Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How to organize digital images?

Sorting and organizing Digital images
Don't we all just love the digital world we live in? The amount of time and money we save by just clicking our digital cameras and taking as many pictures as we need is just awesome. No more taking pictures on film, wondering if you got the perfect shot, then spending money on developing them and realizing that you messed up color balance or focus or something else.
I am talking from mostly the point of view of taking pictures of my pottery, which is great for keeping records, seeing how your work progresses, applying for shows, posting on Facebookblogwebsitesetc...
One big issue I have had is with the excess of pictures and trying to organize and find what you need. They land up going in multiple locations. For every purpose resolutions change, website and blogs need low res, show applications need high res but of a certain size. Sometimes color correction is required.
I just had to come up with something that would save me the frustration of finding the picture I want. I posted this question on Facebook and got some great tips. I adopted some of them and modified them to suit my needs.
I wanted to share this on my blog as I am sure there are several of you who would be dealing with this situation.
One option was to name images as per date, resolution, kind of product and many adopted this method. However this would be a nightmare for me with the current pictures I have. And because I am always in a rush, spending more time after taking pictures naming each one would just sink my time.
I came up with a folder solution which was a combination of suggestions by two of my Facebook friends, James Young and Kristen Kieffer
At first all images get downloaded from my camera to a folder called "Sort". In this folder, all bad shots are deleted and everything is moved to the "Originals" folder. And within the "Originals" there is a sub folder for every year, 2008, 2009, 2010... So at the end of it the "Sort" folder should be empty to receive new images the next time around.
From the "Originals" folder things get really sorted. Based on where and what I use my images for this is the structure I use. Images are "copied" to the respective folders and edited as per resolution needed and cleaned up. A copy of the originals in the "Originals" folder stays intact.
Show submissions
Press Submissions
Wholesale Catalog
And each of these folders has subfolders of years in them, i.e. each folder has a 2008, 2009... 2013 folder in them. It took me 3 days to clean up all the images I had, but I feel so much better now as I know exactly where an image goes and where I can find it.
I hope this helps other as well.

What tips do you have for organizing your digital pictures???

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Buyers Market of American Crafts: Booth Setup

So where have I been? Since my last posting during the holidays I have been super busy.
It all started in June 2012 when I decided that I wanted to do the Buyers Market of American Craft Show in Philadelphia. The show was last weekend (Feb 16th-18th) and it has been quite a journey preparing for it. Here is the final picture of my booth at the show,... I truly believe that Rome wasn't built in one day and neither was my booth.
Buyers Market Show Set up (6)
It all started with this basic idea of booth design for a corner booth. Love Sketchup for that. After which came the Chicken and egg problem, along with a long list of questions.
Buyers Market Show Set up (3)
How many pots should I take? What size boxes should I have for the pots? How should I pack the pots? Do I ship boxes separately or in a crate? If I use a crate, what size crate? Should I buy the crate first and plan my booth so it fits in the crate? or should I plan my booth and then buy the crate that would hold everything in it? What should I do for drapes? How should I hang my posters? How do I make pedestals, light weight and collapsible? What do I do about the floor? How many lights should I take? Will black back drop be too dark for my booth?
These questions are only 15% of things that were going in my head for the last 8 months. A big thanks goes out to Pam Corwin from Business of Crafts, Mark Rosenbaum from Rosetree Glass and several other professional artists (now friends) I have met online to help me answer all my questions and worries.
Below are some things that I did and I hope would help others in my situation as well.
Buyers Market Show Set up (2)
This is the general way I packed my pots in these stackable plastic totes. You can get these totes at plant nurseries that import bulbs. Peanuts would be great protection but are a pain when it comes to unpacking and packing again after the show. Some more cardboard on the sides and sponge was added to these crates to make sure nothing moved.
Then came the challenge of packing all the pots, pedestals, display items, lights, step stool, promotional stuff into a shipping crate. But then what size crate? Thanks to Alison Baker Supple to giving me a great tip on this. Tape a squares on the garage floor to the inside dimensions of available shipping crate boxes. Fill up your imaginary crate which would give a good indication on what size will work. I settled on a 48" x 40" x 40" collapsible shipping crate which not only holds everything but also collapses and becomes a pedestal for my booth. It is under the black fabric in the corner.
Below are pictures of the inside contents of my crate and the crate itself. PS: Don't bother with that ridiculous cone on the crate. There were no signs of it when it reached my booth. :)
Buyers Market Show Set up (1)
Buyers Market Show Set up (5)
I am glad after all that stress and planning, it all came together quite well. .Got great feedback from other exhibitors and buyer as well.

What are your tips on Booth Setups?

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