Quick Reference

The team has designed their materials for those who are newer to photography as well as the technologically sophisticated. The result is a set of clear workflow guidelines designed to meet the needs and solve the problems that photographers face every day in process, production and protection.

System Set-up
Storage and Organizational Practices
Preservation Management Practices

System Set-up


  • Get the best monitor you can afford, and keep it regularly calibrated and profiled in an appropriately illuminated environment.
  • Acquire abundant hard drive storage capacity.
  • Maintain your computer and operating system properly.


  • Shoot raw if possible. This provides the highest image quality and the most flexibility for image correction and interpretation.


Image Editing

  • Use parametric image editing tools for as much image editing as possible.
  • In order to enable non-destructive image editing in Photoshop, use and save layers, adjustment layers and smart objects to master files.

File Format

  • Use TIFF or PSD as a Working File format
  • Use JPEG or TIFF as a delivery format
  • Use TIFF or PSD as a format to archive rendered master files
  • Use DNG to archive raw file data

Storage and Organizational Practices

File Management

  • Assign unique file names to images in order to distinguish one file from another and to prevent overwriting of files.
  • Create a naming convention that is easy to use and remember and that can be automated.
  • Use folders to organize and store files.
  • Use metadata and cataloging software to manage the content of your image collection and to streamline image searches.
  • Design workflow according to image lifecycle phases: capture, ingestion, working and archive.



  • Use a 3-2-1 backup (3 copies, 2 different media, 1 stored offsite) whenever possible.
  • Clearly distinguish the primary and backup copies of your digital image files.
  • Schedule system backups to occur at appropriate places in the workflow and image life cycle.
  • Clone your system periodically to avoid lost time and lost data in the event of system drive failure.

Preservation Management Practices


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Last Updated September 22, 2015