Fresh Dew on a Rose

by adarsha joisa

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I sometimes shoot at public events. I will take pictures of people/groups and, if they like the photos, give them a card with my email on so they can get a copy of the photo(s) later, if they want. To keep track of who is linked to which photo I write on the card the photo IDs (displayed in the top right of my cameras screen, the ID is also used for the filenames) and tell them to give me those numbers when they email me so I can get their photos. This isn't the most streamlined process, and takes a bit of time for each person when I could be taking more photos.

What I'd really like is to have cards with numbers already on, then somehow link photos to that card so I can quickly get back all the photos I've taken of that group. My first idea was to have cards with unique QR codes on, then have an app on my phone that let me enter the photo-IDs to be linked to that card. So I just scan the QR code then enter the IDs of the photos instead of writing them on the card. Is there any preexisting system that makes this easier? I'd really like some way to just press a button on my phone/camera to mark the photo as linked to a particular card. How do other people normally deal with this?

My general shooting kit is either a Canon 5D Mk II or 7D. I have an iphone; not sure if there are any apps available to do this sort of thing. All of my photos are imported into LightRoom 4.

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:-) - see my reply to the question that @mattdm has referenced - although the one here is a superset of the other one. –  Russell McMahon May 30 '12 at 11:04

2 Answers 2

Super-low-tech (or very high tech but we take it for granted: Take a photo of the card either immediately after a photo sequence it relates to and/or ensure that the subject is visible in the background. It's not 'automated' but if the card fills a majority of the frame then the card images will be easy to spot and extract when all photos are viewed in thumbnail view. I make a separate 'emailme' folder per event for these and related photos.


I use versions of this with or without prepared cards.
If meeting people who I give my details to I photograph what I give them, possibly with some identifying detail such as date and time. If people give me email or other contact addresses I photograph the details as part of the picture stream, ideally with the owner in the image as well. If there are multiple people who give me details, names etc I write brief notes against each (yellow jacket, long hair, glasses, ...) and have that as part of the photographed image as well.

If people give me a printed card I photo graph it. I may then return it or not. I explain that a year from now I may or may not know where the card is but, if I can find the photos I'll also have the contact details.

If people write down contact details such as email / kype / facebook ids / phone numbers I always get them to confirm with me what is said. I usually spell out tyhe addresses and add laarge letters in my writing next to anything at all suspect. In days gone by I have had apparently crystal clear addresses turn out to be indecipherable.

For events or similar I have a standard handout slip printed in 2 x 8 = 16 to an A4 sheet which I customise with even name and a photosite URL. It also has my contact details and room for a reference number. The reference number is the 4 digit frame number from the camera of 1 photo of relevance. Where I am moving through a crowd and trying to maximise photo time I may hand out slips and advise them that they will be in time order so if they look at around eg 8:37pm they will find their photos. Time could be written instead but frame is superior. Time is quicker verbally and more memorable.

Prior to the event etc I create a boilerplate page "These are not yet the photos you are looking for re ..." whatever, and then point a URL shortner at it. I nowadays use a 2 stage URL shortner. I use as the fron end as it gives a user choosable address string. I use the shortner (from guess who) to produce a code related to the actual site and I point the system at the "address". I do this because gives superior stats but only a very random address code whereas gives a good address but less good stats.

In a pinch I make up codes while I am away and hope that they are not already assigned. Whgen I get back I set them up appropriately. As upper and lower case are counted as non identical you can usually have a fair chance of a unique address if you are creative. eg is liable to be unique. Alas was not ! :-(. You can allways use eg with good hope of success eg addresses are also accessible as addresses
ie = = (They recently changed the way menus are interpreted and what was an index list with jumps is now a heap. Work needed).

It's all a lot easier than it sounds and quite useful.

Less formal example.
Ensure addresses are readable.
Note to self: Find better ways to take 'portraits from semi-outside moving train.

enter image description here

Nikon toting China National TV photographer.
Chance meeting in a cafe.

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Ugly, garish, unprofessional looking, cheap, quick, easy, effective photo website handout slip. Someday I may make a better looking version, but quite possibly not. I'll let them judge by the photos :-). (Olin says that is not the way to do things :-) ).

enter image description here

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+1 for handing out cards with a URL on them. You don't have to remember or record the subject of each photo. Let them find themselves and then download/purchase the photos they like. –  miguelq May 30 '12 at 15:01

See this article by Robert Bieber that does what you want.

He gave to each person he photographed a business card sized slip with a URL, a unique alphanumeric code, and a matching QR code printed on it. He also made sure to take a photograph of the person holding the slip, making sure the QR code was clearly visible.

a  business card sized slip with a URL, a unique alphanumeric code, and a matching QR code printed on it

Starting the next day, the persons were able to visit the URL printed on the slip, type in their code, and view/download their photos.

On his website you'll find a link to the scripts he used to generate the cards. You'll need Python to run the scripts, and a web server that supports PHP if you want to use the web viewer.

The cool thing is you don't need an app on your phone to scan the QR code at the event. One of the scripts combs through your photos and splits them up into directories by their QR codes!

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