Recently I was looking into ways that I could use Lightroom to not only help with the editing, captioning and keywording of images but to aid progress into new markets, as well as staying on top of existing ones. The answer was staring me in the face in the form of “smart collections”.
Smart collections were added to version 2 providing a means of enabling users to dynamically create and keep refeshed, collections that generate themselves based on various metadata fields. So for example if you wanted to create a collection called Italy 2009, you would create a smart collection that searches the keyword and date fields based on the year and a relevant keyword. Handy if you visit Italy often (as we do) and wish to create a cluster of collections for each year. The possibilities are of course endless.
Now this is where such a feature can be very useful for earmarking images for current or prospective clients/markets. I have for example created a smart collection for each library I submit to such as Alamy. Every image keyworded with Alamy will make it’s way into the collection of the same name. If you think about it, this removes another unnecessary step from the workflow, the manual creation of collections, selecting images and dragging them across . So the normally laborious process of keywording suddenly becomes useful! Not only will it help your images make their way into the world from your library or agency, it will also help you, by making your job of marketing so much easier.
I always look at individual images and entire sets with a view to getting more out of them. I will generally include most of them in library update CDs or uploads. However some may appeal directly to magazines or specific sections of them.
I have recently been closely studying Outdoor Photography’s Viewpoints section for example. I have started tagging images accordingly and can see the collection growing. Eventually I will be in the position to make a submission for them. So fingers crossed on that. Just one of the markets I have my beady eye on!
I will write more about this concept as time goes by as I feel I can develop it much further. It will also be interesting to see how much it streamlines my methods of getting images out there and whether it opens up more opportunities. A regular slot or two in some major magazine titles would be great.
Workflow is key!