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Jacksonville Senior Photographer // Scarlett Lillian Seniors: My love-hate relationship with editing.

Sep 2, 2008

My love-hate relationship with editing.

I'm trying to figure out the psychology behind this, but I can't quite come up with an answer, so I thought maybe you could help.

It's 10:28pm and I'm sitting here procrastinating doing some editing that I have been procrastinating all day to do. Well, more like, all week. "Let me answer a little more email... let me check out Jasmine Star's blog... let me see what an ex-boyfriend is up to on his blog... let me cruise Facebook and see the recent 100 people in an hour Kenny Kim is friends with... let me check my stats of my blog... let me do this and this and this and this to put off starting the editing."

What's ironic is that editing is my favorite part of being a photographer. Yes, I love to shoot, but to me, editing is where the art is created. I think it's the former graphic designer in me that loves playing in Photoshop and watching an OK photo turn to a WOW photo. It's the part that gives me butterflies and stirs my senses and makes me go, ha, I created that? Cool!

Yet, when it comes to editing, the nitty gritty of actually sitting down and doing it, this is where I start to question if I have A.D.D. or not. It's not that it's hard, because once I get started, I'm always like, why did I wait so long to start? Or maybe it's because I'm a perfectionist and I know once I get in the zone, I really get sucked into my nit picky ways. Or maybe I feel guilty enjoying the creative part of it when I know my inbox is flooded and I have so much to do business wise that needs to be taken care of first before I can feel free to create. Somedays I feel more like a business-woman than I do a photographer. I don't know if I like that. Because all I really want to do is shoot and edit. But yet, I can't even get started on the editing.

I don't know. I don't get it. Do you?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do. Welcome to my world. :) Right now I know I have to edit two wedding I shot last month and after checking my email....I AM HERE reading your blog. :) and yes, I will ck J* after it. :)

Anyway, what I am trying to say is that you will not come up with an answer...because this is the great part about having your own photography biz....

September 2, 2008 at 11:09 PM  
Anonymous andrew hsu said...

Hrm. Sounds familiar.

Procrastinators UNITE!!



September 2, 2008 at 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Lydia said...

I have that same problem and don't understand it either!

September 2, 2008 at 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Jackie said...

I seriously was going to blog about my add too! I have sooo many projects on my brain right now that I can't focus on ANYTHING!
but somehow I managed to catch the hills, I mean, what the heck..I have 8 weddings to do right now, 5 rooms to paint...! *Just remember...you LIKE editing* I mean I really do like it, theres just so much other stuff that gets to my brain first! hopefully rachel will help you ease the add!

by the way..i almost laughed when I read this post because I JUST got an email from you!

September 3, 2008 at 12:04 AM  
Anonymous priscilla b. varner said...

how about i send you my images to edit too. it's the worst! i end up sitting here...reading everyone's blog while i should be working. ugh....

September 3, 2008 at 12:29 AM  
Anonymous Leah said...

I hear ya sista! I am just now getting back to my editing from earlier today...I feel like if I just get done w/ the reception shots, then all I have yet are formals tomorrow! Craziness...but I love having the control and creativity...so what if its 11:30 and I feel old and tired...it happens! I hope it works out for October! Chat soon! PS, what did you think of 90210? I was mildly obsessed w/ that...watched marathon yesterday while editing! LOL!

September 3, 2008 at 12:32 AM  
Blogger Chris Enzaldo said...

Amen, sistah. Bookmarks and RSS blog feeds do nothing but distract me from what I should REALLY be doing with my work. That is, work on my work! I made a film before wedding photography and my fave parts of the process were working with the actors and EDITING. I loved putting clips together because those interactions were the manifestations of all the pre-viz that took so much time and effort to conceive (if I remember, you did some videography before, so you may know the process).

Layers and presets work in the same way. What's my next awesome combination of color and exposure? Sweet, that's one image down. Now multiply that by a thousand. And voila, a wedding is finally edited into a masterwork!

