My Picture Managment Workflow

A nightmarish problem that just keeps growing and growing is how to deal with all your personal data when it comes to pictures and video. I’ve been using this work-flow for some years now, I thought I should share it and get some feedback. I do plan on making a few changes to it in the near future.

I shoot mostly still images, in RAW format and then process them into JPGs or PSDs. So the first management issue is, once the images are processed, do I delete the originals, no, I  keep it, the same way that you would save the old film negatives for later reproduction, same apply’s here, you may want to develop that RAW image in a different fashion at a later date. I save developed images in the same directory from that shoot. Speaking of file system, I have recently shifted to dumping the days shoot into a single folder with the date, I sometimes will add additional date to the folder as well.

I organize each daily folder into a monthly folder into a yearly folder. I use Expression Media as my cataloging tool and I catalog based on a years worth of images (I use to have one master of all years, until it corrupted one day and I lost all my meta data 🙁 ).

So the hardware flow is as the following, dump to my Pictures folder, (or lately I carry a portable Seagate 500gb drive that I have been using since I keep filling up my Laptop drive, to a 2TB LaCie RAID that I connect to my laptop one or twice a month (more often if I have some really nice shots that I don’t want to risk). I then sync the 2TB desktop RAID with my 2TB NAS RAID that is in a server rack in a climate controlled environment.

Somewhere along in this process I have processed and uploaded some images to flickr, or maybe facebook, or even here to share, I sometimes send full rez, occasionally If I really like the image I will only upload a medium rez and save the high one for just me, I know selfish…) Then every so often (I should do this more often) I will upload my favorite images RAW and JPG to smugmug for archiving. I currently do not allow browsing of this library, but plan on doing so in the future.

So that’s it, yes I know it sounds like a job, and sometimes it feels like it, but It’s heartbreaking to have a hard-drive failure and lose precious memories, especially since I can’t remember shit these days (gotta work on that next)

Oh and it was fun to actually draw a picture, yeah I have skilz

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