Thursday Pic Tip: How to organize your photos in your computer | Orange County Natural Light Photographer

We are now into the first couple weeks of the year and if your New Year’s resolution included organizing some parts of your home, you should also consider some organization in your computers, specifically your Photos folder.  Taken right out of the take-home workbook for my Oh Snap! Workshops, is a suggestion on how to organize your photos after you have imported them from your camera.  (You have imported your Christmas photos from your camera, right?  If you haven’t, yikes!  You should probably do that now…don’t worry, I am happy to wait.)

Okay…now that you’ve imported the photos to your computer, did you happen to see what folder you were putting them in?  This is generally where we make our first mistake.  In the past, I assumed they went straight to my Photos folder because it knows, right?  Unfortunately, unless you’ve assigned it there in the first place, it may not go there automatically.  So it’s best to be aware of where these photos are going.  Labeling is key.  In fact, there is no such thing as over-labeling photos.  For me, it helps to search for photos quickly and easily.

The steps and photo below shows how my actual personal photo library is organized as I import them.

  1. Assign where you’d like to store your photos.  As shown below, mine are stored in “Macintosh HD.”  For you, it may be the name of your computer or external hard drive.
  2. Find and open your Photos or Pictures folder.
  3. In Photos, create a new folder and name it a year.   2011 is what I have listed first and continues to 2014.
  4. In Year, create another new folder naming it a month.  Take note that I have included the month number to the name as in “001 January.”  This helps keep the months in alphabetical order.
  5. Then, in Month, name the folder as the event as you would remember it.  Nothing fancy, but be specific.  One of mine is named “Tahoe-Northstar Resort.”
  6. Finally, as I have it labeled as “Day 1,” you can go even further by naming the day it is during the visit, the name of the stop on a road trip, etc.

I know this seems like a tedious project of naming files and then burying them under several folders, but if you get in the habit of labeling your photos when importing, you’ll be able to get back to those memories much quicker and easier.

I hope this helps!  If you have another great way of organizing your photo files, please share them in the comments below.  This may not be the best way, so I’d love new ideas and suggestions to share.

TPT: Organizing

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