Category Archives: Aperture


Aperture Smart Albums

People often ask about our Aperture workflow so I’ve decided to once in a while share little ways in which we work. You can see all my past Aperture posts by clicking on the Aperture category on the right side of the website.


For this post, I wanted talk about smart albums. We use smart albums to pull together images that are spread across different projects. For example, if I wanted to find all the Macworld covers I photographed during 2010 and 2011, I can create a smart album that searches only the years 2010 and 2011 for photos with the keywords “macworld” and “tearsheet-cover” since these assets where originally keyworded during import. We always tag each photo that is imported into the library. This makes it easy to search and separate certain assets.

Portfolio update and workflow

We just posted a new portfolio update on our website. Since we like to keep the images fresh and update them often, it is important for our sanity to have a well-organized system.

Aperture is a key part of our workflow. The portfolio, for both print and web, goes through many changes and iterations. Aperture helps visualize how the photos will be arranged for both the online and printed versions.

The first step is to use the “Light Table” feature in Aperture to organize the photos. Light Table allows you to freely drag, drop, crop and re-arrange photos on a gridded table.




Once the order is finalized, we utilize another feature of Aperture and create a “Book” with these images. Book allows us to customize the print size and number of pages. This book is then named with today’s date and becomes our current portfolio live on our website or printed book. As we make edits and additions to the portfolio in the future, we always have the previous versions saved in Aperture which we can reference.




When a printed portfolio is sent to a client the book’s name is added to the client’s name in our contact database. This allows us to track which portfolios a client has seen. We can also go back in Aperture to view all previous versions of the portfolio as needed. It is an easy way to keep a potentially chaotic situation quite manageable.




PDF Creation


I use Apple’s photo program, Aperture, for my photo workflow. Now that I’ve added theabilityto download a PDF of my portfolio from my website, I needed a fast and easy way to make them. Using Aperture’s book layout as acustomlayout program I was able to make the PDF layout just how I wanted. I can add, delete andrearrangepages on the fly. Photos can be changed with a simple drag and drop. After I made the layout, I selected “Print” and then”Save as PDF.” Yet this gave me a file that was about 100 MBway too big for adding to my website. Using “PDF Shrink” I was able to save a PDF compression action as a service. The service is thenavailablevia any program. Now when I save a PDF from Aperture I can select my newcustom websiteaction, producing a file that’s only 8 MB verses 100 MB. Sounds complicated, but it makes a very simple workflow.