The Business of Volume School Photography

Lesson 12 of 20

Photolynx Workflow

 

The Business of Volume School Photography

Lesson 12 of 20

Photolynx Workflow

 

Lesson Info

Photolynx Workflow

So lets walk through the software. Having some sort of software in place is critical for being successful at school photography. We talked about one school earlier where they weren't putting barcodes on the school id's. That same photographer was basically running everything off of pen-and-paper and Google Spreadsheets and he's just making up the stuff and sending it in. The data entry for them to make their yearbook. They had to type the names in. It became such a process for the school, they didn't want to deal with him anymore. So having software in place makes you much more valuable because you eliminate headaches and work for them. Plus, if you have the software in place and you follow it the right way. It makes it harder for you to do your job, wrong. So we use PhotoLynx Flow, the way this software works, you guys can always download there's a two-week free trial. So we just want to get it and mess around and experiment. Just go download the free trial. They even have sample spre...

adsheets, so if you want to do sample data, cause you might not have that. If you just want to mess around and try, you should totally do it. It's kinda similar to a lot of pieces of software where you have one, kinda master program and then you're gonna projects within that. Catalogs are what you would order from so you could go and set up your catalogs. So it would have a package A, package B, package C. The stuff that your labs have, depending on the lab that work with, they will already have stuff that you just download and plug in here. So you have to set up a new project. We go in and set up our new project. You have to go into the Image Options. This allows us to do the Event Triggers and this is where we set up the fields that renames files, so our files are renamed, instantly. Subject's last name, first name, student id. So when we're shooting and we scan in that barcode, it's going to tell me, Hill, Lorenzo, 1 2 3 4 5 6. Mesarch, David, de de de de de de. Dot jpeg, it's set up to name it that instantly. So that makes our process of id'ing the kids way easier. That's why I said earlier when we we're talkin about the kid who was swapping Picture Day card, what he was doing. It's almost impossible for us to mess up. Because scanning in that barcode, with the good data list we have, it renames it, and we know. The subject's, oh yeah it lets you filter out your subject's too. So you can go in and search by grade, you can assign images that were done after this date. Allows you to search everything out. It's easy, the filtering is incredible. You can go in and add elements of what data your importing as well. So lets say we were talking about an Excel spreadsheet. And I said sometimes a school will just give you a spreadsheet that has way, way, way, way, way more data than you need? You can edit it out, you don't need it. So this is telling you in this program here. You can add first name, last name, teacher, grade. We don't care about home room, we don't care about what period they're in. We don't care about any of that stuff. If you need it you can have it. After that, it produces these barcodes. The barcode setup will, by default, give you this ate-up report, you just buy those mailing labels, pop'em in your printer, comes out on stickers and slap'em on the card. Don't do it that way though, there's another way to set it up and it'll actually just print on the card. And it saves you a ton of time and energy. We have found when we're doing these card I print at least two copies, sometimes three. Doesn't cost me that much to make these cards especially if I'm just printing on the four by six ones. So what we'll do is we'll print these cards, bundle'em up by grade. So we'll take one class, rubber band, label. And we'll take all the classes from that grade, rubber band, label. Then we'll take all the grades, put those in a box, that's going to this school for underclass. This school for Middle School. This school for High School. The schools will then distribute those cards to the rooms, which go to the kids. So the teachers hand'em out. We want the kids to get'em like right before so they don't lose'em. So you don't get'em and they're like rolled up and wrinkled and I don't know how you mess up a piece of paper in 20 feet, but it happens. We then will also have an entire second set of cards at our reception desk. We have an area that someone will walk in when they go past one of our employees. That's there just in case someone lost it. And yes, kids lose these from the classroom to picture room. But we don't have to go and deal with printing it or whatever, we have another set, right there. I've also given the school, generally an extra set and I'm just like, hey if something happens, if a teacher loses his stack, if you can't find this here's an extra set. Throw'em away when you're done. It's just something we go to make sure we have way, way, way done with this because it's such an easy thing for us to do. And it saves us so much time on the day of Picture Day. Alright, and then some people get confused. I'm surprised what people think barcodes are. Like sometimes people are nervous, and they're like, I don't want information in my barcode, what is it? A barcode is really just a font. That's all it is, you can type in barcode. So this, what this barcode is, isn't their information. It's the link to their information in our software. So you don't have treat that as sensitively as you may think. Because it's not actually their information. It's just the sequence that's gonna direct our software to their information, cool? Alright, you have to set up a hot folder. And you have to do this critically, because if you mess this up you mess up your whole day. You're gonna be sitting there trying to figure out what'll happen and then Cortney won't answer her phone. And you'll be super-stressed out trying to figure it out on your own, and it'll be awful. So you set up a hot folder. Hot folder is where the software is looking for the images. We shoot Canon, shooting Canon means we download the Canon EOS Utility software to shoot tethered. Download that, it's free with your camera. And then we download this software, install this, we send the Canon software's sending the files there. And that's where this is looking for it to pick up, okay? That link, is crucial that you have that set up the