Workflow and Backup for Photo & Video on ChaseJarvis LIVE Tuesday!

Without a doubt, one of our most popular posts of 2010 has been this post where we outline in detail our photo and video workflow from capture to delivery of digital assets to clients. Every step is included in that post or video, but EVEN THEN we had a huge number of questions about it. As in hundreds and hundreds. Questions that are important and deserve answers. That’s the reason we’ve decided to dedicate an entire episode of chasejarvisLIVE to this topic for tomorrow!

Who: YOU and the Chase Jarvis Crew
What: chasejarvisLIVE discusses photo & video workflow – takes questions from a global audience
Where: tune in to
When: Tuesday, Sept 28 at 9:30am Seattle west coast time [12:30pm New York time]
[to help with time zone weirdness here’s a quick iCal & gCal -d worked up]

I’ll offer my decade of experience on the matter, but what’s more cool is that I’ll be hosting my entire tech crew on the show: Scott, Dartanyon, and Erik. They’re the guys who literally walk the data through each of the steps, whether it’s still photos, HDdSLR video, RED or Phantom cinema cameras. They’re opinionated and have a ton of experience–they have all been doing this at the pro level for about 5-10 years. And tomorrow we’ll a lot of the questions that came in after our initial posting, plus we’ll be taking questions LIVE from YOU via twitter at hashtag #cjlive.

It’s a big topic, with dozens of components, from the very basic to the very complex. We’re aiming to simply this complex process. I’m re-posting the video from a few month ago after the jump in case you missed it or in hopes that you’ll get a chance to watch it and formulate some questions for tomorrow’s show. Click to see that again and keep reading…

–And in truth, more than ever before, what we’re preaching about workflow can be applied to anyone these days. We all have digital assets and all those assets need backup protocols and a plan for how to deal with important data. AND most importantly this is all scalable to your own needs.

We have beefy needs, and you might not. Tomorrow is a good chance to ask us questions about scaling your workflow according to your particular needs, even if they’re completely basic. You can put questions in the comments in advance an we’ll pull from there, but live Q&A will be available too….

Hope to see you tomorrow at

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Aaron says:

So I know I’m a little late on seeing this video, but I was wondering, did you guy upgrade to FCPX? If so do you still send your footage to Compressor first since you can change the codec to 422 in the upload menu of FCPX. Just seems like that would make the process a tiny bit faster. My other question would be since FCPX saves the original files in one folder and the new 422 files in another folder automatically are you still manually saves the files too? Hope these questions make sense and thanks for the help!

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chriss says:

Hi Dartanyon,

love the fact that you shared your workflow. It helped a lot to set up my own (down-scaled) system ;)

I only have one question.

How do you manage the files that are e.g. older than 30 days and go to your ARCHIVE-section.

Are you using a program for this? I have a LIVE_WORK > CURRENT section now, where my work-files are stored. Once in every month I would like to put the files older than e.g. 60 days in the ARCHIVE section (like you do).

But I haven’t found an easy and less time-consuming way to do that than doing it manually.

Thank you so much,


Anonymous says:

Hi Dartanyon,

love the fact that you shared your workflow. It helped a lot to set up my own (down-scaled) system ;)

I only have one question.

How do you manage the files that are e.g. older than 30 days and go to your ARCHIVE-section.

Are you using a program for this? I have a LIVE_WORK > CURRENT section now, where my work-files are stored. Once in every month I would like to put the files older than e.g. 60 days in the ARCHIVE section (like you do).

But I haven’t found an easy and less time-consuming way to do that than doing it manually.

Thank you so much,


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Nina Sutherland says:

thanks for continuing to share your magic Chase!

Hi Chase and team

Why did you change your workflow and DO import and backup now through a piece of software (that could be buggy)? I remember you didn’t recommend to do that in your earlier workflow & backup blog post some time ago. How do you get a “clean and untouched file” now? Did I miss a point?

Thanks for sharing!

marius says:

My bandwidth have here in South Africa not big enough but will down load once on u tube

Tom Mason says:

Hey guys, im 17 and hopefully getting a new mac soon for my photography and im very interested in aperture 3, one small thing that worries me is the number of forums saying that it crashes a lot? i was just wondering if you have experienced any of this with your pro usage of the software.

btw i feel your website is awesome and a great help to the wana be pro like myself with usefull tips and hints to help us do better!

Thanks alot guys !!!

