Workflow refers to the actions a photographer takes to produce a finished product. This includes the process from taking a file from the camera, through editing on a computer to printing the file (and more).
Workflow a term used to refer to the steps they typically go through to get an image from the camera into its final form. The term emphasises the fact that each photographer usually has a set way of doing things - a path consisting of certain actions which are carried out one at a time in a particular order. The "work flows" along this path, hence the term.
A typical workflow might look like this:
- Copy image files from memory card to computer
- Back up files
- Import files into organiser program (e.g. Lighroom, Aperture, Picasa)
- Format memory card
- Make first pass through images, identifying poor images for deletion
- Make second pass through images, identifying good images for further attention
- Edit good images to make each one look its best
- Make final selection of images to show to client
- Generate JPEG files from selected images
- Export JPEGS to preview website
This is just one possible list. it is intended merely to give an idea of what workflow entails.
There are many possible workflows, depending on the hardware and software being used by the photographer, the final output medium (print, poster, website, JPEGs, etc.), the photographer's attitude to data-loss (how many backups to make), and other factors.
The workflow employed by a particular photographer is a matter of personal preference and experience.