Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding photographer & educator serving Charlottesville VA & DC. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!
Manali is a brand photographer & educator based out of Charlottesville, VA. When she's not capturing the heart & soul behind brands or teaching other photographers how to build their business in less time, you can find her at a vineyard with wine & cheese in hand with her friends & fam!
Today I’m walking through my entire post-processing workflow! I’ve put together an in-depth tutorial where you can see me go through the workflow for a graduation portrait shoot but I also talk through how I do this for wedding days as well!
Click below to watch the tutorial and be sure to reach out if you have any questions!
There are a couple of things in the video that I didn’t mention including my system for backing up images and how I embed marketing my business into my post-processing workflow.
Image Storage & Hard Drive Structure for Organization
After I come home from a shoot, I back up all the images to my main hard drive folder. My hard drive is organized in the following way:
MAIN HARD DRIVE
COUPLES (Engagement Sessions)
Each shoot gets its own folder with the date and my client’s names. For example: 2020_06_02 Devin’s UVA Grad. Each folder has the following sub-folders:
Edited (I’ll break this out into the following folders for weddings)
I also have a backup hard drive that is a straight duplicate of my main hard drive! Once I add all the images from my card to RAW images, I use PhotoMechanic to cull or to pick out the images that I want to edit and deliver.
I tag these in PhotoMechanic as I’m viewing them and then after I’ve gone through each image, I go to the main folder and filter by “Tagged” images to move those files of the ones I want to keep into the CULLED folder. Be sure to watch the tutorial for an in-depth explanation of PhotoMechanic!
I know when I was starting out I doubted whether I needed another program other than Adobe Lightroom to cull images but there were a couple of things that convinced me that PhotoMechanic was worth the investment! PhotoMechanic loads the RAW files in a FRACTION of the time Lightroom does!
If I need to zoom in to see if a family members’ eyes are open it’s instantaneous to do so and doesn’t take seconds to render. Additionally, importing ALL the RAW images into Lightroom takes longer to do so and having more images than you need also makes the catalog a larger file and it runs more slowly!
If you haven’t tried using PhotoMechanic, I highly recommend you give it a shot and time yourself to see how much time it saves you on just ONE shoot. If you multiplied that time for each shoot that you do throughout the year, I can guarantee you’ll be saving yourself HOURS of precious time.
When I’m editing the blog post images first, this gives me a chance to highlight my clients on social and effectively market my business using the images every time I have a shoot! I always will post the sneak peek images to Instagram in 1 feed post (usually on Monday) while tagging my clients (and any vendors), post 5-10 images to my Instagram stories (the same night as the shoot or the day after) and save them to a highlight and will do a Facebook album for weddings on the Wednesday after the wedding!
My blog posts go out on Tuesday morning with 100-150 images from a wedding. When this post is out, my clients also receive ALL of the blog images in their gallery through an email that I send letting them know about the post and that all the posts’ high-resolution images are in their gallery so they can easily share the BEST versions of their images!
For each blog post, I use the Yoast plugin on WordPress to run through the basic SEO tasks to help get the most long term benefit out of the post! I will make sure the images have been renamed (using Photomechanic) to be location & keyword specific, I’ll be sure to name the post using the venue/location as well as mention it within the first sentence.
As a rule of thumb, I do try to hit around 300 words to showcase to Google that it’s a longer-form blog post and I will always update the keywords & meta description for the post. Lastly, for SEO I link to other blog posts on my own page and externally to a venue or any other vendors that were involved.
After I have gone through my editing process, there’s still a couple of more steps I take after I deliver the images to my clients!
See the tutorial for a full walkthrough of my editing process.
You can also sign up below to see a demo of me editing images in Lightroom for speed & consistency, talking through the exact details of what and how I edit my images if you’re looking to create your own signature style!
Steps After Delivering Images
After I have delivered my images, I’ll let my second shooter know that they’re free to use the images in their portfolio and on social media with second shooting credit. I’ll also send the gallery link out to vendors so they can use the images in a similar fashion.
I’ll also backup the final folder with the edited images to my backup hard drive. For weddings, I send my couples a canvas of one of the blog post images or one that they’ve made their Facebook or Instagram profile pictures as a thank you gift for them to hang up and cherish in their homes!
I’ll also update my portfolio on my website with any new favorite images that I have and add a handful (5 or so) images to my Instagram Content folder so I easily have fresh images to pull from for social media! For weddings, I also schedule out an anniversary post for the couple 1 year from now so I don’t forget to do it later down the road! That’s all for today’s in-depth tutorial of my entire post-processing workflow!
READY TO START GROWING YOUR BUSINESS WITH THE SYSTEMS & WORKFLOWS YOU NEED IN PLACE?
If you’re looking to kick overwhelm and disorganization to the curb and ready to get started with batching within your own business but need some help knowing where to start, then check out the Resources Vault for an all-in-one approach to systemizing and organizing your photography business! The Vault walks you through putting systems in place to keep your business running like a well-oiled machine WITHOUT the headache of not knowing where to start or getting overwhelmed with the process of organizing and creating systems that work for your life and business! If you have any questions on batching in your own biz or about the Resources Vault, be sure to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you enjoyed this post, binge-read through the MP Edcuation Series!