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Post Workflow - Backing Up Folder Structure

Lesson 58 from: 30 Days of Wedding Photography

Susan Stripling

Post Workflow - Backing Up Folder Structure

Lesson 58 from: 30 Days of Wedding Photography

Susan Stripling

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Lesson Info

58. Post Workflow - Backing Up Folder Structure


Class Trailer

Day 1




Evolution of Susan's Style


Branding and Identity


Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned


Day 2


Introduction to Gear & Equipment


Lenses Part 1


Lenses Part 2




Day 3


Seeing the Scene


Seeing the Scene Q&A


Rhythm and Repetition


Leading Lines and Rule of Thirds


Rule of Odds and Double Exposures


Day 4


Intro to Business


Day 5


Financing Your Business


Day 6


Q&A Days 1-4


Day 7


Pricing Calculator


Day 8


Package Pricing


Day 9




Day 10


Vendor Relationships & Referrals


Day 11


Marketing w Social Media


Day 12


Booking the Client


Day 13


The Pricing Conversation


Day 14


Turn A Call Into a Meeting


Day 15


In Person Meeting


Day 16


Wedding Planning


Day 17


Actual Client Pre Wedding Sit Down


Day 18


Engagement Session Details


Day 19


Engagement Session On Location


Day 20


Wedding Details & Tips


Day 21


Detail Photos Reviewed


Day 22


Bridal Preparation


Day 23


Bridal Preparation Photo Review


Day 24


Bridal Prep - What If Scenarios


Day 25


Q&A Days 5-11


Day 26


First Look Demo


Day 27


First Look Examples


Day 28


Portraits of the Bride


Day 29


Portraits of the Bride and Groom


Family Portraits Demo


Family Formal Examples


Wedding Ceremony Demo


Day 30


Wedding Ceremony Examples


Different Traditions and Faiths


Wedding Cocktail Hour and Reception Room Demo


Wedding Cocktail Hour and Reception Room Examples


Wedding Introductions


First Dance


Wedding Toasts


Parent Dances


Wedding Party


Reception Events


Nighttime Portraits


Nighttime Portraits with Found Light


Post Wedding Session Demo


Post Wedding Session Critique


Wedding Day Difficulties


Post Workflow - Backing Up Folder Structure


Post Workflow - Culling Shots


Post Workflow - Outsourcing


Q&A Days 12-23


Post Workflow - Gear


Post Workflow - Lightroom Editing


Managing Your Studio


Post Wedding Marketing


Client Care


Pricing for Add-Ons


The Album Process


Balancing Your Business with Life


Post Wedding Problems


Parent Complaints


Unhappy Customers


Working with an Assistant


Assistant Q&A


Lighting with an Assistant


Q&A Days 24-30


Lesson Info

Post Workflow - Backing Up Folder Structure

Without further ado, we're gonna jump right into work flow because I know that workflow is something that really sort of bottles the mind of photographers for a bunch of different reasons. First of all, it's a lot of work and it could be very daunting and we spend all this time teaching ourselves photography and how to shoot how to go out on how to capture the day and then you come home and you're faced with the oftentimes thousands of images that you've that you've taken on that wedding day and then how do you manage them? How do you back him up? How do you keep them safe? And then, especially in the new days of being a photographer, I know this was a problem for me for a long time how do you pick your keepers out of everything that you've shot? And then how do you let go of the rejects? And after thirteen years of doing this and I know that you're very much the same? I'm a very ruthless color, but that is a skill that you can learn we're gonna help you with that. So without further a...

