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!

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10 Things You Must Know Before Flying with Your Camera Gear

For wedding photographers who travel for their work, flying is unavoidable. As a photographer who flies with or without my gear many times over the course of a year I have a few tips I Thought I’d share for those who may not have flown with their gear before, or maybe you have, but not in awhile.

1. Roller bags don’t fit on regional planes. I’m sure you’ve been on a plane where they tell you all roller bags need to be gate checked. Now just imagine if you had your gear in a fabulous Lowepro Photo Stream RL (like me) and the plane is just too small to fit these overhead. Now, my Lowepro bag is made to fit some of these regional plans, but not all of them accept it. I fly some pretty tiny planes since I live in a pretty remote area. The thing is, you’ve probably carefully packed all your gear into your roller bag, and now you’re panicking about gate checking it. I’ve heard of gate checked roller bags tossed around and lenses breaking, or even luggage lost while gate checked (imagine that). Some people are willing to risk it, but when I’m on my way to photograph a wedding, I’m just not willing. I’ve made that mistake before and had to stuff as much of the valuable gear into my purse as possible. NEVER AGAIN. If you’re doing a lot of flying and you know a roller bag may have to be gate checked, consider looking into a backpack. You can get awesome camera backpacks that separate your gear and hold just as much as your roller, and you’ll be able to fit it under the seat or above you a little better if it doesn’t have wheels and all the extra doodads that your roller does. A backpack is a way to go if you want to skip the worry of gate checking anything. Or, you can do what I do which is sometimes bring my roller bag packed and then carry an empty backpack ready to put all my gear in there, and gate check my empty roller bag if I need to.

2. Your batteries go in your carryon. New rules about batteries! They don’t go in your checked bag, keep them with you in your carryon.

3. Never put anything valuable in your checked bag. Really. Just don’t. Too many bags get lost and never found. Or you get it back, but with one less valuable item than when you had checked it in. Checked bags are for clothes and things that are easily replaceable. Valuables like your camera gear, or anything special, need to come on the plane with you if possible.

4. Pack Your Gear Neatly to Get Through Security Faster. If you take the time to wrap up cords nicely or organize your gear, it’s easier for them to see what it all is when it goes through the scanner, saving you time by preventing you from having to unload everything. That said, camera gear can look a little weird and sometimes it will have to be checked by hand in security. Make sure you have some extra time built in just in case that happens. Don’t be surprised if they insist on taking a closer look either. Some people are deeply offended when they get to have a random search, or when the scanner can’t read something, and TSA has to dig in deeper. TSA, most of the time, is just doing their job and following instructions. However, preparing and organizing your gear as well as possible in advance can help you a lot with avoiding too much time in security.

5. Use TSA Pre-Check. Hate going through security and want to make your life easier? Sign up for TSA Pre-check (if you’re in the US). It costs about $85 and lasts for five years if you’re approved. You can write it off as a business expense! There is an application process, and if you have a dodgy background you may not get accepted, so make sure you read the instructions before paying to apply. Once you have TSA Pre-check, you can get through lines quicker most of the time. You also can leave your shoes and belts on, laptops in your bags, liquids in your bags and more. Ever since I did TSA Pre-Check, I never have to worry about unpacking all my gear in the middle of security. It could still happen, but the chances are less because they’ve done a pretty thorough look into my background and probably know all about my photography (they’re always watching) ;).

6. Keep your memory cards with valuable images with you and back them up as soon as you can (preferably before you fly home). After you’ve photographed someone, put those memory cards in a safe spot. Keep them away from your gear, just in case. Make sure you back them up somewhere as soon as possible too!

7. Be careful who you tell about your business, and who is watching you open your camera gear luggage. Do the same with your car and your gear. Don’t organize it out in the open in your trunk and then leave it in your car unattended. You never know who is watching and may want to grab your stuff and run. It’s best to be a little discreet.

8. If you put your gear in an overhead bin keep a close eye on it. Photographers have been in the situation where someone grabbed their bag (by mistake or on purpose), and they never got their stuff back. I’d suggest sitting in an aisle seat and paying or setting up some early boarding so you ensure you can put your bag right above you and not at the front or back of the plane.

