Changed my Digital Workflow & Why you should too!

How do photographers add more value to their work, so that clients love you?

Lightroom Classic CC 7.3 (April 2018 release) has been optimized for more accurate detection of faces in your catalog photos. This means it will search all the photos in the filmstrip of a folder or what you have ingested.

After it has found the faces it puts them in a “Unnamed People” section. Just click on the “?” and fill in the right name.

This information is written to the Keywords and to a field called “Persons Shown” field which I work with later in Photo Mechanic Plus.

Here you can see that field is just below the Keywords in Photo Mechanic Plus.

Now here was my “Digital Workflow” prior to the changes I am saying need to do to add value to your already awesome photos.

Post Processing
  1. Ingest to PhotoMechanic
  2. IPTC information is filled out and part of the ingesting process
  3. Select the keepers
  4. Delete all untagged images
  5. Import into Lightroom, because I am shooting RAW
  6. Using metadata I select all the photos with the same lens
  7. Select all with the same lens
  8. Go to Develop Module “D” shortcut
  9. On far right go to lens correction
  10. Go back to Library and pick another lens and do the same until all photos have been lens corrected
  11. Click on profile and enable profile for Adobe Color or select another more appropriate profile by using browsing in the menu
  12. Tip to select multiple images shot in the same scene and do correction to all at once
  13. Go to settings and then tell it to Match Exposure on all those selected
  14. ⌘D unselect
  15. Go one by one and check those correct. Repeat this step for different scenes
  16. Correct for blown out highlights
  17. Pull in blacks if necessary
  18. I am often using the Dehaze and Texture sliders
  19. For sharpening I use this technique
  20. Export all images to sRGB JPEGs Quality 80
  21. Open PhotoMechanic
  22. Upload to my PhotoShelter account for the client

After step 21 where I open the processed JPEGs I now work on the IPTC metadata.

I select all the images and then I use the short cut “⌘+I”, which gives me the IPTC Metadata Master Template. Now I click into the Caption field and hit a few returns. I select “Append” from the pull down menu on the left. Then I click on “Variables” down on the bottom and find “persons” and click on it. It puts {persons} in the Caption field.

If I have other changes that would be easy to apply to all the images at once I often do that here. Let’s say same basic caption or keywords could be applied. I go ahead and make those changes as well. Then at the bottom next to “Close Template” I click on “Apply Template to Selected”.

This takes all those people now identified in Lightroom’s Face Recognition and puts them into the caption field making them easily searchable with any computer.

While Lightroom does put their names in the Keywords, I don’t like that. So I just over write that with my new keywords that I go and apply one by one or by selecting multiple images using the master template that I clear and apply each time if doing this to multiple images.

If you are using the same changes a lot of the time, go ahead and save this template and then you can just load it when needed.

New Digital Workflow for Post Processing
  1. Ingest to Photo Mechanic Plus
  2. IPTC information is filled out and part of the ingesting process
  3. Select the keepers
  4. Delete all untagged images
  5. Import into Lightroom, because I am shooting RAW
  6. Use Face-Recognition to help identify people
  7. Using metadata I select all the photos with the same lens
  8. Select all with the same lens
  9. Go to Develop Module “D” shortcut
  10. On far right go to lens correction
  11. Go back to Library and pick another lens and do the same until all photos have been lens corrected
  12. Click on profile and enable profile for Adobe Color or select another more appropriate profile by using browsing in the menu
  13. Tip to select multiple images shot in the same scene and do correction to all at once
  14. Go to settings and then tell it to Match Exposure on all those selected
  15. ⌘D unselect
  16. Go one by one and check those correct. Repeat this step for different scenes
  17. Correct for blown out highlights
  18. Pull in blacks if necessary
  19. I am often using the Dehaze and Texture sliders
  20. For sharpening I use this technique
  21. Export all images to sRGB JPEGs Quality 80
  22. Open Photo Mechanic Plus
  23. Select all Images
  24. Append caption to include {persons]
  25. Go through all images being sure caption [“Caption” field contains the specifics about a photo]
  26. Using structured keywords apply them to each photo. [“Keyword” field is limited to generic terms]
  27. Upload to my PhotoShelter account for the client

Send a note with your images telling the client how they can search their images on their Mac or PC.

