Mise-en-place: The Ultimate Principles of Organization

Get organized and become more effective as a wedding photographer //

In the book “Work Clean” by Dan Charnas, the concept of mise-en-place, which means “putting in place,” is applied beyond the kitchen to various professional fields. In today’s article, I am going to share with you how we can use mise-en-place to help us run a wedding photography business by becoming more organized and effective with various tasks at hand.

Hi, I am Aida, host of  My Wedding Season -The Podcast!
If you prefer listening, this blog post is also available in audio format on my podcast: Episode 65



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In the book, Dan Charnas talks about the three values of mise-en-place. I have chosen parts that I find to be relevant to us as wedding photographers – I do urge you to read the book for a more in-depth look into the concepts.

(The following are excerpts and direct quotes from the book “Work Clean” by Dan Charnas)


30-minute planning session

Take 30 minutes every day to clear your work-station and plan the next day, a daily mise-en-place called the Daily Meeze….Taking a half-hour to clear your plate and plan your day ahead imparts serenity into your life. It offloads and logs all the things your mind, your devices, your bags, and your body have been carrying, and it provides vital assurance that you’ll consult that log on a daily basis without fail.


A process that makes you better.

Now that you’ve prepared your plan, you must follow it. And if you want to get better at what you do, you must examine the results of your plans and your product and make corrections. 

Commitment to a process that makes you better means following the schedule you’ve set for yourself, using checklists, and cultivating better techniques and “life hacks”. It means incorporating the values and habits of working clean into your workday. It also means a commitment to the inverse: altering or abandoning processes that make you worse. 

Process dodgers believe they are artists, and that creativity needs complete freedom. But true creatives – the people who actually make the food, the art, the architecture, the products, and the services we enjoy – understand that excellence comes from cultivating a craft through dedicated, dogged practice. True artists have a process.


Working clean requires you to be present on a number of levels. 

  • The first level demands that you be and stay present physically 
  • The second level demands that you be and stay present mentally

Cultivate the practice of listening. The better you listen, the more control you will have to wield your powers of attention in more complex ways.

Cultivate an ability to deliberate – when you decide to do something, get it done.

Cultivate discreteness. Boundaries between our work and our personal lives. We don’t lose focus and do a bunch of mindless personal stuff to disengage at work.

(The following are excerpts and direct quotes from the book “Work Clean” by Dan Charnas)

Dan Charnas also talks about a number of useful behaviors when practicing mise-en-place.
Here are a few that I believe are very useful to us as small business owners.

  • Planning is prime: planning entails the scheduling of tasks, which means being honest with time, respecting both your abilities and limitations.
  • Arranging spaces, perfecting movements: Creating ergonomic workspaces means more than making things look pretty. It means setting a place for yourself that allows economy of motion and consumes less physical and mental energy. Remove friction. 
  • Cleaning as you go:  all systems are useless unless maintained. Keeping that system no matter how fast and furious your pace is. 
  • Finishing actions:  Commit to delivering. When a task is nearly done, finish it. 
  • Slowing down to speed up: commit to working smoothly and steadily. Don’t rush.

There are areas of running a wedding photography business where we can implement the principles of mise-en-place. Here are a few that I would like to share with you:


  • File Organization: Create a consistent file naming system and folder structure to facilitate easy access and retrieval. Do this for your digital and physical folders.
  • Supplies: Keep an inventory of office supplies and reorder them before they run out. This prevents disruptions and ensures you always have what you need.
  • Gear Organization: Make sure that all your equipment is cleaned, charged, and easy to pack for a wedding day. This includes cameras, lenses, batteries, memory cards, and any lighting equipment. Labeling and organizing gear in a systematic way ensures quick access and avoids misplacing them.


  • Email Organization: Use folders, labels, and filters to organize your inbox. Respond to emails promptly and keep your inbox as clear as possible.
  • Templates: Invest the time to make templates for tasks that repeat (you can always customize them to make them more personalized). Templates can be made for: emails, pricing guides, wedding guides, testimonial questionnaires, and more.
  • Client Documents: Whether you use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool or your own custom system, it’s crucial to establish a well-organized and thoughtful method for maintaining your client documents.


  • To-Do Lists: Maintain a daily to-do list that prioritizes tasks based on their urgency and importance. You can use project management tools like Trello or Asana, or you can download a digital planner that I specifically designed for wedding photographers, completely for FREE: My Wedding Season Planner | Digital Planner
  • Checklists: Checklists are super helpful to make sure that you do not forget any important items or steps in a process. You can use checklists for: pre-wedding checklist, equipment checklist, client communication checklist, post-wedding checklist and so much more.
  • Editing workflow, back-up and delivery: Develop a step-by-step editing and backup process. Implement a thorough workflow for delivering images to your clients and following up with them.

By incorporating mise-en-place into your workflow as a wedding photographer, you can significantly enhance your preparation, streamline your workflow, and ensure a smooth post-production process. This approach will ultimately help you deliver a better experience for your clients.

If you found this article to be helpful, I would love for you to recommend it to a friend. And if you are feeling extra spicy, please hop on over to iTunes and write me a review. This will not only let me know that you are loving what I am putting out, but it will also help the show get discovered by other photographers.

If you have any questions or comments, just hit me up on Instagram @aidaglowik

Cheering you on,




My Wedding Season Planner is custom-designed to help overwhelmed wedding photographers who are feeling stressed out because they are struggling to stay organised, keep track of their client work and reach their goals.

This 2024 version of the planner will be made available to you for FREE as a pdf download!
For more details about the planner: www.wedding-photography-podcast.com/planner

Share the love and invite your photographer friends to get a copy by sending them this link: http://eepurl.com/hSBmWj


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I specialise in intimate weddings & elopements around Europe.
I provide overwhelmed wedding photographers with the inspiration, tools and resources needed to build a thriving brand and business.



If you are feeling overwhelmed by the challenges that come along with building a wedding photography brand and running a business, you are not alone!
The good news is, there is no need to stay stuck any longer! I can help you gain clarity and assist you in creating an action plan to achieve your goal.


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