Photography can be fun, but it also can be time-consuming. If you're shooting regularly, its best to develop a workflow pattern to make sure you're consistent. Although, some photographers' workflows can be long, here are a few tips that can help you speed up your workflow.
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1. Understand Your Camera
I can’t stress the importance of learning the ins and outs of your camera enough, to improve your workflow. I even mentioned this tip in one of my earlier posts 10 Tips to Improving Your Photography in 2018. Understanding your camera is beneficial to you in so many ways, but one of the major benefits is time management. There is nothing worse than fumbling around with your camera settings and options when you wanting to capture the killer shot, only to realize the shot is gone when you finally sort things out with your camera. So, in advance try to learn as much as you can about whatever camera your shooting with before you go shooting. Whether its a camera you own or one that you're renting, take a minute to read through the essential functions and features of the camera in its manual.
2. Get a bigger Memory Card
One of my biggest mistakes in my early photography career was shooting with small SD cards (4GB - 8GB). I mean, it was pretty understandable since I was a broke college kid and at the time a decent 8 GB SD card was already near $30, but I finally found the courage chunk out a little more money for bigger SD cards it made a huge difference in my workflow. If your shooting in only JPEG 8GB sounds like a lot of space, but if your shooting in RAW (which I highly recommend for professional work) 8 GB will run out really fast. And it can really slow down your shooting workflow if you have to swap out cards when one runs out of space, plus you run the risk of losing or damaging the SD card. With a larger card (16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, and up) your less likely to run into this issue. It’s also perfect if your DSLR has two memory card slots so the camera will automatically use the other card when one gets full. The good thing is that SD cards are so much cheaper than they were just a few years ago. On Amazon, you can get a 32GB for under $15 these days.
If you're shooting with a cell phone, changing your internal storage space may not be an option. A great workaround is to make sure you are constantly syncing and backing up your images to a hard drive or cloud service (such as Google Photos, iCloud, etc.) That way, when space gets tight, you can easily delete photos without worrying if you've backed them up or not.
3. Have a Plan
This may not apply as much to hobby photographers, but if you’re shooting for clients or your brand, it’s imperative to have a plan or shot list together in advance. That way you can make sure you don’t miss any major shots (especially if you’re shooting an event or wedding). You also will be able to focus more time on capturing the right shot vs figuring out what you’re even going to shoot in the first place. It benefits your brand and customer experience when you as the professional clearly know what shots you need and how to compose them, especially during portrait shoots.
This tip also applies to still life shoots as well. Unless you have a prop stylist waiting on you, it’s easy to feel like you have all the time in the world to figure things out when working with inanimate objects. But you can easily get frustrated when you have a mess of props in front of you, but still no idea how to your going to arrange them in advance. Let's not forget how tired your back will get from constantly crouching and/or moving things around while figuring out compositions.
So, having a shoot planned out in advance can save your time, reduce a headache, and even help avoid embarrassment. I normally plan out shoots by using a combination of inspiration boards and mood boards and sometimes creating an official shot list that I can check off as I go. What works for you depends on your personal preferences and type of photography you’re shooting.
4. Learn photo editing basics
While hiring a photo editor/retoucher may be the best investment for many photographers and entrepreneurs; it can help to have some general knowledge of photo editing basics and software such as Adobe Lightroom. Here are some great quick courses to get you started in Lightroom and Photoshop from Skillshare that I recommend.
*(These courses are affiliate links, which mean I get a small commission you sign up to Skillshare via these affiliate links. No extra charge to you though ^_^)
5. Use Lightroom Presets
Last but not least, I recommend using Lightroom Presets and Photoshop Actions to streamline your workflow. It can be very time to consume recreating the same effects and edits for multiple images. When you already have a clear idea or theme for your editing, cut your time in half by using presets and actions. You can create them yourself or purchase presets from my shop:
Do you have any tips that improved and sped up your workflow? Share them in the comments below!