I Forced Myself to Use a Wacom and It Changed My Life

March 8, 2019

Photographer Dani Diamond

Thanks to peer pressure, eight years ago, I purchased a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet. A handful of photographers and retouchers I admired were using tablets to edit photos and I was intrigued enough to hit the buy button on Amazon. The tablet arrived two days later, but within 24 hours of use, it was packed up on its way back to Amazon.

So, what happened? I tried to love it, but editing was faster when I used a mouse. I barely gave it a chance.

For a year or so, I had lingering doubts about whether I’d made the right decision to return it, so I decided to give it another try and buy it once again. This time I asked my wife to hide my mouse which forced me to use the tablet exclusively. It took me a week or so to get the hang of it.

I’ve been using it daily ever since.

There’s no question I now work more efficiently and accurately with the Wacom Intuos Pro tablet. Here’s why.

It’s more than a drawing tablet. Way more.

A big misconception I had before using the tablet to retouch photos was that I needed to draw in order to use the tablet. This is certainly not the case. I’m no drawing artist by any means, and I use my tablet for many non-sketching tasks and can do them quicker. Here are some of the many advantages:

  • Fast retouching. Simple cleanup of the skin, dodging and burning, frequency separation and other steps related to editing photos. Using a pen rather than a trackpad or mouse to retouch is faster and more accurate.
  • Better workflow. Once you get the hang of using a pen and tablet (which shouldn’t take more than a week or two), you will see a huge improvement in your workflow.
  • More accuracy. When making selections with the patch tool and selection tools you’ll be far more accurate. It’s nearly impossible to use the selection tool with a trackpad without pulling your hair out.
  • Less effort. When a brush tool is used for dodge and burning, frequency separation, or masking, you’ll find it’s a lot quicker to effortlessly swipe the pen in a drawing motion versus moving the mouse back and forth or sliding down on the trackpad while simultaneously trying to move your finger.

DSC6268 1080

You may not know you need a tablet, but…

The truth is, it’s hard to explain just how useful a tablet is. It’s one of those things where once a person implements it into their workspace, they get that “Aha! This is what I was missing” feeling. The more efficient and easier your workflow, the quicker and better your results will be.
I do workshops throughout the year in cities across the world. As I write this, I’m currently on my way back from India where I taught photographers about my process. At workshops roughly 25% of photographers used tablets. As I walked around the room to answer questions, and I used an attendee’s setup that didn’t include a tablet, I felt hobbled without a pen.

You can’t put a price on productivity

When I make my recommendations for the Wacom Intuos Pro medium tablet, people say “it’s costly.” True. So is missing deadlines because your workflow is too slow, or not creating the finest work you can because you don’t have the right tools. People buy tablets and don’t give them a chance, so they end up getting sold basically brand new at a fraction of the price. If you’re looking to buy a new tablet, Wacom offers a financing program for their U.S. customers, that lets you pay in small monthly increments. If you are in the market for a tablet and not sure which, I suggest the Wacom Intuos Pro. It’s identical in size to a MacBook, so it fits nicely into all laptop top bags.

One last thought on my tablet evolution. I can edit without a nice desk, good chair, keyboard or my sound system (trust me, I do a lot of that in airports under the gun of red-hot deadlines).

You know what? I can’t edit without a drawing tablet.

If you enjoyed this article you may be interested in Dani’s  “5 Steps to a 15 Minute per Edit Workflow”.

a 1080

About Dani Diamond

Dani Diamond is an East Coast photographer whose breathtaking portraits and signature style have taken over all forms of social media, from Facebook to Fstoppers.

Dani’s gear of choice is his Nikon D850 and his favorite lens the 85 1.4g. He uses the 85 to allow him to be close to his subject but also allow for nice compression and blur. The “blur” is what got Dani interested in portraits in the first place, his curiosity pushed him to find out how he could create that, too. The rest is all in the details, and as Dani delved into the world of photography, he made a new path.

The process of creating such gripping photos comes with something every artist needs. A workstation. Dani’s workstation is like no other, equipped with a Wacom Intuos Pro tablet, Palette Gear, and a surround sound to so Dani can work in harmony while retouching. He has created a Facebook group for music retouching (Epic Remixes For Retouching), where other photographers and editors share their work jams and share retouching secrets.

