This is my second Workflow post. Previously, I talked about My Geotagging Workflow.
I shoot every day. After a while, all those photos start adding up. Often people ask me how I manage all those images, and what my workflow is for processing them. This post details the current workflow that I’ve developed, using Aperture and a combination of Projects and Smart Albums to automate the details.
At the beginning of each month, I create a new Project in Aperture. The project is named “yyyy-mm Photos”. So today, since it is the beginning of November, I created “2009-11 Photos”. Inside this new project, I create a Smart Album named “TODO” that shows all Unrated photos:
All the photos I take during the month will be imported into the Project for that month. After I import a batch, I click on the TODO Smart Album and take a few minutes and look at them, marking any obviously useless shots as Rejected. Marking them as Rejected automatically removes them from the TODO Smart Album, since it only matches Unrated photos.
When I am ready to process some photos, I select a TODO Smart Album. Usually, I have several to choose from, since I am rarely caught up to the current month. I will look through the photos in the album, processing photos that catch my eye. Sometimes I will just concentrate on a batch of photos, rather than processing photos from different months.
When I am finished with the adjustments for a particular photo, I add keywords using the Keyword Controls window in Aperture. I have some predefined keywords that I use often assigned to buttons in the Keyword Controls window. For keywords that are not assigned to a button I just start typing and Aperture auto-completes them. I normally add geographic keywords (at least city and state), as well as keywords for photo type, objects in the photo, and anything else that will help me find the photo at a later date. Adding keywords in Aperture ensures that the exported photos that get uploaded to various web sites will always contain the keyword metadata.
After adding Keywords, I rate the photo from 3 to 5 stars. Any photo with a rating of three stars or higher will be uploaded to Flickr and Zooomr, and possibly other services. Five stars means the photo is a personal favorite. After adding the rating, the photo disappears from the TODO Smart Album, and I can begin processing the next photo.
When I am ready to upload photos to Flickr and Zooomr, I click on my Ready to Upload Smart Album. This is a Smart Album that matches all photos with a rating of three stars or higher, AND photos that do NOT have the keywords “flickr” and “zooomr”:
I select photos that I want to upload from this Smart Album, and then export them as JPG’s to a folder on my hard drive. After the export is complete, I add the keywords “flickr” and “zooomr” to the photos that are selected, which automatically removes them from the Ready to Upload Smart Album. I then use JUploadr to upload the exported photos to Flickr and Zooomr. After the batch has been uploaded to both sites, I delete the JPG’s, since I can easily re-export them again as needed.
Once I have finished processing all the photos for a particular month, I delete the TODO smart album for that month.
Using Smart Albums and Keywords in this way allows me to easily determine which photos need to be processed, which photos are ready to be uploaded, and which photos I have already uploaded. It greatly simplifies the details of keeping my photos organized, and allows me to concentrate on processing photos, rather than organizing photos.