Creating Your Digital Photography Workflow
October 17, 2013
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As a student or amateur photographer, working with digital photography means exploring and experimenting. Once you take your photos and compile raw files, you can do anything you want with it. You can adjust the color temperature, brightness, contrast or any other number of things.
This changes if you decide to enter the professional photography field. Although you’ll still treat your photos differently depending on what they look like and what they’re going to be used for, you still need a process. In the photography industry, this process is called digital photography workflow.
How to Establish Your Personal Photography Workflow
So why should you create a workflow? Because it makes your work easier and more organized. It can help make your practices more consistent, prevent you from forgetting anything, and build positive habits.
Based on your preferences, you can create a workflow that you like. Below are some of the steps you should consider when you create your own.
- Capture and Upload. Saving your raw files on your computer is vital to expanding your body of work and protecting it. You can do this right after you take the photos, or you can do this after you make changes using the editing tools on your camera. Consider backing up your files on an external hard drive or cloud storage for extra protection.
- Label. Use a consistent naming convention to keep your photos organized. This is important for storing your work long term and if you’re working with clients. You can also update each file’s metadata and add a copyright if you don’t have a preset in your program that does this automatically. Photoshop allows you to add this info if you don’t update the info at the labeling stage.
- Organize. This step simply involves separating the good from the bad. Delete photos that you can’t use or don’t like and rate the photos that are left.
- Edit. Use Photoshop or another editing tool to open the images you want to work on. At this point, you can make the edits you want depending on the specific photo. After you’re finished, make sure you save and back up these images as new files so the original images are still intact.
By creating and sticking to a photography workflow that covers these basic steps, you can keep your photos safe and organized. It can also prepare you for the professional world, where you’ll often have to prepare or process your work for publication or for clients.