incredible and packed full of helpful advice that you will definitely have to listen to it twice. Seriously, it's so good!

You can listen to the latest podcast episode of Tea with Jainé on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and much more. Visit our Anchor Profile for a full breakdown of supported platforms.

Cinnamon Wolfe Photo Editor and Business Coach

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How to Setup Lightroom Catalog and Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

I wanted to share my best practices when it comes to setting up your Adobe Lightroom Catalog because I think it's very important to start off on the right foot when editing, backup and archiving your photos. Lightroom is an incredible photo editing program that has a ton of features which can become very overwhelming when you are first starting out. I have studied and mastered how I use Lightroom to edit my photos and I wanted to share with you how I prefer to setup my Lightroom Catalogs along with some of my favorite Lightroom Keyboard Shortcuts.

I will preface this post but saying that I wouldn't know anything about Lightroom if it wasn't for Jared Platt's Creative Live course Lightroom 101. I bought that course and watched it 3-4x's in a row to truly understand how to setup my catalog and edit my photos as efficiently as possible. I would highly recommend checking out his catalog of courses on Creative Live. I met him once at WPPI and thanked him for helping me and changing my editing workflow process from top to bottom.

How to Setup Your Lightroom Catalog


No. 1 - Create a NEW catalog for each and every job you photograph. Think of a Lightroom catalog as filing cabinet and your photos are the "files" inside. You want to keep all of the folders and files inside one filing cabinet at a time. If you were to keep all of your photos inside the same catalog, archiving and and keeping track of your "files" (aka. your photos) is going to become a hassle and you could get the dreaded question mark (Folder Missing Icon) inside of your catalog. To keep everything organized, I create a new folder for each client and create the same file set inside their folder which includes a Catalog, Images and Print folder. When I am done organizing, editing and exporting the images and have delivered them to my clients, I will archive them to my backup drives and within time, deleted them from my computer. If I were do this while only using one main catalog, I'm going to have a hard time keep track of all the photos that belong to each job. For me, it's peace of mind knowing that everything is in ONE place and can be easily opened, archived, and worked on anywhere without ever missing important photos. 

No. 2 - Turn on Automatic Backups and Write the XMP data for Each Catalog. After you've created your new catalog you should immediate turn on two important functions of Lightroom every single time.

It seems like a no-brainer but turning on Automatic Backup's every time you quit Lightroom is just a extra level of protection for your files. Sometimes catalog's get corrupted but if you've turned on this feature, you can simply go into your Catalog > Backups Folder and simply unzip the last saved backup and start working as if nothing happened. It's 100% worth turning on and takes only a few seconds to complete once you quit the program.

Open Lightroom > Go to the Lightroom Menu > Catalog Settings > In General Tab > Backup > Choose Every Time Lightroom Exits from the drop down menu.

Lightroom Catalog Setup Tips - Automatic Backups

When you are editing photos inside Lightroom (and hopefully your are shooting in RAW) all of the changes you make to the image don't actually touch the image. What's happening is the data is being written to the "sidecar" file which is the XMP file. The XMP data writes on top of your photo like a piece of vellum. It's only a layer that can be easily removed however, Lightroom doesn't automatically process these changes while you are working. Why? I have no idea so you have to tell the program to do this for you thus saving you time and energy if the program were to crash and you lost all your work. Nobody wants that!

Open Lightroom > Go to the Lightroom Menu > Catalog Settings > In General Tab > Metadata > Check the box next to "Automatically Write Changes to XMP". 

Lightroom Catalog Setup Tips - XMP Data.jpg

No. 3 - Build Your 1:1 Previews for every catalog - I'm sure you've heard of Smart Previews when importing your photos into Lightroom. It renders a faster preview of your image so you can edit faster BUT it's still not the fastest. It can still take time to render each image inside of Lightroom thus slowing down your editing time. Your images can look pixelated until Lightroom catches up and processes the file. I find that when I make the Smart Previews upon import, I still need to build my 1:1 Previews to have my images load instantaneously with absolutely no lag time. 

After your images have been imported successfully into Lightroom, select all the images in the Library Module. Next, go to Library Menu > Previews > Build 1:1 Previews. It will take a while for the previews to load so I will go make myself a cup of tea or respond to emails until the process has completed. Once it's done you are ready to edit your images without any rendering or lag time in editing. FINALLY!!

