Workflow Prep to Post
we talked about the beginning process of this was with propping. So the idea is that um when I I'm picking props, I want to set out on a table. Like I'll put a table out or I use the table that's in my studio to pull and pick out all the things that I think I might want to use. There's going to be a number of things that don't get used like we did here. Yes, later. Earlier before after somewhere. Where are we? Seattle? Yes, okay. We had a big selection of things to choose from because you want to have options when you're working now, you know, you can't get locked into just one particular thing. You want to have a vision in your head. You obviously want to be able to create the thing that you think you want. But as we saw when we were working, that doesn't always happen. You always want to trade things out and see what it looks like and have a range of things to choose from. So I pick a series of props and a series of things and have them at my disposal or if you're working with a clie...
nt in a neutral space, you have to have all your props sent ahead of time, have them all laid out, group them according to the shot, right. All of that stuff matters because the idea is that there are times when we have to photograph food before it's cooked and or in process of being cooked. So if it's not uh innately a prop on its own. It's probably not gonna look great in the back end. You want to kind of form relationships with the with the vendors and the people that you use. You should have a butcher that you trust. Who knows the cuts that you want and how you want them cut. And if you want a specific idea I need a porterhouse with a bone that's really beautiful. So you want to be able to pick that out. You want to be able to give him instructions as to how you would like the fat trimmed or whatever. Same thing with your fish guy. Same thing with your grocer. Shopping at the farmers market is always preferable to shopping at a supermarket. But with that being said the farmers market is great for certain things because you can find things that you may not be able to find in a grocery store. But on the flip side of that there's no refrigeration there. So you have to keep in mind that if you're buying things that are delicate, like some of the herbs that we were playing around with if they're not potted if they're loose, farmers market is not always the best place to get that stuff because the supermarket has it in a CRISPR and it's being watered constantly. So it looks a lot fresher. So also kind of plan out in your, the idea of your workflow, which markets are gonna be on your list to go to and honestly the order in which you do those things matters as well as much as you can do ahead of time is going to help you. My prop table is set up, My prep is ready. I'm gonna cook that food. I'm gonna get it over the table, I'm gonna style and I'm going to go. So all of that is part of this kind of this workflow, the plating aspect of this too. You know that the clock is ticking as soon as the food hits the plate, right? That we just talked about, you have a very small window of time. So when you're you're having this kind of struggle with my creative energy and my cook today and my my prop stylist today and my photographer today, who am I today? Right when all with the with the rest the more planning you do, the more you can be a photographer and unless you have to be everything else. Now, obviously we're talking about a very specific set of skills that we've been talking about throughout the last couple of days that not everybody who does this kind of work is gonna have right? Because somebody who's just watching this because there were a photographer is saying, well I know I'm gonna have a prop stylist and I know I'm going to have a cook. So it's not a problem. I already have that part settled. And I say no, I say absolutely not because you are the director of your photo shoot, you're not just the photographer, if you're just there to take a picture of what's on the table, okay, You're then you're still life photographer, you're not a food photographer, you're a food photography. If you understand what's happening in every aspect of what's going on in the job, you need to be able to step in and help direct any of those components to make the shot that you want to make. And this is why it's really good to learn from a perspective of doing it alone because then you understand everybody's job and then if you get fortunate enough to be in a position in your career where you no longer have to do all the work. You know what everybody is responsible for and you know how to do it well. And I think that's the important part. And what I've been working with you on and going over is the idea of train yourself to learn the whole process so that when you really have an opportunity to concentrate only on photography, you knock it out of the out of the park every time because, you know, everybody else's components. Okay, we're at the shot. Now we're shooting right? And we've talked about the workflow and the idea of getting the shot, the safe one, the one that the client wants to get it in the can that someone first one you go for and you map it out in your mind, Okay, I got that shot, it's in the can. Like when you did your blueberry boom, right out the box, five minutes on the set done. You had your shot, you were proud of it. It was well thought out. It was good. Now you start to take your chances and you start to do the things that are outside the box. But the idea is that that's the one that has to wait. So that's you have to get the one in the can first be satisfied and then move on. Then you then you again, we're on the clock again, we're shooting five dishes today. Right? So now I'm saying OK, I got this much daylight, I have these many dishes, I have this shot, let's move on. And you've got to be willing to say that because I'm victim of this myself. I'm falling in love with what's on the table, but I got four more behind it and I could shoot this all day because it's great and I love what I love this, I love this, I love this and I'm all I'm and I'm like, I'm enamored what's on the table, You have to know when to cut the cord and go back to the kitchen and get set up for the next one. This is the workflow. This is the thing that is important when you are managing a food shoot is that everything is time sensitive, including the light that you're working with. So okay. You know your shots are done now what do we do? So from this point on until you deliver your your pictures to your client or post them on your blog or whatever you're gonna do with them. These are this is the time where you need to protect your images. So the first thing I do before I even get to the point now where I'm sitting here with the card in the slot and I'm ready to start working on pictures is I back up my files. I have an external hard drive, I plug it in. I back up my files to that. So now I know I have two sets of files no matter what happens, I already have to that card fails. If it falls in the soup for my camera gets stolen the house burns down. I got I got two sets of files so that's that's primary come off the set, Take it out of your camera, plug it right in, done back it up. Then you take at the end of the day if you're in a studio are you work and you live in two different places. Put them in two different places. I keep my files at home going to keep my files at work. Um Once they are filed and finished creating orderly and repeatable saving procedures is essential to the workflow where everything is labeled the same way all the time. The way I label my work is I put it in a folder by client. Then once the client folder is inside of another folder, that inside the client folder is which job it is. And then after the inside each job folder there's your drugs and yours apex. That's my workflow. Because now I know I have everything in an orderly fashion. It's repeatable, it's consistent and it's reliable so that when I'm looking for things and I'm looking for appetite plum pie or whatever. And I put that just those two key words and boom. Anything with plums pies or melissa clark comes up on my screen so that when a client calls me and says I want to purchase this image from you for for re usage? Can you, can you send it to me? I don't spend days looking through my hard drives trying to find it. Okay, so you're finally finished with your files, You back them up, you put them in your raid arrays. Everything is organized properly so you can find it. And you're going to send, you're going to send your pictures to your client? Now? You need to ask them again, you already know what file format they want. But now how do they want them delivered? Do they want you to put them on a disk? Do they want you to send them through an FTP service? Do they want to put it on something like dropbox or you send it or one of these other internet file format things, file sharing things, you need to know that and it's good to know that ahead of time because if you're constantly asking your client, oh, how do you want your files sent and you know, well I don't know, let's ask the tech girl because she's gonna know that better than me and bob if you know that ahead of time then you look more professional. You present yourself in a way where Okay I'm done. I sent you an email, here's the dropbox folder, here's who's getting the files were done. That's a great way to go about it. I think that clients that have their own FTP server um is really helpful because it's the fastest way to send files and if you um can send, you know, you can send them that way, it's it's helpful for you because things like dropbox and you send it the load up times on, especially if you're doing tiffs take forever. They really, really do. They take a long time. But you know, unless you get like a T one connection in where you're working or you have really, really fast internet um FTP is definitely the best way to go and and then what I do is I keep a folder on my computer of every client I have and what's their preferred method of delivery