Hope everyone is well and still coping through these times. (People reading this in the future we are going through a pandemic and having to lockdown and self isolate).
I recently saw a post from a photographer say they don't use Lightroom because they don't trust a piece of software controlling how your images are stored. Lightroom had recently done a update to there cloud base app and peoples photos and presets had been lost for ever.
The photographer went on to say newbies to Lightroom don't know where their actual Raw files are.
I have already in a previous blog talked about storage. When you start out as I did people will often just pop the memory card into their computer and transfer the files to the Photo folder on their computer. One folder with a mass of subfolders with the camera named folder and an extra letter added as you can't have the same named folder. No organisation to where your photos are.
Also that one folder is the only copy of those files. Never trust one place for your files. Hard drives fail, can get stolen, or other things (never trust a toddler with a drink near your computer).
With regards Lightroom managing your files. It is not the software managing your files it is people not understanding the import function on Lightroom. You are in control of where the files go even if you use the MOVE in Lightroom.
If your new to Lightroom then check out my Youtube video. Click Here
GET IT RIGHT IN CAMERA!
The common phrase said when you ask someone about their knowledge of Lightroom and Photoshop. Lightroom and Photoshop are really the modern day dark room. Negatives were dodged and burned in certain areas to get a certain look. Thing were painted out to remove them from the final image.
It is good if we can get our images to near perfect in camera. Having the ability to clean up a image from a wedding or fix the face of a snotty child after a portrait session is a valuable tool. Things that we can not get right in camera and have to fix later, can give your client an even better experience and hopefully increase that sale.
Have you looked at Photoshop training course and thought that is not something I need to learn or I don't need to do any Lightroom Training Course as I just use Photoshop.
Have you looked at old portrait or wedding or any photography session and thought if I could sort this image out it would have been another sale.
Have you been on a photography training course and when they were showing the group how they edit the images, wanted to ask a question but felt foolish asking as everyone else will know the answer. Questions are never daft or stupid, questioning can help the trainer to identify the needs of those they are training. I have often sat through training courses and wished I had asked a certain question when I got home. The answer to that one question could have been the value of the whole course.
I am one who highly recommend one to one training. It may be more expensive but being able to ask the questions you would not ask in front of others mean you learn more. The trainer should personalise the training to the individual.
If you want a personal training course on Photoshop and Lightroom please contact me
Training during Lock Down
Hope everyone is safe and well. How are you finding lock down, are you coping with not being able to get out.
I am wishing I had more time in the day to get through all the learning opportunities that are out there. Some of the need for more time is trying to entertain your 3 year old to give my wife chance to work on her craft business. I have been trying to get up early, get a coffee and get on the computer to watch the next training video.
There is so much out there for everyone. There are photographers like Sue Bryce who have given free accesses to their full training catalogue for a week (Considering its over 400 hours worth you will need a time machine). Others are offering reduced price courses for you to purchase. I could make a list of people but as most are limited time offers the list would soon be out of date. One place to look with a pinch of salt is YouTube. There is training opportunities there if you know how pick the right ones. Facebook has also been a great place for finding photographers doing webinars. If you are a member of The Societies then they have been doing regular Facebook webinars. Another great person is Jerry Ghionis who has been doing Facebook webinars. A lot of these have been business related.
I have hoping to record some online Lightroom and Photoshop training courses. These will be short lessons looking at a particular bit of photoshop or lightroom. If I did a whole days training course I am sure most would be bored having to listen to me for so long. The full one to one training days I leave to when Lock down is over. Then its not just me doing all the talking for the day. If your interested in short online courses what would you like to learn? Leave a comment below.
Talking about training when the lock down is over, have you been looking at what training you want to do? How do you chose your trainer? Do you go for a one to one training session or book on a group training course?
If you chose a group training session then often the price is often cheaper than a one to one session. The down side a group training course is that if you are not the pushy one in the group then you can struggle, if there is a pushy person asking all the questions and getting the trainers attention the most.
One to One training means you get the full attention of the trainer who should work around your training needs. You are going to have to pay more for a one to one training course but if you work it out against the group course it may be cheaper. How I hear?
Well if the group is 20 people then you only get a 5th of the trainers time if you all get the same. So a course costing £120 with 20 people on it means your paying £120 for 5 percent of the trainer. So to get 100 % of the trainers time at the same cost would be £2400. A one to one session may be £1200 pounds but your getting that 100% attention from the trainer.
When I run a one to one training course, I will ask them what they want to get out of the session. I will plan the training with this in mind, but I am ready to change it if the client wants to.
When you decide to do some training how do you chose who to train with. Well first thing is to look at their website. If your looking for wedding photography training does the person actually photograph weddings? Is it a posing course labeled as a wedding photography course? If they don't do not photograph weddings how can they do wedding photography training? Are they a portrait photographer, but only a one trick pony (Must find out were this phrase comes from). There are trainers out there who run courses, but you look at their websites and every image is in a way the same. There is also the amazing photographer who are not trainers, they are great photographers but can not teach. Look at reviews from people who have been on their training courses. Look at YouTube as you will often find some video of the person your looking at training with on there.
You will find that you go on a training course and get to the end of it wishing you had not bothered, as you did not learn anything. Then there are other times were you come away with your mind blown from what you have learnt.
I have done the good, the bad and the ugly of training. I have spent a lot of money on some courses and got home wishing I could get my money back. Others I have been on and have gone back for more.
If I can afford it I would always do one to one training. I have also got to the point I will say if it is not what I expected as sometimes the trainer is not aware of a problem, and they can fix it.
Hope you are all well and safe. I hope you are still following your governments advice at this time.
