Skip to main content

Our Digital Workflow

Lesson 10 from: Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business

Matthew The Body Kemmetmueller

Our Digital Workflow

Lesson 10 from: Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business

Matthew The Body Kemmetmueller

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

10. Our Digital Workflow


Lesson Info

Our Digital Workflow

Our digital workflow focus is like our wedding stuff is exclusively through light room, but everything else we bring in a photo shop for fine retouching. Okay, adobe light room I don't I don't know if all of you use light room. I know some of you do and some of you don't it's important. Understand what light room miss light room is? Do you know that eleven percent of photo shop users are photographers? Like photo shop is not made for photographers it's made for graphic designers. Photo shop is a piece of software that was engineered for you to go in in create digitally it's not made to work on photos that was never the spirit of the program. It was never what they were trying to dio I understand the name photo shop might be a little bit deceiving, but that's a fact case. Eleven percent of users are photographers. So adobe, which has like ninety percent of image manipulation software, I mean the massive company in this in this area, they develop software called light room. It was the fi...

rst piece of software that they've ever developed for photographers. When that came out, I thought to myself, if adobe says I should use this, I'm probably going to want to end up using this. This is probably something I need to pay attention to so light room is a non destructive at it doesn't nondestructive editing, which basically means this if you go into photo shop and you open a file, drag your file in there and you get rid of that big hunk and set you close the file you have modified the pixels on that file you have forever changed it. Okay, now if you go in and you make it super super bright clothes it, open it back up, make a super super dark your image is jacked it's gone there's no information left. You modified those pixels to the point of no return so you can on leigh push it so far in photo job because once you save it, that's it okay now with light room light room is a catalogue based system, so when you work in light room, you aren't actually working on the file you're working on a preview of the file and to make any changes to that file, you have to create a new file, which means that the original file is always there. You can always go back to your original file so there's no destroying or changing pixels, you're just you're creating a whole new file and a catalogue it's it's important to understand that, okay, so all the changes are made on the previews and the original file's intact. So I've said catalog about thirty seven times the last ninety seconds and I'm sure you all I think what's a catalogue well according to adobe catalog is a database that stores records of your photos for this record contains three pieces of key information references to where your photos are instructions on how you want them process in metadata what does that really mean? Matthew well the way I like to think about a catalog is it's the brains of light room it's your brains for that job okay? And I like to think of it as like a catalogue is a map okay in each image and every change that you're making of those photos is another street in another building on the map it's another dress the bigger your map the harder it is to read the bigger your map the more likely there would be toe have issues processing it so for that reason and because I have so many employees that worked in our studio and we do so many sessions every job in our studio gets its own catalogue okay with the exception of our sports stuff which we have one master sports catalog and that's done because we want to be able to have all of our like our session folder it's just this tidy little folder that has everything and I don't have to worry about whose computer I'm on access it I can just take that folder and to do whatever I want and so setting up your catalog to do unique jobs is big for our workflow but to set up a catalog you have to do it right like not to sound rude but I think most photographers use like fifteen dollars worth of leg room today I'm gonna teach you how to use eighteen at least way we're going to go through and set up light room and I want to show you guys how to set up your catalogue so every job starts in the new catalogue every job gets a new folder but we have to set it up the correct way is going to make your light rooms could make everything run way faster okay so I'm gonna go over to my computer so I just want to start with showing you how to do light room so we're gonna go down and open later five okay we need teo set up our master new job catalogue so I just I'm going to go on my desktop I'm going to create a new folder and I'm going to name this folder something crazy original new job I don't do space is in my file names it can lead to issues so I just try to keep everything together or use like underscore or hyphen if you're trying to do two separate words and we're just gonna leave that folder there and now we're going to go backto fight room and go file new catalogue we're going to put this catalog under our desktop into the new job folder and we're to save it as a new job casey don't freak out when you do this light room has not quit it's just re opening under new catalogue the first time I did that was like ah, where do you go so we've set up this folder is ultimately going to be everything we use when we start working okay now when you set up a catalogue there's some things that you can go into that adobe will let you go in and change kind of forever in the defaults you can change it so it'll work this way for all of your future catalogs. Unfortunately, some of things we're gonna go through like smart collections like preferences those you have to go in and change my hand, so what I like to do is set up one catalog that has all of my settings and preference is the way I want them and then I copy that catalogue and rename it for each job so I don't have to do this every single time I just do this months, okay? So first thing we're going tio is like, I'm just going to get rid of a bunch of these tabs like map I never use that get rid of it cia