Skip to main content

⚠️ Please note that this topic or post has been archived. The information contained here may no longer be accurate or up-to-date. ⚠️

General workflow tips / help for new Digi Tech



  • Daryl Orillaza
    It kind of varies from tech to tech / photographer to photographer.

    Basically the role more requires you to know the hardware [computers, cameras, peripherals and cables], and software [C1, maybe a bit of photoshop, Phocus (for the Blad users) maybe Adobe Lr (although not once in my experience)] .
    You'll need to be able to trouble shoot any problems in both these areas, so largely it's about having backups and redundancies (particularly in the hardware) for anything that may fail. This means, that even if the photographer supplies "everything we need", it's good practice to have you own computer, tether cables, card readers, hyper juices etc on hand just incase.

    Actual workflows and setups will vary from person to person, job to job, but I guess there are a few 'standards'.

    For e.g., and from my experience working up in Sydney, you'll probably name your sessions with a backwards date for e.g.-"170613_MYER", but again, everyone's different and it's more about understanding exactly that, and being able to adapt to each photographer's work flow, and tailor the way YOU work to fit how they'd like their days set up...

    Generally, main responsibilities through the day may include:
    + Ensure camera & lenses are in clean and working order, maintained through the day.
    + Maintain a sound and stable tether from camera to computer.
    + Good knowledge of computer hardware.
    + Very sound, safe, and organised workflow, file naming etc.
    + File security. (Backup, backup, backup again.)
    + Checking focus, exposure, and general "integrity" of frames.
    + Understanding of lighting, and working with 1st Assistant to maintain consistency throughout photoshoot.
    + Good understanding of colour and grading, and working with photographer to create a grade/file treatment that is maintained through the day, including in shifting light conditions where it may need to be adjusted constantly.
    + Working closely with Art Directors and clients , in conjunction with Photographer.
    + Outputting necessary files as needed for handover at end of day.
    + Basic knowledge of photoshop, for quick storyboarding/ mockups / on-set retouching & editing.

    In the end though, it does vary quite a bit from photographer to photographer. It's easier for a tech to work regularly (or even full time) with the same photographer as they can be trained in how THAT workflow should be setup. Basically, the more you sell yourself as a freelance Tech, the more you might be expected to know...I've worked with a lot of younger-gen photographers who came up themselves as assistants and techs, and so aren't all that dependant on their Techs.
    On the other hand, I've worked with a few older-school guys who came through in the film days, and know next to nothing about computers. They seem to rely VERY heavily on their Techs to run everything on that end.
    Fashion photographers will have different needs to say, an architectural photographer or a still life photographer. Advertising photographers work differently again.

    I'd advise to atleast hone in on what industry you're most interested in working in, to become a bit more specialised in what you can bring to the table for the photographers working in it. A tech in fashion photography might need to know a fair bit more about color grades, skin retouching, etc. They generally need to be quite technically sure, as it can be a very fast-paced environment with often 20, 30+ shots needed in a day.
    An Interiors tech i've worked with needed to know how to comp together multiple exposures and plates live on-set, to have a nearly finished image up on screen for the Art Director to see. Advertising Tech's need to worry less about multiple shots, but have different worries about file integrity for large-formats such as billboards, or photos being used in multiple weird layouts and crop dimensions.

    So it varies. A lot.
    But, sometimes I think that's the beauty of what we do.
    In a sense, you need to be a master of your trade, but also adaptable enough to be a bit of a jack-of-all-trades too.
    And it never gets boring that way!

    Good luck! Sorry it was a bit long winded.
    (I'm based in Sydney but go down to Melbourne maybe a 15, 20+ times a year on jobs so I have lots of contacts down there, if you have any further questions etc)
  • NN103450
    Hey Daryl thanks so much for taking the time to write that , was very helpful!

    do you have any tips on getting experience with medium format cameras? starting out how did you learn the different systems or how do you approach a job if its with new equipment?

    Most of the photographers I work with in Melbourne shoot canon/nikon but some of the advertising photographers I'm hoping to work with shoot phase one and i wouldn't feel comfortable working with the camera. Ive read through the manuals and met the phase one dealer here . I've got a decent feel of it , but would have trouble troubleshooting it if it was playing up.

    was thinking of renting one of the backs for a day to play with , not cheap but might be the best option. any thoughts let me know!

Please sign in to leave a comment.