Contacts and Dropbox as a client database and contact sheet viewer

Many of you out there will not want to invest in a custom built database or rent an online client area and gallery. If you are a small start up then all you really need is an accounts program, a client database and somewhere for your clients to view your stuff. This is all possible and will not cost you a penny. All you need is the Contacts app on your Mac, a free Dropbox account, and a bit of leg work.

With the method a folder will be created with your clients name and inside that a folder to store your images. (You can add other folders later)

/yourImageStorage/John Smith/Original Files/

Also the script will create a folder inside your /Dropbox/Photos/ with your clients name and nested folders inside that.

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note: Your Dropbox folder needs to sit inside your User folder. Please don’t move it from its default position.

Download the script here and open it in /Utilities/Script Editor

You can customise the nested folder names in the first part of the script here.

property folderlist1 : {“Original Files”, “Documents”}

property folderlist2 : {“Images to Retouch”, “Retouched”}

property folderlist3 : {“Contact Sheet”}

You may add/subtract from the list with your own folder names within the { } i.e.

property folderlist1 : {“My Files“, “folder1”, “folder2”} etc. Watch the syntax conventions. Always in quotes and separated by a comma (apart from last entry in the list).

Save your script in the Script Menu as an application so its easily accessed.

In Lightroom create an export preset with these settings (tweaked if need be)

lrstuff.jpg

Workflow

Fill your client details in the Contacts and run this script. Your folders are now created.

If you know your clients details when they booked an appointment then do as above and then add the session to your Calendar with them as an invitee. They will then get confirmation of the appointment.

Import your images into the “Original Files” folder of your client and import into Lightroom. Make adjustments, rename images and export (with your newly created preset) to your clients ”Contact Sheet” folder inside Dropbox.

Right click your clients’ “Contact Sheet” folder in Dropbox and copy link. Then simply send out an email to the client inviting them to view their pictures.

When the client views his contact sheet they can make notes on the images themsleves using Dropbox’s own tools for annotation. (You may have to explain this process in your email to the client).

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They can also drag and drop images into the “Images to Retouch” folder already in Dropbox. To do that simply drag the image to the Folder icon top left. A drop down menu will appear with the folder.

dropbox2.jpg

Retouch the original of those chosen images and export to the “Retouched” folder in Dropbox.

flow.jpg

So with this very simple method you have created a powerful workflow. Not only are your clients details always available from all you devices but if you download the Dropbox app for mobile devices you can also view them anywhere as well.

This is one part of what can be a modular process. More to come including image renaming and social media tools.

For discussions about headshots and workflows ask to join my FB forum.

For one to one workshops click here.

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