If you’re like me, your phone is probably filled with photos. And if you’re anything like me, those photos are probably poorly organized and not sorted into any kind of order. But organizing your photos isn’t just about getting rid of the bad ones—it’s also about making sure the good ones are safe and easily available so that you can use them as often as possible. In this post, I will share with you my top tips for maintaining an organized photo library so that you never have to waste time searching through thousands of images trying to find one perfect shot ever again!
CATEGORIZE AT THE TIME OF UPLOAD:
The first step to organizing your photos is to categorize them at the time of upload. By doing this, you can choose from among several different methods for organizing your photos by date, location and subject.
If you choose the “Date” option, Lightroom will organize all of your images in order by when they were taken or edited. This is a great way to keep track of what was happening on any given day—you can see where you were traveling in a particular month or how busy your weekend was with family gatherings or other events. If there are specific events that took place over a longer period of time (such as birthdays), then consider using “Location” instead so that all related images will appear together on one screen when viewing them later on.
You can skip having to sort through a bunch of garbage photos if you decide to only download the ones you like in the first place.
You can skip having to sort through a bunch of garbage photos if you decide to only download the ones you like in the first place. If your camera is capable of taking multiple pictures at once, shoot at least two or three frames per shot and then edit them later on. If your phone has a burst mode, use that! You don’t want to be trying to pick out one good picture out of ten bad ones when you’re supposed to be doing something else.
You’ll also save time by not keeping photos that are just okay and not worth keeping forever—it’s better just to delete those after downloading them onto your computer. If there’s nothing special about them (like they have bad lighting or focus), then deleting them will free up space for more important stuff like cat videos, food porn and other important things.
NAME YOUR FILES BY DATE:
One of the most important steps to organizing your photos is to name them properly. It’s easy to just call it “file_1” or “photo_001,” but that won’t help you later if you want to look back on a certain moment in time. Instead, use the date as part of the image name—for example, “2018-04-01 at 12:00 PM (1).JPG.” You could also go with something like this: 2018-04-01 at 12:00 PM (1a).JPG and 2018-04-01 at 12:00 PM (1b).JPG so that you have an easy way of identifying which set belongs with each other if they need to be separated later on due to storage limitations or other reasons for separation!
The process may seem tedious now, but it’ll make your life much easier once all those memories have been captured!
Save yourself from having to sift through tons of files looking at dates by naming your files alphabetically.
If you’re like most people, the last thing you want to do is sift through files. So why not save yourself that trouble by naming your photos in a way that makes them easy for you to find?
Here are some tips for naming files so that they’re easy and quick to locate:
- Use a date format that makes sense — don’t just use the default “DSC_0001” name; instead, try something like “2018-04-11_KingsParkNYE_001.jpg.” This way, if someone asks what happened on April 11th of 2018, you can quickly tell them without having to look at each file individually. If this sounds confusing or daunting at first glance, don’t worry! The same principle applies when it comes time for editing (see tip #3 below).
- Avoid using punctuation in file names; there’s no need for periods or commas because storing the date will take up enough space as it is!
- Name events after locations and dates; this way if someone asks where and when an event took place (such as “What was my favorite trip ever?”), all they have to do is look up its corresponding entry on Google Calendar/iCalendar/Outlook where they’ll see both dates listed together with location details included beneath them if necessary (e.,g., “Bali trip”).
WATERMARK YOUR PHOTOS TO PROTECT YOUR WORK:
Want to protect your work? Watermarking is an easy and effective way to do it.
- Watermarking makes it easier for people to find your photos, especially if they’re on social media. Instead of scrolling through a list of random images or having to read a lot of text, viewers can quickly identify which photo belongs to you just by looking at the watermark—it’s basically like a visual business card.
- You can use Photoshop or Picmonkey (or any other program) for free if you don’t have professional software. If you’ve already purchased this kind of software but aren’t sure how to use it yet, no problem—there are plenty of tutorials online!
Add a watermark to each image that has your name, the date it was taken, and any other relevant details.
To add a watermark to each image that has your name, the date it was taken, and any other relevant details:
- Open the image you want to watermark in Photoshop.
- Go to File > Save As (or press Command/Ctrl + Shift + S).
- In the ‘Save’ dialogue box that pops up, choose where you want to save this version of your photo. Give it a name and click Save.
- Open up your original file again (the one you first opened in Photoshop). Press Command/Ctrl + J (or go to Edit > Copy Merged if you’re using Windows) to copy all visible layers into a new layer on top of them all. This will be your new layer for adding your text or logo as well as any other effects or edits before saving it out again as its own separate file with its own name!
BACKUP YOUR PHOTOS ONLINE AND OFFLINE JUST IN CASE:
You should backup your photos online, and also offline. This is because sometimes things happen to our computers or hard drives. If you only have one copy of the pictures on your computer, then your hard drive could fail at any time. The good news is that there are a ton of ways to backup your photos and they are all pretty easy to use!
Here’s some tips:
- Use an online service like Backblaze or Crashplan which will automatically back up all of your files for free (or a reasonable amount).
- Don’t use CDs or DVDs anymore because they won’t hold as much as digital files do now days – unless you want it printed out on paper 🙂
The last thing you want is for something bad to happen to your phone or computer and realize you haven’t backed up all of your photos!
The last thing you want is for something bad to happen to your phone or computer and realize you haven’t backed up all of your photos! Backing up your photos is important, so that if one device fails, you aren’t left with nothing. If your computer gets stolen or breaks down, having a backup on an external hard drive means that all of those precious memories are safe and sound. If someone steals your phone, all it takes is another phone to access the same files on Dropbox or Google Photos. Or maybe they accidentally delete them while trying to edit their selfies…you get the picture!
Backing up files in this way also saves them from being lost in a flood or fire; if those things happen, there will still be copies of those memories somewhere else (hopefully).
NEVER KEEP CRAPPY IMAGES TO “FIX LATER” IF YOU DON’T PLAN ON IT:
I come across so many photos in my work as a photography producer that are just bad. They’re blurry, over- or underexposed, have bad lighting, the composition is off and much more. Many of these images aren’t even worth fixing as they simply do not get used. So why am I wasting time on them?
The solution is simple: if you don’t plan on fixing an image or making it work somehow, then delete it and move on to other things. If there are a few photos that you want to keep but don’t currently fit into your workflow (or lack thereof), put them into an album called “fix later” and make sure that when you go back through your library there are only two types of albums — those for current projects and those for future ones (the fix later folder).
Let go of all the photos that didn’t get right in camera, but save a few if there are unique ones (like wedding photos) that have sentimental value but may not be perfect.
When it comes to organizing your photo library, you should let go of all the photos that didn’t get right in camera. Then keep a few if there are unique ones (like wedding photos or portraits) that have sentimental value but may not be perfect. Don’t keep crappy images to “fix later” if you don’t plan on it!
Organizing your photos is a huge pain, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these simple tips, you can save yourself hours of wasted time and frustration.