Any tool, when correctly deployed, should save time. But that’s only half of the equation. Correct deployment means having the the right operator using the tool.
More often than not, the right operator is a professional.
When I was a photo assistant I mastered the skill of painting studio walls quickly and efficiently. I was as good as anyone at making an infinity wall as clean as a polar whiteout. In essence I was a perfect human tool for that task.
When I bought my first house I incorrectly assumed that my studio set painting skills would be optimal for painting all of the walls and ceilings. Predictably, I learned the hard way that as a photographer I was a terrible painter. When the job finally ended I promised myself not to do that again. Of course I have had many more occasions to re-learn the lesson.
In hindsight I should have spent that time creating new photography work and leaving the house painting to a pro.
Recognizing when to hire a pro is a valuable skill that only experience can teach.
About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer specializing in creating environmental on-location portraits and corporate photo libraries for blue chip companies.