Working with a Wedding Client’s Photo Selects in Lightroom 2

I recently found out I was the official photographer for my brother’s wedding only two days before the actual event.  Aside from the stress of my first wedding shoot (for a family member no less – no pressure…) I also had to work through the logistics of processing and publishing the reams of photos captured.  Living over 1000 kilometers away from the client made this process a little more difficult than for your average wedding shoot.

The foundation of my digital photography workflow is Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom 2 (LR2). I was confident my core workflow was up to the task but what I was missing was a way to publish the proofs, record the client selects, and bring that information back into LR2 so I could complete my editing tasks.

The Turning Gate’s Client Response Gallery provided a simple solution to the problem.  The web engine plugin generated my proof gallery for me, and when family members selected photos I would receive an email with the details:

Selections: EX_20080914_153823, EX_20080914_154715
GalleryTitle: Test Gallery
Name: Sample
Email: <>

The standard process for loading the selections into LR2 involves copying part of the selection line, pasting it into an LR2 find or filter field, then working with the displayed photos.  I found this a little cumbersome given the volume of selection emails (> 40) I ended up receiving, so I wrote a perl script to turn the gallery email body into smart albums that could be imported directly into LR2.

The script to convert TTG Client Response gallery selection emails into smart collections can be downloaded here:  If you are a Windows user and don’t have perl installed already you can download it here

Using the script is as simple as:

  1. Copy the body of a TTG Client Response gallery selection email into a text file. (Example: input)
  2. Run the script, passing one or more filenames as parameters.
    e.g. on Windows c:\> ttgclient-sample.txt
    Smart Collection TTGClient-Sample-Selections.lrsmcol ready for import to LR2.
    e.g. on Mac (assumes perl is in you path)perl ./ ttgclient-sample.txt
    Smart Collection TTGClient-Sample-Selections.lrsmcol ready for import to LR2.
  3. Open LR2’s library module.
  4. In the Collections panel, right click on a Collection. Select Import Smart Collection Settings from the context menu, then select the file generated by (e.g. TTGClient-Sample-Selections.lrsmcol).
  5. If the client specified ratings for any of the photos you will also have a separate import files generated for each rating level awarded.  Repeat the previous step until all of the collections are imported.

You should now have a new Smart Collection (e.g. TTGClient-Sample-Selections) containing all of the selections and rated images included in the email from the gallery. 

I hope this helps your workflow as much as it did mine.  And thanks to Matt for making such a useful LR2 gallery available for free!

Updated Feb 2009: Added Mac details based upon user feedback

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 12:42 am by Matt · Permalink
In: Howto, Software, Web · Tagged with: , , , , , , ,