alright book mode, no way slide show uh I don't need you so I'm just double clicking over it and it is cleaning up my workspace of the three that I use are the library of the developed and the print module knows that threw that we're going to talk about today I'm big on cleaning up my workspace so like all these I just no cia I don't want you around I will upload to facebook on my own okay, so we're just going to go through and clean up all that stuff and then we're going to go tackle our preferences so goto light room we're gonna open the preferences and just so you guys know if you do purchase the class there's literally step by step notes of everything that we're going through so I have a lot to get through some kind of go fast and there's there is access to two sets of notes actually there's one from eight hour light room class that I do where it works with through wedding files and all that and then it also that's focused on mike four and then I read it it for like one five and creative clouds were getting both sets so that's important to know all right it's the first thing we're gonna dio who like does it just drive anyone else crazy that every time you put a memory card and your into your computer later impossible you could turn that off I'm a free. You right here. Uh, it's gone? All right, that is never going toe happen again is, um, easy. Alright, we go through and I liketo have, like, just in case people aren't watching. Which option did you just check their show in court dialogue? When a memory card is detected, you unchecked, the annual check that box. Thank you. So, what that's done now is that it won't automatically load all that stuff. It's just going to let you tell it when you're ready to work. All right, now you can import files directly from a memory card in the light room. I don't advise that you do that. I think that adding another piece of software gives you an option. Tohave things go wrong like it gives you another opera, it's just another chance that somewhere something could happen to a file and you could have issues. So I will show you guys how we download our images and I'll show you how we import our images. But we don't do we don't download from the card in the light. I like it to play a little song, a little noise when we're doing things, whatever that's good and then this is another big thing that I'd like to change is I like light room to ask me which catalog I want itto open by default. It's going to just go with last job that you did, but now this is going to give me a list and give me an option to pick what I want. Okay, now we're gonna go to presets anytime you see otto uncheck it, otto is basically use hain hey, adobe, take your best guess I don't really know what I'm doing and it's, you're smarter than otto. You can do it better than otto. I'm going to show you how to do it way better than auto, so turn that nonsense off, and you also want to make sure that you never, ever, ever checked this one because a lot of people want to check this because they think it makes sense and it says store presets with catalog if you check that what you're doing is you're putting all the presets exclusively in this catalogue, we want them to be available to all of our catalogs if we make presets so you won't turn that off. I don't do I don't take my images from light room in the photo shop, so this is a tab that we don't really use a lot, but I would just set it up to go. Tiff I would go adobe rgb ninety eight I liketo work in sixteen bit even the most places can't print it and then I like to change my resolution to three hundred. But all of this really isn't too much. I just liketo have it set that way. But it's not something we use in our senior workflow. We can skip this there's nothing we're going to change in here and the interface this is like we're going to get into this. But if you want to change these little loop dee doos and twirl ease on the edge of your light room, you can go in and add your own brandon and all that jazz if you want and we're gonna click back to general okay, now, right down here, it's going to allow us to go to catalog settings, a couple of other changes that we want to make. If you ever don't know where your light room catalog is, if you ever like in light room you're like, I don't know where the heck has saved us. This gives you an exact location as to where your catalog is being saved gives you the name and the size. Now this is another option who hates it when they close light room and it says, do you want to back up your catalogue? You could turn that off too you should have a responsible backup system at your studio don't let light room automatically backup your files what happens is a lot of people think adobes backto my catalogue I'm good it doesn't matter the catalog back up is on ly the catalog file it is not your images you have not backed up any of your files that our client files okay so I turned that never because I want to do my own thing we're going to go to file handling and you try to set your resolution for the the size that's closest to your resolution of your monitor or bigger if you are going through your images and they're like fuzzy and then it snaps the sharpness that's because your previous sizes too small and light rooms raising it up so you want to set it to the right size and then you weren't gonna have to sit and wait for your computer to generate the premium so I got the brand new mac book fifteen inch retina so I'm maximum on this in twenty eight eighty you always want to go that size or bigger and then because our workflow is so tight unlike we don't work on stuff it's only one job one catalog I don't need to keep these previous for thirty days get rid of him after a week all right? And we don't do a lot with the metadata so now we're gonna close this the next thing I want to talk to you guys about, I think we're gonna have back teo keynote all right, so I want to talk about smart collections smart collections according to adobe, our collection based on metadata criteria you specify summer collections automatically include all of your photos that meet that criteria you do not manually add or remove photos to a smart collection. So what does that really mean? It's an amazing way to sort through your images and it's an amazing way to keep it tabs on how your work flows going you can create precepts for certain esos you can create presets for