Specialist Techniques & Processes 3 – Problem Solving

Unfortunately due to my laptop malfunctioning a few days before the deadline and stopping working completely, there were a few things I was not able to do:

  • Print proper contact sheets of all my images: I was able to get them all on my blog and get my final images printed before the laptop went down, however I had not had chance to do the contact sheets beforehand. My laptop was the only one that had Photoshop to be able to do the contact prints (of all the people I could think of whose laptop I could use didn’t have Photoshop or any software that I could print the contact sheets) and I didn’t have enough time before deadline to get to a computer that did (e.g at University). I resorted to plugging in my back up harddrive to another persons laptop and print screening the actual folders the images were in, and in some cases have not had chance to show every image close enough to get detail, but this was the only way I could think of to evidence my photos at this time. To solve this next time, I will be printing my contact sheets as soon as I have photographed a shoot, and before I start editing.
  • Print off emails liaising with clients and invoices for jobs – my professional email is a domain that I pay for that is set up specifically to my laptop, and without contacting the specific technician that set it up to my laptop, I have no other way of accessing this email account e.g online. So I did not give myself enough time to print the emails before the malfunction happened – because my laptop had been playing up for some time and I was not allowed to use the internet for quite a few weeks because of the specific fault with my computer. I printed as many emails and correspondences as I could, however most of my jobs were either through this professional email account or talked through on text message and phone calls (it’s sometimes quicker and easier).
  • Backing up recent jobs – I had recently undertaken the last few external jobs that I was able to edit and get onto my blog by using another laptop and transferring images on a memory stick – however when I tried to back up these latest jobs my computer crashed… I was able to turn it back on and use it but it would not allow me to back up files because the hard drive of the laptop itself had a malfunction and couldn’t handle the amount of images there was on the screen at one time. Thankfully I had backed up everything else on my laptop onto an external hard drive… except these recent jobs. I am also relieved because I kept all of my photos on my memory card all the way back to November 2015, just in case anything like this happened – and I was able to evidence the original files of these images, but not the edited versions. I am currently looking into visiting a specialist technician who can hopefully recover the edited files from my laptop’s hard drive so that I don’t have to spend days and days and hours and hours re-editing the hundreds and hundreds of images – and so that I can get all of the images to the client, asap (as I did send them a few ‘taster shots’ already). I have explained in detail to the clients of these jobs what has happened and have reassured them I will get them their images to them as soon as possible.

As a result of this huge learning curve, from now on I:

  • Have looked into and have purchased a Mac desktop computer – PC’s have so many issues that Mac’s don’t have. Mac’s were also made for Photographic purposes specifically with the quality of the screen, software and general system. I believe this decision will benefit me hugely in the long run, for my work and business as a photographer, and will enable me to do things I couldn’t do before.
  • I will be backing up my files constantly – from now on I aim to have my external hard drive constantly plugged in and backing up my files. I also recently purchased a second external hard drive to back up my back up! Can never be too safe!
  • I will be planning my time more effectively to ensure I leave myself plenty of time to get things done in a proper manor. This will help me with my studies and will help me to progress effectively and efficiently in my livelihood and work as a photographer in the industry. My work flow will benefit profoundly from these things I will be putting in place.
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