The Maryland heat this week has been quite the bear. Growing up in Florida, this was regular every day heat, but after being in the north for some time I’ve gotten used to a cooler climate. I’ve spent some time in the woods with lush ferns and verdant moss due to the heavy rains we’ve been getting.
It’s also a time that I spend midday at the horse barn making sure my old mare is well hydrated so that we can go galloping out in the fields when it gets cooler. (note – this is not me, or my mare.)
I had an early morning private student earlier in the week and when I returned home, it was impossible for me to convince myself to go back outside in the heat and go tend to Remy. Instead, I did a project that was long overdue.
After photographing for a number of years, and a frequent and sometimes daily photographer, the images have been piling up on several external hard drives. It was time for me to begin going through those files and pick out out the best of the best.
Using DropBox as my destination, I created a folder with categories, like Animals – wild, Animals – domestic, Flowers, etc. I went painstakingly through two external hard drives and picked out images and placed them into the organized folder. Seven hours later, I managed to complete going through the drives, not including the big trips like Africa, Galapagos, Costa Rica and Peru.
It is just a beginning, but being able to go to one folder and find my favorite images from years past will be so rewarding. It’ll be easy to share, market, etc. now that my images are more organized.
Of course with going through them, I realized I need to get out there and shoot even more !! Doing this has helped me realize what types of subjects I like to photograph the most, so I can begin to methodically plan outings to enhance these portfolios. Outings like beautiful waterfalls, or gorgeous sunsets.
So for those starting out – my suggestion is this. If you’re not already utilizing Dropbox, it’s a great way to back up your images and access them from anywhere. Sit and think through your file categories before creating the folders on your computer. Then organize your images into each of these folders.
When I import my images into Lightroom, I add to the original file name a custom prefix using a location abbreviation code, and the date the image was taken. This way, at a glance I know where I can find that picture. Example: HCC29Jul16-0377.jpg
Going forward my workflow for saving images will be like this. My master export from Lightroom will be onto the hard drive in a folder hierarchy like this: Pictures/lightroom/birds/2016/edited
Then from these images I will select the best of them and add them to my dropbox folder dropbox/showcase/birds.
Hopefully my growing pains will help you with your image management system. Good luck and keep shooting.