Headshot Photographer Dave Kalmbach Reviews Smart Shooter

Posted by: on Jul 29, 2020

Headshot Photographer Dave Kalmbach Reviews Smart Shooter
Photo Credit: Dave Kalmbach

Shooting thousands of headshots each year requires a bulletproof workflow. On top of that, shooting in front of some of the biggest companies in the country, as well as representing big brands on trade show floors means everything has to work quickly and flawlessly. Although happy with Capture One Pro as our main tethering and processing app, we eventually hit its limits and looked for an app that could come alongside Capture One to fill in for where it lacked. We have tested pretty much every tethering app on the market, so when Tether Tools announced Smart Shooter, we were a bit apprehensive at first.

I liked that Smart Shooter was a lightweight app focused only on tethering that didn’t try to compete with the likes of Capture One or Lightroom for features. The renaming and QR Code abilities looked impressive. There are no editing or fancy export tools to get in the way.

Photo Credit: Dave Kalmbach

After our testing, we were sold on the speed of tethering and the reliability. Unplugging the tether cable or changing a battery on the camera reconnects instantly unlike what we were used to in Capture One or Lightroom where we would often have to restart the app to regain a tether connection.

Our initial tests with Smart Shooter were quite surprising. Not only was it significantly faster (to display newly captured images) than Lightroom, it was even a bit faster than Capture One Pro. Plus as a Canon shooter, it allowed me to save the images to the internal memory card as well as to the computer. There were a couple small issues that we found in the app, but Tether Tools was great to work with to get everything resolved.

Neither Capture One Pro, nor Lightroom Classic give you the ability to display the most recent capture on a display, while letting you work on another image at the same time. When we are shooting and delivering hundreds (or thousands) of headshots per day – this is critical. This is where Smart Shooter shines in our workflow. We can now tether into Smart Shooter which provides a faster, more reliable tether and gives us a large preview of the image we just shot. Running along with Smart Shooter we use Capture One to watch the capture folder, apply styles and edits, and export the images.

Through our online course and community at HeadshotMethod.com and at speaking gigs, we help headshot photographers ramp up their workflow to be able to shoot and deliver hundreds of headshots instantly at events. Everything in our workflow needs to be solid, and we don’t hesitate to recommend adding Smart Shooter into your headshot tethering workflow.

Smart Shooter works well when paired with Capture One Pro. You get the speed, reliability and naming features from Smart Shooter combined with the outstanding RAW processing and export options that Capture One Pro excels at.

No other tethering app we tested offers a faster transfer, quicker reconnect, with robust naming options, while also allowing to save to card and computer. Tether Tools has been open to feature suggestions – which is very rare in the industry. Thanks to the recent improvements they made, we now rely on Smart Shooter in our high-volume headshot workflow.

About Dave Kalmbach

After years of senior leadership in project management, Dave Kalmbach and his wife Katherine dove into photography as a second career. They now lead the team at One Tree Studio in Toronto, Canada, who caters to professionals, businesses, and brands by providing headshots, event photography, and luxury photo booth services. Dave and Katherine are always learning to create innovative new ways to serve their clients. They’ve developed a unique headshot method, which allows them to serve hundreds of people per day delivering studio-quality headshots instantly at conferences and trade shows. This has given their team the opportunity to work with many leading companies and brands.