With our 3rd birthday coming up, I thought I’d take you for a walk back in time and share some insights into the creation of what we know and love as QuiKeys. You can skip down to the bottom for a quick glance of QuiKeys past and present, or grab your favorite beverage and read on to dive a little into our lives ….

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Once upon a time ….

… there was a crazy husband/wife photography team who unwittingly decided to offer only the best to their clients by personally retouching each and every image they delivered.

Thankfully, fully retouched images were a hit! It set them apart from the pack and allowed them to distinguish themselves from everyone (who was everyone) who was offering un-retouched “proofs”.

One problem: they were killing themselves in the back-end and became slaves to the computer, spending hundreds of hours after each shoot to perfect every image.

Can you say, “Dead meat”??

They couldn’t go back to “proofing” but needed to find a solution to their workflow nightmare.

They looked for available workflow solutions and tried a bunch of software and actions. No matter how good, they always hit a wall of productivity with everything they found.

Both being musicians (he a pianist and she a smokin hot bass player), they’d always used both hands in performing music, and it seems natural to find a better tool for retouching to “perform” images than settling for a simple mouse.

“God gave us two hands, so why not use them both?” they reasoned.

With the purchase of a programmable X-Keys pro keyboard and the desire to create the ultimate workflow, QuiKeys was born.

But it wasn’t happily ever after just yet … it would be a loooong road before QuiKeys would become the workflow tool it is today ….

At first, they were like kids in a candy store, stuffing everything they could onto the X-Keys. This was a mistake as they soon found themselves jumping between their X-Keys and QWERTY keyboard, creating needless hand and eye movements and wasting precious time. Moving key modifiers over to the X-Keys fixed this problem, but it would take several more years and thousands of images to tweak the layout to the ergonomics QuiKeys users know and love.

With time came the automation of everything possible. Automation, that is, without losing control of the image. It laid the ground-work for what is know today as QuiKeys’ “Non-Destructive Smart Tools.” Every key was programmed to think a couple steps ahead, making their keyboard an easy press & paint affair.

The couple slowly tweaked their keyboard and figured out how to maximize every key and save time without sacrificing quality.

An interesting side effect happened too: retouching images became fun again! The tool they created allowed them to focus on the image and not the tools/menus/software. It was as if they entered into the magic of a darkroom again … but without the stinky chemicals and, well, dark … room.

Funny thing is: this couple never created their custom keyboard to sell. There was no meeting where they sat down and said, “I bet if we make this funky keyboard and throw in some waffles we could sell a bunch of them!” It was created out of *their* needs as digital photographers. That’s why it works so amazingly well and has taken off with novice and pros alike.

Today there are hundreds of QuiKeys users across the world benefitting from the amazing productivity only QuiKeys can bring. We’ve continued to add value into the QuiKeys system, which now includes plug-ins for Lightroom, Photoshop and Album Design. We’re really proud to say QuiKeys was the first and is still the most powerful, complete and flexible workflow solution for digital photographers everywhere.

To our QuiKeys family: Thank you so much for your trust! We’re so glad to contribute to your imagery & profitability but, more importantly, hope to have bettered your lifestyle by giving you more time to do more of what you love.

We’ve come a loooong way baby!

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Brief history of QuiKeys

  • 2007-Feb-14: quikeys.com officially opens for business! QuiKeys released with a single purpose: Photoshop hardware/software Plug-In for super-fast image retouching. Why Feb 14th? Who wouldn’t want a QuiKeys on Valentines?
  • 2007-March: DQ the DVD released: Philosophy of wedding photography & other misdemeanors. How Above-&-Beyond quality and customer service can produce the side-effect of incredible profitability.
  • 2008-March: QuiKeys Album Design Plug-In released. We did it again: turning Album Design workflow on its ear with QuiKeys’ revolutionary keyboard-based workflow.
  • 2008-September: QuiKeys Lightroom Plug-In released. Not again!?!? QuiKeys releases another milestone: a plug-in for Adobe Lightroom, completing the triple-play of RAW, retouch and album design in *one* workflow tool. shaBOOM!
  • 2009: Released QuiKeys Lightroom Plug-In mega-update to include dedicated layers for Lightroom’s Library and Develop Modules. Also included culling tools for PhotoMechanic and dedicated Library and Develop layers for Lightroom. Can you say “Super-Power Workflow Tool” 10 times fast?
  • 2010-January: Launched Virtual QuiKeys: One Photoshop panel to rule them all!
  • 2010-January: Official launch of QuiKlips flash accessory, broadening their reach of productivity tools from the computer into shoot-time.
  • 2010-January: Launched new shopping cart: quikphototools.com to contain all the new and coming QuiKeys goodness!
  • 2010-January: New motto to fit the growing list of QuiKeys productivity products:

QuiKeys :: Smart solutions for creative photographers.