When my business grew from 2 to 14 clients within a year, I knew there were going to be months that I would be working around the clock. In February, I got a wedding count for the year from all of my clients, and I knew that April, September, and October were going to be insanely busy, but nothing was going to compare to May. You see, back in January (when I only had 8 clients), I booked a seat to the Hope Taylor Alumni Retreat AND scheduled a week long vacation at the beach. It wasn’t exactly the smartest thing I’ve ever done, but this is the first year I’ve had more than 2 clients and I didn’t know what to expect. When I found out I was scheduled to take on 24 catalogs in May alone, I warned my husband that I would be spending a lot of time in my office when we weren’t out of town.
In the 3 years I’ve been in business, this past May was my busiest month I’ve ever had as a private photo editor. Despite the fact that I spent almost two full weeks out of town (something I definitely DON’T recommend during your busiest month), I was able to edit all of the catalogs I received, which ended up being 17 weddings and 3 engagement sessions! That’s a grand total of 14,487 images (which doesn’t even include retouching work I do for the Kate Max Stock)!! The best part was that I still delivered most of them within my 3-5 business day turnaround time, which means my client’s clients were still able to get their wedding catalogs back quickly even though I was out of town.
Over the last few months, I have been getting a lot of questions asking how I am able to edit and turnaround catalogs so quickly, so today, I’m sharing my number one secret to how I’m able to do this! You ready? Here we go!
My secret weapon is my Wacom pen tablet, and it has been a total game changer for my business! My tablet makes it SO easy to get through weddings quickly – I never work without it! I keep the pen in my writing hand and use it as a mouse, and the other hand stays on my keyboard, where I use keyboard shortcut commands (another small tip of how to speed up your editing). You can use it whether you’re right-handed OR left-handed! Yes lefties – this WILL work for you, and you can trust me on this because I’m a lefty myself!
One of my favorite features of the tablet is that it formats itself to the size of your screen. I get so annoyed with the computer mouse because on my iMac, I end up having to pick it up and set it back down over and over again just to get across my large screen. Since the tablet formats itself to whatever screen size you are working with, it allows you to move your mouse from corner to corner without having to pick it up and drag it over, which saves time! You can also click and right-click with your pen, so you never had to bother with that pesky mouse, again!
I’m going to be honest with you: when I first got my table, I HATED it. I was used to editing with a mouse, and I had a hard time converting to the tablet. It was difficult to maneuver and I gave up on it after 20 minutes or so. When I got a job in Oregon as a retoucher, I HAD to learn how to use my tablet, and I’m really glad that I was forced to give it another try. After working with it for an hour or so, I started getting the hang of it. Now, I hate using a computer without it! So it does take a little bit of time to get used to, but once you spend some time getting used to it, you won’t want to go back – I guarantee it!
If you’re convinced that you need a tablet, I’d recommend the Wacom Intuos Pro in size medium. This size works well whether you’re working on a 13-inch laptop or on a 27” iMac. Unless you’re using a dual monitor screens that are both very large, you won’t need a large tablet size. The small is fine, but if you’re using anything bigger than a laptop, you definitely want the medium.
So what are you waiting for? Get one of these tablets and speed up your editing exponentially! Trust me, this investment into your business will pay itself off in no time!