As we dive deeper into the era of the visual revolution, the need for visual content is increasing exponentially. From small businesses to enterprise companies, no matter how they receive their content, we’ve noticed that one thing is typically always the same. If photos are being delivered, how they’re being delivered is usually at the discretion of the photographer and their own personal business standards.
Imagine a company receiving hundreds of files or more a week, all with an organization pattern that means nothing to them. Now imagine your work is among all of those files. If the company in which you are working for doesn’t have a proper visual asset management policy in place, you can imagine that your hard work is being lost among the chaos of those randomly named images.
Beyond producing stunning images for a client, photographers can stand out among the crowd, and help their clients more, by including the following five steps in their workflow.
1. Ask For Specific Standards Before Your Shoot
Prepare, prepare, prepare! Knowing if your client has specific expectations for the final images before you show up for the shoot will ensure the entire process is seamless from start to finish. Consider asking questions like will your client want a specific photo resolution, certain formatting, will they need color corrected visuals or simply the original files? Taking the time to ask questions beforehand will help you stand out and will allow you as the photographer to be 100% confident you are delivering images that will make your clients lives that much easier.
2. Proper file-naming
Too many times have we seen photographers deliver their final products with obscure file names. For the client, who may be receiving multiple visual assets from multiple teams, a file entitled, “img_009” doesn’t exactly help them easily locate and use that final image you worked so hard on.
Consider naming your files in a way that describes what the image portrays. What you would want to know about the image by only seeing the file name? We always add the date first in the year, month, day format. Next, we include a location code, a city, state, and/or country. We’ll add a general subject or description, usually about one to two words, and conclude with a sequence number. Additionally, a rule of thumb with this is if you have ten or more files, always start with 01, if you have 100 or more files, start with 001, and so on.
3. Adding Your Company Metadata
Metadata is text data that provides information about a certain visual asset. Metadata is the way in which an image becomes searchable. To help your clients easily search and find your photos, be sure to add your company information before delivering your final gallery. Include items such as your name, your business name, and copyright information. Adding a description of the event in which you covered will be helpful short-term, but also if your client should ever circle back to search for a past shoot.
4. Export in Proper File Sizes
Social media ads, banners, feed posts, and stories. Website thumbnail, full-page, and gallery configurations. Print ads, brochures, and even business cards.
Visuals these days are being used for such a wide variety of purposes, each of them needing their own specific file size to obtain the perfect image quality. It’s hard to keep up with it all, but knowing the intended use of your images, and the proper file size in which you should export them at, will save time for you and your client and make sure your work is represented at the highest quality. To go the extra mile, and possibly get your images used more often, provide your gallery at multiple file sizes so that your photo can be just as easily used on social media as well as it can be to put into print.
5. Deliver Files in an Organized Manner
We guarantee a sigh of relief from your client when you deliver your gallery in a clear and cohesive way. Your photos all in sequential order, each identified with precise, descriptive file-naming, all packed within folders outlining the who, what, when of the shoot. We can’t speak for all marketing professionals, but that sounds like a dream to us.
Taking the time to include these five simple steps into your workflow will help your clients perform their job easier and could increase the likelihood of you getting that second assignment.
Stand out of the crowd by proving you are reliable, detail-oriented, and willing to go the extra mile by adding just a few extra minutes to your post-processing efforts all while helping your client save time and money.
If you want to learn more about establishing best practices such as proper file-naming and metadata standards for your own business, be sure to visit our DIY asset curation course!