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Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Lesson 14 of 38

Mark's Lightroom Workflow

Mark Wallace

Anatomy of a Photoshoot

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

14. Mark's Lightroom Workflow

Lesson Info

Mark's Lightroom Workflow

Okay so what I want to show you is uh this craziness that I have here um this is a system that I've invented and uh first I want to show you the hardware configuration that I have this is what I use in the studio from um almost every single shoot that I do I have this this configuration this is a tether tools table on a called a low boy so this is a stand that rolls around and normally it doesn't have a bunch of cables attached to it to hook up to creative live but today it does and what I have on here on this side over here make sure you guys can see it so I have some hard drives so right now I have one hard driving that's uh g drive and for a very important shoots what we normally have are multiple hard drives at least two and then I have a high speed usb card reader there I rarely tether rarely rarely do I ever tether so I'm shooting in the studio. What we have is we have this this uh, base station this is for creative live this thing right here so you conserve ignore that that's ho...

w you're seeing the feed so this base station when I have a little cup holder over here got some hooks for holding my cable's usually my light meter goes on here but this is the place that is sort of the central focus point of the shoot, so as we're shooting, we come back, we'll throw cards in here, we'll throw him in the light room, will open it up, will view them. We have a big external monitor that we use a lot of times, we'll plug that in as the set changes, we'll just take this and we'll roll it to the next place. And so it's, a totally portable studio and the thing about these tether tool stuff. Now, for the record, I wanna make just clear tether tools isn't paying us any money to talk about their products. We ask them if we could talk about their products because there's sort of like, um, sorta like apple, I just fell in love with them, and so were like, can we please talk about these things? Because we love them and they they said yes, so I want to make clear that we're not getting any kind of money to say how great these are, the it's our great, but we have a couple of drives these drives down here. What they do is, when I import the files, it goes through light room, I usually have a copy that goes straight to the hard drive on one that goes to the external drive or, more likely, one that goes to an extra driving one that's a backup on an extra drive. So we always have two copies of everything. So to really show you how this all works, I'm going to go into light room. Now you've seen the physical setup, and I'm also gonna zip across your I've got this workflow and this is a download that you guys can take a look at let's, see if I still have it in my well, those are the questions ignore those, uh, let me go into my little reader, okay, so I have to make sure I have it. There it is. Mark's light room workflow. All right, so this is a download that you, khun take a look at something, walk you through the steps of exactly what we do on these things, but we're going to do is on for our on day three or actually capturing stuff. We're going to follow this work flow very, very closely. So the very first thing I do in light room and just for clarification, this is not a light room tutorial, so I'm assuming that you know a little bit about light room if you don't there's a lot of resources online, or maybe we can come back, but this is we don't have time to talk about how to use light room so I'm assuming that you know a little bit about it, but the first thing that I do in my work flow is I create a brand new library and so I have, uh, a main mac pro in my, uh my home office that macro has I think it's uh close to twenty terabytes of external storage now it's just a massive raid of different drives, they're all backed up and we got a crazy system we've got drove bows and all kinds of stuff so on that I have a master catalogue of every model that I've ever shot I have another master catalog of all the images that we use for online videos on youtube, all the tutorials and things that we create have another master catalog for each of our major clients, so we have a big home builder that we work with we've got etcetera so each major client we have a different catalog and the reason that I do it that way um a lot of the work that I do is on a non disclosure agreement basis so specifically with products and new products that are coming out, we have to make sure that we don't accidentally showa competitors er ah product that's happening or technology or something like that and so the last thing I want to do is accidentally open up an image that I shot for somebody and and ruin a relationship or be sued so we keep we keep the world separated they could never collide but the models are all released and so I just have one big database so what we do is I create a separate library for that specific shoot that is later imported into one of those master libraries where appropriate. So on the hard drive that I have, I just create a library. The second thing that I do after that's done is I import those photos now dearing the import this all happens live during the import the photos are backed up to the second hard drive, so day three when we walked through this, we're going to show you this day three when we walk through the steps, you'll see that when I say import there's a selection that says import to drive a folder, whatever and make a backup