Category Archives for "Photography"

Safeguard your data!

Disaster proof your data

Safeguard your data.

Digital files are fragile. Import failures, mistakes in naming files and hardware crashes are just some of the problems we encounter everyday. Whether its images, video or audio – or any digital asset for that matter – it’s important to safeguard these groups of 1s and 0s that make up the visual content we create.

You have to safeguard your data from the beginning – not just once you’ve finished the job and are creating a backup (you should do that, but today we’re gonna look at how data is kept safe while on the job, before you get back to the ranch.

Safeguard #1: download your cards wisely

Once the card comes out of the camera, the only copy of your file is on that chip. It does not live anywhere else and can get messed up easily. Sometimes cards fail, readers malfunction or people unwillingly overwrite an older file, because the filenames are the same. Take you’re time, double-check and don’t erase the card until you have the data imported and backed up at least once. I’ve imported files that got messed up somewhere, there are programs and services that recover or restore files, but it’s easier not to have to deal with it. Some cameras today allow you to write data onto two cards simultaneously. Do that. Here’s a great post from my friend Jeff Cable on memory cards.

Safeguard #2: backup your files

This is not the final backup in the studio, it’s just to make sure all the files make it back there unharmed. If you’re looking for more info on backups and the like check out this post on redundancy:

Redundancy: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet On Taking Risk

I import my files directly with Capture One software for my images and Chronosync for my videos. Capture One allows me to import the files onto the SSD drives in the computer and writes another copy to an external drive (my favorites are ioSafe drives) at the same time. This way I have 3 copies of my digital visual data:

  1. Internal SSD drives
  2. External ioSafe drive
  3. CF cards

Safeguard #3: separate your copies

Safeguard your data with disaster proof hard drivesThree copies of your files are all fine and dandy, but if they are all in the same place and the same disaster occurs in that place, it doesn’t matter that you had 3 copies. That’s why one of my copies lives on a waterproof seriously, you can submerse the hard drive in 30 feet of water for 3 days, crushproof (up to 5,000 pounds) and drop proof up to 20 feet – that’s a 2 story drop. The drives include data recovery should the worst thing happen…

That drive usually stays where I’m staying – and not shooting – so that if something happens on the shoot, I still have all the data I captured yesterday in a safe place. That drive will not fly (or drive) home with me, when I am traveling further than a hundred miles. It gets FedEx’d back to the office.

Safeguard #4: Backup your data when you’re back

The first thing I do, after coming home from a shoot is to copy all data to my studio backup system using Chronosync. (You can read more about how I store data here on the redundancy article from before.) Chronosync will read a file, write it to my RAID, read the copy it just wrote on the RAID and compare it with the first copy it read. That way I eliminate any kind of transcription errors.

Safeguard #5: Use your backup work flow

The best laid plans… only work when you actually use them. Having an external hard drive with you on location doesn’t do you any good, unless you take the time to copy the files to it. It’s not hard to figure out a safeguard or two (or 3) that help you keep your files intact, but you have to implement them.

A great place to start learning about what all goes into a good digital asset management (DAM) solution is Peter Krough’s “The DAM book“. Even if you don’t implement all his suggestions, reading the book will force you to think through your workflow which is a great safeguard to start with.

Peter starts at the beginning: How to name your files. Not only does having a system on how to uniquely name each file safeguard an accidental overwriting of an image, but it can also get you work…

Your filename must include this one word – if you want to work

Miami’s soul

CreativeMornings/Miami Soul

Miami’s soul

Robert looks more like a hit man, than a pastor and he’ll be the first person to tell you. He’s also one of the very first people I met working on fashion photo shoots in Miami, as I started coming down to South Florida in the mid 90’s to escape the winters in Chicago and New York  (for obvious reasons).

If you’re looking for the soul of Miami, look no further than Robert and his wife Elizabeth, who have dedicated their lives to serving the people of Miami. You won’t find someone with a bigger heart for the people of Miami, than these two.

The church Robert pastors is called Calvary Chapel Miami Beach, a non denominational church just north of 71st Street on North Beach, a block west of 0 Cinema with a few hundred perishoners. It is one of the most diverse places I know in Miami in regards to pretty much every metric you want to look at from old to young, from fashion models to the homeless and every color under the rainbow the only thing you’ll find in common is the love that these people have for the inhabitants of the City of Miami (…)

(This week I get to take over CreativeMornings/Miami’s tumblr blog. I’ll share some of my favorite places and people, who make Miami an awesome place to live. Check it out. Read the rest of this post on tumblr)

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do yo want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola at info@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

Miami’s architecture

CreativeMornings/Miami architecture

Miami’s architecture

Ocean Drive’s art deco hotels, Miami Modern 1970s buildings, Wynwood graffiti art, downtown’s sky scrapers – everywhere you look in Miami there is world class architecture. Meet Gabriella, an architect from Ecuador. Our kids went to school together and I had a chance to photograph a MiMo inspired house she build, called the Dilido house on the Venetian Islands in Miami Beach.

