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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Refine Your Imaging Workflow

Wedding photojournalism is a day-in and day-out, high-pressure shooting environment but if you can master this workflow, you can do anything

Automation Is A Good Thing

From here, I run a script by Mike Dickson called AutoLoader on my folder of JPEGs. AutoLoader takes images in a specified folder and loads them sequentially via a single keystroke. I work on each file individually, providing any burning and dodging or postproduction effects as needed. I use many Action sets, those I've purchased or created, to speed the process of common postproduction tasks.

These images are destined to become my final well of selects from which I create my clients' proofs and slideshows, my blog entries, trade contest entries and possible print orders. I prefer to spend my time up front on these files so that they're ready to go. As long as my initial exposures and batches are done properly, I can manage to get through an entire wedding via AutoLoader in just a few hours.

With my final folder of JPEGs finished, I run a batch action via a Mike Dickson script called Proofmaker. This script takes my specified files and creates 4x6 proofs with any specified border or text. Mine are printed with a white border and a black keyline. Proof files are uploaded via FTP to my color lab, White House Custom Colour, and returned within three working days.

Review And Delivery

At this stage, a couple's files are uploaded via FTP to my online proofing site where the couple and their friends and family have the opportunity to view and order prints.

While waiting for my proof files to return, using iView again, I mark a selection of images for my blog and for a slideshow set to music that I present to clients. This slideshow only offers a sneak preview for my clients and serves as advertising for the friends and family to whom they'll pass it along.

When proofs are delivered to the couple, they also receive a disc of their images from which they're able to create their own prints if they desire.

Final JPEG files are finally added to my archive in corresponding client folders, with the original RAW edit, on two external drives.

Once the job is completed, I update my master iView catalogue for my archive; catalogues are kept by year. Because iView shows the path to the original files, I can keep this catalogue on my G5 and still know on what drive my original file lives.

Even with ownership of their image files, couples often continue to come back to me for print and album sales. My master iView catalogue enables me to track the image and transfer a copy to my desktop for preparation in either an album or for final print orders.

We all know how difficult it can be to wait for something we desire, even more so in this world of immediacy in which we live. When approached in the proper manner, getting the work done in a timely fashion becomes less of a problem. The quicker I can turn around jobs, the more I can concentrate on being creative, which is, after all, my reason for being here.

Kristin Reimer is an award-winning member of The Wedding Photojournalist Association (WPJA) and its Artistic Guild (AGWPJA). Visit her Website at www.photomuse.com.



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