Organizing Digital Photos :: Helpful Hints from Bridgett

Organizing Digital Photos :: Helpful Hints from Bridgett

For this post, I thought I'd talk about my file hierarchy & keeping digital images organized. 

First of all, I edit all my photos via a Lightroom catalog stored on an external hard drive as RAW files. Each January (or sometimes late-December) I buy a new external hard drive from Costco -because they are usually on sale around that time. I try to buy one that is between 1 and 2 terabytes. Since I don't do a ton of client work that is usually plenty for me to store all my photos for the year.  I know one could justify getting one bigger because you could get more bang for your buck so-to-speak, but I don't need more than that and I like to start fresh each year so it works for me.

Lightroom makes it really straightforward to organize photos in catalogs.  It is chronological by date.  I don't mess with that, but I also make use of their keyword tags to make things easier to find. If I need to go back and find a RAW image from September 2014, I grab that hard drive and find it easily. 

I also store all my images (the good ones, at least) online through a cloud service. I have used my cloud service since 2009 and between my business and personal photos, there are a lot of photos. Organizing them is important if I want to be able to find specific images at some later date. 

Before I explain my file hierarchy, I want to point out one important thing: At this point it is important to be selective about how many photos you keep track of. The more picky you are, the easier organizing your photos will be which will make it easier to find the ones you need later.  

Within my cloud storage, I can have categories, sub-categories, and galleries within those categories and sub-categories. 

For my professional images, I maintain categories for each type of photography I do. i.e. family, wedding, dance, product photos, etc. Within my business categories, I have galleries named after each client. Simple enough, right?

I also have a Personal category which I use for my own family photos (my husband and I plus our kiddos), one category for family history photos (photos of my ancestors and family from before I was born), and one for my iphone photos and videos. Within my Personal category, I have a sub-category for each year and within each year, I have galleries for different activities/events within the year (vacations, holidays, professional family photo sessions, etc.). I also have within my Personal category a sub-category for each of my girls and within their individual sub-category I keep a gallery for each year of their life.  

 😂  Cracks me up every time I see it.

😂  Cracks me up every time I see it.

The cloud system I use also allows me to "collect" images so that they can be accessed from two different galleries which is really helpful if, for example; I want to have a Halloween photo of my younger daughter in my Halloween 2016 gallery as well as her individual gallery for the year.  Does that make sense?

My system isn't totally perfect, but it makes things really easy for me to find images that I want.  Because I have a photography business and work with a large quantity of photos all the time, it is essential for me to keep up on this. Your average person might not need to put quite as much effort as I do in order to effectively maintain order, but it is worth thinking about. I just really recommend having some sort of system in place for organizing important images.  Please consider subscribing to a good online photo storage service. It is worth the cost. Actually, do you have Amazon Prime subscription? Did you know that cloud photo storage comes complimentary with each subscription? I just learned about it.  Awesome, right? They even store RAW files which is totally cool.  Look into it. Protect those images. 

What do you think? Do you already keep your photos organized fairly well? Or do you need an overhaul?


Protect Your Images :: Helpful Hints from Bridgett

Protect Your Images :: Helpful Hints from Bridgett

I've been doing this photography thing for a long while now and I have learned a ton in the process. Besides learning how to shoot in manual mode, conduct sessions, edit, market (okay, let's be real; I'm still figuring that one out), starting and running business, etc. I've also figured out a bunch of things having to do with photography that I think would be really helpful for clients, potential clients, and well... everyone, really.  So, I thought I would start sharing some of these helpful nuggets of information.  Hopefully, you'll enjoy learning some new things about preparing for sessions, choosing images to display and caring for your photographs and digital files. Also, if you have any questions or ideas for future topics, please share them with me! I'd love to address the things that you'd be interested in learning. 

My first topic I'd like to talk about is protecting your images.  Some might not think about the importance of protecting their images until they lose them, unfortunately.  I would argue that that photographs (especially family and wedding photographs) are some of the most meaningful things one could pass on to future posterity -because of that, it is crucial to take proper care of them. I may sound like I am preaching from a soapbox, and I'm fine with that --If this post prevents one person from loosing their photos forever, I will be happy about that. I've heard about (and talked to) way too many people who have  lost precious images to crashed harddrives, lost cds & cameras, fire, theft, human error, or -even more tragically- losing someone in those precious pictures much too soon, for me to take this topic lightly. 

I don't want to worry people or stress anyone out. The thing is, there are really simple solutions to this. I do my best to follow the 3-2-1 Rule for my photographs. Have you ever hear of this? Basically, it is recommended to have 3 copies of all your important files (in this case photographs), on 2 media types/formats, and 1 of the copies should be offsite.

Here is how I do it: I keep an external hard drive for each year that holds all my photographs for the year. I've been doing this since 2011, I believe. Each January (or late-December) I buy a new external hard drive (bonus: they are usually on sale around this time).

I also make sure to print my most favorite personal images -this is by no means all my photos, just the most meaningful (which is a lot by most standards). My favorite 20 images from each year are included in a nice family album. I also try to make less expensive photo books for vacations. And I print a lot of photos to display on my walls (my very favorite ones to enjoy), and smaller prints are made which I keep in boxes in my home -my kids LOVE flipping through these. So that is my second copy, in a second media format.   

I also pay an annual fee for a cloud storage service which I love. All my favorite images are stored there. I can access them from a computer or an app on my phone. I make sure to keep these organized -because between my business and personal photos and the fact that I've used this service since 2009, there's a TON of photos on there. 

