Editing

How Palette Gear Can Help Take Your Editing Workflow to the Next Level

If you’ve been following Photography Awesomesauce since the beginning, you probably know that saving time while editing photos is something I’ve worked hard on over the years. Editing photos is one of the biggest time-sucks a photographer can have. I’ve struggled with it myself time and time again. However, I’ve always believed that the quicker I can make the editing process, the more I can gain in income. I can also get some of my life back.

When I first started taking photography seriously I learned about Photoshop actions. Wooooo! I thought these were the lifeblood of photographers. You could just make a photo look “cool” with one tiny click and voila. So I edited weddings with Photoshop actions, individually applying each one to a photo. Then I learned about batch editing and Adobe Camera Raw. Game-changer. Editing still took me hours and hours though. Finally I realized we could take batch editing to the next level with Lightroom. Again, my life was changed. Then I learned about Lightroom presets and that was it, my life was saved. Then Photo Mechanic and I met and Holy Guacamole! Now I could cull faster an Olympic sprinter. Through all of theses phases as I became a more experienced photographer I learned to save a little bit of time here or there. However, the biggest thing for me was learning to time myself and setting a rule that I was not allowed to edit photos for any longer than I took them. If a wedding was 8 hours, I only had 8 hours to edit those photos.

Over time I’ve become better and better at editing. I’ve even learned that the quicker you can process your photos and get them back to your clients (in the height of their excitement after their session or wedding) the more likely they are to be satisfied and inevitably they are more likely to buy more prints. So the faster you edit, the more money ends up back in your pocket! That means anything I can do to make the process quicker is a huge win for me. Even though that’s the case when I edited I used to do it on a laptop, the awkward placement of the track pad giving me hand cramps. So I tried keyboard shortcuts and then upgraded to a bigger laptop, then a desktop. I don’t know that a bigger computer actually made anything faster. I knew a handful of keyboard shortcuts, but every second my hand would go from the keyboard to the track pad or mouse and switched settings around, the slower I was. Those seconds are valuable and they add up when it seems like sometimes all you do is edit photos. I never really thought anything could change that. I just assumed that’s how it was and that I had reached my maximum potential for editing speed.

Not long ago I heard about something called Palette though. I think a stray Facebook Ad came across my news feed and I thought, meh, seems expensive. I bet it would be hard to program. What is it? It’s a bunch of buttons, dials, sliders you can individually place in any order you’d like and assign them various tasks like keyboard shortcuts, Lightroom or Photoshop specific actions. It sounds simple and unnecessary, but it wasn’t until Palette sent me a kit to try that I really got to see how much I needed it. I have now been editing with it for about one month. I’ve edited roughly 10 weddings and sessions with Palette and I am truly deeply in love.

I should make it clear that when a company like Palette sends me a product to test out and review, I never guarantee a positive review. I would not be writing this if I truly didn’t feel like Palette was the exact addition I needed to complete my editing workflow and make things much easier on my hands (no cramping) and far more intuitive. I’m also not paid to write this post, and I don’t get any kickbacks if you purchase one (although hey Palette I love affiliate marketing!). Just thought I’d shout that out. 😉

Here is how it works. You order one online >here<. It comes to your door, you plug it in (it just uses a simple USB) and you follow the direction to go to the website and download the software program to your computer. Once the software is there, you can connect up all the buttons, dials and sliders in any order or arrangement you’d like and start assigning each one an individual task. You’d think this would be difficult to set up, or that you’d have to worry about programming, but I think mine was set up in under 5 minutes. The only thing I’ve done since then is change button functions to whatever ones seem to work best for me. These are a few of my favorite features of Palette.

  1. You can add additional buttons, sliders and dials at any time by purchasing them individually. So if you find you need more than one of their starting kits, it’s easy to do. That means the options and settings you could have are truly endless and 100% custom.
  2. You assign the buttons tasks in a visual manner. The software program recognizes the order you’ve put your palette together and you just click on a button and select the function from a drop down menu after you chose the program you want to use (like Lightroom, Photoshop, etc).
  3. You can set up different workflows. I have one set up for Photo Mechanic, color editing in Lightroom and black and white editing in Lightroom. So I can easily switch between the workflows for different functions or editing styles if needed.
  4. The dials more than any of the other tools in the Palette allow for incredible fine tuning. It’s much easier to edit and get a photo at the exact setting you want in a matter of seconds compared to when you try and edit with keyboard shortcuts or with a mouse or track pad.
  5. If you order one you can use the Palette discount code: PhotographyAwesomeSauce to get free shipping!

