The Best and Fastest Way to Cull Your Images

Before I just into this post, I wanted to let you in on a little secret! I will be hosting my revamped 5-Day Challenge “5 Steps to Build a Profitable Portfolio” later this month. Make sure you get yourself on the waitlist today!! Registration opens on Feb 14th but if you are on the waitlist, there will be special bonuses for you so don’t miss your chance!

There is nothing worse then sitting down after uploading all of the images you shot from a wedding and seeing the insane number of images waiting for you. You now have to go through each image to decide whether it’s made the cut to edit and send to your clients. I’m here to tell you the best and fastest way to cull your images.

1. Photomechanic

First, you are going to want to make the one-time purchase of Photomechanic. Why Photomechanic and not just in Adobe Lightroom? Well in Lightroom, when you are zooming in and out of images to see if the image is in focus and if everyone’s eyes are open, etc. Lightroom takes time to render each image. If you only have a few images then sure, throw them into Lightroom, but when you are going through upwards of 5,000 photos, you need something that can handle the shear amount of images. Not to mention, they are large RAW files.

Photomechanic allows you to view your RAW files immediately with no lag time at all. When I plug my CF cards into my multi-card reader, Photomechanic automatically opens and I choose to ingest the photos and choose where I want them to be ingested to.

This can take a little while depending on how fast your computer is but I typically plug in and then go do something else while they upload.

2. Cull in Reverse

If you are new to photography, cull just means to sort through your images and choose which ones you want to keep to edit.

Once all the images are into Photomechanic, I scroll down to the bottom and work my way up. I start at the bottom because often when you’re out shooting, you will keep shooting something until you have it exactly how you want it which often lands as your last image. Think of when you are in a church or the bridal suite and you are getting your settings, those first couple of photos are trash because you may not have accounted for the low light levels or you needed to change your white balance etc. So this way, you know that the last few images of the series will be your best ones and will save you a ton of time.

3. Tag

In order to flag the images I want to keep, I just use the “T” which then tags my image. I also have it set so that by pressing “Z” it will zoom right into the image for easy viewing. I am looking to make sure everyone’s eyes are open, appendages don’t look weird, there’s nothing distracting my eye etc. Then I will either tag the image or not and move on by pressing the “up” arrow.

4. Second Cull

Before you decide to export these images, go through them once more. By doing this, you can get the vast majority of images selected in that first round, going extremely fast, knowing you will give them all a second glance before solidifying your picks.

Once I have them all selected, I then export them to my external hard drive and upload them to their own Catalogue in Adobe Lightroom to start the editing process.

If you want to learn more about the apps I use in my photography business, check out this post!

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