Digital Photo Organisation

There comes a time when it seems like you have photos coming out of everywhere, currently my poor little mac has over 400gb of flies in the photos folder… yeah thats a little scary… especially since from about 2010 (maybe 2011) onwards i have been incredibly slack in organising them… and theres probably 50% more photos since then… (that makes me wanna cry). So what does one do when they have soooooo many of these precious digital images… well firstly – BACK THEM THINGS UP!! ideally in more than one location! – I say this after personal experience… back in 2009 we lost almost 6-12 months worth of photos after the external HDD they were all on became corrupt and “ate” a heap of photos – up until that 6-12 months mark before this were all also backed up on dvds/cd roms… so losing them on the HDD wasn’t the end of the world – it was the year of tiny baby William that we lost that was tragic – thankfully I think I have been able to selvage heaps from the internet world (mainly Facebook) but I’m sure there are still heaps missing and as a result the HDD has been sitting dormant waiting for the day that we either found a caring soul to retrieve what they can from the drive or find the $$ to pay someone to do it…

Sadly since then I have been really really naughty – and not backed up photos… Thankfully I have been extremely lucky (knock on wood) and had no dramas since… However that being said the last few months it has weighed on my mind a lot so I have recently backed up that 400+gb of photos on a temporary drive while I save to get 2x external hdd’s that I wish to store them on.

So back to the double back up idea, well having a second hdd means if one fails then we have the second one still (if 2 fail then we are up shit creek), one I have plans of having in a spot that I can grab and run with it, and the other goes in the fireproof safe. These are not regular access drive, souly back up drives.

So ideas on how to organise your files… Well that’s really up to each individual and how each person can function, for me once upon a time sorting into year folders then into monthly folders plus special events folders worked great, however recently,I have discovered that (either my memory is on the blink or???) that trying to remember what month a certain photo I’m looking for was taken is next to impossible and after flicking thru several folders it gets told really quickly… So my next mission is to reorganise them all… This of course won’t happen overnight… So leave it with me… Lol

However I have been a looking, and I have found a few different types of cataloging your photos:

This is basically how I have organised my photos in the past, it works great at if if you know when a photo was taken and you can go straight to the year, then month (and if your that little bit more insane you could even go weekly!! – actually photos from homeschooling could be done like this I guess…. Hummm….)

Year-Month Photo organising example

Organising Digital Photos like the pros do…

This blog has a great post on sorting all your photos (for windows based users).

On top of the stock standard Windows Explorer & Finder for file organisation, you can get a number of 3rd party photo cataloging programs/apps such as iPhoto, Lightroom, Elements … But for me personally I prefer to stick to the basics, the stock standard built in program, in my case Finder on my Mac, my thinking is, if my files are in finder or windows explorer they will be compatible with future upgrades and there is no risk of the program going out of date and having to start over again!

So upon thinking and planning (I may have issues here and over think things… You’ll learn that soon enough), I have decided on a file structure for my Pictures folder:


Now I just need to find some time to sort through this mess on my computer!! :)

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