Meagan Musing

Meagan Musing


How to Organize Your Digital Photos

I take a lot of photos.

I average about 300 per month and I'm really, really bad about culling photos of my everyday. It's hard to permanently delete them - what if I change my mind, right?

My photos used to be really disorganized with random folders of downloads here and there. There was little rhyme or reason to it, and it made me crazy.

How to Organize Your Digital Photos

I started organizing my photos by month back in 2011.

Now, when I go to upload photos (which I do almost daily) it looks something like this:

How to Organize Your Digital Photos

I use Lightroom to organize my photos, but even if you don't use Lightroom you can still use the same organization system.

I went through a lot of trial and error but I finally have a good system down, and it makes me happy. I know exactly where I'm going to put files and how I'm going to name them.

Step 1 -  Create a new folder at the beginning of each month, naming it with the year first, followed by the month so that the folders are always in dated order. If I'm uploading pictures of everyday life they go straight into the main month folder. I have many months where all my photos are contained in just one folder.

So I'm currently uploading all my pictures to the 2014_02 folder.

Step 2 - If there's a special day or activity or if I do photos for friends that month, they get their own destination folder within the month. So vacations, newborn photos, holidays  - they all get their own folders within the month.

So if we went to the zoo next week I'd upload just those zoo pictures into a separate folder called Zoo, within the 2014_02 folder.

Step 3 - I use the file number that my camera automatically gives to each photo throughout my editing/sharing/saving process. That way I can always go back and find the original RAW file if I need it.

For example:

I do 95% of my editing in Lightroom. So if I want to save an edited photo for printing I'll export it from Lightroom at the original size into a Print folder within its month (and special day if applicable) folder and keep its name the same, i.e. IMG_7807. Then when I'm ready to print a book or 5 x 7s, the photo is ready too.

If I want to share it on the blog or Flickr, I open it in Photoshop, apply my watermark, and save it in the appropriate size for the web as a jpeg with WEB in the name, i.e. WEB_IMG_7807. It gets saved into the original monthly folder and looks like this:

How to Organize Your Digital Photos

Sometimes I want to share a photo with friends or family through Dropbox or I'll want to have it play on our Apple TV slideshow so I'll need it sized differently than for print or the web.

I will export the photo from Lightroom (or open in another program like Photoshop and resize it) at the adjusted size, and save it with a special tag in front of the original name, i.e. FB for facebook sizing, SS for slideshow. If you add them at the beginning of the photo's name it'll keep those files grouped together within your folder and they won't get lost.

Keeping the original file name was a game changer for me. I used to try to name my photos things like "Andrew Backyard" or "Flowers" and I was always losing them. This way they stay in dated order and are traceable back to the original file.

Step 4 - Back it up! I can't stress this enough. Just do it. I try to manually backup to an external hard drive once a week. It's a big pain, but so is losing my photos. I use the Passport from Western Digital. It is small and fast and easy to use.

A few simple steps can save you a lot of headache, especially if you're starting the year with a Project 365 - that's a lot of photos to keep up with! Stay organized friends. :)


If you're curious about my workflow within Lightroom, you can check out my post on Lightroom 4 from last year.



Friday Shares - Haircut Edition

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen my haircut picture last weekend. I decided to start fresh, and we chopped it all off.

I've had mixed emotions, pulling on phantom hair and looking for my long ponytail, but I've settled on happy with it. It's so bouncy and healthy and is holding curl well. And it's much, much easier to brush and style. It just took me a few days to land here. It's a big change, but as Brian pointed out it nothing like when I cut bangs or went dark the fist time.

Apparently I have a thing for changing up my hair.

It's Valentine's Day! The kids had their parties at school yesterday and had so much fun. They've been hopped up on candy and cookies and sugar in general ever since.

Brian's picking up fancy pizza and we're staying home with the kids tonight. Nothing very romantic, but it'll be special all the same. Do you go all out for Valentine's Day?

To celebrate the day I gave Brian a milk frother and would you believe he thought it was more of a gift for me than for him?? I mean...I would never do something like that! :) But honestly, we're both pretty excited about homemade lattes.

I had fun sharing some of my Instagram friends last week and thought I'd do it again, spotlighting some of my favorite calligraphers.

Lauren Essl is a local Dallas calligrapher. I took her beginners calligraphy class back in December and I loved it. Her style is so effortless and beautiful. I need to keep practicing!

Fozzy is just amazingly talented! Everything she does is gorgeous and she's super generous with tips on her blog and her Instagram account too.

Korie at The Weekend Type's work is so girly and romantic. It makes me want to create hand written letters and mail them to everyone I know.

Happy weekend friends! I hope it's filled with all things lovely!


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Project 365, February 3 - February 11

These past two weeks have been full. I'm working on Andrew's birthday party prep - lots of dinosaurs! rawr! - we finished up their class Valentines for friends, my new Wordpress blog will be ready to go next week, and it's tax prep time at my "real" job. So lots of takeout and scrambled egg dinners and late nights for me.

Do y'all do that with dinner? If life gets super busy, the first thing to go is meal planning and healthy homemade dinners. We can only do so much and chick-fil-a for dinner once a week just doesn't seem that bad in the scheme of things.

And the kiddos certainly don't mind! :)

Project 365
"Profile" 34 // 365

Project 365
"Chillin'" 35 // 365

Project 365
"Mr. Spike" 36 // 365

Project 365
"Snow Day" 37 // 365 

Project 365
"The Living Room is My Gym Mom!" 38 // 365
Project 365
"Click!" 39 // 365

Project 365
"Chick-Fil-A Does it Again" 40 // 365

Project 365
"Happy Snowman!" 41 // 365

Project 365
"Brightest Shoes Ever" 42 // 365


Nurse Loves Farmer

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