When you are writing a blog about a fun and vibrant company that has a large team of creative, talented, and hilarious professionals it is often a breeze to come up with great content. The content writes itself most of the time. Talk to a few people, write a few paragraphs, throw in a few images and you’re done!
But then you get to a blog topic like today’s. A topic that is extremely important - and often essential to our business and clients, but so undeniably boring that the mere thought of trying to write a whole piece about it and make it engaging has been stressing me out for weeks. I guess what I’m trying to say is, this blog will be important, but terribly boring, and lets just get it out of the way so we can get back to the good stuff next week.
Today, ladies and gentleman, we discuss archiving images. The beautiful system of cataloging and organizing every image we shoot so that we never lose anything we ever did. 30+ years of images - in a regulated process where all images are organized and categorized and labeled and structured in an efficient and methodical way so anyone on the team has the ability to find a specific version of a specific image taken 17 years ago with the bare minimum of information in which to find it by.
I will certainly spare you the minutiae of the process, however a general understanding of why and how is important.
A studio of our size shoots a lot of images for a lot of different people. In this digital age, we know that technology can fail, servers can crash, things can get forgotten, and sometimes you stare wide-eyed at your computer screen when you realize you were not supposed to delete that folder. We get it, happens here from time to time as well. For example, every single year one of our fantastic interns will inevitably suffer a quick bout of dyslexia and file Disk 4598 where 4958 should be and someone realizes the disk is missing and people lose their minds and there's screaming and people running around flailing their limbs, mass hysteria. Bruce will figure it out and put the disk in the correct place and then we will rejoice with Cornish game hens and champagne...much like the 85 bears.
But I digress.
We just want you to know that when those "Oh No!" moments do happen we have your back. We save it all. Every asset we created for you has been saved and is a mere phone call or email away.
But how? Is it magic? Are you guys using magic over there? How do you have magic? I thought it doesn't exist?
It’s not magic at all, its called being organized and having a systematic procedure. (oohs and aaahhs)
Every time we complete a project we save all the assets that we used (stock photos, vector images, reference material, etc), the Hi-Res images we delivered, all the working files, all the good stuff. We burn those to numbered disks and transfer them to specific hard drives. We also have a copy of all of our servers taken off-site regularly and stored there in case a volcano-hurricane destroys the studio but you still really need those images for your presentation ASAP. We got your back.
After saving the images to all these different locations we then upload the images to a piece of software that is essentially the “brain” of our archive system. We categorize them by date, client, agency, job number, color, subject matter, type of shoot, keyword, job name, photographer, really every single piece of information we have is stored with that image. This way the vague description you have for that image you have never seen but someone told you about - we can find it for you. It’s basically a Google Image Search for TRG images that have been taken over the past 3 decades.
Maybe you need a specific image we shot for you, or maybe you are thinking of doing a project that involves blue ice cream, and you’d like to see some of our blue ice cream shots before giving us the job - we need a few minutes and a few clicks and we can get it all together for you. Sound easy? Well, I guess it kind of is.
So maybe the reason I think the archiving topic is so boring is because it works so seamlessly. We do it so well - it’s not exciting. It’s mundane. Give us a call or send us an email about an image that was taken in 2004 and had a blue sky and a guy holding some kind of shovel or maybe it was an umbrella - and there will be no surprises - the image will be in your hands in no time at all. And sometimes mundane isn't mundane - sometimes mundane is dependable. Yeah, lets go with that.