When you’re running a versatile studio that does many different kinds of photography projects, having an efficient workflow is a must. Every hour saved can be spent doing something equally important whether for work or play. All photographers eventually come up with a system that works best for them, fine-tuning it as their workflow evolves and their business needs change. This is where various apps and software specially designed to ease photography workflow comes in handy.
One such digital tool is AfterShoot, an AI-based photo culling software that promises to be the fastest and easiest way to automatically select, rate and find your best photos. When you have to sift through thousands of photos per project, you’ll definitely need all the help you can get!
When you’re working with different kinds of genres and multiple projects like New York City-based Will Cadena, a timesaving, game-changing workflow is paramount. His studio does fitness shows, weddings, portraits, family sessions and product shoots, each genre with its own set of requirements and challenges. One thing that AfterShoot does for all these projects is save Will and his team precious time. Some projects or genres are more laborious and time-consuming than others, and those are where AfterShoot’s really shine.
“We actually are in charge of one of the largest bodybuilding leagues in pretty much domestically in the US. So, let’s use fitness, for example, we’re photographing anywhere between 7,000 to possibly 15,000 photographs per show, depending on how many team members we have on-site. So, that’s a lot of content,” Will shared in our recent chat.
Since not all shots will be perfect or great, he uses AfterShoot to cull everything down to some of the best ones. “So, for example, we shoot about 10,000 photographs, it will probably be narrowed down to maybe the top 4,000 for us, if we wanted to be very strict on what we wanted to pick. It saves us time to get time back, or to spend time with family, or go to sleep early. That’s the goal.”
As a very versatile studio, Will stressed that there’s no regular job for them. While some wedding photographers, for example, do 80% weddings and the rest is portraiture, theirs is a bit more spread out to other genres. Still, AfterShoot helps them save time whether minutes or hours.
“Our stuff is really divided equally across the whole spectrum. So, let’s say with weddings, it can save us, you know, three to maybe five hours. With fitness, it could save us anywhere between four to maybe seven hours. For family portraits, it could save us two to possibly five minutes, because we’re not shooting as much. Headshots will be about the same — two minutes to four minutes — because again, we’re not shooting much. But if we shoot a lot, obviously, the hours go up in time.”
As with anyone learning the ropes of new software, Will admitted that things were a little different in the beginning. “At first, we would import photos to Lightroom to see what it is. Then we would take the stuff that we already selected and bring it into AfterShoot again. We didn’t know too much about the software so we weren’t trusting it in a way. It’s no different from a relationship where you need to build that trust.”
Fast-forward to the present, he now thinks that he can never go back to a pre-AfterShoot workflow. “That’s like, instead of flying across the coast, let me go take a bicycle. Why would you want to do that?” he joked. “You will never appreciate what AfterShoot really does if you didn’t do the other stuff beforehand. So yeah, for me, it’s a game-changer. It’s a no-brainer now to use it, and, it would be really hard for me not to use AfterShoot. It’s part of our ecosystem now, it’s a must-have.”
Complementing Lightroom workflow with AfterShoot
Despite the different workflow requirements for each project, AfterShoot predominantly serves as a pre-processing tool for Will and his team. He mentions that it complements their Lightroom workflow efficiency, taking advantage of features and functionalities like setting thresholds for culling blurred photos and the renaming option.
“Majority of the time is, I say, a solid 90% of time AfterShoot comes in first. So we do take advantage of the renaming option. So when we import them rename the files, then from there, we’ll let it cull. And from there, that’s when we import it into the Lightroom or Capture One or whatever it is, which is great. So, 90% is AfterShoot first, and then everything else would be the aftermath of the software.”
Will added that setting preferences for the culling threshold is the biggest thing for his studio since it allows them to be as strict or moderate as the genre requires. Some, he explained, will require more strict culling of duplicates, but others, not so much.
“Sometimes, when we do family portraits, I need some extra duplicates of that scene. Even though the head might be moved to a different way, or whatever it is, it’s nice to have that. But when I have, for example, fitness stuff or duplicate sets, I usually have everything on extreme because I don’t need two or three of the same shot. I just need one can clean shot of that. So, that’s when we take advantage of the threshold. I do love the liberty that you could pick and choose that, which is really, really nice.”
“We can always buy things in general, but one thing we can never buy back is time. So, for me time is really a key factor,” Will said of the wisdom he learned from his globally-successful clients. “That why my clients have their personal driver, they have or their own airplane. Because then, they can focus on the emails and phone calls and stuff like that. So realistically, AfterShoot is kind of like my driver. I don’t have to do anything, because now I can focus all my resources on something else.”
Make sure to check out Will Cadena’s website, like his Facebook page and follow him on Instagram to see more of his photography projects!
Want to learn more about AfterShoot and how to use it to speed up your photography workflow? Make sure to check out our guides below to get started:
All photos by Will Cadena. Used with permission.