High volume photography image tagging workflows explained

December 14th, 2023
High volume photography image tagging workflows explained

How to associate clients with their photos for easy purchasing online

Shooting high volume photography related events has its fair share of challenges, not the least of which are getting the clients to find their online photos easily. When you shoot 10,000-30,000 photos a day, how do you make it easy for that one person to find their photos in such a large batch? That is the question… and this article will provide you with ideas on how to accomplish this in a variety of ways. There are indeed low tech solutions that work well but in many cases clients want a more automated approach in their high volume workflow.

There are many different types of high volume photography and many methods of file organization. Many high volume systems used involve changing the metadata in a photo to include a code or a name that is shared with the client. Once the data is in the photo it can be transferred online and used to find images.

How people market the images can be broken up into a few more divisions. I will attempt to outline most of these below. Each type of event photography can be very unique. If you're shooting a single image or many images your needs will vary.

A few example were providing unique identifier codes that are associated with the image taken would be:

sell photos online with client data embedded in images

School photography - Each student photographed receives a code to find their photos. Usually they will also need a password as well

Amusement park / Front gate photography - Shooting guests at the park and tagging images so they can be found online. You will be handing clients a code to find images generally. Many people shoot these events and simply organize online images by date and might include a station identifier form the park.

Roving photography - Shooting random people in a crowd at special events has the additional challenge that people don't necessarily know you or the organization very well. Some systems allow you to actually print a code in real time and hand that to people

Attraction / Step and repeat photography - These types of events are typically pretty stationary so it can be easier to have a more permanent setup or elaborate system that allows for prepared codes to be associated with photos and shared with guests.

Methods of photo tagging and organization are pretty wide ranging as well and as I noted earlier, there is a big difference between portrait photos of one person or action photos of many people that introduce unique challenges.

Organizing photo basics

So how do you organize your photos so that you and your clients can find them easily? Well, the very first lesson will seem very obvious, but it's worth mentioning and one of the first rules of data storage. File images by date! That should be the hard first rule and don't forget, it should be year, month, day. I will dig in a lot deeper of course but trust me, this one is important!

The easiest Searchable format for photos for sale:

Date / Album name / Sub folder name etc …

Many high volume photographers are able to run photography events with a simple and straightforward folder system of location and the date for people to find photos online. So how you organize the albums on your machine can be replicated online by simply uploading your photos all at once. It may then be broken down to specific folders that are named by date, shows, stages, platforms etc… This is a highly effective method and often all that is needed.

Time search

The cool thing about time is that this is the simplest inherent form of bibbing an image. As long as the time is set properly in the camera, your workflow is already set up and automated. Photeventplus.com’s uploader tool can easily be set up to read any data point you want such as file name, date/time, embedded EXIF data points, geo location etc. People can then actually search by date, time and get very close to their image and scroll to find it quickly.

Manual organization formats

organizing event photos
  • Write down the photo number after you take it and hand it to the subject. This gives them the unique file name right away but of course can/will slow down your workflow and any manual process is prone to mistakes.
  • Seperate images into folders (team, group, individuals). This is a highly effective method and has an added benefit of being able to easily password protect each folder with a unique password if you so desire.
  • Manually tag images by renaming the actual file name with the name of person or an associated code.
  • Change the embedded EXIF data in the file itself by adding a code or name or multiple codes/names in an EXIF field inside the image. This data can be read by our uploader tool and users can use a search function to find their images.
  • Add search terms to images after upload. Photoeventplus has a system for editing online that allows you to add search terms manually if you want to post edit these after your upload.

Advanced organization solutions for tagging images with unique codes or names

scaning codes for photography workflow
  • Clapboard / film slate capture - Use a scene Clapboard with subjects name / id before each shoot and import data afterwards either manually or with software.
  • QR / barcodes can be prepared in advance with our QR code generator that creates unique ids embedded. Have someone hold this up for the first shot so you can read it and use software that can be run to embed the data into the photos EXIF after your shoots.
  • Scan premade barcodes direct to camera- Use a scanner or a phone to Scan premade QR / barcodes with unique id’s embedded and use a hardware/software to transfer that to the images you take
  • Photograph code/barcode - Take a photo of a unique code before each set of individual photos as a reference. These can later be read by software that renames all the following photos with that code
  • Shoot tethered to a computer with software for tagging or manually add data to each image
  • Import data for pre ordering - Have people pre purchase from a site based on pre imported data and use coupons (not really bibbing)
  • Preload list that coordinate with shoot - Use a software that allows you to preload a list and then tag names of people before shooting them and it gets transferred automatically to photo
  • Mobile printer / photo renaming - Shoot with a setup that tags photos and prints receipts with tagged ids on the spot

Software to consider for high volume photography


Hardware for high volume photography

  • Quality DSLR or Mirrorless camera
  • Computer for uploading photos
  • Mobile hotspot Usefull for remote uploading
  • Tether tools Tether cables for iphone, computer
  • Entagged , barrcode tagging for volume photography
  • Wi-Pics Roving photography solution
  • An old android phone is used in some systems tethered to the camera
  • Opticon scanner Mobile scanning device
  • iphone as a scanner

Printing QR codes

Photoeventplus.com can assist you with all your QR needs and produce them for you internally.

Each setup can be quite unique, there are many options to look at and we would be happy to speak with you to help you decide which is best for your scenario. Our sole mission is helping photographers sell more photos and a lot of that involves assisting with setup, marketing and providing the proper tools to make you successful.

Please feel free to reach out to me personally if you would like to discuss your high volume photography workflow.

Ilan Artzi

Ilan Artzi

PhotoEventplus - President

Dedicated Father of Three, Devoted Husband, Avid Windsurfer, Passionate Photographer, and Seasoned E-commerce Marketing Veteran. Born and raised in Montreal and now based in the picturesque island of Maui with operations in Canada and the US mainland.

While at the helm of a thriving marketing agency, I recognized an untapped opportunity in the ever-evolving world of photography. My vision was to offer a comprehensive business solution tailor-made for high-volume photographers. With a dynamic development team by my side, I've always thrived on crafting efficient sales and marketing tools. Our mission is to empower photographers to not only flourish as artists but also thrive as successful entrepreneurs.