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2.1 Folder and File Organization

I can admit that my image collection was a mess not too long ago. I had images all over my hard drive in folders with confusing useless names. Even the library was linked to all of my images, they were a mess on my hard drive. Meaning that they were hard to find, back up and search for. I had to get my images organized into a nice and neat structure so that I never lost the images I was looking for. How should we organize our images? This is a quick theory driven lesson and in the next lesson we'll implement it. We need need rules for how to organize our images into folders consistently. My tried and true organization looks like this. First, I create a year folder for each year that I have images. This just gives me a top level organizational tool. If I go looking for an image on my hard drive when I'm not in Lightroom, I can usually remember at least what year I captured an image. And therefore might not even need to open Lightroom at all. Now after we make a folder for each year of images, we need a folder for each individual shoot and I like to name these individual shoot folders according to the capture date. So if I take images on the day I'm recording this, i will make a folder for the day I capture the images, with the format year, month, date. So for each day that I capture images, I'll make a folder for the day that I capture it, with the format year-month-date. And then at the end of each folder, I'll add a quick description of what the shoot was about. Naming schemes are important. It keeps everything nice and consistent between shoots. With the description at the end of each folder, I can always just glance at a folder name and have a good idea of what's inside without ever even opening it. With or without Lightroom you could find your images quickly. If you already have a huge collection of images, it might be getting overwhelming to consider getting them organized. In the next lesson, I'll show you just how to implement it in no time at all.

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