Post Processing Workflow Tips
As wedding photographers, as portrait photographers, as family photographers, the biggest thing for us is gonna be getting through the images and creating something professional and doing it quickly. We don't have the liberty of spending a day on a single image or two images, like maybe a commercial or fine art photographer would, right? So, a lot of things I'm gonna be teaching you are from that perspective of getting it to our 90 or 95%. Because guess what, for most of you guys, for your clients, probably your 80% is already at their 100%. They can't distinguish between your 80 to 100. Does that make sense? Like they don't have the eye to basically pull out all those little details. So just think of that. Most likely my 80% is their 100%. I don't need to spend that much time on each image. So we're gonna go through Photo Mechanic, we're gonna ingest and cull. We're gonna use Lightroom for raw processing. We use Photo Mechanic to ingest and cull 'cause you're gonna see it's very quick...
, and it lets us keep file sizes smaller in Lightroom. We're gonna get to Lightroom. We use the Lightroom Preset System. We use Photoshop for advanced editing. Imagenomic Portraiture, we have a very cool smoothing tip. And by the way, I'm just gonna say that some of these tips are worth the price in and of themselves, and that's one of them. I'm just gonna say it, whether you agree or not, totally up to you. Lightroom to export, and then we're gonna use Cloudspot.IO for image delivery. It's a cloud-based solution where you can upload your images and get them out in a very beautiful gallery format to your clients where they can download, they can print, they can do anything. Animoto for slideshows when we need to create slideshows, and Fundy Designer for album and blog design, 'cause it's a very useful, and I actually got to see the latest Fundy Designer that's coming out. It's gonna be awesome. It'll, like, create your albums for you. It's really cool. Okay, so let's go ahead, and we're gonna go to step number one. This is tip, er, that's tip number two. Alright, so create your workflow, that was our workflow. Tip number two is our import and ingest process. I'm gonna show you this briefly. So I'm here inside of Photo Mechanic right now, and let's switch over to the computer and this guy. I haven't hooked this guy up, but this is our card ingester. And so what this is, is the Lexar four-bay, super high-speed hub. So this will go through USB three, I think it's just USB three. But it has SD, so you can basically swap these in and out, so this is a CF card reader, these are SDs. So I have three SDs inside of it and one CF in case I need a CF, but we can ingest four cards, as many cards as you can fit in here, you can ingest them all at one time. You can bring them all in at one time. So we're not having to separate out the import process, it's huge. This is a major time saver. This is a little bit expensive, it's like, with everything, it's about 300 bucks. If you don't wanna get one of these, you can get a bunch of small high-speed card readers. Make sure that what you get is high-speed, otherwise, you're automatically slowing down the import process. So, what we do is we actually bring up the ingest by pressing Control + G, or Command + G, and you'll see that what's cool about Photo Mechanic is we have so many different options. And you know what's probably easier is let me show them just the... I'm gonna show the previous screen, so let me go back to keynote for one second, because on keynote, look at how over here, it shows me all my discs, and I've selected just the ones that I wanna import, and then I can actually add in. So the way Photo Mechanic works is that it has variables, okay, so Photo Mechanic works with these variables where you can put into these little brackets IPTC Year, IPTC Month, IPTC Date, and you can set those variables, so when you ingest, it automatically adds the year, month and day directly from the images. So it'll pull it right from the image, so you don't even need to type in year, month and day or anything like that. You just put in his name, her name, whatever file format you want. But that automatically does it for us. We can set two different destinations, so I have a primary and a secondary destination, so it automatically does my backup for me. I have it apply the stationary pad. So basically the main key point there, and let me go ahead and I will switch back, actually, you know what? What you wanna do is put in for the caption. That is the main piece that you want there. Put in your name and your studio web address. That caption is what automatically gets presented on images when it goes online. Like if you upload to Facebook, and you decide not to write in the description, it pulls the caption. And if your website is in that caption, every image that goes to Facebook or the online sources that use the caption, will show image by so and so, website, right there. That's like, easy peasy. So you can do that in Lightroom or in Photo Mechanic. If you just apply that on import, you no longer have to worry. I don't need to go and write this on every single image, it'll save you bundles of time, and it'll actually make it so your images get spread around and people will know who shot them, right? So, let's go ahead and go to, let's see, okay. The last thing I was gonna show, so this shows your actual path of where they're gonna go. I've typed in a couple extra features on the IPTC pad, but that is, for the most part, it. Okay. And then the main thing we wanna keep on, is make sure you keep the incremental ingest on, so that way it's not gonna import duplicates. So if, at a wedding, we shoot like, say, a primary and secondary camera, and maybe a third camera, we'd probably run, like, walk away with, run away, you're gonna run away from your wedding, run. No, you're gonna come away from your wedding with, like, five to six cards maybe. So two times, you can ingest all of them at once, and it's very, very fast. The next thing is what I wanna show, is the culling process. So, the