9. Cover your gear bag in brightly colored stickers, or tape, and make sure it has your name on it. Anything that helps your camera bag stand out and not look like any others will help you keep track of it. When I used to travel with a Pelican case roller, I covered the entire outside with stickers. I think people just thought I was a musician and it was a flute inside or something similar.

10. Need to bring your flashes with you, but don’t want to deal with hauling the light stands? Check out my friends, Tether Tools, and their awesome gear to help photographers out with mounting their flashes on the go in a variety of situations. These things are why I never worry about packing light stands anymore. They’re very portable and give you a lot of options without having to worry too much about space. I also love MagMods for the same thing. They’re very portable and lightweight and make the perfect companion to a photographer who has to fly to a wedding and has limited packing space.

Good luck with the next time you fly with your gear. Some basic precautions can help you out in a scenario that can be a little risky and stressful as you’re going to and from a wedding. Airlines may vary on their policies and rules, but if you show up as prepared as possible for the worst case scenario, you’ll likely skip all the crazy extra stress that comes with traveling for work. One last tip? Stay in a hotel with a good solid bed if you’re traveling while shooting. Sleep is critical for optimal creativity.

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7 Mistakes Photographers Make When Buying a New Lens

PHOTOGRAPHYAWESOMESAUCE.COM-2Raise your hand (in the comfort of your own home where nobody knows) if you’ve seen those Facebook posts that say the following.

“Share photos taken with the 85mm 1.4 please. Thanks!”

Or maybe they say this.

“Looking to buy a new lens. What should I get? What is your favorite?”

Or maybe it’s this.

“I have an 18-55mm lens and am looking to upgrade. What’s best?”

Maybe it’s just me, but these questions are tough to answer. I’ve been around the block when it comes to lens purchasing. I’ve made so many mistakes when I’ve based my purchases off questions I ask or see in Facebook groups or elsewhere online. I’ve never bothered to count how many dollars I’ve lost when I purchased a lens and then found out it wasn’t the lens for me and had to sell it for less than I purchased.

What I didn’t realize is that lenses are truly an investment. The technology doesn’t age as fast as that of your DSLR. So lenses are here to stay. They’re a big purchase and one that should last you a very long time without a need to upgrade it. That means we shouldn’t just run out and buy the next big thing or whatever your neighbor uses because she takes great photos. Here’s a few common mistakes I see happening when photographers are considering a new lens purchase. A lot of these are mistakes I’ve made and wish I had known better, so I’m passing this on to you.