Dani believes that you don’t need to be talented to be successful, but you need to be ambitious. He hopes to continue his career in fashion and portraits for the rest of his life.




You can find Dani’s work, behind the scenes and before/afters on  Instagram.

Related posts:

How to design your own custom Holiday wrapping paper

How to design your own custom Holiday wrapping paper

Connected Ink Recap: The PAR Lab’s innovative climate change animation project

Connected Ink Recap: The PAR Lab’s innovative climate change animation project

Connected Ink Feature: The charming journey of Panchita!!

Connected Ink Feature: The charming journey of Panchita!!

Seven photographers on Behance who will inspire you with their photo-editing skills

Seven photographers on Behance who will inspire you with their photo-editing skills

Connect with Wacom on social media

We’re excited to announce that Panchita!! premieres tomorrow! Thank you to @weareunsaid and all partners who worked on this labor of love, a short film based on a true experience from a volunteer who got to see the reality lived every day in informal settlements. Look out for the link tomorrow in our reels and stories highlights. 💙⁣
#madewithwacom #unsaidstudio #panchitamovie #panchita
183 2
Embrace creativity on-the-go with the new Wacom One. 🚀⁣
Sketch your ideas in a coffee shop or any spot that inspires you! 🎨 ☕⁣
Your studio is wherever you are 💫⁣
Where is your favorite place to draw?⁣
#Artistlife #Creativity #Creativeinspiration #Artistsinsight
188 1
#WacomSale alert! 📣🛍️🛒⁣
Know of someone dreaming of a Wacom? Save $80 USD on Wacom #IntuosPro right now! Head over to our USA estore to find out more - visit the link in our bio! ⁣
#WacomIntuosPro #IntuosPro #WacomTablet #WacomNews⁣
#Wacom #GiftGuide
152 0
Five mobile games you didn't know you could play using #WacomOne 😏🎮⁣
@apolloscelticswan 🤘🏼
#wacom #gaming #gamer #gamertok #cozygames
532 4
Ever dreamed of starting your carreer as an artist but don’t know where to start? @janwischermann  professional photo retoucher, shares a pearl of wisdom for all you emerging artists out there. ✨

Take that first step with the Wacom One and see where it takes you. Discover more in the link in bio!

#CreativeInspiration #Photoretouching #Artistsinsights
244 9
🎉 A heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who made Connected Ink event 2023 an unforgettable celebration of creativity! 🚀✨

Let’s keep the creative sparks alive and enjoy this awesome after-event movie! 🔥✨

See you next year!

#ConnectedInk #CreativeChaos
385 15
Many artists start with traditional tools before they switch to digital, and transitioning can feel daunting and even scary - making them delay it. ⁣
But is it ever too late to start? ⁣
Our friend @apolloscelticswan has some words of wisdom for those starting "late" in digital art. ⁣
When did you make the transition to digital? Was it scary? What helped you?⁣
Let us know in the comments 👇⁣
#DigitalArt #DigitalArtist #WacomTablet #MadeWithWacom #ArtistLife
2798 27
A little piece of the creative process of @amanda.ninji_illustration 💫

We love to see the work behind the final piece ❤️ 

Share yours with the hashtag #MadewithWacom so we can feature you next!

#Cintiq16 #conceptartist #digitalpainting
682 7
You spend hours picking unique and special gifts for your loved ones, but then settle with generic holiday wrapping paper? 🤯⁣
Why not print your own? Our friends at @thequeerstoreuk have created a fun little tutorial to help you make your very own holiday wrapping paper! ⁣
Find the full tutorial and walk-through on the #WacomBlog through the link in the bio! ⁣

#WacomTutorial #DesignTutorial #GiftWrapping #DesignTips #MadeWithWacom ⁣
254 4
Exclusively tailored for your Wacom Cintiq Pro 17, the Cintiq Pro 17 Stand boasts a design that perfectly complements your graphic display. 🤩

Elevate your creative experience with the Cintiq Pro 17 Stand, offering additional flexibility and versatility for your workspace. 🚀 

What’s more, it features VESA 75 mount compatibility, ensuring you have even more options for setting up your work environment.

#CintiqPro17 #CreativeProfessionals #CreativeWorkspace
1629 41