For Photographers | Turnaround Weddings In Under A Week

2013 Shay Cochrane

I LOVE my job (can I even call it that?) as a wedding photographer. However, many people don’t realise the huge amount of computer time required, after the wedding has been photographed. I’m embarrassed to admit, before I had systems to streamline my wedding post-production, I’d leave my un-edited weddings sitting on hard drives for weeks! I’d photograph more weddings in between, and suddenly be left with 5 weddings to edit – which was super overwhelming! Working this way not only stressed me out, but was completely unprofessional, unfair to my couples, and ultimately not the way I wanted to be running my business.

I had tried a few workflow systems in the past, but just last year I have found a system that works for me. I can completely finish my wedding post production (including an album design) in less than a week, my office hours are generally 9am – 6pm. My couples get their images faster, I usually have at least one day off, which leaves me recharged creatively, ready to give my absolute best to the next couple I am blessed to photograph.

Here’s how I do it (based on a Saturday wedding):


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5 Things / January

I’m pretty sure I would be a marketers dream. I’m one of those people marketers have coined ‘sneezers’ – as in, when I love a product or service I want to tell EVERYONE about it. I love sharing the things that are currently making my life more joyful, and I don’t often share the small things anywhere (except maybe occasionally on my Instagram).

I wanted to start a new series this year (inspired by Emily) named, ‘5 Things’.

At the end of every month, I will post a round up of the 5 things I have been particularly loving that month. Not only because of my desire to share the love around, but also to make me appreciate and document the small things. To remember to be truly grateful for everything, no matter how small, that makes up my life.



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3 Things I Learnt When I Was Photographed

Last week, Sam and I were lucky enough to be photographed by the incredible Natalie Franke & Caitlin Kellagher. These girls are from Annapolis, Maryland USA. They are very far away from home, travelling around New Zealand together. I follow Natalie online, I love reading her blog and when I saw she was going to be in New Zealand, I didn’t hesitate to get in touch! The girls came to our family farm in the Waikato (where Sam and I are staying until April), after exploring the Coromandel and getting drenched at Cathedral Cove! I loved getting to know these beautiful, talented girls over a BBQ dinner and chatting around the fire pit, late into the night. It was SO nice to connect with likeminded girls, from the other side of the world! I love the internet and it’s power to make these sorts of connections.


I wanted to write about what it was like to be on the other side of the camera. Sam and I have been photographed before, and as a photographer myself, I think it’s so important to regularly put yourself in your clients shoes, so you actually know what it feels like to be photographed.

Needless to say, I loved it. Specifically because of these 3 reasons:

THE IMPORTANCE OF TRUST – When you are photographed, you are vulnerable. You kiss in front of another person, you press your heads together, and get close! This requires huge trust! I know I could relax, and have fun with what Natalie was directing us to do because I loved her work, and I trusted that she would produce amazing images!

DIRECTION IS GOOD – So many people say to me that they don’t want to ‘pose’, that they want spontaneous, candid and natural photographs. As a photographer I want those type of photographs too, but I know that to get them requires direction from the photographer. When Natalie was directing us, telling us specifically what to do, there was no confusion and we were actually relieved she was guiding us in order to achieve natural photos.

ENCOURAGEMENT MAKES IT FUN – This is one of my favourite parts of being a photographer. You get to tell people that they are beautiful, that they look amazing. As well as being a self confidence boost, it’s experience that you rarely get anywhere else. Natalie and Caitlin were amazing at giving genuine encouragement. This made the shoot more fun, and honestly made us laugh even more!

I absolutely love the little sneak peek above that Natalie posted on her Instagram and Facebook. I’m so grateful for these photographs, and I know that I will treasure them forever.


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