Photography hardware wasn’t even a consideration during the golden age of photography, after a shoot concluded the photographer would need to return to a “studio” which housed a large darkroom to develop the negatives. These days a studio has become much more compact. In all actuality most wedding photography studios are run out of the proprietor’s home, due to the on site need for wedding photographers. In many cases a studio is simply a computer with the software required to post produce the final product to perfection.
Since the computer is essentially the entire photography studio, many considerations must be made when making this crucial selection. Given the amount of time photographers spend staring into the sea of pixels, investing in a machine that pleases the eye is very important. Processor speed, memory, and disk space are all major factors that also need to be deliberated. As creative people we are very familiar with Apple and their products, and trust our studio to the heritage they’ve created for artists.
For our studio we use a plethora of different devices for different purposes. For blogging and general computing we rely on the 13″ Macbook Pro. It’s a solid computer that travels very well and we hazard a guess that it’s probably a staple of most photography studios. We also utilize iPad & iPhones for scheduling, communicating and lots more. The iPad comes with us to every single client meeting as it makes supplementing our static books possible. It’s great having the versatility of showing off last weeks wedding to a client right away.
For our powerhouse editing system we choose the iMac, with a 27” display, quad processors and fusion drive. Its compact footprint and large screen fits perfectly into our workspace and is very ascetically pleasing to use. Having used lesser computers in the past we can attest to the snappiness this big apple provides. Today’s modern photography applications are very CPU intense and require plenty of patience by its users. However, when engulfed by a wedding season with deadlines looming everywhere patience might not be a virtue.
The iMac screen looks stunning with its LED-backlit display and IPS technology. For us this feature is absolutely paramount when considering our computer selection. The reason is simple, we want to see the images we post produce in the highest possible quality and resolution for editing. It is also calibrates with relative ease and is easy to own. This gigantic magnificent screen looks amazing and doesn’t disappoint in the slightest.
By nature humans just don’t like to wait, however the increased price tag could sway some to save a little cash here. For us this was an easy upgrade to choose as we are model humans and waiting is not our strongest suit. This is also an expensive upgrade that is difficult to make at a later time when using a Mac. Considering that it could extend the longevity of the machine and perform slightly better than its under powered sibling. Plus once in the thick of wedding deadlines a fast computer can save the day!
We take lots of pictures , which requires space to store them all. However, for this consideration we choose performance over capacity. The smaller 1TB fusion drive might not provide a lot of storage. However with its on board SSD capabilities we get the performance we desperately need without breaking the bank. The fusion drive caches the most frequently accessed files and dramatically improves the read/write speeds in the flash memory! The best part is all this happens automatically behind the scenes.
We choose to save our money here and we still run on the half the capacity for our system at 16GB. Memory is generally an inexpensive upgrade, and can always be made at a later date. However, we haven’t run into many times that the system maxes out the memory. We always purchase our memory upgrades from third parties. We find it is sold at a much more affordable cost and it seems to function identically.
Devices that we can’t live with out
Western Digital My Book Hard Drives
Due to the rather small drive selection we made for our computer’s primary drive we have found that we need lots of additional external drives to augment the constant demand for bytes. These WD drives serve their purpose flawlessly! With their USB 3.0 connector they can transfer data very quickly and efficiently. We keep one connected to our computer at all times to back up the entire working drive. We keep our “working catalogs” on the primary drive for editing speed and efficiency. We also have additional drives for each year we shoot that we referred to our catalog drives, such as catalog 2013, 2014, etc. We catalog each year on a separate external drives in case we need to go back to them in the future. We also disconnect these drive once the data is archived and only start them back up when we need something from the year. This system of volumes works great and makes archiving easy and efficient.
A color calibration system is a must have for any professional photographer running a studio. Its purpose is simple, to keep colors consistence between your monitor and the colors that printers use to create the final product. Obviously you can see how this is seen as requirement, monitors shipped from the manufacturer rarely are correctly calibrated and even if they are over time they can drift. Occasionally your screen needs to be tuned like a piano, and while in office expert services are available this one little device handles our needs perfectly. Its also very wizard driven and has both simple and expert modes. So if you have never tuned a screen you needn’t worry about it being difficult with the Datacolor Spyder!