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In previous posts I have talked about sorting and archiving old photos and how important it is to do that. But, I have actually been been daunted by the task of organizing my own digital images. Right now they sit on my hard drive, backed up daily to a second hard drive and dumped into individual folders which are labeled by the date and perhaps the event. Re: Thanksgiving 2007.

While I have really expensive editing and organizing software, it has sometimes taken me awhile to find a specific photo. Now mind you, I can tell YOU how Legacy Multimedia would recommend you organize all your digital photos but I am realizing that I need to do much more to get my own impending birds’ nest of digital photos into better shape.

The first step is to get your photos off your memory cards. Using your cards to store digital photographs may work but just as easily a card could get corrupted and all your images are lost. You can either connect your camera directly to your computer with a cable and download all your images or you can use a memory card reader which stays attached to your computer and you merely pull the card out of the camera and pop it into the reader. Readers usually recognize most cameras and are convenient if you take a lot of photos.

Next you’re going to want to sort your photos into appropriate folders and name them. The names the camera gives them, ie: DSC00062.jpg, will never help you find that photo of your daughter skiing when you are looking three years down the road. There are a variety of ways to sort but we recommend a sequential series including the date and perhaps a hint of the content. So photos taken at your Thanksgiving dinner in 2006 would be something like; thanksgiving_06_0001.jpg, thanksgiving_06_0002.jpg, etc. You want your final numbering sequence to precede with several zeros so that they stay in order as your numbers get over 10, 20 and 100. If you have thousands, best add an additional zero or two.
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