Organizing Photos

30 Days of Smartphone Photography day 17

I love taking photos of just about everything, but with my digital camera and my smartphone camera I can end up with a LOT of photos at the end of the day.

IMG_0852There was a time in my life when photo organisation was a concept completely foreign to me. I would import photos from my camera and randomly assign a new folder, or no folder at all and just dump them in the "My Pictures" folder.

I had photos in random places on my computer hard drive, on portable hard drives and also in Lightroom which sometimes when I tried to open would flash that panic inducing message "Unable to open: Orginal folder could not be found".

Somehow I could usually find what I was looking for, but now that I actually have some systems in place life is a lot easier!

For me, the best thing was selling my computer and getting a new laptop while travelling. My photos document everything I have seen and done since leaving Australia in March, so it's become extra important to me that I don't lose any of them.

Generally when I import images off my DSLR camera I sort them by date and location under a more general location folder. So at the moment I am in Portland, so all the photo's I take while I am here go into a sub-folder within the Portland folder with a more specific name and date (Photography 2014 - Portland - Japanese Gardens 19-06-2014).

I don't necessarily name every photo (something to work on in the future!). I then import the new folder into Lightroom for post editing.

Photo's that I export post editing out of Lightroom go into specified folders (To see behind walls, Cider Summit, London etc), and will also be copied onto an external hard drive.

My smartphone photo's get sorted a little differently. I usually upload my photo's to Dropbox where they can be easily shared and accessed between all my devices. I also import all my smartphone photos onto my computer hard drive and sort them by date and location too.

Dropbox is a free service for securely storing and sharing photo's, videos and documents online. The Dropbox app means you can access the service on any device. I find Dropbox most useful when I want to quickly access photo's from my phone (Android) on my iPad, or when I want to share photo's and documents without having to email or use a USB.

Kyle and I used a shared folder in Dropbox for a lot of our wedding planning and it made the whole process a lot easier. I highly recommend using this free service.

Here's what I do when I have photos to organize

DSLR photos

  1. Create a new sub folder in Photography 2014 in current location folder
  2. Import photo's into sub-folder named by location and date of photos
  3. Save a copy of the new folder onto external hard drive (Photography 2014)
  4. Import the photo's into Lightroom
  5. Edit and delete unwanted photos in lightroom
  6. Export edited photos once complete into a new sub-folder under Lightroom Exports
  7. Delete photo's from camera

Smartphone photos

Usually same process as above but with the different camera apps I use I have a few different folders under Samsung Photos 2014.

I'm not as strict with my phone camera organisation as I am with my DSLR and will usually import photos every few days to my hard drive.

All my photos get automatically uploaded to dropbox when I am connected to wifi and I sort them once saved to my computer hard drive. Dropbox has limited free storage so I routinely move these to my computer hard drive.

Smartphone photos I use on my blog get imported to Lightroom for editing.

Remember to delete photos off your phone so they don't take up too much space.

Just a small amount of organisation makes it so much easier to keep track of all of your hard work. Don't be lazy like I used to be. Sort your photos before they get out of hand or you lose them!

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