5 Steps to Organize Photographs On Your Hard Drive

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

I went to Canon Experience Center to check out another photography seminar. Photographer Steve Anderson talked about Lightroom program, and how to organize your photo files in Lightroom. But since I don’t have this Lightroom program, I will write this blog for a regular hard drive. This seminar is mostly for photographers who work with a lot of photographs on their hard drive. But nowadays many people in various fields use lots of photographs for online work. thanks4

It is all basic and simple. Organizing your hard drive is similar to creating an internet file cabinet for all your files, folders, photographs, documents, videos, and artwork. So, it is mostly comprised of folders organized either alphabetically or numerically, based on folder names as well as file names. It is recommended to start the folder name by year so that you can sort and organize your hard drive folders by year, and maybe add the month next to the year for further organizing. Or, instead of month, you might want to add the particular event of the photos, such as Halloween Party, Xmas Party, Johnson Wedding, Laura Photo Shoot, and other projects. All these folders, files, and photos are organized and sorted by year.

First Step:  Create a Job Folder, Project Folder, or main folder. For instance, my project folders have to do with events, videos, and parties. I have folders for art gallery exhibits and videos, fashion events at the mall, certain people’s parties, certain people’s weddings, my artwork projects, trips, and other interesting ideas that might come up.

Second Step: Create a file name for each photograph. This step is good for invoicing. Notice the files in your hard drive might end with jpg, psd, xmp, folders, and people’s names. It is important to be very descriptive but simple in creating names for files and folders in order to easily retrieve a photograph that you are looking for. For example, use short names or abbreviations that are obvious for each file name and folder name.

Third Step:  Create a new folder to store a group of related photos, and rename it something descriptive with the word “photos,” such as “Fashion81816photos” which translates to fashion photos for August 18, 2016.

Fourth Step: For editing purposes, you might want to create a psd file under AdobeRGB 1998. (Note that this is an example in Lightroom. I probably won’t use it unless I am using Photoshop or Illustrator).

Fifth Step: Rename the jpg photos folder and rename each photo. (I think this part would probably be hard for me to do because all my photos are different and I don’t think I should change anything or I might mess things up. I think most of my photos are JPEG files because that is what I am used to working with to begin with as well as some PSD files when I do something on Photoshop).



  1. Gina145

    I try to keep my photos organised but still sometimes struggle to find the ones I need. I’m slowly learning to put keywords into my important photos as it helps me to find them if I don’t know when they were taken.

    A couple of comments:
    1. I like to start folder names with the date, formatted to year, month, day, so today’s folder would start with 160811. That way they’re all saved in date order.
    2. Renaming photos will alter their metadata. That can be a problem if one ever needs to prove that something is an unedited original.

  2. Gil Camporazo

    I am doing this to organize my photos. I group them in one folder and name it the actual event or occasion like for example, a training on cooking, culmination program of scouting month, etc.

    1. Fifi Leigh Post author

      yeah, this is what i do. my photos are grouped based on certain events i checked out. there are too much now since 2013. i have deletes a lot in the past, and i dont want to scan too much pictures into my computer.

    2. Gil Camporazo

      If it is too large for your computer to store those pictures, you upload them DropBox. I don’t if you heard about it. It is a safe storage for photos on the Internet.

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