Posted by Jana Ferreira
Updated: December 5, 2023

3 Photography Workflow Tips Every Photographer Should Know

Picture this: it's peak season and you find yourself drowning in a sea of unedited photos, looming deadlines, and impatient clients. 

The pressure is real, and we've all been there. But don't worry, because in this article, we'll share 3 workflow tips that can make those stressful days a thing of the past.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting your journey, these three workflow tips for photographers will not only boost your productivity but also help you maintain your sanity during busy seasons.

3 Ways to Guarantee a Productive Photography Workflow

So, you want to guarantee a productive photography post processing workflow, huh? Well, let's not make promises we can't keep! 

Having a structured workflow is more than just a buzzword; it's the secret to getting your post-shoot work done more efficiently and reaping the rewards. 

We can't guarantee you'll get those three minutes back that you spent reading this, but we're pretty confident that won't be needed. 

Now, let's dive into the nitty-gritty of how to make your photography workflow a breeze.

Happy photographer who followed Aftershoot's photography workflow tips

Key Benefits of a Structured Workflow:

  • Better time management, which leads to less time behind the screen and more time for the things that make you happy.
  • Enhanced creativity, because when you're not overwhelmed by chaotic file management and endless editing, you have the mental space to brainstorm new ideas.
  • Faster delivery times, which means happy clients that refer you to their friends.
  • Opportunities to scale your business, because you’ll be able to maintain efficiency and quality even when dealing with higher workloads.

So, how do you become the undisputed master of the universe in post processing? These three tips are your cosmic keys to unlocking a more structured and productive workflow.

  1. Shoot in the correct format: RAW
  2. Organize your files and equipment
  3. Leverage tools to streamline your photography workflow

Let’s get into them in more detail.

1. Shoot In RAW Format

Setting a camera to shoot in RAW format

To kick off your journey toward a more efficient photography post processing workflow, you need to start with the basics – shooting in RAW. 

Shooting in RAW gives you unparalleled editing flexibility and ensures that your images reach their full potential during post processing.

But what exactly does RAW mean, and why is it the preferred image format for professional photographers?

What is RAW format?

RAW is an unprocessed, uncompressed image file format that records all the data captured by your camera's sensor without any in-camera processing. 

Unlike other image formats like JPEG, which apply various adjustments and compression, RAW files preserve every detail, color, and nuance of the scene.

Why is RAW optimal for editing?

Workflow tips for photographers #1: shoot in RAW format

Shooting in RAW provides you with the raw material needed to craft your images exactly as you envision them. 

Here's why it's the preferred choice:

1. Color Grading & Artistic Freedom

If you enjoy crafting a unique visual style for your images, shooting in RAW becomes even more essential. 

RAW files contain a wealth of color information, which enables you to perform precise color grading and creative adjustments to achieve your desired look.

2. Preservation of Image Quality

Unlike JPEG, which uses lossy compression, RAW files maintain the highest image quality, making them ideal for professional work, fine art photography, or any situation where image quality is paramount.

3. Recover Overexposed or Underexposed Shots

Have you ever taken a photo where the highlights are blown out, or the shadows are too dark? 

RAW files retain a wide dynamic range, giving you the ability to recover details from overexposed or underexposed areas, saving shots that might otherwise be lost.

4. Non-Destructive Editing

When you edit a RAW file, the changes you make do not affect the original data. 

This non-destructive editing allows you to experiment and make adjustments without permanently altering the original image.

Shooting in RAW is the cornerstone of a smooth photography workflow. It provides you with the raw material to unleash your creativity, maintain the highest image quality, and have complete control over your final results.

2. Organize Your Files & Equipment

One of the most critical steps in ensuring a smooth and efficient photography post processing workflow is maintaining an organizational system right from the beginning.

One of the best workflow tips for photographers is to stick to a file naming convention
Image Courtesy of Jugaad Posters

Organizing your photography workflow has profound implications for your efficiency, stress levels, creativity, and overall experience as a photographer. 

Here are just some of the benefits of being organized. 

1. Improved Efficiency

When your files are neatly categorized and your equipment is readily accessible, you spend less time searching for things and more time capturing moments. It's a fundamental aspect of efficiency.

2. Stress Reduction

The frustration of not finding that one specific image, lens, or cable can turn a good day into a frustrating one. Organization reduces stress and lets you focus on your craft.

3. Creativity Boost

A clean and organized workspace can also stimulate your creativity. It's much easier to get into the creative zone when you're not surrounded by chaos.

Having a logical file-naming system and image backup system in place is a great starting point for becoming more organized in your entire post-shoot workflow. 

Pro Tip for a Logical File-Naming System

Consider a convention like "Event_Date_Location" when naming your files.  

For example, if you photographed a wedding on October 15, 2023, in New York, your file could be named "Wedding_2023-10-15_NewYork." 

Alternatively, you could replace the location with the name of your client. It’s ultimately up to you to decide which naming convention makes the most sense for you.

This naming system not only helps you quickly identify the content but also keeps your files in chronological order.

Tips for Image Backups

Inserting a USB flash drive

Backing up your precious photos is non-negotiable. The importance of having a solid backup solution cannot be overstated. 

Consider using external hard drives (and storing them in an organized manner) or cloud storage solutions specifically designed for photographers. 

These solutions offer data redundancy and ensure that your work remains safe and accessible even in the face of unforeseen disasters. 

