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Post Workflow - Culling Shots

Lesson 59 from: 30 Days of Wedding Photography

Susan Stripling

Post Workflow - Culling Shots

Lesson 59 from: 30 Days of Wedding Photography

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

59. Post Workflow - Culling Shots


Class Trailer

Day 1




Evolution of Susan's Style


Branding and Identity


Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned


Day 2


Introduction to Gear & Equipment


Lenses Part 1


Lenses Part 2




Day 3


Seeing the Scene


Seeing the Scene Q&A


Rhythm and Repetition


Leading Lines and Rule of Thirds


Rule of Odds and Double Exposures


Day 4


Intro to Business


Day 5


Financing Your Business


Day 6


Q&A Days 1-4


Day 7


Pricing Calculator


Day 8


Package Pricing


Day 9




Day 10


Vendor Relationships & Referrals


Day 11


Marketing w Social Media


Day 12


Booking the Client


Day 13


The Pricing Conversation


Day 14


Turn A Call Into a Meeting


Day 15


In Person Meeting


Day 16


Wedding Planning


Day 17


Actual Client Pre Wedding Sit Down


Day 18


Engagement Session Details


Day 19


Engagement Session On Location


Day 20


Wedding Details & Tips


Day 21


Detail Photos Reviewed


Day 22


Bridal Preparation


Day 23


Bridal Preparation Photo Review


Day 24


Bridal Prep - What If Scenarios


Day 25


Q&A Days 5-11


Day 26


First Look Demo


Day 27


First Look Examples


Day 28


Portraits of the Bride


Day 29


Portraits of the Bride and Groom


Family Portraits Demo


Family Formal Examples


Wedding Ceremony Demo


Day 30


Wedding Ceremony Examples


Different Traditions and Faiths


Wedding Cocktail Hour and Reception Room Demo


Wedding Cocktail Hour and Reception Room Examples


Wedding Introductions


First Dance


Wedding Toasts


Parent Dances


Wedding Party


Reception Events


Nighttime Portraits


Nighttime Portraits with Found Light


Post Wedding Session Demo


Post Wedding Session Critique


Wedding Day Difficulties


Post Workflow - Backing Up Folder Structure


Post Workflow - Culling Shots


Post Workflow - Outsourcing


Q&A Days 12-23


Post Workflow - Gear


Post Workflow - Lightroom Editing


Managing Your Studio


Post Wedding Marketing


Client Care


Pricing for Add-Ons


The Album Process


Balancing Your Business with Life


Post Wedding Problems


Parent Complaints


Unhappy Customers


Working with an Assistant


Assistant Q&A


Lighting with an Assistant


Q&A Days 24-30


Lesson Info

Post Workflow - Culling Shots

So after everything is safely backed up, I do put things in photo mechanic I do take a look at them to make sure that everything is there, but I don't make any executive decisions about calling or cutting down my images until they are safely backed up. You never know. I am a paranoid, paranoid person you are too, but I just want to make sure that everything is nice and safe before I started delving around in there. So the way that we call I bring the files into photo mechanic photo mechanic is the only program that I use for calling. I don't use bridge, I don't use light room that would be awful. I don't really can't think of anything else that would be comparable. I mean, we choose photo mechanic because it's the fastest in our opinion, and I'm sure someone out there is using something like capture one and that's probably fast, too, but I've had photo mechanic forever it's really fast because it takes I think it takes the previews from the camera or something, and it loads them up, wh...

