Last week I was working on a catalog shoot and despite the client’s well-established web presence and huge operation there was no Digital Asset Management system or long term standards for dealing with images. The PhotoShop Web Gallery was good in 2005 but not anymore.
Before anybody does anything, let’s give credit where credit is due, Peter Krough’s DAM Book. This is the guy who herded all the cats as it were. Read this book, it’s tough at times but it is the single best source of Digital Asset Management for all visual content providers. I met Peter casually at a PhotoExpo party and he’s as generous in person as his book would suggest.
A few years ago I got sick of asking my clients to write down the file numbers of the images they selected. I researched all of the online workflow systems and chose LightBox Network. I’ve been using them for over four years and they are an integral part of my work flow system. LB has an easy-to-use interface and to be honest my clients love the ‘lack’ of confusing buttons and options. Basically, my clients want to view the entire photo shoot, make selects, add retouching notes, download FPO images and with LB they can do all of it quickly, easily and it’s all saved into the system. When my retoucher logs into the LightBox they can see everything everybody picked, what they had to say about it and what needs to be done to deliver the final art.
While my client needs may be different from yours the fact remains that they all clients need an online workflow solution. This applies to the client in the studio with you and the client on the other coast. Here are some of the other services that my colleagues use.