One of the best parts of shooting tethered is compacting several steps of your workflow into one, easy streamlined step. By setting up your camera to transfer images directly into Adobe Lightroom or Capture One you’re saving time by not having to shoot, transfer images to your computer, then import. The best workflow is simple, speeds up your process of working with images, keeps you organized, and most of all – works for you!
Step 1 – Plan Your Workflow
Before you get started, take a moment to lay the foundation by actually thinking it all the way through first. Get out a pen and paper and make a flow chart. Sketch out how you see your digital workflow going, make note of possible issues or lag time, and see how it first looks on paper.
Ask other photographers what they do, and replicate! Photographers that setup no system will ultimately end up with duplicate images which take up hard drive space, can result in lost files, and additional stress from not being able to find images.
Tether Tools and the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) have come together to create the Ultimate Tethering Guide which details the benefits of tethering as well as the best gear and software to use to maximize your results. Additionally, the Guide touches on topics like how to setup your workflow, which cables are best for your specific camera, setting up file management systems, backing up your work, and workflow security. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to tethering, it’s worth a read, and best of all it’s absolutely FREE.
Step 2 – Set Your Camera Up and Start Shooting
You’ve read through the Ultimate Tethering Guide, you’ve setup your own system, now put it into action! There’s a lot happening on the average photo shoot. From models and assistants to props and gear, it’s often organized chaos. When you’ve got so many moving parts, one of the most important things you can do for your worth is to setup an archival tethering system. This will allow you to send copies of your photo to your computer, an external hard drive, or event your tablet or smartphone.
In the class below, Tether Tools Pro and successful wedding, event, corporate, portrait, and fashion photographer Moshe Zusman spends 38 minutes walking you through what shooting tethered is, how to do it properly, and why you should be doing it whether you’re in the studio or on-location.
Step 3 – Organization and Post-Processing
Losing pictures or spending hours trying to find all the duplicate images you might have isn’t worth it – this is why saving, organizing, and backing up are so important.
It’s critical to organize by date AND by keywords. A couple of extra minutes at the end of the post production process to assign keywords will save you time and hassle later on when you need to find specific photos.
For many photographers, spending time in post production, hunched over their computer is a hassle. They’d rather be out in the field or in-studio, being creative and taking pictures.
Thinking like a photo editor is the best step towards freeing up those hours spent in front of your computer. Experienced photographers know how to assess a hundred frames, cull the list down to a manageable number, then step back and look at the photos more objectively. Showing the client a dozen nearly identical versions of the same shot is going to make the client’s decision on final choices that much more difficult. Learning how to show the best images cuts down on the number of shots you’ll need to edit and saves you tons of time in the long run.
The key to setting up a good workflow is thinking about it, planning it, then getting the tools you need to do it right. And just because it works, doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. Be opened to see how other people do manage their workflow but ultimately strive to create a system you can understand and put into production.
Want to learn more? Check out our Top 5 Educational Resources for Tethered Photography!