ich is why it's so quick versus something like light room where you'd have to render, you'd wantto shrink them down to pick them, and then I just find it a mechanic to be the easiest way to mark them. And that's all we're using this for we're dumping them in the photo mechanic I'm sorting them by catcher date and time so if I'm shooting two cameras which I do all day long it puts them in chronological order instead of one in the other and then this is basically how this goes down and part of the reason of having jen here today is because calling is a service that sidecar offers to their clients I don't utilize it because I want to look through my work myself while we do have a feedback loop back and forth where she talks to me about my work and I talked to her about my concerns, which we're talking about very heavily tomorrow I do want to look at my own work because I feel like if I don't look at my own raw files I start losing touch with what I'm doing and I want to see not only the ones that I'm choosing for my plants but the mistakes that I'm making like I feel like that's really important for me to see if I'm getting sloppy if I'm getting slow if I'm focusing and re composing too much it with my one point for thinking that I'm like dude, I'm nailing it but in reality I'm sending it jen she's picking one throwing away fifty I want to see if I'm suddenly blowing it or getting sloppier phoning it in or making mistakes that's kind of important so I bring the finals in a photo mechanic I sort them by capture date in time and then I go through one at a time and I either give the image one star our two stars there's two ways to call you can either edit in or edit out it means you're either choosing your keepers or you're choosing what you throw away and I find I used to edit out and the second I started editing in choosing my keepers instead of deleting the out takes I immediately started going four times faster and I also think that you choose less whalen which I think is important you know I'm a big proponent of quality over quantity personal absolutely on I know that you do have an expectation of your client to deliver a certain number of images but I think that a lot of people are delivering more than they really need thio anymore I deliver I mean I've actually lower the number of images that I've been delivering since we've been working together we did the average can't remember when I was seven I was like seven fifteen, seventy eight think about that but I used to deliver nine hundred thousand eleven hundred but I'm just trying to pare it down and I really wish if I cold to the absolute happiest place I would deliver about five hundred images for wedding because I would want everyone to be meticulous but I understand that if I did that it would cut out a lot of like the filler images of the reception and those people are important to the bridegroom so I kind of gotta leave those in some doing pretty okay, so I literally go image by image one at a time and I'm choosing my keepers do I like this image? Is it in focus and do I have ten images in a row that air all virtually similar? Maybe I'll include a couple maybe I'll just pick one there really is no mathematical I'm not looking to hit a quota or anything like that when I'm calling and if I love an image I gave it one star if I super super love an image, I give it two stars that way when I'm done calling everything I could do a sort show me everything that's two stars great I take all of those I moved them into my blog's folder because those were the ones that I'm going to block myself. Those are my favorite ones if I have a competition image it's going to be in there then everything that is a one star I grab it, I put it over into my rock keepers folder and then everything else doesn't go anywhere else so that's how I move things from folder to folder on I know that a lot of people have issues with speed when it comes to calling they have a really hard time letting go and you'll sit there and you'll go back and forth between two images which one's better which one's better which one's better just pick one I mean I hate to say that I'm not trying to tell you like stop really looking at your work or do a really fast job so that you can do it super fast in your clients aren't gonna notice just pick one but literally just man up pick one like I knew she was going to say man I'm working into every single workshop on dh if it weren't copy written I would have book of mormon singing man up in the background all the if we could get josh gabby come sing in character the whole time that would be great it would be weird but great but if you sit here and you obsess about the merits of one image over the merits of another image go with your gut picked the one that you like the best and keep going otherwise this this right here in your workflow is your time suck right it's a road I'm not joking I can take a wedding I cold a wedding the other night we're getting ready to leave for creative live I had to call abraham that wedding that I was just looking at it was forty five hundred images I was with them for thirteen hours on the wedding day start of the day, all the way through to the after party, there were a lot of images, and I got that thing done while watching an episode of sherlock, which again, a continuous theme all the way through watching sherlock chatting with you, I was still done in about seventeen minutes done it, I would say, like, for an average wedding about you, your goals would probably be somewhere on forty five minutes to an hour, like you said, that was a thirteen hour wedding that was really that's always going to take you a little bit longer. I mean, it took me longer to shoot it's always gonna take you longer to call, but I would say most of my clients because I'm also a photographer. Most of my clients run about eight hour weddings, and I think I can do in about forty minutes most of the time, and I'm a little faster maybe then some people, they think if your goal is an hour, I think that's a fair amount of time to spend on that decision. Yeah, for sure. And again, this is one of those things, like if you really get stuck here, if this is where your super stuck and you just can't get around it, no matter how hard you try, I have someone else called for you my husband has someone that calls for him he has someone who's on ly job is to call for him he's worked with her for fifteen years in some capacity or another and he still goes back and every once in a while he'll check a wedding and he'll be like no she didn't miss a thing because they've been working together long enough that we trust her to do it but if you can't let go get somebody also let go for you but you've got to let go because I'm looking just taking powers I have a friend she says it takes eight hours to call a wedding you know I'm so calling a wedding from two thousand seven time to let that really hard you guys this is really hard e I called my own wedding in like five minutes oh, you know you got any advice for like you guys put timers on yourself or are there any yes usually called I want to go to bed because honestly I'm not this is because I need to sit down and I just need to do it it's hard during the day when you're getting emails and phone calls and people are texting and people will stop texting it's hard because you have all of these distractions this is something that I do late at night before I go to bed ok because I know that I can just zone in and at the other end of it is my kindle and my temper pedic mattress topper and I just I can get it done I have I have really freaky laser like focus at night cool just bizarre like a panther do you have any suggestions and literally sitting over here like my jaw dropped and I looked at him and I was like forty five hundred images on seventy minutes. How do you become unattached where you like it's just so easy to get attached to your images and I am more attached to my free time than I am to my images that's good. I mean, to be incredibly honest, I'm more attached to the rest of my life. Yeah, and I could sit there, and if I actually sat there and picked every single image apart, I would have to images left when I was done, colin, maybe probably none because I would talk myself out of every single image that I have. So you just have to I mean it's a bit you just gotta do it. Yeah, and it's your gut I mean, you're looking through your going trying to maintain