My News Photography Workflow from Ingest to Delivery

This so-called photography workflow of mine, specifically when working with a wire service, is far from perfect (nor the fastest either). But the way I do it is just the way that I do it.

Ok, here goes...



Whatever I’m done shooting with whether its some fashion event or conference of some sort, I’ll take the cards out of my camera(s) and insert them into my USB 3.0 card reader connected to my 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina (2.5 GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) for the ingest/import process to begin.

I use a software program that myself and nearly every photojournalist swears by called Photo Mechanic. It’s blazing fast and simple to use. I have been using Photo Mechanic for many years and never looked elsewhere.


First Edit

Once all of my pictures are in I’ll quickly go through and tag (checkmark) the ones I feel are usable without thinking too deeply about them. I’m basically just looking at the subject, composition and focus while leaving out my feelings on how difficult or easy it was to create the shot.


Second Edit

Here I review all tagged pictures from the first edit and carefully color class (in pink) my hero shots that I want to send through. More thought is put into my selections here as these pictures are the ones I think editors would want seeing.


Color Correction

After the second edit is finished I’ll then take all of my hero shots from Photo Mechanic and drag them into Photoshop (or Lightroom depending on my mood) to do some minor exposure, contrast, highlights and shadow adjustments.

Once I finish color correcting all of my images I then export them into JPEG format usually with the above options.



Heading back to Photo Mechanic to view all of my color corrected hero shots (now in JPEG's) I apply a general caption to the images.


Afterwards I go through each image and write a specific caption to describe who and what is happening in the picture. Once that is finished I make a final quick pass through all of the captions I’ve written to ensure there are no grammatical errors. The last thing I would want happening after sending to the wire is having the picture desk issue a correction notice to their clients because of a mistake I’ve made. It looks bad on both the photographer and the agency when this happens so I do my best to pay special attention to detail.



The last and final step of my workflow process. This is how I deliver my edited and captioned pictures and it is basically a simple drag and drop procedure from Photo Mechanic into the FTP software window called Transmit.

So there you have it. It does seem like a time consuming process (which it kind of is) but generally it only takes me 20 minutes or less from ingest to final delivery if I’m sending somewhere between 10-25 final pictures.

I work with many different types of clients and they all have different requirements (the above is just an example for one client) so I’m always interested in how photographers prep and deliver their data. If you feel that you have something worth sharing regarding your photography workflow please do get in touch!