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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 29 Mar 2007 (Thursday) 21:28
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Full Time Magazine Shooters - Work Flow Question

 
taygull
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Mar 29, 2007 21:28 |  #1

I've got a question, I am a staff photographer for one of the top local community magazines. It is a very quality publication.

My question is how do the big boys do it? What I mean is who knows the exact work flow for determine what images go into the publication and who makes the decision?

I'm not talking about a small magazine, I'm referring some someone like Sports Illustrated and such.

For example..

Editor provides a photo assignment, how much information about the shoot/article is provided? Does the photog no exactly what the article is about, in detail so he can be creative and get shots that go with the article? I would assume there are times where the delay in getting the story makes it difficult for the photog to really know the jest of the story.

Photog sets up shoot, shoots in raw.

Photog then....edits his own pics or does he just give all the unedited images to whom? The art director? The editor? The Director of Photography.

Then this person decides which images go into the magazine, include crop and final look of the image. They decide all post processing?

Does this person then pass it on to the editor, art director, publisher or whom for final approval?

I'd be real curious to see who has actually been part of the process.

We are attempting to define processes and who is responsible for what. My challenge is I am a color blind photographer so I struggle seeing slight tints in my images. I'm not comfortable making the final call on the image with out someone double checking skin tones or if there is a tint.

Please provide specifics if you know them, I'm not really looking for "well I think this is how it is done".

Thanks!


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sfaust
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Mar 30, 2007 08:29 |  #2

Here is my workflow for the magazines I work for;

I am called with an assignment. Typically, I get all a verbal description of what they are looking for, and brief idea of what will be written, and any emphasis they want to see in the images. For the magazines that I shoot more product based items, I just get an idea of what will be shipped to me, and a general idea of what the article will be about. Some are very specific on what they want, others are very open and ask me to provide the ideas and creativity. I've never seen a draft or finished article prior to the actual shooting.

Depending on the shoot, I will generally shoot RAW, but on some occasions I shoot JPEG if the coverage will be significant in the amount of images I'll need to provide to the editor. Once shot, I edit out any test shots, bad focus, closed eyes, or other issues. I take a second pass at it, and rate all the best shots on a scale of 1-3. Then I'll send the editor the best shots from the shoot for their selection. They are sent via overnight FedEx, or FTP depending on the client. If the images were of a specific item, like a product, artwork, etc, I may only send 3 or 4 shots of that item.

I never send out unedited images. They are all processed for color correction, exposure, saturation, etc, but more importantly processed to match the reduced dynamic range and color space of the final printing process. Many clients want me to convert from Adobe RGB or sRGB to CMYK for printing. This means you need to understand how to do the conversions properly while keeping the colors in check. Some magazines will do this themselves, have an in-house person to do it, or leave it to the printing companies personnel. But either way, they are all processed before I send them out.

For some clients/jobs, IPTC data needs to be entered for captions and general information. Some clients have be provide this in a separate file with filenames as the reference. Others want it in the metadata so it goes with the images. Either way, all that data needs to be handled.

The editor then makes the selection for the magazine. Sometimes they will come back to me for help in selecting, or for additional information on the shoot or images. But generally, I don't know what images they have selected till it shows up on in the book store newsstands.

My challenge is I am a color blind photographer so I struggle seeing slight tints in my images. I'm not comfortable making the final call on the image with out someone double checking skin tones or if there is a tint.

Color can be a big issue with stuff that goes to press, especially if you are doing conversions to CMYK for printing. You use the color balance tools in PS to adjust your colors, and can calibrate your workflow to keep the color consistent. But its probably best to have someone check it at your end before it goes out. And you would need to know now to correct an image if the editor comes back to you and says that many of the images have a green tinge to it. You need someone that can assist you in figuring out which ones are green, and making the right corrections.

I would guess that you could find an independent retoucher that can help you with that portion of your workflow. Checking your select images for color casts and correcting them for you. Just include them at some point of your workflow before you send the images off to the magazine. I'm sure something like that can be worked out for you.


Stephen
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PhotosGuy
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Mar 30, 2007 08:42 |  #3

Some answers in these I think:

Motorsport Shooting Tips, Tutorials and Advice

Sports Shooting Tutorials and Advice


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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taygull
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Mar 30, 2007 08:47 |  #4

Stephen thanks,

I'm also curious on what the internal flow from the magazine standpoint is. Does the editor determine the final shot or is it someone else in the process.