Jonathan says:

Hi in there, don’t know if this was asked (and if it was I’m terrible sorry, couldn’t see the whole video) do you shoot only RAW? I ask because the storage of 2 formats of the same image doesn’t seem like the most efficient thing… thanks for the efforts you guys are putting into the community, it’s just marvelous.

kim says:

Loved the video. Entertaining as well as informative. What sparked my attention is the cool setup with the laptop. If you don’t mind sharing what case you are using. Nothing like downloading on location and having your external backups slide off of car hood. Your set up would be perfect for me. Do you mind sharing?

@Kim We’ve done several posts about our laptop rig [you can use the search in the side bar for laptop case], but the original post is here:

kim says:

Thanks so much, i just started following the blog. Look forward to learning more cool stuff from you guys.

Cintia says:

Hello! I missed the live session yesterday but had a quick question. In the Complete Workflow video post you guys stated that you use off site storage. I am not looking for specifics on what you use, but I was wondering if you had any resources that you could share on some companies that do off site storage (hopefully cloud based) for photographers. I did a search online and did not find what I was looking for. I am probably looking in the wrong place. Any help would be appreciated! And if this was talked about in your session yesterday, where can I find that?
Thank you!

@Cintia We don’t use any cloud based solution in the studio, for that we have G-Tech G-Speed es units [the 8TB ones] that we bring in and out of the studio from their storage location.

Personally however I use Carbonite [and am now test BackBlaze] to back up all of my photos and music, it’s around $60 a year for unlimited back up, it would be a pain to restore from but if you computer, and your local back up got trashed and stolen, it’s a small hassle to deal with.

Cintia says:

Thank you so much for your speedy response. You are awesome and thanks for the info! I will be looking into both companies shortly. Thanks again!

Shane Parker says:

Blah! I’d really like to see this, will it be re-posted somewhere, Chase?

Anthony Flores says:

Hey Chase, I think I posted this before — but maybe I accidentally put it on another post … I just wanted to say this video was really awesome — I loved it, and thought the video was so fun and informative! You are a great teacher.

I’m impressed by how professional you guys are — certainly not a one man operation!

Quick question: On the video, what program did you use to create the chalkboard animation? I loved that and thought it added a lot to the video. I would actually love to use that in my own projects, it’s really awesome for teaching.

Thanks again Chase and team, you guys rock :-)


It was hand drawn and then animated in Apple’s Motion.

bob says:

I was on an airplane all day. Will it air again?

Erik Hecht says:

Yep, we will upload it to YouTube shortly.

didn’t make it. but hope to see it on youtube soon. thx.

Hey guys, I just wanted to thank you one more time for the info about the workflow and backup systems.
Since we are all visionaries,after today’s talk, I thought you might enjoy this clip about “vision” and media interface/organization/collaboration.

Please take at look at it and let me know what you think.

adrian says:

Guys, quick question ;-)

I need a quick browser for RAW files on MAC. Built in preview is soooo sloooow, Xee seems to be better, but it still take me alot of time to just look at NEF files after session :(

I’m not familiar with Xee, being that we import using aperture, the previews are all built in to that system.

Ken Mott says:

Best Cam for android???

Ben says:

@chasejarvis #cjlive Do you guys colour grade in FCS Colour or use Magic Bullet Looks / Colourista etc? Thanks!

Erik Hecht says:

I’ve never used Colourista, but I love Color for high end work and love Magic Bullet for quick and flash work. I’d say 85% of our color correction is done within Final Cut Pro though.

Ben says:

Thanks Erik, love your work mate!

long.david says:

awesome.. very helpful! thanks chase

Michael P says:

Chase, you’re the man!

Are you going to post the video on youtube afterwards? I’m busy at that time :(

Why do you shoot all your vids in black and white?

Chase says:

hey kevin: we don’t do all of them. the ones that are about sharing info are in b/w so we can use daylight and basic lighting together without stressing about white balance. I DO like the aesthetic, but it’s part laziness too… we’re busy folks so we try to make this easy on us.

Hi Chase,

Many thanks for this!

At the moment I am working out of Bucharest, Romania with my partner and we are doing some commercial photography in addition to own personal reportage projects. Up until now, we have just been using 1 TB and 2 TB Lacie external drives for our still images and we back these up a second time. However, we have just started doing 5D MKII video and are wondering what you would suggest for the next step up in back-up solutions instead of just a bunch of individual disks? A RAID? What kind? Obviously we don’t have needs anything like yours, but we need space for more than just 3 TB.



Scott says:

Hi Chase,

I applaud your ( and your colleagues at CJ Inc) on going efforts with all that you do for the photography community.

It is a little early in Australia to join, so i look forward to catching up on youtube.

Thanks and best wishes.


Matt says:

From those of us at work: can you please record and post it later?

Nick Minore says:

Hey Chase! Long time follower, but will miss your video due to school. Can you please repost?

