Keeping your digital photos stored and organized.

In this digital age of 2021, do you know where your photos are? If you are like most, you probably don't.

Digital images are such an elegant solution to the old problem of those boxes full of photos we used to see in our parents' and grandparents' closets. The truth of the matter is, we've replaced those piles of scattered prints with unnamed digital folders and likely jumbles of semi-cloud-synced albums from every smartphone we've ever owned and every photo session we've ever had. And let me guess, you told yourself you'd get them organized when you saved them but then the time slips away from you and now you're facing an avalanche of digital files?

It really is so easy to end up with photos saved all over the place - folders all over your computer, cloud storage, external hard drives, or thumb drives. Or what about Dropbox and Google Drive? There are so many ways to save our photos that it's no wonder that we are so unorganized. Organizing all those images can become pretty overwhelming and I don't know about you but when a task just seems overwhelming, I ignore its existence.

As a St. Louis Family Photographer, I implement each of these practices in my business.

I. name your photos

This sounds so easy, right? But have you ever sat down and tries to name every one of your photos before? It's a very daunting task. And honestly, it's not realistic to try and give a unique name to every single photo. There are just too many. Instead, what I do is the photos I take a particular date or event and have it sequence with a number that follows the file name. For example - Smith Family Spring Session-01. And every photo after that would have 02, 03, and so on.

II. use folders and subfolders

When I am first importing my client's photos from my camera, I make sure that I have a main folder that has their last name. Then from there, I create subfolders based on the date of the session. And within those subfolders are more subfolders to better organize through my editing process. This helps me go through and find exactly what I am looking for. This is a practice I firmly believe that my clients should always do. This way when you are looking for a certain photo, you know where to find it.

iii. back up onto an external hard drive

I can't say this enough. Back up, back up, back up. And then back up your back up. Once you lose a photo, it's nearly impossible to get it back. And for moments like birthdays, weddings, births, etc. You can't recreate that moment. So always back up all your photos to multiple places.

form good habits

A way to prevent this from ever happening again is to form good habits when it comes to organization. Good organization is about maintaining an organized workflow when you are uploading or downloading your images. You can go through every image in your collection right now and organize it to your heart's content but if you don't keep up with it then you'll just be back to square one. I would hate for you to lose all those wonderful family memories!