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Photo Organization 101 {For Creative Bloggers} #1

“Looking foolish does the spirit good.
The need not to look foolish
is one of youth's many burdens;
as we get older we are exempted
from more and more.”
John Updike

Organizing digital photos can be overwhelming, but not if you set up a user-friendly organizaing system!


My plan is for this series to last all week, with lots of discussion and input from you guys in the comments section! I would love, love, love if you would follow along and start {just start} organizing your photos this week - so that you can ask questions as you get to a decision point. Or at least get on the right path so that you know what the next step will be. I'm not an expert, I'm just a blogger that takes a lot of photos.

{{{{I challenge you to DOODLE your photographic work flow.}}}}


PART #1: The editing /blogging/ backup process

The first step is to figure out your process. Step back and think about the way that you work with your photographs. Or the way you "want" to work with them! The pros call this "work flow" by the way. If you figure out how you want to do things, the organization method (the way you'll set up the folders on your computer) will be easier to decide.

Throughout the series, I've scattered B&W photos my uncle took in the late 1930s + 35mm family slides.

Here's my basic process...

  1. Shoot photos in RAW format.
  2. Upload to a work-in-process folder. 
  3. In Adobe Bridge, look thru the shots I've uploaded and pare down unneeded shots. Bridge is the software I use to organize photos. More on software later this week.
  4. Select a bunch of shots to edit for Daisy Yellow.
  5. In Photoshop CS4, edit, straighten, crop, watermark, compress for the blog and flickr.
  6. Save the compressed files in a separate "export" folder to find easily for uploading to blog/flickr. 
  7. Save edited versions (not the compressed version) in jpg format.
  8. Upload compressed photos to Daisy Yellow and Flickr.
  9. Move edited versions and RAW files (if I am keeping them) to their appropriate folders. More on the folder structure tomorrow.
  10. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Ad infinitim. 


TIP: When you compress your files for your blog, save them all in the same width. That way you don't have to resize when you upload for a blog post.

So it's your turn to talk about your work flow. Even if it's haphazard, there is a process you follow some of the time. After you take the shot, and upload to your computer... what happens? Or do 1,237 photos reside on your memory card? How do you get from THE SHOT to THE BLOG? Tell me, tell me! 

I challenge you to DOODLE the steps from taking the shot to blogging the shot. The more ridiculous the better. Doodle the reality or doodle in jest. It can look like a process flowchart or a sketch of each step. Let's see what you've got. So the next step is for you to figure out what "work flow" process you would like to use.

Go to Part #2, Part #3 & Part #4, Part #5 and Tips on Photographing Your Art.

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Reader Comments (4)

I posted my flow chart and now I'm off to research compressing photos. And Adobe Bridge.

{Tammy}: Carlene, Adobe Bridge comes with Photoshop, by the way. Loved your flow chart, and I hope it provoked a lot of thought about the process.

You lost me at 'organization.' ;) I love this idea, though. You're wonderfully generous.

{Tammy}: Mandy, I laughed out loud at your comment - it totally sums up what many are thinking. While my computer is super organized my house falls at the other end of the spectrum!

01.30.2012 | Unregistered Commentermandythompson

photos are a pain in the butt! hehe. I usually just leave them in my main folder and when I "use" them, either put them in my "photos" folder or delete them if they're just blog pics. I dont even title them... wow, never really thought about ORGANIZING them! Rofl.

{Tammy}: Melissa, I think it really depends on how you value the photos, and your intentions with them. So yes, for many they are trivial bits, and for others very important.

01.31.2012 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

Hi Tammy, I am intrigued by your process. I use a macbook and not very organised as far as my photos are concerned! I upload my photos when I have taken them and they get housed in the 'last import' folder. Generally I use them straight from there and just 'choose' them in blogger from my folder, no resizing required and I don't have photoshop so it's as they come. Iphoto is lovely in that there are folders with a photo on the front and from there you can slide over and see all the photos in that folder. It's a bit of a test if you haven't entitled the folder (I often forget) as you have to remember where it might be and what with. I'd love to organise them differently and perhaps have some sort of cross referencing system in due course. Thanks for giving us your wisdom on all of this.

{Tammy}: I also work on a macbook and do all of my editing there - I have used Aperture and iPhoto as well. I do love visually scanning through stuff by just looking at the photo icon. It's the same in Bridge, you can see the icons or the names, as desired. You can set up your upload so that it goes to a particular folder. I have my uploads going to my work-in-process folder so that's always where I'll find the stuff I haven't filed/edited. I will share the saga of my tagging photos later this week and ultimately I tag very few. You can actually use Google Picasa for Mac as well, a freebie, and easy to use for brightening dark photos and straightening, resizing, etc.

01.31.2012 | Unregistered Commentersheila

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