If you want to get in the habit of editing faster you’ll gain so many benefits by doing so. There are tons of great tools out there, but Palette is such a great place to start with a more intuitive editing style. When you combine Palette with the use of batch editing in Lightroom, culling in Photo Mechanic, and timing yourself you will be editing faster than you ever imagined. Which will leave way more time for living life and focusing on the stuff that really matters the most like hanging out with your family. Not only that, but when you edit faster you spend less time working, which ups your own hourly wage. Not to mention that clients who receive their photos back sooner are more likely to buy large amounts of prints and products. Tools that help you edit faster really do help you make more money!

Anyway, get Palette on your list of things you need to rock the rest of 2017 and years into the future. Use the code PhotographyAwesomeSauce to get free shipping when you order. If you already have one or want to learn more you can always email me or join the Facebook group and ask me some questions. I’d be happy to share my Palette set ups and workflows with anyone who would find them beneficial!

How about more awesomesauce?

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10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could do in BlogStomp

blogstomp review, stompsoftware reviewWho needs BlogStomp anyway? You can just do all of the resizing and watermarking inside Lightroom, right? What’s the point? These are the questions I’ve often heard asked and even asked them myself. I was a user of BlogStomp a long time ago. Maybe around 2012 and let me tell you, its features were not always as robust as they are today. It was just convenient for creating collages for my blog, making the images smaller and putting my watermark on them because I was too lazy to bother dealing with it in Lightroom. Eventually, I strayed away from watermarking altogether and BlogStomp did not get used as much, if at all.

Something changed for me though. I had the opportunity to meet the faces behind BlogStomp at WPPI in February. I really liked them. I loved their commitment to providing an even better level of customer service. I also just loved their personalities. I thought, now these are the kind of people I want to invest my time and money in. Between BlogStomp and AlbumStomp (their companion album automation software) they really want to make their products affordable and accessible for photographers new or experienced. I love that being affordable AND amazing is something they want for their customers. I love it a lot. So I gave BlogStomp another go and let me tell you…I’ve totally been missing out all these years. In a nutshell. BlogStomp makes life easy. It is SO MUCH MORE than making collages and adding watermarks. Sure you could do all that in Lightroom, but what if you could prep images for multiple types of social media, blogging and even post those things on your social media or blog and do all that without even leaving the software program? This is amazing. Here are the 10 things a lot of us didn’t realize they could do inside BlogStomp.

Before you dive in, pay attention. If you use the coupon code: ONEDOESNOTSIMPLYSTOMPINTOMORDOR you can get 20% off any individual purchases in the StompSoftware store. If you purchase something that’s already bundled then it’s already discounted, but if you just want to pop in and buy BlogStomp, use the code!