  1. Not Doing Research – You should always be reading, watching videos and researching a big purchase like a lens. Remember, it’s an investment. Learn how it works and what people like and don’t like about it. It can give you a lot of insight.
  2. Not Knowing Your Style – Doesn’t it feel awesome when you get a new lens? I just get excited to get out and play with it. I’ve often times made the mistake of buying something because I heard it was great only to find out it really didn’t suit my style. If you love big wide landscapes then the 200mm 2.8 is probably not an awesome idea. Or if you love traditional cropped portraits, you may hate the 24mm 1.4. You need to really take a look at your style and where you think its going in the future and chose a lens that accentuates it instead of the newest trend.
  3. Buying a Lens Someone Else Has Because Their Photos are Amazing – No. Just no. Don’t do this. We all know that the camera and lens don’t make a photo. You do. Lenses are just tools. Ultimately so many factors come into play when creating an amazing image. Your camera body and your posing of clients. Plus a true understanding of the type of light you love and how to work with it. Just because someone else has a specific lens doesn’t mean you can create the same imagery they do. Remember. Lenses don’t make photos, you do.
  4. Not Trying Before Buying – I know it’s a pain in the booty to pay to rent lenses before buying. You’re probably sure you’ll like the lens, but don’t want to loose the $100 on the rental when you can put that into something else. I know exactly how you feel. Trust me though. You need to rent the lenses first. Rent different brands of a focal length you want to try. Make sure you rent it on a weekend where you have scenario that’s very typical for you within a shoot. Don’t rent it when you’re not working. You actually need to get out there and try it. Compare it to other ones you’ve tried and see what you like. I really thought I wanted the Canon 24mm 1.4 for example. I rented it and it was just blah. I had second thoughts about purchasing it. So instead of purchasing it anyway, or skipping it altogether I rented the Sigma version. That one wowed me. It’s now my most-used lens ever. If I had just passed on trying it, or given up, or not tried it at all – I would’t know what I was missing out on. Always try before you buy. A new lens is expensive. It’s an investment. You wouldn’t buy a car without testing it first, please don’t buy a lens without testing it first. Make a wise educated investment instead of one on a whim.
  5. Not Giving a Lens a Second Chance – I don’t mean you need to forgive it like you did that ex-boyfriend who needed a second chance. What I mean is your style changes. It’s constantly evolving. I told photographers for ages how much I hated the focal length of 85mm. I just thought it was so traditional and boring. I like to shoot wide. So that level of zoom was just too much. I rented it and tried to give it a chance and it was just awful in my opinion. However, years later I kept researching and tried it again. I fell in love. My style just needed to develop more. Don’t rule out a lens forever because you may change your mind about it later.
  6. Not Saving for a Better Model – I’ve totally bought the cheaper version to save money and I’ve been sorry many times. Of course sometimes it still works out great, but consider saving a tad bit more to invest in the better model. You won’t be sorry for it if you do.
  7. Buying New When I Could Have Bought Used – Since lenses don’t age as fast as a camera body does they hold their value for a long time. They also don’t have “mileage” the same way a camera body does. I buy all my lenses used now. You can get like-new quality for a much better price. My favorite place to buy used is Lens Authority. It’s Lens Rentals’ used gear store. They have the best customer service, the best prices and the best quality in one place. My favorite!

It’s easy to just run out and buy a lens. It’s fun to have that new toy to play with. It’s exciting! Make sure you take the time and invest in a lens that you truly know you’re going to love. It will help you put time into the right parts of your business and not waste time purchasing something that doesn’t work out.

If you want to learn more awesome behind the business stuff like this make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter below, where we’ll be giving out extra special discounts and a few free products only for subscribers this Winter. You can also join our Facebook group, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and even follow me on Pinterest where I love to pin social media, blogging, business, and photography tips from all over the web! If you subscribe to our newsletter you’ll need to head on over to your email after you hit the submit button here to confirm your subscription. If you don’t see a confirmation check your junk/spam!


12 Tools to Rock Your Photography Business This Year

12 Tools to Rock Your Photography Business This YearDisclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means Photography Awesomesauce receives commission if you make a purchase using affiliate links.

Hey hey! Today I put together a list of some of my favorite tools I use to rock my photography business daily. Everything from gear related tools to business tools. If you’re really looking for a way to level up your business this year and take something that’s a weakness for you (maybe it’s social media) having the tools available to help you make it a strength can make a huge difference in your business.

I’m not saying you need to run out and buy all these things right now. Everyone has a budget for your business, but I strongly encourage each of you to sit down and figure out what you’re strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to business and how you can use one of these tools to make a weakness into a strength. I’ve always been a believer in investing in your business and looking at these types of purchases as an investment that lets me get my life back and do a better job for my clients.