certain apertures, you can create presets for his shirt, certain shutter speeds and it's an easy way for you to go through your images and instantly know if there's something that might need more attention, something that you might want to take another look at or if you're just going to continue status quo. And the other thing that I like to do is as I go through and I sort my images, I kind of like to keep tabs on how many I've picked so that's another thing that we do all right, so let's set up smart collections were back on the computer, all right? So smart collections in the library mode, you're going to find this tab right here, okay? Now, in general, all of these I never use I just I don't use them, so we're going to delete him that's cool, we don't want you, we want to make our own so we go into smart questions, you're gonna click this little plus arrow right here and go down to create a smart collection now, there's so many options in this guys there's so many things that you can do with this it's really, truly incredible, and we could do a whole day on setting up smart collections on different options there's like literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of options, so I'm just going to show you the ones that I like, okay, I told you, I'd like to know how many images I have picked, right? So I'm going to change the name two picked we want to put this inside of her smart collections, and we want this to go to pick flag is flag create now as important as it is for me to see that it's equally as important for me to know how many I've rejected if there are any that didn't delete for whatever reason, if I wanted to look at my lighting on some of them, then I want to know the ones that didn't make the cut so rejects, I don't make you feel good. We're going to put that in a smart collections and we want our pick flag to be on flag hope I'm sorry rejected okay now we go back and I know that I am a rock up to a sixtieth of a second my shutter speed if I'm above a sixty of them I was sixty if they're up I'm good I don't have any shuttered shake as it's perfect if I could below that that's something that might want to look at that might be one where I could have concerns about camera shape so let's name this one shutter hoops under second spell one sixtieth now we go in here but a camera info shutter speed and we can change this drop down to less than or equal to fiftieth of a second so now instantly when we start importing these images into light room um when we start importing these images in the light room it's going to go and tell me hey matthew there's there's a photo you shot that was under sixty eighth of a second you might want to check that it's going to let me know it's gonna be an instant visual cue for me that I should go and look at these images another place where you would probably really really want to do this if you don't when you shoot with I guess a shallow depth of field when you shoot like one two are our two eights like not even like that's not even shallow depth of field anymore that seems to be like industry standard right now, but you should like one too there's really a couple of ways to do it you can get your image perfect auto focus take the picture right I actually auto focus exposure lock and recompose because I must always use my centre auto focus I generally I don't use even though I have the five to three with like sixty, eight hundred focus points I don't generally size one I'm like this really simple guys, so I'll hit it and then recompose so that might be something where if you shoot like that, I know people that have more issues where in recompose ing it's not tech sharp so you wanted to do a smart collection, you can go in to camera inv o aperture and you can say the aperture is one point two I want to see it and these air really things that just speed up your ability to identify the images that you need to work on. Okay? All right, so now that we've got our smart collection set up, we're going to kick it over to the photo shop unless russ, is there anything going on as far as questions go that I could tackle before we got a photo shop um let's see you know, I'm not sure that you covered it completely m r iowa do you keep all the images on the memory card and then work off the memory card? No? Nope, and I'm going to show you guys that because I'm going to kind of demo importing and working through one of these sessions in the next segment, but you bring your your images onto the on to the computer and one thing that we do that's like a trick that I want to share with you guys because it's it's big is especially like if you have a bunch of memory cards and you going you're on a chute you pop a memory card in your late ah, did I download this like that's like a really bad feeling and you're like us is the card I gotta shoot on? I don't know if I did I work on emily's photos so how you can avoid that it's really easy your camera although impressive whatever camera you shoot with, I'm certain it's one of the best is not that smart in that the camera knows to look for files in one place it's the folder that it puts him in, so what I do is one side in once I put a memory card in my computer, I changed that file name on the memory card that's what we copy off now by changing that file name the files are still there they're still in the memory card and they haven't gone anywhere I put it back on any computer I have all of my files, they're they're they're they're safe they're fine but if I put it in my camera and I press play it's going to say no images because the camera doesn't know where to look the cameras and smart enough to develop the new path where these files are so just by changing your fighting the folder name and downloading that under your computer will one hundred percent eliminate any questions that you have about having downloaded a file having download of files? Are they safe and in my studio all of my employees no if you put in any memory card ever and there's images on it we don't touch it we don't touch it we make sure that those are that those air downloaded and put away in the are where they're supposed to be so that's a good question and I'll show you how we do that next round. So did you have a question? Actually it wasn't it was just from earlier when you talked about the kind of going back to pre light room you were saying that it was when if you had a