  1. Write a blog post and publish it to your blog from right inside BlogStomp. Okay I’ll be honest here. I’m a blogger. I have been for years and years. It’s hard for me to write blog posts. I find going directly to WordPress incredibly distracting. I just open a new tab and peruse Facebook or get lost in Jimmy Fallon videos on YouTube. Then suddenly, three hours later I realized I’ve wasted half my work day. Since then I started using the software, Writeroom, a Mac app I downloaded. It just blows up and takes up the entire computer screen and I type. I can’t format anything I type and it’s completely plain looking. It is the only way I’ve been writing lately. It gets rid of all my distractions and temptations. But now? Now I can just type everything right inside BlogStomp, which is also a downloadable app that doesn’t make it easy for me to go shopping on Modcloth when I should be working. With BlogStomp you can connect your blog with a variety of different platforms, not just WordPress. Then you can start writing, add your pre-formated “stomped” images and either publish right now or upload it as a draft, where you can then log in and schedule for later. That’s the option for me since I’m one of those people who likes automating things and scheduling them in advance. This is so good!!
  2. Share albums directly to your Facebook. If you’re like me and you dread logging into Facebook because it’s such a huge distraction, you can just upload your freshly “stomped” photos from BlogStomp straight to your Facebook business page. That’s right, you won’t need to worry about logging into Facebook and seeing depressing political posts on your feed as you navigate over to your business page and wait for Facebook to slowly upload your photos. You can just do it all in BlogStomp and avoid Facebook like the plague it often feels like.
  3. Send tweets with the images you just prepped. Connect your Twitter account and start tweeting those pretty new photos! Who needs to actually send a photo to your phone and then upload it and write a tweet there, or log in from your desktop? Just do it straight from BlogStomp and don’t worry.
  4. Upload a gallery directly to Shootproof, Smugmug, Zenfolio, or Photoshelter. If you use one of these gallery software companies (Shootproof is my favorite), you can upload a gallery directly from BlogStomp. Just one more convenient feature making BlogStomp a program that does a lot more than just collages and watermarks. If you’re interested in Shootproof you can use my exclusive code: SWAILS25 to take 25% off any annual plan when you sign up. Seriously just do it. Shootproof has so many amazing features. You can find more information about Shootproof on the blog!
  5. Crop images for a Facebook timeline cover and upload directly inside of BlogStomp. I’m forever looking up the size of a timeline cover because I don’t change mine often. Instead of worrying about looking it up, opening Photoshop, which uses a lot of memory and slows down my computer I’m just going to do it in BlogStomp and make my life simple.
  6. Create collaged images with a colored box and text. Did you know you could basically use the collaged images to create invitations, marketing announcements, sales, and other fun stuff? You can make a collage where instead of it being all photos, one of the squares can have color, or maybe multiple do. Then you can drop in text with any font you have saved in your computer and make whatever you want. I can absolutely see using this to throw together blog post graphics, quick ads for social media when I have a sale, or anything I might need in this realm. It’s so freakin’ cool you guys! You can even pull colors from the images in your collage and make the boxes those colors. You’re not stuck with only primary colors, you can make things with an exact color match and it’s so easy!
  7. Save custom image frames to use again. Did you make a collage frame you love and may want to use in the future? That’s cool, just save it and use it again. Done.
  8. Prep images for Instagram and have them emailed to you. I love Instagram, but they do not make it easy to upload images, am I right? You have to email them to yourself, crop them…bleck. The whole process could be easier. Sometimes it’s hard for me to decide a good crop on my little phone screen too. Now I’m just going to use BlogStomp’s Instagram prep tool to make my square crops and have the software just automatically email the photos, and then I can upload from my phone without all the hassle. It’s simple and easy. It makes sense too. The images you are typically running through BlogStomp are the highlights from your sessions and weddings. These are the ones most likely to end up on social media anyway, so why not have these kinds of tools all in one place? You could prep a bunch of your highlight reel images and have them all emailed to you, then post them throughout the next week to boost consistency and engagement on your Instagram account.
  9. Put the software into day and night mode so it’s easy on your eyes. This is pretty cool. You can turn the “backdrop” black or white in BlogStomp, just to save your eyeballs from being overwhelmed. Day or night mode. LOVE IT!
  10. Add alt tags and title tags to images when you use blog with WordPress. Saving you tons of SEO time. If you’re a WordPress user, like many of us are, now you can add your alt tags and title tags to images when writing your posts inside of BlogStomp. Isn’t that crazy simple? It uploads with all your search engine optimization (SEO) ready to go for your images. Now you don’t have to go in and input your SEO one image at a time inside of WordPress.

Basically, BlogStomp is not just here to help you create cute little collages and watermark your images. It is now this hugely robust software with all kinds of gadgets to simplify your life and automate some processes that maybe you didn’t know about! I’m so glad I came back to BlogStomp and found out about all these cool features that I had missed out on. You know what else happened recently? I did a wedding expo and in the big move we had recently I lost my booth sign with my logo. I looked everywhere for it and felt completely frustrated. I had no time to get a new sign printed. I also didn’t want to make a crappy one on my printer or with poster board from a craft store. How lame woud that look? So I ran my imags through BlogStomp and did the “white tab” option for a frame, put my logo pretty large on that white tab and batched all the photos I was going to run in a slideshow on my iMac. Now I could just use my slideshow as my “sign.” Worked out perfectly and totally saved the day!

