I use Apple’s Aperture photo editing software to manage and backup every photo I have taken in my career.
It’s like a time machine for a photographer.
So many of us document what we do, from Instagramming our food to snapping an iPhone photo of that sunset that one time after dinner.
What’s nice is that our smartphones actually live up to their name in being smart. They embed GPS information so you can see your photos on a map. They keep time, dates and even the exposure. If you want to nerd out, just import some of your iPhone photos to Photoshop and view the metadata.
Well, our big DSLR cameras are pretty smart, too. Virtually every bit of information besides who is in the photo is recorded automatically by the camera as we shoot each photo.
But it still has to be managed. That’s where the human element comes in. Although, I feel like a cyborg by the end of each summer - combing through 40,000+ photos from the previous sports season and 80,000+ photos total each each year.
Even at the consumer level, some of these professional techniques may help you stay little more organized and not lose some memorable photos in the process.
So here are a few tips that keep our heads on straight and our editors happy.
- Date everything: I said everything, not everyone! Each time you go shoot something, create a project with the date as the beginning of the name. For example: “2013-02-23 UF vs. Arkansas”
- Create folders: Once you have the dates projects, organize them by sports. Most times this is intuitive. The Gators are probably only playing Arkansas in basketball on Feb. 23, 2013, but there could be something else going on the same time.
- Rate your photos: Come up with a rating system. This will save you a ton of time when you want to go back. Often we are so concerned with deadlines during a football game, we shoot, we edit, we send off the photos and then forget about them. Well, sometime you’ll have to go back, and starring the photos 1,2,3,4 or 5 starts will help you determine what to keep.