student came in with multiple or they came in with a bunch of outfits whatnot and they've decided to change packaging or if they want to go from the you know second third level do you actually do you collect the retainer dan or do you yeah that would be like they'll be something that we probably would start that conversation right around around the same time that we're taking that payment so if I was in that situation I probably would be like mom you just want to run upstairs and pay one of the girls that we get the money in the books but otherwise you could make a note because it's going to be in your client's software that they haven't paid but then it just makes it more awkward because when they come in for their proof book viewing remember that they haven't that they come in to see their image is their just excited to see their image is now you're making it about money now you take your money and so yeah I would push hard for that like I would push to get the payment then just because it would make it a better experience but it would like if I had to be if they were like mom left and dropped her son off and they got the verbal ok to go with a bigger session yeah I could wait for my my hundred bucks now there's no way that proof book would ever leave that building until I had my entire minimum order paid that would never ever happen but we could we could work it out that way way call she'll keep going all right awesome so we're going to talk about setting up we're talking about setting up photoshopped this is just a general basic light room catalog set up this is a good foundation that's goingto help your speed and help you picking out your images can be good j peg previews everything's good on us so we're just going toe minimize this and hop over to photo shop I'm on the creative cloud so this is just kind of what photo shop should look like if you just install it now first things first is we got to clean it up it's messy again so let's get rid of all this junk I don't even know what half of this stuff does we're just going to close that whole group tab get rid of that adjustments I can do that easier channels and no thankyou paths ah I like to have my history though see contains dragged this in here all right I'd like to have my actions I do have the boat a dashboard which is a godsend and get rid of everything else so we have almost a complete set the one window that I like to have that isn't even here is my brushes so I'm just gonna go upto window brush I'm just gonna drag us in here to that is the workspace I like that's what I like that gives me all that gives me easy access to the things that I'm most likely going to use in my retouching now my reduction is really fast so we're spending less than two minutes on these images and again now maybe you have some things in there that you want that uh that work better for you go ahead and make it custom whatever you want that works for your workflow but now but we don't want ever do this again right? You don't ever want to go set this up again so we're going to go toe window workspace and we're going to create this as a new workspace okay? We're in name it the body why are you getting crazy with me all right save and now you see right up here that we actually have the body workspace so if I slip it to painting if I flip it tio any of the other defaults even the default photography which has stuff I don't use I can always just clicked back to this one work space which is set up with what I want ok and now we were talking about keyboard shortcuts and we were talking about setting them up toe work well for you fact the matter is there some things that are not keyboard shortcuts that I really really wish they were so the first thing that we're going to do is goingto edit we're gonna go to keyboard shortcuts now I've gone in and change some of these already, but the biggest one, like, for example, sharpen. I'll sharpen the eyes sometimes not all the time, because you don't want your kids to look like twilight vampires, so I enhancements or something that that is you need to be a little bit delicate with sometimes, because if you overdo it, they're going to hate it. But if you do it right, they're gonna love the enhancements. But if you go down to your sharpened tool, it doesn't have a keyboard shortcuts, so I just go in here, click nykea, let's, make it a case or cut, and I accept that that's done because that's a that's, a tool that I use that I don't have easy access to, well, there's a lot of tools I don't use, so let's get rid of those and use the ones make the ones that we do use a lot more easy to access and there's literally all of these tools have shortcuts that you can change a modify okay.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Lightroom Start to Finish Guide
Order Catalog
Step by Step LR5 and PS Workflow
Keynote 1
Keynote 2
Jen's Design
Lightroom Templates for Ordering
Keynote 3
Syllabus and Keystroke Shortcuts
Order Catalog PSDs

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I decided to listen in on the free course of Build a High Volume Senior Photography Business w/ Matthew Kemmentmueller...I thought it would be good to have the skill sets even if I chose to do another photography forum other than seniors. And I was laughing thru the whole thing...he is one funny guy!! So, I decided to buy it...not only is this course full of great tips/advice/ and "did you know facts" but it's really informative and again, he is down right funny. I'm learning lots. Thanks for having him on Creative Live...this one is a keeper.

Diane Yvon

I absolutely loved this course. I am primarily a maternity and newborn shooter and to my surprise what I learned here applies to my current work as well as developing my senior work. I thoroughly enjoyed Matthews delivery of each topic as it was clear, precise, fun and non intimidating. I will watch this over and over and the course downloads were amazing! 100% satisfied with this course


Matthew's class is excellent! I watched it live, but decided to buy it since it's so foundational. I think his information and materials are excellent, whether someone wants to be "high volume" or not. I love how he continually drove the point home about how so many photographers overwork themselves and gave excellent ways to resolve this issue. CL does such a great job of covering the gamut in education of all types. Thanks!

Student Work