So, as per usual, I had a revelation as I was trying to go to bed. I approach making a photo like I approach writing. Every image is different. Even hundreds of photos from a 3 hour studio shoot, I look at them all individually. I edit them all individually, and they all have a sort of "sub-style" that sometimes I can't even put a finger on. I can't use actions, it takes away the emotional and true value in my photos. I've never used the same process in shooting - I've actually told clients that I won't recreate something that I've already done and lost business doing that (before you remind me that client satisfaction is key, understand that this is not just my job, it's my life. Got to be happy with what I do, regardless of the ups and downs. And when I say recreate, I mean same location/backdrop, lighting setup, etc). I can't go into a project with a mindset I had in the past. It's not that I'm unable to, I just can't bring myself to reproduce something. It all has to be fresh. This came up with a friend/colleague the other day when I noticed him watermarking images one at a time, and asked "isn't that a pain in the ass.. to watermark 100 images one-by-one?" and he said that each photo has a different 'meaning' (for lack of a better term), so you can't just slap a stamp on it and move on - it has to fit and it has to work. At the same time, he was advocating the use of actions and batch-processing, to which I explained my opposition. He uses them because it saves time - no argument there. But how much more important is an extra hour, or 6 extra hours gained by batching? How much more important is a subtle, unique quality over gaining more time to work? I hope I'm getting my point across - I feel like I could write 10k words on this easily - but I can't make you all suffer that long. What are your thoughts on this? Do you use actions - yours or others'? If yes to others' actions - why? Batch process?