– Nick

Morgana says:

Sorry, that’s 2 am Melbourne Oz time. Any chance you can video and post to your site at a later date?

ahmad says:

Wow…what are the spec of the MAC servers?!

Hunter White says:

:(. I will be in class tomorrow. Will you please repost the video (I.E the Zarias interview), for us of those still in school?

Tim says:

I have class tomorrow. Will it be posted on YouTube later?

Ryan jackson says:

Tempted to skip my 9-5 to catch this. Anyone else have the same idea to magically be sick tomorrow?

This is a very important subject matter. Sometimes things just get out of hand. I’m looking forward to hearing more about this.
Thanks for another great talk!

(Question: I just recently moved to the east coast and I was looking for some good speakers in the field, and I have been a follower of yours for quite some time now, so I was wondering if you ever do workshops besides PDN (your workshop sold out before I got a chance to enroll:)

Mark says:

I too would be interested in hearing more about the ingesting process because I thought you mentioned keeping a copy of the untouched RAW files in a safe place before they get run through a program like Aperture. I don’t use Aperture myself, so I hope your solution can be used similarly using something like Capture One. Thanks for doing this!

Shane says:

Son of a… I won’t be around to watch. I assume this’ll be posted afterwords?

Brence says:

nice one chase!

josh says:

This is tremendous news. I am so struggling right now with my digital files management. They are everywhere!
Can’t wait for tomorrow! There will be one happy photographer in Geneva, Switzerland. Thanks Chase & the gang!

Anonymouse says:

Hopefully subject # 1 is: “How the heck should I name and organize my files”.

In case it didn’t make sense in the video we use this ….

[20100928] – [cjLIVE] – [Cam 1] –

So [inverse date] – [project name] – [camera] – [native filename from camera]

Which looks like this in real life …

Jordan says:

In your video, you talk about ingesting photos through Aperture and also your naming protocol for files. Can you get more detailed about the ingest process through Aperture and how the files themselves get renamed on the hard drive? Do you generally import into the Aperture library or just to a folder on your hard drive? How do you simultaneously back up to a second drive?


I don’t know if this was covered well enough for you, but we use Aperture to ingest, we set the download location to our primary drive, the backup location to our secondary drive, and we set the filename and meta template in Aperture, being sure to click the “rename master files” checkbox that allows the files to be imported under the new name.

I remember in the first workflow and backup post on the blog Chase insisting to never backup through any piece of software, but instead just use copy-paste of the OS for security reasons (having a clean copy of the original RAW file). Looks like you do it differently today? Why?

As I had recently a problem with some corrupt files in LR, I hesitate to go this way. I could never figure out what caused the corruption, only way to get rid of it was to re-import the clean original RAW files from my untouched backup.

Q: Any tip how to beware of surprises (corrupt files) later, if you have a big shoot with 4000+ images and maybe not the time to inspect every image in LR/Aperture before reformatting the cards? And how verify file moving to archive and be sure nothing got corrupt on the way? Do you use any software to check?

Night says:

use the lightroom option to write xmp sidemap files. then you can reimport xmp+raw and you get nearly all the modification on your files.
ps: you’ll loose the virtual copies

Thx, Night, I know xmp sidecar files, but that was not the question. And wouldn’t help anyway if your RAW file was corrupted during import into Aperture or LR. You would just re-import an already corrupt RAW file…

Great :-) Will there be a chance to see a rerun later ?

Cody says:

Ah, I’m so bummed that I’m going to miss this. Please post it later!

It will be posted up on YouTUbe when we have a chance, and on our audio podcast too

Sudi says:

Cant’ wait! Thanks Chase!

claire says:

Is copyright registration part of your workflow? I realize it doesn’t quite fall into the technical side of dealing with data, but it seems like it would fit in there somewhere. Or is it unnecessary with client-based photography?

Assuming photography you need to copyright register, when would that occur within your workflow?

Looking forward to the episode!

It wasn’t [as you may have seen] but I am happy to answer any question you have on it if you want to email them to me.

Dennis says:


Can you also put a ical event link online so im not gone mis it because of the timezone

Thanks Chase

Herb says:

thoughts about using Google Moderator[1] for the Q&A portion? Seem well suited for this exact purpose.


I added gCal & iCal to the post for you.

Will Mcgregor says:

Super excited about this, just went out and bought more drives to sort out this exact issue !

Kory johnson says:

Awesome, I can’t wait! Thanks Chase

Kory johnson says:

I can’t wait, thanks Chase!


Anonymous says:

Ahhhh! Day job! I missed it. Chase please,please,please, post this on your YouTube Chanel.

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