Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Workflow, workflow, workflow! {Delaware Lifestyle Portrait & Fashion Photographer}

Every photographer has their own workflow. Some have complex ones, some have easy ones. Overtime, we develop our workflows based on what works for us, time, ease, and the tools that we use.  When I first started out, I was strictly an Adobe Lightroom user. I lived by that program.  That was mainly because I was scared to use Adobe Photoshop! I'll be honest, Photoshop was like being the only person left on the dodge ball court with the biggest, most awesome player on the other team. You size them up, see that they can palm the ball with one freaking hand, they are snarling at you, and you know that you have no chance. Ok, maybe it's not that bad, but that's how it feels sometimes!

I started adding Photoshop to my workflow over the past two years after playing around and teaching myself how to use it. Lots of nights spent testing out the features, watching Youtube videos, reading tutorials, and just lots of trial and error.  As it took me a while to define my photographic style, it took me a while to define my editing style also.

So what is my workflow?  Here is what I do!

1) After the session, I usually come home and upload the images to my computer, IMMEDIATELY!  I have a need for instant gratification, so things need to be put on my computer ASAP! I do not erase the images off of the card.

2) I take those raw files, and save a copy of those to my external hard drive.  You never know if your equipment is going to fail on you, and it's better to be safe than sorry. I've had my whole motherboard fail on me before, and felt as if my world was crashing down. Especially being that it was in the middle of my busiest season, and I had weddings and some family sessions that I didn't edit yet.

3) The images get uploaded to Lightroom.  Like I said, I used to use Lightroom exclusively to edit my images.  I use it now to cull my images, and save the catalog as an extra back up for the images.  I have heard many praises for PhotoMechanic that makes it very easy and extremely fast to cull images.

4)  I export the images from Lightroom, to Photoshop. I run an action on all of the photos using my basic retouching action (exposure, levels, curves, etc).

5) I then go through each image and edit from there. Fixing skin, stray hairs, removing objects, extending backdrops if needed, sharpening, etc.

6)  I then use another action to close all the layers, and save all of the images as a jpg in the same folder that the Lightroom images were exported to.

7) Now, this is important. In the past, I have gotten trigger happy, and have deleted images accidentally.  By having the regular jpgs from Lightroom in the folder, and then having an extra folder with the newly edited images, I have two back ups.  At this point, I create a folder of the session name "Family-Insert Name Here" onto my external drive, and copy and paste the images that are in that new jpg folder of the original location to it.  Then I deleted the unedited jpgs, and move the edited jpgs to the folder.

8) I next use Pixieset to upload the images to my clients gallery to be ready for their viewing and ordering session.

And that folks, is my workflow!

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