No. 4 - Keyboard Shortcuts - Oh my goodness, Lightroom has a million shortcuts that will become second nature to you the longer you use the program and sometimes they change them on you without warning, which is the worst! 

Keyboard Shortcut: SHIFT + R - REFERENCE VIEW
My favorite keyboard shortcut is the Reference View. You must be in the Develop Module (D key) for this to work. The Reference View creates a split screen inside the Develop Module for you to do a SIDE-by-SIDE edit without having to use the pop up window option anymore. Once it's selected, you can drag your Reference photo on the LEFT and on the right, you can edit and toggle between photos to match your REFERENCE image. It never moves until you drag and drop a new REFERENCE image to use. Seriously, it's the BEST shortcut ever for hybrid photographers like myself or anyone looking to match images. 

Lightroom Catalog Setup Tips - REFERENCE View

Keyboard Shortcut: SHIFT + F - FULL SCREEN MODE
I prefer to use my Lightroom screen to it's fullest capacity which means I do not want to see my menu bar (For Mac Users), my dock, the clock or any other apps while I am editing. So I love the SHIFT + F keyboard shortcuts. They allow me to toggle my screen from being able to see my menu bar, to completely hiding it. It's a great shortcut to help you max the screen space that you have.

There you have it! My favorite Lightroom Catalog tips and setup options I use just about everyday. I hope they were helpful and will save you time and peace of mind in the future. What are some of your favorite Lightroom Tips and Tricks? Any keyboard shortcuts you want to share? Please leave them in the comments below!


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3 Tips How to Avoid Client Negotiations About Pricing

Over in the Tea with Jainé Facebook group, I received a question about what to do when a potential client starts to negotiate about your prices while you are already in a meeting. Ummmm, can we say awkward? This person had two potential couples start to haggle with her at the very end of their meetings and she was beginning to feel discouraged. She wanted to know if I had any tips to help avoid this from happening again. Boy, do I! This is such a great topic that I recently posted my thoughts over on my Instagram IGTV channel and wanted to follow up with a more in-depth blog post. Here are my top three tips how to avoid awkward client negotiations about your photography prices.

No. 1 - Make Your Wedding Packages SIMPLE - I think the biggest "A-HA" moment for myself was when I started to reflect on what my couples were booking vs. what I was offering. When I first started out, I had several collections with all sorts of options that frankly, were VERY confusing. Every couple wanted something different and I was tired of making "custom collections" so I decided to update my wedding packages to what my couples really wanted and go from there. I created three collections and I made my base collection the minimum I needed to do my job of capturing a wedding from start to finish. This way, there would be no more negotiations about what to "take out" because there was literally nothing to take out. For myself, my base collection will always include 8 hours of photography, a second photographer and the digital files. Once I decided that this was the right formula for me, I built my next two collections on top of this base collection so when someone asks to take out the engagement session or remove the albums, I refer them back to the base collection. I will not remove anything items or services from the base collection because it's the minimum I need to do my job. I wouldn't take a job that wanted me to do less (unless it was a small wedding or elopement which would have separate pricing all together - see my note below). 

So, how do you do this for yourself? I would figure out what is the minimum you need to cover your weddings or events and start from there. It won't be the same as mine but knowing what your base collection is will stop clients haggling over your services because if they can only add-on, they won't be able to take anything away. 

Also, I would recommend having a different collections for the different types of weddings and events you photograph. If you specialize in small weddings and elopements, having different pricing for those types of events will alleviate the frustration of creating smaller collections from your full wedding day services every time someone inquires. If you are a destination wedding photographer, having separate collections for your destination and local weddings is a great way to minimize any type of price negations as well. Only send your potential client the pricing information for their type of event. 

No. 2 - Share Your Prices In Advance - I cannot stress this enough but no one, I mean, NO ONE wants to be surprised especially when it comes to talking about money. They want to know in advance how much your services cost (if not start at) and you should tell them well in advance to ever meeting them in person. As I mentioned in my blog post about Ghosting, one of the biggest reason people ghost you is because they have complete sticker shock. I strongly suggest listing your starting price on your website contact and investment pages. When I first reply to new inquries, I always reiterate my "starting rate" and I ALWAYS send my pricing guide before each phone call.

