Designing a workflow.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by shmne, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. shmne

    shmne No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm a digital design student, going into photography as a career.

    As a designer the most important thing we learn is work flow, because the faster and more effective you work, the more per hour you make.

    With this idea in mind, as a photographer how much do you do before a shoot?

    This is a little broad to ask, and I have my own work flow but I guess I'd like to see what some other people do.

    Currently since I am new I take many precautions I may not need.

    -I bring my camera to the location two separate times before the shoot (if a location instead of studio) and scope out the area thoroughly.

    - After talking over with the client (lately models looking for portfolio shots) as to what style they want, I write up a shot list which includes how it should be framed as well as positioning of the model.

    - The day before I get my gear ready, and fully charged up (I'm assuming this is standard)

    - The day of I arrive on scene about 30 minutes early and get moving! I make sure I have my lenses ready and raring, as well as making sure to look over my shot list once more before we start. This tends to make me calm with the model since I will be a lot more confident

    - Once the model arrives, hair and make up finished, I'll direct them and talk to them quite a bit trying to keep things comfortable for them. (I'm using 50mm and 85mm, reflectors only meaning no flashes) I'm usually at a comfortable distance never to far. The lack of a flash makes things interesting currently... but it really isn't an option since the camera kit alone set me back quite a bit!

    - From there once we wrap it all up, I'll dump to my computer and set up an action to format all the photos to the feel I want (I don't use any software outside of adobe camera raw / photoshop, with little need since I have a lot of set up actions)

    - Tweak photos as needed, clean up marks, nip and tuck if requested / needed.

    - Delivery

    That is really it though, and seeing as I've only used this work flow once or twice I feel like I'm leaving some potentially important things out =\

    I know it seems like I plan like a mad man and stick to it, but this is mainly just for me to have guidelines so I don't forget anything. When I'm actually working I never really sit there thinking that it must all happen, I tend to be very flexible.

    So if you'd like to write out your work flow, or critique mine I'd greatly appreciate it! I'm very new, however I have a lot of knowledge on photography since I've done my research so don't hold back please
     
  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For me, every shoot is different and unique, but things like being ready, having clean, functional equipment and being professional in all aspects (from coming early to being ready to being able to offer a quality product) seem less like workflow and more like basic common sense.

    For me, the term workflow only works for me when discussing my data or information flow from data on a CF card to a completed image ready for customer approval. Perhaps that's just the ay I am. :)
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    While I do think that this is a great idea, it's terribly inefficient. Two trips to a location...while not actually doing something 'productive' (shooting/editing etc).
    I think a great skill that I see in 'seasoned' professional photographers, is their ability to show up anywhere and find the best shooting locations almost instantly. Some people can easily pick out nice looking spots, but the photographer picks out nice light as well. This is especially important when you are working with ambient light. If you are working with your own light (flash etc) then you should be able to adapt to whatever location you are in...but it still helps to know where the ambient light is good/great/terrible.
    This skill is something that is farily easy to work on...actually, it becomes habit pretty easily...and you are constantly noticing good lighting wherever you go.+

    Going back to your workflow question...I don't see 'back-up' anywhere. Do you back-up your images? That is probably a good idea.
     
  4. shmne

    shmne No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Actually that is a big whoops :x I haven't been backing anything up.

    As far as the tip on the lighting in a location, that is actually really true. It is something I have been working on wherever I go as well, I only have a few months experience now :)

    The two trips to the location I should have explained better =\ Since I've been working for an agency the first trip is for me, the second to show the agent coming with me my ideas. Both times I'll shoot while I'm there so that when the model is all ready for the shoot we can just take the shots I have planned out and move on.

    And Jerry I think you're right in a way, that you can see it more as common sense. Honestly I'm just scared of forgetting something for tomorrow, everything is really low budget but it is still a decent paying gig so I want to at least do a decent job and not goof anywhere.

    I may write up my camera raw / photoshop work flow since I think that would be easier to critique then what I have listed currently :p
     

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