How to search on a Mac computer?
  1. On your Mac, click the Spotlight icon in the upper-right corner of the menu bar, or press Command-Space bar. …
  2. In the search field, type what you’re looking for—results appear as you type.
How to search on a PC computer?
  • Click the Start button to go to the Start screen,
  • then start typing to search for a file.
  • The search results will appear on the right side of the screen. Simply click a file or folder to open it.

Any text put into the IPTC Caption or keyword fields is searchable and they can then find those photos.

Do this often enough and they will not be calling your competition for those jobs anymore. Why? They can find your photos and not your competition’s. That is how you increase your value to your customers.

Time for Senior Portraits

I love shooting senior photos for a few reasons. One of the best reasons is getting to meet young people getting ready to transition into adulthood.

Max Boggus [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/320, ƒ/1.8, (35mm = 85)]

Today I just enjoyed my time with Max Boggus. Last year at this time I shot his older sister.

We enjoyed shooting these photos in the “Golden Hour of Light”. The next few weeks are prime time to do outside portraits in the Atlanta area.

Max Boggus [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/80, ƒ/1.8, (35mm = 85)]

We did take one photo with the mask to remember this year of COVID-19. No other generation has had this as the norm during their high school years since the “Spanish Flu”.

Max Boggus [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/320, ƒ/1.8, (35mm = 85)]

Do you have a senior? Do you have plans to get their senior photo?

Max Boggus [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/500, ƒ/1.8, (35mm = 85)]

I like to go to different locations that are important to a senior. Take some time and think of places that mean a lot to you. Here Max is in front of his school.

Max Boggus [NIKON Z 6, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/100, ƒ/1.8, (35mm = 35)]

Be sure when you schedule your time you take lots and lots of photos. This is once in a lifetime photo shoot.

Max Boggus [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/125, ƒ/1.8, (35mm = 85)]

Give me a call and let us plan this important time in your families life.

Young or Old has it’s own advantages in this industry

Bill Bangham is working as a coach/mentor with Jennifer Nelson on her story she is doing in Santiago, Chile as part of the Storytellers Abroad Workshop. [NIKON Z 6, VR Zoom 24-105mm f/4G IF-ED, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 8000, 1/100, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 62)]

While having children in your twenties you are able to physically do more than in your thirties, studies show your wisdom from living longer gives you an advantage.

A 2015 study showed that women who have their last child after age 33 are more likely to live to 95.

“For the unlearned, old age is winter; for the learned, it is the season of the harvest.”  

~Hasidic saying

When I would do communications projects in my twenties I was just trying to cover the basics. I didn’t really understand how any of what I was doing was helping in the bigger picture.

The offering bags are two different colors one for the tithe and one for the offering at Bon Berger (Good Shepherd) Baptist Church located in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. (Photo by: Stanley Leary) [NIKON D2X, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 400, 1/15, ƒ/2.8, (35mm = 60)]

Financial experts tell you to put a little money away early because it compounds interest over time.

While we often only look at money, each day we have experiences that go into our “MEMORY BANK”. That too is growing with compounded interest.

At the age of twenty I am just learning to shift those gears and now in my fifties I am looking around and seeing those around me in the race. I look for opportunities.

Clients

When you hire someone who is new they have unique things to bring to the table. Their youth and lack of experience means they are most likely flexible because they are not locked into a process.

When you hire someone with experience, they bring all that to the table for you. They can anticipate your needs better than often you can. They have been there before. Just because they are older doesn’t mean they are not flexible. Often those with experience are more flexible. They made those mistakes in the past of not listening when they should have to the client.

Creatives

Never be ashamed of your experience level. Use whatever you have to your advantage.

When you are young you realize you don’t have experience. That is OK. Many clients are looking to give new people a break to discover new talent.

When you are old, be sure to let the client know you are taking care of them. In your correspondence use all that experience to ask better questions to help the client achieve their goals and to let them know you are thinking ahead and anticipating for them.

