Top 4 Tips for using Photo Mechanic

4 tips for using photo mechanic

It is Saturday night and you just got home from a wedding that you photographed. On your camera, there are 3,000 images you need to upload and review. The thought of reviewing each and every image sounds tedious and overwhelming, which is why having a system in place for culling is essential. There are several software options available to help you with your calling, and one of the top-rated options that photographers love is Photo Mechanic, which allows you to quickly cull, sort, tag, and prep your images.

Join workflow expert Jared Platt for a demonstration of Advanced Lightroom techniques in our free Online Training!

Photo Mechanic

Below, we’ve put together a quick Photo Mechanic review that includes 4 tips for using it to make your culling process run smoothly.

1. Automate Feature

Take advantage of Photo Mechanic’s automation features to save time when prepping photos for editing. Part of Photo Mechanic’s fascinating system is the Variables section, which allows you to easily automate metadata labeling and rename your images. With the automation features in Photo Mechanic, the extra time that you save on tedious prep work can be spent on the parts of your business you enjoy.

2. Customize Tool

Use Photo Mechanic’s customization tools to tag, sort, and rate your photos. Customization assists photo organization by filing photos based on criteria you set up. This tool allows for faster culling or rating of specific photos during your prep process.


Become Findable on Google Now

3. Embedded JPGs

The Photo Mechanic software uses the embedded JPGs found in your RAW files to view the images, which means there are no previews that need to render, eliminating the lag time.

Photographer Amanda Hedgepeth found this to be a huge time saver compared to culling in Lightroom:

“If I shoot 3,500 images at a wedding and cull them in Lightroom and wait up to five seconds per image to load – that’s 4.86 HOURS. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but you know what…that is valuable time.”

4. Export Feature

Photo Mechanic’s export feature allows you to transfer your selected photos to the editing program of your choice, such as Lightroom. The tags and metadata that you have applied in Photo Mechanic will be saved and can be viewed in your Lightroom Catalog. This can also be helpful when you outsource photography editing to a wedding photography editing service so you can keep track of your images.

Photo Mechanic is a necessary tool that provides a faster option to culling photos. Find out how to quickly use Lightroom in your post-wedding workflow with Jared Platt in our Online Training: Advanced Lightroom Skillsets. Access it today!


  1. JC Ruiz

    I love using Photo Mechanic. The live previews feature beats waiting for Lightroom to download them and then render. I also quickly do batch edits of the meta data and then select the photos I want imported to Lightroom. Photo Mechanic might be an extra step in post processing but it is truly a much needed step.

  2. Paul

    Been using PM since it first came out. I use it to ingest all my images with generic captions. Then I use the color system to pick which photos I want to edit further. Orange for Good, purple for best. After deciding which images I want to use and finishing the captions for those, I rate them “3 stars” so when I import them into LR, I can pick only those photos to show.

    I use PM as my first step for everything.

  3. Paul Conrad Photography

    Check your settings. Mine did that.

    Go to Preferences > Launching to set which application you want to further edit the photos in.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *