Weddings are a LOT of work! It’s not just shooting the wedding day that is intense, but also all the prep work that happens before, and all the client care that happens after!
A great wedding photography workflow will help make sure that when you’re in the thick of it you’ll still be able to stay calm, work efficiently, and give each and every client awesome service!
I dug up our own wedding workflow from way back when we shot weddings. As in, from last year :) It’s pretty insanely detailed, so hopefully it will either give you direction in making a new one, or help you strengthen your existing one! Let’s jump right in.
1. Respond to initial inquiry with info (describing style, booking process and general investment range), and suggestion to book a meeting.
2. Arrange a meeting date as soon as possible! Delaying it can lead to problems if others are inquiring for the same date.
Initial Consultation Meeting
3. Prep for meeting.
4. Start with intro video/slideshow/photo books showing some of your favourite images.
5. Get to know them, and their wedding. Ask lots and lots of questions!
6. Explain what you do, show them your products.
7. Cover pricing and the process of working with you.
9. Give them a copy of the contract (may want to sign then, or chat and sign later).
10. Follow up meeting with a thank you email.
11. Sign contract (online or in person) and receive deposit.
12. Add to client database, input wedding into calendar.
13. Send welcome package (treats, info about the process), thank you card, questionnaire.
14. Schedule date for shoot and viewing & ordering session.
15. Discuss ideas for photo session using info in the questionnaire, and choose location.
16. Confirm time and location.
17. Shoot engagement session.
18. Send thank you email.
19. Put teaser on Facebook.
20. Sort. I use Lightroom for this to keep things speedy.
21. Edit. Here I use Lightroom & Photoshop for photo editing.
22. Pre-design all products. This is super important, especially for albums. Pre-designing helps the clients really understand how their images will look in your products.
23. Confirm time and date for viewing and ordering session.
24. Viewing and ordering session. Let them see the photos, help them pick what they’d like. Make it a great experience. Have fun!
25. Send thank you email, details of order and timeline for completion of all products.
26. Submit order to labs.
27. Pickup products.
28. Package products.
29. Schedule dropoff.
30. Drop off products.
31. Schedule pre-wedding meeting for 1 or 2 weeks before wedding date.
32. Send worksheet to complete for the meeting (most important thing here is getting the list of family formals that they’d like!).
33. Hold pre-wedding meeting (discuss the timeline of the day, must-have shots, what they are envisioning for their portraits). Get full payment for the wedding at this point, so you don’t have to deal with it on the day of.
34. Choose location for portraits & rain backup.
34. Attend rehearsal.
35. Prep gear (clean cameras and lenses, charge batteries, clear cards, pack bags, prep clothes, snacks, umbrellas in car).
36. Review schedule + input locations in GPS (makes it quicker on the wedding day, and if something isn’t in the GPS you have time to find it on Google maps)
37. Shoot wedding!
38. Back up all photos.
39. Put teaser on Facebook.
42. Pre-design (album, thank you cards, wall galleries).
43. Schedule premiere session.
44. Hold premiere session (Show them slideshow of your favourite photos, and all the pre-designs you created. May want to offer a discounted rate if they purchase products then. Give digital files if purchased already. Let them know the rest of the photos will be online in a gallery, and you’ll send them the link after the session. Often you’ll deliver far too many images to go through all of them at the premiere session!).
45. Follow up with thank you, details of order and timeline for products.
46. Submit products to labs.
47. Pickup and package products.
48. Deliver products. Always nice to include a little thank you gift here (extra print of their favourite image or something like that!).
49. Follow up to ensure everything is good with their products.
50. Blog wedding.
If you’re super organised, you may want to also schedule in their anniversary so you can send them a first year anniversary card! That would be super.
So there it is. Obviously if you’re putting this on a workflow board you’ll want to combine a lot of steps so it will fit. My very first year of shooting weddings I did 15, and having a workflow board totally saved my butt!
Each and every photographer will have a different workflow, since everyone has a unique way of doing business! So, if you have some useful steps in your own workflow that aren’t here, feel free to share them in the comments!