Simon Griffee

Digital Photography Workflow

13 October 2017 · 2 minute read

Here is one possible digital photography workflow written quickly in response to a query:

  1. Download and install Lightroom or your preferred software on your computer.
  2. Create a Lightroom catalogue on an external drive (or array of drives) that you will hopefully make regular, tested backup copies of. Here is one possible folder structure that along with the file naming below has the benefit of being automatically sorted by date in your native computer file system so you don’t go nuts should Adobe/Lightroom go out of business:

    Archive > Place Name > YYYY > MM-DDtoDD Brief Event Keywords


    Archive > Italy > 2017 > 10-11to13 Rome Street

  3. Configure Lightroom import settings to rename your image files in the following way (and convert them to an open source lossless file format like DNG): FirstTwoLettersOfSurnamePlusFirstLetterOfName-YYYYMMDD-HHMMSS Example: GRE-20171013-135901.dng

  4. Import pictures to the relevant folders you manually create. For example, I imported my street photographs from the other day into Archive > USA > 2017 > 10-03to09 NYC Street Metropolitan

  5. Once you import them, you need to choose the best ones. This is the hard part! I like to mark mine with a combination of stars (most everything gets 0 to 3 stars with a few 4s and the incredibly rare 5s) and colors (yellow for ‘okay’ and ‘stock’, red for ‘good’ and ‘great’, blue for ‘person I know personally or person who I promised to send the picture to’, green for ‘published’). Then you write keywords, usually at least the first two that come to mind, in the keyword field, and should the picture be a good one, write a title and caption, usually for me the name of the place or person (if a portrait) and the month and year it was taken.