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How to Organize Folders of Images + Shoots

August 20, 2014 - How To, Photography

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So can we take a minute to talk about organization? Because, really, it's my jam. I'm the kid who played ‘office' with my sister just so I could organize shelves and boxes of blank paper. I love knowing my life makes sense–at least in things I can control–so my office is my Ultimate Organization Station. This includes a litany of Post-It notes, a life-size white board (no, really, the board is six-feet tall), and color-coded folders. So when I was asked the following on Facebook, I thought I'd share a sneak peek into how I organize my shoots:

Kristin asked to see how I organize my shoots as well as how I organize my email. Today I'll be focusing on the former and follow up with a different post regarding my email organization.

My first photographic interaction with my clients is at their engagement session.
After the shoot, I download the raw images to my computer in a folder labeled Date-Bride's Name-Groom's Name-Engagement-Raw
    Like so: 2014.08.20 Jennifer John Engagement Raw.
Then I backup the raw images to an external hard drive.
After the culling and editing process, the exported jpegs are placed into a folder labeled Date-Bride's Name-Groom's Name-Engagement-Retouched
    Like so: 2014.08.20 Jennifer John Engagement Retouched.
I backup the retouched jpegs to an external hard drive.
I backup the images online.
I delete the folder with the raw images.
I place the Retouched folder into a master folder containing every shoot I've done.
    This folder is full of shoots and when I need access to a retouched image, I know exactly how to find it, by their name or date of shoot

After shooting the wedding, I follow the same organization pattern, with a few additions.
After the shoot, I download the raw images to my computer in a folder labeled Date-Bride's Name-Groom's Name-Engagement-Raw
    Like so: 2014.10.20 Jennifer John Wedding Raw.
I also add a subfolder to this raw folder for JD's images, so I can keep them separate through the culling process.
Then I backup the raw images to an external hard drive.
After the culling and editing process, the exported jpegs are placed into a folder labeled Date-Bride's Name-Groom's Name-Wedding-Retouched
    Like so: 2014.10.20 Jennifer John Wedding Retouched.
Any photos I used for blog posts or social media updates are placed into a subfolder labeled Bride's Name-Groom's Name-Wedding Faves
    Like so: Jennifer John Wedding Faves
I backup the retouched jpegs to an external hard drive.
I backup the images online.
I delete the folder with the raw images.
I place the Retouched folder into a master folder containing every shoot I've done.
When the client chooses images for her wedding album, I create a subfolder within the Retouched folder labeled Bride's Name-Groom's Name-Wedding-Album
    Like so: Jennifer John Wedding Album.
If I submit the wedding for publication, I create a subfolder within the Retouched folder labeled Bride's Name-Groom's Name-Submission
    Like so, Jennifer John Submission.
Now all of the images associated with the clients' wedding are in one place I can easily find by name or wedding date.

I also create iView MediaPro catalogues for every shoot, wedding album, and/or submission because it helps me know what's in each folder with a simple click of a mouse.

I hope this sheds light into my organizational approach and I hope you have a beautiful Thursday!

**Edited to Add**
For those who asked, I delete the raw images from my computer after the retouched jpegs have been exported and backed up. The raw images on the external hard drive will will be stored for six months after the wedding/engagement session. However, in the nine years I've been a wedding photographer, I've never–not once–had to revisit a raw image per a client's request. 🙂
Lastly, I back up the images online to my client's photo gallery, hosted by Pixieset. Contractually, I'm responsible for my client's images only for a year after the wedding, but Pixieset serves two amazing purposes: 1. an online backup source; and 2. a gallery for their photos. It's awesome.

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Life is about to get a whole lot easier.  

Desperate for change, I created a Productivity Planner to help streamline my workflow and I kissed stress goodbye. 

[With cherry flavored chapstick.]  

FREE INSTAGRAM GUIDE

Oh, friend, it's time to start growing your business on Instagram.
  
Sign up to receive a free Instagram marketing guide, helpful tips, and free stock photos you can use for your business.  

It’s basically an Instanote sent to your inbox to help push you toward your social goals and help grow your following.

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You're busy, pulled in lots of directions, and trying to run a business. 

In addition to all this, you know you should be posting on social media, so how do you balance it all? 

I'm dedicated to your success, so download five free stock photos to use online...I hope this empowers you to attract dream customers along the way!

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