automatically and dr b folder whatever so lightning automatically backs everything up and that's really important, because if you lose a hard drive salute or any kind of thing, then that backup is going to be invaluable to you. I've only lost in all the years have been shooting of only last one session in a photo shoot and it was because I was a total idiot and I was working too fast and I assumed that the photos transferred and they didn't and I erased about four, five hours of work. So that was a bummer. Um, also during the import, I add the I p c c data so that's all the stuff that happens with, uh, your copyright all that kind of stuff. So that happens that happens really, really quickly after that's done. What I do is I will look through all of these images on I do this several times during a shoot and usually and that's why this base station is so important. So as we're walking along, we have stuff that's imported, and we're going through with the client makeup artist with wardrobe stylist, etcetera, that's usually why we have a big screen out there and we're looking through these were saying, ok, which one of these is the winner? Which one is good? And we're hitting p for pick and we're saying, okay, these are good, these are good, these are good, we're just sort of picking those as we go. Sometimes we will use the survey tool it's a very, very valuable tool. You can see multiple shots at the same time, and then you can sort of compare and see which one is good, which one is not good um after that, depending if it's in the studio are usually later on, I'll make my total corrections so the total corrections air things like white balance do I want to de saturate those? When I increased the reds, they wanted whatever I want to do for the tonal range of that, and usually what I'm doing that what I'm doing, I'll create a virtual copy or several virtual copies of the same photo in that way, I have several different versions of the same photo to choose from to say which one do I like it? I like it saturated de saturated crop this way, et cetera, and then once they choose the right one, then I'll apply that usually to the batch of photos, so you take one and then say, okay, what we're gonna do? Uh, after the total corrections, I'll look for anything that I can batch process, so if there's noise or specific just nasty chunk that was stuck on my sensor or something, I could get out with light room, I'll do that, I'll say ok, noise reduction here and dustin spot removal there, and then I will apply that to everything, and then what I'll do is I'll go in and to the winners, I'll do a pixel level at it. What that means is I'm gonna take it and export it to photo shop and then in photo shop, I will take that either as a tiff or dmg or photoshopped file ninety nine point nine percent time for me it's a photo shop file I'll do all of those corrections and when I save it automatically brings it back into light room and creates a stack so have my image I have my virtual copies of my finished image and it's all stacked together on and then I can export that so the export is it depends on where it's going so I can either export that to the web or the print module throw it out to our video drives if it's going to be going to video or make a slide show if it's made for a workshop or something like that but at a high level this is this is the workflow I used almost every single shoot so I'll go in I'll create the library I'll do those changes pick the winners make the changes get it out and on day three when we're going through you'll see we're gonna have time to shoot then we have to have some time to process we're doing a riel shoot and we will go through all of these things in detail so you can see exactly how that's happening so it's really really cool so questions about this workflow from you guys not a good yes sir alan are you yu importing in your raw cannon or not con? Are you a d n g guy good question so when I import I import raw native so I don't do the dmg conversions I haven't seen reason I haven't seen the benefits of it yet, so I've heard some arguments but for my work flow I haven't seen any kind of a benefit that I was thinking color check her passport I know if you do the desktop version not the light room it needs tng for that calibration yes so what will happen if you do the desktop version? You do need a dmg file to import that, so if you don't have light room then you need that if you have light room then it will just go out grab that stuff I think it makes the dmg behind sean's out pat outputs that yes, I don't see here do you eliminate anything from your laptop or you just save everything and, uh oh yes, good question do I ever throwing pictures that the question? Yeah cause it doesn't say here are, like, trash the junk or anything. Yeah, I do, I do occasionally. And so what I'm normally doing is like right now we have these beautiful pictures of, um, our history ram stuff so let's see if we could get that pop appearance screen so uh when I will normally do is what I'm going to teo choose the files then I'll go in and I'll say uh that person is blinking usually it's stuff where we have like that kind of stuff I'll say no that's no good that's no good and during the shoot I'll hit my command elite and it will say you want to believe he's from this yes get rid of those leave him now get around their food so I'm getting rid of stuff after the shoot is done I throw it on my master archive hard drives and then um I usually don't ever race stuff from that I have I've got a whole order of pictures yeah, I found it to be my situation a lot of times I'm teaching a workshop well happen is I need an example of a really bad picture for some