  1. Fundy Designer – Fundy is an album design software program – primarily. The cool thing is that Fundy has also come out with software to help you design wall galleries for your clients, or to help you collage blog posts and more. If you’re going to invest in some software to automate processes like album design Fundy is simply the best there is out there.
  2. Pixifi – Pixifi is my favorite tool for studio management. I run all my contracts and payments digitally through Pixifi, but it also automates my client reminders and communications as well, which means I get to take back my life and let Pixifi do the hard work for me so I can enjoy more time with family or getting out and shooting!
  3. Made in the Lab – If you haven’t heard of my new business venture with my business partners, Rachael and Jason, then you need to get over and read all about it. Made in the Lab is a web design focused company. We’re dedicated to creating affordable website templates for creative business owners like photographers. If you need a professionally designed website but typically can’t afford all the high fees associated with purchasing a template to design one, well look no further. You can grab a template for only $60.
  4. Showit5 – Showit5 is a brand new website design platform geared specifically toward photographers. It’s all about simple drag and drop website creation, no need to know how to code! Right now Showit5 is invite only based, but you can grab an invite for free from Made in the Lab over here.
  5. Lens Flipper – The Lens Flipper might be my favorite new thing I’ve found at WPPI this past year! If you’re a photographer then you probably know exactly what I’m talking about when you want to switch lenses and you just don’t have enough hands, or a place to set down a lens to do it properly. The lens flipper is a little attachment cap so you don’t have to worry about swapping lenses and having extra hands. It’s so cool. I was able to use it at weddings already and I’m in love. It’s incredibly helpful for swapping out lenses on the go.
  6. Holdfast Moneymaker – I struggle a lot with neck and back problems so the Holdfast Moneymaker harness system is the best way ever for me to hold my cameras. Whether you shoot with two cameras at once, or one (you can attach a lens bag on the other side to even out the weight), it’s perfect for keeping your back happy and healthy. Plus you look badass.
  7. Shootproof – Photo CDs and USBs are out for me and I love delivering photos through digital download with Shootproof. If digital download isn’t your thing that’s okay too, you can still use them as an online proofing gallery and sell prints! There are tons of reasons I could go on about why I love Shootproof, but instead you can read about how Shootproof’s automated email system can help you sell more prints, 9 reasons Shootproof is the best, and this review about Shootproof. You can also take 25% off any annual plan on Shootproof if you use the code SWAILS25.
  8. Lens Rentals Membership – For $79 a year you can never pay shipping fees ever again from Lens Rentals. I’ve only rented a few times and it paid for itself multiple times over already. It can cost $25-50 per rental to ship, so if you plan on renting more than once a year – you already save money. Lens Rentals is also Lens Authority, a used gear sales shop. They are seriously my favorite place to buy used gear. Everything is in pristine condition and the customer service is out of this world.
  9. Professional Graphic Designer – If you’re not into templates for web design (as mentioned earlier) and you want something a little more custom then I highly recommend hiring a professional designer. I’m terrible at design myself, and having Rachael Earl on my team to custom design two websites for me this year (among other projects) has been one of the best investments in life ever. Professional design can go such a long way to making your business look professional. After all, if it doesn’t look like you invest in your business, you can’t expect your clients to as well.
  10. Coschedule – Struggle with blogging? Writing and scheduling posts in advance is an amazing way to keep up with blogging and take advantage of all its marketing benefits. One of the best ways to help me with scheduling is Coschedule. It’s a plugin for WordPress blogs that adds an editorial schedule, but most importantly, it adds a box under each blog post that allows you to schedule social media blasts in advance for after your post is scheduled to go live. It means you can automate the blogging process, write when it works best for you, and then not have to worry about remembering to post on social media about your blogs.
  11. Edgar – Speaking of social media scheduling tools, let me tell you about Edgar. Edgar is a bit pricey in terms of scheduling, but if social media is something you majorly struggle with – Edgar can also be a lifesaver. I would say it’s definitely one of the best investments I have spent in the last year. It’s a social media scheduling tool for Facebook and Twitter. Unlike Hootsuite, where you have to go in and schedule posts, Edgar allows you to create a huge library of updates and sort them into various categories. Then you can assign the categories to post at specific times of the week to specific accounts. So Edgar actually does the scheduling for you, by cycling through your library and then making the posts go live. Even though it seems pricey in terms of a monthly investment, it’s WAY cheaper than hiring a social media assistant and it makes your social media basically hands free.
  12. Schedugram – The only thing Edgar can’t do is schedule on Instagram. In fact, a lot of Instagram scheduling programs still don’t fully automate the process. They have to send a reminder to your phone to post something. You have to drop everything you’re doing to post it at the time you wanted it to go live and then who knows…you’re probably off track chasing down weird hashtags on Instagram.  Hours later you’ve lost tons of productive work time. Am I right? That’s where Schedugram is different, it schedules and fully automates the process for you, unlike Latergram. You just schedule everything by logging into your browser on your desktop and then voila – it takes care of Instagram for you and you get your editing done. Between this and Edgar, I do often feel like I’m spending a big investment on social media, but I can’t tell you enough how much I’ve also earned back from that investment in terms of followers, leads, and actual bookings…plus happier clients and a happier husband who I can actually spend time with! Here’s a blog post I wrote about Schedugram and how to actually automate your Instagram posts.

