Organizing digital photos

Around 2004, many people began taking digital photographs. So did I. That means that I now have 15 years’ worth of digital photos. I store them in chronological order in folders in my computer (iMac – first with iPhoto – now with Photos).

Besides the date (year-month and in some cases day), the folders are also given a name, such as “Italy” or “Paul’s Exhibition”. That is my most important tip: in the photo application on your computer, make main folders by year, and sub-folders by subject, or main folders by subject (holidays) and sub-folders by country and/or year. One subject can be ‘various’ for photos that do not belong in a particular category. Or, for example, a sub-folder ‘ideas’, if you regularly get inspirations.  It is important to remember that when you start a new sub-folder, first clean up the collection, discard all the failed and second-class photos, and make critical choices about which photos you want to keep. After a time, tens of photos of the same mountain are nog longer of interest.

For smart organizing in Photos (Mac): If you use keywords with the photos, you can have ‘smart’ folders, which gather the photos with the corresponding keyword.

Copy all the photos onto an external storage medium (USB-stick or hard disk) as ‘back up’. Once a quarter is a good rule. Keep the back-up disk in a safe place in your house.

You can also store photos online, in the cloud (for example Dropbox – free storage up to 2GB), or in a photo storage program such as Forever. You will want to do that if you want to share your photos with family and/or friends. Even with photos in the cloud, it is stilll important that you copy them onto an external hard disk.