Photography Workflows – Filemaker and Applescript – 2

Automated photography workflows. Not sure this stuff is for you? Have another think. If you’re  a photographer shooting 1 job a week you can do all your admin manually. You have the time. But lets say you got busy…really busy. You would probably have to employ someone to do your admin for you. You earn your money taking pictures, not doing your admin.

Lets define admin. Its not just paperwork! Its everything else you do other than take the pictures. Downloads, uploads, rename, reprocess, cataloguing, emails, diary, etc. All these things are important to the running of your business but none of them earn you money directly.

If you could automate some of those processes then your life would be easier. Right? Also through automation you won’t make mistakes with your processes.

Brain Food

In our first instalment we processed some images, named them and filed them away in our My Clients folder and copied the path to our Contacts app.

For the next instalment you going to have to have copy of Filemaker Pro. Any Filemaker app should work from v9 so have a look round or download a demo.

Once you have Filemaker installed then download these 2 files

download photo_database

download script

(disclaimer. Nothing here will melt your hard drive. If it does its nothing to do with me.)

The applescript is based on the previous script but this time the info is extracted and written to a simple filemaker database.

It’s a relational database. It has two tables. One for client info and the other for images related to that client. Image records will be created when the images are processed. The way the two tables are related is via the uniqueID field.

You can get to this screen in the database by pressing cmd-shift-d



There is a wealth of simple tutorials about using Filemaker. Have a dig around YouTube and get yourself familiar with the basics.

Open the script in Script Editor (in Utilities) check out the code. You don’t need to understand the syntax but because the code language is understandable English you can follow what the code is doing. Im not asking you to write the stuff. Just look and try and follow. The more you understand a little about these processes the better you will be at solving your workflow problems. (BTW. I am not a programmer. Far from it. I am a complete bodger of Applescript and Filemaker and I would not expect anyone to copy the way I code. What you can take from this is the processes and tasks it does and the order it does them in. If you want to learn Applescript and Filemaker then there are plenty of online courses).

Create a new record in the database and fill in some bogus client details. Then run the script. It will ask you to choose individual images (cmd – click to select more) and then click OK.

What we have created is a wealth of information about our client and his shoot. We know his name, mobile, email, Twitter and Facebook, the images shot and where they are on our hard drive. The images have been renamed with a sequential number, the clients name and a unique id number created by the database. Because we have that information we can use it to streamline our dealings with this client and automate processes associated with that client.

Future tutorials will use the database and applescript to do a variety of stuff with the info you have already. Lets play.

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