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How to store digital photos

Updated on March 14, 2015
Mpls skyline
Mpls skyline

Digital Photo Storage

The nice thing about a digital camera is that you can take as many photos as you want. The problem is, digital photo storage, how to organize and store your digital photos so you can find them later. Digital cameras are great because you can take so many more photos at no extra cost. Then you have to decide how to organize and store them is a practical way. You want to be able to save them in a way that when you need to find a photo, you will be able to without spending hours looking through hundreds or thousands of pictures. I have just short of 100,000 photos saved in my collection, I can't imagine trying to find a shot of my grandson 5 years ago just by looking through all the pictures. The key is a system to organize and store your photos in a way that you can quickly find what you want.

Photo projects

Book on special landscape projects that will make you a better photographer.

First things first

When you hook your camera up to the computer, get all the photos off the camera. Open them up in your photo software. All the shots that are blurry or of someones foot or whatever mistakes that you shot, just delete them. Do any post processing that you normally do with your photos.

Once you get to this point is where you can really run into big problems if you don't have a system to be able to find the shot you want later on. I have tried several of the photo programs to organize my photos. The thing I don't like about them, is that it takes so much time entering keywords and tags to each photo so you can search for them later. This system to organize works fine if you only have a few hundred photos. You will quickly pass this stage and begin to start not adding a description to each photo, because it takes so long.

Here is my digital photo storage system

First, get an online hard drive backup service like Carbonite. It cost around $50 per year to store all your files on your hard drive, if you ever have a problem, you can easily get them back on a different system or the restored system. Well worth the money. Next thing to do is to get an external drive,or a different internal drive for digital photo storage. The price for these has come down to very reasonable prices.

Next make a file on your system in your main drive. I call mine A, just so it shows up at the top of the folder list all the time. That is my photo file. Then I have a sub file that is the current month, such as Aug09. In that file I have several sub files like, animals, family, garden, flower, other people, pets, my creations, misc. I then sort the shots into the correct folder, each time I empty the camera. At the end of the month I then Copy and past the entire month file into a file on my external drive that is called photos. After the online backup has backed up all the shots on the external drive, I delete the pictures from the sub files for the month on my C drive and rename the month file to the next month.

How to find a picture

If I want to find a shot of something I took at the state fair in 2005. I just go to 2005 on the external drive, go to Sept., because the fair is in Sept., go to the state fair file and I can look at all the photos I took at the fair that year.

Another thing about this system that I like better is. Sometimes I don't know exactly what picture I am looking for. If I want to find a picture of for instance, a Christmas picture where we had no snow. All I have to do is look in December for each year under holiday shots and I have it. Unless you enter 20 tag words for each picture, the commercial software will not be able to find This shot for you.  With this system to organize photos,  I can find it in a minute or 2.

Final thoughts

I personally make one more backup of my shots. When I have enough I just put a month or two or three on a dvd and put it in a cd wallet in a fireproof safe. I started doing that before the online backup was available and just still like to do it. It is probably not needed but I want to be safe. Using this digital photo storage system to organize your digital photos will allow you to easily find what you want, even when you have hundreds of thousands of digital photos to search.

Other great photography articles

Nice video about photo retouch on Paint shop pro


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    • moonlake profile image


      8 years ago from America

      Very interesting hub enjoyed reading and voted up. I save my photos in two different external backups but I guess I do need to put them on a disk and save them somewhere safe. I like the video.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      11 years ago from France

      Thanks for the tips.


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