Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Importance of Organizing abd Storing your Photos

I am slightly obsessive about the order of things, which is a good trait when it comes to digital photography.  You'll discover that, overtime, the more you take photos the more important it is to be conscious about how and where you store them.

For me, I label my photos by year and by season.  That works extremely easy for me.  I know that if I am looking for a snowy scene or a fall foliage photo finding it is rather easy.  Also, I can look through the years and see how my photography has changed and where my focus stays. 

There are other ways to organize photos.  Sometimes, throwing a photo into a generic folder of the year it was taken just doesn't work.  Usually that happens with the photos I use for my website or utilize a specific photo technique or post processing.  All my HDR files are in one folder, Macro in another, and textured processed photos in a third. 

But, as you can see, my photos go back for years and eventually all those photos fill up a hard drive.  It happens sooner or later, especially with the newer cameras that produce the larger photos.  Now photos straight out of the camera can be over 15MB and larger!  Not just because photos will clog your hard drive, but also because you don't want to lose your photos when the inevitable blue screen of death infects your computer you need to back up all your photos and files.  I don't need to stress the importance of that, do I?

Personally, I back my files up two separate ways, by external hard drive, and by CD.  The two ways ensure me that if one fails I still have a fallback method, because I can't imagine where I'd be without my photos.  They are irreplaceable and you have to treat them as that way. 

Two ideal and easy ways to back up your files are either by an external hard drive or online.  If you would like to learn more about either one of these methods follow the links below to a review site that compares various reviews for these products. 

Now go forth and be organized!  Your sanity will thank you later on when you don't have to spend hours looking for what your trying to find or don't have to worry about losing your very important photos!

So, how do you stay organized, or unorganized, when it comes to your photos?


  1. Great advice... as a technology specialist I too often run across the failed hard drive, with no backup, it really hurts to tell people they've lost their data!

  2. I too like to organize things. And I mean EVERYTHING. With my photos, I do it much like you. Year/Month and then the photo named according to the date they were taken. It may be a little over the top, but I can always find what I am looking for.

  3. i make sure to import all of my photos with very specific tags and then i move those folders in to monthly folders after i digitally scrapbook, and the monthly folders are then moved to annual folders.

    i *very recently* learned the hard way that you must also be sure that other users of your computer don't change your auto back-up settings.... seven months of pictures (including an anniversary trip and one of the last shuttle launches) are lost on a crashed hard drive because *someone* (ah-hem, not me but my beloved) turned off my auto back-up without telling me. everything prior to then is safe and has been restored to my new hard drive while still being stored on the external. --sigh-- lessons learned the hard way.... we are sending the hard drive out in the hope of recovering at least some of the data (power relay fail with the data viewable but giving low-end techs a "access denied" message, not a fused drive). i like your suggestion of also backing up on CD. i'm obsessive about making sure i check on my backed-up info now, and burning to CD would just be one more safety net in the event of another hard drive crash.

  4. I have a folder for each month. However, I really, really, want to organize by topic too i.e. a birds folder, then an American Robin folder within that. Yes, I want to REALLY be organized. However, I don't have the time and I have too many projects I WANT to do when I have the time. LOL

    As far as backing up, I'm terrible at that. However, I am going right now to get my external hard drive and do a long overdue back up.


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