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November 12, 2012
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How do you organize your photo library?

:iconbrandonrechten:
BrandonRechten Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
I have been keeping my photo library in folders chronologically (Year > Month > Day), but the issue I'm coming across now is that I can't remember in what year or month I had taken certain photos, so searching has become a bit of a chore.

I've been considering reorganizing everything by subject at a top level, and then chronologically afterward. So, for example, landscapes would go in one folder, urbex photos in another, etc. I'm not sure if this would just make things more confusing in the long run.

Stupidly, I haven't been tagging my photos, which I think would probably make things a lot simpler.

Any tips or tricks for organization?
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:iconmarcobene:
marcobene Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2012
I use Aperture. So mostly by projects. Then, if I'm looking to find something I usually search by a time period, or by a rating. And the faces feature is nice when someone asks you about their photos, and you have a library of 10.000 :-D
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:iconfallisphoto:
FallisPhoto Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012
I organize by subject. For example: mountain landscapes -- Appalachians -- Pipestem, West Virginia. Another example: Female nudes -- brunette -- Jane Doe. Then I arrange them chronologically. It is important to know when a photo was made, but that is mostly so you know which model release goes with it. It isn't as useful as subject when it comes to finding a photo of a particular thing in your files though.
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:iconrustyironmonger:
rustyironmonger Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I sort mine into folders by date and subject, and keep work older than 6 months old on flash drives organized by subject (one on junkyard photos, one on car shows, one on nature photos, one on vacation photos, one on artistic edits/manipulations, etc.) to keep my computer's flash memory open for music, software, web-browser caches and operating speed.
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:iconnonotmuch:
nonotmuch Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2012   Photographer
Mine tends to follow this general breakdown:

Purpose (commission, personal, academic)
-Date and/or assignment
--File format

It's served me well.
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:iconindi-is-conan:
indi-is-conan Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
lol i do the same thing and ran into the same problem. Now I try to make an effort to put somekind of tag in lightroom.

What saves me, and my goto about 90% of the time, is here.. I come to dA and see when I posted it, and then I have a timeframe to search for in lightroom
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:iconslapo:
Slapo Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
I usually sort landscapes, trips and sometimes macros using this scheme: {place}/{year}/{yyyymmdd_place_particulars}
Events use: {event_category}/{event_subcategory}/{yyyymmdd_event_particulars}.
For example: "celebrations/new_year/2010_2011_at_home"
I do have separate folders for stuff like Moon shots, experiments, lens try-outs...
Also, raw files tend to be in the main folder and converted files (jpgs, tiff, pngs) in subfolders, such as converted and web_export. Windows search or the "Everything search engine" work fairly well for me most of the time with this scheme.

As I looked through some of my older folders, I found a photo of myself from 2000 or so. I had a surprising amount of hair atop my head. o.O
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:icontanikel:
tanikel Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012   Photographer
My breakdown looks a bit like this:

-> 2012
--> November 2012
---> 01 November 2012 - Hunsader Farms
---> 05 November 2012 - Praying Mantis Lightbox
---> 11 November 2012 - Arlington Vet Day

Each sub-subfolder has three additional folders in it: one for RAWs, one for edited and another for edited with watermarks. It's a habit I picked up from work. xD
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:iconmoose-408:
Moose-408 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Professional Photographer
My folder structure looks very similar.

->2012
-->2012_11
--->2012_11_02_Mermaid_Shoot
--->2012_11_05_Milk_Dress
--->2012_11_10_Jennifer_Glamour

In addition I have 3 seperate Lightroom catalogs, Personal, Models, Paid.

Everything get's automatically tagged with the event and basics during import. I may or may not get around to doing more in depth tagging.
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:iconbrandonrechten:
BrandonRechten Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Ah, the additional folders for RAW / edited is a good idea! I was just keeping my edited PSDs and low-res watermarked JPGs in the same folder with the RAW files (or sometimes in separate folders, completely outside the library structure ... which is dumb). Thanks!
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:iconskankinmike:
SkankinMike Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
year> Month> day + shoot name

and add meta tags for searching :)
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:iconbrandonrechten:
BrandonRechten Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Yeah, tagging is the next thing I have to start getting into the habit of doing.
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:icongeorgewjohnson:
georgewjohnson Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Same thing as you, organized by year and month but I only have around 1,000 keepers in the last 6 years so it's very easy to remember them and exactly where they were shot. They all have tags and map location data just in case my mind goes as I get older, LOL!

My locations library is for snapshots of places as a record of what they look like in case I want to go back again at some point, that's by country/county or district/location/date.

