Workflow ratio is a comparison of the number of hours you spend shooting, to the number of hours you spend in post processing. For example, if you are shooting for one hour and doing post processing work for 10, you have a 1:10 ratio. It’s a comparison of the 2 parts, in their chronological order.
Workflow ratio is something most beginning and intermediate photographers should not worry about as much as advanced and expert photographers who are constantly shooting. A typical workflow ratio for those who are unaware of their own, usually hovers between 1:8 and 1:12. There are several major reasons this happens, including but not limited to:
1. Poor Base Photography Skills – More time is needed in post to “fix” problems that shouldn’t be there in the first place.
2. A Lack of Photoshop Knowledge- Not knowing how to do what, so you spend more time learning how to use PS. This is why my Photoshop Crash Course Training DVD
is such an incredible investment. If you know what it teaches, you will save yourself 100s (and probably 1000s) of hours in workflow time.
3. “Photoshop Hypnosis”- This is where for whatever reason, even knowing the program well, Photoshop Hypnotizes you, your eyes glaze over, and before you know it, you have spent 3 hours on 1-2 images. Yes, this is a real thing.
4. A lack of focus- Distractions which break up your editing. It can be children, phone calls, errands, etc.
And of course there are many other reasons. What I teach in the workshops, is if you are a pro or even semi pro- your ratio should be 1:2 or less. I usually average 1:1, but more often now am staying under that. With Leanne, I spent about 90 minutes shooting and less than 30 in post production.
Some of the best advice I can give to those looking to reduce their workflow ratios is to get it right in camera. The closer it is in camera, the fewer steps in post.