Recently I bought myself another external hard drive. As my new camera takes much larger files, I needed some more storage. It got me thinking about how we store all these digital negatives. My biggest fear when it comes to my photos is losing images. Technology is great when it works, but what happens when it fails?
That is why I back-up, not once, not twice, but three times.
First I download all my images to my computer, they go to the “Pictures” folder on my laptop.
What I should do next is rename the file with a title that will tell me what is in the folder, leaving the date taken on the end. I have been really slack and I have a pile sitting there since January that need sorting.
I then need to copy these files (RAW in my case but you may shoot JPG’s) onto my external hard drive, but I haven’t because I am slack, and also busy.
On my hard drive I have folders labeled Photography, and Family, in my Photography folder I have all the photos that don’t have my children in them, in my family folder all the photos of my children go here.
This is entirely personal, and the way I do it is time consuming, but I like to have them separated you can label them anyway you like.
If these were files I had taken of an event or someones children (any photos not for me) I would back these up immediately onto a disc as well.
I open the RAW files up into Lightroom and edit away, these then get exported into a folder called Lightroom edits. When the RAW files are exported from Lightroom they are turned into JPGS. Another helpful tip when using Lightroom, is that you can add keywords to your photos before exporting, this is very helpful when searching for images. I don’t use this feature often enough, but I should.
I upload the edited photos to Flickr, not all of them, but most of them, I can make them private if I just want them on there as a back up without having to show the whole world.
I then put all the edited copies into their respective folders (the ones I named earlier), but I keep them separate from the RAW files, so for an example if I took a picture of my daughter with her first lost tooth, it would be stored in folders like this:
FAMILY > KIDS > 2010 > FEBRUARY > First Lost Tooth > RAW and JPG
I then back up these files onto disc, listing them by date, and titles on the outside of the disc.
I can now delete them from my laptop hard drive knowing they are safely recorded onto the external drive, flickr and cd or dvd.
How do you store your photos? Do you have any tips for me? I am always looking at ways to shorten the amount of time I spend on the computer.