Tethered Photography,Applescript, PHP, MySQL and Web Servers

I'm getting ready to do formal portraits at a corporate party in March so I'd like to share with you how I've automated my workflow to better serve clients. Here are my work flow objectives:

  1. Allow clients to be photographed, see proofs and order in a few minutes.
  2. Minimize any waiting in lines.
  3. Have fun, create lasting memories.

To achieve these objectives I've assembled the following technologies:

  • Shoot with a Canon 5D tethered to an iMac. Uses the EOS Viewer and EOS capture software from Canon.
  • The full size images are too large to be quickly proofed, so a custom Applescript detects each new image arriving from the tethered camera, then re-sizes for proofing and a thumbnail. These smaller images are then automatically copied to a folder on the Web Server, a PC running Windows 7.
  • I use a custom proofing and ordering system to show clients thumbnail and larger images on a standard web browser. Three computers (iMac, Windows 7, Windows XP) are networked to show clients proofs and accept their orders.

Here's how the computers and camera are all connected:

I'm a geeky guy so I wrote my own Applescript to re-size and copy images, plus the proofing and order system was written with PHP, MySQL, Javascript, Dreamweaver and Photoshop.

My web server on the PC is using the popular XAMPP tools, which are Open Source.

Shooting
I operate my Canon 5D just like always, on full manual with custom white balance, everything metered so there are no surprises. Using the USB2.0 cable it takes about 6 seconds for an image to go from the camera to the iMac. I shoot JPEG for event photos to save time and they look just great. 

Applescript
This script takes about 5 seconds to re-size the full-size image into a proof and thumbnail size images, then copies them over to a folder on the PC where the web server is running.

Proofing and Ordering
The client uses a web browser to see their proofs. At first they see thumbnails. Clicking a thumbnail brings up a larger image with a price list.

 
 

Post Event
When I arrive back home after the event, then I run another web page to take my batch credit card orders and process them. Yes, I wrote that one too.

Summary
I've been able to achieve my event photography work flow objectives by using some standard technology and some custom technology to get the job done. My clients can be photographed, proof and order in a few minutes. They're happy and I'm busy sending orders to my lab and then delivering prints to clients.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Chris Roane

    Hi,

    I love the article and your blog. Would you be interested in exchanging links with me? My website is http://www.montanaprogrammer.com/ . Please let me know!

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