What's your photography workflow

Some topics here have addressed some areas of people’s photography workflow; but I thought a specific topic where people can post their current workflow might help others like myself looking to improve their editing process and photo management.

While I tried many methods to organise my workflow around my desktop for editing, I actually prefer to edit all my photos on the phone and rarely use the desktop for that purpose. As a result, my phone acts as the hub of my photography workflow.

All photos, whether taken with my phone or with one of my other cameras, are imported to the phone. As I use Pentax/Ricoh cameras, I will often import the DNG to work on them in Snapseed or Lightroom mobile (free version). I then use my OneDrive subscription storage to sync all RAW and edited photos from my phone to cloud storage. I also have Google Photos sync high quality versions as another backup and for use with our Google Home Hub picture slideshows.

From OneDrive, I then have my desktop sync down all the files where I can do further edits using desktop apps if needed. Any changes are done on the OneDrive folder so they are synced back up to the OneDrive cloud.

From there I run a monthly backup of the OneDrive folder, both to a separate hard drive within the desktop and to external storage.

The major issue I have with the current workflow is folder structure. Because I sync everything to OneDrive’s camera roll folder, I don’t have things organised into albums naturally like I would if I was using paid Lightroom to organise and sync my photos. So a few times a year, i’ll try and go through the camera roll and organise photos into folders based on events within a parent folder for that year.

I say try because I’ve often being slack on that part and it’s gotten out of control a few times. Would love to see how others are managing their workflow to get some ideas for improvements :slight_smile:

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When I shot with a camera, I had everything in Lightroom organized by dates. I found things by keywords. When Lightroom went to a subscription model, I exported all my photos, and began looking for a new software. I went though a few before I started editing on my iPad and picked Pixelmator as my go to app.

That happened about the same time I stopped focusing on photography and started writing novels.

When I started blogging I illustrated my stories with my own photos. I had become a minimalist traveler so I only used my phone for photos. I let my photos stay in the Apple photos app. From time to time I go into the photos there and add key words, so I can find things easily.

After each day of taking photos, I tweak them all in Pixelmator Photo. If I need to do any heavy editing, I do it in regular Pixelmator. I was first a painter, so I love to edit things out of photos with the clone tool. This is when I weed out the ones that aren’t worth keeping.

After I have selected the photos for my blog post, I export them to JEPG. Since I move countries, every 3 to 6 months, so I divide my exported photos in to files by city. Inside the city folder are folders for dates or spans of dates.

From those files I upload photos and videos to the media library on Wordpress to be included in my post. For along time I have been just putting the unedited photos into the blog, but all the new Photography stuff on TWIT has motivated me to at least crop them properly before posting.

I haven’t bothered to edit the my videos … yet.


My flow is pretty specific:

  1. randomly not have the phone when a photo might be desired
  2. if I have the phone then I take many pictures from many angles/perspectives
  3. forget about photos, letting them build up in the phone
  4. eventually back up photos to NAS
  5. forget about photos on NAS
  6. if someone nags for a photo, ignore them
  7. if they keep nagging, begrudgingly find the time to do something with the requested photo(s)

I’m sure I’m not the only one who takes too many pictures with no idea what (if anything) to do with them until someone nags me about a photo they know I took.


I’ve often thought about adding an iPad as a secondary photo editing tool to make use of a larger screen and pen, as well as the superior photo editing apps on iOS; but I can’t justify it yet.

File management and integration with cloud services has improved on the iPad since I last used one for myself, so I think I can make it fit into my OneDrive workflow.

I am working on transferring my data to OneDrive from Dropbox. Like to keep my photos synced to the cloud on two separate services as well as backed up on a small SSD I carry with me. It was iCloud and Dropbox, now it will be OneDrive and iCloud. The best ones also live on my blog, which I back up from time to time.

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I take the memory card from my camera and plug it into my PC. Then I use Capture One to import the images into my catalogue into a new folder for that shoot.

I then go through the photos and delete any bad photos. I then make a second pass and remove “duplicates”. I often have the camera set to take a series, so I’ll often have half a dozen images of the same scene, I keep the best couple.

Then I crop any images where the objective was too weak (I can only go up to around 250mm).

Finally I export the final images to a “viewing” folder in JPEG format, scaled down to around 1920px on the shortest axis. These are the “quick” images I upload to my main OneDrive “Photos” folder structure, whilst the RAWs retain their full size. This makes for quick viewing of reasonable quality images on the move on my phone and high quality RAWs if I want to go back and further edit or print them (for example I printed a book of garden photos, showing the transformation my wife made in our garden over the year, with a dozen or so wide shots and a hundred or so close-ups and macro shots, which was her Christmas present that year).

Both folders are automatically synced with OneDrive, synced to a second hard drive on my PC, where they get backed up with Carbonite and also synced to my QNAP.

As for actually editing photos, as opposed to just cropping the odd image and making the mobile-ready versions, I use Affinity Photo, but that for probably less than 0.5% of all my photos.

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