The Digital Photo Dilemma: Storing Hundreds and Still Being Able to Find “That One”

My teenage daughter has become a photographer almost overnight.  Last Christmas she received a beautiful digital camera from her grandmother, and now she’s totally hooked.  She hardly leaves the house without it!  Were it not for the raw talent I can see in her, I’d be worried.  Problem is, the system for storing these photographs wasn’t working and she was getting frustrated searching amongst the hundreds of pictures she had taken.

While she was very good at deleting the pictures she didn’t want before downloading them all, she did not realize just how difficult it would be to go back and find a specific photograph.  The computer was automatically inserting them into files by date, but that was no help at all.  She might have had several days or weeks worth of pictures in one download all getting dumped into a file folder with the download date.  After several exasperating attempts to find one specific picture and having to scroll through hundreds, she needed help.

Together we set up a new system for her.  We started by looking at the kinds of things she was taking pictures of:  trips, sunsets and skies, lampposts, buildings and streets, events and activities. We created a folder for each of these categoriesOnce these folders where established, she could easily drag and drop the photos from the camera card to the appropriate folder.  We then took it a step further.  Inside some of the larger folders, we created sub-folders  within the category.  For example, inside the “trips” folder, there are sub-folders by location (e.g. “Maine” and “NYC”). 

Now when it’s time to download she knows exactly where the photos should go.  And more importantly, when she needs to find one, she knows just where to look!  Thanks Mom! (I’m sure I heard her say.)

 Photo courtesy of Chelsea Mansur.

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