{How I} Store my digital photo files …

There has to be a number of equally wonderful ways to go about this so I’m not going to show you HOW TO, I’m showing you HOW I. In the simplest of terms this is how it breaks down:

>>Parent Folder for PHOTOS
>>>>Subfolder for YEAR
>>>>>>Subfolder for MONTH
>>>>>>>>Subfolder for EACH DAY

Storing Photos

I don’t keep my photos on my computer – I store all my photo and video files on an external hard drive. There was that one time when my computer (pre-Mac days) crashed and lost ALL of my photos. Newborn shots, first days – all our home videos of our first born?? GONE. We paid a pretty penny to send my dead computer away to have my photos restored ($600). They found about 80% of my files.

It’s a general rule that you should be storing your digital files in 2 places because hard drives can crash as well. Servers are an option if you’re heavily into photography, multiple external hard drives, or even multiple computers. If you’re going to take a lot of digital photos (and want to keep most of them) you’re going to be investing heavily in doing so.

When I’m downloading my photos off my camera I download by day and create a new folder for every day I took photos (some months that’s every day of the month, others it varies).

You want to be “on” the MONTH folder to create a new subfolder for a DAY:

Storing PhotosStoring Photos

Select “Create New Folder” and I format my DAY folders with YEAR_MONTH_DAY so they stay chronologically in order.

Storing Photos

Then I simply drag all the files from that DAY into that folder and let it copy over.

Storing PhotosStoring PhotosStoring PhotosStoring Photos
I repeat this process until all the photos are off my camera and into a folder on my external hard drive. I do this before I edit my photos – because I don’t keep files on my computer and I use Lightroom to edit – I need to have all my files in one place before I can import to Lightroom and begin working on them.

It’s a fast and easy process now that I have it down pat and I have a place for every file. I used to try to name each event – but later would waste hours looking for specific photos because I couldn’t remember the WHAT we were doing or how I named the folder – but I knew the WHEN we did it.

We could go further into the conversation about Tagging your photos for personal use etc etc and how to use Lightroom to streamline your storage and process – but I, myself, am still learning all of that as well.

Resource and Links (not affiliates):

I use an external hard drive like this one.

What is Lightroom

Purchase Lightroom here.

A great online tool for touching up photos: Picnik

And for our next post in this Photo Tutorial Series you’ll want to know what this is: Flickr Uploadr <--- it makes my life so much easier.

4 thoughts on “{How I} Store my digital photo files …

  1. Perfect timing! I was just thinking about how I need to offload some of my pictures from my laptop because my hard drive is choking. I’d love to get a small external hard drive dedicated just for pictures!

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