So I hoped you enjoyed the first part of this blog. This blog again is not sponsored by any companies. I am no I.T expert so you may have a better understanding than me, and I would appreciate your comments on how you have your storage and backup set up.
This is to look at how you store and backup your images. As I have said I am no expert in I.T, this is more about getting you thinking about how to store and backup images. The important thing is that you have a good system of storing and organising your images. If you think about this before you're on your 100th shoot, it will save a lot of time and hassle. Everyone has their own system of organising their files. A lot of it depends on what you photograph to how you label your folders.
First thing is having a hard drive just for your images. Put nothing else on this hard drive other than the images. You then need to decide how you are going to have your folders it could be with the year on, or like me I have one folder for each letter of the alphabet. I do this as I do stock images and commercial work. A wedding photographer or portrait photographer may find it easier to have a folder labeled say 2019, inside this can be dated folders of when you did each shoot and including the persons name. You could even have January to December folders and then in each months file the folders with those clients shoot during that month.
As you can see there is many different ways to organise your images, but getting it right at the beginning saves a lot of problems in the future. (I am speaking from experience here. Having saved images just in the folder from the camera.) Ask yourself if Mr Tiplady rang you in the future to ask for an image from their wedding, how would you find it? Could you find it quickly and easily?
In my system I have Folder A, Inside is folder labeled Arsenic (I shoot stock images for book covers so I have strange props), Inside this is a RAW folder, a Jpeg folder, PSD folder and a Special folder. The special folder is for images I have resized and want to put on to instagram or some other social media site. As I say this is just the way I work. You may use TIFF in stead of PSD, or have a folder labeled Instagram and any image inside this sized just for that social media. I must credit Dave Wall for the way I do my folder organisation.
Now your probably saying, I have the folder set up what hard drive do I use? Well there is so many options out there, there is no real answer. Although I would say look at external hard drives. Look at the reviews of hard drives before buying. Are you wanting them to all match when you need to expand or are you not bothered and will just buy the cheapest at the time. I have a random collection on my desk of WD, Seagate, Lacie. I am not one of these people who has a neat and tidy desk with everything matching. What I do suggest is look at the reviews of the drives, the speed of the drives, what their reliability is.
Is having just the one hard drive with my images on ok? NO
Now there are many ways to back up your files. When you buy a hard drive for your images buy a second one exactly the same. This means you can mirror your main hard drive on the other one. So if one drive fails you are able to still retrieve your images.
At this time it is also worth looking at an cloud storage system. This means you have your files still available if you lost your two back up drives for some reason like theft or fire. I use Backblaze as my cloud backup. I only chose them from the recommendations of other photographers. Have a look around and look at the reviews before deciding. Worth sorting sooner than later, as when you first back up it can take a long time. My computer was backing up for over a week when I started using Backblaze. Now it runs in the background uploading any new files I have on the drives I have set to be backed up.
When you want to expand further your storage you might want to look at NAS RAID systems (I never can remember which is what) This will store your files over say 4 drives, and even if one fails you can still retrieve your images. Some of the companies out there are
You are best looking at their websites about their systems or speaking to them at any Photography Trade show. They are better at explaining things.
I hope you found this useful. Please comment on how you have your set up. As I say everyone will have their own way, but may have not thought of something you do and find it better.
Stay safe through these times. Get planning for the future.
I am hoping that you and your family are well as you read this. I hope also that you are following the advice by the government where ever you live. Lets get through this period.
This I hope will be a series of blogs looking at what us photographers can do to build our businesses while we are having to self isolate. Even if you have been in the photography business for years this is a time to relook at your business. For new photographers it is a time to start building a business from scratch and getting the the foundations of the business solid to go forward.
None of the companies I mention I am affiliated with. I am not here to review them unless that is what people want.
Lets start with how do you manage your business. What I mean is how do you know when your next booking is, has Joe Smith been invoiced, has the rent been paid. Some photographers I am sure have boxes of invoices and receipts in their office, calendar on their wall with stickers to denote weddings, portrait shoot, Product shoot. Those who have training session will be the same. As a new starter in the photography business it is a good time to look at the many pieces of photography management software out there. Doing a quick google search I came up with a few below
Do a search for studio management software to find many more out there. Hang on your saying, or something similar, I do not have a studio. I am a stock Photographer or I am a Landscape Photographer and trainer. These pieces of software are still good for managing your photography business. Ideally the software should make running your business faster and so give you more time doing the photography.
I would want in a management software:
A data base with the capabilities to sort and easily find clients details, remembering data protection.
A calendar. One that links a particular job to a client.
A simple way of sending out emails to clients. Being able to email clients a newsletter, but only to those who have said yes to getting it.
Be able to send invoices from the software, then being able link with client and when paid automatically send receipt.
It to make my coffee.. Ok that might not be available. Well yet.
Remind me of important dates, job lists,
Excellent support from the makers of the software.
These are just a few of the things I look for in a piece of software. One important other thing is being able to speak with the maker/ writer of the software if there is something that is not in the software that you would like to see. It may not be possible or they may direct you to something else.
Try before you buy. Although you are not going to fully see a true benefit while trialing the software. They all will require time to set them up, and this is why a lot of people decide to not use them. You will not be able to just open it up and start using it. You will have to input your prices, upload your logo and have it the correct size for the header, the news letter and so on. If you have been in business for a while, it may mean inputting all your clients details in again.
Not sure if this will be helpful to people. Excuse any errors in this but being a like most photographers I am dyslexic. (Even though I can spell the word dyslexic). Please comment with your thoughts. What software do you use and why, and what you find bad about it.