Lightroom, Model Releases, and the Cloud

Several months ago I wrote about how you can use Evernote and Lightroom together. (see Remember Everything: Lightroom and Evernote) Here is another way you can make Lightroom and Evernote help you with your workflow. Let Evernote hold your model releases and let Lightroom keep track of where they are. 

Lightroom has quite a few metadata fields in which you can store important information. But your Lightroom Catalog cannot hold PDF or other document files. This leaves the photographer to come up with a system to store model releases and link them up with the images they pertain to. That's where Evernote comes in.

Evernote can generate a link directly to the model release you store there. I suggest you create a notebook called Model Releases in your Evernote account and upload the release files to that notebook.

Let's take a look at how to get the link via the browser version of Evernote. There are similar ways to do this from the native application as well.

Select the note that contains the release file and click the Share link in the upper right of the browser window. That will present you with a menu. Choose Link. Once you do that Evernote presents a dialog with your link URL.

Click the Copy to Clipboard button to put the link URL in your clipboard. Now switch to Lightroom.

You can paste this link into pretty much any metadata field that accepts text. However, I would suggest you change to the IPTC Extended fields and use the Model section. That way you develop a consistent place for these links.

You can paste the URL into the Release ID field. If you select all of the shots the release applies to before pasting the URL into the Release ID field, Lightroom will happily apply it to every image selected.

Now, whenever you need to access the model release for a shot you can use the link to your Evernote note safely stored in your Lightroom catalog!

Still not an Evernote user? No problem. Many other cloud services have a similar capability. Here is how you can do this using Dropbox.

Create a folder called Model Releases to hold your release files. Select the applicable file and click the Share Link button.

In the share dialog that is presented click the Get Link button.

Dropbox will copy the link URL and let you know with a message at the top of your browser. Now just follow the same steps to paste the link into your Lightroom Catalog.

If you use a different service check to see if it provides a way to capture a link back to your release file. Then you can store your model releases there and let Lightroom keep track of those links for you!