Modern Photography Workflow

Photography can be as simple or complex as the artist whishes to make it. There are countless workflows to get an image from “scene to screen”. An amateur photographer could simply snap a picture with his or her iPhone and upload said image to Instagram in about 10 seconds, while on the other hand, a professional portrait photographer can spend hours and even days slaving over an image’s final result in a darkroom. Falling in between, many “prosumer” photographer use dedicated digital single lens reflex (DSLR) or mirrorless cameras, a computer based editing platform, and then a variety of online platforms to showcase their work.

With this workflow, first and foremost the photographer must have a subject to shoot! Everything in photography should revolve around this central idea, spanning from the equipment used, the time of day the images is taken, to the final color correction and medium. Next, the desired equipment (or the best equipment available) should be prepared for the shoot. Different lenses and camera bodies can serve different purposes and shooting styles. For example, and wide angle lens is great for landscapes, but distorts facial features for portraiture. Also, a DSLR has a higher shooting rate compared to a mirrorless camera making it better for fast moving nature and sports scenes. Once the gear is selected, cleaned, charged, and packed it’s time to shoot!

On location composition and camera settings are of upmost importance. While a vast amount of image modification can be done in post production, if done correctly when shooting it makes editing much easier. With digital photography, the amount of images able to be captured is in the thousands with a modern memory card. Therefore, it is usually a good ideas to capture more images that needed, worst case they can be deleted later. After the shoot is complete, pack up and it’s off to the editing suite.

 The captured photos now need to be imported into a cataloging and editing program, the industry standard being Adobe Lightroom. In Lightroom photos can be organized, edited to create the desired effect, and then exported to a variety of image formats. It is best practice to first organize images either by date captured or image type and then edit. Editing is as much science as it is art, knowing the technical limitation of what each slider does in the program is a powerful tool to make great photographs. Once the desired look has been achieved the Lightroom export module can be used to batch export images to share with family, friends, or clients to a variety of platforms such as Facebook, 500PX or a personal website.

-Alex Pattison