How I Do It: Uploading

So, last week, I answered the first part of Steve’s question : “How do you manage key wording and uploading?”   Today, let’s discuss uploading.  Or at least, how I do it.

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Maybe that should be the title of these.  “How I Do It”.  I know there are lots of applications for uploading to different sites, but this is just how I do it.

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First off, let’s talk about set up for uploading.  I’ve got drives and drives of RAW and processed images.  When I have the urge to upload something, I don’t want to have to dig through all my drives to find the one with the images I want.  So, once all of the processed/edited images in a session, such as 05_29_2015_schoolBus, have been titled, keyworded, etc., they get output to my “Uploadable Drive”.  Or whatever you want to call it.  I call it “Dudley”, because I was going through Harry Potter universe names when naming my drives at the time.  So, all of my uploadable work is on one drive, and that drive is always plugged in.

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Anyways, on Dudley, there are several top level directories.  The one that my “microstock” images go into is called sRGB_files_withMetaMicrostock.  When I started down the “independent” path, I decided to keep things as simple as possible, and output sRGB for all my non-exclusive microstock images, because all the agencies take sRGB, and I didn’t want to get into worrying about aRGB here, and sRGB there.  (These are color spaces for images, and sRGB is the space that is most commonly used and looks good in all web browsers).

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Inside that top level directory are directories for every session, such as 01_02_2012_valentineGuy.uploading_1

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Inside that directory, are all the converted .jpgs with their meta-data.  Also, there are two folders for every agency I contribute to.  Like FT_waiting and FT_going.  Each “waiting” directory gets a copy of all the images, and when I want to upload some to that agency, they get moved over to the “going” directory.  That lets me keep track of what’s been uploaded already.  Sure, it takes up space, but space is cheap, at least for images.

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uploading_2I have a “template” folder with empty copies of all these “waiting” and “going” folders, so as I have new sets added, I can just go in there and copy as needed into the new directory.  I also have an excel file that lists all of the shoots, all of the agencies, and how many images are left to go for each.  That way, I can easily see what sets still need to go somewhere.

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As far as the actual uploading process, I tend to use each site’s web based uploader.  Agencies like Canva, that don’t require any interaction after uploading, I use the FTP setup.  I’ve had offers to send in a drive and put everything online at once, but I don’t want everything I have getting dumped into the system at once, only to disappear into the ether the next day.  Besides, I have a feel for the timing of when to send seasonal things, and it isn’t Christmas in February.  Also, some agencies have a way to bulk upload content by creating a .csv file with information and image names and links to releases, and on and on, and I just don’t want the trouble of doing that.  So, I just use the web interface and get ‘er done.  Sure, there’s an anomaly here and there, like how Shutterstock wants to take the description and use it as the title, so I have to manually go in after uploading and change all those.   Like I said: “How I Do It”.

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I have separate top level directories, set up essentially the same way just for the “macro” agencies, like Stocksy and Westend61.  Don’t want that work to get mixed into the “micro” work by mistake.  Both of these agencies want exclusive work, so they get separate hierarchies.

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Hope that answered the question in some sense 🙂 .  I’ll answer more of the “Ask A Stock Photographer” questions in the upcoming weeks.  Thanks!

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