i’ve heard through the grapevine some questions about organizing your digital photos so i thought i’d share how i do ours…
first, make a template folder with a sub-folder that you can copy over and over again.
mine looks like this…(look at the bottom folder)
the inside of that folder looks like this….
now, even though your process will likely differ from mine and you’ll just need the ‘email/facebook size’ folder, i’d still suggest making the template folder because it sets up a routine.
my process (optional reading…just an explanation of the two folders):
the folders marked 1 & 2 are only temporary. when i download a card from my camera, my images aren’t jpgs like yours likely are so i select which ones i’m keeping, and then export them as jpgs. i might bring a couple into Adobe Photoshop – the finished files are then placed in the main folder (when you name them, i’d suggest including the date as well as a description of where and/or who you’re with). images that have been resized to send to grandparents via email or post on facebook are held in the separate ‘email/facebook’ folder.
a word on deleting
is this hard to do? i promise it’s a good thing…don’t delete too much but those blurry, super dark, out of focus, unflattering images don’t need to see the light of day!
because just like clutter in your home eventually drives most everyone crazy, doing any sort of project becomes much easier if you’ve done a quick edit. and here’s my tip: select the ones you love and want to keep, and delete the rest. it’s faster. this will help you devote less resources to storing images that you don’t even want to use.
now, if the moment is epic – ie: you’re in a country you may never be in again, or you’re introducing a new child to a sibling, obviously keep it even if it’s not super great.
but the halfway closed eyes or weird smiles, come on ;) i’m trying to go all martha stewart on messy photo files!
the story is so much clearer if you look through the duplicates to find the best shot. when you do this, keep an eye out for sequences however that might be sweet framed together and leave that series in. i’m thinking of a kiddo running towards dad and you have them half way there, the tackle hug and the giggle afterwards.
so, what’s the pay off of getting your digital photographs organized and not keeping everything?
- it’s SO much more fun to look through images
- it makes working on projects much faster
- keeps your collection manageable & requires much less room on your computer/external hard drive so you’re devoting less resources (when we talk about this a bit more in another blog post)
as a temporary solution, feel free to create a folder called [ deletes ] that you place images in temporarily…and then just wait to see if you have any second thoughts.
i tend to do a very tight edit of personal images because i know which ones i’ll want to use and i’m often thinking as i shoot so it’s an ending shot that i’m happiest with. ease into this deleting stuff if it doesn’t come naturally – but don’t be surprised if it reduces the number of images by half or more if you shoot a lot at a specific event.
i love looking through our old photographs – and it’s such encouragement to take more!
i didn’t realize that i became the de facto historian for my family when i got married – i have a pretty good number of clients where their husband is involved in taking photographs of the family but it seems like it’s typically one of you and not both that have an interest in it…so if it’s you, let’s get it all organized!
and just like you’d set a goal/make a plan if you were going to run a half marathon, set a manageable project you’d like to accomplish…for me, it’s a digital frame of family images for my husband’s office for father’s day. i have some major work ahead because that subfolder [ 1- originals ] is my landing place…i may not come back to make selections and edits for a while if it’s a busy time of year but i’m trying to carve out some time on sundays to stay on top of it. it’s a perfect quiet sunday project to do once audrey is in bed.
feel free to leave questions in the comments – i promise i’ll give you a reply!
some notes -
file renaming – i wanted to pass along that some people like to rename their images with the date…i don’t search for images this way but i just wanted to mention it as an option :)
one final tip: add digital photo organization/memory keeping as a recurring item to your calendar once a month so you can remember to set aside some time
hope this has been helpful and you get some time soon to sit down and savor some sweet images of the ones you love!!
image note: a great senior session (taylor, i looooved all the images of you growing up!)