Field Photography Workflow With An iPad

Let’s walk through a simple version of a workflow you can use when you’re in the field shooting for clients.

In this scenario we will imagine that we’re at a multi-day music festival. Our client is a beverage company. The goal for the day will be to get candid shots of people (fans and artists) consuming our client’s product. The story we are trying to tell here is that our client’s product is a perfect match to the lifestyle that our target audience aspires to enjoy. When our audience sees young, healthy, trendy people enjoying a day in the sun, dancing and listening to their favorite music, they want to be part of that lifestyle.

We’ll also be looking for product activations we can shoot as well as some shots of the product strategically placed around the event for use in branding and promotions at a later time.

Here’s the gear and software we’re using in an unnecessary, but trendy infographic format…because infographics are very click-baity.

My main camera bodies are the Fujifilm X-T1 with the 56mm 1.2 and the 14mm 2.8 prime lenses and theFujifilm X100T, which has a 23mm fixed lens. I will have a few other lenses at my hotel in case I think I need them for other uses during the festival. For the editing and distribution of the photos, I am using a 4th Generation (128GB, WiFi-only) Apple iPad and a 128GB Apple iPhone6.

For this workflow example, I’m using the X-T1, copying photos to the iPad from the camera’s Delkin Devices 32GB Class 10 SD Cards via to the Apple Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader. The apps I currently use areVSCO CamInstaSquare, and InstagramTwitterFacebook, etc.

The shot above of Team iMore was taken as I covered CES 2015 in Las Vegas. In that situation I was shooting with the Fujifilm X100T and using my iPad as my primary computing device in my workflow. But, to be completely honest, I wouldn’t really use the exact workflow from this video in the field at an outdoor music festival. With the iPad being so large, I’d be fumbling with the SD card reader, my iPad doesn’t have a cellular connection, it just wouldn’t make sense in an outdoor, dust, no fixed home-base scenario. If I were to use the iPad while in the field, I would typically be in a backstage or green-room area where WiFi is provided and I had a place to sit down or a flat surface to work off.

The real use case for this workflow would go something like this: After the day of shooting is over, I head back to the hotel and pull out the iPad and all the SD cards I’ve filled up for the day. I use the Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader to start reviewing the photos on the cards, while quickly making selections of the best shots for further refinement and uploading or to provide to the client that evening.

After this review, I am back up the SD cards up to the Western Digital My Passport 2 TB Wireless Hard Drive. Now, an additional piece of equipment I carry with me in my main luggage, not in the Domke bag, is a second, identical Western Digital My Passport 2 TB Wireless Hard Drive. All the SD cards are backed up twice to these two separate hard drives. I have a process to make sure I know when each SD card has been backed up to both drives. Once a card has been thru the iPad for the first review and then backed up to both hard drives, it is put into one of the cameras, formatted, and placed back into the Gepe Case for Memory Cards for reuse.

When traveling back home, if I’m flying, the hard drives are packed into separate bags to decrease the chance that I will lose both backups of the images from the shoots. This is especially critical at high-profile shoots like Lollapalooza, ACL Fest, or the X-Games when my clients have a substantial investment not only in my time and expenses, but in their sponsorship of the event.

In situations when I am driving, I will keep one hard drive with me in the SUV and ship the other one back to the studio in Dallas. When we cover NABShow this week in Las Vegas, I will keep one HD with me and send the other one back with John as he drives our gear back to Dallas. You get the picture. The goal here is insurance for the integrity of the data.

So this video shows you how this workflow can be accomplished. I do use this workflow, but it’s more likely that I would do this at the hotel, not in the field.

In the next video, you will get a look at the actual workflow I use 90% of the time I work full day, or multi-day events.

giovanni gallucci

Dallas, Texas, USA