How Do You Organize Your Photo Library?

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by z.peletz, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. z.peletz

    z.peletz TPF Noob!

    Jan 11, 2008
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    In the past I have not put much consideration in the way I organize my photos. Now that I am becoming a more serious photographer and am starting to collect a large number of images I need to develop a method of organizing my photos.

    What am wondering is how you all organize your photos in folders and how you name each one. Also, what type of metadata do you generally associate with photos in programs such as Lightroom, iPhoto, etc?

    I know that it is personal preference but by knowing what you all do will help me decide what will work best for me.


  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Oct 31, 2007
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    Cedar Hill, Texas
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    Photos NOT OK to edit
    All the RAWs get their own folder. Inside that folder is another folder for each year, then one for each month, then one for each day that I took pictures on.
    Like this: 2008 -> 2008_06 -> 2008_06_23

    In lightroom I tag them with various tags - names of the people in them, objects in them, stuff like that.

    The ones I process & export got into "My Pictures", which has many folders for various things, with other folders inside them.

    The RAWs are organized by date, the JPGs are organized by subject.

    I don't change any of the file names, they're all just IMG_XXXX.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2008
  3. mrodgers

    mrodgers No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Dec 13, 2007
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    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Main folder
    - Photography
    Inside that
    - Photography\Sort
    - Photography\Photos

    Sort folder is where I put all downloaded images from the camera. From there, I use a thumbnail viewer to briefly look at them and delete bad shots and rename the ones I keep. I rename them sometimes using a batch file renamer with <Date(>_<Subject, name, or event>_<original file name>. After renaming, I send them to orgainized folders in the "Photos" folder. They are similar to the following...

    - Photography\Photos\Wildlife (my pets, birds, deer, from walks in the woods)
    - Photography\Photos\Events\individual events (Christmas, birthdays, RC events, hockey game)
    - Photography\Photos\Family\Year (Mostly my kids, outings with family members in the pics)
    - Photography\Photos\Floral (anything from flowers to trees to grass)
    - Photography\Photos\Home (My house, yard, house projects)
    - Photography\Photos\Landscapes (further organized with waterscapes, farmscapes, moon shots, etc.)

    ...and so on and so on.

    I haven't used any metadata in my photos. I would like to, but I have too many different stuff on the camera downloading at any one time and it would drive me crazy renaming them the way I do, then putting specific metadata on each photo as well. If I had more shots of individual subjects/events, I would maybe do the metadata stuff. But, anything I would put in the metadata is already taken care of with the naming and folder sorting anyways. I can easily find the photos of Christmas 2005, the hockey game I attended in Detroit, photos of my vehicles, or the new pup, or whatever quickly because of the folders they are sorted in. The only problem I have is sorting photos of the kids in the Family\Year folders because 90% of my photography is with the kids and I have thousands now from 2008. I need to further sort and organize the Family folder.

    I am trying to get an online gallery going and will organize similar to my folder organization.
  4. Dweller

    Dweller Inconspicuous Supporter

    Apr 19, 2004
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    Portland, Oregon
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    I rely mostly on Lightroom and Metadata. All of my raw shots get dumped into a RAW folder. From there I pull out shots that I like and process them into JPG and put them into various other folders but have no real organization for them. The RAW files are where my focus is at. The metadata I use covers location, event, subject etc and gives me the ability to find any picture with my dog in it taken at the coast, for example.

    There is a book on the subject called The DAM Book - Digital Asset Management for Photographers that is pretty highly recommended by a pro photographer friend of mine.

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