I have a gazzillion photos on my computer, and would love to organize them or store them elsewhere. I have boatloads of cds and USB sticks too. I use picassa for editing, and one thing I do not like is how I end up with lots of folders, sometimes with the same pics. Any advice on how to quickly or easily organize? Thanks for any help!
My original files are in folders by year then date or event. My edits are in a separate folder that's organized the same way inside. I don't save all of my edits, only the ones I plan to upload or ones that I do more than just RAW processing to (which isn't that many.)
I use Lightroom for image management and I do not include my edited folders in the library.
Ive been changing my methods over the years, but this is what I currently do.
I have the main folder, and inside that I have years, and inside each year folder I have months. And inside each month folder I have each portrait or event.
An example would be:
d:\photography\20121\2012 -01-12 Smiths Senior Portrait.
Then inside that folder I have 4 folders.
1 - raw files
2 - resized jpgs
3 - selected by Gerry
4 - selected by Customer
I shoot raw + jpg, so after I move the pictures to the harddrive off of the sd card I run a photoshop action to resize all the jpgs to 1200 pixels on the long side, this makes it easier to view them on the computer with the customer, and it rotates all the vertical pictures for me, for some reason windows picture viewer doesnt realize they are vertical, but photoshop does.
I then move the selected raw pictures to either my folder or the customer folder to work on. In the "03 - selected by gerry" and "04 - selected by customer" I have a few more sub folders.
1 - adjusted raw
2 - processed
3 - used jpgs
I convert the raw files to jpg after I corrected the color and exposure if needed, and move the raw files to the 01 folder. then after I edit the converted jpg in photoshop, I save the layered tiff to 02 and move the used jpg to 03.
03 can be erased since they are used, but for now I keep them.
Then in the "02 - procesed" folder, Ill create another folder "for web" where Ill store the resized and watermarked/copyright info'ed" pictures.
This method has been working for a while now. I use to keep edited pictures in another folder but then it got to hard to find something.
I also back up these pictures on 3 external harddrives. I just copy and paste the folders and it will skip the files I already have and move over the new files.
I have lightroom but im still learning how to use it and I dont really like having to import pictures to view them, I wish it just had a directory view instead.
* I save as layered tiff so I can see the pictures in windows folders, my psd's dont show what the picture is of. I think theres something I can install in windows to do this, but tiffs works for me and there doesnt seem to be a difference in file size. there might be a difference in color space but im not sure.
the flagging and rating in lightroom is only good for simple selections though. I also create subfolders for storyboards, albums, accordion albums, etc, when im doing a picture viewing and pictures can be used for multiple things. Im not sure how I would do that with a flag or rating system.
id love to skip writing down the picture numbers they like on a piece of paper, and then manually selecting the files and moving them to a sub folder to be narrowed down once again for each use. It would save time, but on the other hand its good to have a backup copy. My luck lightroom would "forget" the selections on a large and important order.
You can make the flagging as complicated or as simple as you need. Combined with metadata tagging it can get very detailed. You can pull a certain group for anything you want to do in LR. But it does take time to figure out the best way for it to fit into your workflow. And you do have to backup that library so you don't loose it.
Thanks for the advice. I have LR but I almost never use it, but I have been figuring stuff out here and there. I can see how it would be great for doing a picture viewing on a projector with its 2nd monitor feature.
I am new and saw your post about photo organizing since about 2004 I have used snapfish.com to store all my photos. Even old ones I have scanned in. I still have a lot to go. You can send them directly from your cell phone and some cameras too. They have basic crop and you can add borders and captions make books and lots of stuff. I send them and then you can pick up at Wal Mart Wallgreens and other places or have them mailed to you.You can share albums with other family members and if they want to order prints can do so. It makes me feel good knowing my photos are safe even if I lost hard copies. Also I store all my old negatives in a fire proof box. I hope this helps. Debbie