Organizational Essentials

It feels like Montana is heading into fall already. The nights are getting very cold, though we have not had a major frost yet. This is typically my favorite time of the year, when I actually get out and begin cleaning my gardens out for the season, but this year I feel like I have become oblivious to what’s happening in my outside environment. This morning as the sun is streaming through the studio windows I realize what a shut-in I have become this fall. My focus and energy has completely shifted to The Naked Man Project, 24/7. In many ways I have become obsessive about it. The website is completely taking shape and the overall structure is set. Stephen and I are working through the massive naked catalogues I have amassed over the past 14 years since I took up photography and doing a massive sweep of housekeeping elements I should have established early, but never quite kept up on. I did it for my photography business, but never really for the nude portfolios. The catalog is so massive that we needed to begin copywriting, rating, sorting and key wording all the images so it becomes searchable and manageable. The galleries are built in the website, now we just need to import the images into those galleries. To do a web site of this nature I really cannot just turn it over to someone else and have them build it, because it is my personal connection to each of these shoots and collection of images that will make the project and site interesting. So it really needs to maintain the integrity and vision of what I conceived from the beginning. And the way the Joomla platform, on which the site will operate has already been designed, so the look and feel have already been established; now the content just needs to be inserted, most of the content, here of course, being the images. Stephen is becoming very good at recognizing what I see and am looking for in my own style, but he is still not quite up to speed, so the final selection and elimination needs to remain mine. I had no idea I had such a massive collection of images. One of the reasons I have neglected this kind of housekeeping on my collections was, I never really intended them to be used for anything. So my lesson and advice to artist is to come up with a filing system that you can grow into. Take the time after a shoot, once you have created the images to do some housekeeping on them, make it a part of your workflow, even if you never intend to use the images. Believe me it has taken me years to figure out a filing system that makes for easy access. I use the Adobe Lightroom Program because it has so much depth to the possibility and it one of the most powerful cataloging software programs available.

But most important I am going to take a couple of hours this afternoon and get out into my garden and rut around in the dirt and feel the cool earth in my hands and get back to an essential part of myself I have been missing: my connection to Montana in the fall.