Most professional photographers can’t afford to be messy or haphazard with their photo storage, because they rely on access to those photos for their livelihoods. And with the hundreds, if not thousands, of photos that pass through their lenses, they have to be really on the ball when it comes to storing and organizing their shots. Many amateur photographers become overwhelmed just thinking about storing and organizing their digital photos. Today we’re going to look at one way we professional shutterbugs use to store and organize our photos, so if you are one of those overwhelmed souls you, too, can get a handle on things.
Don’t try to store and organize ten years’ worth of photos in one sitting. Or even in one month. Go forward from today with a new digital photo storage and organizational plan, and catch up with past, unorganized photos as you have time. Save that mess for rainy days and nights when there’s nothing good on tv.
#2Set Up a System
On your computer, set up a folder for this year. Yes, even if you are reading this in December, set up a folder for this year. Inside that folder, create a folder for each month. Now, you are ready to begin. You’ll do this with each year going forward, and with each year you go back to once you get around to organizing and storing all those old photos, too.
#3Store and Organize Right Away
As soon as possible after the end of the event or occasion, transfer those shots from your camera card to your computer. Create a folder within the appropriate month, aptly titled – Jill’s Wedding, Bob’s Birthday, Dad’s New Car – so that you can quickly and easily find those photos when you want them. With old photos, if you can’t quite remember that month, you can always simply use the event name to help with organization and future reference.
#4Edit Soon, Too
Go through all the photos in your event file one by one and view them up close. Delete any that you don’t want – eyes closed, blurry shot, duplicates, etc. – very soon after you store them. Why? Several reasons – the event will still be fresh in your mind, so you can add names, captions, etc. as desired; you’ll have only good shots to print or transmit should someone want them; and lastly, there’s nothing worse than getting behind with editing and having to do a ton of it to do, too. There’s only so many rainy days and bad reruns available.
#5Back Up Storage Is Always a Good Idea
Don’t trust all your digital photos to your computer’s hard drive for safe keeping. Find an acceptable form of backing up your photos – online service, memory stick, CD, hard copies, etc. – that is reliable and easy for you to use and access. Back up each and every folder after you’ve finished editing. Every folder, every time. That way, nothing can happen to take all your hard work and flush it down the drain. Make sure to label or index your back up files in some way, too, to allow for easier location of individual pics when you need them.
Following these five steps will soon have your digital photos stored and organized just like a professional photographer’s stash of great shots. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your photos can be found easily and quickly when you want or need them, and that they’ll be around for years to come!