We are all good at taking photos… and when we catch the bug, we take A LOT of photos! But how do we keep them organized?? My workflow is done using Adobe Bridge, but the same concept of organization can be applied to pretty much any photo management software you choose. As a little bit of a side note – if you are using Apple iPhoto to manage your photos… STOP IT!! If Apple were lay claim to a failure, that would be one of them. Get your photos out of iPhoto and into something else. There will be a day when you will be really glad you did!
Now for my own workflow:
When I import the photos off the card, I put them in a set of folders that have been organized chronologically. For example:
Pictures > 2012 > January > 14 Jan – DustinEricaGarden
So that’s where you would put all the originals from the shoot. Since I shoot in RAW format, I will quickly head to Photoshop to convert them to JPGs and size them down for Client Proofing. To do that in Photoshop, go to:
File > Scripts > Image Processor…
Here I select the source files (which would be the originals) and that I would like to save them in the same location. Saving them in the same location will create a new folder labeled “JPEG” inside where you imported your original photos. While still in the image processor window, I will make sure that the JPG check box is selected and the resize one too. Then I will put in 1000px for both the height and the width of the images. This won’t make them square, but adjust whichever edge is longer to 1000px. This makes for easier online proofing. At the bottom I will add my Copyright statement and then tell it to run.
Once the photos are resized, I will then upload them to a site called ZangZing (FREE) for client proofing. What I do here is create a new album for my clients and upload all the originals and ask them to go through and mark “Favorite” on the ones they absolutely want to have printed/edited. I give them about a 15 photo limit because otherwise they might select them all. I restrict album access to private so only the client can see the photos.
Once the photos have been selected and ready for enhancements/editing, I create a general folder labeled, “Edits” for each month. For example:
Pictures > 2012 > January > Edits…
And inside each Edits folder are these two subfolders:
Original Quality, edited, JPGs are saved in this area. At the same time I finish a photo I like to make it “Web Ready” by resizing it and putting my logo on it and I then I save it in a folder called “BLOG” inside my “JPGs” folder. For example:
Pictures > 2012 > January > Edits > JPGs > BLOG…
I might create subfolders within “JPGs” or “PSDs” for a series of photos I edit just to keep clients separated from my own work or other files.
This type of organization has worked great for me because it’s been far easier to remember when an event happened rather than some crazy name I saved it all under.
As far as my editing workflow goes – that changes depending on the photo I am working with. From HDRs to Portraits to Landscapes… they all need a special kind of love.
But, one thing I do make an effort to do when I am done editing the photo is to do levels so that if I print the photo, it will be bright enough. I will do a slight sharpen on it. Then I will increase the Sats because some printers take the sats away depending on where you go. Those are my finishing techniques but it’s a workflow.