Today as I was pondering what to blog about, I decided to go back over last year’s photographs. The thought in my mind was that since the high school baseball season starts very soon, I could do a preview utilizing an old photograph from last year. There was an immediate problem, however. I had not kept up with rating all my photos from the previous year!
I am fairly faithful with flagging photos in Lightroom because I can then easily create a collection of each photo shoot or at least go back easily and view the keepers from that shoot. But I also use ratings to keep track of the very best photos… some of the time. So here came today’s blog thought: Rate them now or you’ll have to catch up later.
This is true in so many areas of photo workflow. Keywords are a prime example. Do you enter keywords right after a shoot or do you delay this important step until some time later? What about metadata? Do you automatically have it entered on import or do you have to remember to do it later?
My ideal workflow looks something like this:
- Import all photos (metadata and some keywords are added automatically on import)
- Flag the keepers
- Add any additional specific keywords as needed (jersey #s for ball players, names, etc.)
- Color code any I plan on using for my blog, sharing on Google+, or any other use
- Edit any of the flagged photos as necessary
- Rate the best photos with 5 stars and the next of best with 4 stars
- Create a collection of this particular shoot for easy reference later
- Create a gallery of the keepers to share on my website
This is my ideal photo workflow that works well for me when I remember to do everything in this process.
What is your workflow? What works well for you? What do you struggle with?
I always try to process photographs as soon after an outing as possible. This way I can keep details fresh in my memory, add appropriate keywords right from the start, and pick the keepers that I want to use on my blog, Google+, my website, or to print. Sooner rather than later is the motto I strive to uphold. Usually it works well. occasionally, I have to process photos at a later time.
Sometimes, however, I go back to a previous photo shoot and find an image that I either missed the first time through or figured I couldn’t or wouldn’t want to use. Such was the case last night. I went through some old Pennsylvania elk photographs from last fall and came across this nursing calf. The pose struck me, but the background also caught my attention. I had to crop out a twig that got in the way of my shooting lane, but the image above I thought was usable at least on some level.
What do you think?
Here’s a question: Do you keep just your keepers from each photo shoot or do you keep all of your photos?
Photographers have all sorts of strategies in keeping, distributing, and storing photographs. Some only keep their keepers and delete everything else from a shoot. Others, like me, tend to be more like pack rats and keep everything. What is your method?
Here’s the thing, in my opinion. Software seems to get better each and every year. So what might seem like a rather mundane photo today might be editable in the foreseeable future. Besides, I believe that even my non-keepers and really bad photos allow me to learn from them. Seeing them beside my keepers also has a way of keeping me humble!
I do not think there is a right or wrong way in this discussion, but we photographers certainly have opinions. So what is your opinion? Keep just the keepers or keep them all?