Thursday, May 21, 2009

Organization is Key!!

Do you find that organizing and storing your images on CD's and DVD's to be bulky and take up too much room?

Not a problem!!

Here's an inside look as to how I personally store my backups on DVD's. (I of course have them backed up on external hard drives as well and you should absolutely have everything backed up in two locations/ways!)

Here's a really quick and easy step-by-step process to follow

1- Download cards right away!
Do this so that you can keep them organized into folders by date and event. That way you don't have to sort through the images to separate them out after a month's worth of shooting.

2- Create folders for the 'Originals'.
This is a great way to start especially if you just don't have time to go through the images right away and edit into a 'Favorites' folder and you'll know for sure that if anything happens to your camera, memory cards, or computer, that you already have everything downloaded and backed up!

Create a folder on your desktop and name it by the event and date, then inside that folder create another folder and call it 'Camera Originals'. Download all of your images into that folder at that point.

(If you have time! Edit the images and remove any blurry ones, mis-fires or images with closed eyes and save only your absolute favorites into a 'Favorites' folder within that event folder)

3- Create your Backups!
Copy that main folder into your external hard drive as well as onto a CD or DVD and there you have your two backups and everything is safe!

That's it!! 3 easy and quick steps to assure that all of your documented memories are safe. Now here are a few of my secret tips to add to this! They're not glamorous, but I think you'll be impressed because it's just so easy and compact.

**Storing CD's & DVD's:
I use a media drawer that I purchased from West Elm online and it's nicely covered in canvas and the drawers are the perfect size for disks (there are two drawers so a LOT of memories can be held in this one spot!). Since this is a drawer system, you can keep it on a shelf anywhere (even in a closet if you need) and place other things on top of it to not take away from storage space. Plus, I'm just not a person that likes containers with tops. Call it lazy, but the idea of taking something out so that you have to lift the lid off to get to what's inside just adds a step that I don't feel like dealing with!

To increase the amount of storage space I have for my disks, I use disk sleeves instead of jewel cases. When I need to use a jewel case is when I send a disk to a client and I then use the slim cases as to not take up a lot of their space as well. I prefer white sleeves but you could go even further and color organize your drawer. I take a black sharpie and write on the disk face what it's contents are and also at the top edge of the sleeve so that I can quickly flip through them to find what I need. (As a side note here, make sure that the flap of the sleeve is off to the side for ease of taking them out and placing them back in the drawer).

**I organize the sleeves by date and keep the most current in the front. If you don't have time to edit your images you might have two disks per event - one named 'Camera Originals' and another named 'Favorites' or 'Finals' with that event name and date on each. This is completely ok because you'll know that you're setting up your system to not lose your valuable images.

Also, to keep organized in knowing if you've had time to edit an event - you can look at your backup in your external hard drive and see if there are two folders in that event and if you just have the 'Originals' then you know that you never had time to edit them and can do it when you have extra time!

**Here's a link to the West Elm Canvas Storage unit that I use, They're super cheap and on sale right now and it looks as though they might be phasing this piece out, so I wouldn't wait to purchase it ifTanner's birth announcement you're interested!**

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