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Linking to a photo ?

Johnny 0110

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Hi guys,

Sorry if this is a stupid question.... Im one of those newbie guys that has designed some fairly cool databases but only from trial and error mostly. I look to you guys when I simply cant figure it out. I've searched around and cant find what Im looking for.

What Im doing is a database for my photography business. I want to be able to have the database open while Im shooting school photos of students. Prior to shooting the photos, the students will be inputing information into the database such as name, address, phone number, etc. After shooting the photo, I would like to be able to go to the image file and somehow put it into the database as a reference to that student. Some type of box to click and place a image into? Again, Im fairly new at this and have tried a few things but cant seem to figure it out. Some kind of container? So in the end, I would have all of the students info with the photo I just took as well.

Thanks guys!!


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I shoot college graduation cap and gown photos. The students are lined up waiting to have photo's taken. I take two photos and they pick which one of the two they want as their choice for their package prints, (8x10's, 5x7's, wallets etc.)

Step 1 - Put student's info in record, (photo package choice, name, address, phone number)

Step 2 - Take student's photo.

Step 3 - Rename the photo in my photo viewing program with that students name

Step 4 - Return to that students record in database and drop image in that record giving me a reference to that student.

At that point, I would have the students name, address, phone number, photo package choice and the photo that they chose for their prints. I will then PRINT this as a receipt for the student, stamp it paid and hand it to them.

Hopefully that will clear anything up.

Thanks again !!


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I see (hopefully). It would be best to use an ID to identify the students (to prevent a mixup if two students have the same name). This could be an auto-entered serial number in the Students table.

When you have the images named as 123456.JPG, etc. (where 123456 is a student's ID) you can import them in bulk to the Photos table (if you are using a Mac, this can be done directly from the camera or memory card). Use a calculation field =

LeftWords ( FileName ; 1 )

to link the photo records to the students.

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As far as what you said on that last reply, (calculation field = LeftWords ( FileName ; 1 ) .... Im clueless.... As I said, Im a newbie at all this. I have been using FMP for a few years actually, and I am fairly good at designing some pretty cool databases, but... ask me how to do the in depth stuff and Im lost. Again, I apologize for my ignorance....

As far as the task at hand with this student photo situation, I dont know if I will ever be able to do it the way I want to, other than paying someone to do it for me. I have heard that you can design your database so that you can actually shoot "Billy Jones" photo and have them go RIGHT INTO his record that you have open at the time of shooting. That would be the most incredible thing in the world if I could get that accomplished. That is actually something I would bet that could be sold as a software program for photographers!! Many guys like me would LOVE that !!!!

I shoot a Canon 7D and I always have it tethered to my computer at the time of shooting. Right now, the images go into a folder I create for every shoot, at every school. I shoot two photos of every student to give them a choice between the two for prints. Many photographers like myself do college cap & gown photos and the hardest part of it all is keeping the photos organized and named in a way that I will know who is who, (outside buying a $5000 software program). The best way I have found is to simply rename the image right after shooting it to the students name, (Smith, John) and also what package they chose. So the file names ends up going from "Img_2897.jpg", to "Smith John - Pkg A.jpg". The problem isn't renaming the photos, the problem is that sometimes the renaming system screws up, or should I say, I screw up. I have even resorted to putting a stand mounted dry erase board at the students knees and when they sit down, and I hand write their name on it so it shows up in the photo for me to reference if the names get screwed up somehow when renaming, and it HAS happened. When that happens, you're screwed,a nd I have had to go to the school and ask the staff who the student is. Lame....

I would simply like to have the ability to place the students photo in the record I just filled out for them right after shooting it. Thats all. Shoot the photo, place it in the record, and print it as a receipt for the student. Period. That way they can see what package they chose, what they paid, and what the photos will look like when they receive them.

If I could get it to do it automatically, that would be about 1,000,000 times better!! lol.... But Im guessing that would be some fairly involved programming in another program all together. If you have a solution, a detailed explanation would be greatly appreciated!! See the sample below.

Thanks again,



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I have heard that you can design your database so that you can actually shoot the photos and have them go RIGHT INTO the record that you have open at the time.

I don't know of a way to do this natively in Filemaker. There are plugins to allow scanning into a container field, or grab an image from a video camera - but I haven't heard of one that would enable shooting stills directly into a container.

Again, if you're using a Mac*, this could probably be accomplished using AppleScript.

However, I am not sure it's necessary to go that far. All you need is something to link the images to the students. Obviously, the student's name is not the best choice here, since it is not necessarily unique even in the same school, not to mention across he entire database. Once you solve this issue, the rest should be quite easy.

As far as what you said on that last reply, (calculation field = LeftWords ( FileName ; 1 ) .... Im clueless....

Now would be a good time to read the help on defining calculation fields, importing images and the LeftWords() function.


(*) Please update your profile to reflect your OS platform.

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