So, there you have it. I've got my 3 copies of photos (harddrive, printed, & in the cloud), 2 file formats (digital on the harddrives & cloud, and printed in my albums, on my walls, & in photo boxes), and 1 offsite (cloud service). 

I love knowing that my most important photographs are safe, accessible, and I get to enjoy them on a regular basis.  I think this is a great way that everyone should follow to keep their photos safe.

What do you think? Is that manageable? Overwhelming? Overkill? What ways do you keep your important files safe?


Bridgett's Favorite Family Photos


Bridgett's Favorite Family Photos

On instagram over the last few months I've been sharing some of my favorite family photos every Thursday.  I didn't really think much of it when I started it, but I have loved remembering some of my family's stories that go along with each photo.  I decided to share Christmas themed photos this month.  I shared a photo from my mother childhood for the first Thursday of the month:

I shared photos of one of my childhood family Christmas traditions last week: 

For this week's favorite family photo, I had more to say than what instagram would allow in a caption so I decided to share it here. 

In March of 2013 The New York Times published an article written by Bruce Feiler about the impact that knowing one's own family history can help young people be more resilient in coping with their own struggles. You should read it. It's super cool. In the article they use the term "intergenerational self" making the argument that children who have the most self-confidence have a strong sense of it. "They know they belong to something bigger than themselves." 

This particular photo was taken at Christmas time in 1964 -the end of a very difficult year for my Dad's family. Earlier that year they lost their home in Midway, Utah due to foreclosure. With the help of my great-grandparents they were able to obtain some land in Montana. During the move family members were separated from each other for some time.  Some in Utah making preparations for the move and others, in Montana, preparing for the arrival of the rest of the family. Feeling utterly defeated, my grandpa referred to the family's move to Montana as "Operation Survival" in his journal. Possibly partly in jest but mostly not. 

When they got to Montana in the fall, they started building what would be their new home while they lived in a tent. Literally.  It was a very cold winter. After snow started falling they would have to heat and thaw out the logs and 2x4s they were using before starting work on the house each morning. They didn't often have much variety in food other than wheat and beans. To say they had a lot of hardships may be an understatement. 

But they had faith in God and saw many blessings. After the family fasted and prayed for help a friend sent them a Christmas card with a check for $100. On December 12th they finished the kitchen (well, mostly but you can see in the photo that they still had plastic sheeting up in place of window panes) of the home and they were all (11 of them) able to start sleeping indoors near the heat of the stove.  

Their Christmas that year may have been meager -their tree was cut down from off their own property, gifts weren't spectacular by any means, and my dad said that they may or may not have eaten illegally-hunted venison for their Christmas dinner.  But they felt blessed by the kindness and generosity of friends, extended family, and relative strangers in their new LDS branch family. Another thing they were all grateful for is that the oldest son in the family (who'd recently been married) was able to visit with his new wife.  Mostly they were happy about being together as a family. Isn't that what Christmas is about? 

Knowledge of their hardships may explain some of the more serious looks on some of the faces than what you'd expect in a Christmas photo. This picture means a lot to me and as the article I mentioned earlier says, it helps me to have a better understanding of my "intergenerational self." 

Pictured: my father, his mother, siblings, and new sister-in-law. Photo credit: my grandpa. Scanned by: @marknott. #bridgettsfavoritefamilyphotos #savefamilyphotos #familyhistory #Christmas #Christmasof1964 #intergenerationalself #youshouldgetaprizeforreadingallthewaytotheend

If you are interested in more of these kinds of posts, you can follow my instagram.  My instagram name is @hellobridgett.


London Baby!


London Baby!

Last month, my husband and I had the opportunity to go to London for his work.  Besides a 20-minute stop at a gift shop just over the boarder into Canada, this was my first time leaving the United States.  I was a little nervous about it but I loved it.  It was incredible.  Here are some photos from the first day of our trip:

Here are the Houses of Parliament:

Here is Westminster Abbey:

I LOVED seeing Westminster Abbey. It was definitely one of my favorite things we saw in London. In the top 5, for sure. We weren't able to take photos in the main part of the church, but I was able to take some in the walkways.

They had several famous people buried there under the floor building; lots of royalty, Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens, Sir Isaac Newton, etc. (To see who all was buried or has a memorial there, you can visit THIS SITE.)

It was different than what I expected in that, those who were buried there were place right under the floor with the floor stone above them serving as the memorial with their name and dates of their birth and death.  I would try to walk around them when we first went in there but they were difficult to avoid in some areas.  

Sir Isaac Newton was buried under the floor with a memorial statue on the wall above there he was buried.  Rory spent some time looking at his memorial and floor stone and other people kept passing by looking at the statue, not realizing that he was actually buried under their feet.  One party that did that had a conversation that went something like; "Isaac Newton? Who's that guy?" "Oh, you know, he's the apple guy." So there you have it; Sir Isaac Newton: the apple guy.

My husband, Rory, shot this photo of me: (My hair was extra curly and skin was amazing there with all the humidity.)

Isn't he handsome?

I'll try to share more about our adventures in London soon.



Hey! This blog is still here!

Hey! This blog is still here!

I haven't stopped taking photos, I promise! I have just been taking a break from blogging all of my sessions.  (Facebook, too. We're on a break as well.)  I'll probably get back to posting regularly one day, but for the time being it has been nice not to worry about another social media platform.  

If you'd like to continue following my work, check out my Instagram account, HERE.  I keep that updated more regularly with photos from sessions as well as personal photos. Follow me, if you'd like.

Since, I firmly believe that a blog post is always better with photos, I've added a few from my most recent newborn session with baby Remy. She is lovely. Enjoy!

Thank you for reading!