Evernote for Photographers: Part 3

In Part 1 and Part 2 of my series on Evernote for Photographers, I talked about why Evernote is so amazing and how I structure and log important information about all of the projects. In this final installment, I’m going to briefly discuss the information that I capture during an actual photo shoot, using Evernote.

The Photo Shoot

If I win the job, the next step is to start hammering out the details for the production: scheduling the shoot, hiring production staff, creative meetings with the agency, sketching out ideas, lighting tests … the list goes on and on. There are so many moving parts to a photo shoot that it is imperative that I keep all of that information straight and that I can reference any of it quickly.

Pre-Production

Depending on the size of the shoot, I will either log all of the pre-pro information into the original job note, or create new Notes that I can link back to the original job note. I create contact Notes for all of my contractors (assistants, prop stylists, food stylists, digital techs, retouchers, etc.) and I link these notes to the jobs that they work on. When I incur expenses for the job, receipts are scanned, logged into my accounting software, and linked to the job.

Mood Boards

Often a client will send me samples of the style or mood of photography that they’d like for the shoot. Other times I’ll go out and find sample photos on my own. This is very helpful when discussing the visual aspects of a shoot. I import the jpgs into a Note (which is linked to the job Note) so that I can pull them up during meetings or even during the shoot itself. Again Evernote makes it easy to reference this material at any point.

Retouching Notes

Often with high end food and beverage photography, I composite several images together to create the final image. Throughout the shoot I make retouching notes which outline which shots will be used for the composite, and what specific part of the shot will be used. For example, image #34 will be the bas image, image #39 for the garnish, image #42 for condensation … etc. Not to sound like a broken record, but having this information archived in Evernote means that if I need to make adjustments to the composite a month from now, I’ll be able to remember what pieces were used for what.

Set Reports

I always write up a Set Report that explains all of the details for the shoot (camera settings, lighting diagrams, specific height and pitch of the camera, etc.) so that I can replicate shoots in the future. This is done on hardcopy during the actual shoot. I then scan these reports directly into Evernote so that I can reference them later.

After Action Report

Finally, once the shoot is over, I try to spend a few minutes making some notes about how the shoot when. What was good, what could be improved, new techniques that I tried etc. I can’t say this enough: the more information that I log into Evernote, the more benefits I’ll have in the future.

Conclusion

Evernote has become an important part of my workflow, from the moment a client contacts me all the way through the end of the job. I refer back to information in Evernote dozens of times a day, and having all of this information available to me on every device is key to staying on top of all of my jobs. Does it take a certain discipline to log all of this information? Yes, of course. But by spending a little bit of time every day logging information frees me up to spend more time making photos and being creative.

More Reading

Evernote is just one of the many cloud applications that I use for my business. If you found this series useful, you may also want to check out my posts on Backups and Archiving for Photographers that I published last year.

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