“Getting old is a fascination thing. The older you get, the older you want to get.”

~Keith Richards

Database Advantage of Photo Mechanic Plus vs Lightroom

One of the biggest advantages I have found for my use with the Database of Photo Mechanic Plus as compared to Lightroom’s Library is not having to have the original file connected to the computer when doing searches.

[!] is the symbol you see when your originals are not online when using Lightroom. While you can see a small thumbnail you cannot zoom in and see details with the photo unless you have the original image online.

With Photo Mechanic Plus if you have put the image into your database and it is not online you get a yellow circle in the right hand corner next to the filename as in the photo above.

When I look for a photo, the first thing I want to know is what the image looks like. While you can look at the image in Lightroom as thumbnail and full size for one image at a time, you cannot look at them at 100% unless when you brought them into Lightroom at 1:1 in the “Build Previews” during the import.

The tips for Lightroom say: “The best option to pick is Auto. With Auto, Lightroom builds previews that match your monitor resolution. Lightroom takes longer to build Standard previews than it does to create Minimal or Embedded & Sidecar previews. But the benefit is that the Library module runs much faster.”

One of the main reasons so many photographers use Photo Mechanic with their Lightroom, is that when it comes to culling RAW images it is so much faster.

It is the same when it comes to the catalog in my opinion.

I like that I can zoom in 1:1 even with the images offline.

If you want to do this with Lightroom, then you have to select 1:1 when you ingest into the Library.

I just love the Catalog function of Photo Mechanic Plus.

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.

Listen, Ask Questions, Listen More

Lennox Boodram – ministry partner that was saved out of drug and alcohol addiction, runs a Christian drug and family rehab center (Turning Point) that has been operating for the past 5 years. He is talking with some of the students from Cedarville University taking the workshop this week in Trinidad. [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 11400, ƒ/4, 1/250, Focal Length = 105]

When we run our Storyteller’s Abroad Workshops, we teach how to listen and ask questions, followed by more listening and asking of even more questions.

Naz Mohammad [Blue Shirt] – Pastor of church plant in St Augustine, born and raised in St Augustine. He is talking with some of the students who will be doing a story on him this week. Ñ at St Helena Shiv Mandir. [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 12800, Ä/4, 1/250, Focal Length = 28]

I believe this is the step more people miss than any other part of the process of telling stories.

What are you listening for?

I do this with all my clients, no matter the project. Before we even begin to tell a story, we ask the organization/client what is the problem they need to solve. If we do our job as professional communicators what will success look like to them?

Often I must start with other questions to finally get to the answer to the first question.

Who is the audience?

You would be shocked when you discover often they have never thought about who are they trying to communicate. It is much easier for any communicator to know if they are communicating to say a child or an adult.

Call to Action?

What do you want them to do once they have heard this story?

Where in the process are YOU working?

Often you are just part of the story process. They need you to take a photo of the ground breaking. Your photo goes along with the written story.

In this case I want to know if the photo is online, used in print or just know how big it will be used. This could influence what resolution I need to shoot the photo.

When I set up the photo for a ground breaking it helps to know who all the people are in the photo. Sometimes it is better to have people line up in order of importance based on how the caption is written.

Client has identified a person for the story.

When we do the workshops we have talked to the team to ask how we can help them. This involves usually a few meetings were we find out about usually one big initiative. They are raising money for hospital to be updated. It hasn’t had any updates for more than say 40 years.

The team has identified some former patients who received care in the past. Some of the workshop participants will now help tell those individual stories.

This is often how say a producer is hired. They ask some questions to help them get up to speed on the strategy and know how this person’s story helps raise funds for the hospital.

Jay York, in the blue shirt, is interviewing Elvira Cuevas, in pink shirt to tell her story. Andrea Carhuachîn, in the back, is helping by translating from Spanish to English for Jay. This is one of the stories we did during the Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru. [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 2200, ƒ/4, 1/200, Focal Length = 24]

Our storytellers ask their subjects to tell them their story. Most of the time they are listening for how they had a problem for which the client helped them.

I like to try and get the story into a basic storyline that works within one sentence.

