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Jun 12

Organize Your Digital Photos

Who doesn’t love to take digital photos?  I am a huge fan for one very important reason – I can take as many photos as I want!  My digital native children can’t even grasp the concept and limitations of film … and developing … and the cost … and the wait … and the disappointment at times when you finally see your photos and you didn’t get the perfect shot you hoped for.

Gone are those days, and now we snap away and instantly see the results. I can easily take over a hundred photos at a big event.  I <3 my digital camera (these days my iPad :-D).  But there is a downside to a happy camera trigger finger.  Very quickly I can be overwhelmed managing the sheer volume of photos.

Here’s my simple solution to digital photo organization woes.  Store your images in a directory structure named by date.  At the beginning of each new year, I make a new directory in my Pictures Library with the year as the name.

In that year’s directory I make 12 subdirectories named for each of the months of in the year.  To force them to be sorted in correct month order I start with a two-digit number for the month – 01, 02, etc.  I then spell out the month name because when I dig through my directories, my mind responds more quickly to the name of the month than to the digits representing the month.

Then as I take photos, I make a directory for each photo event in the appropriate month.  These directories I name with the two-digit date of the event and a short description.

When I want to find photos I can almost always remember at a minimum the month or season in which the photos were taken, and I typically can quickly locate the desired images.

How do you organize your photos?

This post is a part of the Summer 2011 WELS Hacker series on the WELSTech Podcast.


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2 comments

1 ping

  1. Philip wels

    Being unhappy with Apple’s iPhoto, I actually wrote a program to help me sort and organize my photos.

    The program I wrote will show me the photos in a folder, one at a time. I then quickly then give it a folder, subfolder (optional) and a file name. It renames the file and places it in the right folder.

    The event/place folder structure is a bit hard to explain, but each file gets renamed from it’s original IMG_1000.JPG and typically contains enough information to let me search for it.

    If I need to search by date the file metadata usually is sufficient.

  2. David

    I guess I’m late in viewing this post, but am wondering if this is still your system.

    My iPhoto library got corrupted because I didn’t empty my recycle bin much (if at all) over a year ago. I had over 1500 events and 50k of pictures crammed into one library from the time I started taking digital pictures. It nearly caused me a stroke when the program crashed every time I tried to empty the recycle bin. I discovered iPhoto Library Manager – https://store.fatcatsoftware.com/ – and now my photos are more organized with their own libraries for different categories.

  1. WELSTech » Blog Archive » 188 – WELS Hacker: Photos and RSS

    […] Organize your Digital Photos […]

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