Editing

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.

How to Edit a Wedding in Less Than 10 Days

Edit a wedding

 

Yeah.  You read that right but before I continue, let me say that this isn’t going to be for everyone and I understand that.  The one thing that I pride myself on is my turnaround time for my couples.  I’m seriously impatient so I’m just going to assume that everyone else is too.  I am also a single mom, I do customer service for Pixifi (what seems like 24/7), I have a life and I take vacations and go out.  So with all that said, if I can do it, then you can too.

Wedding season is upon us (yay!) and here we are with weddings back to back to back, along with other sessions in between.  There are days where we feel like we are drowning in edits and as days go on, all I’m hearing is “it’s taking me 4-5-6-7+ weeks to deliver weddings.  WHAT?!?!  I mean I get it, I’m busy too (as I write this, I should be taking a shower getting ready for a hockey game) but there is really no reason that you can’t bust out a wedding in less than 2 weeks.

Well oh wiseass one, how do you do it?  Oh well thank you for asking because I’m about to tell you.  Go figure, right?  I’m simply going to break it down day by day.  Unfortunately I just started editing a wedding yesterday or I would love to have exact times for you.  The first couple of parts I do so you can kind of guesstimate to the best of your knowledge the rest of them.

Day after the wedding (or night of depending on what time you get home)
(Note:  Saturday’s wedding was 6 hours, just me shooting and I had 997 finals.  Took me 1 hour to cull/sort)
Upload to Lightroom
Cull through wedding.  As I’m culling, I’m rating and color coding them.  5 stars are ready and out the door, color codes are the time of day (prep, details, ceremony, etc).  Once these are done, I export to individual folders per the time of day so each one is in it’s own folder.  Word to the wise, do this.  When I upload them to Pixieset to deliver, they all go in different folders to.  This makes it so much easier for your client to find a particular photo.

Day 2 – Cull for blog post
Culling for blog took me 15 minutes
– This is where I will go through each individual folder and pull for the blog post and put them in a separate folder.

Editing for blog post was 1 hour 20 minutes
– Once I’ve done that, I will start to edit those.  Saturday’s wedding ended up with 86 photos (it was family so there was A LOT included).  I normally don’t put that many photos in a blog post but it is what it is.

Day 3 – Post blog
This will usually take me about an hour.  I know some swear by BlogStomp but I didn’t like it so if you use it and love it, this will take you less time.

I’m going to stop right there for a minute.  Do you see how each day is only about an hour, maybe 2?  This is where other editing comes in, letting the dogs outside because they heard someone walking down there street and procrastinating.

Day 4
On the forth day….1-2 hours depending on how many finals
Start picking a folder.  I usually start with prep and work my way through the day.  Sharing on Facebook/Instagram as I go through them.

Day 5 – Next….
On to the next folder.  I may have already gotten 2 parts of the day editing depending on what I picked so this also many turn into a skip day.

Day 6 – Definite skip day
Usually on this day, I’m shooting another wedding so I’m not touching last weeks wedding at all.

Day 7
Working on starting the process all over again because I had a wedding on day 6

Day 8 – Finish up another folder
At this point I’m probably at formals.  Family formals I don’t touch because I’ve already edited them in Lightroom.  I’m more focused on the bridals because if anything is getting printed and blown up, it’s going to be those.  Editing time is about 2-2 1/2 hours depending.

Day 8
Finalize reception.  I spend maybe 30 minutes on these.  I’ve editing most in Lightroom so I might pull them into Photoshop if there’s a first dance shot that I didn’t convert to b/w in Lightroom or there is something that I need to edit out.

This is where I will take the ones that I edited for the blog post and put them back in the main folder.  I have a separate folder that are already watermarked that were uploaded to the blog and then will eventually go on Facebook…when I get around to it.

Day 9
Send them to the client and you’re done!

So going back, let’s add this up.  With a quick estimation, I have about 10 hours into a wedding in 9 days.  How is that 6-8+ weeks?  Do not get me wrong.  I get that other people’s way of doing things is different.  This is what works for me and this is what my clients love and tell others.  I shoot 30-40 weddings a year so obviously this is going to depend on how many you shoot.  I will not shoot any more than that.  I’m not a photographer that will jam pack my calendar just to say I’m shooting a wedding every weekend.  I know my limits and have no problem saying no.

You need to do what works for you.  You need to get in that groove and don’t get out of it.  I’m a huge procrastinator so if I don’t edit this way, I’m sitting on a session/wedding for what seems like forever and I don’t like that.  I don’t like making my clients wait so I don’t.  Understand that it’s okay to have in your contract that you take up to 8 weeks, I have in mine that it will take at least 4 weeks but remember under promise and over deliver.