Taking Control of Contrast, Saturation and Sharpness is at the very heart of photography. When you shoot a photo on your camera one of two things happen. Either the camera saves the image as a Raw file or as a Jpeg. The fundamental difference between […]
6 Tips to Speed Up Your Photography Blogging Workflow
Alrighty. Let’s talk photography workflow. I think we can all agree that we LOVE taking pictures. I think we can also probably agree that it’s super fun to take time with a picture or two or three, sprinkling Photoshop/Lightroom pixie dust and making our photos visually stunning. Unfortunately, I think we can also agree that uploading hundreds of photos and then “working” them all is an extremely intimidating and seemingly overwhelming task. It can be a real buzzkill.
So let’s dig right in. How best to tackle a big chunk of photos? How not to lose our minds? How not to drown under the weight and feel guilt, like we’re constantly “behind.” Let’s learn to be lean, mean, photography-workflow machines!
For our efficient photography workflow “case study”, we will use pictures from my family’s recent trip to Washington DC. I find that my biggest chunk of personal pictures comes from roadtrips and/or vacations. We were in DC for 5 days and I came home with 800+ photos.
In order to be truly efficient, the key thing for me is to be able to “handle”/”work” these photos as few times as possible (not because I don’t enjoy looking at my pictures – I do! – but because going through 800+ pictures takes a LONG time). My primary goal for these photos is to blog them and to get them album-ready. When I am working at my most efficient level, I’m doing both these tasks at the same time. (If I’m in super-duper uber efficient mode, I’m also designing the album pages while the pictures are “fresh”).
So, how does that look in specific workflow terms? Please bear with me – here comes a seemingly tedious list of how-tos – but I promise time-saving tips abound for those patient enough to dig through the details!!
1. Upload Your Photos to the Computer
- I put my flashcard in a card reader and upload directly through Lightroom into my folder structure. [Editor’s Note: You can view Susan’s file import process in her Family Photo Albums Tips post.]
- When I import the photos, I immediately key word them so that I can find them super easily down the road. In this case, these photos were all key-tagged “11-November” & “Washington DC”. They “live” in my Keller 2013 LR catalog.
2. Narrow Down Your Favorites
My next step is to cull AND pick favorites. As I move thru the photos, I hit “x” for each picture I don’t want to keep and I type “1” to place one star on each picture I potentially want to blog or put in an album. For these DC pictures, I ended up eliminating about 200 and star-ing about 200. After perusing them all, I deleted the rejects from my computer, and I set my filter to ONLY show me my star-ed images. So now, when I’m getting ready to edit and make decisions for my blog or albums, I’m only looking at my 200 favorite photos, NOT 800.
3. Batch Edit
Because I have so many star-ed photos, I know I’m looking at creating several blog posts instead of just one. I’ll figure out just how many posts as I go along. I tend to batch edit pictures that are all taken in the same place. I pick my one or two presets, tweak, and then copy to all the photos I want edited.
4. Use Quick Collections
And here’s my power blogging tool in Lightroom: Quick Collection. Any photo I’m considering for my blog gets added to Lightroom’s Quick Collection. Simply hitting the letter “b” (I know: sooo not intuitive) from the library mode adds any picture to the quick collection. Once I have a selection of pictures in the quick collection, I can easily rearrange their order (something that can’t be done outside of “collections”) and decide which pictures are necessary and which pictures are extraneous and can be deleted from the blog pool. Here’s what my quick collection looked like from our visit to Jefferson Memorial:
5. Export with Presets
This is where it gets automated, fast, & fabulous … From this quick collection I export two separate groups of photos: one group sized specifically for my blog and one group full-resolution- sized for future print needs (prints, albums, etc.). I highlight all the pictures, hit Ctrl-E to apply my pre-saved blog export. [Key Tip: Save your regular export settings as a preset] My blog export preset lets me rename the pictures in their new order (I use custom name + sequence – this allows me to autoload the pics in my desired order), size them at 800 px width, 72 dpi, and apply standard screen sharpening. My print export preset simply exports the newly edited image at full-res (300dpi) with some minimal sharpening.
6. Upload to Blog
Forgive me, Mac users, my last & easiest step is Windows-based: I use Windows Live Writer software (free download) to painlessly & quickly load my text and all my pictures.
So, to sum up: upload, keyword, delete, rate, batch edit, add to quick collection, export web-sized & full-res copies at the same time. Try Windows Live Writer if you’re Windows-based. Rinse and repeat as many times as necessary. I promise you, it will feel pretty terrific taking charge of your photography workflow in a timely, efficient manner.
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