I will preach from my soapbox for the rest of my life to print your pictures. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still love my digitals. Because, lets face it, I don’t print every single image. (Although I do a pretty good job at getting close to it!) Digitals are just as important to have, but only if you can access them. Have you ever thought, “I’m good, my pictures are on this computer,” or “on this phone” and then something happens and you need a picture for a school project and you can’t find it? Or worse, it accidentally gets deleted?
Organization is KEY to actually being able to go through and use your digitals.
For those of you who don’t know, or may be new around here, I have taken a picture a day since 2011. I have just over a decade of DAILY photos documenting my life. It’s like the ultimate journal and I’m ridiculously proud of it. But that is A LOT of pictures. In order to actually see them I needed to develop a system to keep track of them all.
The first thing I did was get ALL of my pictures in ONE PLACE.
We’re talking pictures from my camera, my cell phone, my point and shoot, GoPro, etc. Getting them all into one place is critical. And I didn’t want them all on my computer, hello “startup disk is full!” Plus, if anything were to happen to that computer, I’d be sunk. So what’s my solution: External Hard drives.
Once I decided on external hard drives I also directed all of my importing pictures to be saved there, and not on my computer (hello space!) So when I’m editing in Lightroom or Photoshop I’m actually working off of my external hard drive and my computer is essentially just there so I can see what I’m doing.
Now that my pictures are all funneling to the same place, it’s time to organize. For me, folders are my friends. I have a year folder, (example: 2021) and within that year folder it is broken down to months. Because I typically take more than one picture a day, each month folder is full of folders - one for each day of the month. Think of it as your giant pyramid scheme with each piece downstream holding a more than the one above it. And if you’re lucky, you can make it Diamond Status! Joking! Ha! But for your viewing pleasure, enjoy a quickly drawn diorama of what I’m talking about - and ignore the fact that my folders start progressively looking like Oregon the further on I go.
Now I can easily find whatever I’m looking for - especially if I know the exact date, I’m golden. But I don’t stop there. Remember how I’m paranoid of loosing all my digitals? From there I BACK UP EVERYTHING. The internet is a wonderful tool and technology is amazing. I have two forms of backups; my galleries and any pictures that make it onto a blog, instagram post, website, client download, etc are all backed up on my website module. I realize most people don’t have that as an option, which leads me to my second backup; Backblaze.
Backblaze is a wonderful service where you can plug in your external hard drive(s) and it backs it all up to their servers. It’s essentially “the cloud” - but with much higher storage options. it also auto backs it up - basically it’s like a giant Time Machine (constantly backing up your computer if you ever need to switch computers or upgrade) It’s awesome.
So to make a long story short; Get all your pictures in one place, organize them in folders regarding date (year, month, day) and BACK UP EVERYTHING. TWICE.
Hopefully this is helpful to you, if anything just making sure your phone photos are combined with any real camera photos so you don’t lose anything or forget about them. Thanks for reading!