By Alt Channel teacher Justin Hackworth.
With your ever expanding collection of digital photos, you might be wondering how on earth you're supposed to keep track of all of those pictures. Here are a few ideas to help you out:
1) Keep all your images in one location instead of scattered all over your hard drive.
Create one folder where all the images will go, then create subfolders and categorize them by the day they were taken. For example, the folder structure on my hard drive contains the main folder (Images), then inside that, it may look like this:
Notice that the folder is named the day the images were taken (year, month, day), followed by the subject of the photographs. Naming the folder by year, month, and day keeps them sorted chronologically. Adding the subject of the images helps you see the contents of the folder.
2) Tag your images with descriptions and keywords.
Free and inexpensive programs like Picasa and iPhoto make the job a little easier, but for a more robust and user friendly solution I recommend using Adobe Lightroom. If you take a lot of pictures and don't currently have a solution for cataloging your images, Lightroom is going to change your life. Tagging your images allows you to search for specific keywords in programs like Lightroom and Picasa. You might not remember where the picture of your brother wearing the funny hat is, but if you tag your images properly, these database programs will find them in a snap.
3) Backup copy on a regular basis.
This can be done by making an exact duplicate of your hard drive and keeping the copy at a separate location. I use a program called Retrospect to copy the drive. You can also use an online backup program. I like Backblaze because it's affordable and nearly effortless.
Bonus tip - make prints. It's great to have all those images on your computer, but there's no substitute for a tangible, printed photograph.
For more information on photography and blogging, check out Using Photography To Grow Your Blog, on February 20, with Justin Hackworth.