do let's hop right in, I've talked to you about two q at many points in time in this thirty days and again, she he doesn't pay me money to tell you how great they are, but they are great part of why I love them very much is because every single time I book a wedding, I assign a work flow to that wedding and it's a workflow that I've pre written and pre recorded so literally when I'm going through the booking stage of the client or at any point afterwards you're gonna sign a workflow to the client and I have a workflow that says wedding work flow out forced and this is exactly how it goes. It tells me how many days out things or do so post booking wedding planning at this particular wedding that you're looking at here in eighteen days, I'm going to shoot the wedding in nineteen days. I'm going to download the compact flashcard back up my images in two different places. Two days later, I'm going the invoice, the client for overtime if there was overtime with the number of weddings that I shoot every single year workflow start overlapping as you shoot a wedding every single saturday, you're in a different stage of production in all of your weddings. How do you keep track of what you just cold and what is in production? In the olden days before I use studio management software, I had a white board in my office? Did you ever whiteboard it? I did at one time. I got over the white bored very quickly took me about two months and I was like forget this but I literally had a whiteboard on the wall with different stages of production and I would put a check mark so I could see this wedding has being cold this wedding is in post production stages but then as I was kind of traveling around a lot I literally have my studio in two completely different places I drive all over the place it helps to actually access my workflow on any mobile device on my phone on my computer I know where I'm at and when you're in shoot q when you click on your tasks bar that's the first thing that I do to start my day every single day and that's exactly the same thing as having a to do list in the spreadsheet or having it written down or however you got it listed out but I know that when I sit down in front of my computer in the morning the only thing that I have to do is what's literally listed as do today so that for me I tend to lay awake at night and think oh my god I have this to doing this to doing this to doing this to do when I have it all written down in front of me all I have to do is what's literally presented right in front of me every single day it creates a real habit you know? It kind of lets you control it because when you don't have everything accounted for it's easy to lose track of something especially if it's something kind of out of your routine because you're primarily a wedding photographer and every once in a great while you might do a headshot for someone if you don't have a workflow and you're not able to put something like that into your schedule three months are gonna go by and you're gonna be like a headshot headshot I forgot about the headshot yeah, so I have things in there and if you like, look all the way down towards the end the actual final final post production stage is that you don't even see here deal with marketing so that I actually remind myself to market every single wedding and it's just it just helps me to know and you can look at your your timeline seven days out fourteen days out you can see what's coming so you know when you're going to get really, really busy cross check that with your calendar if you're thinking of taking on likes, head shots or another job or something corporate our commercial you know when you're super busy and when you're not right now my cheeky workflow literally just as creative life because that's all I'm doing right now but wedding season for me starts up pretty decently on saturday so on saturday it's going to say shoot this job on sunday it's going to say download these cards and if I get overwhelmed if I'm out of town if for some reason I'm sick if god forbid anything were to ever happen to me you could along into my shoe cue my husband could log witness you would long into my sheet that's that letter she won't do it on and she what you would be able to look at every single wedding and see exactly where it is in stages of production so if you're not using like a studio management software it's important to keep these records in some other way especially if you are the only person that works in your business what if somebody else you know knock on wood if somebody else were to need to access that it's helpful to have that info out there so without further ado, any questions about that at all you're feeling good feeling good all right so now we're actually worked flowing what is my favorite part is you know this actually used to really dread this because this just destroyed my life for a really long time but now now I don't mind it quite as bad no it's destroying my life thie only time it destroys my life is when I forget to put a wedding on the calendar and say so hey that wedding it's due this week engines like foot leading yeah, but other than that, so just to talk briefly, the set up that I have, I have a computer, I have two computers, actually, because we've talked about how I have a work station at my husband's place in a workstation at mai, and they need to be identical because I need to be able to do work no matter where I'm at. So I have a computer. It is an imac I got in a battle with someone over whether a mac or a tower was a better idea. And thanks to jen and john tardio, I won the battle because they told me all the fancy technical seals to throw at it. John told her all of the so it helps to have someone if you don't know, computers don't go to the mac store and asked them what yu need. They don't really understand what you need because you have specific needs. As a photographer asked someone who actually knows what they're talking about when I need to upgrade my computer, I go to john, her partner inside car post, and I say, tell me what will serve my needs fast, and he tells me, and I buy them so I have two computers, this is my computer, my desktop is actually that annoyingly clean. So when I go out and I shoot a wedding and I come back for me on my end not talking about what gen does on her and and she's going to get into what she doesn't, why every wedding that I shoot has a very specific workflow folder setup. Now, how many of you use max when you make a folder on your mac? Did you know that you can actually lock that folder and then just drag and drop it in other places? And instead of moving it, it just coffee? Is it? Did I spoil your mind? So I actually have where you see it is two thousand fourteen weddings, and then it goes over to each wedding. If you go down from four weddings to portrait albums to personal right under that it's a folder called workflow and you'll see a little lock next to it, you just open apple, I choose toe locket, you khun drag and drop it anywhere else instead of moving it. Itjust coffees so my work folder looks exactly like this and whenever I should, a new wedding would look at the top and look at the bottom. So no one one eight one for abraham that's, the date of the wedding and the clients last name. And it's always the last name of the person who signed the contract and I have to make sure that it that's continuous all the way through so the last name in the chute q is the last name in my calendar is the last name in my folder every once in a while I screw it up engines like what wedding is this and then ends up getting named something really bizarre so the continuity all the way through really matters so a lot of times it's the bride's last name unless my contact the whole way through has been the groom and that's maybe once a year so it gets a hierarchy of folders when I come home and I download every single thing that I downloaded goes into the ross and out takes folder and then when I go through and I pick my keepers those get picked up and moved over to the raw keepers holder once I choose what I am going to blogger because a lot of times I'll do my block images myself before I send you the rest those get picked up and removed and put into ross to blawg so I've segmented all of my raw files before I'd even touch them in post production to the out takes the'keeper's and the ones that I plan to blogged after I've worked with my ross to block and exported them out they're going to belong to j pegs I keep them separate because what jen is going to dio I barely ever use that exported j pegs folder anymore because I'm not doing my own postproduction, but I don't want to change this folder hierarchy the day that I have to everyone some only get crazy busy and I have to take back a