Happy Tuesday, friends! I have big aspirations of blogging more educational posts in the coming months, and I’m really excited to kick things off with today’s post! This is one tip that has forever changed my workflow and saved me endless amounts of time – and my hope is that you can benefit from this as much as I have!
The one thing that I have a love/hate relationship with in the wedding industry is that it’s such a seasonal job. There is definitely work to do year round, but when wedding season comes along – it’s easy to be completely consumed, overwhelmed, and burn out quick! There are some things that I’ve learned to implement in my busy season to not only help me serve my couples in the most amazing way – but also to allow me some sanity. So today I’m sharing my favorite tip for speeding up your workflow and staying on top of your editing during busy season – because you deserve some sanity too!
There a few things that I’ve done before and would NOT recommend! Back in the day, I used to import all of my photos directly into Lightroom, randomly click through and pick favorites, and eventually get around to editing the full session. This works out fine when you are brand new and only have 1-2 sessions a month – but not so well when you are full-time.
These days, I import directly into PhotoMechanic (if you are a photographer – go get this now!! It takes me awhile to to get on board with things sometimes, but I never should have waited this long!). I adore PhotoMechanic for a million reasons, but my favorite is that I can cull my images FAST! PhotoMechanic renders jpeg previews of your RAW images, which allows you to instantly see whether an image is in focus or something you want to keep. Not only does this speed up your culling time significantly (we’re talking at least twice as fast), I’ve made a rule for myself regarding it that tremendously helps me stay on top of my work!
Here it is: In order to post a preview photo – I have to cull the entire session. It sounds daunting! But here’s the thing – if you sit down and cull when you’re motivated and fresh right after the session/wedding – you can knock it out so quickly and be completely done with that aspect of the editing process! Nothing from any engagement session gets posted until I’ve culled through everything in PhotoMechanic and then pulled my favorites into Lightroom. Typically I do my very best to get an image up the night of, so this means that culling is happening as soon as everything is imported. Wedding-wise, typically I’ll pull a few favorites into Lightroom so I can post a sneak peek the night of (because let’s be real, after 10-12+ hour days, all I want to do is crash in bed!), but before I post any other preview, everything has to be culled.
This personal rule that I’ve made for myself has been so beneficial in helping me stay on top of my photos and not get behind. Which happens so much faster than you think! For example, this is an incredibly realistic scenario during busy season! If I have an engagement session on Thursday, spend Friday prepping + shoot another session that evening, then shoot a wedding on Saturday… and never cull anything? I’m sitting down to a good 5000-6000 images on Monday morning after responding to a plethora of emails. Um… talk about overwhelming!! I find it far less daunting to sit down with 2000-2500 images in the editing que as opposed to 5000-6000 that are waiting to be culled. This truly is a LIFE-SAVER!
I hope this is helpful for any photographers out there as we head into busy season! I’m always looking for new ways to improve my workflow systems, so if you have any fun tips of your own – share away!!