How to Achieve a Speedy Workflow - Part 3
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Before we get into the detail of this article here's a quick recap for those who missed the previous instalments to this mini series, the links to which will follow. In Part 1 I discussed the benefits of effective image organisation as well as detailing my simple system for the post production of large volumes of images - don't forget, edit IN not out. I also outlined my simple approach to speedy image development. In Part 2 I covered some more creative techniques that I regularly use. This included split toning, a HDR effect and colour cast removal, each of which has been designed to be quick and simple to apply.
In this final part to the "Speedy Workflow" series I'd like to focus on the last stage of my workflow and share how I prepare images to go online.
The process of preparing our images to go online should be quick and simple. You should not find yourself neglecting it, rushing it or perhaps completely bypassing it. If you do you risk damaging your business.
Promoting my images online and trying to reach as many people as possible is how I market my wedding photography and how in turn my chances of generating new business is improved.
Below I'll share how I quickly watermark images, create image composites for my blog and output HD video slideshows as a seamless part of our workflow.
Images For Your Blog
One of the best ways to generate new business leads is with a blog. As a rule they are easy to create, they make it easy to add content relevant to your business and blogs are easy to keep up to date. In a nutshell a well executed blog is perfect for getting search engine love and for bumping up your ranking.
Why is it then that so many of us procrastinate when it comes to writing new blog posts or uploading new content to our galleries. It may be because, and I speak from experience here, that we don't think we're particularly good at writing or because we struggle for things to say. The skill of natural writing comes with practice, or by simply visiting other people's sites for ideas, but in time this component of creating a blog post will become easier. The part that we should be good at is choosing and preparing the images to upload to the blog. This may involve resizing images for the blog, perhaps adding a frame and then watermarking the image. Whichever way you decide to present your images you should make the process simple and efficient. It should become a non-optional part of your workflow and should not be rushed.
One of the challenging tasks for preparing images for the blog can simply be choosing which ones best represent your style, the story and your craft. To make this process simple we use the tagging and flag tools from within Lightroom to identify potential blog images during the editing phase. We're reviewing each image in turn so why not make a call on the suitability of an image to appear on the blog at the same time? It certainly saves us a lot of time and once editing has finished we then have a collection of blog candidates to review. These images are a combination of our favourites and good quality detail or ‘story' images that help to glue all of the images together.
If you find yourself with too many picks simply create a collection containing these images and edit down.
The next job is to prepare these images for the blog. We like to create composite images for our blog which in the past was an incredibly time consuming process involving Photoshop and multiple layers. With a new feature in Lightroom 3 it's now possible, with a little configuration, to create composite images using the Print module. Here is an example of a a finished composite: