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Capturing the Every Day – Week 4 – Improving my workflow

Week 4: Crafts and Playgrounds

One month in and I remain committed to my Project 52. It’s actually challenged me in many ways like making sure that my camera remains in places where I’m most likely to reach for it like the kitchen counter. It’s also helped me with my workflow. I’ve been incredibly busy with my day job. When I come home, I’m mom to two awesome kids as you can see here. Nothing comes in my way of being fully there for them in those last few hours before they head off to bed. That means I’ve got to have some sort of rhythm for when to import, sort through, process, and put together my layout. That’s typically on the weekends when they are napping (thank goodness for at least one good nap a day!) or after they’ve gone to bed (like now).

So what have I learned since starting this project? Here are a few things

  • Don’t waste your time with the dupes and duds. I shoot raw at 24.3 megapixels. That means each photo takes up approximately 25MB! If I don’t sort through my pictures I will very quickly run out of disk space! Also, if I wanted to capture Luke progressively sliding down the slide I would have videotaped him. More pictures means more time searching and more time processing. 
  • Flag your favorites and flag the photos to post to Facebook. I use Lightroom to process and organize my images so I use ratings and colors to do this. I give my all-time favorites (those that I would print and frame if I had the space on my walls) a five rating. This makes it easy to find the ones that I may want to submit on  photography sites. Then I assign a “blue” flag to those that I want to share or use for a project. Lightroom has an automatic rule for the 5 star rated photos so you can bring them up quickly. I created my own rule for the blue flagged pictures.
  • Keyword on import. As I get more disciplined about completing projects, I’m finding keywording is a huge time saver. I’ve gotten much better at striking a balance on getting too granular or too generic. For example, instead of keywording against individual names I now use more general keywords like “grandparents”, “siblings”, “cousins”, and “vacation.” I will also add more details when necessary like “cruise” or “Disney” to give me more options when searching. What’s my favorite keyword these days? “Everyday”
  • Jot down your editing recipes. It never fails. I fall in love with a set of presets, mix and match them. Synch settings and copy and paste the settings and then  get interrupted. When I come back I can’t remember which presets and what order and going back to the editing history doesn’t help much because all it says is that I pasted the settings from another photo. Ugghhh! That’s why I my monitor is now framed by post it notes with preset names. Even that has become a challenge with keeping track of which ones I used so I’ve turned to Evernote where I copy a screenshot (not actual pix) of my picture and write down the recipe in the note. So much better especially if your kids have access to your computer.

If you’re working on a Project 52 or Project 365, I would love to hear some of your workflow tips. Leave them on our FB page.

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