Okay so the the truth is, like most programs I use (Lightroom, Photo Mechanic, Blogstomp, etc) I know for a fact that I’m not using it to it’s full “potential”. But the thing about that is, if what I’m using something for is working GREAT for me and keeping my workflow time at a minimum then I know that I am using it to my full potential for right now and that’s okay! I’ve heard of flagging and rating images in Lightroom, etc– I just can’t imagine taking time to rate them and then decide if I want them and then whatever else you do next. For me, it’s YES or NO. So that’s where Photomechanic comes in WONDERFULLY!
Photo Mechanic is my #1 WORKFLOW TOOL and best investment! It’s a step between doing things, which you think would make things take longer and be more complicated but no no no. Listen to mama. Read below for the order in which I do things when it comes to wedding culling AND why I *need it* for same-day wedding slideshows!
When I get home from a wedding, this is how it goes:
1. Sit down and throw four packets of mild sauce on each Taco Bell taco, put on a “napkin bib”.
Okay so that’s not a technical necessity but that DOES happen after every wedding 🙂
2. Upload ALL IMAGES card by card onto folders on my desktop via card reader. Label them “CANDACE JASON RAW CARD 1” “CANDACE JASON RAW CARD 2” ..that’s just what I prefer to name them and how to roll, I want as many details in a file/folder name as possible.
3. Drag all of THOSE images in all of those folders onto external hard drive to have doubly backed up.
4. Choose an image to post for a sneak peek while the computer is chugging along backing all of this up.
5. Culling begins in Photo Mechanic and I just prefer to do it straight from the card/card reader. I already have all of the RAWS backed up twice, so I’m okay with deleting the images that didn’t work out directly from the card.
*In Photo Mechanic, each image takes a FRACTION of a second to load (for me) — and my Lightroom takes sometimes up to five seconds for it to load and show a RAW preview. Photo Mechanic gives me JPEG PREVIEWS so I am viewing the potential that an image has before making the decision to officially throw it out!
So let’s do the math. If I shoot 3500 images at a wedding and cull them in Lightroom and waiting up to five seconds per image to load – that’s 4.86 HOURS. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but you know what? Even if you don’t have kids yet– that is valuable time. It’s so important to really reduce your workflow as much as possible and this is TOO much time! It’s tedious!
Add a second shooter’s images to that. WOW. Can you imagine? You’re talking over 5 hours for sure, then!
6. After culling each card, I select all and drag that card into Lightroom and drop the corresponding images into a category. My categories are typically “Preceremony, Ceremony, Portraits, Reception” but if I have a heavy first look and several family portraits I’ll add “First Look” and “Family Portraits” (see below)
(Sidenote: the way I cull is to hit the delete button and then keep scrolling with the right arrow key)
7. Then it’s all there. ALL the images, when I’m done culling, they’re just there in the corresponding folder and waiting to be edited. It’s AMAZING how much time it’s saved me! It’s an organizational tool for me. I KNOW you can rate, flag, do this and that on there..but I just don’t. I HARDLY even use the zoom in tool! I just don’t use this for anything but getting rid of the images I don’t want and that’s IT – and I’m okay with that! 🙂
At weddings I usually get about 30 min to eat, but now I’ve thrown pumping into there..yeah yeah I know, TMI, but it’s baby’s food so I just say get over it, I’m trying to keep it real up in here! So now I’m pumping and trying to get my meal break AND making a same-day slideshow of 10-15 images! There is NO freaking way I would be able to wait around for Lightroom to show me these previews! The laptop I use (not my MacBook) for the same day slideshow is way slower and it’s so awesome to pull up Photo Mechanic and see the images really big and pick the best ones I can put up as quickly as possible!
TRY IT! You can use a trial but I’m just telling ya, it’s worth the investment..for me at least! :):)