Being that I recently got a full time job working as a graphic designer in New York City, and also trying to maintain/grow my wedding photography business, I definitely have been feeling the stress of a full time job and a part time job. After having this as my lifestyle for a few months now, and being pretty stressed & busy, I've figured out a three things that have really helped me get my weddings out on time, and also keep my evenings after work relatively free.
I cull/edit images while I'm commuting on the bus
Being that I live in New Jersey, I commute to the city on the bus. I know that this is not the case for many people who may have to drive to work, but I have another idea* for those people who really need to maximize their editing time but drive. My bus ride is around 40 minutes there/ 40 min back. Thats over an hour a day that I could be making a dent in my editing than just sitting there wasting time. I have only done this when I have two weddings or more that I have to do at the same time, which recently has been the case. Although it can be a little bumpy, and for those people on a train it might be better, I have found that is has allowed me to go home and edit for maybe an hour as opposed to the three I would put in as soon as I walked in the door after work. *tip- there was a time where I was really swamped and I actually would edit for 30 minutes or so during my lunch break. It's tedious if you've been sitting at a computer all day like I do, but it definitely is productive!
I make a timeline that the shoots should be edited to stay on track
Taped above my desk at home is a list of my photoshoots/weddings (to edit) in a descending order. The ones at the top of the list have to be done first, and the bottom do not need to be edited for a few weeks. To keep myself on track, having each wedding/shoot on a piece of paper that I can always see not only keeps me editing the things that are of priority, but also, whenever I send the client their photos, it is satisfying to take off that piece of paper. Mentally, I can move on from that shoot, and visually, my to-do list is shorter! It provides a sense of accomplishment of finishing something- and who doesn't want that!
I now have an Intern, not just a Second Shooter
I used to just have second shooters: photographer friends who would shoot weddings with me, BUT I would still be the one to cull/edit all of their images - and that took a decent amount of time on top of editing my own wedding photos. I didn't really have the time to show these second shooters Lightroom, how to cull, or make basic edits so I can include their images in my batch seamlessly. I have learned that taking the time to teach your second shooter how to do all of those things saves SO much time in the long run. It also builds trust and provides a learning opportunity for the second shooter to get critiques on operating Lightroom better. Also, I have found a second shooter who I really like working with and so I've decided to try to have him assist for as many weddings as I can. Due to all the hours he has so far put into Laurel Creative, it really is more of an internship. Take the time to invest in your second shooter's photography education, and it will also benefit your business and save you time.
I hope that you found these tips to be helpful! Just a glimpse into how I'm able to still meet my wedding photography deadlines and also a full time job in The City. :) Thanks for taking the time to read!