Efficient File Management: A Photographer's Guide to Organization

The organization of digital assets is a fundamental yet often overlooked aspect of photography, crucial for both new and seasoned photographers. A well-organized digital library not only streamlines the workflow but also ensures that valuable images are easily accessible and secure for future use.

Coming to you from Suzannah Mary, this practical video highlights the critical mistake of poor file management that many photographers fall into, sharing her own experience of dealing with a decade's worth of disorganized photography files across multiple hard drives. Mary emphasizes the importance of establishing a robust system for organizing, categorizing, and naming images right from the start. This approach not only saves time but also prevents the headache of sifting through duplicates and near-duplicates in search of specific photos. The video is a wake-up call to photographers at all levels to take immediate action to prevent their work from becoming an unmanageable mess.

Moreover, Mary offers valuable tips on culling unnecessary images directly upon import, thus preserving precious hard drive space for only the most impactful photographs. She stresses the significance of backing up files in multiple locations to avoid data loss and suggests revisiting old images with a fresh perspective, potentially uncovering hidden gems that were overlooked initially. Her advice on integrating a streamlined process into one's workflow, particularly through the use of Lightroom catalogs, is essential for maintaining order and efficiency in managing a growing collection of digital images. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Mary.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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A seemingly very nice young lady with a great message, "get your photos organized". The main thing I agree with her on is to get your pictures off of many different hard drives and onto one. I currently have my entire 45TBs of photos saved on a Synology 1821+. The one thing I disagree with is the system she uses to organize her pictures. I used Lightroom for several years but had to move on once I hit the 500,000 image mark. LR just couldn't handle that many photos, even though I was running it on a very large Mac Pro with 32GB of RAM. I was told by Adobe that I needed to break my library into multiple catalogs, something similar to what this young lady suggested. I didn't want to do that and went looking for something better. Today, I use Mylio Photos+, which hosts my entire 1.5 Million image library, all in one catalog that spans six different devices. I have my entire 1.5 Million image library on my iPhone, iPad, iMac, Mac Mini, my office manager's iMac, and my wife's Macbook Air. Not all originals, of course, but I can call any original down from my iMac or Mac Mini. where my Vaults live anytime, I have a connection to the internet. There is nobody doing ANYTHING like it in the world of photo software. Photographers are notoriously tunnel-visioned. If you want access to your photos anytime anywhere you have to give Mylio Photos+ a look.