At ShootDotEdit, we believe Fast is Best. We polled our post-production specialists and trusted professional photographers to find 6 ways to help you improve your workflow speed.
1. Use Photo Mechanic for culling
As mentioned in our “How to Grow your Wedding Photography Business” Guide, Photo Mechanic is a great tool for viewing and culling through your images quickly and efficiently. Touted as the “fastest view for digital photos,” it can save you hours from your culling time and can then be exported to your editing program of choice.
2. Use Lightroom 5 with Smart Previews for Faster Upload & Download Times
The Smart Preview technology that was introduced in version 5 of Lightroom is revolutionary. It allows you to create a Library and render Smart Previews from your full resolution images. Smart Previews allow you to share your library and rendered previews without having to worry about attaching the large source images. Because of this, the Smart Previews can be sent to a trusted partner like ShootDotEdit in a fraction of the time.
The Smart Previews can then be edited here at ShootDotEdit and sent back to pair with your high resolution images for export to clients. The upload and the download back can all happen in under an hour, compared to a full 8 hour overnight upload/download (or even longer in some cases)! Jared Platt does a great job explaining this further in our Lightroom webinar.
3. Use Quick Develop to Add Edits on Top of a Group of Images
When you receive your images back from ShootDotEdit, we always encourage you to add your own Signature Style on top of the custom color correction. Using the Quick Develop module in the Library tab in Lightroom allows you to make these signature changes to a group of images relative to the edits already made. You can make these changes much more quickly with Quick Develop than you could if you had to edit each individual image in the Develop tab.
4. Create Presets for your Actions and Workflow
If you utilize the same actions and/or edits over and over, you should create presets to help streamline the process. You can create presets in most editing programs, but we highly recommend utilizing Lightroom to create and use them. Combining the power of the Quick Develop module with custom presets can allow you to work at the fastest speed possible, all while maintaining your unique style and vision.
5. Keyboard Shortcuts & HotKeys
While we highly recommend editing in Lightroom 5 for speed, you can find Keyboard Shortcuts and HotKeys in all editing programs. In our Aperture webinar, Sara France gives a great description of how to create your own customized shortcut guide for Aperture. In Lightroom, you can find the Shortcuts under the menu “Help -> Lightroom Module Shortcuts.”
6. Take Fast is Best through your Entire Client Workflow
By choosing to partner with ShootDotEdit, you know the custom Color Correction portion of your overall client workflow will be back in as fast as 48 hours. Take our Fast is Best mentality and extend it throughout all of your tasks. Assign specific time limits for yourself. Consider the different tasks within your client workflow, and assign each of those tasks a specific time limit. For example, after a shoot, give yourself one to two days to cull and submit to ShootDotEdit. Once you receive your images back, allocate one day to add your Signature Style, 3 days to upload to your proofing site and deliver to client, and then one week to blog. You know how great it feels to get your images back from ShootDotEdit? Your clients will be just as thrilled with that fast turnaround time. Because nothing makes clients happier than getting their images back. The faster, the better.
Becoming a Fast Is Best business starts with finding ways like this to speed up your business workflow. Once your workflow is optimized, stick to it for every client. You will be amazed with what a consistent system will do to make you and your clients happier. You will immediately see the benefits of doing quality work fast.
Discover additional ways to create a fast workflow with our Guide, 27 Simple Hacks to Transform your Wedding Photography Business!