Screen grab from the program Photo Mechanic.
Screen grab from Photo Mechanic.
Something that continues to amaze me is the complete lack of caption information I receive when requesting photography. I'm not talking about photos from a scientist in the field or program manager documenting their technology, rather I am talking about photographs from professional photographers. I'm also somewhat surprised to learn that many photographers don't see this as part of the process when they are hired for an assignment.

Time after time, I have to follow up after the fact just to get some basic information about what I'm seeing in order use the image. No information, no names, no sense of what is going on, means no publication. While adding the who, what, where and when is a basic tenet in the photojournalism community where it is recognized that without proper caption data a photo just can't be used, the rest of the photography world seems to ignore this, or worse, see it as a major inconvenience.

My suggestion to all photographers is to spend $150 on the software program Photo Mechanic. Not only will Photo Mechanic save you time when editing large numbers of photos, it will also allow you to quickly rename, add caption metadata, including copyright information and then copy images to multiple locations. And you can do all of that when you ingest the images from your camera cards. A few minutes spent refining your workflow and you'll wonder how you ever managed.
Set your photography apart and increase your marketability by making sure you gather caption information. Added bonus is that when embedding caption information you are also embedding information about yourself, including photo credit, and if applicable, copyright information.

If you are serious about photography, download a trial version of Photo Mechanic for free, I dare you not to purchase.

UPDATE 2/10/12: Two websites, and tell you everything you want to know and more about what I've described above.

Temple Redux

On Friday I returned to Temple University for the first time in three years. My lunch companion, also a friend, reminded me of that. Traveling to New York on Thursday for PhotoPlusExpo gave me the perfect excuse to take Friday off and make this long overdue visit. Even longer overdue than visiting the campus was a visit with my first photography professor, mentor, and friend, Dr. Ed Trayes. It seemed like only months ago that I was in that same hallway, sitting on a couch (his office is still so full there is nowhere to sit), as we reminisced, caught up, and of course talked about photography. But it was when he took me to the old dark room, now converted to a digital photo lab, that I realized things had changed. I met and talked to some students, saw some of the amazing work they are doing, and once again listened as Dr. Trayes joked, pushed, and encouraged them. What a perfect place to pull out my camera, hand it to senior Richard Kauffman, and ask that he take a photo of us. And of course I couldn't resist converting it to black & white. I'm so glad that I have this memory now, but more importantly it reminds me of the three and half years I spent as a photojournalism student and the eight years following graduation I spent teaching alongside Dr. Trayes.

To see Richard''s photos, visit his website at