How Do I Edit Wedding Photos Within 24 Hours?

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How Do I Edit Wedding Photos Within 24 Hours?

I am the fastest Los Angeles wedding photographer I know, when it comes to giving photos back to clients. I always edit full weddings within the week. Most of the time, and especially for smaller weddings, I have the photos ready within 24-48 hours. Many of my photographer friends shake their heads and wonder how I do it, and even more, why. Over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about my approach. So, here’s how I edit wedding photos within 24 hours, and lastly, why.

Fast Wedding Photography Turn-Around Time Requires No Life

A lot of the wedding photographers I know are spouses, parents, or people who otherwise have lives. When I’m working on a wedding, I have no life. My husband is also a full-time freelancer, we don’t have kids, and I don’t have other work to distract me. When I’m working on a wedding, my husband feeds me food and doesn’t bother me. I can focus for 10 hour straight and deliver a wedding overnight.

I Don’t Shoot/Edit Heavily When I Deliver Wedding Photos Overnight

When I’m picking photos for my first round of delivery, I don’t choose any that require any time-consuming editing.¬†Some wedding photography styles require a lot of editing. Mine doesn’t. I focus more on the photojournalism style instead of the anything minimalist or light and airy, so my photos are very real. I don’t do a lot of Photoshop work. When I’m working on a 24-hour wedding, I don’t deliver any photos that require a lot of retouching. I simply edit in Lightroom and do all my basic adjustments on light, color, and mood. After I work on and deliver those, then I take any photos that need more retouching (taking people/objects out of the background, cropping, etc) and work on those over the last days.

I Usually Don’t Work on Multiple Sessions/Weddings at the Same Time, Which Makes My Wedding Photo Delivery Time Very Fast

I learned the first year I started photographing weddings that if I could stay out in front of my sessions, I could deliver weeks earlier. My goal is always to finish my previous wedding before adding my new wedding onto my camera/computer. It just makes me feel better.

I Was an Editor/Designer Before I Was a Los Angeles Wedding Photographer

I have been working in Photoshop since I was in high school. So when I started doing photography, the editing part of the job always made sense to me. I didn’t really have to learn a ton to be good at it. I had to learn a lot more on the shooting side.

SO, WHY Do I Give Wedding Photos Back Overnight?

When I got married, I waited MONTHS for my wedding photos. I don’t want to make a couple wait that long, if I can. My other reasons are mentioned above. I like to stay on top of my sessions. But most of all (right now at least) I CAN give photos back quickly. It makes me feel amazing to edit the photos, make them look all pretty, and get the gallery set up and sent. I crave that feeling of accomplishment. Taking photos is intense. Getting them on my computer, putting the finishing touches on them, and then getting them in the gallery feels so good. I love it when couples can look at and post photos so quickly after their wedding. Especially in the Covid world, where a lot of people can’t make it to the actual wedding. Guests or family who couldn’t make it can feel a part of the event through the photos.

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