My Missus has the master family library ( about 200,000 photos ) that's by place/year, every single photo has tags, map location data and people's names. She's a bit OCD with that library and I am not allowed to touch it after I nearly lost it once, LOL!
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:iconbrandonrechten:
BrandonRechten Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Wow, it sounds like your Missus has everything well sorted! I should start doing some of those things going forward, but I can't imagine how long it'd take to retroactively do all that ;P
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:icongeorgewjohnson:
georgewjohnson Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
To be fair she does a lot of genealogy and research into our family history so she has to be very organised to keep on top of all the lines of enquiry she has open. You just need to pick a small subset of images and try a scheme out. I've gone mad and reorganised all my shots, realised after a couple of weeks that it's not working and had to try something else. Live and learn!
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:iconturtle-rn:
turtle-rn Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
I have two libraries. The first one is organized by session (name of the place/year), that's basically my back up library. The second library is organized by topic/point of interest of each pic (i.e door/church/angle/colour scheme etc.) regardless of place or date. Any pic that qualify for multiple folders is duplicated as many times as necessary; not really an economic use of HD space but so far it has spared me tedious search time. I should add that I used my photos strictly for reference for drawing so that method naturally came first to mind.
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:iconbrandonrechten:
BrandonRechten Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Do you find that making edits to photos results in multiple versions floating around in different folders, or are you pretty good at making sure if you edit in one place you carry that over to the other locations?
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:iconturtle-rn:
turtle-rn Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012
It would probably result in multiple versions floating around but since I use my pics only as references, I rarely edit them and having differents versions wouldn't be a problem so I've never really thought about that issue. =p
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:iconkippa2001:
kippa2001 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
I sort mine into folders. Each folder contains all the shoots from that place on that particular day and as such is labeld based on the place and the date, also ranked. For example forders go like:

1 Durham (3 January 2012)
2 York (6 February 2012)
3 Liverpool (1 March 2012)
4 Pizzahut (2 March 2012)
5 Pizzahut (3 March 2012)
6 Pizzahut (4 March 2012)
7 Pizzahut (5 March 2012)

I like pizza by the way. :D
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:iconbrandonrechten:
BrandonRechten Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Interesting ... how does your ranking work? Is it just to keep it chronological?
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:iconkippa2001:
kippa2001 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
I just keep it chronological even if it is the same place so it could go like this:

34 Liverpool (6 March 2012)
35 Durham (4 April 2012)
36 Manchester (8 April 2012)
37 Liverpool (22 April 2012)
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:icongeorgewjohnson:
georgewjohnson Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
PizaaHut? Sod the landscapes, I need to come out and shoot with you! :laughing:
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:iconkippa2001:
kippa2001 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
Shooting exotic food. :) To be honest I haven't been on a photo shoot for well over a month, I need my fix. I plan on revisiting Carlisle Cathedral very very soon, this time with my wide angle lens, tripod and remote, hopefully with an ISO of 100 instead of 1600+.
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:iconkippa2001:
kippa2001 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
Woah! Never crossed my mind to do photography of food. Now I have a legitimate reason to goto Pizzahut. To expand my photographic knowledge, honest guv. :D
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:icondeliquesce-flux:
Deliquesce-Flux Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Photographer
Since I work with a variety of subjects, I organize by subject, inside the subject folder I put the name of the job and the month/year. Exact dates have never been a necessity for me, if It's a job, I have a contract with the exact info lying around, for my photo library I solely need the aproximate date.
It'll usually look like "Dogs" > "Lexi husky Oct2012" or "Concerts" > "Bad Wolf amplyfi Sept2012"

:)
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:iconbrandonrechten:
BrandonRechten Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Yeah, this is along the lines of what I'm thinking of doing. Going to be a massive task, but I think it could be helpful in the long run. Do you tag your shots from specific jobs?
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:icondeliquesce-flux:
Deliquesce-Flux Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012  Professional Photographer
Sit down with a good CD and a few spare hours, it'll go by in no time! :) No, I don't, though I probably should...
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:iconespenstoro:
EspenStoro Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012
I don't.
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:iconbrandonrechten:
BrandonRechten Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Ha hah, definitely the simplest method.
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:iconstevecaissie-stock:
SteveCaissie-stock Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Photographer
I tend to organize by job name (e.g. Subaru, Hoffer Adler LLP, Smith Family Portrait, etc.). Since the system already records the date they were shot, I know I can search by that without having to re-organize them. I’ve been using Capture One for processing, and bought their database add-on last year, but I find it’s not terribly convenient if I want to add keywords, so I haven’t done much with that. I did download a third-party application called NeoFinder (it’s a Mac application; not sure if they make a PC version) that I was supposed to start using to catalogue all of my images to make it easier to search for stuff that I’ve backed up to DVDs, but I haven’t had time to really use it yet.
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:iconbrandonrechten:
BrandonRechten Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
Thanks for the reply. Do you organize your personal work the same way you organize job-related work?

Categorizing larger shoots by job name seems like a good method -- but I'm still having trouble figuring out what to do with the thousands of one-off shots I've taken. Probably should just delete a lot of them ;P
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:iconstevecaissie-stock:
SteveCaissie-stock Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2012  Professional Photographer
Sometimes I do. I have a tendency to dump random shots into a common folder, so I end up having to try to remember when I took them, then flipping through thumbnails.
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