What should you do? I would create your own process where you will send clients your full collection guide prior to any phone call or meeting so they have time to read and review it. They'll be able to see your wedding packages, prices and be able to ask any questions specifically related to your prices during your meeting or phone call. No more awkward conversations about "asking for a discount" or "what can we do to lower the cost" when you are already in a meeting. Phew!

No. 3 - Get Comfortable With The Word "No" - I know, no one likes to be the bad guy and say "No" to a potential client but to be a successful business person, you have to learn to say the word "No" and for the right reasons. However, with that said, I do have a twist on the way you say "No" without really having to say it. When someone asks for something that I'm not comfortable doing or I don't want to "swap out" to lower the price, I always suggest something else that could possibly be a better solution and benefit both of us. How you ask? Let me explain...

Let's say someone is asking for a discount on an album and I already know that don't offer discounts on albums. How would I answer them? I would say is "Unfortunately, I don't offer discounts on my albums but if you choose to add and album to your collection, I would love to gift you additional spreads as my way of saying Thank You". I'm saying "No" but in a positive way and offering something of value to my client vs. taking money away from my profits. Offering your client something of value such as additional hours of coverage, more pages in their album, an engagement session, etc... is inherently more valuable to them then lowering your prices for your services.

Being able to confidently explain and defend your pricing will lead to less haggling and negotiations during your client phone calls and meetings. I truly believe streamlining your pricing structure for your photography services, being up front with your prices and able to politely (but firmly) say "No" is the best way to avoid awkward negotiations and book the perfect couples just for you.  

What are your thoughts? Have you ever had an awkward conversation about your prices with a potential client? What did you do? I hope these tips were helpful and I'd love to hear from you in the comments below. 


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How I Backup and Archive My Wedding Photography

I was recently asked by one of my viewers what is my process after the wedding has been photographed. She wanted to know what I do after each wedding and how do I backup and archive my photos, which I thought would be a great topic to discuss. However, I'd like to preface this post with a friendly disclaimer that this is just my way of doing things. There is absolutely no right or wrong way to do something but I would strongly suggest that you have one additional back up somewhere other than your on camera and computer. I'm happy to share my some-what lengthly data backup and archiving process so grab a fresh cup of tea, and get ready to read along!

How-I-Backup-Archive-My-Wedding-Photography.jpg

My Gear:

The most important part about backing up and archiving system starts with what gear you invest your money in. Without reliable gear, it really won't matter how you back it up. This is what I use:

Digital Camera - I have two Nikon D810 cameras in my gear kit at all times. They are identical copies of each other and setup the same way so that if one goes down, I can just pick up the second one and continue photographing my couple without any down time. One of the reasons I purchased the D810 was because it offered Dual Memory Card slots - Compact & SD Flash Memory Cards. I prefer to use the secondary slot as my in-camera backup as it automatically writes a duplicate JPG version of the RAW file that is being written to the primary card. You can set this up to be your "run off" card, duplicate RAW copy and sort forth. There are a few setup options and this just happens to be the best for me because if anything happens to my Compact Flash card (RAW) I will have already have a duplicate copy (JPG) on my SD Flash card. 

Compact Flash Cards - The ONLY brand I use is SanDisk for my memory cards. They actually invented the technology so why not stick with the best, right? I purchase a few new Compact and SD Flash cards every year and retire cards at the beginning of every wedding season. I label each new card with their purchase year so I can easily see which ones need to be discarded.

Card Reader - I have two card readers - Lexar USB 3.0 and the EC Technologies Card Reader in Rose Gold (which I keep out on my desk and use the most). The Lexar is a bit faster than the EC Tech but that's ok with me because well, it's just prettier.

Hard Drives - Western Digital is my favorite brand for portable hard drives. I've been using them for as long as I can remember and (knock on wood) I've never ever had a problem. My preferred model is the Western Digital Passport 3.0 USB because it's so light, compact and well designed. I purchase 2-3 per year and rotate them throughout my entire backup process.

