3 Essential Steps to Cutting your workflow time in HALF!

If you do what we tell you to do in this post, YOU can cut your editing workflow time in HALF. Find that hard to believe? Read on if you dare. : )  

Lightroom graphic


It is hard to have someone tell you to change your workflow. After all, it’s yours. It is a part of you. It has a lot to do with HOW you think and HOW you manage your images and your editing.


We want to challenge you. Don’t think of this post as telling you to change who you are or just generically edit your images to save time. Think of it as telling your workflow to work for you. Think of it as telling your workflow to ALWAYS behave because YOU are in charge of it.

“(Workflow) goals are valuable because they are EASY to measure, and what can be measured, can be managed.”

-Lewis Schiff, Business Brilliant

Why does speeding up your workflow matter? It matters because THEY matter. Your clients matter, your kids matter, your spouse matters, and your friends matter. There are people out there who NEED you and the only thing most of us don’t have any more of is time. Give the people you love the most important thing you can; your attention.

Your time spent in editing matters because people are counting on you. And those people are your family. (tweet this out!)


So, with that in mind, here are 3 Essential Steps that we KNOW can cut your workflow in half.

1. Write down Each Step in YOUR process



    • When you write down each step in the process (be as specific as possible!!) you do yourself two favors. The first one is that you now KNOW what you are doing each time you start working on a shoot. Knowledge = power and when you know what you are doing, than you know what you are doing. The second favor you do for yourself is that you find out things that you maybe shouldn’t be doing that are wasting your precious time that could be given to something, or someone else.


    One Pratical Example: 

    • When I (Zach) first began editing, I would start by picking favorites for the client, but as I would see images that I really liked, I would do a little editing on them because it was fun! Later on, I realized that by taking my FOCUS off of the task (culling the images), I was wasting a TON of time. Once I wrote down my proccess and read the 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, I realized how bad this was for business. My workflow sped up tremendously with that ONE adjustement and I never looked back.


    2. Find the Bottlenecks 

    • Now that you have your process written down step-by-literal-step, edit a few gigs and time EACH step in the  process with your iPhone.
    • Next, look at the areas that are not difficult parts of your workflow, but seem to be taking a lot of time (downloading your images is a simple process, but could be taking anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours of your time).
    • Then, do the same for the more complex parts of your workflow (retouching is more complicated, and could be taking you 30 minutes to 3 hours of your time).



    • Now that you know areas that are working well, and areas that are NOT working well, it is time to adjust.
    • Look at each area and find out if there is a simpler way to achieve the same results.


One Practical Example:

I took a Lightroom class by Jared Platt 3 years ago and ONE thing I learned cut my workflow in HALF. It was soooo simple I could have easily overlooked it if I had not been willing to spend the money on that class, and open my mind to change. What was it?

Each time you have to remove your eyes from your screen to adjust something (like glancing at the keyboard to press “P” to pick a favorite), or anytime you press a button you didn’t know you actually never needed to press (like “un-picking” an image you don’t want, instead of just picking photos you want), you lose a second or two of your time. Those seconds all add up over a 4,000 image wedding and can add hours to your workflow.


So I purchased the Shuttle Pro V2 which allows you to not have to look at your keyboard (because it is muscle memory designed and ergonomic), and I saved 2.5 hours on my workflow which cut it in HALF. Did he just say his ENTIRE wedding workflow is 2.5 hours? It sounds insane, but it’s true!



If your workflow is 6 hours, 10 hours or 20 hours, I KNOW that you can cut it in HALF if you JUST take this challenge:

1. Write out your workflow on paper on purpose with every single detailed step and time each step for the next 3 editing sessions

2. Find the bottlenecks

3. Adjust.


P.S.  Maybe your workflow already rocks, but you have a friend that desperately needs to speed theirs up! If so, SHARE this content with them on Twitter (or Facebook) and let’s all spend LESS time editing, and MORE time with family!

“Join me with my friends @zachandjody and learn the tools to cut your workflow time in HALF! Get the info NOW at http://bit.ly/zjnews”