Wednesday, November 12, 2008

efficient editing

There are few things more frustrating and discouraging than getting weighted down and consequently progressively uninspired as you edit a client's photos. What is a photographer to do? For me it all comes down to efficiency. The longer I work on a project the more likely it is that I will become frustrated and uninspired. About mid-way through this year I took a serious look at my production to find ways to make it faster and more efficient. I was editing on a 5-year-old Apple Powerbook. I didn't realize how slow the editing process was going until I spent 10 hours editing 250 photos on my laptop. The next day I worked on a friend's MacBook Pro and was finished with the remaining 900 images in about 4 hours. I was so excited! I was beginning to question whether I was cut out for photography because ever time I sat down to exit I quickly lost my inspiration and more times that I would like to count I just got up and did something else. In my situation it was all about the gear. My computer was slowing me down substantially.

There are two important implications here. First and foremost - staying fresh and excited about what you are working on is essential for producing the best content possible for your client. Secondly, most photographers work on contract basis. Translation - you get paid the same no matter how long it takes you to finish the job. This means that the faster you work the more you make. The faster you work also translates into time for more family time and or the ability to take on additional clients.

We all need to sit down and take a look at our work flows and determine if we are being totally efficient. This isn't' the time for flattery - this is the time for blunt honesty. Only through honest feedback and disclosure will efficiency show up. There is nothing more satisfying and inspiring that sitting back to look at a finished job - a job well done.

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