  • The SUBJECT had this PROBLEM.
  • The CLIENT had a solution.
  • The SUBJECT took the advice and
  • PROBLEM was solved.

Before I start recording with video or writing the story, I verify with the subject if I have the story correct. I tell them their story.

Now when I work on capturing the story through quotes by writing, video or audio in addition to visuals I am very aware of who the audience is and what I want them to be able to do once they have seen the story.

In journalism I just want to inform the audience so that they understand the problem. Often that is where I stop. There was a fire and people lost their homes. End of the story. I want the public to be informed so that they can choose how to respond.

In advocacy work I am taking it a step further and saying they can give to say the Red Cross and help people like this family that lost their home.

All through this process of listening, you are trying to understand your role as a communicator. You should at any point know what your role is and be able to tell anyone what you are doing and why.

Remember the role you play is not defined by you but the client. Your job is sometimes to help the client know what you need to know to help them achieve their goal.

Often you will discover if you do your job as a communicator you have to help the client understand they need a strategy and understand the tactic that you are doing for them helps to achieve their goal.

“That’s not your job!”

When we first start to work, sooner or later most of us hear from our bosses, “That’s not YOUR job.”

The other mistake we make is when we push back and say, “That’s not MY job.”

Nicaragua [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/640, ƒ/4, (35mm = 95)]

We soon learn that the person paying us determines our role. That is why virtually every good job description has, or should have, a clause that reads, “Other duties as assigned.”

If you don’t like what they are asking you to do you have two choices; 1) comply, or 2) quit.

Many of us then dream of being our own boss one day. When you become your own boss, you join 54 million other people who enjoy the flexibility and perks that come from working independently. However, it is a mistake to think you have no boss.

Your boss in many ways becomes the customer/client. Follow the money trail will reveal who you have to please in order to earn a living.

You are always in control. You choose what you will and want do. Sometimes quitting is necessary. Sometimes entrepreneurs fire clients.

Nicaragua [NIKON D5, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 32000, 1/100, ƒ/14, (35mm = 24)]

Missionaries & Nonprofits

When you go to supporters and raise funds you are telling them what you will be doing with their money. You must be ethical is your fund raising. You must be transparent. There are even laws about where you spend that money.

Churches define missions and ministry differently. They are not interchangeable.

Missions is about being outwardly focused. This is all about reaching out to those who are outside the church and bringing them inside the church to be members.

Ministry is all about being inwardly focused. This is all the programing you do for your members. Bible study, choir programs, worship services and small group are just a few of the many things you do for your members.

No matter what you are doing you must be clear as to what the funds are being raised.

While I am going to talk mainly about missionaries it applies in many ways to any nonprofit.

The very first missionary of the church was the Apostle Paul. He went to a new community and spoke to them about Jesus. Many came to believe and once there was core group Paul then moved on. He had accomplished his mission.

Storytellers Abroad Workshop Bucharest, Romania Herăști, Giurgiu, Romania [NIKON D4, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 12800, 1/80, ƒ/3.2, (35mm = 15)]

Now those local group of Christians may have Paul come back and speak occasionally, but for the most part his goal was to tell enough people about Jesus and form a group that would become a church.

Those who supported Paul were supporting him for that process. They were not supporting him to become a pastor of that local group of believers.

Today, many missionaries struggle with what I call the grey area. What is the difference between say a pastor and a missionary?

Follow the money is how often this is distinguished. If you are being paid by a local group, then you are doing ministry most of the time. However, if you are being paid by a group from a different location then you are most likely doing missions.

It is about establishing a process to fund you.

I find a lot of missionaries need to be told “That’s not your job!” The sad thing to me is there are many ‘missionaries’ who lack accountability to their supporters. They are so far removed that seldom are their held accountable. I often comment that some of these missionaries could never survive back home.

When a person decides they want to be a missionary they have two choices. To become an employee of a mission agency or to raise their own funds. If they are employee the organization monitors them and even visits them on the field.

So many who raise their own funds lack a clarity of their job role as it comes to their funding.

Over and over I work with mission teams overseas I ask how I can help with their marketing pieces. Often they bring up ideas that are not about the supporters supporting them to do missions.