culling process inside of Photo Mechanic is what makes it so awesome, because it's blazing fast. So this doesn't matter if you're landscape, if you're a photojournalist, if you're a sports journalist, whatever it is, wedding, it's so much quicker than Lightroom, this is where we get our speed advantage, okay? And you're gonna see, when we ingest with Photo Mechanic, we don't need to render previews, we don't need to do anything, Photo Mechanic is optimized to use the built-in previews, so you can zip from one image to the next, very quickly getting to, going through your culling process. So, for example, a 600 image engagement session, we would typically cull it in about less than 10 minutes. For a full wedding that's maybe five to six thousand images with multiple shooters, we would cull that in maybe an hour, hour and a half. It's blazingly fast to get through your images. But the next thing is, when you are culling, is to keep it super simple. So, think of the kiss acronym, keep it really simple. That's not, that's kirs. It's actually keep it simple stupid, but that sounds harsh, right? That sounds harsh. Keep it super simple, that sounds nicer. So what we do is we keep images by marking them with a one, and that's it. So we just simply mark it with a one. If we wanna keep it, we hit one, and it'll mark it to magenta. In Photo Mechanic, we can actually switch it to use star ratings or color ratings. It doesn't really matter, because I'm gonna show you how we import, which is a really cool process. What we're gonna do is we're gonna leave it as magenta flags, just because it's very easy to see what you've rated at that point so we can actually see things really easily by looking at 'em. You don't have to search for a little star on it. The last thing is when we are done, we can select all those flagged images by filtering them, and just drag and drop it to Lightroom. So in Lightroom, we only import the images that we're gonna edit and that's a big deal, because the larger your Lightroom catalog gets, the more it's gonna slow down, okay? So, I have actually ingested the images with Photo Mechanic, just 'cause I wanna show you guys how quick it is. We're not gonna necessarily go through every single photograph, but if we double-click, it'll bring up our preview window and so what you can do is you can notice that as I'm moving from image to image, do you guys see that there's no load times? You guys see how fast we can cycle? And it shows them, like, if I wanna zoom in, I can actually zoom in straight to, like, the eyes, and then I can actually compare. You press Z to zoom and you actually compare images to make sure that you pick the sharpest one. You press Z to go back out. But this cycling process is what makes this so blazing fast because inside of Lightroom, you are waiting for previews to be popping the whole time. Okay, so, the way that I would cull, is I'm pretty darn brutal with all of the images that I work on, with the ones that go through the studio. We cut anything that, so like of this whole series, that's one that I'd pick, so I'm just gonna mark it. Let me go ahead and hide this Windows taskbar. Okay. I'll just pull this guy up. There we go. So if we press one, it's gonna mark it as a flagged image. So when we go back here, let's see. Is my keyboard hooked up? Yeah, it is. Let's just go into preferences real quick. In preferences, this is where you can, if you go under accessibility, you can change what your keys do. So zero to eight sets color class, right now it's set to star rating, okay, so I'm gonna just flip this back to color. So I hit apply, and when I select an image and press one, it should... Of course, of course it's gonna do this to me. What is wrong with you? When you select one and it actually goes, that's the color it goes, okay? So when you have gone through, and this should, by the way, work, it's just, for some reason, it's not showing it right now or it's not... We've had to restart this thing so many times, it's probably freakin' out. So, when you select an image, like if you find an image you like, like, for example, I like this one, I thought it looked great. I'm gonna press one to mark it magenta. I'm gonna go through and let's say we want this one, we're gonna mark this. I'm gonna go through and pick maybe these two. This isn't very fast, pressing this. Let's see if the one on the keyboard, there we go. This keyboard is freakin' out, so let's just unplug. I brought, I have to apologize to the Creative Live people. I'm super annoying when it comes to, like, my IT stuff. Like, this. This is an old school keyboard. I like clickety-clackity keyboards, and I have to have my clickety-clackity keyboard to make sounds. It's just what I like, okay? So I brought this ridiculous setup, and I use the EIZO displays, they're fantastic displays. They actually self-calibrate. They're really awesome. Unfortunately, it's just too complicated right now. So let's see. Fine, don't work for me. Let's go back to this. So I'm just gonna select out a few of these images, the ones that we're gonna keep. I love this one. That turned out really nice. You know, if a bride and groom are getting married in, like, an industrial kind of looking place like this, I would deliver these kind of images with that look, you know, like it's totally fine to have those. So, once you have that, you can hold down Shift and press the little button at the bottom right, and do you see how it automatically turned on a filter to show me just the magenta images? And then all we would do is select these and you just drag them. And what you do, is you go right to Lightroom, and you can just drop them directly into Lightroom, and it'll bring up the import window, it'll do everything just like that. It's only gonna select, so when I do that, it brings up this and it only selects the images that I had. But see how it says don't import suspected duplicates? I have that turned on, so we've already imported these. But what it'll show is just the images that you have selected are gonna come into Lightroom. So that's how we do it.