Post Production

Test shoot setup
Setup shot for a slightly disappointing (and overly elaborate) test earlier this year.

Immediately After the Shoot.

OK, so the shoot’s over, the client thinks you’re the bees knees, and they’ve booked you for another job next week – how do you keep the ball rolling, stay on the horse, get ahead of the game and max the envelope?
Not sure about that last one.

Get Paid. (Always a Good Thing).

The first thing I usually do is gather together all the necessary info to invoice the client – receipts, mileage costs, invoices from other personnel and so on. Then I prepare and send out the invoice. I’ll be talking about business and finance soon enough, but in a nutshell, when you take into account all the delays that can occur between you sending out an invoice and actually receiving the money, you’ll realise that you should be as quick off the mark as possible to get things started.


Now, moving on to the computer. The next most important thing is to back your work up. I’m presuming at this stage that you’ve delivered a disk on the job to the client, if not then priority one is to get the images processed, burned onto a disk (if that’s how they want them) and delivered. You’ll have established at the outset of the job (or found out whilst shooting) how the client wants their images, so it should be a simple job of picking one of your versatile workflows and letting the computer work it’s magic. I’ll be covering workflows in more depth in a later post, as mine continually evolve, and there’s no need to go into greater detail here. Once the images are on their way to the client, then get backing things up. Everyone has their own preferences, but my backup system currently involves:
An exact copy of the clients disk
A disk copy of the RAW files from the camera (stored off-site)
A copy of the RAW files on a removable/portable hard drive.
When you consider that the client has a copy as well then there should be 4 copies in existence. I feel any more than this getting a bit silly, we used to managed quite happily with 1 set of negatives/trannies, and although I’m aware that digital files may not be quite as stable in longevity terms as film I thing making any more copies is a little pointless – you soon reach the stage where you have a backup of a backup of a backup and so forth. I would always suggest having an exact copy of the clients’ disk, ideally burnt at the same time, so that if they encounter any problems you can hopefully see what they’re referring to. Storing images off-site should be self-explanatory, and the copy on the removable hard drive allows ready access from my main computer. You can find lots more info about backing things up all over the web, as I’ve pointed out, everyone approaches the subject slightly differently.

Equipment and Paperwork.

Turning to equipment, I suspect many people can predict exactly what I’m about to say next: Now’s the time to clean, recharge maintain and reformat all your gear so that it will be ready for you when you next shoot. If anything untoward occurred during the shoot, now’s the time to check it out, rather than as you start working next time.
At this point I try and catch up with any paperwork that I gathered on the shoot – things like adding details from business cards to my address book, putting dates in the diary and so on. Then, providing you didn’t cock the shoot up completely, the phone rings and you start the whole process all over again….

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