New To Photography:Workflow - Putting it all together

Previous: New To Photography:Finding Subjects Workflow and DAM Software Next: New To Photography:Software (DAM Software)
This page is a chapter in the book Workflow and DAM Software.


You will find the word 'workflow' used in photography discussions.
We will discuss workflow and show a basic workflow (check list) that you can adapt over time.

At some point, most photographers develop a series of routines for capturing, copying, and
processing their digital photographs.
These routines can be messy and un-organised, or they can develop into a consistent
workflow that speeds up the entire editing process.

[top]Sample Workflow

Here is a basic workflow that will get you started. Please adapt this workflow to suit your needs.

[top]Take Pictures:

  1. Pre-shoot: check you have memory cards, batteries, the right lenses etc.
  2. What is the Subject?
  3. Concept questions to ask yourself: Why are you capturing this photo? What will you do with it?
  4. Light: your own (flash etc.) or natural or both
  5. Raw or JPEG (Raw by default)
  6. Set-up Flash and/or Tripod (if needed)
  7. Lens: Close Up, Wide, Medium, Telephoto
  8. Aperture (depth of field)
  9. Shutter Speed (blur or sharp)
  10. ISO (Noise and low light)
  11. Composure (Rule of thirds, lines, angles, reflections)
  12. Maybe and on site backup (i.e. notebook or diskdrive)? (very important for commercial and wedding shoots)
  13. Delete in camera if not needed

[top]Import to Digital Asset Manager (DAM): (eg. Aperture, Lightroom etc)

  1. Select folder
  2. Set keywords,© and other metadata (good key-wording is a key to good DAM)
  3. Sort, Rate and Rename
  4. When doing high volume work (eg. wildlife and sport) start deleting the rubbish shots early in the process

[top]Edit Photos: (always on copies, keep the original)

  1. White Balance
  2. Reduce Noise (if needed)
  3. Correct Exposure (levels)
  4. Adjust horizon (if needed)
  5. Crop (if needed)
  6. Minor repairs and fixes (Dust bunnies, Colour, Saturation, etc.)
  7. Process in your photo editor Eg. Photoshop, Picasa, and The GIMP (if needed)
  8. Sharpen
  9. Save the edited copy (keep the original)

[top]Backup your photos: (you don't want to lose any do you?)

  1. Copy to an external hard drive and/or burn to DVD
  2. Don't delete from the meory card until the next shoot - just in case
  3. Arrange a regular off site backup

[top]Publish Photos: via one or more of the following

  1. Contact sheet, prints
  2. Web (sRGB colour space)
  3. Publish Book
  4. Slideshow


Getting used to a consistent workflow is an important part of digital photography.
Having a workflow will help ensure that you process your pictures so that
you do not miss any important processing steps.

A proper workflow will also help you organise (move, rename, and archive) your photographs and
should substantially reduce the risk of deleting that special photo.

Each step of this workflow may not suit your style; but it does give you a starting point.

Every photographer is different so put together a workflow that is works for you and stick with it.

Importantly: Don't forget to backup and make sure you have an off site backup of your precious photos.

Have fun!
Previous: New To Photography:Finding Subjects Workflow and DAM Software Next: New To Photography:Software (DAM Software)

Posting Permissions

Posting Permissions
  • You may not create new articles
  • You may not edit articles
  • You may not protect articles
  • You may not post comments
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your comments