How to Organize Photos

Methods for Organizing Digital Photos

With a digital camera, it's easy to click away without the worry of wasting film. This tendency, however, can also lead to massive amounts of photos. Uploading your digital photos to your computer without organizing them is akin to tossing your printed photos into a shoebox in the closet -- when it comes time to search for that one special image, you'll have to sift through a lot of other stuff before you find it.

To avoid digital clutter, upload photos to your computer each time you finish shooting. Organize photos in folders, and name the folders based on an organizational system that makes sense to you. Just as when you organize printed photos into albums, how you name your folders should reflect your purpose for taking the photos. For example, you may want to create one folder for each year. Within these folders, you can then create subfolders based on the subject matter, time or location [source: Northrup].

If you're not using software that allows you to tag photos, name folders based on criteria you may search for. You may also want to include the names of the people in your photos in the filename, so that by searching for "Tom," all photos of Tom turn up as results. To save time, you can even rename multiple photos at once [source: Northrup].

You may also want to create a folder for photos that you still need to file or rename. That way, you can come back and finish organizing them at another time if you can't do it all in one sitting. Later, you can move on to editing your photos [source: Hendricks].

Once you have a good organizational system in place, you'll want to be sure your photos are stored safely. To learn about storing digital photos, read on.