Last week, I discussed my old post-wedding process and how it would take me forever to turnaround a wedding. (If you’re just finding this post, go back and read my first one and then come back to this one.) On average, I was taking 8 weeks, stretching my picture delivery to the end of my range I promised to my brides. I worked full-time as a middle school teacher at the time, which divided my time between work and editing; but had I had these products I have right now, I know it would not have taken me as long to deliver the pictures.
Today I will be talking about the different products and software programs that I use to help my speedy turnaround.
When I first started my business 8 years ago, I had no business shooting weddings. Y’all, I didn’t even have an editing program! I edited on my old MacBook and used iPhoto to edit. The vignette was soooooo bad. You should check out my post I did last year on how far I’ve come in my business. It was BAD. After using iPhoto for my first few sessions, I decided to purchase a photo editing program to become more legit; so I bought some Adobe programs, right? Maybe Photoshop and/or Lightroom?? Nope! I purchased Aperture! I purchased the old Apple software editing program that was actually pretty good at the time and Apple’s version of Lightroom. In fact, I used Aperture until THIS YEAR when Apple stopped updating the program. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this. I was probably the only professional photographer that didn’t use Adobe to edit. I’m proud of my learning curve this year with Lightroom and a few other Adobe programs. Switching programs has sped up my editing time so much.
This year, I shot 22 weddings (well, I’ll shoot my 22nd wedding this weekend) and edited every single wedding on my own, including the 6 weddings in 4 weeks I just finished. I turned around each wedding within 3 weeks, most being delivered within a week. And this is all while being a work-at-home Mom and spending most of my daytime hours with my son.
Today I’m going to share with you the products and programs that I use for my post-wedding process. Next week, I will go into detail the process on how I use each of these programs.
Products and programs I use to help my post-wedding work flow:
I honestly don’t know how any photographer edits and works without using a Mac, whether that be an iMac or Macbook. Photography and editing really works best with Apple products. I bought my first MacBook when I was in college in 2007, then again I purchased my first MacBook Pro six years ago when my Macbook crashed. I loved my old MacBook Pro, and it ran awesome for me; but recently, it started running really slow. So slow, it would take hours to import or export pictures. I just purchased a new MacBook Pro and can I tell you how FAST it runs?! Oh my goodness- my world is changed. I seriously love it!!
Lexar Four-Bay Card Reader
It used to take me forever to upload pictures one card at a time to my computer. Between Ben and me and our handful of memory cards after each wedding, it would take me so long to import each card. While taking Katelyn James’ Consistency Course for editing last year, Katelyn talked about the Lexar four-bay card reader. This thing has been a game changer for me. It takes me practically no time to import the over 2,000 files we end up with each wedding. You have to purchase the USB pieces that go in the card reader (you can get it for CF or SD cards). It’s about a $200 investment, but worth every penny.
In addition to the four-bay card reacher, Katelyn introduced me to the wonderful world of Photo Mechanic. I had heard of it before from her and other photographers, but never really understood what was so special about it. I could cull in Lightroom or even cull on my computer. Why would I need to buy another program that helped me cull when I already had a process that (seemed) to be fast enough? But y’all, there is something magical about Photo Mechanic. Seriously, get Photo Mechanic if you don’t have it- another investment worth every penny. Next week, I’ll talk about my process with Photo Mechanic and how I use it.
Now if you’re a photographer, you know about editing in Lightroom. If you do all of your editing in Photoshop, however, you HAVE to learn Lightroom! Like yesterday… with Lr’s most recent updates, there are so many things you can do that used to be exclusive to Photoshop. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people in different forums or meetings talk about how they used to be obsessed with Ps and didn’t want to move away from it, but learned Lr and their lives were forever changed. Just do it. You won’t be sorry.
A few years ago, I started using the professional photo app PASS and it rocked my world. Prior to this, I was burning DVD’s and emailing them to my clients. PASS allows me to upload the pictures to an online cloud site and deliver the pictures to my clients instantly. There are many of these companies out there today, but PASS is the one I use.
Next week, I will talk specifics on how I use each of these programs and products to increase my productivity and turnaround. I would love to hear from you if there are any other programs or products you use regularly to edit and deliver your pictures to your clients!