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ever seen something that looks so old school and un-cool that you just decide to NOT give it a chance at ALL. You know what I mean…. like hole-in-wall restaurants or ghetto-fabulous boutiques? Sometimes the GREATEST things are in the nastiest places! Seriously! The last engagement session I posted was shot in one of the ROUGHEST areas of Richmond… but yet the locations were beautiful! So, as we approach this “Time Saver” post… keep this in mind. Photo Mechanic, in my opinion, doesn’t LOOK legit. I mean really, look at that logo!  When I was first introduced to PM, I thought to myself, I am NOT paying $150 for a program

whose logo looks like it was just copied and pasted form google images! No thank you. Because of the “look” of this program, I automatically  wrote it off  as something that wouldn’t help me. I use Lightroom 4 and Bridge and Photoshop CS5… what more could I need, right? Well, if you’re shooting in Raw like I do, you have probably noticed that LR can take FOREVER to fully render a cr2 file while importing… making CULLING (selecting the BEST images) extremely difficult. Sure, you only have to wait about 10-15 seconds for each image to load but 10-15 seconds ADDS UP!  I had heard the Photo Mechanic was GREAT for culling and importing. Well, me being my stubborn self kept saying… “well, LR works just fine, besides, why would I want ANOTHER program to work with”.  Well, what I wasn’t realizing was that those 10-15 seconds to render images in LR was eating up HOURS of time during my workday.  Raw files are MASSIVE and LR just doesn’t process them quickly while importing. I like to cull WHILE I import and so this is why I started using Photo Mechanic for IMPORTING, CULLING and SORTING.



I have a system where I import my raw files to my first DROBO  and I place them into a folder titled : “TJ and Meredith” and then a subfolder titled “TJ and Meredith UNEDITED”.  Photo mechanic is EXTREMELY fast with rendering full screen raw images while importing so that I can CULL my images AS they come in. There is a great reason why I do this:  When are you most excited to see your images? Right after you shot them….so why not CULL them when you’re excited to see them. Don’t just look through your images, cull WHILE you’re looking. Once you’ve seen them, that takes away 1/2 the excitement and you automatically lose motivation to cull later. So just DO it then! Once a wedding is culled, in my opinion, it feels like 1/2 the work is done!


So after I import and cull all of my images in Photo Mechanic, I create and new subfolder under “TJ and Meredith” titled “TJ and Meredith 5 STARRED”.  That’s just my term for the “keepers”.  If an image is 5starred… that means it’s top notch:). So I drag the 5 starred images into their new home and Photo Mechanic transfers these raw files instantly! It’s AWESOME! So now, I have a 5STARRED folder with all of the images I’m going to edit and THEN I import those images into LR.  Most people import into LR, cull in LR and then EDIT in LR.  This didn’t work for me for two reasons: 1. LR is too slow for sorting and culling and rendering and 2. LR shouldn’t import EVERY file you shot. If you import and then cull in LR, even when you’re only viewing your culled images, LR is still processing through that WHOLE folder of images.  LR can edit MUCH faster when it’s working with one folder of 1,200 cr2 files instead of 3,000 cr2 files!!


So basically, I LOVE Photo Mechanic because it saves me TIME. It’s $150 and it was such a worthwhile investment! My good friend Chris Isham randomly tweeted about it and so I looked into it. After getting over the fact that their branding is horrible, I realized that the product they were offering was definitely LEGIT! It’s awesome and I’m so glad I took a risk and tried something new!!!  And ps. A lesson to be learned…. If your BRANDING doesn’t match the quality of work your business offers, it’s a HUGE diservice to you!! Branding MATTERS.



xoxo, Katelyn
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