Photographers are constantly looking for ways to save time in their workflows, whether that’s keywording, editing, sending work from Lightroom to their websites, writing blog content or posting on social media.
One of the biggest things photographers are looking to save time with is culling.
Yes, the dreaded C word, “culling,” is a nightmare for so many. It’s that one thing that takes so much time, typically, especially when you have thousands of photographs to go through.
In recent years, AI-based software has come to the industry to save time on the things mentioned earlier. Artificial intelligence isn’t new to the tech world. But it’s grown so large over the years and is getting smarter every day.
But the one I want to talk about today is using AI to cull your photos and save you hours.
For example, culling through 300 photos using an AI tool can save you about 30 minutes. That’s 30 minutes more you can spend with family, meditating, working out, or working on something else in your business.
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What is AfterShoot?
AfterShoot is one of the newer AI culling tools on the block, and aiming for great heights with its features and roadmap.
This software is built by people who know AI very well, and they have a team of photographers on board who know the photography industry equally. This combination makes for a rocket ship ready for deep space exploration — or simply a fantastic product to save you some sanity.
How AfterShoot works
Once you are set up with AfterShoot, you import a folder of your fresh RAW or JPEG image files. In my example, I imported over 300 photos from a surprise proposal photography session.
AfterShoot’s AI will crawl through your photos in a couple of minutes, identifying important aspects like sharpness, eyes, smiles, highlights and shadows, and much more.
Once complete, AfterShoot will assign colors and star ratings to your photos based on their findings. Each of which you can override as needed. Filters you will see set include:
- Sneak Previews (great for weddings and headshots!)
- Duplicates (photos that are super similar to each other)
- Closed Eyes
The software is designed to be your starting point and not a side tool to your existing workflow. Meaning, you would import to AfterShoot, let it cull, then import the results with sidecar files into Lightroom Classic or Capture One.
My only complaint with AfterShoot, which I have voiced to them, is working smoother with people’s existing workflows. To have a Lightroom Classic plugin (and even a Capture One plugin) that allows you to export existing files in your catalog into AfterShoot.
Then have AfterShoot cull, and send the results back to your catalog. This is what AfterShoot’s competitor, Optyx, does. I understand that a Lightroom Classic plugin is underway, so hopefully, that’s happening sooner than later.
Earlier I mentioned that AI culling 300 photos would save you about 30 minutes. When an AfterShoot culling session is complete, you will receive an email from the system telling you exactly how much time was saved. That’s fun to see!
Who is AI culling for?
This is tricky because typically, AI tools whose purpose is culling is best when used for people. So weddings, portraits, street photos, headshots, engagements, proposals, seniors and newborns are all examples of what would do well with it.
At the same time, it does work for landscapes and products. However, software like AfterShoot is best when a face is visible. That’s not to say an option for people-less culling might come in the future.
How do I get AfterShoot?
AfterShoot is available for Mac and Windows, and from what I hear, an iPad app is coming soon. Click here to visit AfterShoot and sign up for a trial. Take it for a spin with a small photo session or a large one. See how much time it saves you.
In the past, I have used Optyx for countless photo sessions. But after chatting with some of the AfterShoot team, I am a convert. I love what they’re doing, the direction they’re headed and their passion for helping photographers with their overall workflows. AfterShoot is about saving photographers time. Think about that.
For photographers who photograph people, the sneak peek feature will come in handy. I used it for a proposal session and shared one of the five sneak peeks AfterShoot recommended — the clients cried and said they couldn’t wait for more!