5 Ways to Edit Smarter

Have you heard the saying, "Work smarter, not harder"? Too often I see people in the mindset that working harder is an accomplishment, when working smarter is real the key to success. 

This couldn't be more true for editing.

Working harder means putting in long, tedious hours one after the other... basically brute-forcing the long task of getting a wedding ready for delivery. This is BAD. This method is what leads photographers to burn out, delivering late, or avoiding the task all together! 

Working smarter means putting the systems in place so that editing is as efficient as possible.  Because, let's face it, editing is something we do over and over and over again. This is something that photographers should absolutely reduce as much time in as possible so that they can get back to what they do best - creating! 

Editing is begging for the "work smarter" mentality. 

Here are several ways to work smarter: 

  1. Cull ONCE. This is HARD for a lot of people, but it's so necessary. Too often I hear photographers that go through their galleries 3-5 times before they have their final number. Think of how much time could be saved if you forced yourself to be highly selective in the FIRST pass. 
  2. Edit your best images first. We edit and share our blog images before the rest of the wedding gallery. This forces us to dive right in. It also allows us to share images with our brides and grooms weeks before they see their full gallery! Talk about a mental booster! 
  3. Have only three scoring options - toss, keep, and the best of the best. When we first started out, I would score all photos from 1 to 5 in Lightroom. BIG waste of time. Ultimately, if we would keep all of the 4 and 5s and toss all the 1s, 2s, and 3s, why bother with 5 levels of scoring?! Now I either don't score a photo (score of zero), score 1 star for (keeping), or score 2 stars for the highest quality/the blog images. Basically I've reduced the numbers to mean something in my work flow instead of just how I feel about an image. BIG time saver. 
  4. Sync your cameras. If you shoot with a second shooter on wedding days, there is one way to save tons of time in post processing -> sync your cameras!! This goes for both time syncing and white balance! This is one of many examples that a few seconds in the moment will save hours later.
  5. Get a personal editor. There are a lot of ways to reduce time in editing and this is by far the most freeing!! If you are a photographer juggling 15 or more weddings a year, having a personal editor is something that you should absolutely consider. It will get you your life back! If you are interested in personal editing, you can find out more here. We are accepting a select number of 2016 and 2017 clients and would love to chat about your needs! 

What are your favorite editing hacks??