purpose and I have a lot of those so even the bad pictures like they get to use um yeah, okay. Any other questions from lifelessness? Um live questions let's do like five or six if we have them. Um there was a question from canon check about the hard drives that you use if you could talk about your external. Yes. How many do you have? An absolutely we, uh use if I get this to come out here still plugged in is your some favorites and kelsey, can you get the rugged um this is, uh g drive and it's a usb uh, dr, we have a couple of different versions of this. So this is ahh g drive five hundred gig. And the thing I love about it is it's usb and its firewire. So firewire on the back here offering see this, but it has you. Khun daisy chain is staying put more than once. You could have won another another. You have, like ten of these if you want. And so for doing backups and managing files, having multiple g drives is excellent. Or if you have a usb, if you just need that if you don't have a firewire port on your laptop that works great. Plus these things there are high speed, seventy two hundred rpm drives, and so we used these mainly for editing video, but it works great for still files as well. The other thing is, a lot of the images that were shooting are super high resolution for shooting raw with really high resolution cameras, so we need the speed. We need lots of speed, and so these were great. The other version of this that we use is the g rade, minnie and it's a raid. And so you've got two drives in one enclosure and its backing itself up and so you don't have to worry about you know, if one single one dies, you have another one so that's that's sort of nice and we have another one that's also the raid and we use that for video editing and just for speed it's just a little bit thicker than this so these don't know how many of these g drives we have, but lots of them and they're only think about hundred thirty bucks they're very economic all the other ones that we use a lot of these lissy records and the reason that we use these were constantly on the go travelling and throwing stuff in bags and um these guys were made to take heavy duty of you swap so um that's why we use them like we know for throwing in and out taking airplanes, that kind of stuff we need to drive that we can literally throw around and drop and that kind of stuff so this also is is a pretty high speed drive this one I don't know how big it is, but I think about the same thing about five hundred gigabytes I think these air fifty four hundred rpm no, so not quite fast enough for video the other thing that's a little bit different is they only have one input so you can't daisy chain them you can't have multiples and so this always has to be there at the end of the chain um but the thing is we use thes constantly for here's a project take this home and finishing our staff never goes to sleep on dh then bring it back and so we've got no ten of these something like that maybe less um and we just take him home and bring him back and take him on vacation and uh there not waterproof but rugged you get thrown in the mud trying out to be just fine so mark when you talk about daisy chaining if you're doing a regular photo shoot are you stacking three are you downloading two three at a time or two just two at a time just to time yeah so we'll have one as the main one is the backup and you're not keeping it on your laptop no, I don't keep it on my laptop for two reasons I only have so much space in my hard drive and uh the other one is I want to have redundancy and this is higher speed to my internal drive. This is thea uh this is the new mac book pro until I seven with the increased graphics card stuff and anti glare I got it about a week ago and I love it I love it but I also had the old macbook pro and it had no issues we just needed another laptop. So guess what I got to do it. So yes question from bernardo billows as well as one shot would you consider using solid state drive? Yes, I would love to you solid state drives solid state drives are extremely fast they have a downfall though that prohibits me from using them on everyone they don't they're not very big and when they crash they crash like they're dead and so is just too high risk so I'd love to have a solid state drive from operating system, but external drives I don't think I would go to a solid state drive at this point um just to high risk and too expensive carly rocks on twitter and ask can you have more than one profile for your laptop? I'ii different editing environments? Yes, you can so when you do your profiles your name them and so you can have mark's office home the you know hilton, the hotel a whatever you can name them and you khun you could go back and forth between those and a beating. If your pc or mac you could go into your color uh profile um widget guess that's what you call it and you can select which one you're using so yeah, you absolutely can't have multiple colorful files question from normality, relief has mark ever considered or used any wireless tether hardware to have any thoughts on it? Um, I haven't yet because way always has a professional photographer. I always have to judge return on investment. So the cost of having a wireless transmitter on my camera, uh, versus the benefit and it's just not worth it to me at this point, because I can just take my card out of my camera, give it tio kelsey or whoever the assistant is, and we can bring it into the light room and see that pretty quickly. And so we haven't seen the need to do wireless stuff. We have used it. I think I did use it. Um, either a photo plus or w p p I r one of those shows where I needed to be doing a live demos. And so with