Believe it or not the hardest part of photo management is not taking the pic, its not editing the pic, and its not incorporating the pic into a book or card. The most difficult task is organizing the photos. While we stash away all these great looking shots on our computers, we don’t seem to have any clue of what to do with them in terms of finding them later. We have no system that really works, so everything ends up with a numeric name in some folder with a nondescript date.
If you want to keep you photos and use them later, whether for a project or to show others, then you’ll need my tricks to keep your digital photos organized.
#1 – Use Identifiable Names:
Once you download your photos to the hard-drive, it takes a little doing, but rename each photo so that you understand what it is. At the same time, delete any photos that you do not consider to be of value. If possible, also delete duplicates. I would go as far as saying delete the photos not needed right from the camera and never think about them again.
Once you have completed cleaning out the newly downloaded batch, place them into a folder with an appropriate name and date. This way you can search by the topic and a date if you remember when you went. One other thing you might want to do, although, I admit this is a lot of work. Add tags to your photos for easy searching.
#2 – Setup a Main Picture Folder:
This can be a folder within your Windows Picture folder, or one you designate on your hard-drive, but however you do it, choose one folder to place all your own photos. Don’t have them downloaded all over the computer or it will be a nightmare to even remember that you took them at all. This is as much for organization as it is for safety. It is much easier to backup the pics from one main folder.
#3 – Backup To An External Drive:
If your photos are important to you, a weekly or monthly backup is necessary. The time frame will depend on how often and how many pics you take.
#4 – Use Sub-Folders:
Further to the appropriate names and main folder, be sure to add sub-folders within your folder. This will keep everything separate and will not get so confusing later.
#5 – Your Camera Should have the Right Time and Date:
Many people forget to set the date on their cameras. Additionally, they do not check it periodically before they use it to ensure the correct timestamp. Cameras with the wrong date will just mess up your filing system.
#6 – Be Cautious with Online Storage:
While I am all for storing my stuff in the cloud, I am equally cautious of companies that have not been around for too long or that have dubious practices. It might be okay to store your backups with a legitimate online company, but do not depend on programs that store photos where you return to make a project of some sort. That’s not storage. Those photos are there for convenience and can be purged at any time.
Lastly, everyone thinks differently and often what works for one is confusing to another. Hopefully, the tricks I have provided are generic enough to get you started to make your photo organization a regular habit.
Better Homes and Gardens is a master at showing beautiful photography they do not use any stock photographs it is all genuine stuff. Have you ever seen one of their print magazines? They also know everything about keeping a nice house, so it stands to reason they know about organizing your photos.
I think this a fantastic article on the topic. Click here to read it.