unMonday: workflow

Like many aspiring photographers out there, I suffer from photo project constipation.  My camera collects gigabyte after gigabyte of images while my computer produces about one finished project every two months.  Thousands of photos go unedited and unpublished, friends and family are disappointed, new photo endeavors are tabled and forgotten, discouragement and frustration builds and presses down.

A little over-dramatic?  Maybe.  But for people who truly love photography, out-of-control photo backlog is a real issue (even film photographers struggle with getting around to developing, printing, and publishing photos).  There are many ways to solve this conundrum:

  1. I could stop taking photos to work on my photo backlog.  But this kind of defeats the purpose of being a photographer, and every experienced, respected photographer I’ve heard speak on this matter says it’s far more important to spend time taking and selecting photographs than editing them.
  2. I could forget the piles of unpublished photos, and disregard other people’s disappointment.  The disregarding of the disappointment of others is probably a good thing.  But even I want to see the finished result of my forgotten photo projects.
  3. I could quit my day job and spend the rest of my days going through my photos.  But that would be disastrous on so many levels.
  4. OR…I could find a way to effectively streamline they way I process my photos.

Let’s go with Option #4.

Last week, I “attended” a workshop on Adobe Photoshop Lightroom workflow, by photographer Jared Platt, broadcasted live online by creativeLIVE.  Since I heavily depend on Lightroom for the majority of my editing, I casually decided to drop in on the live seminar to see if I could glean a few tips here and there.  Instead I received almost 12 hours of having my entire post-processing workflow gutted, demolished, and redesigned – from photo storage, to photo selection, to organization techniques, along with every time-saving, mass-editing feature available in Lightroom.  Needless to say, a lot is going to change for me in post-processing over the next few weeks as I slowly relearn how to organize, select, edit, and publish photos.

I’m obviously not going to be able to share in one blog post everything I learned from Jared Platt.  But throughout the course of this blog, I’m going to start including some of his lessons as I attempt to implement them.  Organization and process aren’t the most glamorous parts of photography, but I’m hoping these things will have a big impact on my life as a photographer.  I’ll be polling some of my close friends and fellow photographers to see if they notice a difference in my productivity.

In the meantime… Last Sunday, I had the wonderful privilege of shooting an engagement session with my dear friends Kevin and Renée!  I had a great time capturing moments of the two of them together and chatting with them about their upcoming wedding.  Here’s a small preview of what’s to come:

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