An effective workflow is the difference between efficiently completing one job and moving on to the next, and being tied to your computer seemingly not able to complete the current job. As a Melbourne wedding photographer, I am proud of the efficient work flow that I have built. It is working for me and my business, and also for my clients. As we are in the middle of the summer wedding season here in Australia, I have challenged myself to further improve my workflow. Here are 5 tips for a more effective workflow.
Tip #1 – Don’t overshoot – too many images can be a killer for your work flow. This does get easier with experience, but once you have the shots you need there is no value in generating 20 more of the same subject. Or 30 more, or 40 more. For example, when shooting a wedding I want a small number of good shots of the wedding rings. I want more than one image of the rings so that I have some options when I am putting together the clients album – but I don’t want lots and lots of them. When I have 4-5 good images, I stop. There is no point in having an additional 25 ring images to work my way through in post production. Get the shots you need and move on. Don’t overshoot. Too many images can be a hindrance to your workflow.
Tip #2 – Delete in camera – one very effective way to make sure the number of files you download to your computer is manageable is to delete images in camera as you go. At a wedding there are times when this is possible. They are normally the less hectic parts of the day like during the preparation. If I know I’ve ‘missed’ a shot I will delete it in camera rather than keep, download, review, and delete. I find this a very effective way to make sure only the best images make it to the post production phase of my workflow.
Tip #3 – Manage your clients expectations – one common ‘mistake’ I see from wedding photographers is not managing their clients expectations for the number of images which will be delivered to them. This is particularly the case if digital images are the only final product being delivered to the client. You don’t want to be in the situation of delivering 200 images when the bride was expecting 500. Have this discussion when you are finalizing the details of the shoot. If the client has unrealistic expectations talk to them about the “quality vs quantity” trade off.
Tip #4 – Be ruthless on the first cull – the big improvement I have made to my own workflow is being ruthless on the first cull. When I first sit down to review images, I now aim to halve the number of images on the first pass. Yes, I aim to delete one in every two images to quickly get to a manageable number of files. It’s possible. Be ruthless on the first cull.
Tip #5 – Keep to Task – The final tip is one which applies to me. It may not apply to you. When I am reviewing and deleting images I find it very easy to get distracted. I want to look at and edit the very best images from the shoot. This is counter productive and means the task of quickly moving to an appropriate number of files to edit gets delayed. Delays are not good for an efficient workflow. Keep to task.
Do you have some key tips to share from your own work flow? What are the improvements you’ve made? Or the pitfalls to avoid? Please add a comment on this post.
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