a relatively rapid pace so that you're not over thinking it and it's just it is it a guest? There is no move on, you know, is it a star is in a no star and if it's a yes hold back don't don't don't ever go back to it don't step backwards, it's like looking over your shoulder you're gonna turn into a pillar of salt is going to be all over and you guys are gonna get you. Do you do one star all the way through the first time? Or do you do always one path? One it's, one past thirty okay, done. Okay, I either keep it or I'm going to belong it or I just walk on by it. Great done. Thank you say I'd do it in two passes do really? I do. I want that are very efficient if he'd just like a little expert. I'm trying to tell her out of her eye do it that way because I want teo see all of the I want to have gone through all the keeping images before I pick what I want to logar preview and since I'm only picking twenty five by the time I get to the one stars and I hide everything else, I pretty much know what I'm looking for, jack and I to start the ones that I think are the real standouts because I don't want to over to star you also do preview that's what you do, yeah do provide previous to my photography clients and that's what? I'm too starting for you and I will also three star and image if I think it's one of the best images I've ever taken in my career, but those air so few and far between three star button is like dusty, yeah, that's like once a year if I'm looking well, thank you that's like a little singing like you're going. I meant that, you know, raw file it's going on my wall. I like that so much I'm thinking for my house, right? Absolutely creepy, but you just have to walk on by and if you have three images in a siri's that air similar, but you like them all there's nothing saying you have to pick one if you really can't pick one sleep, colin that's, not that big of a deal or if you think two or three images in a progression like during the first look tells a story, obviously you want to keep the story so you keep three images from that group it's true. So honestly be and and I'm not trying to be flippant, and we're not trying to, like be rude by saying the only way to get faster at it is to just do it. You have to just do it you have to take your personal feelings out of it and just get through and just really get to the meat of it and there will be a tipping point like you'll reach like this is hard this is hard this is hard and in the first time you really just gun through one you're like boom done and you'll never go backwards yes when you're looking through those images do you ever look at one site all this would be a great black and white and spend a moment you know flipping it to see or is that something you on lee do in post or you thinking that about that ahead of time no no, I never worry about black and white until I'm in light room yet and I don't designate them I'm not putting a color folder and putting a black and white folder I'm just looking for a straight up peeper and then I like to say I'll make the designation later but somebody is going to make the designation for me later but because I do do my own blawg images I make the black and white versus color decision when I'm in light room and I'm actually working on them and sometimes I'll shoot an image and I'll be like I'm gonna nail this in black and white the one hanging on the one I keep showing you of the bride and the granddad, we had a white balance coming from the mirror that I was shooting into we had a white balance from up overhead but we had a white balance coming in from the window it was a white balance epic disaster then it was really about the moment and I knew the second I click the shutter that was gonna be about you might but I don't make that sort of decision until I'm usually until I'm sitting in light room with it right in front of me right occasionally when you're shooting it, you'll know well, this is a bad situation but it's a great moment and that's you know, in your head you kind of know that I would text that I send you during receptions yes, every once in a while I'll take a picture of a very difficult lighting situation when I'm in the middle of it and I'll text it to her with a yeah have fun with that she's mean, I'm cruel I pay a lot of money for this I got to put some summer into it somewhere. I do appreciate the humor your welcome so this picture that I should do you know the other day that everybody was like, what was that I did describe what it was? It is a file transporter by a company called connected data it's crabby, it's, cranky it crashes on me a lot it's not ideal I works I think your internet connection does have something to do with that new york though to be fair time or to be fair to the transport or yes time warner does hate you it's true because I don't have nearly the problems that you have on my end no you don't and this is how you get files from a lot of your clients correct yes yes it is so essentially what it is is it's a mirror hard drive so susan has one in brooklyn and she puts the files on there and over time it syncs up with the one that I have in my office um and the files are there and then when I go looking for them they've already downloaded ready for me to move on my it's just thanks to it you don't actually have to go in and tell if you're ready for it you can do that but mine just sinks because of the work that I do that's awesome but I actually see I learned something I didn't know that because it is just a hard drive on my end when I put it on them it's like putting it on a hard drive it doesn't take forever and then it's not unlike I guess sinking a drop box it is it's similar to doing a drop box I think it's a little bit faster and a little bit easier because that too we did it is just there for me which works you can also go and fetch them if you don't want to have it automatically download I just find the automatic download to be the easiest thing because I know I'm gonna need the files and it probably takes a day or two for them to actually be fully sink on my drive once susan puts them on her but I'm sending them to you several weeks before you're actually going to start editing them so there's no reason why not? Yeah and it's very easy and the other thing again I mean not to beat the dead horse of the offside backup but it is kind of an off site backup when you think about it now they're on a drive in my house in virginia so nash has got an additional off but there are also on a drive that let's say I'm in florida and I need to get to them I can log into my transporter online and go find those raw files if for some weird reason I need them I just have to see that wedding from last week one vacation I must look at that yes that's right so this's versus like something like or some other ftp service just because we thought it was neat I like the idea of having something tangible in my house I can also use it as a multi tasker for other things I have a robo, which I used to back up my stuff. But if I wanted to put something on the transporter just because I wanted an additional backup it's there for me, which is kind of nice so it's like a hard drive not on your hard drive on your own. It literally is this little can you go back one to show what looks like it's this little aliens want to? Sorry, it's, this little alien looking thing that sits on and it connects directly into my network's being used my computer. Yea tall. Yeah. It's it's in my living room and it's connected to a modem so you don't even have to connect it to your computer. It's just on your network. Yeah, and it's always there, it's always there, waiting to cradle your fat reading teo ready to crash and me and go live in the closet with my drogo. Your problem is with time warner from that water it is true. So this is how I get my files to them and it is a little unique it's because I'm you know, sending them out for postproduction. But if you do access files from a bunch of different locations, this is one way to network your raw files and there a little faster than something like log me in on your computer, which can be kind of slow. And certainly the services that you mentioned or drop box. Any of those are certainly options for somebody. That's looking for something different and doesn't necessarily want a tangible item in their house or in their office, right? And the thing about this is I can unplug it and take it with me if I want to.

