bride walking down the aisle in the chapel ruins at Sassafras Springs Vineyard

How to Create a Photography Workflow

I like routines. I have a routine for when I wake up, making breakfast, getting the kids ready, going to sleep, and about everything I do throughout the day. Routines make life smoother because I already know what to do and I’ve done it enough that I can do it quickly without even thinking about it. If you’re going to be a wedding photographer, you need a routine for what you do. Instead of calling it a routine, though, we call it a workflow. Today I’m going to walk through the steps of how to create a photography workflow. 

How to Create a Photography Workflow

Depending on what type of photography you are doing and just your personal preference, your workflow will change. I don’t do the same thing for portraits that I do for weddings. With that said, I’m going to try to give you some general ideas of how to create a photography workflow, but I can’t tell you exactly what to do.

What Workflows do you need?

A good photography workflow covers all aspects of being a photographer. You need a workflow emailing and responding to clients, a workflow for shooting, a workflow for editing and backing up images, and a workflow for delivery. I know that sounds like a lot of things to deal with, but it’s better to have a plan for everything than to just randomly do things and hope it turns out. The good news is that just like with the rest of your daily routines, you’ll eventually get used to the patterns and it will become natural.

Dramatic photo of bride dancing at night with a full moon

Steps to Create a Photography Workflow

Starting off, you might not know what to do or what workflows you need. First, just pay attention to the things you do repeatedly. Have you found a way to smoothly do something or do you find yourself getting stuck? Keep track of all the things you do and the order you do it. This will help you see what works and find places that are causing problems. After working on this process for a few weeks or a month, you should be able to come up with a workflow.

blue wedding shoes

Once you feel good about a workflow, write it out completely. It needs to be in a way that you can use it again and again. It could be a checklist on a Word document that you print out every time you need it. I use a management system called 17hats, and it allows me to create workflows in it. I can then follow the workflow and check off things as I do it.

Automate as much as you can

One thing I really like about 17hats is I can automate a good chunk of my workflow. I can have 17hats email out reminders and other prewritten emails without having to do anything. For example, I can automatically send a reminder email a few days before an engagement session.

How to Create a Photography Workflow

You can also automate other things in your workflow. With editing, you can create Actions or Presets. When you run an Action or Preset, it follows a set of instructions, so you don’t have to do it manually. I use Actions for things like resizing and saving documents, and I use Presets for adjusting the appearance of images.


A good photography workflow takes some time to figure out, but when you figure it out, it will be worth it. You’ll be able to do things faster, have less stress, and also have happier clients.


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