If you want to learn more awesome behind the business stuff like this make sure you subscribe to our weekly newsletter below, where we’ll be giving out extra special discounts and a few free products only for subscribers this Winter. You can also join our Facebook group, follow us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and even follow me on Pinterest where I love to pin social media, blogging, business, and photography tips from all over the web! If you subscribe to our newsletter you’ll need to head on over to your email after you hit the submit button here to confirm your subscription. If you don’t see a confirmation check your junk/spam!


Why I Converted to Sigma Art Lenses

Sigma Art LensesI’ve heard nothing but good things about the Sigma Art series of lenses, but as a Canon user I’ve found it incredibly difficult to let go of all the money I’ve invested in my lenses with the red line around the end. It’s like a status symbol for how hard I’ve worked to pay for those L series lenses. They’re hard to let go of. I decided to rent a Sigma Art lens just for the sake of seeing what all the hype was about. I totally intended on writing this blog post where I figured I’d tell you all how much they sucked and how to stick to your own brand.
Sadly that’s not this post. I was seriously impressed with the Sigma Art series. After renting I did some research on them, watched a lot of review videos and finally came to the conclusion that I needed to sell my Canon lenses and switch to Sigma Arts (for a few of the lenses at least). I’m not sorry. At all. Sure, I miss my fancy little red line around the end of my Canon lenses. I also miss how much more lightweight the Canon L series is (in most cases) because the Sigma Art series are metal and heavier. However, here are a few reasons why the switch was incredibly worth it.
  • Focus Speed – OMG. OMG. OMG!!! The speed at which Sigma Art locks in and nails focus is incredible. Freakin’ incredible. I don’t have all the stats like some videos and fancy reviewers do, but I can feel and tell there’s a huge difference. These lenses lock in on focus so fast that I feel like I’m actually on a learning curve figuring out how to deal with the ability to take photos faster than I’m used to. It’s kind of amazing. I owned the 50L for a long time and comparatively Sigma feels like a race car and I feel like I’ve been driving a beat up old mini van.
  • Chromatic Aberration – Okay this is a big word. You might be reading this blog post and think that you have no idea what this is, but don’t feel embarrassed. I didn’t know what it was until well into my photography career – so you are not alone. Chromatic aberration is a lens distortion that can be corrected in an editing program like Lightroom or Photoshop. It causes there to be a halo of color (typically bright magenta for me) at points of deep contrast in photos. I’ve learned over the years that every photographer is sensitive to different things in photos. Some can’t stand vignetting, some can’t stand black and white photos, and me? I can’t stand chromatic aberration. That pink halo in my photos DRIVES ME NUTS. One thing people have found with the Sigma Art lenses is that there’s less chromatic aberration. That means one less major fix in post processing. I’m super happy about that.
  • Sharpness – I found in a lot of videos and reviews that people were saying the Sigma Art lenses were sharper not only in the center, but sharper on the edges compared to their Canon counter parts. I can’t say I’ve pixel peeped enough to notice a huge difference, but they feel sharper in general.


If you’re like me and you’ve been hearing all the amazing hype about the the Sigma Art series of lenses, it might be time to rent one and see if you can sell off that fancy L lens for a Sigma Art. Hey, you might even profit off the sales since Sigma Art lenses are definitely cheaper in price (and in my opinion better in value overall).  I hope this blog post gives you some insight into Sigma’s Art line! If you have other questions 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!