I realize this isn’t as exciting as learning how to get a hazy shot or take a silhouette shot but it is more important – organizing your photos. I’m probably one of those weird people who LOVE organizing! Seriously, if you have a messy closet, call me up and I would love to help you clean it out and organize it. Even though I love to be organized that does not mean I have a clean house. Let’s be clear :O)
One area I make sure is extremely organized is my pictures. I have not always had a great system. I have taken some tips from several different people and found a system that works for me.
Here is a screen shot of how my photos are organized on my computer.
I save all my photos on an external hard drive (I shoot RAW and they are so large). They are categorized by year -> month -> date and subject. I use the date I upload them to my computer and I jot down a little description of what is in the folder. This way when I’m trying to remember where a certain folder is I may remember the month but not the exact date so these subject lines help out a lot.
There are great programs like Lightroom that are designed to help your organized your photos. I now use keywords to tag my photos. An amazing thing about Lightroom is they have “Smart Collections” which you can create with certain rules. For example, I have a folder that is meant to find all the photos with the tag word “Kate” in it. This way it finds the photo and puts it in a “Kate” folder for me. I LOVE anything that saves me a few extra steps of organizing. I also use the star system to tag photos that I want to print. I tag those photos with 4 or 5 stars. I have a smart collection that finds all the photos with 4 or more stars. Then when it is time to print my phtos I don’t have to go back through my photos to find the good ones. Lightroom found them for me and put them in a folder. Thank you Lightroom!!
You may have noticed that my months had numbers beside them. I am pretty particular and I wanted my months to be in numberical order. This is why I numbered each month.
After I edit a photo for print or web I save them to those particular folders. Inside the folder where the original photo lives I create a subfolder titled “1 print” and “1 web”. This way when it is time to print my photos I have the print version in an easy to find area. The reason I put a “1” before print and web is because when I open that folder I want them to be at the top so I don’t have to scroll down to find those photos (I know I’m lazy).
A quick video on how to organize photos on a Mac:
What are your tips for organizing your photos?