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Photography Tip #6- File Organization and Storing

Hello there fellow lovers of photography!!

Today I will be talking about organizing and storing your photos. It’s probably going to get a little boring, but bear with me. This is important and you will be so glad you did this from the beginning! This will make finding your photos so much easier and ensure they don’t get lost by device failure.
Now that you are getting your photos off your camera and onto your computer, and you are an expert on types of files for saving, (RAW, jpg, tif), you will need to decide how you would like to organize them and store them, so they are easily accessible and safe.
There are many ways that you can organize your files (photos) and everyone is different. One important thing though, that I mentioned in the previous tip, is you should always save your RAW original files. God forbid you’ve manipulated your original file and don’t like it and now you don’t have an original to work from. It’s sometimes hard to recreate a photo that you’ve done that had all the right elements at the time. (ie- the best sunlight in just the right place, or the best moment that wont ever happen again!) Personally, I have a file dedicated to RAW images. I just name it RAW. Then under that, I have sub-folders that are named according to type of photo. For example, I have Animals,Architecture, Beach, Nature, ect. And under those I have even more sub-folders that are named more specifically, for instance, under Animals, I have cats, dogs, and volunteer where I hold all of my photos from the shelter. These are all organized RAW files. Then from there I can import them into whatever photo editing software that I choose. So when I work on a photo and I am finished, I save it out to a file that is under jpg, and a file that is tif. So now I have the RAW image in the specific RAW file, and my manipulated “finished” image in the jpg file and tif file accordingly. So just as the RAW file has an Animal , Architecture, Nature , ect file(s) so does jpg and tif. So in my hard drive I will have a file labeled ‘RAW’ and a file labeled ‘Processed’. Under the processed file I have sub-files labeled jpg and tif. And under those are the more specific categories of what I shoot (animals, beach, nature, ect.) So when I save out I always save a jpg and a tif. As I explained in the previous tip the importance of having all 3. Also, when I upload my images from my camera to my hard drive, I then name my photos. Or I name them once I have manipulated them and saved them out. The image I created above this post, is an example of what my file system looks like that I explained. Hope this helps!
The other most important thing is keeping your photos safe. I use 2 external hard drives to store my photos. I have one that I use all the time and the other is for back up. You must back up your files on a regular basis. This is so when(not if, because it will) your hard drive does fail, you still have copies safe and sound on your other hard drive. Having an external hard drive is good because you can get ones that hold a ton of data, and they are more reliable that the ones on your computer. Another good idea is to keep your hard drives in separate places. So for example, you have a hard drive at home and you have a house fire, your other hard drive is safe and sound say at your studio or in your car.

So sorry to bore you to death this week, but these are very important items to discuss and that you will want to make sure you are doing. Thanks for reading! And as always I welcome your comments and questions!!

Lynette

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