right way. But, we still photograph all of our images in raw on memory cards, in the camera. It's another backup. So it's not linked in the same way to the software. But I know that if, for some reason, an issue I still have every kids picture. And we'll figure it out, okay? So it's all said and done. That's our setup. That's what it looks like. So there's our, they were talking about our background. That's the popup background, we use the popup background because it just goes one background on one light stand, we don't have to have multiple stands around. It's, Paul C Buff light, we got an umbrella right here. The shoot-through umbrella. There's the Titan light stand, this isn't the one that the pole separates. Titan light stand, it's a Canon 6D, you'll see the super, super simple tripod head that I break the fricking knobs off of. So that it's exactly that way on every single station. No creativity, no freedom of choice, this is how it is. And then there's our computer, with the tray. The tray we had to cut a little hole out of so we could get the USB cable through. Put the elastic strap on it, it'll make you feel better. Use a gaffgun, we talked about that in sports. There's a gaffgun, tapes your cords down. Keep everything out of the way. This is the stool we were talking about. You guys see it's just a collapsible, folding stool. You can't spin on it, put your butt down. That's where it goes. And once you get it all set up the right way. We give you the lighting diagrams in this course. So you guys can see exactly how we set it up. I just don't have enough time to go through a demo of shooting and showing how we would do it in a one-day class. But when you get it all down, measure it, tape it, same lights, same cameras, same lenses, same exposure, everything's the same. So when we go to set up on Picture Day, well the day before Picture Day. We go in, the first thing we do is we set one station up. That's it, it's not like sports where people are kinda running around puttin up backgrounds and doing this, that we don't really care. It doesn't need to be as specific for that right away. This, all our attention is, is getting one of these, perfect. As soon as that one is perfect, we duplicate it three more times. Right, okay. So, we didn't, I just printed it out on an eight and a half by 11 sheet of paper. But you scan the barcode in, as soon as you scan the barcode in. It pulls up right here, the ticket code. So this arbitrary 4WUQT2PPV, that's just some weird number that the software made up. That links us to this kid's data. So we scan that in and I look at my software and it's telling me, this is the kid that I'm photographing. Right over here, this is telling me what's in the hot folder, nothing in there yet, we haven't shot. Okay, when kids hand me their picture card, I go, even though I can read, and I know it says "Robert", I go, okay what's your name? I'm asking them as I take their card. So I can verify they didn't hand me another kids card. What's your name, cool, have a seat. Scan it (pssh) we're here. So this software now allows us, this is where we're getting into having it be that flawless system. We we're talking about if we use crop lines. Software automatically has five by seven, eight by 10. That is Jordan, yeahhhh, Jordan. Alright, you go in and flag the image that you want. Now by default we have it set up where it auto-picks the first picture we take. You can change it, but if you don't pick one it's going to assign the first image that we took. One of the things you have to watch out for is if you're really going too fast. If you're hammering through and taking a bunch of shots. There will be pictures that sit in this hot folder cause they don't transfer. So every time you're done with a kid, and you're gonna start another one. There shouldn't be anything in that hot folder. That should be empty before you go to the next one. If it isn't all you do, is there's a little plus button. (clucking) add it to this kid. Okay, now in the same exact opposite way. If this picture, if I starting shooting another kid and I didn't scan in a barcode. I can just remove it from him, put it back in the hot folder. I would then scan the barcode to the correct kid and add'em to that file. That make sense? Okay, the other option with the software, and this happens all the time. You will have kids, or teacher, that are new. That just enrolled, so you show up that day and you have your three sets of picture cards, and you got the best data in the world, and you just did your cards the day before. And there's gonna be some kid that walks in that doesn't have one. You can add them in, just click plus, you type it in. What's you first name, what's your last name? I always recommend that you have them get something from the office. Cause we still need to know their student id, cause that's gonna have to go on their id card. We need to know that information. So we can add people in, no problem. But we still need that information. And if they can't get us that information we can't take their photo at that time. Because if we don't have all that information I lose a chain in the sequence of how things have to be done for it to make sense.

Class Description

We’ve all had our annual school portrait taken over the years. Of course you didn’t think about the hard work and organization that it took for the photographer to get hundreds of images taken during that day, but volume school portrait photography is a great way for photographers to add additional income to their business. Matthew “The Body” Kemmetmueller has broken into that competitive market and wants to share his knowledge of that industry with you. He’ll explain:

  • How to get into the schools that are right for your business
  • The best way to choose the software and gear you’ll need
  • How to put together bids and win over the schools
  • The most efficient way to order and deliver products
  • How to automate the retouching process

School photography is not an easy market to conquer, but Matthew will walk you through everything you’ll need to know in order to become a successful school portrait photographer.

Reviews

Diane Yvon
 

I was looking to add preschool photography to my business and this course really was thorough and helped me prepare. Matthew is so friendly and always makes learning easy! His courses are very organized. Highly recommend, Diane Zarlingo

Dorine Rosier
 

Matthew is very good in his teaching style and makes me want to watch the whole thing! The information he gives is priceless!