Photo Organization 101 {For Creative Bloggers} #3 + #4

We're getting organized! If you are just tuning in, check out Part 1 + Part 2 

PART #3: Setting up computer folders ["file" = "photo"]

Let's start small. Let's organize 2011 and 2012. Start with the most current stuff, so you won't get bogged down looking at shots of your cat as a kitten. And you'll be organized moving forward, not getting further behind!

a. Inside the Photos folder, create folders named 2011 Photos + 2012 Photos + WIP + Exports

WIP = work in process
Exports = files you edit/compress for blog/flickr/ning, etc.

b. Inside 2011 Photos, create folders 2011 Art + 1Q11 + 2Q11 + 3Q11 + 4Q11 {or whatever chronological groupings you wish}.  

c. Inside 2012 Photos, create folders 2012 Art + 1Q12 + 2Q12 + 3Q12 + 4Q12.

d. Move photos to their SHINY new folders. 

PART #4: Naming photos and using folders

a. Upload photos from your camera. When you transfer, direct the upload to your WIP folder. 

b. Name the files. When I upload to the computer, I start the name with the date the photo was taken (notthe upload date) in 2 digit year-month-date format. Photos taken on January 23, 2012 would have 120123 at the beginning of the file name. The beauty in this name is that the photo date is sortable by file name. For 2005 you would use 050122 at the beginning.

c. Pare quickly.  Upload, name the file, delete the cruddy photos and keep the best of the duplicate shots. I review art-related photos visually - looking at a large icon of the photo - instead of by file name, so I don't worry about individual file names. A file might be called 120111tammy.jpg or 120123junk.jpg.

This dialogue box pops in Adobe Bridge when you put your memory card in the drive.


If you had asked me this a few years ago I would have said DEFINITELY tag photos. But when my PC died in 2009 it took my ancient {discontinued} photo software with it and the hard-earned tags were not recognized by any other software. Tagging is adorable when you can sort out all "susie" + "birthday" photos for the past 7 years but that must be weighed against the time it takes to tag with every.relevant.tag.

A little tidbit from Carlene [blogs at Taylor Maide]: "My system of downloading my digital photos to my laptop into a file labeled with the year and month has worked pretty well. I then pulled out the art photos into their own file for my artwork and put them into sub files by category like art journal pages, backgrounds, collage fodder, etc. I left photos in the general file of "my artwork" until I had used them on the blog and then I tucked them away into the appropriate sub file. I was able to find this easily. I started using tags recently instead of the previous file sub categories. That is helpful because I can apply more than one label, instead being able to find it under art journal, NaNoJoMo and houses. I know I want to start editing the file name as well. I need suggestions on how to best rename them. I think what's hanging me up is the transition from computer file structure to online set up."

Read the rest of the series! Part #1Part #2Part #3 & Part #4Part #5 and Tips on Photographing Your Art.