Melanie Reyes Photography


Michigan Wedding, Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Portrait Photographer

Photo Organization | Capturing Life Workshop Series

As I sat down today I was swimming in a sea of images that are constantly in need of attention, bogging down my computer, and screaming - "DON'T LOSE ME!" I'm guessing this sounds familiar to all of you out there who love capturing Life. Today on the blog I want to give you a few tips that have saved me a lot of headache and heartbreak.

How do I organize my Personal Photos?

Right after you upload all those files you'll want to have enough time to Immediately go through them. Trust me, if you walk away after merely glancing at them it will take you  A LONG TIME to come back and reorganize. Or guess what? - you never will. So, when you're ready to upload that card of precious captures, sit in your chair and devote 15 minutes to do the following:

1. After the card is fully uploaded sit down and force yourself to delete what you don't want to keep. My (very strict) criteria is that if I'm not going to print it, I delete it. I believe it's something you have to keep working at - and challenging yourself to do. Listen to that voice in your head that's saying "The computer might hate me if I don't delete all of these." or "You don't need 5 duplicates of 'almost' the same photo!" Over time I've gotten better and keeping the best of the best and letting go of the rest.

2. I organize the whole year of personal photos by putting them in monthly folders. For example my folder look like this:

melanie reyes photography capturing life workshop

3. After the cream of the crop is all you have left I go ahead and RENAME the files. The system that I find helpful is to start the file name with the date it was created, sometimes put in a code word, and then a sequence number. For example:  04122014_fishing_001.jpeg  That way when you have those files in your APRIL folder, for example, they'll all be lined up in consequential order! Victory! (see below)

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 10.11.46 AM

4. It's important to note here my two top folders: 2014 iPhone Photos. Since iPhones have become so handy to take real life photos with, it's made my photo organization an absolute mess. Last year I came up with another plan to tackle those (thousands) of photos - I created a yearly folder that I constantly dump photos from my phone into. Not only that but I keep the same system where I select all the photos from my iPhone and rename them by the date taken (there are some photo programs out there that can do this by just selecting: rename, by capture date). Problem solved!

5. Lastly, and this is BIG. Please please please find a place to back up your files. I have huge gaps of missing photographs from before I was a professional photographer and it literally gives me heartache. So, get an external hard drive or better yet find a place online to constantly back up your photos. You will thank yourself the day that your computer dies or God forbid, something worse.


Thanks for listening! I hope you found it helpful, if you have questions feel free to leave them in the comments! Hope you're enjoying capturing life!

Love, Melanie

This topic is covered in my Capturing Life Workshop. The next day for the workshop is Wednesday evening June 25th from 5:00 - 9:00 PM. Please email me if you're interested! The workshop is a four hour hands-on workshop at my studio in Ann Arbor. The goal is to get the very beginner using and understanding their DSLR camera. I teach the basics of photography (what makes a great photograph), understanding exposure, and mostly how to think FOR your camera (and be a lot less frustrated!). We learn how to shoot in Manual. I've really enjoyed the opportunity to teach something that I love and brings me a lot of joy. Who doesn't want to capture life?! If you own a DSLR camera, love capturing life, and want to learn how to do it more proficiently that this is the course for you!

01052014_Blizzard_13 01082014_Isa_028hw 02242014_NewportBeach_035 02242014_NewportBeach_098 02242014_NewportBeach_165 MRP_9153 MRP_9544 MRP_8101 04082014_colleenvisit_63

p.s. If you've enjoyed my work today or in the past -  I would appreciate your vote in the Detroit A-List!  Thank you so much!