Last month I wrote about my dilemma in wanting to speed up my scrapbooking process, despite taking way too many photos. I promised I would let you know how I went with my “Get it Done” philosophy. To be honest (and those who know me won’t be surprised to hear this), it’s been a bit of a struggle. There are just so many photos, and honestly, many of them are good enough to go in the album. But since the goal is completing an album, I need to cull drastically, and that is what is taking far too much time.
What I need is an efficient, productive workflow. A workflow is just the sequence of processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion. The idea is that there are a series of steps, completed in a set order, where each step depends on and follows the completion of the previous step. It is a pattern that can be repeated each time you face that particular task, and enables the work to be completed in the shortest time with the least effort.
All my photos are in Memory Manager. Because there are so many photos, I created a separate Memory Vault called Galapagos Trip. I have categories for each place we stayed, and tags for the day trips and outings we went on. My plan for the StoryBook is to scrap each day’s activity, so that I have a chronological record of the trip, but within each day to focus on the different animals we photographed. To narrow down the photos to a manageable number, here’s what I have been doing. I have been experimenting with a couple of different work flows which I will share with you. If you are a crazy photoholic like me, I’d love to hear what your system is and how it is working for you.
- I have already made a backup of all the images. (More than one, actually).
- Working on a single day’s photos at a time, I scroll through them one by one.
- Any photos which are bad – because they are blurry, or the subject is half out of the frame, or the light is terrible gets instantly deleted. (The quickest way to delete an image from MM4 is to hit the delete key on your keyboard).
- Photos which are repetitive get deleted. I often used the motor drive on my camera, which means I regularly have 3, 4 or more virtually identical photos.
- The best photos get a 3-star rating. I try not to overthink here. If it’s a good photo, it gets 3 stars. If there’s only one photo of something important, it gets 3 stars too – it is not just about the photography, but also telling the story.
- Displaying only the 3 stars and above photos, I then go through them again, and try to 5-star only the best ones. This is where I have to be strict with myself, because there are still more “best” photos than I want to include in the book. I try to choose photos that each tell something different about the day, the place, the animal etc.
- Finally, I choose the layout (usually a Blueprint) and then pick from the 5-star photos the ones that suit the layout.
- I still start by deleting the bad photos. I don’t need them taking up space on my computer.
- Working in the Media Library View, I add tags to every photo, according to the subject of the photo – animals, birds, people, places.
- Clicking on each tag, and still in Media Library View, I try to quickly scan my images and choose 5-6 photos per StoryBook page, and give those 5 stars.
- Once I have been through each tag for that day, I watch a slideshow of the 5 star images, to check the full screen view, and make sure I haven’t accidentally picked any ‘duds’.
Plan B is certainly quicker, but there’s a risk the “best” photos might not get chosen. It goes against the grain, but I have to be satisfied with that. Finishing the book in a reasonable time, so that I can print it and hold it in my hands, is the goal. If I have left out great shots, I can use them later for a calendar, or page prints, or other projects.
Meanwhile, here are the first few pages that I have completed. (Click the first image for the slideshow view). These were the easy pages, taken in the city of Guayaquil, in Ecuador, before we reached the Galapagos Islands. Not nearly as many photos to choose from! If you have any tips for me, I’d love to hear them!