Thanks PhotosGuy but I'll check those out but I'm not looking for advice as much on work flow of the image or how to take sports shots as I am on how the magazines manage the work flow to determine what images are chosen and then make it into the publication.


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tcphoto1
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Mar 30, 2007 09:01 |  #5

I try to make it very easy for my Clients. My workflow is setup to get the images in the AD's hands as quickly as possible, it is about Customer Service.

The AD generally calls with an assignment and gives me a discription of the images needed and a budget to work with. Since the budget is pretty much set, I will have to determine if I am available and interested in shooting the images. If so, I will write an Estimate with a description of the images, the delivery deadline and fees. The Estimate will be sent as a PDF and emailed to the AD. Upon acceptance, production can proceed.

As far as the shooting goes, I will shoot RAW or RAW+Jepg. If the subject is product or still life, only RAW is required. I may submit only two or three images if its product. If it's fashion or lifestyle I shoot RAW+Jpeg and send Jpegs as a proof. The Jpegs will be edited for colorbalance and exposure so the AD can chose their selects. Once I have the selects, I will edit the RAW files thoroughly so that any one of them can be published. I print a softproof so their Graphics Dept has a visual to work with (you cannot assume that anyone's monitor is calibrated the same as yours). I do not do CMYK conversions and leave it to those who are qualified. Do not sharpen the files since that is the last step before going to press.


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canonphotog
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Mar 30, 2007 09:45 |  #6

http://www.siphoto.com​/ (external link) is a site I've found rather informative in the past.


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sfaust
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Mar 30, 2007 09:46 |  #7

taygull wrote in post #2954817 (external link)
Stephen thanks, I'm also curious on what the internal flow from the magazine standpoint is. Does the editor determine the final shot or is it someone else in the process.

It all depends on the magazine, and who is in charge of the artice being written. Typically, its the editor working on that specific story that makes the selection, but there are always higher ups that have input and veto powers.

And it all depends on the type of magazine. A journalism magazine will be much different without regard to workflow and image selection than a home improvement magazine. So that plays into the equation as well.

In general though, a person will be assigned to the story, and they are the first person in the process to make selections on images. Input from their boss, managing editor, or similar position, also has input into the selection. Especially if they don't like the images choosen :) So there really isn't a clear cut answer without knowing the actual magazine in question, or the type of magazine it is.


Stephen
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Yella ­ Fella
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Mar 30, 2007 10:09 |  #8

must be pain to work in CMYK


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sfaust
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Mar 30, 2007 10:22 |  #9

Yella Fella wrote in post #2955216 (external link)
must be pain to work in CMYK

It's no different than working in other color space, its just different. Just like Spanish is difficult to those that don't know Spanish, but to those that do, they don't think it is hard at all :)


Stephen
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hooookup
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Apr 13, 2007 00:34 |  #10

My workflow begins with an assignment from my agent usually a few days before deadline. Usually she attaches a brief summary of the article or the rough draft along with contact information. For the most part I usually shoot jpeg and do a quick edit in DPP and CS2. Caption in PhotoMechanic and transmit. I have wireless broadband service and sometimes will transmit directly from the location and move on to my next assignment or red carpet event. There's not much post processing involved in my workflow. My clients include People Magazine, National Enquirer, Playboy Magazine, OK!, RollingStone, etc.... Hope that helps




  
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taygull
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Apr 13, 2007 00:40 |  #11

It kinda helps but I'm more looking for the workflow that takes place in the magazine.

How do those who determine which shot is going in the magazine sort, post process, and make final decisions, and who are these people.


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hooookup
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Apr 13, 2007 00:53 |  #12

My agent receives the assignment from a photo editor/editor/art director. When I am editing I select the best images and upload them to the magazine's or news service's ftp. From there the images are received by the assignment desk manager and reviewed by the photo editor. from there they get approved by the copy editor and are off to print. If any editing or changes need to be made the copy editor will do so prior to sending to print. The assignment desk manager forwards the information to the accounting dept. and they forward the check to my agent and she take's her cut and cuts me a check for my share.




  
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PhotosGuy
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Apr 13, 2007 20:33 |  #13

How do those who determine which shot is going in the magazine sort, post process, and make final decisions, and who are these people.

Usually the good ones know what they need & what will work.
Sometimes it's a process of elimination. Take this out, take that out, & see what's left.
The absolute worst, which I've experienced, ask people passing by in the hall what they liked best? For him, I only delivered the absolute minimum # of pics. ;)


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1600 pixels on any side.

  
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Full Time Magazine Shooters - Work Flow Question
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