“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” -A.A. Milne
The great thing about digital photography is that you can take as many pictures as you want. The not so great thing about digital photography is that because you can take as many pictures as you want you will probably have LOTS of files. Without a plan for organizing your files you will probably need to spends lots of time sorting through hundreds of files every time you need to find a specific picture for a project. Here are a few suggestions to get and stay organized:
- Reduce the number of files you are saving by getting rid of photos that are out of focus, have major exposure problems, or are otherwise unusable.
- Rename files descriptively, add tags, or add keywords to make files more easily searchable on your computer.
- You can create and label folders for your images. The system you select is up to you. The top level of organization may be chronological (by year, month, date, its up to you), by subject (portraits, landscapes, etc), location, or whatever major category makes sense for you.
- Add sub-folders to the top level folders to help sort images. This will allow your searches to become increasingly refined as you move from one folder to the next.
Once you have a system in place that works for you, be diligent about maintaining that system.