Speed up your workflow with Photo Mechanic Plus

I have found that Photo Mechanic Plus when you take advantage of some of the features you make the images more valuable.

When you INGEST be sure to rename your files to a system that works for you and at the same time apply what I call the IPTC template for your photo shoot.

Your camera may use the same file names over and over after each format. I recommend using the Date+Time shot as the file name.

Go to the IPTC fields and fill in all the fields that you will use for all your photos. Things like your name, address, that you are the creator and most important copyright information.

I recommend under the location if you have a camera that can capture GPS that you use this function. Helps when applying the IPTC. You can now know where you took all the photos. I click on the world and when it is green it will look for the GPS data.

Once you have all the basic information go and save this as a template. I have many templates because there are some places I go regularly that I just need to change a few things. Say you always shoot a college’s sports. Then that location and some of the caption and even keywords will be the same. Maybe you shoot wedding at the same venue. Save that venue.

If you have been saving templates, then your first step is to open the template and then modify it with the specifics for the caption, keywords or something else. If you always shoot the same venue for weddings, then go in and put the Groom and Bride’s names in the caption.

Under “Edit>Settings>Set Code Replacements” you can select a TXT document. You basically have two columns. When you first type on the document put in a short cut like “bride” and then “TAB” and write our the bride’s full name. Now imagine complicated spelling. This will save you a lot of time.

When you hit “RETURN” then the next row do the same thing with say “groom”. In sports short cuts can be jersey numbers that will help you identify players and their positions in games.

Pay attention to the “Delimiter Character” in the left hand corner of the Code Replacement screen. You put that symbol in front and behind the short cut text. When you put the final symbol in, say the caption the computer puts all that long text in. You can use a short cut for really long sentence if you like. This is to save you time.

If you create taxonomy of keywords using the form of this outline about without the numbering this can be used in what Photo Mechanic refers to as a “Structured Keyword”. It will look like this below, minus the bullet points.

  • North America
    • United States
      • Alabama
    • Mexico
    • Canada

You can use Microsoft Excel and create your list as well. A column and indent would be the B column and so on. As long as you save as a TXT it can be used as a Structured Keyword list.

Click on the drop-down menu on the right of keywords in the IPTC screen. Pick the Structured Keywords.

This is the default that comes with Photo Mechanic. I have written my own for different clients.

This lets you quickly add keywords to a photo.

When you have done this just once the keywords will be under the Structured Keywords so you don’t have to recreate it if you want to use the same one or another one you created. It keeps those as another short cut.

My last tip is that you can apply any of the these to multiple images at once.

Select all the images or selects and then CMD+I to bring up the IPTC. You change anything in this and then tell it to apply to your selection.

You can do the same thing by selecting images and CMD+M to rename all the images you have selected.

On average going one image at a time it can take about 5 minutes an image to write a caption telling us the Who, What, Where, When & How, as well as adding Keywords. But by using code replacement, structured keywords and applying those to multiples when you can–will save you incredible amount of time.

The last tip. Do this enough and your speed will increase over time.