I have been struggling with my photography workflow for ages now. However, I finally feel that I have a little more structure. At least I have something to test out! Knowing me, there will be improvements made along the way…
This is quite a wordy post, but I promise you a visual summary at the end. The reason for sharing my process is that I thought it might be of interest to others and help them manage their workflow. I hope it’s of interest. Here goes!
I’ve been scouring the internet for ideas and it seems I am not alone in wanting to streamline the way I handle my photographs. In common with others, I’d now prefer to share only my best photos (with the exception of daily snapshots on Twitter and Facebook, for example “look how much of my sock I knitted tonight” etc!) In the early days of my social media/photography journey I shared the vast majority of my photos in one way or another. Added to that, I had no structured way of saving the source files on my computer. My photos on my laptop, and indeed on Flickr, are a disorganised mess.
To try and get organised I have put together a workflow and action plan relating to photos taken with my DSLR camera. I’ll deal with my iPhone next! I suspect the iPhone workflow will be similar, but it seems to make sense to start with my DSLR, despite the fact that I do not use it as much as my iPhone, these days.
Incidentally, the following process refers only to digital photos; I very rarely print photos out, so that process is easy to manage. It also refers to photos that I don’t consider to be “personal” (such as family photos). I rarely share these.
After considering the devices I use to take photos I thought about storage. I store photos from the last 12 months or so on my MacBook in iPhoto. Older photos get archived to an external hard drive. I also have a number of photos stored on Flickr (1800 or so). Photos featured on the iMake blog are stored on WordPress servers and photos on iMakeography are stored on Tumblr servers. These photos also sit in folders on my desktop because they’ve been exported out of iPhoto and resized for the web.
So what about sharing then? I share photos on Flickr, my blog, iMakeography (my photo-only blog), Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. Until recently, I had an Instagram account. I deleted my Instagram account (see Thoughts on Instagram) and then had a teeny tiny bit of regret, so I set up another one, but I haven’t really used it yet!
Streamlining, to me, often means getting rid of steps in a process. With regard to storage and sharing, Flickr appears in both. In a sense it is the obvious platform to get rid of. I pay for a pro-account but all of the photos I have on Flickr are somewhere else in my poorly organised system. I don’t feel ready to get rid of Flickr just yet, but I would like to start again. To that end I plan to back up all of my Flickr photos (just in case) and then delete them all and start again!
Finally I considered the type of photos I take with my DSLR. They tend to fall under the following categories: Guernsey, finished knitting/craft projects, food, craft tutorials and personal pictures.
So here’s my new and improved workflow…
First stage – getting photos from my DSLR to the laptop
- Import photos from camera to iPhoto.
- Edit photos in Photoshop as needed (this is possible through iPhoto).
- Ensure only edited photos are saved in iPhoto and there are no duplicates.
- Name the photos and event/s in iPhoto and tag photos etc. Put in albums on iPhotos as needed.
- If photos are to appear on either of my blogs, export correctly sized JPEGS from iPhoto to a designated folder on my laptop.
Second stage – sharing photos
Shared photos will tend to be the “blog sized” photos so I will share them from the designated blog photos folders on my laptop. Remember that this process is laptop-based as it relates to photos from my DSLR.
- In the interests of using Flickr as an additional back-up, for now, I will first share everything to Flickr, ensuring photos are tagged and organised into new sets entitled: iMakeography, Guernsey, Craft, Knitting, Food and Other.
- In Flickr, I will tag photos that are to be shared to iMakeography (Tumblr) as “iMakeography”. These will be shared automatically to Tumblr, Twitter and my Facebook page (see IFTTT below).
- If photos are destined for use on the iMake blog then they will then be uploaded to the blog when I write my post. I have automation set up so that new blog posts are share to Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
The only sharing I have not really got automated is with Pinterest, but as I casual Pinterest user, I am happy to do this manually as and when the mood takes me. I would do the same for other curated sites such as CraftGawker.
I blogged about IFTTT some time ago (see I Love a Good Workflow). Suddenly it’s just become useful! I have the following IFTTT processes set up relating to photo sharing:
If I post a photo to Flickr tagged “iMakeography” it automatically posts to my Tumblr account (iMakeography blog). If I post a photo to Tumblr it is automatically shared on Twitter and my Facebook page.
I am really hoping that IFTTT starts integrating with Google+ and Pinterest soon as this would make my automation process complete!
I think that’s it for now. These are my action points:
- Back up all photos on Flickr (I have found a great application called Photo Grabbr to do this).
- Empty Flickr and set up new sets as mentioned above. Review licensing.
- Ensure I am using iPhoto correctly – look at some tutorials on You Tube or Lynda.
- Create a list of tags to try and have consistency across Flickr, Tumblr and iPhoto.
- Follow this new workflow – don’t get lazy!
- Delete second Instagram account!
This is my starting point for streamlining. As promised, for the visual learners, I have made a diagram (this will be going on my wall): DSLR Workflow for iMake. This is just in case you fancy doing a little streamlining yourself. I have also created a list of standard tags – this will probably grow: Photo Tags. Enjoy!
***Update as of 11 May 2013***
Since writing this post I have made a few updates to this workflow. I have removed Flickr entirely and also remove the photo blog element (so therefore IFTTT is not needed). Things are now even easier. Oh yes, and I have gone back to Instagram… I am so fickle when it comes to social befHere’s the new work flow: DSLR Workflow for iMake 2.