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Tips for Integrating your DAM System with your Client Management System

Recently, I was asked by a photographer how best to integrate his client management system (CMS) with his digital asset management (DAM) system. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for keeping your jobs organized and associated with your CMS database. 

• Store the files you deliver to clients in a separate “Delivery Folder.” If your client loses their set of images and calls you for replacements, you’ll have easy access to the original delivery folder.

• Store file-related information in your CMS (e.g. Shoot archived to 2009 drives, folder “JoesBigShoot-020409”)

• Store the person pictured in the Caption field. For example: Jane Doe, photographed at Luvum and Burnem Family Law, December 23, 2009. This information will be important when, say, twenty years from now Jane becomes the next Supreme Court nominee and you have a long line of editorial sales lined up for this historic photo. 

• Include the client name in the keyword field for images that may later be sold as stock. This may limit the photo’s appeal to future clients should you forget to remove the previous client’s name from the keyword field. Obviously, you want to be transparent with clients and, where possible, point out any licensing conflicts between competitive businesses while at the same time maximizing stock sales across industries. 

• Lose sight of your photos. One of the keys for keeping your image library organized and readily accessible is to store a copy of all your images in asset management software like Microsoft Expression Media or Extensis Portfolio. This allows you to quickly search your image library visually for the photo you need, then access the appropriate hard drive or DVD to retrieve the file. This is much faster than sorting through a box of hard drives or DVD cases. 

An effective asset management system is critical to retrieving and protecting your images. For specific advice on creating, establishing and maintaining your image archive, join me at an upcoming dpBestflow seminar at a city near you (http://www.dpbestflow.org/seminars), or visit the dpBestflow (http://www.dpbestflow.org)Web site for more information. 


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