How do you do everyone,
Thank you for reading my thread.
I need to share some frustration that I have experienced several times from the creative colleagues—including modeling agents! It is frustrating because, in my email, I have provided instructions on how to make the selections. Yet . . . almost always, they return with relative image position and not the absolute numbers from my file nomenclature.
Here is an example of my email sent to the creatives involved, including bookers:
My file nomenclature is as follows: TAN-YYYYMMDD-001 [1, 2, ...]. The number in brackets indicate image variants, while the "001" indicate the three digit serial counter. The "YYYYMMDD" indicate current year in 4-digits, current month in 2-digits, and the current day in 2-digits.
May 15 13 12:30 pm Link
Duncanville, Texas, US
It doesn't sound complicated to us because we understand the concept, but you might try simplifying the code for cs usage or else rearranging to put your 3 digit image number 1st.
May 15 13 02:31 pm Link
Huntington Beach, California, US
Ronald, your instructions are not in their simplest form. You use some very big words and phrases that make sense to you but probably just confuse the "picture people".
Here's my verbage:
"Once you have made your selections reply back to this e-mail with the image number (i.e. IMG_0001) located beneath the picture you like."
That's about as simple as I can get, and it seems to work.
I underline the "beneath" as well but I'm not sure how to do that on MM. You may want to bold it too to get full attention.
Sometimes I still get the number from above but it's rarer since I put the (i.e. IMG_0001) example in.
May 15 13 04:28 pm Link
STUDIO CITY, California, US
Laurence Moan wrote:
^ that's definitely easier and less complicated to understand.
Huntington Beach, California, US
Okay now this is weird....
Just got a reply back from person's Iphone with a .jpg image of their selection. The actual proof but no IMG_number.
NEVER has this happened before and I can only blame you Ronald for this happening!
It just goes to show you, no matter how easy you try to make it for people there is always someone that will find a way to make it difficulter.
Point taken. The way how I phrase things in writing are "proper" and professional-sounding.
It annoys the hell out of me, when people (even modeling bookers) use relative placement. I HATE counting and going back and forth from the starting position. That is why I say, to tell me the absolute image number, because "10" isn't the tenth image, it could be the fifth image, because the image numbers preceding 10 were expunged due to quality or lack of focus on my part.
When it comes to image variants, people will pick like this:
My nomenclature clearly instructs the image variants to be placed in brackets, e.g. 003 
I honestly want to hit some people with my text books for incompetence.
Laurence Moan wrote:
May 15 13 04:51 pm Link
Royal Oak, Michigan, US
I use a similar file naming system, yet my clients only use the right numbers about 80% of the time. It has been better since I review the proof gallery and file number system in person at the shoot. The rest of the time i just call them to get them to send the right list.
May 15 13 05:03 pm Link
San Pedro, California, US
Yeah - it's a bit (eyes roll in the back of my head).
Simple is good.
I'd say something like:
"This - "
"Not This -
May 15 13 05:04 pm Link
Los Angeles, California, US
Your directions are far from simple, and the file naming structure would also seem to be partly to blame. Simple solution:
Your files are currently labeled: gibberishblahblahnumbersetcetcfilenumber...
Just rename the ones that are going into the contact sheets with just the file #. Then your directions are as simple as:
"Hello, my contact sheets all have a file number here (photo with #circled), please give me this file number when making your selects"
Takes all of 5-10 minutes extra, and saves about a half dozen emails (and the time in between) to sort out the confusion if you don't do it.
May 15 13 06:49 pm Link
My file nomenclature is fine. I have been using since 2007 from reading about the syntax in Peter Krogh's "The DAM Book."
I'll have to learn and make my effort to simplify my instructions further, otherwise, I am going to experience further frustration.
May 15 13 07:00 pm Link
Great Neck, New York, US
RONALD NZ TAN wrote:
Make it idiot proof, just say all you need is the last 3 numbers of the name. Simple, everyone can figure that out. Similar if you use a 4 digit number.
May 15 13 07:02 pm Link
Great to bump into you again.
Per my email instructions, I normally write something like, "please use the last three digits in my file nomenclature."
I often summarize what happens when they don't use use the last three digits and instead opt for the relative positioning. Because then . . . this three digit number becomes the ID or name, for example: I don't like "003," can you make it look like "009"?
May 15 13 07:11 pm Link
Sacramento, California, US
Probably, they get brain freeze when trying to slog though the instructions.
