For the past few months, I was really struggling with the time it was taking me to edit my photos. On average, I shoot 1500 photos per 2-3 hour session, and I was starting to feel overwhelmed when I imported such a huge set into Lightroom. I could try to shoot fewer photos and be more intentional about the shots I do capture, but I feel as though I've already cut back on that and what I'm doing works for me. What I'm about to share may not be news to you. I'm sure many of you already do this! I just caught on late. ;) I actually had another photographer tell me to do this years ago, but I was too stubborn and didn't listen. For those of you who are still plugging away through an endless gallery, I think this trick will help you.
All I did was switch from rejecting to selecting. Is your mind blown yet?
The keyboard shortcut for rejecting an image is X, while the one for selecting (picking) a photo is P. Somehow it is psychologically easier to pick the photos that I definitely want to keep rather than dispose of the ones I don't want. So, I just cycle through my gallery and pick my favorite shots, and then I enter a filtered view where I only see the shots I've picked. You can do this by clicking on the little flag in the bottom right-hand corner of Lightroom.
That number drops to 160 photos, which is a much more manageable number to visualize when you're sitting down to edit. Picking the photos I want usually takes an hour or less. Then I'm left with 100-175 photos, depending on the shoot. That number usually drops a bit more as I edit them, too. It seems WAY easier to edit only 100+ photos vs. 1700+ (even though I would be rejecting many of them along the way). It also helps me be more selective, which is something I'm really working on since I tend to keep way too many shots. I went from spending 4-5 hours on a set to only 2-3. It feels so empowering to suddenly have much more time on your hands because you discovered a simple trick to reduce time spent at the computer.
How do you speed up your workflow? Do you reject or select?