all the people hanging out, uh, we use wireless and it was awesome, but the cost doesn't just about justify the benefits for me at this point, uh, rob gamble had had a question about the edited version being updated on your backup drive. Do you are you putting the raf version and the edited version backing up? Both know so that's a really good point, so when you have a file so file a comes in is raw that goes in to when lightman brings it and it brings it into your main drive and then to the back of dr but when you make the adjustments in light room you're only making the adjustments to the to the main file the backup file remains unchanged so totally unchanged the benefit is you can also separate out where you put your library so you'd have your lite brite lite room library on drive eh and you could have the primary photo on dr b and you could have the secondary backup photo on dr c this would be a case for three drives and then if dr b died your light room catalog is separate from your uh photos and so you could just go to your backup files and all the changes that are stored in your light room catalog will go immediately and be applied to that unless you've done pixel level editing um and taking stuff out to photoshopping brought that in but other than that everything you could just bring it right back and pointed to a new drive and you're good to go but it won't work for your photo shopped files question from s p and I saw this from another couple folks as well what about cloud backups do you use any services like dropbox uh we use we have um what is it called kelsi what is it pogo plug yeah, we have a pogo plug that we use on our local network and it's like a personal cloud that it's really nice actually there's four five different versions of the pogo plug and you can back up files from anywhere it's it's I think the load the slogan is your own personal cloud so it feels the same way I forgot how much it was, but it was maybe a couple hundred dollars and then you plug in external hard drives so you can upgrade storage and everything and it's just this little box that you hook into your router it's pretty nice that's the problem with that is if you're studio your house burns down, you've lost all that so you don't get the benefit of cloud storage we don't use cloud storage because, uh, our studio we have d s l and, um we shoot probably at least a terabyte every week, maybe every two weeks, something like that um and to back up that kind of data just we don't have the bandwidth I mean, we would be doing nothing but backing up data and so it doesn't work out for us. Can I just say I'm so looking forward to this pdf because my work flow it's not up to standard at all marked another question from sam cox how much time to process the results of, say, a four hour photo shoot for you um it depends on what kind of photo shoot it is, so the amount of time that we shoot has no bearing on the amount of time we do post production for the most part obviously when we dio four our shooter or to our shooter whatever that the length of time really has to do with the complexity of the lighting set up or how many different elements we need to get out of that but I could dio I've done twelve hour photo shoots and like thirty minutes of retouching because everything was right a cz much as possible in the studio and then shoots that were I don't know thirty minutes and spent twenty hours retouching, so it really depends on the output so when I'm doing fine art stuff or high fashion or uh, things that I really, really want to manipulate what's going on that's usually what takes a long time um product photography usually takes a little a little bit of post production because they want clipping paths and things like that um all that kind of stuff I either delegated or we send it out tio consultant our contractor because the amount of time that it takes for us to do that work, we could be charging other clients and our time is more valuable having somebody else to do it and so a lot of the post production work um is is done either by michael uh, or other other people that we hire in, uh, me personally, any of my personal work. I always do the retouching on that, and I just do it. His time allows, and I usually spend anywhere from thirty minutes toe four hours. For image of this really depends.

Class Description

Join Mark Wallace as he dissects a commercial photoshoot to reveal each step at its most basic level. From technical aspects of lighting and color, to real-world experiences working with art directors, make-up artists, models, and other professionals, you’ll have a firsthand look as he puts each piece together to complete several complete concepts from start to finish. This unique course explores the fundamentals of commercial photography, from the smallest jobs to the biggest productions. Bring your questions from your own shoots, or use this experience as a roadmap when planning your first jobs. Mark will be chatting with the live worldwide audience throughout the weekend!

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1


Brian Geoghegan

Mark Wallace, Brilliant at what he does, so clear to understand, he is amazing, well done Mark great workshop, I learned so much. Thank you, kind Regards, Brian from Ireland


Mark really knows his stuff. He was very well prepared and Mark did a great job teaching this course. Mark went through all the steps from beginning to end in great detail. He also answered questions from the audience an online viewers which helped fill in any blanks. Great course.

a Creativelive Student

I loved this workshop! Many things I struggled to understand about exposure and many other things became so clear! Just wow!