We perfectionists will probably never fine-tune our post-processing workflow exactly how we want it to be, but when it comes down to it, I wonder if the 'average' client is going to nit-pick on 1/3 exposure variations like we do. Will they even notice a difference? Will they even notice the difference between this light sepia version and a slightly lighter sepia version? Oy. Perhaps not. They'll more likely praise you with the ever-gratifying "OMG, that's amazing."

But I'd rather be more on that side of attentive than be careless with post-processing, and there's plenty of that around.

Or perhaps you can outsource it. There are a couple photogs I stalk that fully outsource their post-workflow. It's part of their business and most likely, frees up their time to concentrate on the shooting.

It's a fine balance between consistency and innovation, I think. Keep your work fresh and slightly ahead of the curve, but not so much that it distracts from your love of composing the shot. Your work has a consistent vibrance and panache that I bet could suit well for some 'light' outsourcing. Now if you will excuse me, I have to get back to stalking Jessica Claire.

September 3, 2008 at 2:12 AM  
Anonymous Caroline Ghetes said...

Yes. I totally get it. In fact I do the same thing, which I have been embarrassed to admit until now. LOL. Now I feel better though. If Scarlett does it too, then it is automatically acceptable. LOL, just messing. On a similar note, it's funny that many brides I have talked to have mentioned how we get paid so much as photographers for "one day's work". There are so many hours we put into the wedding day, editing, and administrative too. And if we arenot doing the work, we are paying someone else to do it, so people are still not "getting it" sometimes, as far as what is really involved in wedding photography, right?

September 3, 2008 at 2:30 AM  
Blogger Beautiful Moments Photography said...

I am so glad that I am not alone in my love hate relationship with editing. I find that if I take my laptop away from an internet connection I tend to get A LOT more editing done! The internet is such a wicked distraction, but I still love it! ;)

September 3, 2008 at 5:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dear Scarlett, seems as though we are the same when it comes to procrastination... little different scenarios but the same. I'm about to graduate into the career of my dreams. However, when I HAVE to sit down and do the nitty-gritty studying... I'm always like... let me check my emails, let me check my facebook, let me watch an episode on abc.com that I haven't seen, let me check Scarlett's blog to see whats new, etc etc etc... I think the reason why we do this... is because we know it's something that we HAVE to do... yet, once we begin we're like "why in the world did I wait to do this?"... Not really the perfect answer to your question..

But, I really do think it's because we are doing something that we know HAS to be done.


September 3, 2008 at 6:46 AM  
Blogger Dixie said...

Hey Miass Scareltt! WOW! I used to have the same problem too! Orders stacking up and my mind going in every direction.

What Ive found that helps is to do my editing on a computer that I dont have internet access set up on. THIS WORKS!

Also make a list of the things you need to do. Marketing, Banking, shoots etc. and BLOCK THEM UP.
I find its best if I have a whole entire day to edit. (MONDAYS USUALLY) I have 2 kids and 2 grandkids and I try to edit all day Mondays. Then I get a massage for my poor neck on Tuesday and I only shoot sessions on Tuesdays wednesdays and thursdays. Then Fridays are open for other things and Sats are weddings and Sundays are FAMILY TIME. If I dont have a Wedding on Saturday then its pedis and manis and time with my husband.

This seems to work. But I hav eto take the phone off the hook, turn off the cell phone, turn on some inspiring music and use the computer with no internet!
Its the only way I can do it!
I look forward to Mondays because I know its gonna be all day long editing and I can get deep and engrossed into it and accomplish something. But if I use the internet computer... well then Im just surfing the internet and Ebay and B&H photo and Scarlett Lillians blog and Jessica Claire and Jessica Strickland and Gary Fong and Tara Whitney etc...
My motto for FOCUS IS
F find what you want
O omit everything else
C concentrate on one thing only
U Un plug every other distraction
S Stay on track for great results!

Hope this helps!
Miss Dixie

September 3, 2008 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Jess Cumbie said...

