Organize Your Document Files and Photos For Good

When your slow season hits and the calls slow down, use the time to get yourself and your photos organized.  Recently I found myself fumbling through folder after to folder to look for one document or image.  I think I even stumbled across a picture of the local pizza menu in my pricing folder.

In my quest to get organized, I thought I could help other photographers too.  Here is what I did.

Documents: How to Organize

Step 1) I created two main folders:

1 -Lauren Everly Photography

2- Everly Family Documents (This folder is only for my personal documents)

 

 

Step 2) Under the Lauren Everly Photography folder I created 3 folders

1 – Client Information

2 – Business Information

3. Blends and Textures (just so I can get to them quickly when editing)

 

Step 3) Next I created folders in Blends and Textures, Business Information, & Client Information folders (Sorry I like Folders)

1-Blends and Textures folder only contains the textures and blends I’ve purchased, but they are all separated into the different vendors I purchased them from.

2-Business Information I created 3 folders: Lauren Info, Stock Product Temps  (Like my Simplicity album templates) and Web & Blog frames.

3- Client Information I created 3 folders: JPEG (My session info in Jpeg format), Post Session Info (Ordering info, Copyright, & Reproduction Release), Pre Session Info (Price list, Clothing Suggestions, Contract, Model Release, etc.)

doc1 600x147 Organize Your Document Files and Photos For Good
pin it4 Organize Your Document Files and Photos For Good

 

Step 4) My Lauren info folder is my BIG folder and contains all my information and copies of everything that is in my Client Info folder as well.  This is what it looks like:

Lauren Info  600x163 Organize Your Document Files and Photos For Good
pin it4 Organize Your Document Files and Photos For Good

In my Everything Marketing folder I keep my marketing calendar & marketing templates.

In my Everything Pricing folder I have my Civilian Price List folder & Military Price List folder  and now I don’t have to worry about sending the wrong information.  I also have a folder in here for my Pricing Info which includes my Pricing Plan & my Easy as Pie Pricing Guide.

My LEP Information (Lauren Everly Photography Information)  is where I keep all my information, everything from marketing to vendors.  I am constantly writing info down on sticky pads, like locations or my editing recipes using MCP Actions.  So I typed them up in Word and saved them in the corresponding folder.

My Logo Information contains everything to do with my brand.  When my designer sent me my products she tucked them away nicely in two zip folders, so I simply created a folder for each product and also took the time to save them in JPEG, PNG, & PSD formats.  Now when ever I need to order more business cards there are ready to upload.  If I need to type up something on letterhead it’s easy to find and ready to go.

logo info 600x325 Organize Your Document Files and Photos For Good
pin it4 Organize Your Document Files and Photos For Good

  • My MCP Actions folder is where I keep my actions of course.
  • The Original Form Temps folder is where I keep all my original forms, untouched.
  • Record Keeping is for all my Accounting information.
  • Tutorial is for all my tutorials I’ve found and from workshops I’ve taken.
  • Finally Vendors is a list of all the vendors I’ve every used and also future ones that I may need to use.

 

I know this may seem like a lot of folders, but as photographers we have a lot of information to store and it can easily get lost.  You may have to take a few extra steps to get to the correct folder, but at least your desktop is clear and everything is in it’s proper place.  I also backup all my information on a external hard drive as well has my portable mini hard drive, which comes in handy for travel. When organizing your folders to be scared to break things up and properly name your folders, this is very important!

Pictures: How to Organize

I have two folders in my Pictures: Personal & Clients.  Before a session I simply create a folder for my client under my Lauren Everly Photography Clients folder (LEP Clients).

Pictures folder 600x172 Organize Your Document Files and Photos For Good
pin it4 Organize Your Document Files and Photos For Good

After the client receives their order I delete the CD & WEB folders, because I can always go back to my Edit (edited PSD files) & create another JPEG for ordering.  I back up everything on my External Hard Drive as well.

I also have a folder for my Projects, Products, & Rounded Corner Web Templates.

Lauren is a Navy spouse, photographer, mother of two, a full-time preschool teacher, & will soon start on her Master’s for Marriage and Family Counselor. She specializes with children, but has recently found a true passion for Boudoir photography,which she says is very popular with the military spouses. Her motto is to try and learn something new everyday and never give up on your dreams.   Visit her  on my Facebook  and view her work HERE

Child Family Logo 600x179 Organize Your Document Files and Photos For Good
pin it4 Organize Your Document Files and Photos For Good

 Organize Your Document Files and Photos For Good

MCP Guest Writer

This post was written by a MCP Guest Blogger. If you would like to contribute to the MCP Actions Blog, check out our Guest Writers Wanted page.

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6 Comments and 0 Replies



  1. 1
    Melinda says:

    Good information and thanks for writing it up. I have my personal/business folders set up in a very similar manner. I work in IT and so I know the pitfalls of lost (unfindable) files! LoL

    One thing I would like to add is that, in addition to organizing in a cascading file structure (as you mention above), the use of metadata ON your files is SUPER important!

    Most photographers are aware that metadata can be added to image files (EXIF data). But don’t forget that you can go into the properties of your other documents (Word, PDF, excel, etc) and add information that will make searching easier and more efficient. For most programs you do this with the document open and go into the properties. (a Google search will provide you directions if you are unfamiliar with this)

    Side-Note: Metadata is quickly becoming the standard way to organize files in the business world. We are moving away from the traditional folder/file structure and moving towards having all documents in one library location and using metadata searches to retrieve the desired document. On a large scale, it is easier to manage the document life-cycle (I’m a govt employee and this is super important) and it drastically speeds up searches.

    Melinda

  2. 2
    Jodi says:

    Just curious how you organize your personal pictures. Do you create folders by years or another way? I have thousands of pictures that I need to organize and am not quite sure where to start…

  3. 3
    Terrie says:

    Love it! Nice to know that I wasn’t too far off. :)

  4. 4
    Alice C. says:

    I have to admit I am /so/ bad with file organization!

  5. 5
    Carrie says:

    Great topic & great post! So I have another question if you can respond — Raw and PSD files are fairly huge when you are handling thousands of images. Doing a full shoot can take up a lot of space on the computer, never mind having web edits, print edits, and PSD files in some cases.

    So how on earth do you save all of this and/or how can you consolidate the work flow? I ate up all the space on a couple mac machines quickly and now I’m working off an external which is fairly clunky. Any tips on how to consolidate files with import/edit/save would be appreciated (which software works best etc)

    Thanks!

  6. 6
    Susan B says:

    Great article – I also have a similar set up, I break up my templates by themes “Seniors, Albums, Families, Cards, etc…” and in my business folder I have Marketing 2012 which is the current templates and files that I’m using for this year. This helps when I want to reference something really quick from the past years I can look into those folders and find what I’m looking for.



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