5 Essential Keys to Incredibly Fast Post-Production|Part 1 of 2

July 8, 2014


Zach & Jody Gray

As we have toured the country and literally spoken to THOUSANDS of photographers at workshops, events and gatherings, we have realized that the biggest time-sucker in most photography businesses is image editing and work flow.

  • The average wedding photographer in America is spending around 18-22 hours JUST editing a wedding shoot!
  • This steals time away from running an effective business, not to mention time with family or community!
  • This is an area that we are passionate about helping photographers to overcome and teaching them how we created our 2.5 hour image work flow (based off of a 3,500 image wedding shoot) that includes culling, editing, retouching and hitting that button to upload! If you could cut your work flow time down by 50 – 80%, then what could you do with all that extra time?
  • So, what is the solution to speed up your workflow? The solution to this problem, is a killer SYSTEM.
  • Before that, here are what some photographers who are Reclaiming Their Lives are ALREADY doing with the extra time they have saved by using our incredibility fast editing system!

“Weddings used to take me 8-10 hours to edit fully. I can now blaze through weddings in less than half of that time….

With my extra time I've been doing a full home renovation on a 3 story Victorian that is 100 years old! Before I could never imagine editing weddings while taking on a house project, but now, with the editing systems I've learned from Zach & Jody, I've been able to juggle both effectively while still enjoying my social life!”

-Nathan Lewis of Nathan-Lewis.com, IN-CAMERA Post Production workshop attendee

I've turned my one week editing process into less than 2 hours, most of the time closer to 1 hr…

I'm able to feel more balanced and be at my best for both my family and my photography career. It's also allowed me to take on more sessions and weddings and build a better nest egg for my future!”

-Cheyenne Sprouse, IN-CAMERA Post Production workshop attendee

This week and next week we are going to give you our top Post-Production Productivity Tips that CHANGED our lives once we finally put our post-processing into a system.

Post-Production Productivity Tip #1: Set Time Aside


How many times do you find yourself making your way to the office telling yourself that you will work on editing today, and then you get sucked into emails and other things, and before you know it, it's dinnertime and you have yet to even look at ONE image?

This is why putting your editing on the calendar and blocking space out for it is so important! This may sound way too simple, but it's true, if it's not on the calendar, it won't happen.

Our Editing Schedule:

  • Night of wedding: Images are uploaded to computer and previewed (1/1) in LightRoom
  • Sunday: Day off
  • Monday: Day off
  • Tuesday: Editing day (first thing in the morning)!

On Tuesdays, editing becomes top priority above everything else or our sessions with get backed up. If I get backed up then we can't schedule ordering sessions on time and we LOSE money.

Again, may sound so simple, but block that time off for editing and fight for it with your life 🙂

Post-Production Productivity Tip #2: Focus


This tip goes hand-in-hand with our first tip, and again, seems so simple for the results that it yields, but you'd be amazed at the results when you do it!

In the beginning of almost any small business the BIGGEST mistake made is the inability to focus. This is very true whenever most photographers sit down to edit. Do you do any of the below?

  • Keep your email open during editing?
  • Keep Facebook & Twitter open on your computer?
  • Let your phone notifications/emails/calls ring through?

The above distractions can KILL your productivity. When it is time to start the editing process, I get very serious about getting my work done SO THAT I can play later. These are the steps I take to get ready for editing:

  • Ask Jody (my biz partner) if she needs anything for the next segment of time
  • Close down any internet windows (email and Facebook notifications are NOT welcome)
  • Put my phone on airplane mode
  • Put on my headphones with some upbeat bumping tunes
  • Start my timer on my iPhone so I can race the clock
  • Get to work!

The above steps help me to stay focused on my task and then with my very specific editing SYSTEM and PROCESS that I have set up, I am able to edit efficiently and save myself hours.

(This was the time for the ENTIRE editing process for the last wedding I did including:
download, import, culling, editing, retouching and exporting for 3,650 images).

That is what a SYSTEM and FOCUS can do for you, too.


1. Ask yourself what you would do with an extra 18 hours a week and use this link to tweet it out!

2. Set aside whatever time you need to accomplish the important tasks (like editing) that need to be completed, and implement the steps that Zach takes when FOCUSing on a job to get ‘er done! You'd be amazed at how much time that alone can save you.

Stay tuned for next week's blog which includes the next 2 tips to fast post-production!

Have a fabulous week, everyone!

PS. To get MORE FREE tips and tricks on business and shooting strategy, check out ZachandJody.com/blog!

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