Wedding, Workflows

5 time-saving tips for photographers from Vanessa Joy

As photographers, we are always looking for ways to be more efficient in our work. We are looking for ways to save time on tedious and sometimes unnecessary tasks and get more time for being creative and doing the things we love.

In her 23+ years as a wedding and portrait photographer, Vanessa Joy has learned a thing or two about how to save time in all stages of her workflow.

In this video, Vanessa shares her best tips for a more efficient photography workflow.

Discover the Harmony Styles by Vanessa Joy here.

Set expectations

Vanessa’s first tip might not seem like an obvious time-saving tip. But if you follow it, you will save a lot of time and headaches down the line.

“You want to make sure to set your client’s expectations for the outcome about whatever it is you are promising them,” says Vanessa.

“That has to do with style, that has to do with deliverables, and creating expectations for your client off the bat.”

“Don’t just go into a shoot saying ‘I’m going to take your pictures’. Talk about the different shots you’re going to take, talk about the lighting and give examples of the overall aesthetic that you are going to photograph for your client. So they know what to expect of the outcome as far as timing, but so you also know how to plan effectively for an efficient photoshoot.”

In her own work, Vanessa likes to send her clients questionnaires to ask them about their style, their personality, what they like about each other, and what they are planning on doing with the images. This helps her know her subjects better and capture those intimate and meaningful moments that her clients expect.

Stay in one spot

Now that you have set client expectations, you want to save time on the shoot itself.

“One thing that us photographers are super guilty of is running around to all these locations to get the different backgrounds and lighting. Hold your creative roll. Slow down for just a second,” advises Vanessa.

“Once you find a spot that has really good lighting, just stay there. Stay there and pose your couple differently, try different emotions, and work within that space before you go running to the next. We don’t want to waste time going from spot to spot. Stay there and shoot to your heart’s content.”

Slide to see before and after using the “Stupid Green” Style from Vanessa’s Harmony Styles pack.

Bring only what you need

“My next tip might irk some of you photographers out there because we just love our gear so much,” says Vanessa.

“But the truth is that having a lot of gear, especially heavy gear, on the day of the shoot can be a real hindrance.”

To be efficient while you are on the shoot and not be slowed down by having a lot to carry or not finding the right equipment, Vanessa strongly recommends thinking about what you will need on the day and only bringing that.

“I know you want to pack every lens; I know you want to bring every light. But we have set expectations, we know what we are going to shoot, so plan accordingly. Pack what you need, and maybe one extra thing for a little added creativity.”

Use Styles to get a consistent look, quickly

One of our goals as photographers is to get a consistent look that fulfills what you have promised to your clients. Try to incorporate Styles into your workflow to be more efficient and get the look you are going for quicker.

Vanessa has collaborated with Capture One to create a new Style pack with some of her favorite looks to get your portraits and event photography to a great starting point. Explore the Harmony Style pack here.

Slide to see before and after using the “Grey Day” Style from Vanessa’s Harmony Styles pack.


“Now that you have set your clients’ expectations, and shot in the good light, all of that is going to make your post-production a whole lot easier. My Capture One Harmony Styles are specifically designed to save you time in your workflow,” says Vanessa.

“They include styles like Joyfully Simple, which has my creative preference, plus a lot of other styles I am sure you are going to love in black and white and color. Using Styles is going to help you edit, not just more quickly, but it’s going to help you have a more consistent look to your photos.”

Start your editing on the go

Vanessa’s last tip for making quick deliveries to her clients is by starting her editing work while still on the job.

“One thing I like to do is to rate the images on the job and then transfer them to my iPad,” she says.

Using Capture One for iPad, you can make your initial selections by rating and tagging images. You can also get a head start on your editing by applying Styles or making manual adjustments before transferring the images to Capture One Pro or exporting and sending them directly to your clients or your own social media.

“This is not only going to make you look like a hero to your clients, but it is going to help you with your culling in the long run. Right on the job, you already have what you need for social media and a blog. All of that marketing is part of your job and things you have to do as a photographer. So why not get that done on the job?”

RELATED: How wedding photographer Alessandro Galatoli transformed his workflow with Capture One for iPad



Are you new to Capture One? Try it for free here.

Vanessa Joy wedding and portrait photographer
Vanessa Joy

Vanessa Joy is a professional New Jersey, New York and Austin Texas wedding photographer. With an emphasis on photojournalistic wedding photos, she focuses on creating a unique boutique experience with each of her couple’s wedding photography. Vanessa has over 20 years as an experienced photographer. She enjoys capturing everything from Hill Country Weddings, large NYC weddings and elegant formal affairs, to farm weddings with rustic wedding photos and luxury wedding events. She is also sponsored by Canon and Profoto in recognition of her international success as one of the top photographers in the world.

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