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, one thing is typically the same. How assets are delivered is usually at the discretion of the photographer and their own business standards.
Imagine a company receiving hundreds of files or more a week, all with an unfamiliar organizational pattern. Now imagine your work is among all of those files. If your organization does not have proper digital asset management processes in place, you can imagine that valuable content is being lost in the chaos. We talk frequently at Stacks about the importance of unifying and standardizing language and organizational structure. Not only is this true internally, but the value of these processes extends also to external contributors.
Photographers who stand out among the crowd don’t simply produce stunning content, but also by including the following five steps in their workflow.
01 | Ask For Specific Standards Before Your Shoot
Preparation is the key to a lot of jobs. Know if your client has specific expectations for the final images before you show up for the shoot. This will ensure the entire process is seamless from start to finish. Consider asking questions about specific photo resolution, formatting, color correction, and more. Take the time to ask questions beforehand and prepare. Preparation produces confidence; confidence in your content, as well as confidence that you are delivering images that will make your client’s lives that much easier.
02 | Proper file-naming
File naming matters. For the client, who may be receiving multiple sets of assets from multiple teams, a file named “img_009” doesn’t help them locate and put your content to work.
Consider naming your files in a way that describes the content. What information would help the client understand the asset without looking at it? Establish your own file naming convention and then explain its value to your clients. Additionally, asking your client what they would need in a file name communicates professionalism and expertise.
We have found that starting with the date first in YYYYMMDD (20200123) format. Next, we include a location code, a general subject or description, 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.
03 | Adding Company Metadata
Metadata is data that provides information about data. In the digital asset management space, metadata comes in the form of keywords, captions, and descriptions. This information makes images searchable. To help your clients easily search and find your photos, be sure to add metadata information before delivering your final gallery. Include items such as your name, your business name, and copyright information. Adding a description of the content will be extremely helpful to your client’s workflow. Additionally, ask your client what kinds of keywords would be valuable to them.
04 | 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 have a wide variety of purposes, each of them needing a specific file size to obtain perfect image quality. It’s hard to keep up with it all, but know the intended use of your images and the proper file size to export them at. This saves time for you and your client and makes 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. This allows your photo to be used on social media just as easily as it can be to put into print.
05 | Deliver Files in an Organized Manner
We guarantee a sigh of relief from your client when you deliver a gallery in a clear and cohesive way. Deliver your photos in sequential order, each identified with precise, descriptive file-naming, 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 steps into your workflow will help your clients perform their job easier and could increase the likelihood of getting that second assignment.
Stand out of the crowd by proving you are reliable, detail-oriented, and willing to go the extra mile. Adding just a few extra minutes to your post-processing efforts helps your client save time and money.
If you want to learn more about establishing best practices for your own business, be sure to reach out today!