Best Practices in Workflow Management for Photographers
Twenty years ago, managing photography workflow consisted of cataloging rolls of film, pressing negatives in books, filing prints and of course, dealing with all the moving parts and chemicals in the darkroom.
In today’s digital age, photographers are out of the darkroom and spend most of their time in the “lightroom.” With the help of high-speed cameras, they shoot images at ridiculously fast frame-per-second rates, which leads to thousands upon thousands of images. Keeping track of them all can be quite a daunting task and workflow management is becoming a skill-set all photographers must have.
Once you’ve figured out the type of camera you’re using and you have plenty of memory cards, you’ll eventually need to start processing. Here are some tips to help you manage all those digital memories.
Select Your Software
There are a slew of free and paid software packages out there that help you process your photos and organize them. Look for a product that allows you to manage your digital negatives like you would film negatives (especially if you’re shooting in RAW format), i.e. organize them by year, date and then shoot name. This will allow you to not only keep your files organized by time, but also by subject matter. If you can find a program that allows you to organize, process and produce high quality images in one, go with that option. It prevents having to deal with two different software platforms.
Keep Your Files Off-Disk
The worst thing digital photographers could do is keep all their hard work on the hard drive of the machines they are processing. What happens if that computer hits the skids and you lose all your hard work? It could be devastating for both you and your clients.
The best option for photographers is to use external hard drives, not only for their main storage but also for redundancy and backup. For example, take the Western Digital My Passport 2TB hard drive. It’s compact, formatted for Mac or Windows users and packs a whopping amount of space for roughly $300. Using an external drive like the Western Digital My Passport will allow you to take your work with you to other offices, on client meetings and most importantly, keep those precious files off your main machine.Continued on the next page