“I cry when I edit.” These are words I hear when talking to new photographers. They get overwhelmed and some — like my new friend Carmen — limit their shooting. This short story is about a recent adventure I had with Skylum’s Co-founder Dima Sytnik and head of product development Ivan Kutanin when they flew in from Ukraine to ask us our opinions on the new features of Luminar. Here’s your chance to get items on your editing wishlist heard by the people who write the software!

Remembering my frustration when learning to edit and organize my digital images

I started my day drinking a cup of cheap gas station French Vanilla cappuccino as I watched a priceless sunrise on the east coast of Florida. After the sun made her grand appearance, I sat there gathering my thoughts as I wrote notes on how to streamline my digital workflow plus reviewed my editing tools wish list and features. This was an assignment my buddy Dave Moser requested for the special meeting he arranged with Dima and Ivan.

I jumped in my car, put the top down and listen to my friends John, Paul, George and Ringo sing as I set out on the seven-hour round trip drive to Oldsmar, Fla. I took this time to think about questions people have asked about editing and organizing their images. I kept coming back to how photographers — especially new photographers — are confused about importing images. I relived my days when I thought Lightroom lost my images or how I deleted an entire photo shoot because the software wasn’t as intuitive as I thought.

I also thought about comments I’ve read in Facebook groups of photographers spending hours and sometimes days editing images from a shoot. I feel their pain — I was just like them when I started out. I added these thoughts to my notes for the meeting. Think back to when you first started editing and where you are today. Make a note.

The meeting

I showed up at the meeting held at Carrabba’s — a well-known Italian restaurant. Dave arranged for several photographers to spend one-on-one time with Dima and Ivan. With the help from his manager friend Jack Thomson, a private area was set up and a constant supply of food and drinks were served as photographers came and went sharing their list with the team.

It was a sight to see the many laptops mixed within the food. It felt like an old-fashioned college brainstorming session, but with a much higher class of food. It became apparent to me that Skylum isn’t your typical software company. The developers are fellow photographers and their mission is to get people shooting more and editing and organizing less. Plus, you would think the software is hundreds of dollars. Currently, it’s on a flash sale for only $49 bucks. Do you have a group of photographers that you can meet up over a good meal and brainstorm? What do you talk about?

A quick Cell phone snapshot

Shooting a sunset and meeting new photographers

I called on my buddy, fellow Photofocus author and incredible landscape photographer Jason Hahn to take us on a sunset shoot. He took us to Honeymoon State Park in Dunedin, Fla. We had a few hours to just shoot different scenes on the beach. This is where I met my new friend Carmen. She was at the beach — no camera — just enjoying her family. I’m used to photographers stopping and asking questions, so when Carmen came over, I wasn’t surprised.

After talking for a few minutes about techniques I asked her where her camera was. She said she loves shooting, then let out a loud gasp and said the phase of the title of this article, “I Cry When I Edit.” I looked at Dima and smiled. This was exactly what we’ve talked about during our meeting and how he wants editing in Luminar to be very quick and easy so photographers can get back to shooting. I told Carmen,“You’re in luck, I’m going to be your new best friend. Send me a message on Facebook and I’ll send you a link to a trial copy of Luminar along with a link to articles we wrote on Photofocus.” I sent her the links and I’ll check in on her in a week to answer any questions. If you’re an experienced photographer, what do you do to help other photographers?

After Dima’s camera battery finally died, he took this last shot with his cell phone!

A late night snack at Chick-fil-A

We had an amazing time at the beach, but it was getting late so we had to get the guys back to their hotel. I saw Chick-fil-A and told the guys you have to try this fast food place. We drove through the drive-thru, ordered and, with the top down, had a late night snack in the parking lot, talking about the shoot and sharing stories. I sat there in awe thinking for the past several hours I had the opportunity to share photography technique along with editing and workflow concepts with two great photographers who just happen to be in a position to design the tools I use in my profession.

What’s on your editing wishlist?

Although you may not be able to sit in a Chick-fil-A parking lot with the co-founder and lead product developer to give your input on their software, you can make a difference by sharing them here. Within this article I asked two questions, in thinking back to when I first started editing and where I am today:

  1. Do you have a group of photographers that you can meet up over a good meal and brainstorm? What do you talk about?
  2. If you’re an experienced photographer, what do you do to help other photographers?

Take a moment and leave your answers in the comments below. Your feedback is very valuable. We will do our best to answer all comments and we will share your thoughts with the Skylum team. Keep in mind, you can download a free trial of Luminar or take advantage of the flash sale for $49.00. Follow along with these Luminar tutorials here on Photofocus.