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November 12, 2012


Replies: 31

How do you organize your photo library?

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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Devious Comments

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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
Moose-408 Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2012  Professional Photographer
My folder structure looks very similar.


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.
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!
SkankinMike Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2012
year> Month> day + shoot name

and add meta tags for searching :)
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