The Same Day Edit at Weddings

What is a Same Day Edit?

It's when a Photographer downloads pictures from their camera to their computer, at the wedding, edits them and then displays it for people to see. 

I remember the first time I ever tried a same day edit... it was the scariest thing ever!!! I thought, there's no way in the world I would have enough time to do it! I hid myself around a corner while people were eating, found 5 pictures to display, put them in Lightroom, did a quick edit and I was done. I hustled back into the reception, found a place to plug in the laptop and displayed it for everyone to see. Of course, no one looked at it for about 30 minutes, because they were all eating ;) I was so surprised how fast and easy it was! I've done a same day edit ever since then for almost every wedding.

Here's a recent wedding with everyone looking at the same day edit.

Everyone loves a same day edit!

Everyone loves a same day edit!

Here's how I do it

1. Download and edit while people are eating. No one wants you to take pictures while they're eating and since you have about 30 minutes to an hour of eating time, do your same day edit! 90% of the time it works and no one is going to miss you while they're eating.

2. Find a place that doesn't draw attention to you. Being on your computer at a wedding can give the wrong impression, so find a place out of site, but that also allows you to see the Bride and groom just in case a surprise toast happens ;)

3. Use Photo Mechanic to go through your images directly from the card... it's super fast! Scrolling through, I tag (push the "T" key) about 8-12 images. When I'm done, I have photo mechanic only display the "tagged" images. I drag and drop them into a folder on my desktop that's already labeled with the wedding name. I pop my card back into my camera and it's ready to go for more shooting!

4. Use Lightroom to edit. This does take a little time, because your images have to render, but you'll be ok. It helps if you have presets already established in LR for the kind of shooting you normally do. Don't get hung up on color correction... no one cares, but makes sure everything looks awesome, because it is representing you as a Photographer.

5. Use Lightroom for your slideshow. After you're done editing, click the "slideshow" tab in LR and start the slideshow..... it's that easy! The slideshow will keep revolving all night long (as long as your battery lasts) and leave the laptop up until the wedding is over. It helps if you already have a slideshow template created before you go to a wedding ;)

6. Finding a place to put it. This is actually one of the harder things for me, because a same day edit is not about you as a Photographer... it's about instilling confidence to the Bride and Groom that you got some awesome pictures at their wedding. I always try to find a place that's not crowded, but allows people to walk by and see it. I set up the computer and start shooting again. 

Here are the pictures I displayed at the Seifert wedding a couple weeks ago: The above picture shows them looking at all these below.

You as the Photographer know what you took throughout the day, so finding pictures to put in the slideshow shouldn't be hard... I mean, you just took them a couple hours ago.

I personally, don't put business cards out with my same day edit. I think it looks cheesy, but I can see it being a good way for photographers to get the word out about themselves.... it's just not my style.

I hope that helps you to have confidence in doing your same day edit! My buddy Micah Robinson was encouraging people to do a same day edit on a local photography forum this morning and that's why I've gone into full detail about what I do and how! 

Like I've said many times, we need to push each other to be better in our wedding photography business! The same day edit is scary the first time you do it, but I guarantee you that it will instill confidence in you the first time you do it. Who knows what you might try next? But, if you take one chance at a time at every wedding, then eventually you will be at a level you never dreamed of ;)

Good luck!


Joe Hendricks