How to create an efficient post-production workflow with Imagen
No one wants to get bogged down with thousands of images to cull, edit and deliver to clients. Using smart AI software like Imagen can get you on top of things.
The dreaded busy season, it pays the bills but it can get frantic and stressful to try to stay on top of your workflow.
I’m always looking for new ways to simplify and streamline my workflow so I’ve been really excited watching AI editing become more powerful and accessible.
Today I’m going to talk through how you can use Imagen to enhance your post-production workflow without compromising your individuality or creativity.
As you can imagine, in the search to streamline my workflow, I’ve debated outsourcing my editing a handful of times.
While I know a lot of photographers that have had a lot of success, for me, it was never worth the sacrifices.
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My workflow is already pretty fast, efficient, and consistent, and I didn’t want to sacrifice any of that.
Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in being faster or more efficient, especially during busy season.
I love providing my clients with a fast turnaround time but if I don’t have a plan and the tools to help make it happen, it’s really hard to underpromise and overdeliver.
Today’s article will walk you through how to use Imagen to create a more efficient post-production workflow.
Analyzing Your Current Post-Production Workflow
The first step when looking at ways to improve your current workflow is to analyze what you’re already doing. What’s working, what isn’t, and where are the areas for improvement.
For example, I’ve gotten pretty fast at culling and ruthless at choosing only the best images so that I’m not wasting time but I still have to click through countless duplicate images and decide what the best one is.
Decision fatigue means that I can only cull so many images in one day without slowing down and burning out.
Maybe your weakness is that you don’t have a workflow. You know you need to edit your photos and so you dig in and work until you’re done.
Taking the time to create an effective workflow is worth it because in slowing down and analyzing where you spend the most time you’ll be able to identify changes you need to make to speed up.
Here’s another example, do you spend time surfing the internet and gear shopping while you’re waiting for images to import?
Why not have a specific time that you import that doesn’t result in you wasting time on other tasks you didn’t intend to do at this moment.
In the sections ahead, I’ll talk through how Imagen is going to benefit your workflow, but first, I want you to have a clear picture of your workflow as it currently stands.
Your goal should be to have a consistent process from your rating system to your final image count goal. This will help you get everything streamlined.
Culling thousands of photos is simply time-consuming because you have to click through them all and determine which is the best of a series of images.
All that clicking and evaluation can really slow down your workflow if you, especially if you aren’t the type of person that stays on task for 1-2 hours at a time.
That’s why Imagen culling uses its algorithms to set star or color ratings to help you quickly identify photos that are one of a kind versus the best image in a set of similar photos.
Then, instead of culling your own photos and reviewing your final selections, you can skip right to the part where you’re reviewing the selections.
The algorithm may not be the perfect tool to skip the culling process completely but it gives you a jump start.
In testing, I found that I still had to go through the images to review the selections but it was a great tool to guide my process.
Depending on your style of photography and the volume of images you take, this can be a real time saver. It’s not a perfect tool, but definitely worth utilizing!
Even after using Imagen’s AI Culling feature, you still have complete control and can check for any photos the AI didn’t choose that you would or eliminate any that you disagree with its selection on.
The best part is that when you send the images to be edited, the culling feature can improve based on your adjustments to the results. Additionally, you won’t have to re-upload because you have already sent Imagen your files.
In my old workflow I would do a quick run-through of the images and I had ratings for the ones I was definitely keeping and the ones I was maybe keeping.
Then I had to go through everything again and reduce the maybes, ensuring I didn’t have duplicates.
Using Imagen culling I fast track the first step which saves a significant amount of time, the biggest chunk of my culling time and also the least vital step in the process.
Personal AI Profile
My favorite feature of the Imagen editing workflow is the Personal AI profiles. It uses your own editing style to develop the editing profile based on a catalogue of your own images.
One of the challenges with outsourcing editing is finding someone that can make the same decisions you would. With Imagen’s Personal AI Profiles you get pretty darn close because it’s analyzing thousands of your own editing decisions to determine how to handle the edits.
My old editing process was to apply a general preset for all of my images and then batch edit small groups of images.
Since the AI profiles are smarter than presets, they can customize the edits for individual photos or batches of photos, effectively combining those two steps into one. And it can keep learning to improve over time.
Once you touch up the final images, you re-upload the edits to better train the program on your Personal AI Profile.
For me, Personal AI Profiles are the best answer to my problem. I want to have my photos edited as I would edit them and I want it done quickly, consistently, and affordably. I’m almost mad that all of that can be replaced by AI, almost!
Talent AI Profiles
Not everyone is as precise in their own editing style and attached to having every photo edited as if they edited it themselves.
Imagen has something for the rest of you, too, and it’s pretty cool. Basically, you can have Imagen edit your photos like someone you admire would using their Talent AI Profiles.
Let’s say you’ve always wondered how your role model photographer would edit your images, well, stop wondering and use their Talent AI Profile to edit your images.
There are over a dozen photographer profiles on the Imagen website with different styles that you can adopt for your images. Since you have to have a catalogue of edited images to upload in order to create a Personal AI profile, this might also be a great option if you don’t have that.
So whether you just don’t have a big enough catalogue for the AI to learn from or you’re just more interested in exploring other editing styles that are proven to be popular, the Talent AI Profiles might be a great option for you.
Additionally, this can help you learn and explore new styles of editing by getting a behind the scenes look at what types of edits other photographers are likely to make.
Once you download the edits, you can see which sliders have been tweaked and get an understanding of their effects. Note that the Talent AI Profiles don’t have the ability to keep learning.
Establishing Your New Post-Production Workflow
Let’s say you thought it sounded good, and you tried Imagen to edit and cull your photos. You discovered it worked pretty much as you wanted.
From there, you estimate that you’ll be 75%+ faster than you were before on your post-production workflow. Now it’s time to rewrite your workflow and develop a new way of doing things that fits your style and goals.
This might mean turning projects around quicker and still exceeding expectations with clients. No more 8-week turnaround on editing large events. Now you could do it in just a week or two.
I always suggest writing down the workflow and then adjusting it as you work out the kinks.
For example, what star or color ratings do you want to use, what do you find as the most cumbersome part of the process?
Solve the problems when you’re designing your workflow and make it literally work for you.
Additionally, planning out the best times to do certain steps in the process can be very helpful.
If a step like building previews takes 20 minutes, don’t do it during the middle of the morning when you’re trying to do something, plan it for a lunch break or set it to run right before you leave your desk for the day.
With a little pre-planning, you will be lightning-fast at processing images! With all the time saved, you can do more of the things that will benefit your business long term.
Using AI to Enhance Your Workflow | Conclusion
In conclusion, there are no more excuses. Even if you’re deep in busy season it’s worth taking a pause to investigate how Imagen can help enhance your workflow.
In fact, the busy season is the reason to investigate it. Imagen seems perfectly designed for photographers that have a high quantity of deliverables such as weddings, the cost per image and the turnaround time is incredible making it feel like an easy decision.
If we can reduce the time it takes for us to get through all of our post-production, imagine how much more time we would have to book more clients or just hit the gym and sleep.
The culling and edited aspects work together seamlessly allowing for your input throughout the process and learning from your feedback.
Sure, you still have to be involved in the process double checking the AI’s work and doing any custom edits, but it cuts out the more repetitive and time consuming parts of your post-production.
If you are fed up with a huge backlog of editing, go check out Imagen >>
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