Gabriella is a fireball of energy as we’re walking through the house on my initial scout. I’ve brought my youngest daughter – she’s brought hers and we don’t see either girls, who are having a blast exploring the construction site (…)

(This week I get to take over CreativeMornings/Miami’s tumblr blog. I’ll share some of my favorite places and people, who make Miami an awesome place to live. Check it out. Read the rest of this post on tumblr)

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do yo want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola at info@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

Miami’s food

CreativeMornings/Miami food

Miami’s food

If you’ve never heard of Knaus Berry Farm, you’ve been living under a rock – or maybe you just don’t like Cinammon Rolls.

The family farm, run by my friends Tom and Susan (and her sister and her husband), has been around for decades and is open from November to mid-April. It’s a popular place and the cinammon rolls, that Tom gets up very early every morning to bake, are worth standing in line for (…)

(This week I get to take over CreativeMornings/Miami’s tumblr blog. I’ll share some of my favorite places and people, who make Miami an awesome place to live. Check it out. Read the rest of this post on tumblr)

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do yo want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola at info@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

Miami history

CreativeMornings/Miami history

Miami’s history

History may not be the first thing that comes to your mind, when you think about Miami. There are surprisingly many places tucked between the gleaming skyscrapers of downtown, the waterfront mansions on the bay, the yachts and jet set everyone associates with he Magic City.

Vizcaya shows Miami history

Vizcaya is one of those places. Build on Biscayne Bay over 100 years ago you’ll drive right past it, if your not paying attention, as you drive down South Miami Avenue. The villa is unbelievable, only to be outdone by it’s formal gardens. (…)

(This week I get to take over CreativeMornings/Miami’s tumblr blog. I’ll share some of my favorite places and people, who make Miami an awesome place to live. Check it out. Read the rest of this post on tumblr)

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do yo want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola at info@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

Miami’s beaches

CreativeMornings/Miami Beach

Where is the beach?

… is probably the first question my friends ask, when they come to visit Miami. I think they picture us suntanning all day long. Honestly though, the only time you’ll find me on the beach is when I’m creating photographs for my clients.

Enter Jytte. Although I didn’t meet her on the beach, we did end up on one photographing for Armpocket. Jytte is not from Florida originally, but she now runs a small business in South Florida, which makes an armband, that protects your phone, keys, cash, … while you go about your active lifestyle.

(This week I get to take over CreativeMornings/Miami’s tumblr blog. I’ll share some of my favorite places and people, who make Miami an awesome place to live. Check it out. Read the rest of this post on tumblr)

The Blogger Union has partnered with CreativeMornings/Miami for a collaborative storytelling marathon. Tune in to read the story of our city told by local creatives, bloggers and entrepreneurs. Each week, a different member of CreativeMornings will take over to post what inspires them about South Florida. Do yo want to take over the CreativeMornings/Miami blog and share your take on our community? Email Paola at info@thebloggerunion and we’ll get working on it!

From Contact Form to Contract

From Contact Form to Contract

 

Before I ever speak to a potential client…

… I usually get an email that reads: “A lead has been assigned to you“. It’s my Customer Relationship Management system’s way of letting me know someone just clicked the <submit> button on the contact form of my website. By this time that lead-emailprospective client has already received a personalized email response, their information is already captured in SalesForce and I’ve gotten a text message with their phone number all while their usually still on my website.

If I’m not shooting, I’ll take a minute, open the SalesForce app on my phone, which lets me see what kind of photography or video the website visitor is looking to have me create for them and give them a quick call or fire off a second prewritten email.

Questions and Answers

Guide to Product PhotographyAttached to the second email is a pdf that answers many of the questions that my clients have asked me over the years. It goes over the basic kinds of product photos, how to make a list of all the shots the client needs, ect.

Your product photography guide really helped us think through the types and number of shots we needed for our project” one client told me recently.

Product Photography guide page 4In addition to the guide they can use my online Request-an-Estimate, another SalesForce integrated form that walks my next client through the basic ASMP Assignment Estimate Form.

Once they’ve worked through the guide and filled out the form, my first phone call usually turns out to be very productive, because many basic questions already have been answered.

With all the information in hand, I can create an estimate, that get’s sent out using a third SalesForce email template. (Check out what an actual estimate of mine looks like.) My estimate always contains a modified version of the ASMP Terms & Conditions, which gets integrated in any proposed agreement the client sends me. Once the estimate is signed and the deposit is received, we schedule the shoot.

Tools I use

Even before that signature I start to build a “Production Book” in