People who support missionaries are giving to have them do like Paul. They give to pay for his living expenses and materials needed to carry out his role as a missionary. They are not giving money to pay a local pastor through them.

The local congregation for the most part relies on their people to give to build a building. People from outside may want to give to the building fund, but this is the except and not the rule.

Now supporters will help build a church building, a hospital and even a school to help missionaries. A missionary lives in a small apartment with their family and they need a meeting place to host people. That is often where supporters will help them “get started”, but once they have a small congregation most supporter see that as the locals now doing the same thing they are expected to do in their local churches. It is called growing up.

Most working professional communicators talk about how often people come to them wanting a brochure. A good communicator will ask questions like this:

  • Why do you need the brochure?
  • What is the brochure going to help you to accomplish?

A few questions in and most communicators uncover a total lack of a strategy.

Strategy is overarching plan or set of goals. Changing strategies is like trying to turn around an aircraft carrier—it can be done but not quickly. Tactics are the specific actions or steps you undertake to accomplish your strategy.

A brochure is a tactic

While working for the International Mission Board during the 1980s the president then was Keith Parks. The biggest thing Parks did was to have the organization revisit their purpose.

Just like the Coke commercial in 1985 “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” Keith Parks wanted to teach the world about Jesus by the year 2000.

This would change their tactics. With the help of David B. Barrett who wrote the “World Christian Encyclopedia” they came up with a formula. When they had more than 2% of Christians the missionaries could move on. The local congregations should have the resources to reach out in their own communities.

Parks realized too many of their “missionaries” lost sight of their call. They were living in places that had enough churches they were sending out their own missionaries.

They started pulling people from places they said had reached their goal and moving them to places unreached.

There was a lot of push back, because these missionaries loved their lifestyles. Not much different than their supporters. They were acting as pastors of large congregations. They were no longer outwardly focused.

Storytellers Abroad Workshop in Lima, Peru [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 1800, 1/200, ƒ/8, (35mm = 24)]

What prompted this blog post

For the past several years I have been doing visits to the locations where we would be doing Storytelling workshops. Each of these visits we met with the local missionary team to see what they needed help and who would make for good stories to communicate their needs.

Every time there is at least one person who wanted us to do a story on a local person or project, who had nothing to do with what supporters give money. One missionary wanted to tell a story of a pastor of a congregation who wanted money to add on to their building.

This would be like Paul saying to his supporters to give money for a group of believers to call a pastor. That is about being inwardly focused and doing ministry and not missions that is outwardly focused.

If the missionary wants help to tell a story of a deaf community of nonbelievers and they need money start a school to teach braille then that is their role. Missionaries are not fund raisers for local congregations.

When asking supporters for money

Always know your role and what you are asking people to support. Be sure you have clarity in this process.

With nonprofits you need to know the purpose of your nonprofit. You need to know your role within that nonprofit. You need to also know when you reach your goal your nonprofit needs to close down or find a new vision.

Say your nonprofit is putting in wells to help people to have safe drinking water throughout the world. That goal most likely will never be reached.

If you are to help eradicate Guinea worm around the world, then you might be very close to reaching that goal. The Carter Center has that as one of their objectives. I think they only lack Ghana in the world to finish.

Fund raising works when you communicate a need to a supporter. Seldom do supporters give to wants.

Photo Mechanic Plus: Now Available!

Keeping track of your photos has never been easier or more affordable.

First let me give you some background on how we got here to today.

Dennis Walker is the President and Founder of Camera Bits.

He started the company in 1996 after his initial exposure to digital photography after his previous job showed him a need for improved image quality and workflow solutions.

Dennis is co-author of the award winning game Dungeon Master.

Dennis released the first version of Photo Mechanic in 1998. An instant classic was born. Because everyone in the photojournalism business used IPTC standards, Dennis also became an accidental expert on metadata, incorporating tools like batch captioning and variables in Photo Mechanic to simplify and expand the application and usage of metadata in photography.

Photo Mechanic isn’t just for photojournalists; its speed and organizational tools now help all professional photographers work faster and more efficiently. For over 20 years and counting, Photo Mechanic remains the go-to software for professional photographers around the world.

