Managing your digital photo collection

1. Hunt and gather

Hunt and gather up all of those devices on which your digital images are currently stored. Most of us have digital images in multiple locations, including: smartphones, tablets, cameras, old and new computers, CD/DVDs, memory cards, USB sticks, and external hard drives. They might also be in Dropbox, Google Photos, iCloud, etc, attached to emails from family, or on social media accounts like Facebook and Instagram.
If you can consolidate your photos into one location it’s easier to sort and organise them and also makes it easier to find and share images when you need them.

2. Create a Digital Photo Hub

Create a Digital Photo Hub, which will become the central location for your complete photo collection. This will

  • be the most logical place for someone else to find your photos
  • be accessible at all times (lives where you live - not at someone else’s place)
  • have ample storage space available (for current & future photos) – at least 1Tb of memory

Follow these rules:

  • rename the drive to HUB_(your name)
  • Once you designate a hub, EVERY original goes there, and stays there.
  • Make changes & edits ON the HUB.
  • Make back-ups FROM the HUB


3. Copy gathered photos to your HUB

  • Before you begin copying images to your HUB,
    set up folders and name them by the source of the photo. e.g. phone_Julie, phone_Bob
  • Start copying all your photos to your HUB. When
    you plug in a camera card or your phone you may see several folders. Locate the folder called DCIM (Digital Camera Images) - this is where you will find your photos.
  • Just copy everything for now. You can eliminate the duplicates or bad photos

4. Sort, Organise, Backup those photos

  • Create folders and subfolders using an organizing method that makes the most sense to you. This could be subject, date, location, etc.
  • Begin placing the files into the correct folders.
  • As you are going through the images, take time to reduce your volume and eliminate similar shots from the same event, blurry photos and duplicates.
  • Keep in mind that this process should be repeated weekly or monthly, so you don’t end up with a backlog of unnecessary images.
  • Duplicate all your folders/images into at least two other locations for additional backup protection.
  • For sharing with others and allowing access to family members try a clous based solution.

5. Use metadata to make photos even easier to find later.

Nee to know more? Book a one-on-one lesson with Jill Boswell, our Certified Photo Manager

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