Photo workflow II


I wrote about the two problems I had with my photo workflow system (or lack of) in this post. Finding a solution which was both feasible and made me happy took a little while, but I think I’m there.

Let’s start with archiving. Archiving can (and should!) be divided in two things: Folders and Photos.


In creating a photo workflow system which worked for me, I had a good look at how I *think* and how I like to organise things. I think in dates. Since I can remember, I have always dated my work, from texts and poems, to drawings and school art work. This obsession with dating things comes from my Dad, no doubt. He would encourage us to put a date on every little paper we ever gave him. I like this. Thank you, Dad!

So it is no surprise the new system needed to have dates.

To begin with, I like dividing things up yearly. The Year folder stays.


As for sub-folders, talking to a friend I realised I think about a year in events (with a date, of course!) and stuff. Events are easy, people’s birthdays, a holiday, done. For stuff, I looked at my Flickr.

A while ago I went through my sets on Flickr and divided it up in a meaningful-to-me way. The backbone of how I see my photography is there; brilliant! Things are looking better now. This year so far looks like this:

2013     201301 Dad’s birthday in PT
            201302 Mum’s birthday in PT
            201304 Aunties in Oxford
            2013 Morning walks
            2013 East Oxford wanders
            2013 Door to the world
            2013 Feet on the ground
            2013 Window to my soul
            2013 Belly time
            2013 Fairytale Oxfordshire
            2013 Home is
            2013 Little snippets of life
            2013 Knits
            2013 Sewing
            2013 England
            2013 London town

Ah, this feels great – an archiving system I like which reflects how I see photo archiving. Cool!


Once I had the folders in place, I needed to look into photo naming and cataloguing.

I like to keep the original file name. Once I edit an image, I like to add a snappy title (it also means I’ve gone through that particular image). If said photo appears on the blog or Flickr, that goes on the name too, so I know immediately which photos have and haven’t been used.


DSC8367 – Joey being silly BLOG.jpg

I use Picasa for photo organising and find it quite good. Picasa has a *labels* function which lets you tag your photos for an easy search. Honestly, I think the system above lets me find any photo I want pretty quickly, but… For the sake of 5 minutes to label images, I will not test myself and be proved wrong.

Labels I use: Year (haha!), Month (it’s cool), Event (eg Dad’s birthday) or stuff (eg Sewing), and location (Oxford); if I’m feeling inspired that day, I add quirks (eg morning, red, coffee).

And voila’, my archiving problem is no longer. I need a break before writing the final post – how to implement the system to photos I’m taking now AND how to deal with the backlog. Gulp…!

Does this workflow make sense to you?


1 Comment

  1. Dobbin
    3 July 2013 / 13:08

    I would probably go for subject first then date, but thanks for the article, its got me thinking!

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