Class Materials

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Quicksheet Inside Guide (one large PDF file)
Quicksheet Inside Guide (zip file of individual PDF pages)
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Ratings and Reviews

Misty Angel

oh Susan, you are AWESOME!! I am not a wedding photographer (despite dipping my toe in this intimidating pool for one of my dearest friends), I shoot all forms of portraits and love sports too! Your '30-Days' has been the single most influential and educational moments since I started my venture into photography in 2009! THANK YOU! Your honesty, directness, bluntness, humor and vulnerability makes these 30-Days the most worthwhile time spent away from actual shooting; while simultaneously is the most inspirational motivator to push you out there to practice these ideas/techniques! #SShostestwiththemostest You raise the bar in this industry, not just with wedding photographers, but with all genres of photography! I wanted this course to learn about shooting and thought, great... I'll get a little bit of the business side too... OMG! I got it ALL! I'm dying! What an awesome investment in myself, my business and in YOU! PLEASE keep doing what you are doing! I love your new Dynamic Range, I feel that it is a wonderful extension of the work you do with Creative Live! I watch you EVERY DAY, every morning... I know that I continue absorbing your wisdom through repetition! I don't want to be you, I want to rise to your level! So thank you for the inspiration, motivation and aspiration! Keep on being REAL, its what we love about you! We embrace your Chanel meets Alexander McQueen-ness! :) Thank you for stepping into this educational space and providing us with your lessons learned so we can avoid the negative-time investment making mistakes... we are drinking your virtual lemonade!! HA! Like the others, whatever wisdom you offer in this medium, I will be jumping at the opportunity to learn from you! THANK YOU!


All the positive reviews say it all. When Susan took on the challenge of teaching this course it must of looked like attempting to climb Mount Everest...and she accomplished just that. Susan is a detailed, well-organized photographer and this clearly comes out in her teaching. Using repetition, clear instructions, a logical and well laid out presentation, she answers most any question you might have when it comes to wedding photography. I felt like I was having a private consultation when watching the course. She is real, honest, tactful, funny, and a gift to the photography community. Finally, her photography is professional and inspiring. Thank you Susan for the tremendous amount of work that you put into making this an outstanding Creative Live course for us all.


Wow. What a super, comprehensive, entertaining, informative course. Well done. I've taking a lot of photography classes and this one is definitely top of the list. Susan Stripling was very well prepared (and great job by the CreativeLive Team too). Terrific course. Susan shared so much. Thank you! P.S. Love the CL boot camp courses.

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