Organizing your Digital Photos

Hey all! This post is about photo organization! If you’re here just to see my work … you’ll have better luck following this link here. 🙂

Let’s face it. We live in a digital world. We take pictures all day long. But at the end of the day, how do you deal with all of that media?

I’ve been taking pictures constantly since I was a teenager. And, believe it or not, I got my first digital camera when I was in high school (about 20 years ago). Back then my camera took HORRIBLE 400×600 photos. The quality was horrific. But it was digital and it was revolutionary and I brought that camera with me everywhere. The pictures weren’t even worth printing larger than 2×2. I paid over $300 for that thing!

But my point is that I’ve been needing to organize my digital photos for many many years. Five years from now I want to be able to find a certain set of photos without taking hours of digging through files that all follow the same naming format of DSC_####.jpeg. I’ve gone through a handful of methods over the years but for the past 10 years at least I’ve followed this one format and it works perfectly for me.

My non-professional file names ALWAYS start with the date. If I were to take a photo today I would name it June0217xxxxx.jpg. That xxxxx part is dependent upon the photo. If I take an entire series of, for example, my kids playing on the trampoline and there are 20 some photos then it would be June0217trampoline01.jpg (and of course the 01 at the end is incrementing). If it were just a single photo of one of my kids it would be June0217elle01.jpg.

This way when I go to find an old photo (which happens more often than you might think) all I have to do is remember what month it was. And sometimes I suck at that. But I can usually narrow it down to a few possible months (sometime in the summer!) and skim through just those three months. Or I can say “we were playing on the trampoline” and just do searches for the word “trampoline.” This system works flawlessly for me.

So if any of you were struggling with this, I hope this helped you out!