Photographers have a TON of image files to store. Whether they are raw, final or all the in between you need a way to organize! Otherwise we lose something valuable. Here’s how to store image files without losing ANYTHING.
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It’s important to find what works for you, but in my mind this system keeps everything in its place. You can use this, tweak it or reconstruct it all together! For starters I created folders for each year. Within that year each session gets labeled by date and name. That way it’s easy to locate each session by date.
If you’re doing a full session I typically label the mom’s first and last name then the type of session. For example “2022-03-31 Rebecca Rice Family.” Now within the identified folder I have 3 new folders. A Capture, Output and Selects folder. The Capture folder contains the RAW images straight from my SD card. The Selects folder contains the images I bring into Lightroom. Finally, the photos that are edited go into the Output folder!
I always rename the photos inside the Output folder because these are the images the client sees. Rather than them seeing a jumbled mess of numbers and letters I’ll name them “last name-type of session-1” so it would look like this: Rice-Family-1. And you change the number as you add more to the folder.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in organization is consistency. Whether your system is top notch or just a basic setup your consistency is what makes it organized. Don’t add random folders or start labeling things differently. I honestly don’t remember why I named my folders Capture, Output Selects, but I use it for every session so it works! Quite frankly, I think I saw someone else use those terms and I copied their system. Now I’ve used it for years and it simply works! How I Store and Back-Up My RAW + Final Image Files may be just what your business has been needing!
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