If you needed to find a particular photo you’ve taken would you quickly and easily be able to access it? With the improvements in smart phone cameras most people have hundreds and hundreds of photos. Storing and filing them so you can find them is crucial. There are a few steps to setting up a filing system, however once you have it in place you will love being able to find a particular image quickly and easily. You may also be able to set your camera software to automatically import the photos to the structure once you set it up.
Here are my tips and the way I file my personal images.
Setup: Create a ‘Photos’ folder preferrably not on your desktop or C/drive. This is where you will upload all your images from now on.
Create a folder with the shoot date and description eg: 150222_Kids-on-bed-reading.
As you add more folders you will see they automatically align under each other in date order making them easy to find. If you have any questions please ask below in the comments section.
Upload your media card from your camera via windows explorer to a folder called ‘ALL’ inside the parent folder.
If your software gives you the option, rename the images as they are being imported. The name of the image straight from your camera might be 4532IMG.jpg so change this to the date taken, your name initial and 3 digit number eg: for a photo taken today: 150222_BJM_0001.jpg
If your software allows, add in metadata such as location and a broad description of the whole shoot eg: Kids on bed reading.
Copy all the images from this folder into a new folder called ‘Edit’ (ensure the originals are still in the ‘All’ folder)
View these images thru your preferred photo browser and cull out all the duplicates, ‘not quites’, blurries etc. This will leave you with a nice collection. Be ruthless with this edit! Remember you still have all the original images in your ‘ALL’ folder.
Revisit the metadata for the final collection adding in specifics to each image if you like.
Your directory will start to look like this:
I also have a folder in the directory of images that I want to print. Usually my top 3-5 images from the ‘Edit’ folder. Every few months I put the print images from the last few folders on a USB key and have them printed.
Remember to regularly back up your images. I have a weekly reminder set in my calendar to copy my ‘PHOTOS’ folder over to an exernal hard drive. This hard drive then comes with me wherever I go and I am confident should anything happen to my PC, I still have all my photos. A 1TB hard drive is only around $99 at places like Harvey Norman or Dick Smith versus losing your priceless images.
I also have a second hard drive with the same data that I store at my parents place as an extra back up and now I’m using Cloud backup to be safe 🙂
How do you store your photos? Do you back up? Have you ever lost images? I would love to hear your stories.