Blog for photographer Søren Fritzner Nielsen

Data flow in a professional studio

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I am a regular reader of Chase Jarvis’s blog. So the other day (actually quite a few months ago i read this post about his data flow/workflow in his studio.

Well this was apparently one of the most read posts on his website in 2010, with good right. 1st of all because we all like a good tech video but secondly because back-up in any scale studio is SO important. Therefore i thought it would be interesting to share with you how back-up  works in the studio i work in. There are so many different ways to back-up, dependent on budget, size of job and so on, and our back-up method most certainly change with the different jobs as well, but the main skeleton is always the same

On the job dependent on the kind of photography we either shoot straight into the laptop (Macbook Pro) with a USB cable, or use the memory cards and a card reader to transfer images while another card is getting filled up. Af the computer nom-noms the information it is also backed up to an extra external harddrive (2,5″) so we have an extra back up. When we have ended the shoot, and are back in the studio (if we are shooting in town) we copy all of the RAW images to our QNAP-Server in the studio, which is running RAID-1 So we have two harddrives always having exactly the same content. The content stays on the laptop until the client has received and approved the material, incase the QNAP should fail.

From the QNAP we pull the content down to the desktop of our Mac Pro, and we work on it locally there. We have the same structure to our folders on the server so they are easy to identify and find later. The structure is always:
Server/Picture/Client/Shoot_Location_Date. Under this folder we have a folder called _RAW (which is the one that get copied to the desktop) and  _PSD, _TIFF, and _JPEG and so on, dependent on the clients specific wishes. We put the underline in front of the name to make sure these folders end up on top in the finder window
This way we always have all of the files, exactly where we want it. This structure is created directly on the desktop as we work. If it is a job that takes more then one day, we back up all the folders to the correct folder on the QNAP, every night before we leave the studio.

For the structure of the folder, sizes of the files and general settings we have template actions that we have created so we save time and get it done right every time. I’ll post a post at a later stage about how i create these actions and structures.

Hope this was insightful and helped a little bit to understand how we make sure we never loose any files. In worst case scenario a harddrive fails, the camera bag gets dropped, we at maximum loose a few hours worth of work, and never anything on a shoot. For other solutions (and there are a lot) you can check youtube, but the are all essentially the same :)

Peace out

Written by fritzner

December 15th, 2010 at 12:01 am

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