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Organizing photos - what's your method?

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  #1  
Old 11-12-2006, 10:35 AM
Airdale Airdale is offline
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Organizing photos - what's your method?

I am now reaching a point where my haphasard organization of photos is giving me a headache. Looking at "my family" folder feels like rummaging through a garage. How do you guys organize your photos? You come home, stick your memory card into the computer, and then what? Download all images into a new file? Label each photo? Start deleting?

Thanks
Airdale
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:43 AM
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Frank Lopes Frank Lopes is offline
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Re: Organizing photos - what's your method?

There are many well known DAM (digital asset management) packages that you can use.

The best one is I-view Media Pro (http://www.iview-multimedia.com/ purchased by MS not long ago). It is costly (US$199.00) but very powerful. Another option would be ACDSee Photomanager (http://www.acdsee.com/). Reasonable cost (US$39.00) and feature rich. Not as powerful as a DAM but does a better job when it comes to browsing lots of folders

This is my workflow:
Create folder with the date the photos were shot
Copy all that day's photos to the folder
Take the time to catalog/tag the photos by topic or keyword: family, parties, vacations, friends, pets etc.
Delete unwanted photos
I don't rename the files
With very few exceptions, I don't label individual files

Obviously, your topics/keywords will probably be different from mine, but you get the idea. The key is to pick keywords that make sense to you and that will allow you later to search by those terms

I found the hardest part of cataloging photos, is to have the discipline to organize them as soon as I add them to the hard drive.

For customer work, the folder naming scheme that I use is date_phonenumber_firstname_lastname. An example would be something like 11.12.06_123.456.7890_mary.doe

May look convoluted but it allows me to search for a folder using the most important pieces of data associated with that individual: date, phone number and name

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airdale
I am now reaching a point where my haphasard organization of photos is giving me a headache. Looking at "my family" folder feels like rummaging through a garage. How do you guys organize your photos? You come home, stick your memory card into the computer, and then what? Download all images into a new file? Label each photo? Start deleting?

Thanks
Airdale

Last edited by Frank Lopes; 11-12-2006 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 11-12-2006, 11:46 AM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: Organizing photos - what's your method?

I first download to a folder with subject and date (Xmas 2005 or Lake Shots 4_21_05 for example). If the files were shot in Camera Raw, I use Adobe's Convert to DMG to process and off load the images (saves about 1 meg per photo, but no loss of quality). If the images are JPEGS from my point and shoot camera, I imediately run a batch action in Photoshop to convert them to TIFF.

With the processing done, I have a folder called (Burn to Disk) that I copy the new folder(s) of images to and when that folder contains enough stuff, I burn to CD. (This folder gets backed up daily).

I make a label for the CD with inclusive dates (Jan 2005-March 2005) and a directory list the folder names so I can locate folders with a quick glance at the label.

When I need I file, I check the CD(s) and view the folders that may include a shot I need using Adobe Bridge.

I know that optical media (DVD and CD) are vunerable to deterioration, so I've just gotten a large external hard drive and am in the process of copying all the CD folders to it for both backup purposes and quick access by searching that drive for subject names/dates.
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Old 11-12-2006, 01:08 PM
Jerryb Jerryb is offline
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Re: Organizing photos - what's your method?

hi Airdale,
This is the way I manage graphics files on my system.
1. I have a work folder I call aapictures.. and I throw all my graphics files I download into that folder, until I am ready to categorize/transfer them. the reason I call it aapicture is because I can easily find it among my various folders,, it always at the top of the list.. smile...
2. Then i have my master graphic folder with all the subfolders in it...

When I am ready or I need to cleanup or reorganize my graphic/pictures I use a program call graphic workshop pro from alchemymindworks.com.
note: there a program called xnview witch appears to be a clone of gwspro and it free from xnview.com

GWSPRO program, allows me to see thumbnail views, to move and/or copy from folder to another, I can have open more than one folder opened at a time... very useful, plus i can add captions (not on the picture) but to the bottom of the picture... that helps a lot with family pictures where you need to put in additional details..... the program has ton of features... and file management is only part of it... well that the way i do things!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airdale
I am now reaching a point where my haphasard organization of photos is giving me a headache. Looking at "my family" folder feels like rummaging through a garage. How do you guys organize your photos? You come home, stick your memory card into the computer, and then what? Download all images into a new file? Label each photo? Start deleting?

Thanks
Airdale
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2006, 04:14 PM
Derek F Derek F is offline
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Re: Organizing photos - what's your method?

Hello, Airedale.

For what its worth, here's my twopennyworth:

Before an event/shoot I setup a new folder on the desktop of my laptop, with the title containing the place, date and (when known) customer. At every opportunity - coffee break, lunch, call of nature, etc - I download cards to that folder and put the cards in a secure pocket of my camera bag, (You can't have too many cards or batteries!) not using them again until I've checked the folder at the end of the day, burned it to a disk and verified the disk. In that way the original files remain accessible until they are safe.

Viewing and sorting from either the folder or the disk is done via 3D PhotoBrowser by Mootools The beauty of this browser is its ability to create catalogues, albums, keywords and searchable lists, as well as viewing any shot at full size by clicking the thumbnail. The thumbs are sufficiently large for most cases of evaluation, but instant fullsize is a blessing. The browser also displays basic EXIF data.

After that, depending on the timescale (like cards and batteries, there is never too much time), I'll make a basic selection and prepare working copies for detailed attention and submission.

I hope this helps, but I'd wager that no two people follow identical workflow procedures. Its an inexact science and still in its infancy.

Derek F
photoIMAGIN'ation
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Old 11-18-2006, 09:36 AM
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soleah soleah is offline
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Re: Organizing photos - what's your method?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airdale
I am now reaching a point where my haphasard organization of photos is giving me a headache. Looking at "my family" folder feels like rummaging through a garage. How do you guys organize your photos? You come home, stick your memory card into the computer, and then what? Download all images into a new file? Label each photo? Start deleting?

Thanks
Airdale
The photoloader software that comes with my camera takes care of the organization for me. It creates folders by date automatically once I start transferring photos. Then I start deleting unwanted photos. I make copies of some of the photo in another Folder labeled "000 ForPrinting", one for "000 ForEmail" and another one for "000 ForEditing". The "000" would lists these folders on top. I delete the photos in these folders when its done.

No matter what the workflow, the key is to really make the time to organize your photos right away. Don't wait for it to reach unmanageable proportions.

Last edited by soleah; 11-18-2006 at 09:54 AM.
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  #7  
Old 11-18-2006, 10:31 AM
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1STLITE 1STLITE is offline
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Location: Mississippi, USA
Posts: 346
Re: Organizing photos - what's your method?

I should show you a picture of my desk, and you would never believe that I could possibly have organized computer files, but it has worked for me for a couple years now.

I have an external hard drive that I use for storage. I have separate folders for my personal pictures and for clients. My client folders are organized by the clients name and their phone numbers, H before the home number and W before the work number. In that folder are the folders for different jobs, I title the folders by the job name and date. In the job folders I have folders for original shots, edited, orders, etc - just depends on the job to some degree. At the time that I download the files to the computer I create the folder for the client and/or job, save the images there, and back them up to cd or dvd.

NOW - anyone with tips on organizing filing cabinets and the top of my desk, I sure need to hear them!! lol

BTW, Frank, Great system!! I may have to look into that. I rarely search for images based on keywords, though. Can you tell me how you use this feature? Thanks!

Dawn
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