Why Speeding Up Your Image Editing Workflow Is A Load of Crap

Model: Megan Gaber

Model: Megan Gaber

“Here’s how you can speed up your workflow…”

“Here’s how you can make your workflow so much quicker and get back to shooting…”

Almost every single marketing guru in the imaging world has the solution for you. Yes, the title of this piece is a very strong stance, but it’s one that needs to be taken. Everyone and their other has a way for you to get a faster image editing workflow and supposedly get you back out there and shooting. But as Jared Polin says (love him or hate him) the image creation process doesn’t end when the shutter clicks. It keeps going. Back in the film days, you didn’t sit there and try to speed up the development process of your images–you sat there in the darkroom and tried to figure out ways to make each of those 36 exposures the best you possibly could.

The myth of speeding up your image editing workflow may be nice and simple, but it’s only satisfactory. It’s not the best you can do.

If your image editing workflow is too fast, you become sloppy and careless. Do you want that in your portfolio? Why not put images up online that after four minutes of looking at them AFTER you’ve put them up you say to yourself, “Oh man I could’ve done that better?”

Why not do it right in the first place?

This is what I realized after years of working as a photojournalist, portrait shooter, wedding photographer, etc. Line work–it’s all line work. You go from one to the next to the next trying to get through it all. And yes, your process goes something like this:

– Import

– Cull

– Edit

– Export

But your workflow should go something like this:

– Import

– Cull

– Edit

– Cull

– Final touches

– Cull

– Export

It’s about making sure that your images are the best they can be the first time around and being careful.

Why have a speedy workflow? Why not have a careful, precise, and flawless image editing workflow?

If you’re doing a cheap gig just for the money like a wedding for $300, there is no reason why you should spend days editing the wedding for that small amount of money. In that case then yes, speed up the workflow and don’t put lots of that work in your portfolio.

But if you’re looking to cull and curate only the best of your capabilities, then slow down and think a bit more.