Summertime for wedding photographers in the northern hemisphere can be quite hectic! Since the beginning of May I have been shooting 3-5 portraits sessions and 1-2 weddings per week – that means before I have little time to process, edit, and complete a session/wedding before I am already onto the next one. It goes without saying that good time management is crucial for not falling behind. In this article, I will share a few time savings tips for busy photographers like me.
1) Be smart about culling images
The more images I pull to give my client, the more work I need to do to process and edit them. I try to present my client with the 600-800 BEST images from the wedding day. Not the 3,000 images that my assistant and I photographed. They don’t need the images where they are blinking, or the light isn’t quite as flattering. They don’t need 5 copies of the same exact pose. What I find my clients want (and what I would want if it were my wedding!) are all the best photos. I do not get rid of entire sections of the wedding, but I am selective with the photos that I DO give my clients. Also, when AT the wedding, I am selective about what I am shooting as well. I try to be intentional with my shots, and am aware to not over shoot.
2) AutoLoader for Photoshop
We all know that Lightroom is a wonderful tool for batch editing. But if you still prefer Photoshop, or if a job requires you to do edits in Photoshop, AutoLoader is a valuable time saving tool. AutoLoader is a Photoshop plug in which allows you to select a folder where you want to pull images and to select a different folder where you want your edited images to be saved to. Then with just the stoke of a key (mine is programmed as F1), AutoLoader opens the image in Photoshop from the source folder, automatically runs any actions you want it to run (I have mine set to run a levels and curves adjustment), allows you time to do any extra edits, and then with the push of F1 again, it saves the images in the edited folder and opens up the next image. This means you do not have to open and save each image individually. It’s a time saving trick when your edits require you to use Photoshop.
3) StoryBoard tool for blogging
Blogging is an important part of running a successful photography business. Readers want to continually go to your site to see new content. Something that has been a huge time saver for me is using the Photoshop plugin StoryBoard by Code and Hustle to create my blog posts. As you can see in my blog posts on my photography blog, I like to have a lot of diptograph (meaning two images shown side by side). StoryBoard creates those diptographs in an instant for me. I programmed StoryBoard to open a folder when I hit the F2 key. Then I select two images that I want side by side in a post, and StoryBoard creates the diptograph for me. I have preprogrammed that I would like the diptograph to be 600px across with 5px in between the two images. You can also do this for resizing high res images to smaller sizes as well. Or you can also create 3 images side by side … whatever you want. It is completely customizable and much easier for me to create my blog posts, than doing everything manually in Photoshop.
If you do not want to buy a third party tool like StoryBoard, you can also do the same thing in Photoshop manually. But be prepared to spend more time taking this route, as there is a clear difference in the number of steps involved in the process.
4) Transferring images from Second Shooters
One of the things that most my second shooters find interesting is the method in which I get their images (speaking of second shooters, I hope you had a chance to read Lola’s excellent article on hiring a second shooter). They always ask me afterwards for the name of the device I use. I use a Sanho HyperDrive to collect my second shooter’s images at the end of the night. Its very small and light—it only weighs 10 oz, so it fits easily into my camera bag (unlike a heavy, bulky laptop). And it plugs straight into my computer via a UBS port, so I can upload their photos in an instant. I used to lug around my laptop, drop their photos into my laptop with a card reader, then pull their images onto an external drive, and then hooked that external drive to my main desktop computer. It was time consuming! I know some of you have your second shooters use your memory cards and then you keep the cards. This device is handy for when your second shooter is shooting on their own cards.
Hope you have found these tips to be helpful! Please feel free to share your time saving tips in the comment section below.