My Backup and Archiving Process:

Import, Sort and Copy:
After my wedding or session, I import my photos using Photo Mechanic. Once the import process is completed, I will sort by Capture Time and then Rename the photos to be in the correct order. I will do this for my own photos as well as my second photographers. Next, I copy the Photo Ingested folder (a Photo Mechanic term) and copy it to my RAW FILES hard drive. I like to keep a clean, untouched copy of the RAW files in case of any data corruption once my editing begins on my computer. I keep the RAW files for a certain amount of time and then replace the data on the drives.

Culling & Backing Up:
A few days after the wedding, I will sit down and cull the images to a smaller more manageable amount of files. I will create the couples folder layout and copy the selects to their images folder. Next, I will copy their folder to TWO hard drives (Backup A and Backup B) that are exact duplicates of each other. This way, I have two working backups of their images and complete working Lightroom Catalogue at any moment in time. Each week I will go through my working files and copy the new data to each of these two hard drives. How do I know what I'm working on? I label my "in progress" folders in Green and my "completed" folder in Red. You could use Carbon Copy Cloner to do the same exact thing. Finally, I will copy the FINAL folder one last time to the hard drives for safe keeping.

Uploading and Delivery:
Once the images are completed, I will upload them to my online hosting provider and deliver the final images to my clients. They receive the high resolution jpg images with all of their collections. Their images are hosted anywhere from 90 days to a year and each receive a 30 day reminder that their gallery is about to expire. As soon as I deliver their gallery, it becomes my couples responsibility to archive and back up their images. After their gallery expires, I move their folder into my online archives which gives me another yet another backup of the final images. If a past client contacts me because they lost their images, there is a fee to reinstate their gallery.

Backing Up My Computer:
I am a Macintosh user and use Apple's built-in backup software called TimeMachine. I run this once a week to have a complete backup of my computer on a separate Western Digital Passport hard drive. In the rare chance my computer were to fail, I could buy a new machine and install the latest version of my TimeMachine backup and could (potentially) have little to no downtime. I always like to be prepared for the worst!

Offsite Archiving:
The last and final step to my backup process is to physically take my hard drives off site to my safety deposit box at my bank. I like to have at least one hard copy some place other than my home just in-case of theft or fire. But, if the bank burns down, there isn't much I can do about that now, right? So I like having my online and off-site archives to work together.


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How to Plan Your Wedding Photography Timeline

As a wedding photographer, one of the best things you can do to ensure your couples get the most photos out of their wedding day is help plan their wedding photography timeline. Your experience and thoughtful insight are invaluable assets to your couples. Mostly likely, this isn't your first wedding and for your couple, it probably is, so they are looking to you for guidance and advice. I wanted to share with you how I help each and every one of my couples plan their wedding photography timeline with or without a planner. 

HowToPlanWeddingPhotographyTimeline.jpg

No. 1 - Educate Your Couples - Approximately 90 days before each wedding, I send all of my couples my "Tips for Your Wedding Day" email and a link to fill out my Wedding Prep Questionnaire online via 17 Hats. I include a list of my recommended timing for their wedding day and request detailed information about their wedding inside my questionnaire. Giving them this information 90 days in advance gives us enough time to plan accordingly and make any timeline modifications and overall photography coverage. Below is what I usually suggest for each part of the wedding day. 

// 1.5 hour for details & getting ready photos *not always possible, but I request it
// 30 mins for final prep & getting into the dress
// 1 hour for First Look (15 mins), Bride & Groom (45 mins)
// 30 minutes for Bridal Party photos *depending on size
// 30 minutes for Family photos *depending on size

No 2 - Create the Photography Timeline -  Once my couple completes their wedding prep questionnaire, I create their wedding photography timeline first draft. This is a complete breakdown of their wedding day from start to finish including their locations and photography requests for the day. With a well organized document, my couple can visually see how the day is scheduled and make timeline adjustments if necessary. For instance, if they have a lot of family photos requests, some couples might opt to move some pairings to cocktail hour or their even their reception to save some time during the beginning of the day.

Quick Tip: Be sure to include the travel time to each location. From the hotel, to the First Look, to Ceremony to Reception Venue. It all adds up and can eat up a lot of their wedding photography coverage which sometimes get lost when wedding planning.

