I shot a wedding last night and came home with 3 full cards and over 2500 images to cull. Last week during a really great Creative Live class called “From Shoot Through Photo Editing: Wedding Portrait Retouch in Lightroom and Photoshop“, the instructor used a program called Photo Mechanic to cull his images. I had never heard of the program, but looked it up knowing that I usually come home from weddings with 2000+ images.
After a couple of false starts and a few quick YouTube tutorials, I discovered the magic of Photo Mechanic. I want to be clear that this program does not take the place of Lightroom, but instead, ENHANCES it dramatically. When you’re in Lightroom, it takes quite a bit of time to render a preview so when you’re trying to narrow down your work from 2000 to about 750 in less than an hour, Lightroom tends to hold up the process. Well, not anymore!
Not only did you cull and rate my images, but I seperated them into categories before importing them into Lightroom! So in other words, when I sit down to do the heavy editing tomorrow, I’ve already got the whole set ready seperated and rated. The magic of Photo Mechanic is, I believe, in the ease of working with contact sheets. The speed is incredible and as you break down your categories, you can open new contact sheets for each one and cull further. So good! Seriously just saved me hours.
The other thing that was nice about importing categorized images is that I was able to easily keyword just the specific images. I’ve noticed that if I pull a whole wedding into Lightroom first, I keyword with general terms and then have to add separate ones like “cake cutting” later.