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My best advice when a new artist signs up, I tell them not to try loading their entire career all at once. It’s good to start using a new software application like this one a little at a time to get used to the workflow and build it into your process. Check out my post about establishing new habits. So, what did I do? Ignoring my own advice, I loaded my whole 15-year career into the program in one day. It took quite a bit of time. Most of that time was spent digging through my folders and emails trying to fill in the blanks. I learned a number of things, and here they are:

Use the PhotoWorkflo Lightroom plugin.

You will be uploading the images you want to market into Master Images in PhotoWorkflo. You can do this using the web uploader or directly from Adobe Lightroom Classic CC. Seriously, if you have your images loaded in Lightroom, you can easily keyword an entire project with one click. Enter your image titles and copyright in the metadata. Drag them to the PhotoWorkflo plugin folder and press Publish. DONE. Incredibly easy.

Use PhotoWorkflo Collections

Once you are in PhotoWorkflo, gather your images together into groups that make sense to you. I have mine separated by project. In PhotoWorkflo, just as in Lightroom, you can group images together for any reason and this is a huge time saver once you have over 100 images in your PhotoWorkflo Master Image folder.

To begin entering Activities, start with your CV/resume

Activities are designed to help artists record everything they do from show applications, to exhibitions, lectures and so much more. To get started, I started at the bottom of my CV, which went back to 2005. I created an activity for each exhibition on my resume. With each exhibition, I tried to figure out what images I showed, and whether I had any documents or press related to the exhibition. This was the most time-consuming part. There were shows on my resume which I couldn’t even figure out what pictures were exhibited.

Upload as many documents as you can find.

I found floorplans and layouts, installation shots, press, consignment sheets and even a full PDF copy of my book I published in 2013. I can’t really tell you how excited I am to have all of these files saved in one place, easily accessible wherever I am. I’m a fairly organized person and I had files scattered in an embarrassing number of places. Now, instead of looking everywhere in multiple hard drive folders, I have all the details for each event gathered together in one place and easily accessible from my desktop or phone.

Attach Master Images to the Exhibition Activity.

Being able to look back at the gallery sheet for a particular show gave me so much important information, especially which images were in the exhibition. Those Master Images are now attached to the Exhibition Activity record and now there is no question which images I exhibited, and the answer is easy to find now that it’s in PhotoWorkflo. Plus, when I’m accepted to a show I can also record which specific print that I sent to the gallery.

Expect to spend some time entering prints

For each Master Image you can track prints you have made of each image. If you edition your work or have exhibited quite a bit, you probably have a big collection of prints in your studio. I’ve kept track of my prints in an Excel spreadsheet. The information in the spreadsheet is inconsistent and not really up to date, but it does represent a decent historical starting point. It will take me time to get the prints entered but I’ll share my strategy.

How to start recording Prints and Editions

I looked at the most recent work first, since my memory is more reliable. I work with editions but I only make a print in each edition on demand, for a show or a collector. If this is how you work, this process will be right for you. I opened the Master Image, created an edition of five prints with no other information. Then I edited the record for the first print in the edition. Here I entered all the important details like status, production and retail cost, paper and framing. Now the first print in the edition has a complete record. When I go to print the second or third print, I have this historical information already saved and there are no questions about the important details. It will also help me know for sure how to price the second image.
However, if you produce your entire edition all at once, well, your job is even easier! You just have to complete the pertinent information one time. When you create the edition, all that information is replicated across each print record. The only change you will make is where the print is located, the status, and how much the retail price is, if you increment as you move through the edition.

It’s a work in progress – help us with your feedback!

In the end, I’m really excited about how much this application will improve my business workflow. Having all of this information recorded in one place, easily accessible to me wherever I am will be such a huge time-saver. Going forward, my business workflow will be much more streamlined which is what I have needed for a long time. I am excited that PhotoWorkflo is finally here.

Also published on Medium.