The digital revolution hasn’t done anything to revolutionize photo storage. If anything, its actually made the situation worse. Because the number of photographs taken have been increased drastically, we have quickly gone to computer hard drives and memory cards packed with a jumble of images. Just like with paper files at our workplaces, filing our photographs is a good idea. Whether you use a digital organizer with keywords or a folder system, here are some ideas for ways to organize your photographs.
Strategies for Organizing
Regardless of if you use folders or a digital organization program, you need to have a strategy for your organization. Top folders/keywords should encompass large groups/ideas. From there, move to smaller groups/ideas in subfolders/additional keywords. The best filing system of folders will have only a few folders at the top level and each progressively smaller level inside the larger folders will have more subsets. Yes, you will click through several folders before you get to your image, but it will be several quick and purposeful clicks instead of “now where did I put that again”. Almost everyone finds that there are two main strategies of organizing their images. These are by subject and/or by location.
Most of us think in terms of photo subject when looking for a photograph. Start with large subject groups and move to smaller groups. For example, “Family” might have subgroups of “Immediate”, “Aunts/Uncles”, “Grandparents”, and “Cousins”. Under each of those categories you could add folders/keywords for specific family members.
Location is another good term to use when organizing photographs. If you travel a lot you may want to start with folders/keywords describing the country or state the photo was taken in. If you don’t travel a lot your top categories are more likely to be park, zoo, or point of interest names.