External Hard Drives

If you are like me you have been embedding your photos with metadata. You most likely have is a vast library of digital images. What was missing for many years was a card catalog system for all your photos.

On February 19, 2007 Adobe introduced Lightroom that had a Library module. While the Library module of the program is a catalog, it doesn’t really work for me for several reasons.

Lightroom VS Photo Mechanic Plus

  • My Lightroom has RAW images that were ingested and therefore takes a long time to bring up galleries and clicking from one image to the next.
  • All the images are RAW in Lightroom and when I am in a hurry and need a photo it needs to be a JPEG and not a NEF or RAW image.
  • Every time I finish processing all my NEF Nikon RAW images in Lightroom I export them as JPEGs to a folder that is given to the client and I have on my hard drive. I include all these processed folders of JPEGs into my Photo Mechanic Plus catalog, which is now faster to search and retrieve images
  • Photo Mechanic Plus is a one time fee and not a monthly subscription.

Photo Mechanic Plus

Photo Mechanic Plus is a new application that includes all the speed and features of Photo Mechanic with the addition of a premium image database for making catalogs of every photo you’ve ever taken.

  • Scroll A Million Photos Without A Pause
  • Search gives you the power of simple or complex searches to find what you’re looking for across multiple drives
  • Craft exact advanced searches and then save them to always be able to find exactly what you need
  • Browse by date, camera, lens, rating, color class … anything you need!
  • Use, search, or browse multiple catalogs at once. Keep yourself organized among several projects or search through everything!
  • Use collections to combine images from multiple folders or drives into cohesive units to keep yourself organized or present to clients.

New License
US $229.00
Upgrade from Photo Mechanic Version 5
US $179.00
Upgrade from Photo Mechanic Version 6
US $90.00

Go here to learn more!

Atlanta Senior Instagrammable Places

Can you imagine what life would be like without photography? Social media has really helped evolve this art form. If you’re looking to take great photos and commemorate your senior year, then you need to check out these Instagrammable places in Atlanta. Little Five Points is one of Atlanta’s hippest neighborhoods. Shoppers head to Moreland Avenue’s indie stores for offbeat vintage clothing, vinyl and cool gifts, while young locals hang out at the dive bars, burger joints, and Ethiopian and vegan eateries that line the surrounding streets.

Zahara – Senior Photo [NIKON Z 6, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/2500, ƒ/3.5, (35mm = 35)]

It has been described as Atlanta’s version of Haight-Ashbury, a melting pot of sub-cultures, and the Bohemian center of the Southern United States.

Zahara Ahmed – Senior Photo [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/1250, ƒ/4, (35mm = 85)]

Little Five Points is one of Atlanta’s best neighborhoods for viewing street art. Unlike most of Atlanta’s neighborhoods, the street art in Little Five Points is highly concentrated in a compact easily walked area. 

Zahara – Senior Photo [NIKON Z 6, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/400, ƒ/3.5, (35mm = 35)]

When I talk to seniors, I let them pick the place. This way the location is something that means something to them. Zahara wants to work in the film industry. She is looking at colleges around the country that will help her achieve her dream.

Zahara – Senior Photo [NIKON Z 6, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/1600, ƒ/3.5, (35mm = 35)]

If you are aware of your kids interests as we are with our daughter, who is in her senior year of college, then you know how much they love this area of Atlanta.

Chelle Leary at Krog Street Tunnel in Atlanta, Georgia [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 10000, 1/160, ƒ/4, (35mm = 24)]

The Krog Street Tunnel, located under the CSX railyard, is a tunnel in Atlanta known for its street art. The tunnel links the Cabbagetown, Reynoldstown, and Inman Park neighborhoods. It is the premiere dank graffiti pit in Atlanta. When the tunnel isn’t full of idling cars in rush-hour traffic, it’s a photo shoot destination, a hip-hop music video staple, and the latest extension of Atlanta’s Beltline project.

Chelle Leary at Krog Street Tunnel in Atlanta, Georgia [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 1000, 1/60, ƒ/4, (35mm = 58)]

The artwork around Atlanta has exploded giving you numerous locations for photo shoots.

