5 Minute Portrait Editing

this past weekend I figured I would edit some photos from shoots I had done recently but hadn’t gotten around to editing yet. This time though, I thought I would set myself a timer and see how well and how fast I could edit against the clock. Each image you see in this blog post took a about 5-8 minutes to edit.


While I haven’t gotten each edit exactly how I wanted in such a short time, I think most of the heavy lifting gets done inside of those first five minutes. Previously when I had sat down to do some editing, I would just casually make my edits and take as much time as I wanted to get everything perfect. The result is a great image but if I had allotted two hours to make the edits, they would take two whole hours.


If I set a countdown timer (Download Howler from the Mac App Store) the edit time very closely adheres to whatever the timer is set to. It’s a strange phenomenon to witness and I’m sure there’s a scientific term that describes it more clearly. If you set a timer you would be surprised how many different activities can actually take less time.

John Hill

For me this came about because I’m in college classes during the week and if I have editing that needs to be done I can’t give it all day. The faster I can edit, the better off I am in the long run. While I love doing my photoshop work, I also love getting more than one thing done in a day and a countdown timer (and a few custom PS actions) helps me do that. A lot of the reason why I think a timer helps cut down on time spent on a project is because I usually go into something thinking “this is going to take forever” and it does. By using a timer there’s no question as to how long something is going to take because you’re allotting a finite amount of time to it up front before you begin. Knowing exactly how long something will take to finish helps me stay motivated and makes me get things done faster.

Carl Tempesta

I guess it’s never to late to learn that I work better and faster under a deadline.



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