Now, we’re not expecting you to become the next Marie Kondo, but here are some practical tips to help you maintain order in three crucial areas: files, workspace, and equipment organization.

Keeping Files Organized

  • Create folders for each project or client.
  • Use clear, descriptive folder names.
  • Regularly declutter and remove unnecessary files.
  • Employ metadata tagging to easily search and categorize your images.

Organizing Your Workspace

  • Keep your workspace clutter-free by tidying up after every shoot or once a week.
  • Invest in storage solutions like shelves, cabinets, and drawers for your gear and accessories.
  • Label storage containers and hard drives to find equipment quickly.
  • Create dedicated spaces for different tasks like editing and equipment maintenance.
A photographer's desk

Keeping Equipment Organized

  • Implement a system to label and categorize your equipment.
  • Keep an inventory list of all your gear.
  • Prioritize equipment maintenance and cleaning schedules.
  • Always pack your camera bag or kit in the same organized way to avoid leaving essential items behind.

3. Leverage Tools to Streamline Your Photography Workflow

Technology is your trusted ally, and it’s especially useful when it comes to streamlining your photography workflow. 

Whether you want to enhance your post processing, optimize client relationship management, or smoothen the delivery process, there are numerous tools at your disposal. 

Let's look at tools to speed up the post processing workflow.

AI Tools for Photographers

The realm of artificial intelligence (AI) has expanded exponentially, and it's not limited to just culling and editing. 

From the moment you click the shutter to the final delivery of your images, AI tools can be your dependable partners.

Check out our list of must-have AI tools for photographers to dive deeper into how AI and running a photography business go hand-in-hand. 

By far the area where AI tools are most beneficial for your post processing workflow is in your culling and editing processes. 

Enter Aftershoot.

How Aftershoot Supercharges the Photography Workflow

Aftershoot’s AI software shines as a culling and editing virtuoso. It's not just a matter of saving time; it's about elevating the quality and consistency of your final images.

By doing all of this within a matter of minutes, Aftershoot helps you produce high-quality images faster than ever.

Aftershoot's cutting-edge culling algorithms streamline your image selection process, identifying and recommending the best shots based on various factors, such as: 

  • Sharpness
  • Focus
  • Duplicates
  • Emotion
  • Composition
  • Closed eyes & blinks

The culling feature is customizable with sensitivity sliders, allowing you to adjust the criteria based on your needs and preferences. 

Trustpilot review of Aftershoot being a game-changer in the photography workflow

Aftershoot also offers an impressive AI-powered editing feature that replicates your personal editing style with 90%+ accuracy.

It can edit 1,000 images for you in under a minute!

Features of the editing function include:

  • Automatic cropping & straightening
  • Adjustments for brightness
  • Tone curves
  • Exposure
  • Vibrance
  • Highlights & shadows
  • White balance, and more
Trustpilot review of Aftershoot helping to speed up editing in the photography post processing workflow

To use the editing software, you'll need to create an AI Profile by uploading at least 2,500 previously edited images from your Lightroom or Capture One Catalogs to the Aftershoot app. 

The AI then learns your unique editing style and uses that information to replicate your adjustments onto the unedited photographs you add for editing.

Alternatively, you can use a pre-built AI Profile called AI Style, found in the Aftershoot Marketplace.

Both culling and editing products are integrated into one app that runs locally (no internet connection needed), making it super convenient and effortless to go from shooting to photo delivery in no time. 

Improving Project Management & Client Communication

Optimizing project management and client communication is another key to unlocking a more productive and less stressful photography post processing workflow. 

There are fantastic tools in the form of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that will streamline client management and communication, ultimately saving you valuable time. 

CRM software provides a centralized hub for all client information, from contact details to project specifics. 

It simplifies scheduling, automates appointment reminders, and ensures you're always in the loop about upcoming projects.

Trustpilot review of Honeybook, a CRM software popular among photographers

Furthermore, integrating an online proofing gallery into your workflow can significantly enhance the proofing and delivery process. 

It creates a smoother experience for both you and your clients, allowing them to review and select their favorite images with ease. 

Incorporating productivity tools into your workflow isn't just about convenience; it's about delivering a better experience for your clients and allowing you to focus on what you love most – capturing moments. 

Whether it's AI for post processing, CRM for client management, or proofing galleries for smoother interactions, technology is your passport to a more efficient post processing workflow.

Final Thoughts

A well-structured workflow is your ace in the hole for triumph. We hope these three workflow tips for photographers will reshape your photography journey into a more productive and efficient experience.

An efficient workflow brings the assurance of better time management, amplified creativity, minimized stress, swifter deliveries, and the capacity to expand your photography business.


  1. Shoot in RAW format for unrivaled editing flexibility.
  2. Maintain a structured and organized approach from the outset.
  3. Harness the potential of AI and CRM tools to streamline your entire workflow.

We hope you’ll put these insights into practice, embrace structure, and unleash your creativity.

Experience the transformative power of a streamlined workflow with a free 30-day trial of Aftershoot. No credit card necessary!

Our AI software can free you from hours of tedious work, granting you more time to capture beautiful moments and spend time with loved ones. 

In the end, it's not just about capturing images; it's about creating a seamless workflow that empowers you to excel in your passion and profession. 

If you’re interested in more photography tips – from shooting and business to post production and creativity – take a look at our list of top photography podcasts.

Happy shooting!

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