As other have said, all they need to do is give me the four digit camera file number. No one has ever given me relative position. My instructions are :
send me the number next to the picture
May 15 13 07:20 pm Link
Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US
Your instructions may be professional and correct but they are overly complicated and by your post your customer do not seem to follow them.
Yes nomenclature is professional and correct but "Name" is simpler and easier for people to understand. Clients do not need to understand your methodology all they need to know is to use the numbers after the -. I use the same system withoug any problems.
May 15 13 07:30 pm Link
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, California, US
Your problem seems to be due to feeling that others should get what you say is "proper" and "professional" instead of using instructions that are "easy to understand."
May 15 13 07:31 pm Link
Bath, England, United Kingdom
What I really enjoy is when I send a contact gallery to models and, instead of giving me either the file number (clearly visible above each image) or the gallery sequence number (clearly visible on each thumbnail), they send me an iPhone screen grab of every photo, somehow managing to obscure both numbers so that I then have to go and visually search for each image in the gallery myself to find the files in question!
Now that's what I call fun
Just my $0.02
May 15 13 07:36 pm Link
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Never underestimate the stupidity of people.
When I was doing onsite event work and went from paper order forms to on screen ordering with the EXACT same fields and layout, we had loads of people asking what they put in the field that said " Name". They would have no trouble with the email and phone Fields, but "Name" seemed to throw them for a complete loop.
Filling in the form online was such a problem for people I ditched the system and went back to paper orderforms. Exact same fields and layout but No one ever had a problem with it ever.
Still to this day that amazes me.
May 15 13 08:01 pm Link
Bakersfield, California, US
If it takes three paragraphs of instructions for someone to figure out your nomenclature for selecting a photo, then it is too confusing.
Your camera already does your file numbering. Use that. Just "watermark" the digital image number onto the image itself (add some suffix number like DSC1234_02 for an edited one) with a script. Fade it if you want, but make it readable "on the image." No instructions are then needed like "Refer to the series of numbers surrounding, behind, next to, under, behind, to the left of, column two and row 4, use an 'absolute' number (Really?!?) etc."
Heck. Most people will not even read these three paragraphs.
May 15 13 08:06 pm Link
RONALD NZ TAN wrote:
I use the same filenaming conventions, except I use the model's first name, not my name.
May 16 13 02:41 am Link
It takes me two sentences to explain.
May 16 13 02:46 am Link
That Italian Guy wrote:
May 16 13 02:48 am Link
With my review medium, the slideshow sequence# is three digits. I also use three digits at the end of the image filename. If the person gives me three-digit references, I'm not sure which number they're giving me. Complicating matters, often the client or model omits the leading zeros; if I used a three-digit sequence# and a four-digit filename reference, it could still result in ambiguity and erroneous choices.
May 16 13 02:56 am Link
I am not trying to blow this simple process of image selection into something more. I was sharing my frustration and I realized, I had to take more initiative and apply simplicity with it comes to communication.
Orca Bay Images wrote:
May 16 13 09:05 am Link
London, England, United Kingdom
All my images are zipped up and labelled
May 16 13 09:17 am Link
Encino, California, US
OP, if your submitting to a photo editor your method is correct and preferred, but if your sending to a civilian then you are overly complicating the situation.
May 16 13 01:12 pm Link
Brooklyn, New York, US
It seems like you've got some sort of database setup that you're seeing, that the client doesn't need to know about, that's attached to your filenaming? Seems overly complicated, sorry to say.
When I submit web previews to agencies, it's shot number followed by three digit counter: Shot01_001.jpg
Even with it being this simple they sometimes still get things wrong.
Lately I've just sent 5-10 preview images that I'm confident will make it as top selects as email attachments (to model and agent), and then deliver 10-15 images maybe.
May 17 13 08:21 am Link
Bakersfield, California, US
Found a "free" watermarking tool online (Only available until midnight) that puts your image file number or whatever else you want to identify it across the face of your photos. Pretty hard not to figure out which shot it is. It's pretty adjustable for the fade and sundry effects that make it difficult to remove, yet still see the image.
No issue other than I didn't get my registration code via one email account so I had to use another and it came through and registered.
http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/ "Easy Watermark Studio Pro 3.5"
May 17 13 02:47 pm Link
Saint Albans, England, United Kingdom
If your suppling proofs on cd & they're copying them onto their own computer (network)
depending on how they copy them across, sometimes the files will be renumbered sequentialy from 1, had this cause confusion in the past.
May 20 13 05:52 am Link
I decided to take the advice to heart and shall be simplest in providing instructions to clients.
May 20 13 01:09 pm Link