No 3 - Work with the Planner (*if they have one) - If your couple has hired a wedding planner, I highly recommend introducing yourself and saying how excited you are to work with them. Next, I would send them your wedding photography timeline draft and coordinate with their master timeline. Wedding planners are scheduling the wedding day from start to finish and know all the little details that maybe your couple hasn't shared with you just yet. Having great communication with the wedding planner is so helpful for you, the photographer, and the couple to ensure get they get the best photos on their wedding day.

No. 4 - Plan for the Season and Sunsets - Another great tip is to plan for the season and sunset on your couples wedding day. With a quick google search you can find out when the sun is scheduled to set on their wedding day. Winter weddings usually means less light and Summer weddings have longer days with lots of sunlight. Letting your couple know when the sunset will occur is helpful in planning their ceremony start time and taking photos outside before it gets dark, especially if you prefer to photograph your couple in as much natural light as possible.

Everyone wants great wedding photos on their special day and being organized is the first step in ensuring a happy outcome for each and every one of your couples!


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Want more tea? Contact Jainé about her one-on-one mentoring sessions for wedding photographers!

 

Top 3 Tips to Culling Wedding Photos Faster

It's true what they say about being a wedding photographer, it's 10% photographing weddings and 90% everything else. You spend a lot of time in front of the computer vs. behind the camera which can be frustrating. Over the course of my wedding photography career, I've picked up a few helpful tips and tricks on how to cull and edit my photos faster which I'm so excited to share with you! Here are my top 3 tips on how to cull your wedding photography faster.

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No. 1 - PHOTO MECHANIC by CAMERA BITS - This is hands down my NUMBER ONE recommendation for ANY photographer who photographs events, weddings or simply takes a large amount of photos at one time. The magic of Photo Mechanic is that it processes your RAW files instantly and loads the previews on your screen faster than you can blink. This makes the process of selecting your best photos incredibly fast and efficient. If you were to import your photos using Adobe's Lightroom, you'd be sitting there waiting for the files to render before you could even start your cull. You'll be waiting a painfully long amount of time before you can even start to select your photos - it's incredibly slow. Photo Mechanic is 100% worth the financial investment because it will speed up your workflow by hours and you need that time to get back out there and photograph your clients!

No. 2 - SHUTTLExPRESS by CONTOUR DESIGN - I know, this looks a bit intimidating but trust me you will learn to love it. The ShuttleXpress is a keyboard extender with programable buttons to help speed up your workflow and edit as fast as possible. I used the ShuttleXpress with Photo Mechanic and Lightroom. Since it's a programmable device, you can set it up with multiple software profiles which is amazing! For culling in Photo Mechanic, I use the ShuttleXpress to pick (T key) my selects which saves me time and my hand from cramping up by using my keyboard. In Lightroom, I use the ShuttleXpress mostly in the Develop module to copy & paste my settings, crop and rotate images, pick and flag my photos and so much more. Using the ShuttleXpress allows me to use keep one hand on the mouse and the other on the ShuttleXpress without ever having to touch the keyboard. I never have to look down to find a key to use a keyboard shortcut, which slowly eats away at my editing time by taking my eyes off of my screen. I've been using this device for several years and by now, it's second nature to me. I simply cannot work without it. 

No. 3 - START BACKWARDS - This is a tip I picked up from another wedding photographer and think it's absolutely genius! For wedding photographers, the end of the wedding usually means reception photos. LOTS and LOTS of reception photos which may or may not be your favorite part of the day :) To quickly get through this section, I suggest starting at the end of the wedding and moving your way backwards through each part of the day. This will speed up your culling time and you'll also move into the ceremony, portraits, getting ready sections more quickly. Also, specifically for digital photographers, you might take a few shots until you are happy with the final photo, which means you might have 2-3 images before you get to the final shot. If you start backwards, you will see the best image FIRST and skip over the rejects so much faster. This is such a simple tip but has efficient impact on saving you time in your culling process.

I hope you found these tips helpful but I want to hear from you! What are some time saving tips you've discovered while culling your images? Please share in the comments below!


Stay in the know! Subscribe to our newsletter, podcast, join our facebook group and be sure to follow brklynivew on Instagram for the latest Tea with Jainé IG TV episode.

Want more tea? Contact Jainé about her one-on-one mentoring sessions for wedding photographers!