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Lesson 12 from: The Photography Starter Kit for Beginners

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

12. Workflow

Summary (Generated from Transcript)

The topic of this lesson is the photography workflow for beginners, including software options, storage solutions, and the importance of backing up images.


  1. What is the purpose of a card reader in the photography workflow?

    A card reader allows for faster and easier transfer of photos from a camera to a computer.

  2. What is a recommended software program for editing and organizing photos?

    Adobe Lightroom is a popular and user-friendly program for basic editing and cataloging of photographs.

  3. Are there other software programs besides Lightroom that can be used for editing photos?

    Yes, there are several other programs available, but the key is to choose one that you are comfortable with and can stick to for a long period of time.

  4. When should a photographer consider using a program like Photoshop?

    Photoshop is more suitable for advanced editing and manipulation of photographs, such as creating graphics or collages.

  5. Why is it not recommended to store digital photos directly on a computer?

    Storing a large number of photos on a computer can slow down its performance, and there is also a risk of losing all the photos if something happens to the computer.

  6. What is the recommended storage solution for digital photos?

    It is recommended to store digital photos on an external hard drive to free up space on the computer and prevent data loss.

  7. What is the importance of backing up photos?

    Backing up photos is crucial to protect against data loss in case of accidents or disasters. It is recommended to have multiple backups, including offsite storage or cloud storage.

  8. How can photographers prevent the loss of their entire photo collection?

    By having multiple backups stored in different locations, such as at work, a friend's house, or in the cloud, photographers can protect their images from being lost in the event of a catastrophe.

Next Lesson: Light

Lesson Info


Workflow deals with the steps that you take in this whole process of taking photos and dealing with it. And so, once you've taken the photo, you need to get those photos into a computer for proper storage. You can download from the camera, but in general, it's kind of a slow, cumbersome system. Some cameras actually needs special software on the computer in order to do it. It's much faster to get one of these inexpensive card readers, and if your computer has a slot for your memory card that's the best system yet, 'cause you don't need any other accessories. And so, a little card reader is a good investment in my mind. You're gonna need software in order to look at your photos and work with them on your computer. My favorite program right now is Adobe Lightroom. There are a good number of programs out there. This is one of the most popular, I would call it the most popular, but it's getting more and more competition 'cause some people don't like. There's a few things that it doesn't do...

perfectly well for some people. And so, there's all these competitors that are competing for it. And so, there's about a dozen other different programs that are not that bad, they're quite good. But it doesn't really matter which one you use, just so long as you're happy with it. But once again, whatever ecosystem you choose, you're probably gonna wanna stick around. All the changes and things that you learn in one program, it's no fun switching software systems back and forth. And so, that's one of the things I think is important. Choosing something that you can live with for a long period of time. Now, Adobe Lightroom was designed by photographers for photographers in what they wanted to do. And actually, it wasn't the first program to come out for digital photography that was more like Photoshop, which I'll talk about in just a second. Lightroom is nice because it allows a photographer to do what they typically want to do with a photograph. So, all those basic things, you know, cropping, correcting the horizon line, color, exposure, saturation, all those sorts of things that you would normally want to adjust in small ways on your photograph, you can do very, very easily and intuitively here. And so, a program like Lightroom is a great program. I'll have to admit that it takes a little bit of a learning curve. You can't just give Adobe Lightroom to somebody and say, go get 'em. 'Cause you need a little bit of help. Either you need to take a class and there's lots of good classes here, you need to read a book, or have somebody walk you through the steps of it. So, once you get through those initial few training steps, you're fine, and you can explore, and you won't hurt yourself or your photos, you might say. But sometimes, people have more ambitious desires than what Lightroom can handle. You might take a photograph like this and say, well, that's okay, I would really prefer to have more birds in there. And so, this requires special manipulation tools that are not in a program like Lightroom. This is Photoshop and there's multiple layers, and I'm cloning, and reversing them. And this is more of a graphics type tool that photographers do find very helpful. I would recommend somebody new to photography, get into a program like Lightroom that's more just of a catalog for basic editing. If you find that once you get into it, you're making in depth changes on photographs, maybe you're making a movie poster and you need a picture of this actor, and this actress, and this vehicle, and this scene, and they're all collaged together, you can't do that in something like Lightroom. And so, sometimes, for business needs or special needs, then Photoshop comes in and is a very good program. And there are many competitors to this, as well. So, you really want to check into the software. What is it specialized at, what can it do, and what's it best at? You do not want to store your digital photos on your computer. That is a bad place to keep your images. And that is because, pictures are relatively big in file size and they're gonna take up a lot of space. And once you start shooting for a few years, you're gonna have 10,000 photos, and 100,000 photos, and maybe 1,000,000 photos, and that is gonna slow down everything on your computer. So, you may wanna have a small collection of them that you can show any time without hooking up an external hard drive, that makes perfect sense. But storing all of your photographs should be done on an external hard drive. Now, the world is an imperfect place, and so you need to have backups. And so, you can have desktop drives, which are the ones that you plug in, the portable ones get power through the USB or other connections straight from your laptop usually. And so, you wanna have a backup in either case. Now, bad things happen at certain locations from time to time, and so you should really have things stored in a third place in an offsite storage area. Now, that offsite storage area could be Cloud storage, which is definitely an option, or it could be a hard drive that you keep at work, compared to the two you have at home, or your neighbor's house, or your friend's house, or someplace else in case something horrendous happened at that one location. Just imagine, how much a photographer would be devastated by having all of their images just completely gone. And for some people it's even more than others, because they're living off of all the pictures they take, and it's not just what they shot last week, but everything they shot for whole life is very important. And so, you wanna make sure you back things up. There's occasionally about once a year on some of the blogs I go to, there's a story about somebody who's house was ransacked, it got burned down, they lost their hard drives, and they lost all the photos they've taken their entire life. And you just like, did you not have these backed up some place else? And you know, $100, $100 give you a hard drive that'll probably store everything. It's a little bit of maintenance, but it's easy to duplicate, and so it's not that hard to deal with, but it's very important.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Photography Starter Kit Outline

