My Aperture Workflow

I recently replied to a post on You will find the thread here.

Here is what I do. I can’t say that it is the way to do. It just works for me.

I have folders for each years and sub folders for each seasons. I do have to “cheat” a little bit here as winter starts on Dec 21… 9 days before end of the year. So, for example, my Xmas 2010 pics will go in Winter 2011 …

Under each seasons I have projects. Each shooting or outing gets its project. For example: “Walk in the park – November 2010” or “Christmas at Dad’s place December 2010”.

Sometimes, for large shoots, I will have a folder instead of a project and projects underneath that folder. For example: “Summer vacations” (folder) with “Magic Kingdom July 2010” (project) and “Clearwater Beach July 2010” (project).

Under each project I will have albums or smart albums, depending. Albums are usually my 3 stars to 5 stars. I will post pics online from albums only, not projects. Of course, this require that you rate each pic. Which I do. My rating system is the following:

0 (no stars): Not classified yet. But should as all pics will get rating or will be deleted.
1: A keeper, probably because the moment or the location brings fond memories, but no more (actually, the pics you keep should all have a minimum of 1 star)
2: A nice pic, a notch above a “keeper”. Maybe the composition is better or the moment is “magic”, but still not yet there. Could be posted online.
3: This pic is worth posting online and sharing with friends and family. Good one. Composition is great, lighting is great. Maybe you need some cropping, some retouching.
4: This is an awesome picture. Something oh so close to perfection. Definite portfolio material. You are proud of this pic!
5: Out of this world. You might not have many of these in your library. Actually, it is ok if you do not have any yet.

Then I crop, adjust white balance, add saturation, etc…

Next, I tag faces in AP3. You got to do this. It is quick and really worth it. I know that you will get a lot of people that you just don,t know. This happens a lot at weddings or during vacation. I simply tag them as “Z-Others”. As long as you do not anyone named Zachary or Zoë, you are OK by typing Z followed by Return.

Once all this is done, I post to Facebook, Flickr, private web site. Sometimes all of the above!

My two last operations are tagging locations and adding keywords.

About keywords: they are super important and I know that I am lazy on this one. What I have done to facilitate my task is to leverage Aperture’s hierarchical keyword system. So I tag only high level, for example: “spouse family”, “my family”, “birds”, “churches”, “dogs” (last 3 are obvious subjects of interest of mine). I also make sure that my keyword toolbar is displayed in Aperture’s window. This way I can eventually go back and tag more precisely … if I get there.

What is your workflow?


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6 Responses to My Aperture Workflow

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