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Flickr Workflow

May 7, 2009

I had mentioned a few days ago that I would post additional information about my Flickr workflow. First, I should say that my feelings on Flickr have evolved over time. I must also point out that I don’t always limit my Flickr postings to just my best work. (In fact, much of my very best work never makes it to Flickr because I have bigger plans for it.)

An example of when I don’t necessarily limit my Flickr postings to just the best shots from a set would be if I attend an event such as holiday time with family. Sometimes far-flung family and friends ask me for copies of pictures I took at the event. Usually I take a lot of pictures and very often each individual image file is rather large. Sending even 100 photos to just ten relatives and friends via email could get quite unwieldy, especially when you can only attach one or two photos per email. Instead, I will often simply post them all to Flickr and send out a link to my stream. I am not one of those paranoid people who say “you’d better not even think about touching a single one of my photos or the full wrath of all that is holy will rain down upon you and all your descendants for a million generations to come”. I leave my Flickr pictures open. You want to download one, go ahead. I’ll probably never know about it. (Of course I would appreciate credit and even a link back to my stream — or better yet, my web site.) So I just tell all my family and friends to decide which pictures they want copies of and download their own copies. Saves me a lot of time and effort.

A full set of shots for family and friends to download is outside the norm for me. Most of the shooting I do is for my own personal pleasure. In that case, I almost never post more than a handful of photos per day to Flickr. I used to post as many as I had. In time I found that even people who might be inclined to look at my pictures had lives of their own and simply didn’t want to spend hours on my pictures. (Sometimes even I don’t want to spend hours on my pictures!) Now I pre-screen so that only the “best” ones (best being very relative) get posted. I have a special folder where I will hold a backlog of photos waiting to be posted. On most days — I wish it were every day but I do have a life beyond Flickr — I will select one or two or three photos and upload them. These days I almost never post more than three at a time and I’ve recently begun even making sure that the two or three I post are all different. I may have several from the same shoot but I will post them on different days so as to cut down on the redundancy of style.

All that means that my backlog stays backlogged. That’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I almost always have some fresh photos that I can post, even if I haven’t gone out shooting in a while. On the other hand, some of the things I shoot don’t get posted (or noticed) until long after I’ve shot them.

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