Organizing Digital Photos
I recently had a need to reclaim some space on my laptop and that need coincided with the need to better-organize my digital photos.
For years I used iPhoto, the app provided by Apple with all of it’s machines but recently Apple moved away from iPhoto in favor of the Photos app. And while Photos is a perfectly acceptable app for photo management, I figured if I was going to do a major overhaul of my image organization, I might as well take the leap and graduate to a more robust solution.
Several photog-friends have recommended Lightroom so I gave it a go. Below are the steps I took to get organized:
- On external storage, created a “Photos” directory with subdirectories per year.
- Sorted and exported all of my original photos out of the Photo App by year (getting rid of unneeded photos like screenshots of Shazam, etc).
- Ensured my Photos database was backed-up.
- Migrated it off of my laptop to an external drive.
- Deleted the old iPhotos database
- Installed and configured Lightroom based on this page: How to Organize Photos in Lightroom
- Started importing, tagging, and sorting photos into Lightroom.
Some things I did to take advantage of the situation:
- Revamp my tagging system, which had evolved over time and wasn’t cohesive or all-inclusive
- Settled on a unitifed naming convention for all of my photos (no more of that IMG_XXX crap!)
- Moved my photo library to external storage to free up significant space on my laptop (just be sure to back it up!)
Things I still need to figure out:
- How to conveniently sync photos between my laptop and iPhone.