I am also diving into StompSoftware’s album designer, AlbumStomp. Looking forward to writing a post and telling all of you about it. If you want affordable album design software that has specs for all kinds of print labs built in, and even an automated design feature? You should just get the whole package of StompSoftware. Don’t forget the code for 20% off any non bundled purchases in the StompSoftware store: ONEDOESNOTSIMPLYSTOMPINTOMORDOR

How about more awesomesauce?

Subscribe to get awesome free stuff and emails full of useful business information that you’ll probably ignore. Watch me fail miserably at Twitter. Repin stuff I pin on Pinterest because I said so. Love me on Facebook even though numbers don’t matter, and Facebook is dying. Join the Facebook group to see my shenanigans up close and personal.

Culling/batching in Adobe Bridge and Camera Raw

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImdxRuEPLTw&w=560&h=315%5D

Hey Everyone!

This is a little video tutorial of  how to use Adobe Bridge and Adobe Camera Raw. It will also show you how to batch edit your images in Adobe Camera raw for a quicker workflow process.  I know there are probably a million ways to do this but this is just how I do it and thought I would share.  If you love working in Photoshop but the tiring process of opening images one by one and editing them is wearing you out… you need to learn how to use Camera Raw. I will walk you through what each button does in Camera Raw so you know, as well as, show you how I edit 10 images in about 5 seconds.  As a busy mother to a 2 year old and running a full time business, my time is very important to me. For that reason, I use Camera Raw to sync my edits quickly and then utilize the batch and automate options in Photoshop to take it a step further.  I know I talk quickly and I swear I said Umm a million times but hopefully this video will help you! If you are already familiar with Camera Raw but want to learn about batching, skip to the last 4 minutes of the video!

Thank you!

 

 

 

4 Advantages to Editing Photos Faster

4 advantages to editing photos fasterWe all have excuses, right? You’re a mother, a single parent, a spouse, a family man, or you work another job. With all that on your plate and trying to prioritize for the things that matter most you just can’t get the editing done fast enough. Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in editing. There are times I wish I could take forever to edit photos, but what I’ve learned over the many years of being a photographer is that the faster you can edit photos and get them back to your clients, the more you benefit as a business owner. Even though you have a thousand other things going on maybe these points can help you figure out how to edit faster. There are so many photographers who wish they could edit faster, but don’t have either the motivation or the means. I’m not here to judge. Everyone’s life is totally different. You gotta do you first and foremost at all times. However, if you’re interested in a change and you’ve been wanting to make one, maybe these tips will help give you the kick in the pants you need.
  1. More Print Sales – It doesn’t matter to me whether you do IPS (In Person Sales) or whether you sell online when your clients download their gallery. There’s always an opportunity to sell more prints. The sooner you can edit your photos the more excited your clients will be. I always want to hit my clients with their photos when they’re still in that euphoric week after their wedding. When they’re the happiest, relaxed and so much less stress. I love my clients, but I also know it’s the best time to end up making print sales too. If I chose to wait it out then my clients start emailing, calling and texting about their photos. They get impatient and are less likely to be excited and thus less likely to order through me.
  2. Happier Clients – If you’ve ever heard that saying ‘happy wife happy life’ I feel like this sometimes applies to clients too. A happy client is a happy business owner. The sooner you can get your clients their photos the happier they will be. Who doesn’t want their clients to be happy? I want mine to be as happy as humanly possible. Happy clients bring all kinds of advantages to there business owners.
  3. More Referrals – More referrals is a sign of a happy client. When I shortened my editing time a couple years ago one thing I noticed was how quickly my clients were to refer me, tag me on Facebook and let their friends and family know how soon they got their photos. That inevitably led to more bookings.
  4. Less Stress – Every photographer knows what it’s like to be suffocating under the weight of sessions upon weddings upon sessions to edit. It weighs down on you and it feels like it will NEVER end. If you can find and create ways to edit faster you get less stress. Less stress means you can take your life back. More time with family, with your kids, or spouse. More time for you.
I couldn’t write this article without leaving a couple tips on ways you can actually accomplish editing photos faster. I’m more than wiling to admit that it’s just not possible for every photographer to edit faster. That’s ok. It’s totally ok. Ultimately what matters most is that you are happy and so are your clients. Businesses are always run differently. There’s no right way to do any one thing in business. There are a million ways to do it. The way that makes you the most happy is most likely going to be the right way so don’t worry if this isn’t possible for you.
I have two big tips for accomplishing editing faster. One is to outsource your editing to a company like Shoot Dot Edit. That can be pricey and may cause you to have to raise your prices. It makes some photographers nervous. You never have to outsource though. It’s not your only option. I run four businesses. Yes. FOUR. I still edit 30-35 weddings a year on my own without outsourcing. Here’s how I manage it. When a client books a session (like engagement photos) or their wedding I don’t just mark off the day of the shoot or wedding in my calendar. I mark off an entire day in my calendar on the next week for editing. It may just be me, but I feel like I owe it to them to ensure that I’m not only making time in my calendar to photograph them, but also to edit their photos. This method doesn’t work for everyone, but it definitely has changed the way I run my business and ensures that I can make time for editing (which I do love to do myself).
I hope this article may inspire you to edit faster or give you some ideas on how to accomplish it if you’re motivated. If you need support, hit up our Facebook group, or shoot me an email! Don’t be afraid to ask for help or look for support in a community of like minded people!