First let me say that I just found Jasmine Star yesterday by accident! How out of the loop am I...

Secondly I have a similar love hate relationship. First it was finding my own voice in editing... I went through A LOT I've tried different programs started using DPP then went back to photoshop.. oh it was a mess... Anyway, I have a session that I can't wait to edit... it's one of my regular clients and I can't wait to get started on it but yesterday I did my lil personal blog thing, tried to arrange stuff, spend a lot of time on myspace talking to clients and friends... so I totally understand... I've browsed through these photos, and when I look at a photo I can see the finished project in my minds eye yet I didn't work on them at all yesterday... I likely won't work on them today, there is SO MUCH business junk to do that it really bogs things down...

September 3, 2008 at 8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel like I have A.D.D. everyday! Maybe you need to hire a second assistant ;)

September 3, 2008 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger mpcphotography said...

OMG who are you telling sista! lol! I feel so bad because I have so much editing to do yet I am busy checking emails, reading blogs, checking myspace...and just last night I watched like 5 back to back shows of "Million Dollar Listing"! Did I even open Lightroom? CS3? Um...no!

September 3, 2008 at 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Gin said...

I deal with the same thing everyday! You are NOT alone Scarlett!!

September 3, 2008 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger xoxoxo ~Lori said...

Scarlett....I am in the same boat.
I often feel that I over-extend myself and then I cannot get anything done! I will be FT photographer on 9/12 and am hoping to adopt a similar schedule as Miss Dixie mentioned to stay on track.....right now I feel like I am all over the place. Four kids, multiple sports schedules, photo biz, FT controller for a company...my head is spinning. :)

My goal is to simplify. First up, quit my day job! WHOOOOO-HOOOOO :)

September 3, 2008 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

That was the very thing I was thinking about last night while I was editing a family session!

I love to see the pictures come alive on my blog and see them turn into the final product but getting started is just so hard for me. It's like I dread it when it really isn't that bad.

It's definitely a love/hate relationship with editing!

September 3, 2008 at 7:37 PM  
Anonymous Desiree Hayes said...

I feel ya! Add me to the editing A.D.D club for sure!!! LOL I like the first 20 or so (the blog images!) but then I run out of steam, for like a week. LOL

September 3, 2008 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Amy C. said...

Last night I went to David Jay's "Free to Succeed" tour in Charlotte, NC, and the thing that stuck out the most to me was the following quote (which I hope is OK with him that I share...): "The path to perfection only leads to procrastination." As a perfectionist and a MAJOR procrastinator, I sat up and listened! I think that sometimes we do put things off because we know--and dread--the time and effort it takes to try to edit (or do anything!) for "perfection."

On a lighter note, I love Miss Dixie's acrostic for "FOCUS." Maybe I can put that into action, since I need to be editing like 4 shoots, yet here I am on Scarlett's blog. Oops, and Project Runway is about to come on. Gotta go! ;-)

September 3, 2008 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger a passion to capture the moment.... said...

Me too....especially when it comes to designing the wedding album. It takes me forever to get started but once I do I am on a roll. Glad to know I'm not the only one.

September 3, 2008 at 10:19 PM  
Blogger Heather Thorne Photography said...

Oh it's so nice to see I'm in good company! :) couldn't agree more with this post. And love the new office!! Congrats!

September 4, 2008 at 1:04 AM  
Blogger Sentimental Visions Photography said...

Um yup...*smacks lips* me too! Procrastinators of the world...take your time!! I looove this list..http://www.52projects.com/52_projects/2005/09/a_nottodo_list.html


September 4, 2008 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Scarlett Lillian said...

Nice to know I'm not alone!

I loved this:

"Procrastinators UNITE!!


Story of my life! :-)

And thanks Amy C. I know, great points! Now if I can only stop procrastinating at being a perfectionist. ha!

September 4, 2008 at 3:05 PM  
Anonymous kristin root said...

LOL - i feel like i could have written this post!

September 4, 2008 at 10:21 PM  

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