wedding that's a folder that I need so I don't dump it. The reason why I segment them all out to different folders is get everyone's in holly's accidentally overwrite something, so I find it a lot easier to just go ahead and parcel and portion it out in the very end, and we're gonna talk about how the workflow finalizes all the way down. Everything goes into final j pegs and the other folders get dumped, so before we really get ahead of ourselves, let's start from the very beginning. This is my compact flash reader it'sa sandisk. I cannot find them anywhere. Do you use these? Um, I think I have a different now, but I do have something like this. I also have the ones that take several different cards. Yeah, because different people are using different cards and I have that fuji now, so sometimes I think or that way, like two or three of these air slowly dying, I can't find them anywhere, but because I don't like change, I'm just ridiculously holding onto them as long as I possibly can, but after every single wedding I download immediately that night I download I don't care if I get home at two o'clock in the morning I want to get my finals download and I want to get them back up and I want to know if I have any problems before I even go to bed if I have a double next day and still going to download and back up the night before I don't download the cards in my second cards lock I'm on ly downloading the raw files because as I've mentioned before the card that has the j pegs in them I don't even take it out of the camera unless there's an emergency so I come home, I don't loot immediately this is my compact flash reader no one else downloads ever I don't care how busy I am my husband who has been a photographer for twenty six years I'm still not gonna let him download my files because I want I have a very specific hierarchy of the way it goes. I have a very specific way that I just like things to be and I want to know if there are any problems with the download it's my baby, this is my responsibility, this is my job, so I don't just come home and have the files that someone and be like I'm going on vacation have fun downloading, I do it myself and after I download I always look at everything I don't care if it's four in the morning, I just need to look through it and make sure everything is there before I could go to bed and it's really smart too, especially if you do have a double, which you have a good number of because what if there was an issue? What if there was a card problem? What if you're looking at the images and something doesn't look right? You want to know then because imagine if you go to a second wedding and there is a problem and you don't see it now you've got two problems. Well, do you remember the period of time after I dropped my seventy two, two hundred? When I got it back, I had to have it re looked at again because it was still soft? Yes, and I know I know people who have who have had problems with their lenses, and if you don't look at the wedding, you're going to go into your wedding the next day with a faulty problem or even the next week exactly so for me and I'm not gonna call them down right away, I do try to do that pretty quickly after the wedding, but I just want to look at it it takes two seconds to toss it in a photo mechanic scroll through it you were just in the event so it is still bright and fresh in your mind there's absolutely no reason why you can't take the time you know it's I'm downloading two cards a sixty forty thirty two so I pop in the sixty four and I go take a shower I take it out I pop in the thirty two and I go get a snack and I come back through a mall in photo mechanic get myself ready for bed and come back scroll through everything and then I move on the other thing that I do immediately after downloading and taking a look at everything as I back it up to external hard drives so I download all of my raw files to my computer and I immediately put it on my detect hard drive and I have two of them one of them is in new york one of them is in new jersey I do have one of those lissy rugged traveling drives that I used to take the images back and forth so on that drive I have one folder that says for new jersey I have one folder that says for new york so if I've shot the wedding in new york I go home to my apartment in brooklyn I don't load to my computer I back up to that hard drive there I put it on the lissi and then the next time I go to new jersey I make sure that I update my computer with everything that it's missing and same thing vice first of the wedding that I'm shooting on saturday when I go home is in philadelphia, so I'll download in new jersey I'll back up in new jersey I'll put it in the four new york folder on my travelling hard drive and then when I go home I'll update that computer so that way no matter where I am I have the current version of all of my files and I understand that ninety nine point nine percent of you don't live in two completely different places, but if you have a home office and you have a studio with an office it's just helpful that all of your computers are talking to each other and it's not just that to what it also gives you is the elusive offsite backup so in susan's case they're pretty far apart something happened in brooklyn it's probably not gonna happen in haddonfield one would hope right? But for other people, if you do work in a different office and then you have it at your home as well it's just a nice way to kind of back yourself up because of course you have insurance god forbid were to happen in your home office were to burn down or someone were toe vandalize your space or bring in and take all your style. Or if someone were to leave a heating pad in the microwave of your hotel room for, like, thirteen minutes and almost burned it down that happened yesterday. Thanks, tio. Miss struggling here. So if any of your holiday inn across the street this week and it smells a little bit like a bird heating pad, it's, because you need to be careful. And if you're gonna put it over a minute and thirty seconds, understand that it needs to say one three. Oh, not one three. Oh, yeah. I told you that was gonna come on. Yeah, she was really just waiting. I feel like I found a really good spot for that. It was really that was very seamlessly done. No, but in all seriousness, obviously, the value of an off site backup is nice, especially before you actually deliver the images to the client. And I listen, I understand that we used to shoot film, and you only had one copy of everything. But now, back up his cheap, hard drives, their cheap, relatively speaking. Why wouldn't you just have the peace of mind of having it all backed up, yes, man, not for raw files that would take I can't even fathom how long that would take for the raw files no, I looked at I think carbonite for that at one point and for the raw files it was just a prohibitive just would take so long over the connection that we have you know we're capable of having but for san folio which we'll talk about later us there is an off site backup then for the j pegs that's online in the cloud yeah and that's a major component of what we're talking about tomorrow with work flow to is how you utilizing folio for a couple of different things backing up her off I was in the cloud no I do throughout the year pull the raw files for images that I think that I might use for competition and that's a completely different story you can't put raw files is in folio though can you know I have mine stored in dropbox but we're talking like five or six year old files a year but honestly by the time that I've gotten to the point where I've chosen my keepers where I've gotten them processed where I have the j pegs unless I'm going to go backto a raw file for a print competition or something like that I'm never going to touch those raw files ever again like ever, ever I can't even think of an opportunity a reason of why I went back to pull one I think I do either, and I I mean, that leads to the question. Why don't you just delete them? Well, you never know what you know. Why would I not want to, klaus couple of old hard drives because I love it ever so very it's. My favorite thing. Yeah, I just feel like keeping them around is good karma. Maybe I'm just being superstition. Never know. You never know like I've mentioned already. I have all of my weddings from two thousand six current on zen folio, but I'm actually going back. I pulled those ancient, rickety old hard drives, and I'm uploading all of those weddings to. So there will be a point in the next couple of months, maybe a year, that I will be able to say every single wedding in every single portrait that I have ever shot is online, so there won't be any reason to step back to a hard drive for anything.

