Saving Precious Time with Photo Files

The ideal situation when you are taking a lot of photographs is to rename all the files according to what they are photos of. Who has time for that? When there is some time and energy, great, but much of the time a shortcut is in order. The question is how do you do that since the camera is naming them things like DSC0001, DSC0002 and so on. If you just download to a file directory, it will overwrite any with that name.

In the last post, I mentioned that I have taken about 28,000 photos for our DelsOutlet eBay business selling books, video and music. If I renamed all those files, I would only be up to about 2,500 by now. What I do is create a directory in a sequence like this: Ebay1, Ebay2 and so on. I don't need to save the files forever, I just need them for the short term, though I do save them longer term. I could also name them by date starting with the year, month then day: 20080105, or 2008-01-05 which would be a little more clear. That way they would be in a sequence that is easy to find and sorts nicely. I sometimes sell other things on eBay like guitars, so I name those, EbayGuitars1, EbayGuitars2 and so on. I also put them in a picture folder of my making rather than under the My Documents, My Pictures, My Videos, My. . . oh my.

Now let's relate this to commercial trucks. You make use of photos of your trucks in various ways, such as, on the website, in emails, in email newsletters, sending to ad agencies and so on. You can keep track of these photos easily by creating a sequence of directories that makes sense for how you want them labeled. For example, you could have them under a master folder called 'Inventory Photos' and then sub directories by body type, like Contractor, Combo, Dump, Flatbed and so on. If you do this, you will have to rename each file before you download them otherwise it will overwrite previous files. However, you could have sub directories under the Contractor that are by date, then you would not have to rename them until you had to and most of them you might never need to. That is a great time saver.

That might be too organized for you because you probably take a number of photos in a day and it would be a pain to have to try to put them all in different folders. This might even require renaming them as well. For example, you take many photos of your lot and you have some shots of Contractor bodies, Combo bodies, Flatbeds, Service bodies, photos of a sign, new landscaping, etc. To put all those into the proper directories will be time consuming and most likely require you to rename the files first. Here's a simple and fast way that requires little effort: File them under Inventory Photos, then by date, but with a twist. Now that computers can have long file names instead of only 8 letters, you could do this: 2008-08-06-Lot shots plus sign & Landscape. This way all of your sub directories will sort by date, but you can see at a glance approximately what is in them. Even if you took another series of photos this same day, it would look like this: 2008-08-06-Harry Johnsons truck. When you open up Windows Explorer, you will see all these files in all their glory and after a period of time, you will see just how valuable this concept can be for you, especially when you are dealing with a lot of photos.

Of course, you can have other directories than just 'Inventory Photos'. Perhaps you want to segregate other kinds of photos into their own root directory, so you might have C-Inventory Photos, C-Personnel Photos, C-Service Dept Photos, C-Problem Photos and so on. All the directories are sorted together, but they are in their separate places for safer keeping.

This photo management system can save you a great deal of time and energy and keep you from having to rename hundreds of files. And, you will be able to find them when you need them. That, of course, is the best part.

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