Telling people how to organize their photos feels like a huge, complicated task, but I’m going to try to make it as simple as possible. The fact is, you get into a routine with your photos and forget exactly what you do each time. Having good habits of clearing your memory card after each download and using folders can make a big difference in being able to find images when you need them.
You can do really cool things with Lightroom like assign categories to your photos. I’ve never done that, but I can see that it would be helpful.
Here is my system.
1. Download my photos from my camera daily or after any big shoot. Back up either to an external hard drive or other system then delete those images. For me, two places is plenty of security. If you feel you need more, save that memory card and insert a new clean one. It’s always best to start a new shoot with a clean card.
2. Download into the current folder. I organize my photos by years, months, and print. I have a big 2013 folder, then it is broken down into months and each month has a print folder. The print folder holds all of what I consider the best of that month that I will use in my photo book.
3. Quick scan and delete. Go through the images quickly once and delete the ones you know you’ll never use or print. Make this decision quickly. If you’re unsure, keep it for later.
4. All of the photos in my print folder are full resolution. If I resize an image to use in a blog post or email, I always save it in a new folder (called 2013 blogged). That way you won’t accidentally print a 800 px photo.
5. Edit and save for printing. About once a month, sometimes more often, I go through my monthly photos and edit and save to my print folder. Then these are ready when I need them.
Now when you are ready to create your yearly family album you have a collection of photos from each month edited and ready to use. Tomorrow we’ll discuss how I incorporate my iPhone photos into this system.
This post, Organizing your photos, is part of a 31 days series on Telling Your Story With Images. Find all the posts by clicking on the image below.