There is Nothing Scary about RAW

WHY COMMUNITY IS IMPORTANT,

What is the deal with the war between photographers who shoot RAW and those who shoot JPEG.

Seriously.

Why does this exist? If it works for you and works for your clients, then who cares? Right?

Mostly.

There is a new photographers group in my area. I have really enjoyed getting to know the girls and LOVE networking with other photographers in my area. One thing I have noticed in this group is that there is a stigma against RAW. I’m finding that many newer photographers are afraid of shooting in RAW. Here are their issues:

  1. File Storage. They’re huge files and that takes up a lot of storage.
  2. Can’t figure out the editing. The files look different and require more editing.
  3. Don’t know how to use it. What’s the point of shooting RAW if I can shoot in JPEG?
  4. Fear. Of messing something up with a shoot.

Here’s where I debunk all of those fears. I also want to throw this out there. I truly am NOT judging anyone who shoots in JPEG. I know plenty of super successful photographers who shoot in JPEG and produce amazing images. Basically, you do you. But don’t do you (ie. shoot in JPEG) because you’re scared. At least try it!

  1. File Storage. Yes, RAWs are big files. Guess what, external hard drives are NOT that expensive. I use about 4-6 tb of storage a year. That’s 35 weddings plus numerous family, senior, and engagement sessions. I spend about $200 or less on storage every year. That is nothing compared to what storage used to cost. Who remembers buying 250mb flash drives in high school for $100? GUYS. I am not the best at math, but even I know that means we would be spending thousands of dollars on terabytes if storage were still that expensive.
  2. Can’t figure out editing. There are a few things that you have to do differently when you edit a RAW image. One thing, is sharpening. Also, contrast/saturation (anything involving color). A JPEG already has had contrast added and has been sharpened. That’s why RAW images look a little more washed out in camera. But here’s what’s AWESOME about that. That means YOU have MORE control over the color. Not less. You have more control over sharpening your photos.
  3. Don’t know how to use it. A really big trend is having back lit images. You know, the pretty photos with gorgeous sunlight in the back? Those are possible to get with a JPEG, but you have to get exposure right pretty much in camera. If you have to mess with the shadows too much that will create grain. (Sidenote: a little grain is okay!). Shooting back lit images in RAW will help you get skin tones and shadows easily without much manipulation. BUT what happens if you over expose the sky? Or under expose the shadows? RAW is there for you. RAW will allow you to bring those up without losing much detail.
  4. Fear. I saved this one for last because, honestly, this one makes the least sense to me. Being afraid of ‘messing up’ a RAW image is completely silly to me. Like I said, if those highlights are blown you can bring them down and there will be some detail there! I recently photographed a wedding where the sky was AMAZINGLY blue. The clouds were super fluffy. They had their first kiss at the alter (so my settings were for that). I didn’t have a chance to switch, so I knew everything was going to be brighter than I would have normally wanted to capture the sky. BUT RAW SAVED ME!!! It could have been so much worse. I’m just so glad I could save that sky.

WHY COMMUNITY IS IMPORTANT,-2WHY COMMUNITY IS IMPORTANT,-3

There really is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to shooting RAW. Play around with it, give it a true chance.