As a professional photographer, it is not just enough to know your craft and how to keep your gear in good working condition. The most important part of photography is taking care of digital files created by your editing software and camera. The first lesson every photographer should learn is how to organize and take care of photos so that you have easy access to them.
In this article, we will offer a step to step process on how to safeguard your photos starting from the time you capture them. Also, we are going to look at how to restore pictures using deleted photo recovery tools if you happen to lose your files accidentally.
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Professional and not so professional photographers take a lot of images and this means there is a lot of data to manage in the end. You need to come up with a system that will not only work but one that will make it easy for your drives to function as well. Before you do anything else, you need to take stock of your current assets. Knowing what you have will give you an idea of what needs to be organized.
The best way to manage your digital assets is to do it before you even store files to the memory card. In order to come up with an organization system that is efficient, it is advisable to separate images on a shoot-by-shoot basis. Most digital cameras allow the user to set a custom folder or file name within the camera before shooting. But if this kind of system will not work for you, the least you can do is ensure that the date and time on the camera are correct. This makes it easy to sort files later on.
Create a Naming Convention and Structure
After shooting images, you have to organize them on your computer. You need to create a folder structure that will make it easy for you to access your files, as well as easy to navigate through them. If photography is your profession, you can start by saving your photos under your clients’ name. In order to make it easy to locate them, it is best to include the date and type of shoot in the folder name. If you happen to shoot using several cameras, another naming structure you can use is to create different folders under each type of camera. This system ensures that no two files in each folder will have the same name.
Organize Using Software
If you have tons of files that you have to save every year, it makes it even harder to remember details of folder names. Even a professional photographer is not able to remember all his clients and dates of the shoot. In order to make it easy to locate files, you need to use software to help you categorize your files further. This software adds metadata and uses keywords such as time of year, techniques, locations, and the type of shoot. Adding facial recognition and GPS data helps you to find image files as fast as you can. An example of software you can use is the iSkysoft Toolbox.
Store Your Edits
If you use software to edit your image files, it is important that you create separate folders where you store edited files and original files separately. Create a sub-folder within the original folder to make it easy to find edited files later on.
Back it Up
A well-crafted file system sure does make it easy to locate and work on files. However, this is not enough to save your files in case your drives fail or become corrupted. It is important to always back up your files immediately you finish organizing them. And don’t think that backing up your files in one external drive is enough to keep your files safe. Serious back up means you have to create at least 2 physical copies and keep them in different locations. Today, you also have the option of creating a cloud backup.
What To Do If You Lose Image Files
The thought of losing your image files is just chilling and this is a nightmare especially to professional photographers. It helps to be well prepared for such things in advance and know what to do in the event you lose your files. If you have a backup system, losing data is not usually a serious problem. However, what happens if you do not have backup and you have lost image files due to system corruption or virus attack?
First of all, you need to stop using your drive at once. Cease from saving any more data on your drives to increase the chances of retrieving data
Use a reliable data recovery software such as iSkysoft Data Recovery Software to restore lost files
- Start by opening the iSkysoft Data Recovery and from the home screen, click on the hard disk where your files were stored. Click “start” button to scan the disk.
- After scanning is complete, the iSkysoft Data Recovery will present a preview of the located files.
- Once you get your files back, save them in a different drive