Good morning and Happy Friday! It’s Balancing Act time again! On my last balancing act blog post, I talked all about my workflow and the difficulties I have in really developing one due to my full-time job. I mentioned in that blog post, that I would chat about culling next time, so it’s probably no surprise that culling is the topic of today’s post!
First off, for those that may not know the term, culling is the process of going through the images and selecting my favorites and the BEST ones that I want to pass on to my clients. Now, I’m going to be really honest today…I am horrible at culling. And I mean it. It is definitely a weakness of mine that I am really working on, and I’ve made progress but still have a long ways to go. It’s just a bottleneck in my workflow. So why am I sharing my process with you today, if it’s my weakness? Good question! I like to be open and honest on my blog. Not everything is easy and perfect and lovely for me, and I don’t ever want my life to come across that way in this blog, so today I’m sharing one of my little struggles.
A couple of balancing act posts ago, I shared some of my favorite tools with you, and one of them is Photomechanic. This program seriously rocks my world! Culling a wedding used to take me an entire day. AN ENTIRE DAY. Holy jamoly, I hated it. Haha. When all you want to do is edit your pictures, culling can be a slight nightmare, especially when you know you won’t even get to editing that day. Now, before I got Photomechanic, I had improved my culling skills a bit, but it still took me forever, because Lightroom just takes forever to render an image and scroll through.
With Photomechanic, I can easily cull a wedding in about 3 hours now. Is that slow? I honestly don’t know, but considering it used to take me allll day, I’ll take it. J So, what’s my struggle? My struggle is how many I cull. I seriously have the hardest time culling my images down to a manageable number, especially in my first cull or two.
Learning how to cull my images has become an ongoing struggle for me. It used to take me an entire DAY to cull a wedding. Yes, a day. Back when I was first learning, and I used Lightroom to cull. The more I culled, the better I got, but it was still slow. I recently switched to Photomechanic for my culling and it has rocked my world. Seriously! I can cull in a matter of hours now, not days. Fantastic!
So what’s my struggle? My struggle is how many to cull! My initial culls (yes, multiple culls) result in waaay too many images that I love, so I just go in and edit them all, even though I KNOW I won’t be giving them all to my clients. I mean, let’s be honest, there is a point in looking at images that you get slightly overwhelmed by the sheer number. I promise. Yet, I find myself keeping 5 images that are virtually the same…either the smiles are slightly different, eyes are looking at me, down, past me, etc. but honestly, that’s way too many. I am trying to learn to pick my FAVORITES and only edit those, because I use up way too much time editing images that will never be passed along to my clients.
Ben is constantly reminding me that my clients would rather have 50 of the absolute BEST images, than 200 so-so images. I know this is true, I mean as a client, that’s what I would want, so I’m trying to adopt (and remember!) that practice as I cull.
When it comes to balancing my life and workflow, culling correctly has a huge impact because if I don’t cull enough I end up wasting a lot of valuable time editing images that will never get shared. I’m working on this. :) A constant struggle, but I’m getting better each and every time I cull!
How about you? Any bottlenecks in your workflow that you struggle with? Any tips on how to better cull through my images? I’d love to hear them!