Class Materials

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Quicksheet Inside Guide (zip file of individual PDF pages)
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Ratings and Reviews

Misty Angel

oh Susan, you are AWESOME!! I am not a wedding photographer (despite dipping my toe in this intimidating pool for one of my dearest friends), I shoot all forms of portraits and love sports too! Your '30-Days' has been the single most influential and educational moments since I started my venture into photography in 2009! THANK YOU! Your honesty, directness, bluntness, humor and vulnerability makes these 30-Days the most worthwhile time spent away from actual shooting; while simultaneously is the most inspirational motivator to push you out there to practice these ideas/techniques! #SShostestwiththemostest You raise the bar in this industry, not just with wedding photographers, but with all genres of photography! I wanted this course to learn about shooting and thought, great... I'll get a little bit of the business side too... OMG! I got it ALL! I'm dying! What an awesome investment in myself, my business and in YOU! PLEASE keep doing what you are doing! I love your new Dynamic Range, I feel that it is a wonderful extension of the work you do with Creative Live! I watch you EVERY DAY, every morning... I know that I continue absorbing your wisdom through repetition! I don't want to be you, I want to rise to your level! So thank you for the inspiration, motivation and aspiration! Keep on being REAL, its what we love about you! We embrace your Chanel meets Alexander McQueen-ness! :) Thank you for stepping into this educational space and providing us with your lessons learned so we can avoid the negative-time investment making mistakes... we are drinking your virtual lemonade!! HA! Like the others, whatever wisdom you offer in this medium, I will be jumping at the opportunity to learn from you! THANK YOU!


All the positive reviews say it all. When Susan took on the challenge of teaching this course it must of looked like attempting to climb Mount Everest...and she accomplished just that. Susan is a detailed, well-organized photographer and this clearly comes out in her teaching. Using repetition, clear instructions, a logical and well laid out presentation, she answers most any question you might have when it comes to wedding photography. I felt like I was having a private consultation when watching the course. She is real, honest, tactful, funny, and a gift to the photography community. Finally, her photography is professional and inspiring. Thank you Susan for the tremendous amount of work that you put into making this an outstanding Creative Live course for us all.


Wow. What a super, comprehensive, entertaining, informative course. Well done. I've taking a lot of photography classes and this one is definitely top of the list. Susan Stripling was very well prepared (and great job by the CreativeLive Team too). Terrific course. Susan shared so much. Thank you! P.S. Love the CL boot camp courses.

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