Does your photo workflow work? Or is it stuck somewhere in the “kinda, maybe, could be better” world? Here’s an overview of the Digital Asset Management (DAM) Workflow from my book How to Archive Family Photos.
Like any routine task, managing your digital image files is easier and more efficient if you figure out a streamlined process and fine-tune each step to make it your own. I use Adobe Lightroom to manage my image files, but it doesn’t matter if you manage your files with Windows or Mac digital folders or with another photo software program, all basic photo management workflows should include several basic steps.
Pin This list
to help you remember the steps
in your DAM Photo Workflow
When I first started working with my family photo collection, I struggled to find a routine that was simple to master yet accomplished all the necessary steps to digitize, backup, archive and preserve my photos. In those early days, I focused on digitizing and scanned images at an unnecessarily high resolution which made the overall process take hours instead of minutes. Today, with more photos captured on my smartphone and digital camera, I’ve added a step to my workflow that includes rounding up images from different devices so that I’m working with everything in one central location.
Step 1: Capture, Step 2: Import
Whether you’re working with scanned images or new photos of your friends and family captured on your smartphone or digital camera, it’s a good idea to collect ALL your images in one place. You might do this manually by dragging and dropping files to a folder, or you might set up an automated system with Dropbox, ThisLife by Shutterfly, or iDrive.
Gathering your photos in one location will
- make it easier to backup and to archive your images
- lessen the chance that a photo is “lost” or accidentally deleted
- give you a visual overview of your image files
- help you spot inconsistent filenames
- make it easier for other computer users to understand and access your photo filing system
You might think the last point is odd: why would you want anyone else to access your photos system? But, what if you’re traveling, ill, or unavailable? If you want your photo legacy to survive, your system needs to be understandable and accessible by others.
Clip and save this infographic to remind you of each step in the overall photo workflow.
Read more about DAM Workflows, including options for importing photos and setting up your own DAM system in my new book How to Archive Family Photos: A Step-by-Step Guide to Organize and Share Your Photos Digitally.
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