Ratings and Reviews

Kanoelani Patenaude

I am a pro photographer in my dreams, where I know the in's and out's of my camera; however, reality proved differently, as real life would tell you, I was a deer caught in headlights just looking at my new 7D Mark II. I am a photographer enthusiast without the skills, but a lot of love for the moments one, or the profession/hobby of it can capture. I mostly shoot my husband, friends, and community surfers in the lineup, and of course, my children, who rarely sit still. Thus, I switched from Nikon to Canon, venturing on the 7D Mark II for the grand reviews of how stellar of camera it is for action shots (surfing, and kids, this was a no brainer). That said, and overwhelmed with the way beyond my skill set, but noted desire and aspiration to grow, I made the purchase, and sought help rather quickly as I wanted to feel confident with what I was utilizing to capture the best memories possible. I came into this John's courses knowing the "on/off" button, and "auto" shoot mode. I came out of the course feeling like the pro in my dreams, and ready to shoot manual. John's teaching style is on point, and his detailed visuals are a huge plus. My first shots post this photography kit course, I thought were great for my first educated shoot, and shockingly, I even received and email from one of the sponsors of the surfers I captured, asking if they could use my image for their sites and publications. Not bad for a newbie. Though, my intent was never a business purpose, I did not know if I should charge a small fee, or give it for free. I don't mind free as it's not my business, yet I don't want to ruin it for any professional photographers in town doing the same thing that are charging. Perhaps another course to help me with that. I highly recommend courses by John Greengo! Thank you so much, John!


I'm not sure my first review posted. But I LOVE this class! John Greengo is a great, engaging teacher who is really adept at representing the concepts visually and excellent at explaining them verbally. I love how he goes through examples with photographs he has taken. Even though I only have a Nikon Coolpix digital camera, it does have Manual, Shutter priority, and Aperture priority modes. Through his class I've gotten a really good sense of how to balance ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. It's a great overview for me especially since I am new to photography, I can play around with some of these settings, and I have a greater understanding of what I might need in a higher level camera in the future. Money well spend! (For $29, this is an absolute steal). John Greengo is an awesome teacher and I hope to take more of his classes in the future!

Megan Wagner

John is extremely articulate and is a great teacher with lots of visual aids and metaphors to help understand photography. I have been doing photography for a few years now and this class was a tremendous help in boosting my knowledge and refreshing my memory in multiple aspects of photography. The graphics that John uses are helpful and he even goes through images and asks which settings would be best to use and will go through the why. He makes things easy to understand and is very clear about the information he provides. I am so glad I took this course and I would highly recommend it even to an experienced photographer. Thank you John Greengo!

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