How do your organize your photos?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by slackercruster, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. slackercruster

    slackercruster Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 18, 2012
    NE US
    How do your organize your photos?
  2. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    I ordered the video "where in the $#%^ are my pictures"

    Luminous Landscape has a good set of videos on how to use LR for cataloging your images. I had to look after someone wanted three of my images, and I while I could find two of them right away, it took a while to come up with that third one. So I went on line to locate a good DAM (digital access management) system. I hadn't used LR before, but after looking at the videos bought LR3. It worked, but it took me doing a lot of work to get my files in order. First I had to rename all my files (you might not need to but I needed to bring order to my files) and that took 3 weeks working 6 to 8 hours a day going through my files and renaming them. I also had to add keywords to my images, which once you get into the habit is really very easy, as you can do whole sets of images at once.

    When I import my files, I automaticlly copy my RAW files to an external hard drive. I convert the files to the drive I will be working with as dng files. That way if I ever need to go back to a RAW file I can. I back up my working hard drive to a backup hard drive, and once a month back up my working hard drive to an archival hard drive that is kept on a shelf, not plugged into power and that I take with me when I go on a trip.

    Sounds like a lot of work? Not really once you do the work it takes to set the system up. Why so many hard drives? Watch the video. Horror, story of how the Archival drive saved well over 30,000 files from a power surge (they are not sure just what the cause was). It changed all the passwords, and Apple wasn't able to get into the system to get back the files, but the archive saved the library.

    Images for books, magazines and calendars | photosbypike
  3. Pennington

    Pennington Mu-43 Regular

    I have both a file structure/system and a backup schedule.

    I load my files into Bridge, naming the folder with the date and subject: YYMMDD_Subject. So it might be something like 120728_ClientName. Then each of my final TIFF files in the folder have the same name, with a two-digital number added to the end. (Bridge does file renaming very easily in batches.)

    I don't keep all my RAW files, only those that I think I might really want to go back to someday. For client shoots, that may be the RAWs to all the final images; for my own stuff, it may only be a couple of them. They sit inside the shoot folder in a sub-folder just called "RAWs."

    I keyword all my photos in Bridge, with the location of the shoot, the type of shoot, the client/model if applicable, and some general keywords. I also put a written description into the IPTC data with all the details, names, etc. (Both keywords and descriptions are searchable in Bridge.)

    Then I backup my files to two separate external harddrives. One sits at my workstation and the other is locked away. I make sure to bring them both up to date a couple of times a month if it's just my own work, and immediately if it's client work.

    On the external HDs, I have a couple of backup folders, but Photographs is by far the biggest. Inside it, there's a folder for each year (2009, 2010, 2011, etc) and then all the individual shoot folders go in there. Because I have them named with the date in the YYMMDD format, they are automatically listed in order from Jan-Dec within each year. So I can easily find things that way.

    Or I can hook up the external HD and navigate to either the Photographs folder or a specific year's folder in Bridge and use the search function to find individual files by date, keywords, or elements of the description.

    So long as I keep up with it - do the keywording as soon as I'm done editing a shoot and then back them up - it doesn't get out of control and become time consuming or worrisome. I've refined it to this method over the years and it works well for me and I'm able to find anything I'm looking for very quickly.