There are many articles on the inter-webs on this topic of organizing you photos. I like reading them and then incorporating what will work for my life and home where I can.
I watched an excellent YouTube video by Chase Jarvis “Chase Jarvis TECH: Complete Workflow for Photo and Video” and even gleaned some great tips for my home/family workflow and backing up files.
Of course my stuff is no where near the scale of Chase’s stuff, but I enjoyed watching it.
My photo storing has evolved from the shoebox days to being stored on DVD’s. I use DVD’s (I like DVD-R. It is all I have ever bought). DVD’s hold much more data then a CD.
Like any organizing ideas and tools, it takes time and effort in the beginning, but it pays off down the road.
I bought at the thrift store a large CD music holder. It zips closed, has many, many pages that hold 4 CDs a page and each page is 2 – sided. I also have a smaller, hard case CD holder.
When I take photos, either for a family party or just a couple of days worth around the house, I copy them on to my laptop hard drive. I leave the photos on my camera chip. They will be deleted, but not at the time of copy them to the laptop.
I have folders set-up under “my pictures” for each month. I make 4 empty folders at a time. These photos will go into Nov 2011 for example. At then end of the year I have 12 DVDs minimum.
Next I go through each picture and delete any obvious bad photos. I also get an idea of which photos I really like and will print. Not all the photos I take will be printed, but they will be burned to a DVD. If I have taken video, I watch it and make a mental note of what I want to edit.
I usually am jumping up and down taking care of kids and meals during this time :- }
After my first run through at looking at the photos and videos I make a sub folder in Nov 2011. I name it something like “awesome need to edit”. I again go through the photos and move any pictures I really like and want to edit and print into this folder. I move the videos there too. So far I have not touched any photos in the way of editing. If it is an important event/party I shot, I will burn a DVD of the folder and sub folder now. I use a sharpie to write the month, year and event/party name on it. I put it in the hard case CD holder.
Otherwise, in that sub-folder I begin my editing. I use Adobe Photoshop. Once I have a few simple edits done, I save as a .jpg and re-name the photo. When I re-name the photo, in my mind I know I am done with editing and am ready to send it to Costco for printing. When I see all those photos in the sub-folder, I know which ones I am done with because they have been named. Like I said, I get interrupted while I go through the process. For the mid-editing interruptions, I save the file as a .psd. That way I can come back to it and keep making changes.
Once I have finished the editing completely, even if I have to wait to print, I save all the files (folder and sub-folder) to a DVD again writing on it that these are the edited files of the event or party.
If the photos are home/family pictures, I leave them on my hard drive until the beginning of the new month. I burn all the photos/videos for that month and write on the DVD the month, year and as many descriptions as will fit. These are jog my memory when I am looking for certain photos. I will write things like “trip to bay area” “Amber get braces off”.
After I have finished my editing, even if I have not saved the home/family photos to DVD, I delete that folder from my camera. If they are photos I am worried about losing for some reason, I move them to a flash drive that is just for that purpose. I never let my camera chip get full. I heard it is too easy to lose all the data when it approaches being full. I periodically delete folders from the flash drive, again, never letting it get full.
Once the DVD’s are burned and I am done with everything, I move them it to the big CD zipper case. They are not terrible organized in there. They are roughly by year.
It is a process. It may not work for everyone. Hopefully the ideas will help someone to be more organized with their photos.
Here is my CD holder I keep my photos DVD’s on.