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How To Document/Organize Your Summer Misadventures

by Chris Gampat on 07/08/2010

It’s been summer for a little bit now. You’ve most likely gone on some wild and crazy misadventures and taken your camera along with you. To keep the memories in tact and easy to get to, there are a couple of things that you could do. Here are some tips to document and organize your summer misadventures and keep them easily accessible.

Folders, Folders, Folders

Have a Photography Folder

This is absolutely essential. If you’re a PC user, you can use My Pictures. If you’re a Mac user, you can use Pictures. If you want to set it up in your own personalized and custom way, you can setup a folder called Photography the way that I do. Each time I shoot, I create folders on my desktop. When all editing/publishing of these photos and the projects are over, the folders are moved to my Photography folder. That way it keeps all of my photos in one place.

I don’t even let Lightroom do it all by itself.

Name Your Folders Based On What Was Shot

This is probably the most important thing you can do. For those of you that know what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is, think of it that way. So naming your folders with names that you will remember will work the best. For example, when I went out to Montauk earlier this summer, I shot many photos. I called the folder, “Trip on Montauk.” That folder was created within my Canon T2i folder because it was when I was reviewing that camera. When the review and project were over, the Canon T2i folder was moved to my Photography folder. So the heirarchy looked like this.

Document > Photography > Canon T2i > Trip to Montauk > RAW Image Files

For the edited images, the hierarchy looked like this.

Document > Photography > Canon T2i > Trip to Montauk > Trip to Montauk edited

Which brings us to my next point.

Keep Edited Photos Separate and Well Named

You never want to keep edited and unedited photos in the same folder. This will be a nightmare in terms of separation and searching for the photos you want when you put them all in one folder. Further, you also want to name your edited images differently. So while my 5D Mk II will call my images something weird like insertnamehere.cr2 my complete and edited JPEGs will be called something like Chris Gampat Canon 5D Mk II Trip to Montauk Lighthouse 1 of 17. The reason for this is because when I need an image of a lighthouse quickly, I can easily do a universal search on my computer and find it.

The other alternative is modifying the EXIF data to have these search terms in them.

Upload Everyday

To keep your memory card clear and keep yourself organized, upload files to your computer everyday you shoot. It will create less of a headache later on vs uploading/naming/editing everything all at once.

On Facebook or Flickr, Create New Albums/Sets For Each Event Shot

Your friends will not hate anything more than having to go through your photo albums just to find one picture of the cute thing that your dog can do when they see how much of a complete mess your photo albums are.

They will probably give up. I don’t blame them.

Have a Memories Folder, Copy Your Favorite Photos Over to It

Note that I stated copy, not move. This is essentially your Favorites folder on your computer. The pictures that are your absolute favorites should be copied here for even quicker access.

Back Up Your Photos Online and on Hard Drives

This should go without saying, but losing all your photos and work can be devastating to you, your friends and family.

How do you organize your photos?

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