Zahara – Senior Photo [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/1250, ƒ/1.8, (35mm = 85)]

Where in town would you like to be photographed? This is a great time of year for doing senior photos. Give me a call.

Zahara – Senior Photo [NIKON Z 6, 35.0 mm f/1.4, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/6400, ƒ/2.2, (35mm = 35)]

Tell me your favorite location that you want to being photographed in and tell me what props will you bring. Maybe you play an instrument or play a sport. We can incorporate all that to capture your personality.

Chelle Leary at Krog Street Tunnel in Atlanta, Georgia [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 100, 1/60, ƒ/4, (35mm = 58)]

Here is a link to my main website and more senior photo examples.

Creating Website Part 4

Your greatest friend when creating a website is the 3″x5″ index cards.

Your first page will have these basic elements.

You will have the name/logo for your business. You will state the problem that the customer has and your solution. The best place to put a call to action BUTTON which will be a link to another page is in the upper right hand corner. This should be on every landing page you create. Don’t make people look for it.

The call to action is always a way to contact you and get the ball rolling on their problem that they need you to help solve for them.

Here are some descriptions I found on some websites:

  • A unique law practice led by Dr. _____, attorney and board-certified Neurological Surgeon.
  • Telling your story through classic, joyful photography & heartfelt films
  • Atlanta Lifestyle Family Photographer

Now compare those to some of these:

  • We provide the back-end support so you save time.
  • Are you wasting time with administrative work?
  • Training IT professionals to become excellent at service and support.

Can you see the difference? That first set to me is quite vague as to the problem the client has and what they are offering. Use this tagline to separate yourself from your competition.

The Big Secret

Believe it or not even if every business in your category provides 24/7 service, if you are the only one with that on your website and particularly in the tagline you will get more business when that is what someone needs. They need you at some weird hour of the day they will call you first because you are open.

So where is a great place to see good taglines? One place is newspapers and magazine article headers and photo captions.

Another place is just look on Social Media and those clickbait ads.

Clickbait works. Whether we like it or not.

People hate the idea of clickbait. But used properly – for good! – it’s one of the most powerful ways to grab attention in this increasingly saturated world.

The ‘cliffhanger’ or curiosity gap is one of the most powerful headline formulas for a reason. It uses pattern interruption to shock or surprise us, forcing us to click to uncover the reason.

A good tagline for your main page is about getting at the heart of the issue for the customer.

This may be enough for them to go and click on the call to action, which is actually a Button/Link to a contact page.

You may want to gather more information, but remember too much and you will turn them off. They understand you need information to reach them, but do you need all that information which would be great to have, but not necessary to start the ball rolling?

On this blog website I have at the top what I refer to as the navigation tools for the user. If they click on my logo that takes them to the home page. Since some people are text oriented I have also a Home link that is text. I also have links to:

  • About – Bio
  • Partial Client List
  • Testimonials
  • Contact
  • Social Media
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • Vimeo
  • Search – to search for topics in my blog

My main website has similar navigation at the top.

I also have created a rotating front page that addresses four of my main areas that I get hired.

  • Video
  • Corporate
  • Headshots
  • Humanitarian

I am in the process now of writing the code to make the contact link in the navigation bar have a colored box around it like I have on each of the rotating pages where I have a red box at the bottom to learn more about those categories.

I highly recommend using the 3″x5″ cards. Now while you can have a website page that you scroll down through, be sure your main page and all landing pages have the pertinent content as we like to say “Above The Fold”.

In the early days of publishing, “Above The Fold” was a term used for content that appeared on the top half of the front page of a newspaper. Today, the fold no longer refers to an actual fold in a newspaper, but the bottom of a browser window, or approximately 600 pixels from the top of the page.

Every Page Tips

  • Remember to be sure the title of each page clearly defines what it is about.
  • Have good navigation.
  • Always have text that address the customers issues and how you are going to solve them.
  • Call to Action – except on the one page that is the contact page

Lead with those items and then give them supporting material as to why you are the expert to their issues.