For our clients, we deliver several different types of images in different resolutions with different edits. We also keep every image as a DNG (digital negative) in what we call the Archives. We keep each format on hand easily so any body in our office can easily and quickly access each size or type. This means our client can order a print or get a different size scan quickly from anyone in our office.
How will you be using your images? Do you need to access different file types or sizes? To keep it simple, figure out what types of images you will use the most and set up a system to quickly find them:
- Always keep the original in an archived spot. This should be the highest resolution image in a file type that does not compress (use TIF or DNG not JPG) and make no changes to this file in case you need to revert back to the original
- Create folders or a catalog based on project, client or date. We use folders by project type (ground vs. aerial) then by client and then by our client’s project. We also use folders named low res or high res to keep those sizes separate.
- Our stock website (Zenfolio) also acts as a filing system that we can access off line. You may also use dropbox or another cloud based system. Just be sure you have multiple backups you can access.
Whatever your system ends up looking like, keep it consistent and use it. It may need tweaks for the first few projects you catalog, but then it should become second nature.
A sample of how we name our folders